Thursday, November 28, 2013

thought for the day/ Secrets of the Stone Ages youtube

Secrets Of The Stone Age - The Wisdom Of The Stones

Someone uploaded this again.  I've wanted to link to this in some way for this blog for a long time.  Every time I comment about how the difference between the Egyptian architecture/technology and the Maltese is mathematics, the uploaders would take it down!  As you can see, when you see the great work of the Malta people, just because they didn't build based on mathematical knowledge, doesn't mean they didn't do something great.  But, the Egyptians accomplishments are still even greater, and the difference is the mathematics that allowed them to build it.

This video was made before the recent discoveries of great culture, including geometic designs on rocks in South Africa almost a hundred thousand years ago.  I agree with Richard Rudgley that people were influenced by previous people, and if they didn't have those influences, they wouldn't have built what they did.  I at one time hoped that numbers could some how be shown to evolve from the analogy/mythology of previous peoples.  But, I've never seen anyone do it.  The gulf between mythology and mathematics is a clean break.  There's still the analogous property of analogy between mathematics and mythology, but mathematics, or numbers and geometry can never evolve from mythology.  Well, I just thought about how language and mythology could mix.  Mathematics finds underlying structural relations. Language is structural.  Maybe some mixing of language skills and mythology exercise of analogy could have led to some kind of mathematics.  But, those connections are still hard to trace. I'd like to note one recent exciting piece of archaeology of primitive mathematics.

The Nebra Sky disk!  Yes, I have this picture starting out my "Gospel of Truth" There I trace the mythological connections.  But, it has mathematical connections.

The two strips seem to measure the angle of the seasons.  They don't measure with numbers(and this was around 1500 in Europe), but the act of measuring could have led to numbers for other cultures that would have looked at things and done something different with this act of measuring.  Point is mathematics was something different for whomever made this sky disk. Maybe the Malta people built their temples with this kind of mathematics(as likewise the Stonehenge builders also built it with this kind of numberless mathematics; this geometic measurement mathematics and not quite hitting on numbers).

But, the numbers could be abstracted, Jacob Bronowski "inferred units" like(as described in his "Origins of Knowledge and Imagination" and the third post of my blog here) from the geometry.  If fact, the Nebra Sky disk is kind of proof that this was one pathway that numbers were indeed abstracted.  Although, how the cave painters hit on numbers might have been abstracted more by astronomical observation; but, this is still abstracting from some other medium.

This first part of "The Secrets of the Stone Age", also gets into Ötzi, whom recently, genetics has shown has contemporary descendents.

Richard Rudgley says the Malta ruins are the oldest ruins known.  Maybe, and that's a maybe even when he made the video, he was right at the time, but today, we know of Göbekli Tepe, and just a few days ago,

Judean Shephelah, at Eshtaol, Israel, found a 8,000 year old ruins with a temple.  This would be before canaanites probably. Not that it matters.  Point is the Biblical theology/archaeology of the universe being created six thousand years ago by taking dates of thousand year old people all the way back according to biblical chronologies must be made up.  As the archaeology world awakens to this, the judeo-Christian mythology is disproved forever.

- on another note, someone else was trying to put up the mechanical universe videos on youtube; I was hoping to see him finish uploading, and then I could switch out the blank youtubes of the mechanical universe I currently have up(because the mechanical universe uploaded before was taken down . . . again); but, yet again, the uploader was forced to take them down again . . . sorry!

- 29Nov2013 Nanotech news extra,

Details seem to me kept to a minimum, but Synthetic kinesin analogues: A transition metal complex that can walk.  Some quotes,

"Molecular robots and machines could be around the corner." "The METALWALKER concept, leading to successful demonstration of an artificial molecular motor, opens the door to development of novel systems to control tasks with molecular-level motion and molecular mechanical machines. Applications include nanorobots and nanodevices for medical applications."

Thursday, November 14, 2013

quote for the day

Credit: ESO/G. Beccari

"Those who have been true philosophers, Syrus, seem to me to have very wisely  separated the theoretical part of philosophy  from the practical. For even if it happens the practical turns out to be theoretical prior to its being practical, nevertheless a great difference would be found in them; not only because some of the moral virtues can belong  to the everyday ignorant man and it is impossible to come by the theory of the whole sciences without learning, but also because in practical matters the greatest advantage is to had from a continued and repeated operation upon the things themselves, while in theoretical knowledge it is to be had by a progress onward. We accordingling thought it up to us so to train our actions even in the application of the imagination as not to forget in whatever things we happen upon the consideration of their beautiful and well-ordered disposition, and to indulge in meditation mostly for the exposition of many beautiful theorems and especially  of those specifically called mathematical." - Claudius Ptolemy

