Sunday, November 23, 2008

9831: hmmm

ever wonder about the fact that there are millions of different species on this world, but we only eat so few?

And of those few species that we've chosen to domesticate and eat in such huge quantities, two of them (pork and beef) are sacred in two major religions(Hinduism and Judaism)?

9831: strange awakening

This morning I woke up to an odd sight.

1. My cat's treats that I keep in the cupboard with her food was on the floor, but it didn't look like she even ate any of them, since they were all in the bag and none were spread around. Weird, I thought to myself.

2. Her bag of food was on the counter with a hole in it, and in the cupboard was a pile of her food. This was the strangest thing because there's no way she could have put the bag on the counter. Now, for a good long time, I knew that she figured out how to open cupboards, and have seen her exploring every one except the one with her food in it. She had never broke in to there before and would always patiently wait for me to feed her instead of helping herself. So, it wasn't that weird that she got in there and rip open the bag, but how did it get on the counter?

3. In the middle of the floor was a big puddle of water. Her water dish was untouched, and there was no evidence of anything spilling on the floor. There was no evidence of any leaks of any kind. Where did the water come from and how did it get there?

My best guess is that I was sleep walking. I must have walked in to the kitchen and found that she had broken in to her food cupboard, and for whatever reason, took the bag and put it on the counter. Then I somehow poured water on the floor. Who knows? Maybe I was dreaming of a fire in my kitchen. Maybe I was trying to grab a drink of water and missed.

I wish I could have caught it on video.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

9830: Waking life

Here's a cut from the movie waking life that I wanted to share.

video

9830: another one of my crazy theories

In the comments, I made a joke about life coming from dead planets in the form of a supernova. I don't take it too seriously, but it's fun to play around with the possibilities.

Supernova's may be the cause of sped up evolution as the gamma rays from a nearby star radiate a planet. This has been brought up before.

Here's my thoughts. What if a planet was blown up by the star, and somehow the information of the life on that planet was passed on to another?

like a highlander, the next planet would obtain that information, and all the evolutionary work of the dead planet could be absorbed by a nearby star system.

It's really more of an example to show that there are many many other possibilities out there. Now, I know a lot of creationists will dismiss any theories as attempts to get God out of the picture, but to me, that's the lazy way of not trying to explain how God could have created life. Maybe we just need to understand the parameters that He has to work with.

Perhaps the highlander supernova theory is just Gods way of "saving data" from a lost planet.

9830: Princeton team challenges Darwin.

taken from this site

A team of Princeton University scientists has discovered that chains of proteins found in most living organisms act like adaptive machines, possessing the ability to control their own evolution, which appears to offer evidence of a hidden mechanism guiding the way biological organisms respond to the forces of natural selection, provides a new perspective on evolution.

"The discovery answers an age-old question that has puzzled biologists since the time of Darwin: How can organisms be so exquisitely complex, if evolution is completely random, operating like a 'blind watchmaker'?" said Chakrabarti, an associate research scholar in the Department of Chemistry at Princeton. "Our new theory extends Darwin's model, demonstrating how organisms can subtly direct aspects of their own evolution to create order out of randomness."

The researchers -- Raj Chakrabarti, Herschel Rabitz, Stacey Springs and George McLendon -- made the discovery while carrying out experiments on proteins constituting the electron transport chain (ETC), a biochemical network essential for metabolism. A mathematical analysis of the experiments showed that the proteins themselves acted to correct any imbalance imposed on them through artificial mutations and restored the chain to working order.

The work also confirms an idea first floated in an 1858 essay by Alfred Wallace, who along with Charles Darwin co-discovered the theory of evolution. Wallace had suspected that certain systems undergoing natural selection can adjust their evolutionary course in a manner "exactly like that of the centrifugal governor of the steam engine, which checks and corrects any irregularities almost before they become evident." In Wallace's time, the steam engine operating with a centrifugal governor was one of the only examples of what is now referred to as feedback control. Examples abound, however, in modern technology, including cruise control in autos and thermostats in homes and offices.

