Science & Technology
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Boat

Limpet teeth discovered to be strong enough to construct ships

limpet species
© wikipedia.org
The true limpet species Patella vulgata on a rock surface in Wales
The newest contender for the strongest material is found in the sea. Science has discovered recently that teeth belonging to tiny marine creatures called limpets are so incredibly tough they could be used to construct boats.

The chompers are 100 times thinner than the diameter of a human hair. Scientists have determined that if we built huge structures from material fashioned from limpet teeth, they would be as strong and unbreakable as the smallest piece of the material - a massive advantage for engineering.

Limpets are snail-type creatures crawling along the sea bed, carrying their portable, cone-shaped homes with them. Scientists decided to use a process known as atomic force microscopy on a set of limpet teeth to test how the material behaves at a microscopic level, and how strongly it bonds together.
Grey Alien

British scientists say metal ball containing bio matter could be alien 'seed'

© Reuters / NASA
A newly discovered microscopic ball could have been sent to earth by an alien civilization in an attempt to start new life, a British scientist has claimed.

The mysterious metal sphere has been photographed spewing out a biological substance, which scientists believe could be genetic material.

It was discovered by a team of researchers at the University of Sheffield and the University of Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology.

While several theories on the tiny ball's origins have been volunteered, the most intriguing sound like pure science fiction.

Comment: Very interesting what further analysis of this orb will reveal.

Sun

Bad news for warmists: Sun has gone quiet - Weakest solar cycle in over 100 years

© spaceweather.com
Latest solar image with little sunspot activity
Discussion

Overview
The main driver of all weather and climate, the entity which occupies 99.86% of all of the mass in our solar system, the great ball of fire in the sky - has gone quiet again during what is likely to be the weakest sunspot cycle in more than a century. For the past 5 days, solar activity has been very low and one measure of solar activity - its X-ray output - has basically flatlined in recent days (plot below courtesy NOAA/Space Weather Prediction Center). Not since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906 has there been a solar cycle with fewer sunspots. We are currently more than six years into Solar Cycle 24 and today the sun is virtually spotless despite the fact that we are still in what is considered to be its solar maximum phase. Solar cycle 24 began after an unusually deep solar minimum that lasted from 2007 to 2009 which included more spotless days on the sun compared to any minimum in almost a century.

© NOAA/SWPC
The flatlining of solar X-ray output in recent days
Solar maximum
There was an uptick in the number of sunspots in April 2014 which produced a second peak during solar cycle 24 and it is looking increasingly likely that this will be considered the solar maximum point for this particular cycle (figure below courtesy NASA). Many solar cycles are double peaked; however, this is the first one in which the second peak in sunspot number was larger than the first peak which occurred in February 2012. Going back to 1755, there have been only a few solar cycles in the previous 23 that have had a lower number of sunspots during its maximum phase.

Comment: Despite all the propaganda being touted by "official" science and media, humanity should be much more concerned with global cooling than global warming.

Galaxy

Electric Universe: The strange case of the 'missing' brown dwarf

The SPHERE instrument
© ESO/J. Girard
The SPHERE instrument is shown shortly after it was installed on ESO's VLT Unit Telescope 3. The instrument itself is the black box, located on the platform to one side of the telescope.
The new SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope has been used to search for a brown dwarf expected to be orbiting the unusual double star V471 Tauri. SPHERE has given astronomers the best look so far at the surroundings of this intriguing object and they found—nothing. The surprising absence of this confidently predicted brown dwarf means that the conventional explanation for the odd behavior of V471 Tauri is wrong.

Some pairs of stars consist of two normal stars with slightly different masses. When the star of slightly higher mass ages and expands to become a red giant, material is transferred to other star and ends up surrounding both stars in a huge gaseous envelope. When this cloud disperses the two move closer together and form a very tight pair with one white dwarf , and one more normal star.

One such stellar pair is called V471 Tauri. It is a member of the Hyades star cluster in the constellation of Taurus and is estimated to be around 600 million years old and about 163 light-years from Earth. The two stars are very close and orbit each other every 12 hours. Twice per orbit one star passes in front of the other—which leads to regular changes in the brightness of the pair observed from Earth as they eclipse each other.

A team of astronomers led by Adam Hardy (Universidad Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile) first used the ULTRACAM system on ESO's New Technology Telescope to measure these brightness changes very precisely. The times of the eclipses were measured with an accuracy of better than two seconds—a big improvement on earlier measurements.

