Sarah Palin is allowed first dibs on Alaskan wolfpack kills.

calendar   Saturday - February 29, 2020

The Last Freeman Has Passed Away

Freeman Dyson, Leading Physicist, Polymath, 96

Theoretical physicist Freeman J. Dyson, known for his work across multiple scientific disciplines, passed away on February 28 in Princeton, NJ

Dyson was a mathematical prodigy who started his career on the right foot, publishing a landmark paper during his graduate studies in 1949 that would help advance the theory of quantum electrodynamics. His insights would lead to a better understanding of quantum mechanics and special relativity, a “Rosetta Stone of physics,” according to the IAS

Dyson was critical of the scientific establishment’s devotion to and dependence on mathematical abstractions. This bled into his later criticism of the accuracy of climate modeling, and disagreement with the scientific community’s urgency to pursue climate change efforts because of them.

In his later years, he considered himself an environmentalist “in love with frogs and forests,” but was critical of the focus on climate change over what he defined as more “urgent problems” like overfishing and habitat destruction

And yes, the Dyson Sphere was named for him, even though he didn’t invent it. But he did work out the details and the numbers, and the concept itself showed just how - literally - far out there his mind was. Take a star with a habitable planet. As life evolves on that planet, the intelligent species consumes more and more energy. The ultimate source of their energy is solar, but a planet is just a small thing. So rebuild the planet. Rebuild the whole solar system. Mine the galaxy and invent scrith. (and maybe discover slood along the way) Build a RingWorld, and then grow that into a RingBall. An entire sphere that completely encloses the star, sized equal to the planetary diameter, captures all the energy the star can provide. And gives you about 100 trillion times as much room as a mere planet. And blocks all the radiation from your Sun and your civilization, so it hides you from hostile aliens. That’s thinking big.

And now he’s gone. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/29/2020 at 12:28 PM   
Filed Under: • Passing on, Death and DisasterScience-Technology •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Friday - February 28, 2020

Ain’t No Lye: Pretzel Experiment 2.1, Doing It On The Cheap

updated with the 4th bake

In response to a comment on one of those baking forums I sometimes visit, I made another batch of pretzels and used the washing soda dip method.

Washing soda, also known as soda ash, is merely baked baking soda. Spread some baking soda out on a cookie pan, put it in a 400°F oven for an hour. This transforms baking soda, which is sodium bicarbonate, into sodium carbonate, aka soda ash. The chemical reaction drives off some CO2 and the resulting powder is quite a bit more alkaline.  Finding out if it is alkaline enough was the nature of this experiment.

While I was at it, I made the dough on the cheap. Instead of using the expensive King Arthur high gluten flour and the spendy spelt flour, I used plain old Gold Metal unbleached all purpose flour. Instead of using the organic malt syrup and a teaspoon of white sugar, I used a rounded tablespoon of dark brown sugar. I used Sam Adams Boston Lager which is no less expensive than the crisp European Pilsner lagers I prefer, but the Sammy has a full flavor with a good balance between malt and hops; my hope was that it would add some malt taste that the brown sugar substitution couldn’t provide. After mixing the dough, it felt very weak to me, so I added in 2tbl of vital wheat gluten. I was going to use bread flour, but I’m out of KABF. So a bit of extra gluten might make up the difference. Other than that, the dough was made in the exact same way.

And what a difference. For starters, this mix has much less gluten than what I usually make. That made it difficult to roll out the ropes without tearing, so I left them a little thicker, which resulted in small fat pretzels. And my fancy recipe simply tastes much better. But it was the dipping solution that was on trial here.

Washing soda makes a much less alkaline solution than lye. pH is a logarithmic scale; a pH of 9 is 10 times more alkaline than a pH of 8. Lye solutions run between pH 13 and pH 14. Washing soda solution run between pH 11.5 and pH 12; even a weak lye solution is 10x stronger.

I ran 3 bakes. Here are the results.

The first bake used a 0.13M CaC03 (washing soda) solution; 11gm of soda ash in a liter of water. One pretzel dipped for 30 seconds, one dipped for 60 seconds. They baked at my usual time and temperature, 450°F for 11 minutes, but were so unbrowned that I let them go another 2 minutes. So 13 minutes total.

top: 30 second dip. bottom: 60 second dip

The 30 second dip was a breadstick. Only the faintest pretzel flavor. The 60 second dip was better, but still very mild. I’m thinking 60 seconds is the minimum with this weaker alkaline solution. I worry that a really long dip might create some off flavors, so I’ll stop at 90 seconds.

