Friday, April 29, 2011

Not again. disabled my blog this morning. April 29, 2011

Come on you people, this is getting annoying. I do not believe I am in violation of any of your terms of service. Could you please set up a policy where you send an email to the blog owner before you disable a blog?

Dear Automattic,

This happened before Friday, December 10, 2010. My blog was restored and I was told it was an error, but not what caused the error. Why is this happening?

Could you please send long term blog owners an email BEFORE you disable our blogs?

Was there really a complaint this time, or is this just another technical error? If there is any complaint, please allow me to fix the problem so I can continue blogging.



Links to strange news today, Friday April 29, 2011

Wedding entrance dance to top all wedding entrance dances

T-Mobile's Royal Wedding Dance celebrates the marriage of William and Kate with the help of a host of royal look alikes and music from East 17! T-Mobile wishes William and Kate a long and happy marriage.

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Expert reveals evidence of Sasquatch species

Sasquatch.04272011 "My goal is not to convince, my goal is to open minds,"said Jeff Meldrum, professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University. Meldrum has been researching the specimen of Sasquatch for more than 15 years and has received national attention for his work, both positive and negative.

His research examines various evidences which suggest that the mythical creature Sasquatch may in fact be real. In particular, he hypothesizes there may be not only one creature living today, but as many as 500-750 of the Sasquatch species.

"People have been so conditioned that this isn't possible that when they finally see it, it upsets their whole equilibrium," he said.

Meldrum said many people, both inside and outside of academia, don't believe that Sasquatch could be real.

"Some of the naysayers adapt that position because such a creature, such a species could not exist under our noses and not have been discovered," he said.

Others, he said, don't accept the possibility out of stubbornness. ...

via Expert reveals evidence of Sasquatch species - USU Statesman.

Since no evidence is revealed in this article, it should have been titled, "Expert believes there may be up to 700 living Sasquatches". If, for example, a timeline and map showing where different modern sightings have been supports a population of 700, then that would be evidence. So what is the evidence supporting this belief?

A Secret to Long Life: UFOs?

[GARDNER.Imich1]Ralph Gardner - ... I met Alexander Imich at a party where he was the oldest person in the room. That may not sound like a big deal—more and more frequently these days I attend events where I am the oldest person. But the party where I met Dr. Imich was for people over the age of 100, and there were a couple dozen of them.

Dr. Imich, a chemist born in 1903, and I had a brief conversation at the Queens event. I vowed to see him again, and not because he was ancient, or at least not just because he was ancient. My grandmother lived to almost 105, but she was just a shadow of herself after 100. Dr. Imich, on the other hand, remains a dynamo. But it was his interests that most intrigued me. At the party, he regaled me with tales of paranormal events he claimed he'd witnessed—at his West End Avenue apartment, no less.

I don't believe in parapsychology or UFOs, another of the centenarian's interests, but I was impressed with his passion on the subject and his claim to have published dozens of scholarly papers in several languages. So I asked Arthur Solomon, the gentleman who had invited me to the party back in October, whether he could reconnect me with Dr. Imich (the honorific from a Ph.D. he earned in zoology in 1929).

Mr. Solomon checked and reported that unfortunately Dr. Imich had entered the hospital with some unspecified ailment. A couple of months later, Mr. Solomon contacted me. "I bet you never expected to hear from me again," his email began. "But here I am with news about Dr. Imich. I was told he is feeling better and would like to do the interview."

So on Monday afternoon I visited him at his apartment at the Esplanade, a senior-citizens residence on West End Avenue. He has lived there 50 years, actually since before it became a senior residence and was a hotel, according to Robin Kaufman, his social worker.

If there were any doubts about Dr. Imich's mental acuity, he dispelled them within seconds of our arrival at his cluttered one-bedroom apartment with excellent views of the Hudson River. He complimented Natalie Keyssar, our photographer ("You're beautiful," he said); commented that he wasn't aware that The Wall Street Journal ran photographs; and then patiently spelled out the name of the Polish city where he was born, Czestochowa, launching into its history. ...