Comment: When the "conventional explanation" is "wrong", it may be time to incorporate that data into the winning Electric Universe theory and review what you thought you knew about how the cosmos actually works...

Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection

Could the "odd changes to the orbit of the binary" be caused by the close approach of the system's Twin Sun?

Nemesis: Does the Sun Have a 'Companion'?

Perhaps something wicked this way comes:



Robot

Robots are replacing chefs at restaurants in Asia

© AP
A robotic chef from Japan's Motoman prepares a dish. Robots have become increasingly popular replacements for human workers across Asia.
U.S. chain restaurants make it their business to create a homey, familiar environment. Places like Applebee's, Cracker Barrel, and T.G.I. Friday's are dedicated to making customers feel like they're eating at a neighborhood institution rather than a replica of a place that can be found in the next town over...and the town after that, and so on.

But in China, there's a restaurant movement that wants diners to feel like they're having an interplanetary interaction as soon as they walk in. "Earth person, hello!" a robot greeter says at Haohai Robot Restaurant in Harbin, China. Diners are then seated at their table, place an order with a robot waiter, have their food prepared by a robot chef, and then pay as their (robot-cleared) dishes are being scrubbed by a robot dishwasher.

Robots are also behind the scenes at Wishdoing in Shanghai, preparing dishes like mapo tofu, Kung Pao chicken, and six other Chinese specialties in under three minutes each. At noodle houses across China, the laborious task of hand cutting noodles is carried out by Chef Cuis, the robot creations of restaurateur Cui Runguan. And at the Dalu Robot Restaurant, the entire wait staff is robotic.

These curious chefs de cuisine are now starting to get jobs overseas. Google employs a 3D printer to custom create pasta for its employees. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel was behind the funding of a 3D printer that in a few years will crank out replica steaks, hamburgers, and other vegetarian-friendly beef made from protein. 3D printers may lack the presence and personality of their chef counterparts, but their get-down-to-business attitude might be what's needed to make the transition from hometown hangouts to robot restaurants.

Take a food tour through the gallery to watch robots roll rotis, serve up sushi, steam lattes, twirl ramen, and even make pizza from scratch.

Click here to view slideshow

Comment: While most applaud the advances in technology that allow life to be simplified, it should concern most people that one of the uses of technology is replacing human jobs with robots. The restaurant industry is one place where most individuals without college degrees are able to get a job, so one has to wonder what kind of effect it will have to replace humans with robots in an area where a lot of people can depend on getting a job. If there's no one who can afford to eat at a restaurant because they have no jobs, what good will it do to have robot chefs and waiters?

Mr. Potato

The closest known (so far) flyby of a star to the Solar System

Scholz's star
© Michael Osadciw/University of Rochester
This is an artist's conception of Scholz's star and its brown dwarf companion (foreground) during its flyby of the solar system 70,000 years ago. The Sun (left, background) would have appeared as a brilliant star. The pair is now about 20 light years away.
Astronomers from the US, Europe, Chile and South Africa have determined that 70,000 years ago a recently discovered dim star is likely to have passed through the solar system's distant cloud of comets, the Oort Cloud. No other star is known to have ever approached our solar system this close -- five times closer than the current closest star, Proxima Centauri. They analyzed the velocity and trajectory of a low-mass star system nicknamed "Scholz's star."

Comment: E. E. Mamajek et al. The Closest Known Flyby of a Star to the Solar System 2015 ApJ 800 L17 preprint can be read here.

Hourglass

What scientists see as the most likely causes of the Apocalypse

© Reuters

Comment: It appears as though the scientists involved in this study are underestimating the threats that asteroid impacts, volcano eruptions, and extreme climate change are to humanity currently. Every day we are experiencing more and more fireballs, asteroids, and meteorites in our atmosphere, and the propensity of extreme weather is a threat that these scientists should take more seriously. Just look at what happened in January:


It's also likely that one of the below incidents could cause a domino effect for other serious threats to emerge, like an asteroid impact causing extreme climate change and global system collapse.


Filmmakers, authors, and media have widely speculated about how human life on Earth will end. Now scientists have come up with the first serious assessment, presenting 12 possible causes of the Apocalypse.

Scientists from Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute and the Global Challenges Foundation have compiled the first research on the topic, drawing a list of 12 possible ways that human civilization might end.

The idea of the study is not quite new. However, due to its treatment in popular culture, the possibility of the world's infinite end provokes relatively little political or academic interest, making a serious discussion harder, according to researchers.