The second bake used a 0.25M solution, 21gm of soda ash in a liter of water. One pretzel dipped for 60 seconds, one pretzel dipped for 90 seconds. They baked at 450°F for 13 minutes, but browned considerably more.

top right: 60 second dip (it broke) bottom right: 90 second dip

These two came out quite crusty; the extra 2 minutes of baking time was not needed. They are starting to taste like pretzels, about what you’d get at WaWa or from a street vendor. The 90 second dip was slightly more pretzel tasting than the 60 second dip one.

The third bake used a 0.38M solution, 32gm of soda ash in a liter of water. They were baked at 450°F for my standard 11 minutes.

top far right: 60 second dip. bottom far right: 90 second dip

They browned up a bit more than the second bake, even though they were in the oven for 2 minutes less. Pretzel flavor is beginning to be acceptable, but I prefer it quite a bit more than this. Very little taste difference between the 60 and 90 second dips.

I was going to do a fourth bake, using a solid half mole (42gm) solution, but I ran out of sea salt. So I’ll leave those 2 in the freezer, and maybe finish this tomorrow. Maybe I’ll just jump a step, and crank the molarity up to 0.75, using 63gm of soda ash. That should also kick off any strange tastes, if they are an aspect of using a washing soda dip. With any luck, I’ll start getting that glossy, deep mahogany color that a lye dip gives, and maybe some of that strong flavor I love.

Conclusion, and my personal bias:
So it can be done, to some extent. The strongest solution generated an acceptable level of pretzel flavor with no odd flavors, and the dough made from common ingredients will meet most people’s expectations. However, lye is vastly superior for both browning and pretzel taste, and my fancy recipe has much better body and taste.

Fourth Bake
Ok, I added all the rest of the washing soda that I’d made, which totaled 75 grams. This is an 0.89M solution, which should have a pH of 12.14. At this point the pH increase starts to flatline; doubling the amount of soda to 150gm only increases the pH by 0.15. Not worth it.
With the standard 11 minute bake at 450°F they came up quite brown, although with a rather matte finish. Yeah, I know, ugly pretzels. I used kosher salt on top.

top: 60 second dip. bottom: 90 second dip.

Taste is what this test is all about ... and we’ve reached a limit. While the pretzel taste was pretty good but not exceptional, both had an off taste I’d call metallic or chalky. In the 60 second dip this was present but fairly mild; in the 90 second dip it was pretty strong. So I’d say that an even shorter dip or a weaker solution would be a better approach. Maybe and average between the last two dips? Let’s see ... 32 + 74 = 107; 107/2 = 53.5. So probably 50gm of washing soda is a good maximum amount, but I’d probably stick with 40gm if I were to use this dip method again.

Just buy the lye.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/28/2020 at 02:36 PM   
Filed Under: • FoodScience-Technology •  
Comments (0) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - January 13, 2020

How Soon We Forget

Now Global Warming Made The Seas Dry Up???

Hey, remember a month or so back, when Venice was flooding? And how it was CLIMATE CHANGE that was causing it, and we’re all gonna Greta die??

Well ...

Wait, wait ... where the water be at??

Weeks after Venice, Italy, suffered some of its worst floods in more than 50 years and was mostly underwater, its famous canals have dried up and been left unnavigable because at low tide.

The boats and gondolas that draw millions to the city each year were beached at the bottom of the canals, which resembled trenches instead of waterways, as water levels have dipped, the BBC reported.

Did you get that? “its famous canals have dried up and been left unnavigable because at low tide.” That’s some top notch professional writing, right there. Two oopsies, one sentence. But aside from being a grammar Nazi for a second, what’s going on here?

The scene of the tourist mecca is a stark contrast to photos and videos of flooded buildings and homes that went viral in November as the city grappled with a surge in water levels.

At one point, 85 percent of the city was underwater, prompting a crisis as officials contemplated how to save historic sites, along with precious artwork and mosaics.

Photos and videos circulated on social media showing intense flooding turning alleyways into rivers and drenching some of the city’s major attractions, such as St. Marks Basilica, which was submerged in more than three feet of water.

Water levels peaked at over 6 feet, the second-highest record ever in Venice. Damage from the floods is estimated at more than $1 billion.

The city is built on a collection of 400 islands and is navigated via canals and more than 400 bridges, according to Sky News. Venice frequently floods when high winds push in water from the lagoon, but last year’s levels were exceptionally high.

Five of the city’s 10 worst floods have occurred within the past 20 years since record-keeping began in 1923. To compound the flooding, Venice is currently sinking at a rate of a few millimeters annually.