- science fun extra,

- Science/Technology extra - Nanotechnologists argued for decades now that nanomanufacturing will revolutionize everything.  Maybe it ultimately will. But, it looks to me that technological revolution will come before nanomanufacturing and make it possible and not the other way around.
Eric Drexler, in his "Engines of Creation" pointed out that after nanomanufacturing systems are built, the limits to what we can make are our computing ability and imagination. But, it seems more and more that nanomanufacturing cannot be built till we have the computing ability to design and build nanomanufacturing.  Eric Drexler had noted that nanomanufacturing systems will be dependent on nanocomputers with molecular chemistry computer programs.  These programs are needed in order for the nanomachines to know what a given atom is, what it's doing, and how to bind them together. Nanomanufacturing systems will be completely computerized from the get-go.  It seems that this ability to simulate chemistry and materials properties will revolutionize technologies the world over long before nanomanufacturing systems are made. 
Back in 1878, Thomas Edison set out to try out thousands of different materials to find the right ones with the right properties for his electric lightbulb.  Ever since, scientists/engineers have followed his lead. An article in December 2013 issue of Scientific American, points out that on average, materials science takes twenty years to hit the market from conception. They give one example - the lithium ion battery. Today, one would think that we could just use supercomputers to compute materials with the desired properties, but the progress of computers apparently just now got to the point of doing this.
Shortly after Thomas Edison, physicists started coming up with equations of the atom and its constituents.  But, even then, the equations were to hard to solve for practically calculating any given desired material property.  Walter Kohn and John Pople worked on making quantum mechanics equations suitable for supercomputers.  I can think of another not noted in the Scientific American article, William A. Goddard, III(not sure of any relations to William Goddard way back in the early 1900s, who made the first liquid fuel rockets.)  I'd like to point out some other computer programs that help engineers make technologies that otherwise wouldn't be possible.
F-1 racecars at that point used supercomputers and finite element analyses to precisely place the fibers of carbon fibers.  Now imagine using supercomputers to calculate materials to precise properties desired. They call it high throughput computational material design.  One example is touch screen of smartphones; those are not just arbitrary materials.
Once again, for whatever reason, the computing software and hardware just wasn't sophisticated enough - till around 2011. They mention five thousand engineers have projects their working on to make use of this just now matured computational tool. It's too bad the IBM "Blue Waters" photonics supercomputer was shelved due to the budget guys.  Right now, that might realize their missing out on opening new markets.  I mentioned this blue waters photonics supercomputer near the very beginning of this blog.
When nanosystems mature enough, the computational tools to design what we want will already be in place.
- In other high technology news, metamaterials might conquer any temperature superconductivity.  How Metamaterials Could Hold the Key to High Temperature Superconductivity.   They could also lead to superconducting memristers. Superconducting Memristors.
And in even more exciting technology news, 3d printing advances to making objects in minutes instead of hours. USC Viterbi engineers cut time to 3-D print heterogeneous objects from hours to minutes

- Dna-nanomanufacturing news related to the end of the Edison trial and error method has magically come at the right time.  This 'genetic algorithm' dna-self assembly method also combines with colloidal chemistry. Express yourself: Scientists use genetic algorithm to design self-assembling ssDNA-grafted particles

- the futuristic technology/nanotechnology news just keeps coming in today(and yesterday).  Related to the genetic algorithms to design self-assembly right above, Chad Mirkin's group shows off their dna self assembly of nanoparticles, DNA-mediated nanoparticle crystallization into Wulff polyhedral Chard Mirkin's group suggests they will have nothing better to do than parallel process a bunch of nanocrystals as nanoparts for a nanomachine that can pick and place individual atoms on its own.  But, maybe they'll be excited to see the 'genetic algorithms' paper above.

Credit: Evelyn Auyeung/Ting Li/Chad A. Mirkin/Monica Olvera de la Cruz

thought for the day/the role of rivers in the explorations of mankind

The definition of a river can be a bit of a debate and a write-up on its own.  I'm not going to argue that much; this exploration(pun intended!) will have a little of everything.  I hope to point out a few things that could be new to anybody's level of knowledge.

Rivers, lakes tend to be the place for most non-fish like life to get their water.  This goes for both Homo Sapiens and non-human species. It's an interesting thought to wonder how Human species might have gotten their survival skills from their evolution from non-human species millions of years ago.

Archaeologists/Historians of Human civilization have always noted that some of the earliest western civilizations generally grew up around great rivers - like the Nile and the Euphrates/Tigris.  I've shown an Egyptian boat which was found, I think, in one of the Giza pyramids.  Clearly, the Egyptians thought boat technology was of some significance.  Summarian and Babylonian boats seem to be hard to find, but there is artwork showing them.

