Left field

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Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:01 pm

Posted before I recall but this clip may be more inclusive? This guy really gets into his work. Imagine one of his creations walking up to you while you're taking in some sun at the beach. ha
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/theo ... tures.html
Last edited by Mark on Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Jim Berquist
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Re: Left field

Post by Jim Berquist » Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:44 pm

I'd Shoot it! Shoot it Dead!
WHAT TO FRAP, IT WORKED![url=callto://james.a.berquist]Image[/url]

Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:44 pm

High speed religion towards the end. ha
http://mapsofwar.com/images/Religion.swf
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:30 am

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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:10 pm

My tombstone? ha
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2099/182 ... 30.jpg?v=0

"This was in Upstate NY when we went up there in June. Very interesting Catholic cemetery. The cemeteries down here seem to be more regulated than this cemetery was. Father-in-law told me this used to be the "poor" cemetery and another one in town was the "rich" cemetery, but over the years a lot of people with money started buying up plots in this one. So it's an interesting mix of really ornate monuments and pauper's graves."

"There were a number of these crosses improvised from plumbing pipe."
http://flickr.com/photos/65365136@N00/1821421562/
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sat Jul 19, 2008 7:41 pm

A soft heart this fellow Alun Anderson. Often, I myself have quite a sense of wonder whenever I see a bug in my house, usually late at night. There's something in that feeling that I can't describe very well yet. One day maybe, I think it would make for a good book or article. They're like little robots, which have a business to attend to. Sad in a way to imagine these little life forces not knowing why they are what they are, through no fault of their own.

"Strangely, I believe that cockroaches are conscious. That is probably an unappealing thought to anyone who switches on a kitchen light in the middle of the night and finds a family of roaches running for cover. But it's really shorthand for saying that I believe that many quite simple animals are conscious, including more attractive beasts like bees and butterflies.
Why do I think they might be multiple forms of conscious out there? Before becoming a journalist I spent 10 years and a couple of post-doctoral fellowships getting inside the sensory worlds of a variety of insects, including bees and cockroaches. I was inspired by A Picture Book of Invisible Worlds, a slim out-of-print volume by Jakob von Uexkull (1864-1944).
That may take me out of the company of quite a few scientists who would prefer to believe that a bee with a brain of only a million neurones must surely be a collection of instinctive reactions with some simple switching mechanism between then, rather have some central representation of what is going on that might be called consciousness. But it leaves me in the company of poets who wonder at the world of even lowly creatures."

"In this falling rain,
where are you off to
snail?"

wrote the haiku poet Issa.

"And as for the cockroaches, they are a little more human than the spiders. Like the owners of the New York apartments who detest them, they suffer from stress and can die from it, even without injury. They are also hierarchical and know their little territories well. When they are running for it, think twice before crushing out another world."

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/bios/andersona.html

Article source can be found by scrolling down this page.
http://www.edge.org/q2005/q05_4.html
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Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:54 pm

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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:49 am

"There is no such thing as the paranormal and the supernatural; there is only the normal and the natural and mysteries we have yet to explain.
What separates science from all other human activities is its belief in the provisional nature of all conclusions. In science, knowledge is fluid and certainty fleeting. That is the heart of its limitation. It is also its greatest strength. There are, from this ultimate unprovable assertion, three additional insoluble derivatives.
1. There is no God, intelligent designer, or anything resembling the divinity as proffered by the world's religions (although an extra-terrestrial being of significantly greater intelligence and power than us would be indistinguishable from God).
After thousands of years of the world's greatest minds attempting to prove or disprove the divinity's existence or nonexistence, with little agreement or consensus amongst scholars as to the divinity's ultimate state of being, a reasonable conclusion is that the God question can never be solved and that one's belief, disbelief, or skepticism ultimately rests on a non-rational basis.
2. The universe is ultimately determined, but we have free will.
As with the God question, scholars of considerable intellectual power for many millennia have failed to resolve the paradox of feeling free in a determined universe. One provisional solution is to think of the universe as so complex that the number of causes and the complexity of their interactions make the predetermination of human action pragmatically impossible. We can even put a figure on the causal net of the universe to see just how absurd it is to think we can get our minds around it fully.
....
In conclusion, I believe, but cannot prove...that reality exists and science is the best method for understanding it, there is no God, the universe is determined but we are free, morality evolved as an adaptive trait of humans and human communities, and that ultimately all of existence is explicable through science.
Of course, I could be wrong..."
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/bios/shermer.html
http://www.edge.org/q2005/q05_5.html (down the page for the author of this article)
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:15 am

