Laser Crosswalk Saves Pedestrians From a Painful Death When the light turns red, a huge laser wall projecting apparitions of crossing pedestrians spans across the crosswalk. The concept is designed to keep crossing pedestrians safe from any overzealous drivers who otherwise might have ran the red light. Link [via] Under God: Shukla and Chopra: The Great Yoga Debate - David Waters On April 18, On Faith panelist Aseem Shukla wrote an essay on yoga’s American popularity and Hindu heritage. On April 23, On Faith panelist Deepak Chopra responded. And the debate was on. The impromptu debate has drawn hundreds of comments from readers and generated a great deal of discussion in the wider Hindu community. Here, due to popular demand, is the Shukla-Chopra debate in one blog post. Aseem Shukla, April 18: The theft of yoga: Nearly 20 million people in the United States gather together routinely, fold their hands and utter the Hindu greeting of Namaste — the Divine in me bows to the same Divine in you. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Pagans, agnostics and atheists they may be, but they partake in the spiritual heritage of a faith tradition with a vigor often unmatched by even among the two-and-a half-million Hindu Americans here. Yet the reality is very different. Why is yoga severed in America’s collective consciousness from Hinduism? But be forewarned. Although Prof.
New estimate for alien Earths: 2 billion in our galaxy alone Roughly one out of every 37 to one out of every 70 sunlike stars in the sky might harbor an alien Earth, a new study reveals. These findings hint that billions of Earthlike planets might exist in our galaxy, researchers added. These new calculations are based in data from the Kepler space telescope, which in February wowed the globe by revealing more than 1,200 possible alien worlds, including 68 potentially Earth-size planets. The spacecraft does so by looking for the dimming that occurs when a world transits or moves in front of a star. Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., focused on roughly Earth-size planets within the habitable zones of their stars — that is, orbits where liquid water can exist on the surfaces of those worlds. "This means there are a lot of Earth analogs out there — two billion in the Milky Way galaxy," researcher Joseph Catanzarite, an astronomer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told SPACE.com. Related at SPACE.com:
Coriolis-like effect found 184 years before Coriolis - physics-math - 14 January 2011 The cosmos loves irony. While trying to prove that the Earth is fixed in space, an Italian priest described something similar to the Coriolis effect – the slight deflection experienced by objects moving in a rotating frame of reference – nearly 200 years before mathematician Gustave Coriolis worked it out in 1835. In 1651, Giovanni Riccioli published 77 arguments against the idea that the apparent motions of the heavens were due to the Earth's rotation and orbit around the sun. These included claims that Hell would be in the wrong place, aesthetic concerns over proportion and harmony, and more scientific approaches. Now, Christopher Graney at Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville, Kentucky, has translated them from Latin, and discovered that Riccioli conjectured phenomena resembling the Coriolis effect (arxiv.org/abs/1012.3642). In reality, the Coriolis effect is subtle, noticeable mainly in large-scale systems such as weather patterns and ocean currents. (YouTube)
Our country has no (official) name Is it India, Bharat or Hindustan? Even the Home Ministry doesn't seem to know, reveals RTI query IS our country officially called India, Bharat or Hindustan? RTI activist Manoranjan Roy realised this when he filed a query with the Union Home Ministry seeking to clear his doubts on the subject and was told that they had 'no information on the subject'. "In English, the country is called India; it is referred to as Bharat in Hindi and in Urdu as Hindustan. The reply (copy with MiD DAY), however, shocked Roy and he now plans to move court. However, here the government doesn't even know the official name of the country. Language tooIn the same query, Roy also sought to know the national language of the country, to which the information officer replied that there was no mention of national languages in the Constitution. RTI activist Manoranjan Roy Roy was told that, according to Article 343 of the Indian Constitution, Hindi is the official language of the country.
Brief Answers to Cosmic Questions Structure of the Universe Does the Universe have an edge, beyond which there is nothing? Are the galaxies arranged on the surface of a sphere? Why can't we see the whole universe? Evolution of the Universe Did the Universe expand from a point? More about the Big Bang When they say "the universe is expanding," what exactly is expanding? Structure of the Universe Does the Universe have an edge, beyond which there is nothing? Are the galaxies arranged on the surface of a sphere? Why can't we see the whole universe? If you could suddenly freeze time everywhere in the universe, and magically survey all of creation, you would find galaxies extending out far beyond what we can see today. Does the term "universe" refer to space, or to the matter in it, or to both? Today, the situation is reversed. Discovering the properties of space remains one of the deepest and most important problems in modern science. Evolution of the Universe Did the Universe expand from a point? More about the Big Bang
Scientists discover snowflake identical to one which fell in 1963 Scientists were today able to dispel the age-old belief that no two snowflakes are the same, using state of the art microscopy and by catching flakes as they fell in specially designed equipment while sitting at a table outside a pub in Norwich. The team of researchers, backed by a £20m grant, were able to make an identical match to the famous Bentley flake, photographed 47 years ago by amateur snowflakeologist Wilson Bentley. ‘It’s one of the last remaining challenges known to science and we’ve cracked it at last,’ said lead researcher, Professor Kenneth Libbrecht. The scientists then ordered another round and considered the futility of existence, an activity for which they also receive a grant worth twice the GDP of Tonga. Picture by larryharry Click to send this story to a friend
Why you should read the Vedas, and why the religious will never understand them | neoIndian - Confessions of a newly returned Indian The most intriguing thing about the Vedas is their relative unpopularity among the religious; Google offers three times as many search results for “why you should read the Gita” as it does for “why you should read the Vedas”. And if you ask the religious (approach as gingerly as a cat approaching a flock of birds) for advice on reading the Vedas, they will basically tell you why you shouldn’t read the Vedas. The religious will tell you that you need to be spiritually advanced before you can learn anything from the Vedas. They will tell you that even if you spent a lifetime learning Sanskrit, you wouldn’t know it well enough to understand the Vedas, and most English translations of the Vedas have a sinister political agenda. Besides, they say, the real wisdom of the Vedas is hidden (ironic for a text that is supposed to be “revealed wisdom”); without a “real” guru you can’t possibly crack the code. (Thought experiment: A thousand years from now, the Vedas will be a thousand years older.
