Hidden dimensions may be all around us but they are too small for us to notice—for now. On paper the math behind string theory is making a strong case for these extra dimension. The next step is to find some experimental evidence to support the claims and predictions made by string theory.
The Large Hadron Collider is right now the best chance for testing these predictions about extra dimensions. What is also fascinating is when Brian Greene talks (5:45) about the possibility that the big bang was not the beginning or rather only the beginning for our little speck somewhere within a much larger universe where our big bang is one of many. Unfortunately he isn’t very optimistic about us ever being able to explore them but that is really getting ahead of ourselves.
One of England’s most famous illusionists, Derren Brown, is doing his part in making it clear to people that what he and others do has nothing to do with any supernatural powers and have ordinary explainations. Before every performance he reminds us the viewers that he only uses “magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship.”
To me there is a big difference between people like Derren Brown who claim to provide only entertainment value and those who profess to actually talk to the dead, see your future, reveal information from your horoscope, numerology, palm reading, or other forms of charlatanry. That is where plain old fun turns into exploitation. It is a big business with many takers and as long as the money flows, just like Spam emails, they won’t stop.
This is the full uncut interview filmed in 2007 for the Channel 4 TV program “The Enemies of Reason.”
An unforgettable documentary of epic scale. From the first minute to the last I was sucked into BBC’s gorgeous visuals and David Attenborough’s unparalleled narration. A true masterpiece! I was in awe at the beauty, complexity, and ingenuity of evolution’s rainbow. Anyone even with a sliver of curiosity will not be able to resist.
This is a perfect time to make good use of character strengths such as Curiosity, Love of Learning, and Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence. To find out more about character strengths and your own strengths, read my article on the VIA Survey of Character Strengths.
Warning: Do not watch the U.S. version by Discovery Channel with Oprah Winfrey’s appaling narration. You are better of muting the sound than listen to Oprah Winfrey’s whimsical attempt of trying to do what legendary David Attenborough has been doing for decades.
On this week’s episode of Food for Life TV, Dr. Barnard gives an overview of how insulin is made. He also explains that type 1 diabetes is caused when the body produces no insulin. Research shows that this may occur when antibodies in your body fight off proteins found in cows milk. Dr. Barnard also outlines how people already diagnosed with type 1 diabetes can cut down on diabetes complications by eating foods that are vegan, low in fat, and have a low gylcemic index.
A search on PubMed does confirm that Type 1 Diabetes is partly genetic, ranging between 30-60%, while the rest is attributed to environmental enablers and causes which are not well understood. From the quick overview I am not sure if cow milk is one of the enabler as Neil Barnard pointed out but then again cow milk during childhood has been link to greater amount of allergies and weakened immune systems.
One of the latest inventions by Dean Kamen is the Slingshot, a portable water purifier. What makes it unique is not the age old water distillation method but packing all the complexity of such a filtration system into something relatively portable.
By portable I mean it can easily transported, deployed, and maintained, which is something that cannot be said of traditional water distillation systems. At the size of a small fridge and the fact that it require a minimal amount of electricity make it a portable but stationary device. While another water purifier, the Lifesaver, is targeted for individuals and families, the Slingshot is more suitable as a clean water source for larger groups or small villages in need. Unfortunately it is not yet in production but if they can keep their target price of under $2000, this could even be an option for middle class families in the developed world.
It is to be seen if this can match the reversed osmosis (RO) filtration system’s ability to filter out anything larger than 0.1nm. How’s that possible you might ask, well RO filtering systems use a membrane as one of the steps in the filtration process. This “hyperfiltration” is more suitable for home usage than any other water filtering system on the market.
Too much of the world lacks access to clean drinking water. Engineer Michael Pritchard did something about it — inventing the portable Lifesaver filter, which can make the most revolting water drinkable in seconds. It can filter up to 6000 liters of water completely free of all viruses, bacteria, and heavy metals.
This makes it very well suited for saving lives in poor countries and providing clean water for disaster stricken areas. Plus it is a nice portable way to get some fresh clean water when camping, hiking, or for outdoor sports like long distance running and biking.
“For $20 billion everyone can have access to safe drinking water. So the 3.5 billion people that suffer every year… and the 2 million kids that die every year will live.” -Michael Pritchard
At the same time it is no match to the reversed osmosis (RO) filtration system’s ability to filter out anything larger than 0.1nm. How’s that possible you might ask, well RO filtering systems use a membrane as one of the steps in the filtration process. This “hyperfiltration” is more suitable for home usage for two reasons: (1) It produces the cleanest water (2) the convenience of not having to pump manually to get water clean.
A collection of insightful debates and discussions between proponents of both theism and atheism. Among the theists are primarily Christians and Rabbis. Debating in opposition to religion, theism, and the supernatural are atheists, antitheists, and materialists such as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins.
Missing altogether from these debates are for example Imams, representatives of non-theistic religions such as Buddhism, and polytheistic religions such as Hinduism. In case you find other debates you think I should add please leave a comment with the link to the video.
(I should mention that I am a materialist and my cosmogonical position is that of an agnostic pandeist, which does not impinge on my former ontological position.)
I will keep this post updated with the latest debates marked as *new*
On this week’s episode of Food for Life TV, Dr. Barnard explains that fatty foods, such as burgers, fried chicken, cheese, and even vegetable fats—like olive oil and peanut butter—can stop insulin from helping glucose enter muscle cells and cause type 2 diabetes. But building your meal with fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans will keep your diet low in fat and actually clean the fat from your body, allowing insulin to help glucose enter your muscle cells and reverse or prevent diabetes.
We should teach more statistics & probability and earlier while we should teach less calculus and later.
Arthur Benjamin is a mathematician and in his pithy TED Talk, Formula for Changing Math Education (2009), he calls for this re-emphasis of math education. He argues that we as a society would greatly benefit from a better understanding of statistics and probabilities which would help us make better decisions about risks, rewards, randomness, and understanding and evaluating data in our everyday lives.
Take for example, few of us would use calculus on a daily bases but most of us are faced with making decisions about car insurance plans, student loans, mortgage rates, credit card interest rates, payment plan options, interpreting polls, planning our income investments and expenses, making decisions about bank loans and interest rates, stock market investments, interpreting results from scientific studies, analyzing trends, predicting the future, gambling, and so forth. This is just a short list I came up in the three minutes I watched Arthur’s presentation and I think it is fairly obvious that some of these are be very serious decisions that can have long lasting effects on our lives. They can mean the difference between unmanageable dept and a financially healthy lifestyle. And since education is supposed to prepare us for making the best possible decisions about our own lives, I think it only makes sense to include more of such important foundations for sound reasoning such as those that come with understanding statistics and probabilities.
I don’t know about the education you had but mine has not covered statistics or probabilities in any applicable way to the everyday life, nor do I know of any that does (please let me know if you do). The closest it got was in college and that was more geared towards understanding and conducting research, which isn’t necessarily everyday stuff. I think statistics and probabilities are one of the big missing ingredients of both primary and secondary education systems and should be a required educational component. And teaching these shouldn’t be too difficult since the very same reasons that make it so relevant can also make it easy and fun to teach to children.