"If the speed of light has increased, it has presumably done so not just because of the passage of time, but because certain conditions have changed. This is the type of scientific insight that technologists can exploit. It is the nature of engineering to take a natural, often subtle, scientific effect, and control it with a view towards greatly leveraging and magnifying it. If the speed of light has changed due to changing circumstances, that cracks open the door just enough for the capabilities of our future intelligence and technology to swing the door widely open. That is the nature of engineering.
Would anyone be shocked if some subtle ways of getting around the speed of light were discovered? The point is that if there are even subtle ways around this limit, the technological powers that our future human-machine civilization will achieve will discover these means and leverage them to great effect."
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/bios/kurzweil.html
http://www.edge.org/q2005/q05_6.html
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:34 am

"The effort to comprehend it causes the most tormenting dizziness." I've taken to calling this dilemma "Unamuno's paradox" because I believe that it is a universal problem. It is, quite simply, the materialist understanding that consciousness is snuffed out by death coming into conflict with the human inability to simulate the psychological state of death.
Of course, adopting a parsimonious stance allows one to easily deduce that we as corpses cannot experience mental states, but this theoretical proposition can only be justified by a working scientific knowledge (i.e., that the non-functioning brain is directly equivalent to the cessation of the mind). By stating that psychological states survive death, or even alluding to this possibility, one is committing oneself to a radical form of mind-body dualism. Consider how bizarre it truly is: Death is seen as a transitional event that unbuckles the body from its ephemeral soul, the soul being the conscious personality of the decedent and the once animating force of the now inert physical form. This dualistic view sees the self as being initially contained in bodily mass, as motivating overt action during this occupancy, and as exiting or taking leave of the body at some point after its biological expiration. So what, exactly, does the brain do if mental activities can exist independently of the brain? After all, as John Dewey put it, mind is a verb, not a noun."


Because we can never know what it feels like to be without such states, these natural representational borders encourage afterlife beliefs; when we attempt to reason about what it will be “like” after death—and what it is “like” for those who have already died—we inevitably get ensnared by simulation constraints and reason in terms of a continued consciousness.
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/bios/bering.html
http://www.edge.org/q2005/q05_7.html
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:34 am

"I believe our universe is not unique. As science has evolved, our place within the universe has continued to diminish in significance.
First it was felt that the Earth was the center of the universe, then that our Sun was the center, and so on. Ultimately we now realize that we are located at the edge of a random galaxy that is itself located nowhere special in a large, potentially infinite universe full of other galaxies. Moreover, we now know that even the stars and visible galaxies themselves are but an insignificant bit of visible pollution in a universe that is otherwise dominated by 'stuff' that doesn't shine.
Further, as we ponder the origin of our universe, and the nature of the strange dark energy that dominates it, every plausible theory that I know of suggests that the Big Bang that created our visible universe was not unique. There are likely to be a large, and possibly infinite number of other universes out there, some of which may be experiencing Big Bangs at the current moment, and some of which may have already collapsed inward into Big Crunches. From a philosophical perspective this may be satisfying to some, who find a universe with a definite beginning but no definite end dissatisfying. In this case, in the 'metaverse', or 'multiverse' things may seem much more uniform in time.
Whether or not this anthropic type of argument is necessary to understand our universe—and I personally hope it isn't—I nevertheless find it satisfying to think that it is likely that not only are we not located in a particularly special place in our universe, but that our universe itself may be relatively insignificant on a larger cosmic scale. It represents perhaps the ultimate Copernican Revolution."
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/bios/krauss.html
http://www.edge.org/q2005/q05_10.html
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Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:22 pm

