Saturday, August 26, 2006

Dark Matter Confirmed to Exist, and Other News

Another news dump, but you just cannot skip over this one. I don't care how geeky it is. And I've been mulling a more personal post for some time now, so keep checking in and you won't be disappointed. (Oh, I'll tell you allllll about it.)
The dark matter isn't just ordinary matter that's not shining; limits from primordial nucleosynthesis and the cosmic microwave background imply a strict upper bound on the amount of ordinary matter, and it's not nearly enough to account for all the matter we need. This new results doesn't tell us which particle the new dark matter is, but it confirms that there is such a particle. We're definitely making progress on the crucial project of understanding the inventory of the universe.
In other news...

Political Action Groups With No Ideas

The Sierra Club announced its endorsements for the year, and look who's with them.

"A Lot of People For Jeff Bingaman"
"A Lot of People for Dave Obey"
And when a lot won't do the job: "A Whole Lot of People for Grijalva Congressional Committee"

Mutant Creature Found in Maine

It's always Maine, isn't it?

Russian Solves Impossible Math Problem, Declines Award

It's always Russians, isn't it?
MADRID, Spain - A reclusive Russian won the math world's highest honor Tuesday for solving a problem that has stumped some of the discipline's greatest minds for a century — but he refused the award.

Grigory Perelman, a 40-year-old native of St. Petersburg, won a Fields Medal — often described as math's equivalent of the Nobel prize — for a breakthrough in the study of shapes that experts say might help scientists figure out the shape of the universe.
Ralph Nader Must Pay Accusers' Court Fees

Apparently, he cheated. (And a Green Party candidate in Pennsylvania is doing the same thing in a different way right now.)
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader and his running mate must pay more than $80,000 in expenses for the lawsuit that challenged their nominating papers and kept them off the 2004 ballot, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in a decision released Wednesday.

There was an implication of "fraud and deception" in their petition drive, the court said in its ruling.

A group of Pennsylvania voters sued to block Nader and Peter Miguel Camejo, who were running as independent candidates, from being placed on the ballot.

As a result of the lawsuit, the state Commonwealth Court found wide-ranging improprieties among Nader and Camejo's petition signatures and disqualified nearly two-thirds of the 51,000 signatures they submitted.
Bush Said Repeatedly Saddam Was With al-Qaeda

This isn't so much news as another place to point out publicly that Bush made crazy-ass claims and is now denying them. One of the most damning, and to the point, is from Oct. 28, 2002: "We know he's got connections with al-Qaeda."

Take Note if Your Special Friend Gets Out The Hair Dye

Redheads have screamingly high libidos, apparently.
The study by Hamburg Sex Researcher Professor Dr Werner Habermehl looked at the sex lives of hundreds of German women and compared them with their hair colour.

He said: "The sex lives of women with red hair were clearly more active than those with other hair colour, with more partners and having sex more often than the average. The research shows that the fiery redhead certainly lives up to her reputation."

He added that women who dyed their hair red from another colour were signalling they were looking for a partner, and added: "Even women in a fixed relationship are letting their partners know they are unhappy if they dye their hair red. They are saying that they are looking for something better."
The Price of A Lack of Freedom

Unprecedented claims of secrecy and a tendency to mistrust everyone are costing the Bush Administration and the country $9 billion a year, according to new information. Think of what we could be doing with that money. Helping rebuild New Orleans, for instance.

How Does One Put On The Pounds?

In a time of unbridled American bounty, the old chestnut about genes = obesity has tumbled for good, it looks like.
... death from excess has now overtaken that from deficiency. Eight hundred million people are hungry, but a billion are overweight - and the figure is rocketing up.

Medicine has long known how dangerous obesity can be: in the words of Hippocrates: "Corpulence is not only a disease itself, but the harbinger of others". Heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers are all far more frequent in the fat than the thin.

Around 30,000 British deaths per year are due to an expanded waistline - and the figure is 10 times higher in the United States, where, last year, obesity overtook smoking as the main preventable cause of premature death.


Without doubt, a small minority of overweight people does have an inborn problem. A mouse mutation, dubbed obese, turned up in the Nineties. It makes a certain protein that controls the animal's appetite. When damaged, it leads to compulsive eating. A few children are born with the same mutation and, unless treated, become grossly overweight.