Occasionally Dr. Imich would lapse into silence—only for a few seconds—and I'd wonder whether it was a sign of senility, or at least flagging stamina. But that wasn't it, because his next recollection, or retrieval of a name or date from the distant past, was just as confident, his voice just as robust, as anything that he'd said previously  ....

But on to the paranormal, though Dr. Imich doesn't claim to possess such powers himself. He produced bottles filled with objects such as bottle caps and plastic utensils that couldn't have fit through their holes. He also told the story of the time he heard an explosion in his apartment and discovered a visitor, whose arrival he'd been awaiting at his front door, seated on the floor behind him. He also believes in UFOs and has a photograph on his desk of friends he says were abducted by aliens. Finally, he believes that humans can survive largely without food, and attributes his longevity, at least in part, to how little he eats.

Whether he's right about any or all these things scarcely matters. "I've never seen Alex tired," said Ms. Kaufman, who works for Selfhelp, a support organization for Holocaust survivors. "All that stuff he was talking about keeps him going."

via A Secret to Long Life: UFOs -

Awesome. But it would be nice to hear what Dr. Imich actually said about UFOs.  I don't understand how someone can get to the point where he is writing for the WSJ, and yet is able to get away with saying he does not believe that some flying objects are unidentified.
"I don't believe in parapsychology or UFOs".

Why, then, write an article titled "A Secret to Long Life: UFOs"?

Saying you "don't believe in UFOs" is a bone headed statement.  So, do you believe in ... "objects"? Do you believe some objects fly, float, reflect, or otherwise appear to be in the sky? Okay, last question: Do you believe some objects that appear to be in the sky are unidentified?  If you answered YES to all three, then you DO believe in UFOs, so stop lying. If you do not believe some flying objects are unidentified, then kindly explain exactly what was picked up by forward looking infrared radar by the Mexican military, for starters.

And, Ralph, parapsychology is a field of study. It really exists! Do you understand what I'm saying? The field of study, parapsychology, exists. I think you intended to say that you believe people are mistaken who believe in ghosts, life after death, telekinesis, telepathy, regression memories, out of body experiences, and anything else parapsychologists research.  I guess your way of saying it is shorter.

Our most traumatic memories could be erased, thanks to the marine snail

Our most traumatic memories could be erased, thanks to the marine snail

Alasdair Wilkins — Although the idea of erasing your memories may sound horrific, there may be nothing better for those dealing with severe trauma. Now we're one step closer to making it a reality, with a little help from the tiny marine snail.

UCLA researcher David Glanzman led the study, which discovered that it's possible to erase long-term memories in snails by inhibiting a specific protein kinase known as PKM. While researchers have previously made headway with memory-erasing drugs, this new work focuses on the actual neurons of the brain, potentially allowing far finer control over the memory erasure process. If the methods used here could be adapted to humans, Glanzman hopes it could be used to help treat severe post-traumatic stress disorder, drug addiction, and possible long-term memory disorders such as Alzheimer's.

Glanzman explains how it all works:

"Almost all the processes that are involved in memory in the snail also have been shown to be involved in memory in the brains of mammals. We found that if we inhibit PKM in the marine snail, we will erase the memory for long-term sensitization. In addition, we can erase the long-term change at a single synapse that underlies long-term memory in the snail."


via Our most traumatic memories could be erased, thanks to the marine snail.

Many negative behaviors, I think, can be attributed to bad memories. You can reprogram your bad memories, because the way memory works, you only remember the last time you remembered something. You don't remember the actual event. You rebuild your memories every time you remember them.

Reprogramming takes time ... although if you do it in lucid dreams, you might reclaim the lost 1/3rd of your life as well as making your waking life better. I'd like to be able to get into my head and switch off a few things, make it as if they never happened. ... with the option to switch them back on later.

Here's how. Step 1: Start having lucid dreams. Step 2: Meditate and cultivate your objective observer. Step 3: Observe your dream as you dream. If fun stuff happens, enjoy it. If anything bad happens, take the opportunity to solve the problem. It's your world in the dream, so create a solution and see how it feels.

