Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Government recognizes end is officially near

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan commission is asserting the country should expect a terrorist attack using nuclear or biological weapons sometime in the next five years.

The report, which is scheduled to be publicly released on Wednesday, suggests that the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama should improve the capability of the United States to counter such an attack and to prepare if necessary for germ warfare.

The report was written by the Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism. Among other things, it concluded: "Our margin of safety is shrinking, not growing."

The commission also is encouraging the new White House to appoint a National Security Council official to exclusively coordinate U.S. intelligence and foreign policy on combating the spread of nuclear and biological weapons.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Deep Impact starring Bruce Willis

Spaceweather.com is reporting that asteroid 2008 TC3 is going to impact Earth on October 7th, 2008.

For more information, check out these science links, but only if you're a huge nerd like me:



LHC updates

Well, it looks like the world hasn't ended. The Large Hadron Collider was switched on September 10th, 2008. We didn't die.

Then, it was hacked. We didn't die.

We're playing with fire, people. How many mistakes can we make before the Earth is swallowed in a black hole?

The giant computing grid was launched today. When was the last time I saw a description of a giant computing grid that went across the world?

Oh wait...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Giant Inflatable Shit Wreaks Havoc

A giant inflatable dog turd brought down a power line after being blown away from a Swiss museum.

The artwork, entitled Complex Shit, was carried 200 metres on the night of 31 July, reportedly breaking a greenhouse window before it landed again.

The sculpture, by American artist Paul McCarthy, was equipped with a safety system that should have deflated it.

The fake faeces has been returned and will remain on display at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern until October.

McCarthy is well known for his inflatable artworks, two of which - Blockhead and Daddies Bighead - were displayed outside the Tate Modern in London in 2003.

The Zentrum Paul Klee, which opened in 2005, houses a collection of about 4,000 works by the noted Swiss painter.

Full Article Here

The Dead Zone

Science News is reporting that the number of coastal "dead zones," marine areas with so little oxygen that they can barely support life, is on the rise.

Here's an image of the worst hit areas of the United States:

And here's what we're going to look like when the shit hits the fan:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Robots with biological brains

University of Reading scientists have developed a robot controlled by a biological brain formed from cultured neurons.

Let me be the first to say "Bad idea."

Don't all robot apocalypses start when the robots finally realize that they're slaves to their human overlords? Giving them a biological brain, capable of developing emotions such as hatred, is the first step to our eventual annihilation.

"The robot’s biological brain is made up of cultured neurons which are placed onto a multi electrode array (MEA). The MEA is a dish with approximately 60 electrodes which pick up the electrical signals generated by the cells. This is then used to drive the movement of the robot. Every time the robot nears an object, signals are directed to stimulate the brain by means of the electrodes. In response, the brain’s output is used to drive the wheels of the robot, left and right, so that it moves around in an attempt to avoid hitting objects. The robot has no additional control from a human or a computer, its sole means of control is from its own brain."

Wait, they can fucking drive now? Holy shit. Every Pakistani in New York just became unemployed.

New Strain of Bird Flu "Likely to Cause Pandemic"

Associated Free Press is reporting that US researchers are trying to raise awareness about how easily the current strain of Avian flu could mutate into an easily transmittable virus by humans.

Pandemic inc!

Cold War 2: Colder War

Well, it appears that Russia has said, "Fuck you lol" to the United States and Georgia, and they won't be leaving anytime soon.

I'm sure the United States is in a wonderful position to take on the Russian giant. Can't we just decide this in a boxing match?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Measles outbreak in Minnesota, related to retards

The Star Tribune is reporting a measles outbreak in Minnesota.

And as expected, it was the result of people not trusting "big science," thinking that the vaccine is going to make their kids retarded.

You know what's retarded? Contracting measles by being a moron.

World to end "any day now"

Scientists are planning to turn on the large hadron collider any day now, so if you suddenly notice the universe around you collapsing into a black hole, then shit went wrong.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

New Species Of Infectious Disease Found In Amazon

While investigating the tropical disease leptospirosis in the Peruvian Amazon, an infectious disease specialist from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has uncovered new, emerging bacteria that may be responsible for up to 40 percent of cases of the disease. Patients with severe forms of leptospirosis have jaundice, renal failure and lung hemorrhage, with high fatality rates.

Joseph Vinetz, M.D., professor of medicine in UC San Diego’s Division of Infectious Diseases – working in collaboration with colleagues from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru, and others – headed the study that led to discovery of the new species in the family of pathogens, Leptospira, which is spread from animals to humans.

Leptospirosis is a severe, water-borne disease transmitted from animals to humans, with tens of millions of human cases worldwide each year. Fatality rates can range as high as 20 to 25 percent in some regions, and it is particularly prevalent in tropical countries where poor people live under highly crowded condition, or in rural areas where people are exposed to water contaminated by the urine of Leptospira-infected animals such as rats.

The new species reflects Amazonian biodiversity, according to Vinetz, and the pathogen has apparently evolved to become an important cause of leptospirosis in the Peruvian Amazon region of Iquitos. There, Vinetz leads an international team of physicians from the U.S. and Peru in an NIH-funded training program studying malaria, leptospirosis and other infectious diseases that impact disadvantaged populations in developing countries.

The researchers found that the new species, Leptospira licerasiae – cultured from a very small number of patients, as well as eight rats – is significantly different from other forms of the bacteria at a genomic level and has novel biological features.

“This strain has fundamentally different characteristics,” said Vinetz, adding that the next step is to sequence its genome. “We think that hundreds of patients are infected with this pathogen, which is so unique that antibodies for the disease don’t react to the regular tests for leptospirosis.”

In testing 881 patients in a prospective clinical study of fever, the researchers found that 41 percent of them had antibodies that reacted only to this new strain of the bacteria, showing a much higher incidence of leptospirosis than previously suspected.

“This observation is relevant to other regions of the world where leptospirosis is likely to be common, because it’s necessary to identify the right strain of the Lepstospira in order to make the correct diagnosis,” Vinetz said.

Since isolation of the new Leptospira in people was rare despite the high prevalence of antibodies to this strain of the bacteria in the Amazonian population, Vinetz theorizes that the individuals with positive cultures may have a previously undiscovered immune system defect, making them more susceptible to the disease.


Lawsuit filed to stop CERN

Switzerland has a long legacy of peaceful neutrality, but two men claim that Swiss scientists are building a device that could destroy the universe.

Walter Wagner, a former radiation safety officer for the Veterans Administration who studied physics at University of California–Berkeley, and Luis Sancho, a self-professed time-theory researcher, have filed suit to halt construction on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) until their safety concerns are satisfied. The U of C’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) is one of the defendants in the lawsuit.

The Geneva-based LHC will become the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator when unveiled this summer under the auspices of the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN). The $8-billion endeavor is an international collaborative effort involving scientists from dozens of countries and universities.

The collider will raise protons to energies approaching seven trillion electron volts before slamming them together in an attempt to produce the Higgs boson and other elementary particles that would help move scientists closer to a Grand Unified Theory of physics.

But Wagner and Sancho claim that these experiments will produce dangerous materials as well. One such possibility they suggest is the creation of strangelets, altered subatomic particles that would change the earth into a dense mass of exotic “strange matter.”

They also said that the creation of mini black holes inside the accelerator could grow to consume the earth or even our entire universe.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Hawaii, also charges CERN with failing to file an environmental impact statement as required by the U.S.’s National Environmental Policy Act.

That doesn't sound too painful