The gene has no relevance to most of the unduly large. It comes, like blood groups, in different versions that do slightly different things but there is no link at all between which you have and what you weigh. More than 70 other genes have now been blamed for obesity - but not one has stood up on further investigation.
But There May Be Other Unconsidered Factors

It's not just eat less, exercise more. You need good sleep, basic nutritional understanding and a bunch of other goodies that a new report says are just as important. (There's a free PDF link to the report.)


Anonymous mikeswanson said...

I certainly don't appreciate reading 5 articles in one blog post :(. That being said I will now comment on them in order with brevity befitting the blog format:

1. Did YOU understand "The dark matter isn't just ordinary matter that's not shining; limits from primordial nucleosynthesis and the cosmic microwave background imply a strict upper bound on the amount of ordinary matter?" Did anyone else? Can someone explain it to me?

2. Is that an anti-Grijalva joke? A whole lot of people are for him y'know.

3.MSN news isn't above an entire article based on a photoshopped picture.

4.Genuinely interesting article. I was shocked by the photo more than when I saw the mutant maine beast but why is the shape of the universe important? Did YOU understand: "The Poincare conjecture essentially says that in three dimensions you cannot transform a doughnut shape into a sphere without ripping it, although any shape without a hole can be stretched or shrunk into a sphere?" Or did you just laugh at the absurd writing?

5.You're wrong, he wasn't a member of the Green Party when he ran, they both ran as independents.

6. Do we need more evidence against Bush? Anything past the point of the pre-Iraq state of the union is moot.

7.Thank you for this article. Truly informative.

8.This country is hemorraging money, check out NY Times bestseller "Financial Report of the US." by congressman Jim Cooper, Democrat from Tennessee. The Bush administration is part of the problem, the other part is the trade defecit. That is only going to be solved with a reordering of the American lifestyle: expensive gas. Which means all the domestic economic "development" done during the last 8 years will be a hindrance. Do the Democrats plan to use Ethanol as Methadone for America? Anyway, Another Moot article.

9. Generations of people become overweight to survive in society and eventually give birth to people who are born with a preexisting disposition towards the same lifestyle? Duh. How about the new technique that can manufacture stem cells without harming the developing human? That's far more interesting.

So in summation this reader would've appreciated posting in this order article #7, #2, #1, #5, #8 and #9 and in separate postings. It would save you time too!

12:20 AM  
Blogger Lapp said...

1. I did not understand one word of that dark matter article, but I've heard it talked about elsewhere and can only plead a lack of expertise as to what to say about it. Dark matter has always been one of those hypothesized but not yet verified pieces of the cosmic puzzle, and I thought this news, however confusing, might bring our readers some joy.

2. It is not an anti-Grijalva joke. That's the official name of his re-election committee. Which you have to admit is funny. Other people have "Johnson for Congress Committee," or whatever.

3. It is not photoshopped.

4. That writing comes from some poor AP reporter parahprasing whatever gobbledygook the Fields Medal committee was pushing. Unfortunately AP science writers aren't given any more time than anyone else to get the news out.

5. I never said anything about Nader being a Green when the case was filed. I knew he and Camejo ran as independents in 2004. The comparison was to the act, not the party.

6. It's nice to have so much evidence in one place. I'd never seen that many quotes before.

7. You have a tinge of red yourself, don't you?

8. I dunno, I think the expense of secrecy isn't so much a financial issue per se as a way to put the Bush disinformation edifice into perspective. It doesn't just cost us access, it costs us a lot of money too. People don't think about these things when they argue in Bush's favor.

Ethanol will never be more than a small part of the solution. 85 percent ethanol fuel (E85) isn't as versatile as true biodiesel made from any number of other crops, including soy and rapeseed, and from what I understand tends to gum up the works more frequently.

9. I don't think people became overweight to survive in society and then taught their children to do the same as any sort of survival tactic. If anything, the whole point is that for the first time in history, rich people are paying more to be thin and poor people are as overweight as barons used to be. It's an interesting social phenomenon, as well as a huge public health story that doesn't get much attention.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous mikeswanson said...

I'm not posting anything else until you at least try to understand dark matter and post your theory. I'm callin you out, Lapp.

7:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home