California may use vibrational energy of driving to generate power

When you get into your car, for the daily commute or for a relaxing weekend visit to a friend house you give off energy. Not just the energy from the fossil fuels that you burn, but a different kind of energy, vibrational energy. Most of us do not give that energy a second thought, unless we're trying to do something that requires fine motor skills, such as putting the lid back onto your slightly deformed cup of scalding hot coffee, but it is there.

It is also a potential source of a green, and renewable energy. California Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a democrat from the Burbank district, hopes to help his home state to use it effectively. He has put in motion a legislation proposing that, if it passes, would create a pilot program designed to capture those vibrations.

The system, if implemented, would place sensors under a stretch of California roads. These sensors would be able to collect the vibrations caused by traffic and covert them into power. This system, know as piezoelectric generation, has the potential to add significantly to the power supply, if the system were implemented on a larger scale. A potential test patch, a one mile stretch of a two lane highway, would be able to create enough new electricity to power roughly 500 homes for an entire year, or give juice to 120 electrical vehicles each day. Not to mention the powering of street lights and traffic signals.

The proposal does not divert funds from any areas, since California regularly sets aside funds for these types of projects. It also would not represent any interruption to the flow of traffic in the state, since the sensors would only be placed under the ground during the regular repaving of roads. No word yet on when this bill will go to a vote or when residents of the state of California can expect to see these changes, should the bill pass in the state legislation.

via California may use vibrational energy of driving to generate power.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Massive Lightning Near Space Shuttle Endeavour

The space shuttle Endeavour is seen on launch pad 39a as a storm passes by prior to the rollback of the Rotating Service Structure (RSS), Thursday, April 28, 2011, at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. During the 14-day mission, Endeavour and the STS-134 crew will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank and additional spare parts for Dextre. Launch is targeted for Friday, April 29 at 3:47 p.m. EDT. Photo credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

via Space Shuttle Endeavour (201104280022HQ) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!.

Squids In Space--Seriously

The last flight of the space shuttle Endeavor will be both manned and squidded.

The most famous science experiment on board, of course, will be the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, which will set up shop at the ISS to measure cosmic rays, dusting for the fingerprints of dark matter and antimatter. So that's cool. But is it as cool as baby squid in space?

...why exactly would you want to put squids in space? I mean, besides the cool factor, what is there to be gained? I did a little more poking around, and, bless the internet, there's a webpage on the project. It turns out that the particular species of squid to be shipped off-planet is our old friend the bobtail squid.

What makes this squid unique is its light organ, which glows at night and hides its shadow from prey lurking underneath. The light is powered by a particular bioluminescent bacteria (Vibrio fishceri) that the squid draws in from the surrounding water. Every day it expels the old bacteria and takes in a new batch. Newly born squid can’t produce the light, but within several hours they become bioluminescent as they take in the bacteria. This development gives scientists a close look at morphogenesis, which is the biological process that causes an organism to develop its shape—one of the fundamentals of development biology. The squid experiment came about when Ned [faculty sponsor] learned about the work of Dr. Jamie S. Foster at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Dr. Foster’s work is focused on what happens to this morphogenesis process under micro-gravity conditions.

A-ha! So the real question is morphogenesis under micro-gravity, or, what is the effect of gravity on how an organism makes its shape? And the squid/bacteria symbiosis happens to be a good model system to answer this question.

If you're having a hard time making that connection, it's because a critical piece of information was omitted from the otherwise excellent summary above. That is, when a newly born squid takes in the bacteria that it needs to produce light, those bacteria induce an serious physical restructuring of the squid's body so that it can host them appropriately. The baby squid actually changes shape as a result of taking in bacteria.

Which is a pretty wild thing to study all by itself, on Earth, but when you decide to study it in space . . . whoa.

via Squids In Space--Seriously.

Mind-controlled prosthetics to help amputees

Jesse Sullivan would like an upgrade (Image: Mark Gilliland/AP/PA)ROBOTIC limbs controlled solely by the mind could be available to paralysed people within a year.

Monkeys are being trained to control what might be the world's most sophisticated and human-like robot arm. But they never touch the prosthetic limb or fiddle with a remote control: they guide it with their thoughts alone. If trials are successful, in a few months from now people with spinal cord injuries could learn to do the same.