The Italian government has been developing barriers and floodgates to mitigate the damage since the 1980s.

Ah ha. There you go. The place floods all the time, whenever the tide is high and the wind is from the south.

The real problem is corruption, both metallic and ethical. They hired Moses to do the job, but he just isn’t doing the job. No seriously, I’m no kidding. Moses.

The 1966 flooding disaster that led to special laws for Venice launched decades of studies and planning and opened a multibillion-euro tap of funding that would go into housing refurbishment, art restoration and a two-part programme to save the lagoon. One part dealt with acqua alta up to 1.1 metres by bolstering the shock-absorbing effect of the salt marshes and sea fronts while building smaller barriers and localised adaptations in Venice and on other islands. The other part, for flooding over 1.1 metres, when the sirens sound, envisioned the massive dams dubbed Mose (pronounced Mosé), a strained acronym for Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico (Experimental Electromechanical Module).

The word “experimental” was included in the barriers’ name in a nod to the law’s requirement that the solution be “gradual, experimental and reversible”. This was because solutions to managing the lagoon have historically been found with an element of trial and error. In reality, however, the massive, bright yellow, semi-submerged barriers under construction since 2003 are built on a foundation of millions of tonnes of concrete fixed with enormous piles driven into the sea floor, with no room for changing of minds. Mose also refers to the biblical Moses who held back the tides in Egypt, allowing the Jews to escape the pharaoh – which sets expectations rather high. So, the naming has not been a great boon, and already the flood gates have far surpassed their estimated cost, with more than €5.4bn spent.

Initially expected to be finished by 2011, decades after being conceived, plans were set back even further after a corruption scandal that broke in 2014 – one of the largest in Italian history – and are now only stuttering forward. The dams are still unusable, but now projected to be finished by the end of 2021. When the dams are ready, and a way to fund their €100m annual maintenance bill is found, they will then face their real test: whether they are up to the job – and serious doubts have been raised.
Faced with subsidence under Venice and the threat of bigger tides, the authorities planned gigantic dams to be constructed at the three openings where the lagoon meets the sea. In the decades since, another force has picked up that is much more threatening: sea-level rise. The Venice area is among the low-lying coasts of the world that, like the Netherlands, have been saved from the sea by human effort, via the use of dykes and pumping out water, and much of it is very sensitive to sea-level changes.


ROME–In 1984, long before global warming and rising sea levels were common notions, Venice already was sinking. The future was so dire for the lagoon city that the local council voted to spend whatever it would take to study and then build a high-tech floodgate system to combat the rising Adriatic Sea.

It took nearly 20 years and a starting budget of $1.8 billion to come up with the so-called “Moses” plan. The project is an acronym for Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico or Experimental Electromechanical Module, and plays on the name of the biblical figure who parted the Red Sea.

Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s then prime minister, inaugurated the project in 2003 with the promise it would be completed by 2011, which was pushed back to 2014, which was pushed back to 2016, and, at last check, to 2021. Had the project been completed in time, Moses’ 78 massive mechanical gates might have limited this week’s devastating floods, which inundated 85 percent of the city with a tidal surge that topped six feet, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage and putting ancient treasures at risk. Moses likely would not have completely kept out the surge, experts say, but it would have certainly done more than the alternative, which was to do nothing but tally the damage and wait for the next high tide.

Enter Moses, stage right


Floated along by barge , one of the 10-ton barriers designed to relieve Venice’s perennial flooding looks like a giant plaything: an oversized hinged yellow Lego.

Central to the plan to protect the city, some or all of the 78 barriers will one day be raised when the sea rises more than 110 centimeters (43 inches), to prevent damaging high tides from pushing into the lagoon city, a world heritage site built picturesquely—but somewhat precariously—upon more than 120 islands. Concerns that high tides are becoming more frequent because of climate change have increased the urgency.

While the concept is simple, its realization has been anything but.

The system of movable underwater barriers, dubbed Moses, has been beset by corruption, cost overruns and delays. Projected at 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion) and meant to be completed by 2011, the project has so far cost 5.5 billion euros and is running a decade behind schedule.

It took six years to test each of the four movable sea walls covering the three openings to the lagoon, partly because work was slowed by a 2014 corruption scandal that implicated the three main contractors and sent 35 people to jail.

Work is continuing largely with the original subcontractors now contracting directly with the consortium, which itself has been placed under government control as a result of the scandal.

image  image

But now an experimental new defence system - which has been mooted as the city’s savior for almost a decade - is nearing completion.

If successful, the Experimental Electromechanical Module (Mose) will protect the city of canals from the severe high tides that have plagued it for so long.