The research, published in a recent edition of Physical Review Letters, provides corroborating data, Rabitz said, for Wallace's idea. "What we have found is that certain kinds of biological structures exist that are able to steer the process of evolution toward improved fitness," said Rabitz, the Charles Phelps Smyth '16 Professor of Chemistry. "The data just jumps off the page and implies we all have this wonderful piece of machinery inside that's responding optimally to evolutionary pressure."

The authors sought to identify the underlying cause for this self-correcting behavior in the observed protein chains. Standard evolutionary theory offered no clues. Applying the concepts of control theory, a body of knowledge that deals with the behavior of dynamical systems, the researchers concluded that this self-correcting behavior could only be possible if, during the early stages of evolution, the proteins had developed a self-regulating mechanism, analogous to a car's cruise control or a home's thermostat, allowing them to fine-tune and control their subsequent evolution. The scientists are working on formulating a new general theory based on this finding they are calling "evolutionary control."

The work is likely to provoke a considerable amount of thinking, according to Charles Smith, a historian of science at Western Kentucky University. "Systems thinking in evolutionary studies perhaps began with Alfred Wallace's likening of the action of natural selection to the governor on a steam engine -- that is, as a mechanism for removing the unfit and thereby keeping populations 'up to snuff' as environmental actors," Smith said. "Wallace never really came to grips with the positive feedback part of the cycle, however, and it is instructive that through optimal control theory Chakrabarti et al. can now suggest a coupling of causalities at the molecular level that extends Wallace's systems-oriented approach to this arena."

Evolution, the central theory of modern biology, is regarded as a gradual change in the genetic makeup of a population over time. It is a continuing process of change, forced by what Wallace and Darwin, his more famous colleague, called "natural selection." In this process, species evolve because of random mutations and selection by environmental stresses. Unlike Darwin, Wallace conjectured that species themselves may develop the capacity to respond optimally to evolutionary stresses. Until this work, evidence for the conjecture was lacking.

The experiments, conducted in Princeton's Frick Laboratory, focused on a complex of proteins located in the mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell. A chain of proteins, forming a type of bucket brigade, ferries high-energy electrons across the mitrochondrial membrane. This metabolic process creates ATP, the energy currency of life.

Various researchers working over the past decade, including some at Princeton like George McClendon, now at Duke University, and Stacey Springs, now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, fleshed out the workings of these proteins, finding that they were often turned on to the "maximum" position, operating at full tilt, or at the lowest possible energy level.

Chakrabarti and Rabitz analyzed these observations of the proteins' behavior from a mathematical standpoint, concluding that it would be statistically impossible for this self-correcting behavior to be random, and demonstrating that the observed result is precisely that predicted by the equations of control theory. By operating only at extremes, referred to in control theory as "bang-bang extremization," the proteins were exhibiting behavior consistent with a system managing itself optimally under evolution.

"In this paper, we present what is ostensibly the first quantitative experimental evidence, since Wallace's original proposal, that nature employs evolutionary control strategies to maximize the fitness of biological networks," Chakrabarti said. "Control theory offers a direct explanation for an otherwise perplexing observation and indicates that evolution is operating according to principles that every engineer knows."

The scientists do not know how the cellular machinery guiding this process may have originated, but they emphatically said it does not buttress the case for intelligent design, a controversial notion that posits the existence of a creator responsible for complexity in nature.

Chakrabarti said that one of the aims of modern evolutionary theory is to identify principles of self-organization that can accelerate the generation of complex biological structures. "Such principles are fully consistent with the principles of natural selection. Biological change is always driven by random mutation and selection, but at certain pivotal junctures in evolutionary history, such random processes can create structures capable of steering subsequent evolution toward greater sophistication and complexity."

The researchers are continuing their analysis, looking for parallel situations in other biological systems.

9830: Intelligence continued 2

As I look back over my previous posts, I noticed I tend to repeat myself.

But, like a lot of ideas that I cook up, I'm attempting to extend on them, and trying to find resolution.