There's not much more to say about rivers and boats in Egypt and Mesopotamia.  Sufficiently sophisticated boats however allowed some people to move somewhere else and settle down elsewhere.  Islands would be a bonus as well as finding other rivers.  We know the Minoans settled Crete a long time ago, and there's other places like Malta; there's Sicily where I actually lived during part of my own youth.  Civilizations came and went. Historians generally consider the Phoenician's to be a great sea-faring people.  They made it out of the Mediterranean sea(kind of a large river?  Or a large lake?).  I've found an interesting tidbit that only one Greek ever bothered to try exploring the world by boat - a Pytheas around 300 B.C. Pytheas even has an extant marble statue.  It's in France though; not sure if they made one of their own or brought it to France from Greece(as they and many others did over the centuries).

Pytheas apparently discovered the tides.  The tides are so slight in the Mediterranean, that nobody noted them. Pytheas voyages appear to be the last since the Phoenicians also made it out of the Med and into the Atlantic.  It was also the last till the end of the medieval European period.

The Azores around 1427 were of course the first to be found.  The major motivations of the Portuguese and Spanish for one wanted to go east by heading west was because of 1) the prices of goods from the East Asia market was through the expensive Byzantians and the 2) expensive Venitians.  The net affect of this age of great wooden ships to explore the entire Earth for the first time was to leave the Venitians in the dustbins of history.

The idea of finding Asia by going west across the ocean actually goes back to Roger Bacon in 1249.

In 1487, Portuguese Bartholomeu Diaz set sail to find the end of Africa.  He called it the "cape of storms." King Johnthe 2nd however didn't want future explorers from being dissuaded from trying again and again, so he called it the 'Cape of Good Hope'!

Christopher Columbus, in 1492, found of course the Americas.  Yes, he didn't originally set foot on the mainland.  But, that was just his first time finding land beyond the Atlantic ocean.  He later did set foot on the mainlands, of South America anyways.  He found, in 1498, a Orinoeo River, in what's now called Venezuela.

Vespucci and Martin Waldseemuller around 1507 recognized by descriptions of Asia and what Christopher Columbus was telling them, that it wasn't Asia he found but "the New world."

Vasca Da Gama found India in 1497. Francisco Corboda found Mexico in 1519.  In 1523, Magellan circumnavigated the Earth.  Magellan actually didn't make it.  A fellow crewmember Juan Sebastian finished; he was in India or thereabouts when Magellan was killed; so, why turn back?!  That's great rapid progress in such short time.  The Magellan circumnavigation took three years. It took the recent Casinni spacecraft seven years to get to Saturn.

The Mississippi river was discovered in 1541 by Hernando de Soto.  The Amazon was discovered in 1542 by Francisco de Orellana.  The tribes were led by women; this reminded them of the Amazon women in Homeric epics, so they called it the Amazon river . . . !

The Portuguese and Spanish had found Asia and explored America by the 'southeast' passage.  They practically owned it.  So, the French, the English wanted to find a Northwest and Northeast passage.   They of course ran into lots of ice.  This started the great explorations of the North and South poles. William Buffin found Buffin bay in 1616 and came within 800 miles of the North pole.  He first concluded there was no Northwest passage.

Here's an interesting tidbit.  I had heard of Mauritius just a few months ago.  I heard of it for the first time in my blogs stats; I got one hit a month or so ago from a Mauritius.  I looked it up and found it was some small island near Madagascar(and Island on the east coast of Africa).  Anyways, Mauritius was found in 1598.  Some recent more significant tidbits I found last night while researching this latest blog entry was about a flightless bird.  Apparently, because it knew no enemies, it would come straight up to the Dutch who first noted this island.  The Dutch subsequently hunted it to extinction.  Hence the birds name - the Dodo.  People talk about the mass extinctions of today's industrial age.  The mass extinction really happened back then at the great age of discovery!

The Columbus river was found in 1791; the Missouri river was discovered in 1804.  Lewis and Clark was use both rivers to get from one side of the North American continent to the other.

Speaking of using rivers to get around which is kind of one reason I thought this was an important enough topic to wright up about Human history, the Nile river was not thouroughly explored to remarkably recent times!

Despite the Egyptians living there for thousands of years even before the classical Greeks civilization, none bothered to go back down and see the whole river!  The Egyptians never made it much further than 1,500 miles of the rivers now known four thousand miles.

James Bruce around 1770 found two sources, the white and blue niles.  He only explored blue nile into today's Sudan.  If you look at a map of Africa, this doesn't seem far from Egypt, but then again, Africa is a big continent!  Fact are, that the Egyptians certainly never conquered the Nubians.  That might be one reason.