Across three inlets that connect the Adriatic sea with the Venetian Lagoon, gates have been constructed on the sea floor.  Housed within these gates are dozens of hollow ‘blocks’ that sit submerged and filled with water.

When tides higher than a metre are forecast, authorities based in a nearby control room activate the defence system.

Within the space of 30 minutes, the water inside the blocks is drained and replaced with compressed air, ‘floating’ them above the water’s surface.  However, one end of the block remains attached to the sea floor by a giant hinge.

Because they are constructed in rows, once fully elevated they form a barrier which isolates the lagoon from the sea.

But the people won’t stop worshiping that damn golden calf ...

In the 16 years since the Moses plan was put in place, the budget to finish the project has exploded to more than $7 billion and continues to bleed money at a dizzying rate. Some of the money has gone to bad management or corrupt contractors who have swindled the builders. In July, workers discovered that the 156 hinges—each weighing 36 tons—on the underwater barriers that were supposed to last a century are nearly rusted shut after just a decade under water. The job was awarded to a company called Gruppo Mantovani, which won the $275 million contract without there being a formal bid. La Stampa newspaper reports that the company used sub-par steel and is being investigated. Replacing the hinges will take a further 10 years and cost another $34 million, according to the Consorzio Venezia Nuova, which is in charge of the project.

More troubling still is that a lot of the money meant to finish the project has been siphoned away by rampant corruption. Several special funds fed by art lovers and patrons of the city that were meant to defray costs have disappeared into thin air. In 2014 after an investigation, Venice’s mayor Giorgio Orsoni resigned and 35 people tied to the project were arrested for bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering. The investigation traced some $27 million that had disappeared from the Moses coffers to kickbacks from contractors and foreign bank accounts allegedly used to line the pockets of about 100 people.

I dunno, maybe they should have made these steel boxes twice as thick and twice as long, and mounted them vertically in even deeper concrete bases. That way they’d rise straight up when inflated, forming a nearly solid wall. It would turn Venice into a lake for a short time, so maybe massive pumps would be needed as well, to put the river flow out into the ocean.

Maybe the better solution, like what ought to happen to New Orleans, would be to walk away and let Venice sink back into the swamp. The people who moved there 1000 years ago only did so to get away from attacking enemies. It was not a stronghold. It was a last desperate refuge. And after generations, Venice built a fortune on trade. But two things put paid to Venice: the Islamic invasion that never ended, and some people learning how to build a ship sturdy enough to sail around Africa. Once that happened, around 1500, Venice was over, inside a decade.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/13/2020 at 06:08 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherGovernmentCorruption and GreedScience-Technology •  
Comments (0) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Sunday - April 17, 2016

Turtler’s Game Corner: UFO Alien Invasion

After about half a month of preparing for moving, working on a few odd jobs, and getting school in order, I can finally come back and hack out a post on here. Well, thanks for holding down the fort Drew. Life has kind of been a bugger for me lately, though I should be thankful it is still better than many. Please keep your prayers and thoughts with Peiper and his wife.

I know there are dozens of things happening in the wider world for me to talk about, but right now it’s the start of a new week and I just want to catch my breath, kick back, and Relaaaax! So when I sat down I realized I wanted to make a post about something I enjoy doing in my off time, and which some of you might be able to enjoy doing as well. But which is still at least a little bit topical to the hell-in-a-handbasket way of the real world.

So without Further ado, allow me to present you with....



Ok, more specifically the explosions- and everything else- in a little thing called UFO: Alien Invasion. Some of you might have heard of it before, some of you might have played it before. But I figure that there are probably at least a few other videogamers out here who would enjoy it, and that in a time like this at least a few people who aren’t that would be able to appreciate it..

I figure the best way to introduce it would be to give a

It is the year 2084. You control a secret organisation charged with defending Earth from a brutal alien enemy. Build up your bases, prepare your team, and dive head-first into the fast and flowing turn-based combat.

UFO: Alien Invasion is a squad-based tactical strategy game in the tradition of the old X-COM PC games, but with a twist. Our game combines military realism with hard science-fiction and the weirdness of an alien invasion. The carefully constructed turn-based system gives you pin-point control of your squad while maintaining a sense of pace and danger.

Over the long term you will need to conduct research into the alien threat to figure out their mysterious goals and use their powerful weapons for your own ends. You will produce unique items and use them in combat against your enemies. If you like, you can even use them against your friends with our multiplayer functionality.

UFO: Alien Invasion. Endless hours of gameplay — absolutely free.

Yeah, you read that right… UFO: Alien Invasion is ABSOLUTELY FREE. It costs exactly NO MONIES. NADA. GOOSE EGG. You can (and I’d suggest should) download it from here:

I’d probably have to rate this game as one of the real gems you can find online if you like strategy and tactics. It isn’t the newest thing in the batch and it doesn’t look like a modern Triple A title- though I do think it looks good in its’ old way, and the globe is breathtaking.

(Yes, this is what it really looks like in gameplay.. and this still doesn’t really do it justice compared to how it Moves.).

But what really makes it sparkle is the sheer *Depth.* There is an awful lot of depth to the game, from being on the worldview map deciding where to place bases like you’re a command in chief pointing at a map, taking emails, and tracking allied and friendly aircraft. To being down on a base managing what it researches or builds, to probably the heart of the game: meeting the enemy on the ground, where your squad and theirs fights it out for the future of a world one turn at a time. All the while trying to keep your coalition above water and close the tech gap.

The storytelling is also pretty good. The backstory lore is… probably average to above average, with the world of 2083 being a rather peaceful, idyllic place where super-nations and federations live in relative peace and increasing prosperity and freedom, even for places like the Middle East. The actual backstory I’d say is hit and miss with a few liberal buzzwords thrown around but nothing that offensive (unless you figure working with the UN is offensive in and of itself.... and by the off chance you DON’T playing politics with your funding nations will swiftly change your mind). On the whole I’d probably say there are some things that come across as incredibly optimistic or off tone, but others that sound incredibly prescient (like what happened to the US because of reckless deficit spending and China’s totalitarian expansionism before it fell). But I’d probably say that it comes across mostly like they wanted to establish one big happy world to juxtapose it against the coming darkness.

But the actual story over the game is quite good and (from what I’ve been told and can figure out) relatively scientifically sound (or “hard") as far as Sci-Fi goes. Don’t expect the enemy to let you get complacent, because there will be a lot of twists and turns before the end, and it’s obviously where most of the lore attention and juicy technological red meat went into. And wisely so!

So, I’d highly suggest you give it a try, for something that *might* have you coming back a lot.

Now, I’ve tries to explain why I like this. But what makes it topical?

Well, this game- and ones like it- is probably one of the great anti-terrorist epics in recent game history.

Yeah, you heard me right. Because while the enemy are aliens and the game is set in a relatively utopian world (again, including the MENA, Africa, and Asia...), the means and messages are far more down to Earth than Angela Merkel is. You see, the enemy you face are terrorists in how they act and behave, they just happen to be aliens terrorizing the Human Race. You’re going to be facing an enemy that will spend much of its’ time dropping violent squads in cities, indiscriminately murdering whoever they can before trying to get out just as suddenly as they struck. Trying to identify and pre-empt these attacks and strike at the heart of those waging murderous war on you is the heart of the game. And it will not be an easy one, because this will be a rather long war and all the while you will have to keep a weak kneed public and their politicians from losing their cool and simply surrendering to the terror, and yourself from being wiped out by attrition against an enemy that seems to have no trouble replacing its’ cannonfodder.

Yeah, that’s not familiar at alllllll....

In a way, it’s a chance to spend some hours away in the kind of position that you might dream of. Or have nightmares of. The chance to lead a combined, international fight to understand and destroy an enemy that endangers everyone and seeks to shape the world in its’ image. To make the calls and avoid the mistakes that Merkel/Obummer/InsertNameHere has. But at the same time that means that you will have nobody to blame more for defeat than yourself.

So hope you guys enjoy. If things like this are popular enough, I might make these kinds of “Free Game Spotlights” a semi-regular feature. >/br>

I’ll probably will try and get more posts after a day or so. But until then, I’ll be killing some digital terrorists of the human and alien varieties.... 

Posted by Turtler   United States  on 04/17/2016 at 02:18 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesFun-StuffInternationalMilitaryScience-TechnologySelf-DefenseTerroristsWar On TerrorWar-Stories •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Friday - March 18, 2016

I spy, with my massive eye

“There’s a watchbird, watching you!”

Civilian Observation Drone Perfected


Soon you won’t even be allowed to spell freedom, much less have any.

Skye Aero is a project to build 10-foot helium-filled balloons, with small propellers attached to give better control than your average blimp. The benefits are a much bigger aircraft—useful when you want to advertise to people—and one that won’t crash the second it loses power, or bumps into anyone.

It’s not a totally new design—British band Muse have been using a fleet of similar drones on their most recent tour—but Swiss firm Aerotain’s design stands out, due to its soul-sucking practicality. The company thinks Aerotain will be a perfect, audience-engaging advertising platform, which is probably true, but a little too consumerist to get excited about.

