Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Why Roman Monuments Have Lasted So Long

Roman concrete is better than modern version and more friendly to the environment. They used volcanic ash and lime where we use Portland cement. The cement requires high temperatures to produce and has a large carbon foot print. The Roman concrete has a structure that quenches microfractures so it is actually more resilient than modern forms.

Wave-particle duality and quantum uncertainty are same thing

In the small world of theoretical physics, I think this is kind of big. The wave-particle duality in which an elementary particle behaves both like a wave and a particle is nothing more than an expression of the uncertainty principle. So the two spooky things about quantum behavior is actually one spooky thing.

Taking Jesus Seriously

If these 4 Teachings of Jesus aren't part of one's religious makeup, one should be cautious about calling using the term Christian.

1. Jesus is the Word, not the Bible.
2. Entrance to the Kingdom is by doing the will of God.
3. Condemnation is not Jesus's style
4. You must sacrifice yourself for the ones with whom you disagree the most.

Friday, December 12, 2014

US Navy successfully deploys laser weapon

This is just way cool! Watch the video of how the LAWS system on the USS Ponce can take out small threats like drones and small craft. What they don't say is how automated they can make it in terms of target acquisition. They show it being operated by guys with joysticks, but methinks they actually have a much better way of doing it than we are being told.

Russia's Nuclear Navy Legacy

Russia's legacy is a problem. It's been described as a floating Chernobyl. Russia is a story of what can happen with nuclear issues when safety is not the first and foremost concern.

It's interesting to compare this record to the USN record noted previously. This tells me that those who have concerns about the dangers of nuclear energy, have every right to be concerned. It also tells me that, with a proper safety culture, those concerns can be put to rest.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

It Takes Money to Save Money

Linda Tirado documents the plight of the poor. Not having money generates a vicious cycle. You can't get ahead because you don't have the resources to recover from any little thing that gets in your way. Every setback that would be minor for most folks, is a another major struggle for the poor.

Surely, our country can do better than this.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

How red wine prevents cancer

It seems that the resveratrol in red wine helps prevent cancer by killing damaged cells. If the damaged cells manage to live too long, they can become the seeds of the disease.

Renewables Won't Work

A couple of Stamford-educated Google engineers worked on the Google RErenewable energy simply won't work
. For the high energy demands of modern developed society, it just isn't enough. The estimates that it can work are typically back-of-the-envelope calculations that are much more simplified than the true big picture.
However, I doubt that nuclear energy was included in the RE column like it should be.

The Smart Mouse

They replaced the glial cells in a mouse with human cells. The human cells multiplied and overran the mouse glial cells. And it turned out that the mouse was smarter than the average bear...er, mouse. There's more to advanced brain function than just the neurons. Improved connection make for better brain function, even across species.

Sane Drug Policy

The Netherlands has a drug policy that encourages users to get help rather than fear arrest. There drugs are seen as a public health issue. And, guess what, the percentage of their population that have used marijuana and cocaine is far smaller than here in the U.S.