The white nile goes much further.  John Speke and another guy who bailed out after awhile, found the source of the white nile. It's a lake, the second largest to Lake Superior - Lake Victoria.  This was in 1862!

Here's a satellite image of Africa,

I know I've seen images of Africa many times; but, I never bothered to note the easily visible and hugh lake in middle eastern Africa!  That's lake Victoria.  A major point that I forgot to mention is that it took so long and so much more technological ability before Humanity discovered this.

Monday, November 11, 2013

astro picture for the day/first nanosystems built?

Image credit: ESO

dna transport system of protein cargo holders

Their basic idea is to transport reactive molecules in any desired location. I don't know if they've actually demonstrated controlled chemical reactions with this; but the fact that they've published this would suggest to me that they've actually gone beyond what's being reported here. One thought pointed out in the article is they can use this to speed up reactions(and designate which molecules are to combine in which ways) with this 'nanosystem.'  Lets make no bones about it, this is nanomanufacturing to some degree.

Getting back to the speeding up of reactions, I've recently shown another great nano-engineering breakthrough in terms of the use of dna as encoding chemical reaction networks.  The above transport system could be used to speed up the desired reactions of the dna chemical controllers.

As usual, we've got some pretty significant and fundamental nanomanufacturing ability here; the pace of engineering can only increase from here.  A year from now . . . no, a month from now, they can do all kinds of stuff!

Also, I link to the Physorg article because it has a video of the dna-protein nanosystem in action!  I can't seem to find a youtube of it unfortunately. I first heard of this through E-Science, an A.I controlled science news websight!

- In more nanosystem news!

I also showed some exciting colloidal chemistry of arbitrary nanoshapes awhile back.  I also used that to show James Burke's Connections episode 10 where he points out some early colloidal chemistry and all the possible applications just with that basic colloidal ability.  Other's find this nanosystem more exciting than the dna-nanomanufacturing indicated above.

Photo-Activated Colloidal Dockers for Cargo Transportation

- 12Nov2013 edit

I found this video of Ned Seeman, the founder of dna-nanomanufacturing.  There's nanomanufacturing, on a theoretical side, before Ned Seeman, in Eric Drexler and before him way back in 1957, I do believe, with Richard Feynman. Ned Seeman's idea has perhaps given more experimental hope to actually doing nanomanufacturing(for those who haven't been following my blog posts!). It's a little interesting to hear him explain his inspiration for dna-nanomanufacturing.

I remember reading an article by him before, where he explains how looking at a Escher drawing, and seeing feedback; the feedback inspired him to manipulate dna in artificial ways to do unconventional things with dna. Ned Seeman in the video linked(for some strange reason, I couldn't get the video selection of youtubes to find the youtube video; it just doesn't show up). So, Ned Seeman was influenced in a kind of James Burkian connections/influences(the not necessarily logical connections, but the vague indirect connections; for the more logical connections, see my "Nature and Origin of Mathematical concepts" article, third to first post of my blog here).

Ned Seeman shows some more interesting artistic insights to his thought and explorations in the video linked below. He also shows some history of his dna-nanotechnology development as well. I don't think he shows everything he's ever done or is currently doing.  Since the breakthroughs from last year which drastically reduced the timescales of dna-nanotechnology self assembly, I've been waiting for news from his group and Paul Rothemund.  So far, no news; but, as you can see, others have made news. 

Programming Nanoscale Structure Using DNA-Based Information

Thursday, November 7, 2013

funny post for the day/ Alien intelligences? Look no further . . . !

Everyone is always looking for Extraterrestrial Intelligences, E.T.'s for short.  They like to note that maybe intelligences are right under our noses; maybe flames, maybe the stars are gods, maybe various beasts are intelligences.  But, maybe E.T's are right under our noses!

It's been scientifically proven that Women's brains are different from male brains,

So, therefore, Women are E.T.'s, or at least alternative intelligences. What intelligent species do with their intelligence has always been a bit of a question mark; so, this video shouldn't be too surprising.
- While we're having fun with a semi-serious thought(extraterrestrial intelligences right under your nose), here's another thought about women and males.
The girls in the video are not really that hot. It's like they've been told their hot, so they go ahead and believe it. Meanwhile, they're not that hot.
Shouldn't all girls be one hundred percent hot?  If even 99% of the females of a species was not that hot, wouldn't that suggest at least the absence of a male god? But, the truth is, 1% of the women as far as I can tell are really hot.  Amazingling, 99% of the human species does not see this logic.  Then again, 99% of the species doesn't seem to hit on the observation/insight that the human species is the science and technologically dependent species. Hmm . . .
It's also a little worth noting that really hot men and women generally don't get into science much less mathematics. Apparently, this is an alien thought.