Moving away from its role as a replacement for the Goodyear Blimp, lighter-than-air drones are an interesting and underutilized concept. Provided they’re not filled with hydrogen, they offer increased safety for flying over crowds, and a much greater payload than traditional quadcopters. Hopefully, someone will find a better application for them than giant floating billboards.

A giant floating eyeball with cameras and data link that works indoors or out? Crime Stoppers much? Or just looking for faces in a crowd. Or license plates in a parking lot. Or dissidents secretly meeting up to talk about guns or large V8 engines or Christianity. Enemies of the State. White guys.

No need to weaponize it. Just give it a high powered water pistol that shoots glowing goo. When SkyEye finds a bad person, it would give them a squirt, then turn red and start flashing with a siren. And all the zombie sheeple would know that it was time for their daily Two Minutes of Social Justice on the targeted one. Crime would come to a screeching halt everywhere. Hey, what could go wrong?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/18/2016 at 02:32 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-TechnologyTyrants and Dictators •  
Comments (1) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Thursday - February 25, 2016

Dark Mass Found, Pope Exonerated

Does This FRB Make My Universe Look Fat?

Also: Anisotropic probing done to ionize Bary on intergalactic medium caused “redshift”

Radio telescope catches signal older than the Earth, realizes frequency anomalies are road map to missing “dark matter” that contains most of the mass of the universe.

For nearly a decade, astronomers have been puzzling over a certain type of signal. They’re called fast radio bursts, brief radio pulses that last only a few milliseconds, but give out as much energy as the sun will emit in 10,000 years.

To date, 18 of these vexing signals have been identified. Because they are so transient, all scientists had previously known about them was that they exist, and they’re really powerful.

Now researchers from Australia’s CSIRO and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s Subaru telescope in Hawaii have for the first time calculated the originating location of a radio burst. The most recent of these signals, FRB 150418, was captured on the 18th of April in 2015.
Staggeringly, FRB 150418 came from an elliptical galaxy 6 billion light-years away.

What caused the FRB (or any FRB) is still unknown, but pinpointing the location of this burst indicates that they often occur from massive distances away. And it’s had another unexpected benefit: locating the universe’s missing matter.

The gravity in the universe is far greater than can be accounted for by what we observe. Astronomers believe that most of this is accounted for by dark energy, which makes up 70 percent of the universe, and dark matter, which makes up 25 percent of the universe. The remaining five percent is ordinary matter, and it’s what everything we see is made of.

But all the observed ordinary matter, from all the stars and galaxies and planets and nebulas, only adds up to about half of what should be there if this model of the universe is correct.

Using FRB 150418, the team was able to “locate” this missing matter. As radio waves travel through space, they run into gas and other material, which has an effect on the signal. By looking at delays in various radio frequencies, the team was able to calculate exactly how much material it had passed through on its 6 billion light-year journey.

The delay in the frequencies of the burst, visible as a spike, caused by matter between Earth and its origin.

“The good news is our observations and the model match—we have found the missing matter,” said lead author Evan Keane of the SKA Organisation. “It’s the first time a fast radio burst has been used to conduct a cosmological measurement.”

These signals are dispersed according to a precise physical law and this dispersion is a key observable quantity, which, in tandem with a redshift measurement, can be used for fundamental physical investigations10, 11. Every fast radio burst has a dispersion measurement, but none before now have had a redshift measurement, because of the difficulty in pinpointing their celestial coordinates. Here we report the discovery of a fast radio burst and the identification of a fading radio transient lasting ~6 days after the event, which we use to identify the host galaxy; we measure the galaxy’s redshift to be z = 0.492 ± 0.008. The dispersion measure and redshift, in combination, provide a direct measurement of the cosmic density of ionized baryons in the intergalactic medium of ΩIGM = 4.9 ± 1.3 per cent, in agreement with the expectation from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe

Since “paradigm” is pronounce para-dine, then “ΩIGM” must be “Omega Dyne”, right? Wasn’t that the cover corporation in Buckaroo Banzai for John Big Boo Tay? Or would Omega Dine be the actual name of the Restaurant at the End of the Universe? And if all of this theorizing and matter finding fits on the same intergalactic medium, just think what we’ll be able to pack onto next year’s intergalactic large!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/25/2016 at 11:46 AM   
Filed Under: • Science-TechnologySpace •  
Comments (0) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - July 13, 2015

solder? We doan nee no steenkeen solder

Cool stuff I learned about today

The Rigid Pro Press

A no-sweat way to hook your pipes up.