CERN: Light Speed May Have Been Exceeded By Subatomic Particle GENEVA — One of the very pillars of physics and Einstein's theory of relativity – that nothing can go faster than the speed of light – was rocked Thursday by new findings from one of the world's foremost laboratories. European researchers said they clocked an oddball type of subatomic particle called a neutrino going faster than the 186,282 miles per second that has long been considered the cosmic speed limit. The claim was met with skepticism, with one outside physicist calling it the equivalent of saying you have a flying carpet. In fact, the researchers themselves are not ready to proclaim a discovery and are asking other physicists to independently try to verify their findings. "The feeling that most people have is this can't be right, this can't be real," said James Gillies, a spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, which provided the particle accelerator that sent neutrinos on their breakneck 454-mile trip underground from Geneva to Italy.
9 Things You Didn't Know About Benjamin Franklin It's Fun Friday -- time for some fun for the weekend. Enjoy today's post and I'll see you back here on Monday with more philatelic news and notes. United States, 1938Scott #803 In 1938, the United States issued a set of definitive postage stamps featuring images of the nation's first 29 presidents. This issue has affectionately become known as the Prexies issue. For those not familiar with fractional postage, some types of U.S. mail required a partial cent, even though there was no coinage for half cents in use in the United States at the time. The first stamp (in denomination order) is the half-cent Benjamin Franklin issue. Many people know that Ben Franklin supported having the turkey as the national emblem for the United States, as opposed to the majestic Bald Eagle, and know that he invented the lightning rod, but do you know these facts? He never once sought public office. Previous Fun Friday Posts
World’s Most Precise Clocks Could Reveal Universe Is a Hologram | Wired Science Our existence could be coded in a finite bandwidth, like a live ultra-high-definition 3-D video. And the third dimension we know and love could be no more than a holographic projection of a 2-D surface. A scientist’s $1 million experiment, now under construction in Illinois, will attempt to test these ideas by the end of next year using what will be two of the world’s most precise clocks. Skeptics of a positive result abound, but their caution comes with good reason: The smallest pieces of space, time, mass and other properties of the universe, called Planck units, are so tiny that verifying them by experiment may be impossible. Craig Hogan, a particle astrophysicist at Fermilab in Illinois, isn’t letting this seemingly insurmountable barrier stop him from trying. Hogan is following through on a radical idea to confirm Planck units with two of the most precise clocks in the world. “What we’re looking for is when the lasers lose step with each other. Via: symmetry breaking See Also:
Quantum Computing: Will It Be a Leap in Human Evolution? Quantum computers have the potential to solve problems that would take a classical computer longer than the age of the universe. Oxford Professor David Deutsch, quantum-computing pioneer, who wrote in his controversial masterpiece, Fabric of Reality says: "quantum computers can efficiently render every physically possible quantum environment, even when vast numbers of universes are interacting. Quantum computers can also efficiently solve certain mathematical problems, such as factorization, which are classically intractable, and can implement types of cryptography which are classically impossible. Quantum computation is a qualitatively new way of harnessing nature." Quantum computing sounds like science fiction -as satellites, moon shots, and the original microprocessor once were. To leapfrog the silicon wall, we have to figure out how to manipulate the brain-bending rules of the quantum realm - an Alice in Wonderland world of subatomic particles that can be in two places at once.
Laws of physics vary throughout the universe, new study suggests A team of astrophysicists based in Australia and England has uncovered evidence that the laws of physics are different in different parts of the universe. The team -- from the University of New South Wales, Swinburne University of Technology and the University of Cambridge -- has submitted a report of the discovery for publication in the journal Physical Review Letters. A preliminary version of the paper is currently under peer review. The report describes how one of the supposed fundamental constants of Nature appears not to be constant after all. Instead, this 'magic number' known as the fine-structure constant -- 'alpha' for short -- appears to vary throughout the universe. "The implications for our current understanding of science are profound. "If our results are correct, clearly we shall need new physical theories to satisfactorily describe them." The discovery will force scientists to rethink their understanding of Nature's laws.
Serious Flaw Emerges In Quantum Cryptography The problem of sending messages securely has troubled humankind since the dawn of civilisation and probably before. In recent years, however, physicists have raised expectations that this problem has been solved by the invention of quantum key distribution. This exploits the strange quantum property of entanglement to guarantee the secrecy of a message. Entanglement is so fragile that any eavesdropper cannot help but break it, revealing the ruse. So cryptographers can use it to send a secure key called a one time pad that can then be used to encrypt a message. So-called quantum key distribution is unconditionally secure–it offers perfect secrecy guaranteed by the laws of physics. Or at least that’s what everyone thought. For example, lasers that are supposed to send one photon at a time can sometimes send several and this allows information to leak to an eavesdropper. Here’s the problem. Of course, there are a couple of simple ways round this new problem. Correction: Dear KFC,