Why intelligence? Maybe it's so we can spread to another planet and save life as we know it. Like developing fingers before stepping foot on land, perhaps we developed intelligence so we could get to another planet.

This is also a very different view of evolution since having intelligence may be a way to not only save our own species but all the other species on our planet.

When I think about evolution, sometimes it seems like it's own entity. Like God could be evolution itself. Perhaps the first time God ever seen the world was when He figured out how to make an eyeball.

9830: Intelligence

Why did we evolve intelligence? Or for the creationist, why were we created with intelligence?

Now, from the creationists perspective there are a lot of questions that can be answered in a very ignorant manner by just saying, "because that's what God wanted, or, you can't question God's motives/ God works in mysterious ways."

Well, any logical person should ask these questions and not just leave them unanswered, whether your a creationist or evolutionist. Life would have gotten by just fine if we were single celled bacteria.

One observation I want to talk about is the fact that all lower forms of intelligence are comparable. A dog isn't that much smarter than a cat, and a cat isn't that much smarter then a rat, and so on. There would seem to be this huge gap between the intelligence of animals and man.

Why? How come there are no creatures in between the smartest apes and the dumbest man?

One of the things that I picked up from Stephen Hawking and his books is this concept of the new evolution.

From species to species, there is only so much information that can be exchanged in our dna, and this can be expressed in bits.

Once man created language, that amount of information that could be passed from one generation to the next was much, much more.

So you could say that once we passed that threshold, we soared above and beyond all other creatures by using a trick. Once we discovered writing, that passing of knowledge could now skip generations and be copied and spread around much faster.

Once again, we soared even faster above all other creatures. This is the new evolution, and it is a telescoping effect.

With this, we could appear to be much smarter then we really are. Did man need to be born with the knowledge of how to make a steam engine? No, they only had to take the knowledge from generations before and add to it. Or as Isaac Newton once said, "If I have seen further than others it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants."

But my main question is why? Why did we take that first big step? While other creatures seem perfectly fine with "ook, eek", in other words, "watch out", or "come mate with me", human beings went much farther then that. We created names for water, love, existence.

Another thing that puzzles me is the fact that we have a section of the brain dedicated to language. So, did we evolve that section of the brain and then start speaking, or did we start speaking and that in turn slowly evolve that section of the brain? (The latter sounds more logical to me, but one has to consider those odd looking fish that were developing fingers in it's fins before it ventured on to land.)

It seemed to have a plan, but how?

How could the cells in the body understand that they would need fingers on land?

"Evolution frequently produces adaptations that come to be useful in the future for a different purpose"

Friday, November 21, 2008

lol



it looks like a face, he he he

Thursday, November 20, 2008

9828: Behind closed doors

I love conspiracy theories. There's just so much that's possible that we don't know about. I don't take any of them that seriously, but they're still fun to think about.

I watched a bit of CNN last night. The "big three" automakers were asking for money and the politicians were criticizing them for arriving in each of their own private jets. "You couldn't have downgraded to first class, or jet-pooled?" one said. "It's like someone arriving at a soup kitchen with a top hat and cane." another quipped.

I suppose Detroit felt that if the banks could get free money, that they could too. Go back in time 5 years and ask anyone which industry would need billions of dollars to stay afloat, and no one would of replied "banks and the auto industry".

What about the bank ceo's, they don't travel around in private jets? I can't help but think that the rich is ripping off the poor.

Anyways, back to the conspiracy theory. Have you ever seen, "Who killed the electric car?"

It's about GM destroying a fleet of electric cars that everyone thought were perfectly fine vehicles. They offer many compelling reasons for switching over from combustion to electric, and why electric cars don't need the infrastructure that hydrogen-fueled cars require.

This all took place in the 90's, around the time that GM started pushing suv's.