No torches, no solder. No wrenches, no twisting. No crocus cloth, and no flux.

5 seconds to attach a valve to a copper pipe. Or a stainless steel pipe. Or PEX. Or that multi-layered stuff. Or the same 5 seconds to butt two pipes together. Or put an elbow one. Whatever. Completely leak proof. There’s a revolution in plumbing going on, and it’s awesome.

Sure, you can go the PEX way. Maybe Shark Bites. And they are neat, I’ll grant you. But this Pro Press thing is just awesome, and it works on the pipes you already have. There’s some kind of O-ring inside the collar on each end of the connectors.  Stub them together, position the battery powered tool, press the trigger. The tool applies several tons of pressure and scrunches things down just the right amount. In 5 seconds you’ve got a joint so strong you can’t pull it apart with a truck. Ho. Lee. Crap.

Love it.

Let’s go to the video tape:

Maybe it isn’t the latest and greatest. I’m not a plumber. But I saw an impossible to get at dead valve cut out and replaced in about 30 seconds, and there was still some water pressure in the line. Snip snip, pop pop. Done. Dry as a bone. Holy crap.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/13/2015 at 05:44 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technologywork and the workplace •  
Comments (1) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Saturday - January 24, 2015

Mandatory labeling for foods containing…

DNA? Yes that’s right.

A recent survey by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics finds that over 80 percent of Americans support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t everything we consume, with the exception of salt and water, contain DNA?

The Oklahoma State survey result is probably an example of the intersection between scientific ignorance and political ignorance, both of which are widespread.

No! Say it isn’t so! Okay, it is so. Original article here.


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 01/24/2015 at 04:06 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-TechnologyStoopid-People •  
Comments (10) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Tuesday - January 06, 2015

Isn’t This Interesting.

One wonders why we don’t trust the Government anymore. (note: I’ve twice taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution; not the government.)

Raytheon Riot Software Predicts Behavior Based on Social Media

Sounds like George Orwell’s 1984. I think he got it right… except for the year.

Here’s a quote I find especially chilling:

Last year, there were reports that the FBI was turning to social media to track stock fraud. Earlier in the year, the agency said it was developing a social media monitoring application, but insisted it would protect the privacy of individuals and protected groups before being used.

‘Protected’ groups? Who decides?


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 01/06/2015 at 03:08 AM   
Filed Under: • Big BrotherComputers and CyberspaceDemocrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsObama, The OneScience-Technology •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Sunday - July 20, 2014

Says It All



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/20/2014 at 09:17 PM   
Filed Under: • HistoryScience-Technology •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Wednesday - July 16, 2014

And 45 Years Ago Today It Began

July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 lifts off with 3 astronauts, bound for the moon.

Houston, we have ignition.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/16/2014 at 05:25 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technology •  
Comments (0) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Saturday - December 28, 2013

whose side is he on?

Our President, or theirs??

Iran’s centrifuge surprise

AFTER IRAN ANNOUNCES a new generation of equipment to enrich uranium, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., says the Islamic Republic is ‘showing their true intentions’ toward building nuclear weapons and deserves increased sanctions — a demand President Obama opposes.

Surprise? To whom exactly is this a surprise? This is not even “unexpected”, like those massaged to death lies about the economy thrown out as news stories.

Not one single real American had the slightest doubt that somthing like this would happen, under Obama directly, but even more so under Secretary of State John Fuckface Kerry the traitor and his laughably worthless “treaty”.

What kind of fools run this country, and why do they persist in believing that We The People are as big a bunch of fools as they are??

President Obama faced mounting bipartisan pressure on Friday to drop his resistance to an Iran sanctions bill after Tehran announced a new generation of equipment to enrich uranium—a move the Israelis claimed was further proof the regime seeks nuclear weapons.

One of the president’s top Democratic allies is leading the charge for Congress to pass sanctions legislation, despite the president’s pleas to stand down. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, D-N.J., told Fox News that the “Iranians are showing their true intentions” with their latest announcement.

“If you’re talking about producing more advanced centrifuges that are only used to enrich uranium at a quicker rate ... the only purposes of that and the only reason you won’t give us access to [a military research facility] is because you’re really not thinking about nuclear power for domestic energy—you’re thinking about nuclear power for nuclear weapons,” he said.

Fuck, even a dirty little Lolita whoremonger Senator from NJ can see this one coming. What’s with our great leader? At this point I seriously, seriously question whether he is working to bring about the New Caliphate, The Seventh Imam, and the collapse of the West.

