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Fri, 23 Feb 2018
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Science & Technology


Astronomers discover the North Star has another companion

Astronomers have discovered that the North Star has a second smaller star next to it. Researchers at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore found the star, which they called Polaris Ab, by using the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.

"With Hubble, we've pulled the North Star's companion out of the shadows and into the spotlight," said Howard Bond, a member of the research team.


Welcome to the Mars express: only a three hour trip

AN EXTRAORDINARY "hyperspace" engine that could make interstellar space travel a reality by flying into other dimensions is being investigated by the United States government.

The hypothetical device, which has been outlined in principle but is based on a controversial theory about the fabric of the universe, could potentially allow a spacecraft to travel to Mars in three hours and journey to a star 11 light years away in just 80 days, according to a report in today's New Scientist magazine.

Comment: Comment: The Readers that would like to have some background may like to inspect the extracts from 1999 discussion on antigravity at http://www.merkabaweb.net/ANTIGRAVITY.txt Heim's theory is mentioned there. As you will see: Nothing new under the Sun ....


The Society for Psychical Research

Founded in 1882 by a distinguished group of Cambridge scholars, the Society for Psychical Research was the first of its kind to examine allegedly paranormal phenomena in a scientific and unbiased way. Today the Society continues with its aim of understanding events and abilities commonly described as 'psychic' or 'paranormal' by promoting and supporting important research in this area. Through the publication of scholarly reports and the organisation of educational activities, it acts as a forum for debate and promotes the dissemination of information about current developments in the field. The interdisciplinary nature of the Society's subject matter is reflected in the interests of its former presidents, which include philosophers Henry Sidgwick, C.D. Broad, Henri Bergson and H.H. Price; Prime Minister A.J. Balfour; psychologists William James and F.W.H. Myers; physicists Sir William Crookes, Sir Oliver Lodge and Lord Rayleigh; physiologist and Nobel Laureate Charles Richet; classicist Gilbert Murray; zoologist Sir Alister Hardy; and parapsychologist J.B.Rhine.


DNA database continues to swell

The number of samples held on the DNA database will rise to 4.25 million within two years, the Home Office says.

There are three million samples held at the moment, with some of the expansion due to law changes in 2001 and 2004.

Suspects arrested over any imprisonable offence can have their DNA held even if they are acquitted.

The database includes 139,463 people never charged or cautioned with an offence, separate Home Office figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats show.

Matches using newly-lawful DNA samples have been made to 88 murders, 45 attempted murders, 116 rapes and 62 sexual offences.

More than 198,000 samples are held that would have had to be destroyed under the old law.

In all, 7,500 of these have been matched to 10,000 offences.


Mo. Researchers Find Largest Prime Number

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Researchers at a Missouri university have identified the largest known prime number, officials said Tuesday.

The team at Central Missouri State University, led by associate dean Steven Boone and mathematics professor Curtis Cooper, found it in mid- December after programming 700 computers years ago. ...

The number that the team found is 9.1 million digits long.


Leap second subject of long debate

Scientists disagree over how to account for the minute discrepancy between atomic and astronomical time.

Time marches on, but Earth is falling behind. The solution again this year is to add a "leap second" as 2006 arrives, so Earth can catch up with the atomic clocks that have defined time since their unerring accuracy trumped the heavens three decades ago.

This will be the first leap second in seven years, and its arrival will be closely watched by physicists and astronomers enmeshed in a prolonged debate over the future of time in a world increasingly dominated by technology.

Some experts think the leap second should be abolished because the periodic, but random, adjustment of time imposes unreasonable and perhaps dangerous disruptions on precision software applications including cell phones, air traffic control and power grids.

Others, however, argue that it would be expensive to adjust satellites, telescopes and other astronomical systems that are hard-wired for the leap second, and besides, people want their watches to be in sync with the heavens.

Nobody knows how disruptive the leap second really is, but researchers hope to find out soon.


An intriguing way to look at history

Archaeologists call it the Persian carpet effect.

Imagine you're a mouse running across an elaborately decorated rug. The ground would merely be a blur of shapes and colors. You could spend your life going back and forth, studying an inch at a time, and never see the patterns.

Like a mouse on a carpet, an archaeologist painstakingly excavating a site might easily miss the whole for the parts. That's where the work of aerial photographers such as Georg Gerster comes in.


A brief history of time: Time lords

What did you do with the extra second last night? Take another cup of kindness? Let a New Year kiss linger on the lips? Wonder why the radio was playing an extra pip?

If you didn't even notice the leap second being added to all our lives at midnight then that's a shame, because it may be the last. Time, the universal notion that underpins everything we do, is changing: becoming ever more accurate and powerful, it may also be about to split apart.

The trouble is that the experts who are supposed to tell us what time it is cannot agree how to do so. The time lords are falling out, as one group argues for the world to abandon ancient methods of timekeeping and rely solely on super-accurate atomic clocks instead.

Systems such as the new Galileo satellite, launched last week, use atomic time to keep planes in the air and cities moving. American scientists believe it is time to measure out our lives only according to the rate at which the atoms of caesium-133 vibrate. They are opposed by equally passionate astronomers who are keen that we should all continue to measure time by using the movement of the sun in the sky to define a day.

These two versions of time have drifted 32 seconds apart, because the rotation of the Earth is irregular and slowing down.