Mark wrote:A soft heart this fellow Alun Anderson. Often, I myself have quite a sense of wonder whenever I see a bug in my house, usually late at night. There's something in that feeling that I can't describe very well yet. One day maybe, I think it would make for a good book or article. They're like little robots, which have a business to attend to. Sad in a way to imagine these little life forces not knowing why they are what they are, through no fault of their own.

"Strangely, I believe that cockroaches are conscious. That is probably an unappealing thought to anyone who switches on a kitchen light in the middle of the night and finds a family of roaches running for cover. But it's really shorthand for saying that I believe that many quite simple animals are conscious, including more attractive beasts like bees and butterflies.
Why do I think they might be multiple forms of conscious out there? Before becoming a journalist I spent 10 years and a couple of post-doctoral fellowships getting inside the sensory worlds of a variety of insects, including bees and cockroaches. I was inspired by A Picture Book of Invisible Worlds, a slim out-of-print volume by Jakob von Uexkull (1864-1944).
That may take me out of the company of quite a few scientists who would prefer to believe that a bee with a brain of only a million neurones must surely be a collection of instinctive reactions with some simple switching mechanism between then, rather have some central representation of what is going on that might be called consciousness. But it leaves me in the company of poets who wonder at the world of even lowly creatures."

"In this falling rain,
where are you off to
snail?"

wrote the haiku poet Issa.

"And as for the cockroaches, they are a little more human than the spiders. Like the owners of the New York apartments who detest them, they suffer from stress and can die from it, even without injury. They are also hierarchical and know their little territories well. When they are running for it, think twice before crushing out another world."

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/bios/andersona.html

Article source can be found by scrolling down this page.
http://www.edge.org/q2005/q05_4.html
Thought this clip would fit nicely here.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GFupzzz ... our-organs
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Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sat Jul 26, 2008 8:37 pm

I posted this illusion before, but without explanation or the link - Discover the Cosmos! The cosmos link has some good pictures if you have the time.
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070717.html
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Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sun Jul 27, 2008 2:41 am

I kind of liked the aluminum foil and oxygen flashbulb. ha
Some mildly interesting designs here I guess. Scroll down to see the bulb philosophies.
"Early Photographic flash bulb using aluminum foil and Oxygen gas
1931"
Too, the platinum sponge lighter featured is historically curious.
"Unfortunately the apparatus was tricky to operate, and the wrong mix of hydrogen and air would result in an explosion. Perhaps that is why so few hydrogen lamps survive today."
http://www.sparkmuseum.com/LIGHTING.HTM

One time when I was about 15 I took some KNO3 and wrapped it in several layers of aluminum foil crumpled so as to make a large baseball and put it in the coals of my fireplace. After a bit, I prodded it with a poker and glints of white light started to flicker from it as the aluminum foil started to soften/become mushy; then a brilliant incandescent light filled the room, like a million candle power of intense white light along with the higher energy ultraviolet tanning rays, not something you want to look at directly. The light lasted many seconds and was a spiritual experience for me. It frightened my mother; the light filled the room unlike anything I could have imagined. And a good thing my dad wasn't around. ha

Another "kind of different" lightbulb design.
http://www.news.uiuc.edu/WebsandThumbs/ ... park_b.jpg
http://www.news.uiuc.edu/news/07/0604lamps.html
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Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:05 pm

http://www.sciencemusings.com/blog/2008 ... inary.html

"Before the days of scientific calculators. Back to the time when a slide rule, a razor sharp pencil, and a sheet of the appropriate K&E paper was the way to analyze one's data, discover patterns, find the law."
http://www.sciencemusings.com/blog/2007 ... atter.html
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