In 2008, Andrew Schwartz of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania published a landmark paper describing how two rhesus macaques learned to feed themselves marshmallows and fruit using a crude robotic limb controlled by electrodes implanted in their brains (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature06996). No brain-controlled prosthetic limb had ever carried out a more complex real-world task. Still, Schwartz envisioned a more elegant and nimble device that paralysed people could use - something much closer to a human hand.

Enter the Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL), a bionic limb that closely approximates the form and agility of a human arm and hand. Born from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Revolutionizing Prosthetics programme, and designed by Michael McLoughlin's team at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland, the MPL is made from a combination of lightweight carbon fibre and high-strength alloys. It has 22 degrees of freedom, compared with the human arm's 30, and can grasp precisely and firmly without crushing fragile objects. The wrist and elbow rotate with ease and, like an average human limb, it weighs just under 4.5 kilograms.

"I would say it's very close to human dexterity," says McLoughlin. "It can't do absolutely everything - it can't cup the palm, for example - but it can control all fingers individually. I don't think there is another limb that approaches it." ..

via Mind-controlled prosthetics to help amputees - health - 28 April 2011 - New Scientist.

Curse of the Pharaoh's DNA

Mummies found in King Tutankhamun's tomb are at the centre of a dispute over DNA analysis.

Jo Marchant  - Some researchers claim to have analysed DNA from Egyptian mummies. Others say that's impossible. Could new sequencing methods bridge the divide?

Cameras roll as ancient-DNA experts Carsten Pusch and Albert Zink scrutinize a row of coloured peaks on their computer screen. There is a dramatic pause. "My god!" whispers Pusch, the words muffled by his surgical mask. Then the two hug and shake hands, accompanied by the laughter and applause of their Egyptian colleagues. They have every right to be pleased with themselves. After months of painstaking work, they have finally completed their analysis of 3,300-year-old DNA from the mummy of King Tutankhamun.

Featured in the Discovery Channel documentary King Tut Unwrapped last year and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)1, their analysis — of Tutankhamun and ten of his relatives — was the latest in a string of studies reporting the analysis of DNA from ancient Egyptian mummies. Apparently revealing the mummies' family relationships as well as their afflictions, such as tuberculosis and malaria, the work seems to be providing unprecedented insight into the lives and health of ancient Egyptians and is ushering in a new era of 'molecular Egyptology'. Except that half of the researchers in the field challenge every word of it.

Enter the world of ancient Egyptian DNA and you are asked to choose between two alternate realities: one in which DNA analysis is routine, and the other in which it is impossible. "The ancient-DNA field is split absolutely in half," says Tom Gilbert, who heads two research groups at the Center for GeoGenetics in Copenhagen, one of the world's foremost ancient-DNA labs.

Unable to resolve their differences, the two sides publish in different journals, attend different conferences and refer to each other as 'believers' and 'sceptics' — when, that is, they're not simply ignoring each other. The Tutankhamun study reignited long-standing tensions between the two camps, with sceptics claiming that in this study, as in most others, the results can be explained by contamination. Next-generation sequencing techniques, however, may soon be able to resolve the split once and for all by making it easier to sequence ancient, degraded DNA. But for now, Zink says, "It's like a religious thing. If our papers are reviewed by one of the other groups, you get revisions like 'I don't believe it's possible'. It's hard to argue with that." ...

The disagreement stems from the dawn of ancient-DNA research. In the 1980s, a young PhD student called Svante Pääbo worked behind his supervisor's back at the University of Uppsala in Sweden to claim he had done what no one else had thought was possible: clone nuclear DNA from a 2,400-year-old Egyptian mummy2. Soon researchers realized that they could use a new technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify tiny amounts of DNA from ancient samples. There was a burst of excitement as DNA was reported from a range of ancient sources, including insects preserved in amber and even an 80 million-year-old dinosaur3.

Then came the fall. It turned out that PCR, susceptible to contamination at the best of times, is particularly risky when working with tiny amounts of old, broken-up DNA. Just a trace of modern DNA — say from an archaeologist who had handled a sample — could scupper a result. The 'dinosaur' DNA belonged to a modern human, as did Pääbo's pioneering clone. Once researchers began to adopt rigorous precautions4, including replicating results in independent labs, attempts to retrieve DNA from Egyptian mummies met with little success5.

That's no surprise, say sceptics. DNA breaks up over time, at a rate that increases with temperature. After thousands of years in Egypt's hot climate, they say, mummies are extremely unlikely to contain DNA fragments large enough to be amplified by PCR. "Preservation in most Egyptian mummies is clearly bad," says Pääbo, now at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthroplogy in Leipzig and a leader in the field. Ancient-DNA researcher Franco Rollo of the University of Camerino in Italy went so far as to test how long mummy DNA might survive. He checked a series of papyrus fragments of various ages, preserved in the similar conditions to the mummies. He estimated that DNA fragments large enough to be identified by PCR — around 90 base pairs long — would have vanished after only around 600 years6.

Yet all the while, rival researchers have published a steady stream of papers on DNA extracted from Egyptian mummies up to 5,000 years old. ...
via Ancient DNA: Curse of the Pharaoh's DNA : Nature News.

Freeman Dyson: Heretical Thoughts About Science and Society

YouTube - Freeman Dyson: Heretical Thoughts About Science and Society.

Panetta to lead Pentagon, Petraeus CIA

Heading into an era of tighter Pentagon budgets, President Obama has chosen former longtime Monterey Congressman Leon Panetta as secretary of defense in a move that puts a former White House budget chief in charge of the sprawling military bureaucracy, administration officials said Wednesday.

Panetta, 72, was reluctant to leave his job as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, a senior administration official said. A budget expert who had little experience in intelligence before taking the job as spy chief, Panetta is credited with restoring morale and order after a period of turmoil over the agency's role in the torture and detention of terrorism suspects.

Obama personally asked Panetta to take the job, and after thinking about it, Panetta agreed at a meeting with Obama on Monday. With Senate confirmation all but assured, Panetta is scheduled to start his new job July 1.

The president is expected to announce the appointment today as part of a shuffling of his national security team set in motion by the retirement of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who also held the job under President George W. Bush.

In the shuffle, Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Afghanistan, will become director of the spy agency, Gen. John Allen will assume military command in Afghanistan, and Bush veteran Ryan Crocker will become ambassador to Afghanistan.

via Panetta to lead Pentagon, Petraeus CIA.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Flex-Fuel Kits Convert Toyota Prius to E85 Ethanol (<$500)

Prius Logo

Dutch firm Green Fuel Systems, along with several other companies, has developed flex-fuel conversion kits for the Toyota Prius that cost less than $1,000. Converting our existing fleet to second-generation ethanol could be the best near-term play to directly replace fossil fuels.

Although the concept of a hybrid/biofuel combo has been around for a while, it has (at least in our minds) mostly been in the form of diesel hybrids running on biodiesel (which isn’t going to happen). But what if we could take America’s most fuel efficient car and convert it to run on another domestically-produced renewable fuel: cellulosic ethanol?

It looks like that’s what Green Fuel Systems and a handful of other US-based companies want to do. Although ethanol has been beaten to a pulp by mainstream media, non-food based feedstocks (like switchgrass) are in the pipeline and could be seriously producing in the next five years. If you’re still not convinced, make sure to read this article: Dedicated Energy

Crops Could Replace 30% of Gasoline.

While details on Green Fuel Systems’ specific product are lacking (and it’s not even clear if this is coming to the US), two US-based companies selling the same thing, and their systems are cheaper.

For example, a 4-cylinder flex-fuel conversion kit from Change2E85 costs less than $500. They even have a simple video describing how to install it. We’ve also previously covered AAMCO’s promotion of Flex Fuel US’s kits, and the holy grail: Ford’s prototype flex-fuel Escape plug-in hybrid that gets 88 mpg running on E85.

Converting our existing fleet of vehicles to flex-fuel capability, along with building it into new models, is arguably one of our best plays to reduce fossil fuel dependence in the next 10 years. GM thinks so, which is why by 2012, 50% of their new vehicles will have this capability.

via Flex-Fuel Kits Convert Toyota Prius to E85 Ethanol (For Less Than $1000) – Gas 2.0.

Home Brew for the Car, Not the Beer Cup

WHAT if you could make fuel for your car in your backyard for less than you pay at the pump? Would you?

The first question has driven Floyd S. Butterfield for more than two decades. Mr. Butterfield, 52, is something of a legend for people who make their own ethanol. In 1982, he won a California Department of Food and Agriculture contest for best design of an ethanol still, albeit one that he could not market profitably at the time.

Now he thinks that he can, thanks to his partnership with the Silicon Valley entrepreneur Thomas J. Quinn. The two have started the E-Fuel Corporation, which soon will announce its home ethanol system, the E-Fuel 100 MicroFueler. It will be about as large as a stackable washer-dryer, sell for $9,995 and ship before year-end.

The net cost to consumers could drop by half after government incentives for alternate fuels, like tax credits, are applied.

The MicroFueler will use sugar as its main fuel source, or feedstock, along with a specially packaged time-release yeast the company has developed. Depending on the cost of sugar, plus water and electricity, the company says it could cost as little as a dollar a gallon to make ethanol. In fact, Mr. Quinn sometimes collects left-over alcohol from bars and restaurants in Los Gatos, Calif., where he lives, and turns it into ethanol; the only cost is for the electricity used in processing.

In general, he says, burning a gallon of ethanol made by his system will produce one-eighth the carbon of the same amount of gasoline.

“It’s going to cause havoc in the market and cause great financial stress in the oil industry,” Mr. Quinn boasts.

He may well turn out to be right. But brewing ethanol in the backyard isn’t as easy as barbecuing hamburgers. Distilling large quantities of ethanol typically has required a lot of equipment, says Daniel M. Kammen, director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, he says that quality control and efficiency of home brew usually pale compared with those of commercial refineries. “There’s a lot of hurdles you have to overcome. It’s entirely possible that they’ve done it, but skepticism is a virtue,” Mr. Kammen says.

To be sure, Mr. Quinn, 53, has been involved with successful innovations before. For instance, he patented the motion sensor technology used in Nintendo’s wildly popular Wii gaming system.

More to the point, he was the product marketing manager for Alan F. Shugart’s pioneering hard disk drive when the personal computer was shifting from a hobbyists’ niche to a major industry. “I remember people laughing at us and saying what a stupid idea it was to do that disk drive,” Mr. Quinn says.

Mr. Butterfield thinks that the MicroFueler is as much a game changer as the personal computer. He says that working with Mr. Quinn’s microelectronics experts — E-Fuel now employs 15 people — has led to breakthroughs that have cut the energy requirements of making ethanol in half. One such advance is a membrane distiller, which, Mr. Quinn says, uses extremely fine filters to separate water from alcohol at lower heat and in fewer steps than in conventional ethanol refining. Using sugar as a feedstock means that there is virtually no smell, and its water byproduct will be drinkable.

E-Fuel has bold plans: It intends to operate internationally from the start, with production of the MicroFueler in China and Britain as well as the United States. And Mr. Butterfield is already at work on a version for commercial use, as well as systems that will use feedstocks other than sugar.

Ethanol has long had home brewers, and permits are available through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. (You must be a property owner and agree to make your ethanol outdoors.) But there are plenty of reasons to question whether personal fueling systems will become the fuel industry’s version of the personal computer. ...

via Home Brew for the Car, Not the Beer Cup - New York Times.

Science Fiction Timeline of Inventions (Listed by Publication Date)

Most of these items are linked to information about similar real-life inventions and inventors; click on an invention to learn more about it.

Date Device Name (Novel Author)
1726Laputa - a floating island (from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift)
1726Bio-Energy - produce electricity from organic material (from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift)
1726Knowledge Engine - machine-made expertise (from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift)
1726Geometric Modeling - eighteenth century NURBS (from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift)
1828Barrels of Air (from The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century by Henry Loudon)
1828Steam-Propelled Moving Houses (from The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century by Henry Loudon)
1828Stage Balloon (from The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century by Henry Loudon)
1828Mail-Post Letter-Ball (from The Mummy! A Tale of the Twenty-Second Century by Henry Loudon)
1866Paper Steel (from Robur-the-Conqueror by Jules Verne)
1867Weightlessness - true science fiction discovery (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867Retro-Rockets - Verne invented them! (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867Light Pressure Propulsion - first use of this idea (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867Water-Springs (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867Spashdown - the original idea (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867Launching Facility - in Florida (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867Projectile-Vehicle - Verne's spacecraft (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867Free Return Trajectory - first mention (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867Communicate with Extraterrestrials - first use of concept (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1867Columbiad - 900 foot cannon (from From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne)
1869Flywheel Launcher (from The Brick Moon by Edward Everett Hale)
1875Nautilus - Captain Nemo's ride (from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne)
1875Diving Apparatus - scuba diving in the 19th century (from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne)
1875Electrify the Rail - repel boarders! (from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne)
1875Leyden Ball - grandfather of the taser (from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne)
1875Undersea Mining (from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne)


via Science Fiction Timeline of Inventions (Listed by Publication Date).

Many more at the link.

How Bacteria Could Generate Radio waves

Can bacteria generate radio waves?

On the face of it, this seems an unlikely proposition. Natural sources of radio waves include lightning, stars and pulsars while artificial sources include radar, mobile phones and computers. This is a diverse list. So it's hard to see what these things might have in common with bacteria that could be responsible for making radio waves.

But today, Allan Widom at Northeastern University in Boston and a few pals, say they've worked out how it could be done.

They point out that many types of bacterial DNA take the form of circular loops. So they've modelled the behaviour of free electrons moving around such a small loop, pointing out that, as quantum objects, the electrons can take certain energy levels.

Widom and co calculate that the transition frequencies between these energy levels correspond to radio signals broadcast at 0.5, 1 and 1.5 kilohertz. And they point out that exactly this kind of signal has been measured in E Coli bacteria.

Let's make one thing clear: this is a controversial area of science. The measurements of bacterial radio waves were published in 2009 by Luc Montagnier, who won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 2008 for the discovery of HIV. However, Montagnier is a controversial figure and it's fair to say that his claims are not accepted by most mainstream biologists.

However, one of the criticisms of the work was that there is no known mechanism by which bacteria can generate radio waves. That criticism may now no longer hold.

That means Widom and co may be able to kickstart more work in this area. It is well known that bacterial and other types of cells use electromagnetic waves at higher frequencies to communicate as well as to send and store energy. If cells can also generate radio waves, there's no reason to think they wouldn't exploit this avenue too.

via How Bacteria Could Generate Radio waves - Technology Review.

Bacteria Grow Under 400,000 Times Earth's Gravity

Bacteria grown under normal gravity for four hours (left) and at 134,425 Gs of gravity for 48 hours (right).Proving that you don't have to be big to be tough, some microbes can survive gravity more than 400,000 times that felt on Earth, a new study says.

Most humans, by contrast, can tolerate forces equal to about three to five times Earth's surface gravity (g) before losing consciousness.

The extreme "hypergravity" of 400,000 g is usually found only in cosmic environments, such as on very massive stars or in the shock waves of supernovas, said study leader Shigeru Deguchi, a biologist at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.

Deguchi and his team were able to replicate hypergravity on Earth using a machine called an ultracentrifuge.

The scientists rapidly spun four species of bacteria—including the common human gut microbe Escherichia coli—to create increasingly intense gravity conditions.

The bacteria clumped together into pellets as the gravity increased, but their forced closeness didn't seem to deter growth: All four species multiplied normally under thousands to tens of thousands of times Earth's gravity.

Two of the species—E. coli and Paracoccus denitrificans, a common soil bacteria—grew under the strain of 403,627 g. ...

via Bacteria Grow Under 400,000 Times Earth's Gravity.

Crop Circle at Innage, nr Chepstow. Gwent Wales. Reported 22nd April 2011.

Well done to Olivier Morel and Francine Blake's group for photographing this aerial shot of the formation at Innage, nr Chepstow. Gwent. Wales. Reported 22nd April. We know this was a long and expensive flight due to this there was great reluctance by other photographers to take to the air.

via Crop Circle at Innage, nr Chepstow. Gwent Wales. Reported 22nd April   2011..