Saturday Posts . . .


S.E.T.I. work continues . . .

IMHO – it does not matter whether you believe in the possibility of intelligent life on another planet or not.  The SEARCH for that life is an important part of our development as a species.  Looking for something out there that might possibly be our peer, or even our superior, guides (or causes) many advances in the sciences, mathematics, and even manufacturing.  It should not be written off as something only pursued by crackpots – and it isn’t, except by crackpots.  Anyway, I wanted to share the text of a recent newsletter with you:

setiI won’t suggest donating money – I know times are tough for many people.  But anyone who has a PC at home and a broadband internet connection has the means to assist with the data processing.  All you need is the B.O.I.N.C. client, which can be downloaded for free here:


Non-earthly life . . .

I got a notice yesterday from SETI that is pretty special.  Here it is:


SETI@home: Educational materials on life in the Universe
Berkeley SETI Research Center’s Dr. Steve Croft, in collaboration with colleagues at UC Museum of Paleontology and the Space Sciences Laboratory’s “Multiverse” education group have put together an educational site focusing on the conditions needed for life to arise in the Universe. Although aimed primarily at high school teachers and their students, this material may be of interest to broader audiences. In the “Research Profiles” section of the site you can also find an interview with BSRC’s Dr. Eric Korpela, Director of SETI@home.

Creation vs. science classes

creation myths in science

… folktales can be both interesting and fun… and metaphors for how things work are also stimulating for the psyche and the mind to contemplate in one’s own free time… but how things work in the physical and natural world involve something called science… such a taboo for some reason in some school systems to seperate this into its own classroom… and here it’s supposedly the year 2015… oh well, why does it matter how much time passes… let’s just make the average school day 17 hours, print all of the material out on paper, then spend the day cutting it all up, toss it into a giant hat and let the kids spend their day piecing it all together and call it education.

and on and on it goes… meanwhile, global warming… oh wait, O-Bumba will fix it. all is well… and now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

CERN’s LHC runs at full capacity…

CERN’s LHC (Large Hadron Collider) went through a process of beam attenuation since powering up over the past 2 months. Today, June 3 2015, CERN went into full operation using 13 TeV ( teraelectron volts ) of power, a #new #world #record.  A “tera” electron volt is a measurement in the trillions of volts.

13 TeV = 13,000,000,000,000 volts. 🙂

Hope that is easy to understand for my non-physics non-quantum mechanic non-electrician viewers !! LOLOLOL .. which is something most of us aren’t (including me). Who can understand such power expressed in numbers/text?

The experiments done today, involving the first attenuated + stable beams at full power, proved fully “successful”.

Credit for the video to the CERN team.. animation and dubstep music come from CERN directly:

Full website post here with links to monitor the experiments live:…

(update: I don’t know why copy-paste broke that link.  Sorry)

Live feeds to CERN here:

… and no, at last report, there were no observations of black holes forming north of Paris.  *grin*


Brain Games . . .

If you happen to subscribe to Netflix (particularly the streaming service) there is a wonderful series available called Brain Games. The series is about how your brain makes sense of the world around you using your basic senses, and the fact that MOST of what you think is going on is composed of assumptions. Lots of “games” illustrate the concepts they point out. It is both fun and informative – a rare combination. I give it 5 stars on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best.

Researchers Knock Out HIV . . .

Researchers Knock Out HIV

— With the latest advances in treatment, doctors have discovered that they can successfully neutralise the HIV virus. The so-called ‘combination therapy’ prevents the HIV virus from mutating and spreading, allowing patients to rebuild their immune system to the same levels as the rest of the population.

To date, it represents the most significant treatment for patients suffering from HIV.

Professor Jens Lundgren from the University of Copenhagen, together with other members of the research group EuroSIDA, have conducted a study, which demonstrates that the immune system of all HIV-infected patients can be restored and normalised. The only stipulation is that patients begin and continue to follow their course of treatment.

HIV attacks the body’s ability to counteract viruses

Viruses are small organisms that have no independent metabolism. Consequently, when they enter the body they attack living cells and adopt their metabolism. The influenza virus occupies cells in the nose, throat and lungs; the mumps attaches itself to the salivary glands of the ear; while the Polio virus plays on the intestinal tract, blood and salivary glands. In all these instances, our immune system attacks and eliminates the invading virus.

HIV is so deadly because the virus attaches itself to a crucial part of the immune system itself: to the so-called CD4+T lymphocytes, which are white blood corpuscles that help the immune system to fight infections. The Hi-virus forms and invades new CD4+T-lymphocytes. Slowly but surely, the number of healthy CD4+T lymphocytes in the blood fall, while HIV relentlessly weakens the body’s ability to defend itself from infection. Finally, the immune system erodes to such an extent that the infected patient is diagnosed with AIDS. The Hi-virus mutates constantly as it forms and this is why, scientists face a constant battle to find a cure or a vaccine.

Combination therapy knocks out HIV

Combination therapy prevents the virus from forming and mutating in human beings. When the virus is halted in its progress, the number of healthy CD4+T cells begins to rise and patients, who would otherwise die from HIV, can now survive. The immune system is rejuvenated and is apparently able to normalise itself, providing that the combination therapy is maintained. The moment the immune system begins to improve, the HIV-infected patient can no longer be said to be suffering from an HIV infection or disease, already declining in strength.

Findings from the study are published in the medical journal The Lancet – Vol. 370, Issue 9585, 4 August 2007, Pages 407-413

Adapted from materials provided by University Of Copenhagen.

Or read it here: