Convened by Dr.G., a Renegade Illuminati, convening Thee Temple [link], for knowledge, whimsy, and inspiration. Everything is true, nothing is forbidden!
Science & Futurism
* "Epic Russian-made hoverbike like something out of Star Wars" (2017-02-17, rt.com) [archive.is/p7SQj], photo caption: The bike retails at US$150,000.
* "New method uses heat flow to levitate variety of objects Two UChicago undergraduates lead breakthrough work" (2017-02-14, news.uchicago.edu) [archive.is/dVZN8], photo caption: UChicago researchers achieved levitation of macroscopic objects between warm and cold plates in a vacuum chamber.
* "Learning how to fine-tune nanofabrication" (2017-02-15, SPX Newswire) [archive.is/r33Ib]
* "Now you can "build your own" bio-bot" (2017-02-10, engineering.illinois.edu) [archive.is/Jww5C]
* "Will androids dream of quantum sheep? CQT researchers find that quantum 'replicants' could be more efficient than classical models" (2017-02-13, quantumlah.org) [archive.is/DoQ2b]
* "Large groups of individual photons now available on demand – an equivalent of photonic ‘integrated circuit’ " (2017-02-08, fuw.edu.pl) [archive.is/VqPik]
* "A new technique for creation of entangled photon states developed" (2017-02-14, scienmag.com) [archive.is/E7U21]
* "Empa-PSU team studies mobility of single molecule; Measuring entropy: A scanning tunneling microscope (STM), used to study changes in the shape of a single molecule at the atomic scale, impacts the ability of that molecule to make these changes; the entropy of the molecule is changed and, in turn, can be measured. The study led by Empa physicists is published in the current issue of 'Nature Communications' " (2017-02-14, empa.ch) [archive.is/VBitD], photo montage caption:
Two weeks of probing a single molecule – with picometer precision -
Images of a single molecule of dibutyl sulfide captured by a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) at temperatures ranging from 5.41 to 16.03 Kelvin (K). As the temperature increases, the molecule changes shape more quickly resulting in an image that captures multiple configurations of the molecule.
* "Zealandia: Study confirms Earth has hidden continent" (2017-02-16, rt.com) [archive.is/AuoyC]
* "Scientists want to 'de-extinct' the woolly mammoth" (2017-02-17, rt.com) [archive.is/T3Cgx]
* "Geneticists reveal how parenting rewires the beetle brain; 'It is exciting science when you take a step toward predicting the genetic changes involved in a behavior as complicated as parental care,' researcher Allen Moore said" (2017-02-14, UPI Newswire) [archive.is/tdq3p]
* "Would you delete traumatic memories? Scientists have discovered how" (2017-02-19, rt.com) [archive.is/Xh7Qf]
* "New, flexible brain probes to improve long-term neural recording" (2017-02-15, UPI Newswire) [archive.is/m5WMS]
* "Squishy supercapacitors bathed in green tea could power wearable electronics" (2017-02-15, American Chemical Society, acs.org) [archive.is/H2HkC]
* "Is a stretchable smart tablet in our future? " (2017-02-15, msutoday.msu.edu) [archive.is/SaAnc]
* "Ant treadmill could be a game changer for mini robots, seriously" (2017-02-18, rt.com) [archive.is/bxCUm]
* "50,000yo microbes discovered in Mexican cave" (2017-02-18, rt.com) [archive.is/3bPTR]
* "Possibility of Silicon-Based Life Grows" (2017-02-14, by Charles Q. Choi for Astrobiology Magazine) [archive.is/i7jtV]
* "Researchers take small step toward silicon-based life" (2016-03-16, sciencemag.org) [archive.is/eWFq9]
* "Dwarf planet Ceres could harbor life, NASA mission finds" (2017-02-17, rt.com) [archive.is/Ob0xT]: NASA’s Dawn mission to the dwarf planet Ceres has discovered evidence of organic material on the mysterious icy world which could be signs of microbial life.
Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt and lies between Earth’s closest planetary neighbor, Mars, and gas giant Jupiter. The organic material was detected on the dwarf planet’s northern hemisphere in and around a crater known as Ernunet.
Such organic compounds are, according to NASA, “necessary, though not sufficient, components,” of life on Earth.
Scientists studied data detected by Dawn’s Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIR), making Ceres the latest cosmic body to test positive for organic material, after similar material was found on a number of asteroids and meteorites.
Ceres is seen as a special case because the organic material is thought to be local, meaning it has always been there and has not been deposited by a passing comet or asteroid. “The organics discovery adds to Ceres' attributes associated with ingredients and conditions for life in the distant past,” NASA said in a statement [archive.is/T6OII].
"This is the first clear detection of organic molecules from orbit on a main belt body," said lead study author, Maria Cristina De Sanctis, of Rome’s National Institute of Astrophysics.
“The combined presence on Ceres of ammonia-bearing hydrated minerals, water ice, carbonates, salts, and organic material indicates a very complex chemical environment, suggesting favorable environments to prebiotic chemistry,” the study [archive.is/6j1MG], published in the journal Science, says.
“This discovery adds to our understanding of the possible origins of water and organics on Earth,” added Julie Castillo-Rogez, Dawn project scientist based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
The scientists believe that Ceres, Jupiter’s moon Europa, Saturn’s moon Enceladus and Mars, could all have the right ingredients for life. Ceres, along with the two gas giant moons, could even have liquid water hiding beneath their rocky exteriors.
These are exciting times for the mission, which reached the ball of rock and ice back in 2015 having previously studied the giant asteroid Vesta [dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/science/vesta.html].
On February 23, the spacecraft will take up a new position, orbiting at a distance of 20,000 kilometers, in order to study Ceres with the sun at its back in the hope that the illuminated world will give up more of its secrets.
* "Localized aliphatic organic material on the surface of Ceres" (2017-02-17, science.sciencemag.org) [archive.is/6j1MG]
* "The Banyan trees of Mars: Sir Arthur C. Clarke's minority view" (2001-12, by Nicole Foulke, Popular Science magazine) [archive.is/Sd2LU], also archived at [archive.is/TikyA]
"I'm now convinced that Mars is inhabited by a race of demented landscape gardeners," Sir Arthur C. Clarke announced recently.
The author of 2001: A Space Odyssey was only half-joking. He claims that an image produced by the Mars Global Surveyor satellite shows "large areas of vegetation . . . like banyan trees." Most experts dismiss the idea. But Popular Science loves a free thinker, especially one as talented and charming as Sir Arthur. We questioned him in Sri Lanka via e-mail.
- [Popular Science]: What makes you so confident there is life on Mars?
- [Arthur C. Clarke]: The image is so striking that there is no need to say anything about it -- it's obviously vegetation to any unbiased eye.
- [PS]: What about animal life?
- [AC]: If there is vegetation, it seems probable there are other life-forms as well.
- [PS]: Few experts agree with you.
- [AC]: Remember how a certain Astronomer Royal said that space flight was 'utter bilge'? [Indeed, Richard van der Reit Wooley said so in 1956 -- Ed.] But they are right to be cautious -- we still don't have 100 percent proof. I think it's in the high nineties!
- [PS]: Why are you so passionate about this?
- [AC]: Because nothing could be more important than the discovery of other life-forms. It's getting lonely down here.
Photo caption: Clarke believes plants row in the Red Planet's southern hemisphere
* "A.C. Clarke's Trees" (2001, marsunearthed.com) [archive.is/r4c5h]
* "Defrosting Polar Dunes - 'They Look Like Bushes!' " (1999-08-10, mars.jpl.nasa.gov) [archive.is/FNv0a]
* "A forest on Mars" (2005, by Mirko Elviro) [archive.is/Bw9sL] [begin excerpt]:
The possibility of existence of life forms on other planets has always charmed men. But only in fairly recent times the means with which we can explore celestial bodies in a scientific manner have become available. Countless probes have been launched toward planets belonging to our solar system, to study their characteristics and to understand if any form of life may have developed on them. Among planets, Mars is still the more studied planet, both for the proximity to the Earth and mainly because it is the most Earth-similar celestial body and maybe it's able to receive any type of living organism.
There's an opinion shared among scientists by now that says that if we'll find life on Mars, it surely won't have an evolutionary stage higher than the one of a bacterium. It's an opinion that has become a dogma with the passing of time, supported even in the presence of photographic documents, still without explanation, that could invalidate it.
It's the case of a photo taken by MOC (Mars Orbiter Camera), a satellite for photographical mapping of Mars that, at latitude -82.02°, longitude 284.38° (near to the Martian south pole) has filmed something totally incredible, but still neglected: it's some form of vegetation on Mars.
The photo number is M0804688 [archive.is/fGk3Z] (via msss.com), full size image [archive.is/qeN9d].
Detail of photo M0804688 taken by MOC satellite that depicts the Mars surface (6.79 m/pixel)
As one can see in the image, shapes very similar to big trees (with branches) seen by above are visible.
For example, let's compare the MOC shot with this other photo, that portrays a terrestrial tree: there are really many similarities.
Here's the complete "strip" taken by MOC, that shows plants becoming more and more thick, actually creating a forest. A geological phenomenon vaguely similar to this doesn't quite exists. The high resolution photo is visible by clicking here (259Kb) [archive.is/brtEp].
But then, what is the explanation? The simplest explanation is that some vegetable life forms (perhaps dating back to times when water was abundant on Mars) continue to grow on the planet, probably sinking their roots in a partially frozen water layer and able to bear strong changes in temperature.
In regard to their size, the biggest trees visible in the image have a diameter of about 1 kilometer. It obviously may seem too much, if it's compared with a terrestrial tree. But if we consider that:
1. atmosphere is more rarefied than the terrestrial one
2. gravity is only a third of the one of our planet
3. probably there are no parasites that can attack them
4. it's an alien species, surely unknown to us, with a different metabolism,
then their huge dimensions become more acceptable. Anyway in the photo we can see also more "normal-sized" trees.
Unfortunately no scientist accurately studied this document, because the "official science" says we cannot find trees there. Stop. But the "Martian forest" continue to grow regardless.
Link to the MOC official photo M0804688 (via ida.wr.usgs.gov) [archive.is/ZDXBG] [archive.is/BfL91].
This isn't the only evidence of vegetable life on the red planet, other images taken by MOC exist which show what could be brushes grown among dunes (E05-760, 2001-06-08).
Let's compare it with this satellite photo showing a desertic area of Australia:
In this image of the martian surface we can observe what is resembling a wood seen from above (MOC2-166) [archive.is/FNv0a]:
Here we see what really seems to be a lake (photo MOC m0901354, 2.75m/pixel) [archive.is/pWQcz]:
Here too (MOC m0902042) [archive.is/2IbO2]:
And in these photos too (click to view): e0801033 [archive.is/EUXy5], e0900020 [archive.is/bQU3i], e0900304 [archive.is/HKdwO] (this one at a 3.5 m/pixel resolution).
The following picture was acquired by the Opportunity probe on December, 19 2004 and it needs no comments (to the right there is a zoom of the yellow box). The original photo is visible by clicking HERE [archive.is/saD1A].
Here we have two other meaningful images which show the growth of vegetation on the red planet (MOC m1001442):
Click here for another photo showing vegetation on Mars (646 Kb) [archive.is/B3V8g].
It must be noted that unfortunately the Mars Global Surveyor has a camera (MOC) that shows only the red and the blue color, but not the green. It's probably the only camera ever constructed that has this feature, and I leave to your imagination what may be the reason for this technological choice....
Final note: probably not all people know that a certain amount of methane has been found in the Martian atmosphere (it was detected by Mars Express, by NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii, by International Gemini South observatory in Chile, by Mars Express Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) etc...).
Methane is not a stable molecule in the atmosphere, it vanishes after a few hundred years. Then if it's still present, it must be regenerated in some way. Two are the possibilities: either volcanic activity or bacterial production.
It exists a third hypotesis too: methane may be generated by the impact of a comet on Mars, but nobody found any recent sign of collision on the surface, and anyway it couldn't have produced long-lasting effects.
It's difficult to support the first hypothesis, because the TES on Mars Global Surveyor and the Themis on Mars Odyssey (thermical sensors with a resolution of 100 meters) never detected any volcanic activity on Mars.
Then the second hyphotesis is the most likely, there seems to be some sort of biologic activity on Mars.
UPDATE October, 6th 2006: currently there is the actual possibility to observe forests and lakes in color and with great detail, the proof is the photo taken from orbit by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that shows perfectly the Opportunity probe on the red planet surface [archive.is/DQw5i], and even the tracks that its wheels left on the sand. At this point one question arises: what is NASA waiting for before taking pictures of the most interesting zones and finally solving some mysteries?
* " 'Trees' on Mars?" (by S. Holland) [archive.is/LyBy2]
* Mars Global Surveyor pictures:
- M0804688 [archive.is/ZDXBG], photo [archive.is/BfL91]
- M0804874 [archive.is/Fw8xk], photo [archive.is/NsZdZ], closeup A [archive.is/dSoks], B [archive.is/DvIJO]
- M0401220 [archive.is/pMSj4], photo [archive.is/EGRx8], closeup A [archive.is/SfsG9], B [archive.is/IyMwy]
- E0500762 [archive.is/rvy3e], photo [archive.is/utiOA], closeup C [archive.is/ZbPLs], D [archive.is/oPaaO]
- M0801095 [archive.is/bPSpJ], photo [archive.is/Qnb29], closeup A [archive.is/eThR3], B [archive.is/EwChp]
- M0804580 [archive.is/dCtmL], photo [archive.is/hM7px], closeup [archive.is/oheYi]
- M0902042 [archive.is/PUdH4], photo [archive.is/2IbO2], closeup A [archive.is/iTGD6], B [archive.is/jWlEN]
- M053408 [archive.is/QgQ0i], photo [archive.is/FxvO0], closeup A [archive.is/5aQem], B [archive.is/j4Psq]
- M008405 [archive.is/cELdv], photo [archive.is/Ch5CR], closeup A [archive.is/xkHw5], B [archive.is/ynmxM], C [archive.is/MeGK9]
- M0307336 [archive.is/vwk6X], photo [archive.is/LsZlI], closeup A [archive.is/BaQ2p], B [archive.is/uUSYf], C [archive.is/2K1Fw]
- M0701643 [archive.is/e6Iw7], photo [archive.is/vuzDR], closeup A [archive.is/0WFfo], B [archive.is/rCEFr], C [archive.is/sFjF8]
- M09-01354 [archive.is/LgYBT], photo [archive.is/L0Uye]
- M0305635 [archive.is/svLu7], photo [archive.is/jUAbH]
- M0402115 [archive.is/yLJzh], photo [archive.is/NvtwC]
- M1000205 [archive.is/NFINl], photo [archive.is/z5mbe]
- M1001442 (via ida.wr.usgs.gov) [archive.is/n2onZ], photo [archive.is/YYKEf]; (via msss.com) [archive.is/7uggH], photo [archive.is/7ELRO]:
* Comparison chart showing growth within 9 months during the transition form winter to summer on Mars:
* comment (2004-11-10): http://www.martianspiders.com has lots of images, mainly (as the name suggests) of features with a "spidery" appearance, but also a lot which I would classify as "tree-like", as well as "dalmatian dunes".
There are some interesting things in there, for instance [archive.is/qjnBl], if you didn't know better you might swear that this was a tree-lined highway and railway line running along the side of a lake studded with small islands. And [archive.is/duIoF], don't those look like piers sticking out into a harbour?
But I don't think anybody is saying that there are actual Banyan trees on Mars, similar, if not identical to, the Banyans of Earth. I think practically everybody realises that Mars is too cold for that. The claim is that tree-like appearance is evidence of tree-like growth, which suggests (but does not prove conclusively) that the phenomenon is biological in nature.
And before anyone starts accusing, no I'm not saying that there are actual highways or railway lines or docks on Mars. Only that there are a lot of very strange phenomena, and we have only just begun to scratch the surface. There was once a site (I think it was www.marsanomalies.com) which did claim that the things which look like lakes in the middle of forests really are lakes in the middle of forests, and that furthermore the lakes are connected together by building-lined channels. The site seems to have gone now, which is unfortunate because it had a lot of the best "forest-like" images all together in one place, as well as lots of other interesting anomalies.
Don't humans naturally see what we are accustomed to recognizing?
* "Life-on-Mars, the smoking gun: Herd life forms", posted at [archive.is/UTaqc], photo montage [archive.is/cbcJ0], showing geological formations in patterns resembling the herding activity of animals from Earth, posted as part of a trolling effort to help researchers recognize their own bias when seeing the "Forests of Mars".
Aren't the "lakes" really elevated plateaus called mesas?
* "Happy Valentine's Day From Mars!" (2000-02-11, Mars Global Surveyor, Malin Space Science Systems, msss.com) [archive.is/oOcKI]
Happy St. Valentine's Day from the Red Planet! The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) captured this unique view of a bright, heart-shaped mesa in the south polar region on November 26, 1999. This feature is located in the Promethei Rupes region near 79.6°S, 298.3°W. Sunlight illuminates the scene from the lower left. The heart is about 255 meters (279 yards) across. The presence of this mesa indicates that the darker, rough terrain that surrounds it was once covered by a layer of the bright material.
Earlier in 1999, MGS MOC saw another valentine heart, but instead of a mesa, the feature was expressed as a pit.
If the heart looks to you like it is a pit (negative relief) rather than a mesa (positive relief), that is because there are two effects that make this a challenging object to see. Sunlight illuminates the heart from the lower left, thus the lower left wall of the heart looks bright because it is reflecting this sunlight. The problem here is frost. Some very small amounts of residual frost are seen on the slopes facing away from the sunlight (toward the lower right and toward the top). MOC images in the martian polar regions can sometimes fool the eye because a frosted slope might at first glance seem to be a sunlit slope. This picture was taken in late southern spring in a region that spends each winter and most of each spring completely buried in bright frost.
* " 'Happy Face' Crater Greets MGS at the Start of the Mapping Mission" (1999-03-11, msss.com) [archive.is/nFcHa]
* " ‘Are We Alone in the Universe?’ Churchill’s lost essay on alien life uncovered" (2017-02-16, rt.com) [archive.is/CgZvE]
* "Astronomers Propose a Cell Phone Search for Galactic Fast Radio Bursts" (2017-02-14, cfa.harvard.edu) [peeep.us/f3012d13]
* "NASA to reveal new discovery 'from beyond our solar system' " (2017-02-21, rt.com) [archive.is/lT1nf]
* "Study rewrites early history of corn in corn country" (2017-02-14, news.illinois.edu) [archive.is/fSP1T]
* "A ‘Stonehenge,’ and a Mystery, in the Amazon" (2016-12-14, nytimes.com) [archive.is/bcx3Z], photo caption: Lailson Camelo da Silva, the caretaker of Amapá’s megalithic observatory.
* "Ancient jars reveal Earth's magnetic field is fluctuating, not diminishing; According to new evidence presented by Tel Aviv University, Hebrew U. and UC San Diego researchers, geomagnetic force "spiked" in 8th century BCE" (2017-02-14, mfa.gov.il) [archive.is/GtGpK]
* "Aztec ‘Black Death’ may have been caused by salmonella – research" (2017-02-17, rt.com) [archive.is/X0t6o]
* "Empire of Tolerance", book review for "GENGHIS KHAN AND THE QUEST FOR GOD: How the World’s Greatest Conqueror Gave Us Religious Freedom" (2016-12-09, nytimes.com) [archive.is/gmhx6], illustration caption: Genghis Khan seated on his throne with his wife, as depicted in a 15th-century Persian work.
* "Students brew beer using 5,000-year-old recipe from China" (2017-02-08, UPI Newswire) [archive.is/AAcgI]
* "Baltic hunter-gatherers adopted farming without influence of mass migration, ancient DNA suggests; Ancient DNA analyses show that – unlike elsewhere in Europe – farmers from the Near East did not overtake hunter-gatherer populations in the Baltic. The findings also suggest that the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family originated in the Steppe grasslands of the East" (2017-02-02, cam.ac.uk) [archive.is/BCtZJ]
* "Brain tumor triggers visions of Virgin Mary & hyper-religiosity for Spanish woman" (2017-02-17, rt.com) [archive.is/o3smw]
* "US Navy confirms Trident II test off California coast, puts end to ‘UFO glow’ speculations" (2017-02-15, rt.com) [archive.is/8Q1tk]
The Far Side of the Moon -
- The first photo is from the 1994 Clementine 1 Mission (Naval Research Lab - DOD - NASA - JPL) [archive.is/2B8yg] [archive.is/Ib7cn]
- The 2nd photo is from the 1972 Apollo 16 Mission (NASA - JPL - NSSDC) [archive.is/moy3] [archive.is/HzklT]
The two photos are presented in a set [archive.is/QO3YT] [archive.is/fpJny] [archive.is/E23MU] attached to an article documenting the discrepancies [archive.is/e60jc].
* "The Idealist View of Consciousness After Death" (2017-02-08, realitysandwich.com) [archive.is/C2MOx]
* "Navigating Your States of Consciousness" (2017-02-08, realitysandwich.com) [archive.is/bj8nN]
* "Honeybees love to ‘whoop’: Scientists discover vibrational signal is expression of surprise" (2017-02-14, rt.com) [archive.is/crYQu]
* "Enormous pit of melting carbon the size of Mexico discovered under US" (2017-02-14, rt.com) [archive.is/nbj1M]