My theory is that the oil companies seen this move as a direct threat and paid the car companies large sums of money to not sell the electric cars and paid them more money on how many gas guzzlers they could sell. When the pressure from the environmentalists got to be too much, GM went ahead and began to work on the "Chevy Volt" (A new plug-in hybrid). The oil companies cut off their funding, and now without that added cash flow, the auto-makers are looking to the government to help them out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

did you know?

I thought this was interesting

9826: Incredibots and Left 4 dead

Incredibots!

This one's really cool, I didn't really have time to get in to it, but at first glance, it looks pretty slick.

Left 4 dead is finally done, and that's pretty cool. Co-op is where it's at. For me, when I play a single player game, I just can't get in to it. Throw a few friends in there and then all of a sudden the pressure's on. Gotta be there for my pals, and all that. It makes for a more rewarding experience.

It would have been cooler if each player had unique characteristics so you could play the game differently every time. Maybe have an RPG system in there. I have a feeling after you've played through each campaign a couple times, it'll probably get boring.

The developer has to ask the player, "What's your motivation for going through this same level again and again?"

Sure, the enemies may be in different places or whatnot, but to me, it seems rather pointless. Been there, done that, moving on.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Frantic


fun old-school top down shooter


I got like, 285 million at the end

9824: shift

here's a cool game that came out a while ago. Obviously influenced by Portal, but still, a unique play mechanic and a cool little game.

459 seconds.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

9823: Cameras

I like thinking about the future. Hearing about the possibilities and wondering where time will take us is enthralling. Especially in these exponential times where our technology is progressing in leaps and bounds.

When the camera was first invented, it must have been the most amazing thing. Seeing an image frozen in time without an artists hand, must have been quite the spectacle.

Nowadays, it's no big deal. We're squishing more and more megapixels in to cameras with bigger memory cards at a smaller cost, constantly.

As a security device, it seems like a no-brainer. In the paper today, I read that more school buses are being equipped with cameras, and the government is setting up more cameras in high crime areas to try and catch criminals in the act.

Red light cameras are becoming more and more common. I admit that when they first came out, I was happy because I thought I never broke the law. Turns out that I do from time to time, but you can be sure that the red light camera's changed my driving habits so that I never try to "beat the red" when I see a yellow light pop up anymore, I stop when I know I have the space to do so.

This is a good use of technology. Without the expensive cost of police men watching every intersection, we now have cameras to do these things for us. I'm a prime example of a citizen that is now a better driver (although a little frustrated), because of it.

So, my prediction is that we'll see these come in to play more and more. Every intersection will come equipped with a red light camera. Streets that people didn't feel safe walking down will be equipped with a camera so if anything happens you can be sure that it'll be recorded. Satellite cameras will get more powerful.

Eye-witness reports do not hold as much water in court as we thought they did. Artists recreations of people can be way off. With cameras, the truth comes out.

With memory cards being able to fit an incredible amount of data, it won't be long until everyone has a camera on them filming all the time. Any crime that a person witnesses can be recorded. If the camera uploaded it's view to the internet, this could prevent someone from stealing the device.

"always-on" cameras could be worn in many different ways. The camera could be worn in a necklace, in a hat, or in a pair of sunglasses:


- More cool how to projects

Without wires, of coarse.

This will bring in a new wave of true reality television. People that have had interesting experiences happen to them could bring their footage to an editor who could try and get other angles from other sources. Reality shows that we have now are always far from reality as once you know that you have a camera on you, you start acting. When your just living your daily life with a camera that's always on, it's a different story.

The next step to something like this is image recognition. Say for example, your on a trip to a far away place, and you see a mysterious animal. You want to know what it is, so you use your camera to find a frame with a good shot of the animal, and the software can tell exactly what it is, giving you all the information you desire. Maybe you lost your keys, do a search for the last time the camera seen them. Say your on a job, and your looking for a specific tool that you misplaced.

There could be many other potential uses for always-on personal cameras. Many scientific studies could be conducted with large groups of volunteers.

Some big questions are, will they catch on and will they be socially acceptable? As shown in the video above, this can already be done with a little know-how. But what about the people that don't care to know how. Any cell phone company could issue a bluetooth headset with a camera installed, but where is the demand? Also, what can be done to negate privacy issues?