And yeah, I blame Bush for half of this. He should have dropped a nuke on Tehran, just for the fun of it, back at the onset of Gulf War II. Or at the very least saturation bombed their nuclear R&D mountain redoubt until it was a giant crater 1/2 mile deep. Oh heck, Iran were even expecting us to do so at the time. But no ... Chimpy McHitlerBurton trotted out that giant NSA/CIA/FBI report: look here you stupid flyover rednecks - Iran isn’t trying to build nukes! Says so right in this report, so y’all just shut up now and go back to quietly accepting the loss of all those freedoms under the Patriot Act. And the whole country (except for the media) knew it was a lie, yet that was the ONE time his enemy the MSM didn’t doubt his word. Hmmm. Go figure.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/28/2013 at 03:10 AM   
Filed Under: • IranObama, The OneScience-TechnologyWar On Terror •  
Comments (1) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Thursday - November 28, 2013

tech stuff … sort of

Am curious to know how many of you are still running Windows XP. For those who are, a question.

Are you concerned with the decision to stop all support and especially the monthly security patches come April of 14?

I have read only in the last day or two, that MSFT has been very critical of the continuing support of XP by browsers Firefox, Chrome and Safari. MSFT wants those browsers to stop supporting XP in April, I have read.

Well, I have XP and my pc won’t take Windows 8 but I think it can accommodate Windows 7.  Sooooo.

I have been thinking of an upgrade to 7 till that one ends and then buy a newer pc which to be honest, I’d like anyway.

According to the things I have read in computer magazines here, it will be very risky to continue running XP after April, and they advise upgrade at the least.

Upgrade to 7 will be cheaper then buying new of course, and so far there really isn’t anything wrong outside of software, with my pc.

Something else I take into consideration that many of you won’t is age. Not the computer’s age but MINE.

These things can last quite a while, and I think my next new one whenever that is, might just be my last.  Funny how one thinks with age, innit?

What with some serious spending coming up shortly, repair to roof and other home repair, I can not spend huge sums on a pc. But .... one also gets what one pays for and I won’t try and buy unbranded stuff I am not familiar with.  Since the next will probably be the last, my head keeps returning to a MAC, even tho I know they have a gouging unreasonable mark up.  I think DELL now owns Alien but have seen no ads for it in a year.  It was supposed to be a very fast machine but then, what do I know?  Not much or I would not be writing this.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/28/2013 at 08:59 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technology •  
Comments (15) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - March 11, 2013

curious bit of old technology wedded to new?

Happen to see this and went to you tube for the video.
Pardon my slow working brain but, how does this actually work out to be easier?
Also, I noticed the video is a year old so, if it’s the future then why by this time hasn’t it been advertised more?
Not being a nerdy sort , these things always get away from me and I need someone to splain.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/11/2013 at 11:44 AM   
Filed Under: • Computers and CyberspaceScience-Technology •  
Comments (5) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  
Page 1 of 19 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »

Five Most Recent Trackbacks:

Once Again, The One And Only Post
(4 total trackbacks)
Tracked at
The advantage to having a guide with you is thɑt an expert will haѵe very first hand experience dealing and navigating the river with гegional wildlife. Tһomas, there are great…
On: 07/28/23 10:37

The Brownshirts: Partie Deux; These aare the Muscle We've Been Waiting For
(3 total trackbacks)
Tracked at head to the Momarms site
The Brownshirts: Partie Deux; These aare the Muscle We’ve Been Waiting For
On: 03/14/23 11:20

Vietnam Homecoming
(1 total trackbacks)
Tracked at 广告专题配音 专业从事中文配音跟外文配音制造,北京名传天下配音公司
  专业从事中文配音和外文配音制作,北京名传天下配音公司   北京名传天下专业配音公司成破于2006年12月,是专业从事中 中文配音 文配音跟外文配音的音频制造公司,幻想飞腾配音网领 配音制作 有海内外优良专业配音职员已达500多位,可供给一流的外语配音,长年服务于国内中心级各大媒体、各省市电台电视台,能满意不同客户的各种需要。电话:010-83265555   北京名传天下专业配音公司…
On: 03/20/21 07:00

meaningless marching orders for a thousand travellers ... strife ahead ..
(1 total trackbacks)
Tracked at Casual Blog
On: 07/17/17 04:28

a small explanation
(1 total trackbacks)
Tracked at yerba mate gourd
Find here top quality how to prepare yerba mate without a gourd that's available in addition at the best price. Get it now!
On: 07/09/17 03:07



Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


Copyright © 2004-2015 Domain Owner

GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
free counters