Comment: Comment: It's odd that this "time" issue keeps coming up. As we have reported before, the subject was brought up in the Cassiopaean Transmissions as early as 22 Feb 1997, but in a very particular context:

A: Climate is being influenced by three factors, and soon a fourth. 1) Wave approach. 2) Chloroflorocarbon increase in atmosphere, thus affecting ozone layer. 3) Change in the planet's axis rotation, orientation. 4) Artificial tampering by 3rd and 4th density STS forces in a number of different ways. Be vigilant. Be observant. [...]
Q: (Laura) All right, were those given in the order in which they are occurring? The fourth being the one that's coming later?
A: Maybe, but remember this: a change in the speed of the rotation may not be reported while it is imperceptible except by instrumentation. Equator is slightly "wider" than the polar zones. But, this discrepancy is decreasing slowly currently. One change to occur in 21st Century is sudden glacial rebound, over Eurasia first, then North America. Ice ages develop much, much, much faster than thought.
Q: (Terry) Is the Earth expanding?...(Ark) Yes, that's the
theory: the idea is that the continents move away because the Earth is expanding, and this is much faster than you know, than geologists were thinking.
A: Continental "drift" is caused by the continual though variable, propelling of gases from the interior to the surface, mainly at points of magnetic significance.
Q: (Jan) What causes the change in the axis?
A: By slow down of rotation, Earth alternately heats up and cools down in interior.
Q: (Laura) Why does it do that? What's the cause of this?
A: Part of cycle related to energy exerted upon surface by
the frequency resonance vibrational profile of humans and others.

And then, on 31 October 2001:

Q: (L) Now according to these guys who are writing this web page about pole shift, they say it can be predicted where the poles will shift to. Is this in fact the case?
A: No.
Q: (L) Why can't pole shifts be predicted? Can't we know where the new pole will end up?
A: Chaotic function here.
Q: (A) There are three possible things that would come under the name pole shift. Only one of them may come, or two, or three, okay? And these are the following - the axis of rotation with respect to stars is changing, straightening out for instance; this is one thing; while all the rest goes with the axis, the lithosphere and the magnetic field. Second, the axis stays where it is, maybe it shifts a little bit; the lithosphere stays where it is - maybe it wobbles - but the magnetic field changes: for instance reverses. Third, axis stays, magnetic field stays, but the lithosphere is moving. So that's three ways a pole shift can happen. And of course there are things that come together. The most dramatic one which is seen from outside is when the axis of rotation changes. The next dramatic one is probably when the lithosphere changes. And the third of unknown consequences is when the magnetic pole changes, okay? So, we want to have an understanding what will be the main change. (A) Are we looking at a pole shift during the next ten or so years with a high degree of probability?
A: Yes.
Q: (A) In this concept of pole shift, what would be the main feature of this pole shift, of all those which we were discussing?
A: New axial orientation, and magnetic reversal.
Q: (L) That's fairly dramatic. (A) Alright, now, change of axis or orientation of axis of rotation: can we say we would straighten up, getting almost perpendicular to the ecliptic? Or the other possibility is that it will fall down being almost parallel to the ecliptic. The third is that we'll flip completely by 180 degrees. We know it's highly unpredictable, but can we have a clue from which one is, so to say, dominate?
A: Perpendicularity will be restored.
Q: (A) You didn't mention a change or shift of the lithosphere alone. Can we...
A: Lithospheric shift will feature to some extent.
Q: (A) But, that means eventually that the equator will almost not change because...
A: Correct.
Q: (A) So it will just shift a little bit, but its not going to go to Hawaii? What about changes in the lithosphere: can we predict a little bit of change in geography, coming from motions in lithosphere and changes in water level?
A: Chaotic features predominate but in general it will be safer inland and in mountainous areas since less folding occurs in such locations.
Q: (A) Now, the change of the orientation of the axis, what would be the main trigger, force, or activity, or what kind of event will trigger this change of the axis?
A: Cometary bodies.
Q: (L) Are the planets of the solar system going to kind of shift out of their orbits and run amok [as some are theorizing]? Is that a possibility?
A: Yes.
Q: (A) Due to cometary orbits alone?
A: Yes. Twin sun also.
Q: (A) When we speak about these cometary bodies, are we speaking about impacts?
A: Some will hit.
Q: (A) What would be - if any - the role played by electric phenomena? [The Electric Universe]
A: Twin sun grounds current flow through entire system setting the "motor" running.
Q: (L) Does this mean that all of the different bodies of the solar system are like parts of some kind of giant machine, and once this electric current flows through them, depending on their positions relative to one another at the time this current flows, that it has some influence on the way the machine runs?
A: Yes, more or less.


Virus Masquerades as MSN Messenger Beta

MSN Messenger users who may think they're getting a sneak peak at the latest version of Microsoft's instant messaging client are in for a nasty surprise, a Finnish security firm is warning.

A variation of the Virkel instant messaging virus has been circulating amongst MSN users, posing as a leaked beta version of MSN Messenger 8, according to F-Secure.


Einstein Was Right (Again): NIST And MIT Confirm That E=mc2

Albert Einstein was correct in his prediction that E=mc2, according to scientists at the Commerce Department;s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who conducted the most precise direct test ever of what is perhaps the most famous formula in science.

Comment: Comment: Why don't they check whether 2+2=4 and with what precision?