In my opinion, there should be something that tells anyone around that the person is wearing an always-on camera. A little red light should be mandatory.

This shouldn't be something sneaky, but more a device that tells everyone around you that your honest and you expect others to be honest as well. With a camera like that, any time you have an argument over your whereabouts, you could just pull out your cell phone, and just prove where you were.

Likewise, if someone said something to you and later lied, saying that they never said that, you could just rewind to the conversation.

With cloud computing, this could all be uploaded to the internet as it's recorded, allowing you to clip and edit any sections you want to make public.

Someone could put their whole lives on the internet... On your deathbed, you could literally flash the whole thing before your eyes.

That's food for thought

Friday, November 14, 2008

9822: funny running game

doh, missed a day already. Wow, lol

This games hilarious

I found a way to scoot pretty good, but could only actually run about 4 meters. I couldn't get the right technique to keep him going.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

9820: flash games

I've got a lot on my mind but not sure on what to write, so I'm going to try and keep this site updated daily by linking a flash game whenever I have nothing else to post.

Todays:

Missle game 3d

I got to like, lvl 2, and died so I gave up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We are all psychic

Physicist's say that everything that can happen happens. So, if the possibility is there, then it is inevitable. We may not witness it happening in our dimension, then it happens in another.

I heard one physicist say that this only applies to the microscopic realm, but others will say that it extends to the macroscopic.

So, if this is true, then we all have the possibility to see the future. In fact, we do it all the time.

In a game of chess, (or this neat flash variation), one has to predict the possible routes and see the possibilities to be able to play effectively. So a probable prediction is just as good as psychic ability.

I can go buy a lottery ticket and know that the numbers I chose are going to win because it's a possible outcome. I just don't know if I exist in the dimension that wins.

So I may be doing one of my alternate selves a favor, but I've found myself questioning the parameters of an alternate self.

In movies like "The One", in other dimensions, there is the chance of many different versions of yourself. Possibly billions and billions. But when your talking about other worlds, you have to wonder where do you begin and where do you end? At any point one of those particles is going to go in a different direction forming a different you. There might be dimensions where you look exactly the same with tiny differences, some with bigger differences and more where you look and act completely different.

So where do you begin and where do you end? Is there any connection at all?

I like to think about the possibilities. One idea I thought of is based on the idea that when your alternate selves die you become a little more powerful. Well, if you were ever in a car accident where you narrowly died, or are a thrill seeker that lives a dangerous life, then the chances are you're stronger because you're killing off your alternate selves. Obviously since people aren't gaining super powers like in "the one" that this is either very subtle or simply not true. (I'm guessing the latter, but it's still fun to think about)

There are other ideas you could stem off that train of thought. Let's say there was a dangerous event you had the opportunity to partake where the odds of surviving are 50/50. By participating, half of your alternate selves are going to die. What if losing your alternate selves made you weaker?

But then you have to ask, do these alternate selves continuously spawn off of one another and does it matter if some are killed off? Is this maybe a way to insure that we don't completely wipe ourselves out?

A lot of strange questions in the world of quantum physics.

Friday, November 7, 2008



Here's Brian Greene on string theory. I like his way of explaining things, although I've read that the metaphor of the ant on the wire isn't really accurate.

Some people think string theory is a joke, like this guy:



I can't help but want to side with Brian Greene, I just don't get why this Garrett Lisi guy chose to speak about how he's probably wrong and that he's a surfer bum living out of the back of his van. Like, is he trying to brag about his life or is he talking about quantum physics?

Still, he makes a good point about theoretical physics being a long shot. They could both be wrong.

I like how it all revolves around the hadron collider, should be interesting.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



reminds me of bonobo, a very cool band.

The Arecibo Message


Do you know what this picture means? It's actually a radio message reconstructed from binary, and if there is intelligent life out there, it's quite the test on their intelligence.

Check out this website for a full explanation, it's pretty interesting.