"We were surprised to find that no one else had compiled a list of global risks with impacts that, for all practical purposes, can be called infinite," said co-author Dennis Pamlin of the Global Challenges Foundation. "We don't want to be accused of scaremongering but we want to get policy makers talking."

Below is the list of threats, ranked from least to most probable.
Question

Vast bed of metal balls found on ocean floor

Manganese nodules
© Nils Brenke, CeNak
Manganese nodules found in the tropical Atlantic Ocean.
Scattered along the seafloor, dense clusters of large metal lumps have been discovered by scientists trolling for deep-sea creatures between South America and Africa

The R/V Sonne, a German research ship, was several hundred miles east of Barbados when a mesh net meant to capture marine life instead brought up balls of manganese ore that were bigger than softballs. A remote camera later revealed that the seafloor was littered with these round manganese nodules, some the size of bowling balls.

"I was surprised, because this is generally not the place you think of for manganese nodules," said Colin Devey, chief scientist for the expedition and a volcanologist at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany.

This is the largest patch of manganese nodules ever found in the Atlantic, Devey said.

Manganese nodules have been found in every ocean, but are most common in the Pacific Ocean. The metal lumps, which most often look like pancakes, are formed of layer upon layer of metal ore that slowly crystallizes around a core.

The core may be a fossil, a rock or fragment of another nodule.

"These were very, very circular, which is strange," Devey said. "They usually look like cow flops."
Hearts

Researchers find dogs can distinguish happy and sad emotions in facial images

dogs facial expressions
© RT file photo
Man's best friends have just been proved to be even better - dogs are actually able to distinguish between happy and angry human faces, researchers in Austria have found. Dogs can tell if you look content or annoyed... by just half a face!

The authors of the findings published in the journal Current Biology, say this is the first time solid evidence has been found to prove an animal can read the expressions of a totally different species.

In their experiment, researchers in Vienna trained 11 dogs - mostly border collies - initially by showing them only the upper half or the lower half of a person's face. The faces were angry and happy, with the upper half dominated by eyes and the lower by the mouth.

They then tested the ability of the dogs to recognize the difference between human facial expressions by showing them different pictures from the ones the dogs had seen in training.

To do this researchers showed the dogs a face that was the same half as the face used in training but of a different person - a half of someone's face who was not used in the training at all, or the left half of the same face where the right half was used in training.

By touching the picture with their nose, the dogs were able to determine the angry or happy face. The animals were able to apply what they had learned about human faces in the training to new faces.

Comment: Apparently the abilities of 'man's best friend' extend beyond immediate family interactions:

Mars

Solar system-wide climate change: 'Physically impossible' clouds appeared over Mars in 2012 - NASA has no clue what's going on

© NASA
Amateur astronomers gazing at Mars have discovered gigantic plumes soaring more than 125 miles above the planet's surface, a phenomenon that so far defies explanation.

At least 18 sightings were reported during two 10-day periods in March and April 2012, when plumes appeared over an area known as Terra Cimmeria, located in Mars' southern hemisphere.

The plumes extended over 500- to 1,000 kilometers (311- to 621 miles) in both north-south and east-west directions and changed in appearance daily. They were detected as the sun breached Mars' horizon in the morning, but not when it set in the evening.

"Remarkably ... the features changed rapidly, their shapes going from double blob protrusions to pillars or finger-plume-like morphologies," scientists investigating the sightings wrote in a paper published in this week's Nature.

Spacecraft and ground-based telescopes previously had seen clouds made of carbon dioxide and water ice crystals on Mars, but the clouds were typically layered and never rose above 100 kilometers, or 62 miles, from the planet's surface, the researchers noted.

Clouds of dust can be kicked up into the atmosphere during storms, but these max out at about 37 miles in altitude, they added.

The plumes could be some sort of very unusual aurora, 1,000 times brighter than anything seen on Earth, triggered by a very strong magnetic pocket in the planet's crust that drove solar wind particles out into the atmosphere.

Current understanding of Mars' atmosphere, however, leaves all explanations wanting.

Comment: Todd Clancy, planetary scientist at the Space Science Institute, told USA Today: "I don't think it's real... basic physics says this can't occur."

That's certainly one way to deal with the data; pretend it isn't real! This is in keeping with the 'reality-creators' who rule the Western Empire via funny money and 'fluid facts'.

Another way to deal with the data is to try and incorporate it into what you thought you knew about how the cosmos actually works...

Earth Changes, Electric Universe, and much more, Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection

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