dumuzi writes: A hang glider instructor in British Columbia is accused of obstructing justice during a police investigation of the death of one of his passengers. Lenami Godinez's boyfriend bought her a hang gliding experience for their anniversery. Immediatly after take off Godinez began to fall. She struggled to hold onto the pilot William Orders, who attemped to help her according to bystanders. Godinez was unable to hang on and fell to her death. A police investigation revealed the memory card from the camera attached to the hang glider was missing and Orders was arrested for obstruction of justice. Several recent X-Rays show the memory card is making its way through Orders digestive tract while he is being held in custody. The card likely contains video evidence which is expected to be intact once the memory card is recovered.
dumuzi writes: A team including Larry Page, Ram Shriram and Eric Schmidt (Google), James Cameron (Director), Charles Simonyi (Microsoft executive and astronaut), Ross Perot Jr. (son of Ross Perot), Chris Lewicki (NASA Mars mission manager), and Peter Diamandis (X-Prize) from a new company called Planatary Resources are expected to announce plans on April 24th to mine asteroids. A study by NASA released April 2nd claims a robotic mission could capture a 500 ton asteroid and bring it to orbit the moon for $2.6 billion. The additional cost to mine the asteroid and return the ores to Earth would make profit unlikely even if the asteriod was 20% gold. But with many raw materials on Earth expected to run out in 50-60 years perhaps now is the right time to invest in this project.
dumuzi writes: Physicists from the University of Queensland have a developed a procedure for entangling a qubit in time and "teleporting" it to the future. The process uses quantum entanglements in Minkowski space-time (the same sort of entanglements that lead to Hawking radiation). They say there is an important symmetric in the time entanglement and detection: If the first detector is switched on and off 15 mintues before t=0, then the second detector must be in the same spatial location (presumably from the frame of reference of the experimenters) and it must be switched on and off 15 minutes after t=0.
dumuzi writes: Federal officials are sueing six websites run by Gregory Hart in order to shut them down and take control of their domains for hosting copyright material. "ComicBooksFree.com, HTMLcomics.com, and PlayboyMonthly.com were among the domain names run by Gregory Steven Hart...The FBI began investigating Hart in 2009. The site HTMLcomics.com provided a large number of copyrighted comic books and Hart was operating the site without the permission of either the publishers or authors who own the copyrights to those materials, the lawsuit says.... The publishers sent Hart letters demanding that he cease and desist distribution of copyrighted material, but Hart refused. By June 2009, HTMLcomics.com claimed to host over 100,000 issues....Among the comic books available on the sites were: Astonishing X-Men, The Simpsons, Dilbert, Peanuts, Batman, Superman, Watchmen and Mad Magazine...Maxim and Playboy" The websites appear to be offline now. Also, ATTFA, Hart did not own the comics but rather received image files from people who scanned them.
dumuzi writes: It was recently reported in Nature Chemical Biology that beewolves (a type of digger wasp) have a symbiotic relationship with streptomyces bacteria. The beneficial bacteria are cultivated by the females who then transfer the bacteria to the ceilings of the brood cell. The bacteria are taken up by the larvae, who later transfer the bacteria to their cocoons. The streptomyces bacteria produces a cocktail of nine different antibiotics that defend against numerous pathogens.
If only they could defend against viruses, worms and Trojans we could incorporate such symbiots into our own beowolf cluster's and finally guarantee protection.
dumuzi writes: Apple Inc. shares hit a record high on Wall Street on Thursday following reports that the California company may unveil a long-awaited portable tablet computer next month.
Apple shares were up 3.44 percent at 209.06 dollars at 1:00 pm (1800 GMT) Thursday Dec 24th in New York.
The surge came after the Financial Times, citing "people familiar with the plans," reported in a blog post that Apple has rented an arts center in San Francisco to make a "major product announcement" on January 26.
Speculation about a tablet computer from the company behind the Macintosh computer, iPhone and iPod has swirled for years and the FT noted that there have been a number of reports recently that "suggest the tablet will make its debut in January."
dumuzi writes: T-rays may make X-rays obsolete as a means of detecting bombs on terrorists or illegal drugs on traffickers, among other uses, contends a Texas A&M physicist who is helping lay the theoretical groundwork to make the concept a reality. In addition to being more revealing than X-rays in some situations, T-rays do not have the cumulative possible harmful effects." Alexey Belyanin focuses his research on terahertz, otherwise known as THz or T-rays, which he says is the most under-developed and under-used part of the electromagnetic spectrum. It lies between microwave radiation and infrared (heat) radiation.
"THz radiation can penetrate through opaque dry materials. It is harmless and can be used to scan humans," Belyanin says. "Unfortunately, until recently the progress in THz technology has been hampered by a lack of suitable sources and detectors.""The highlight of our results is observations of interference of magnetoplasmons. By tiny changes in the applied magnetic field or temperature, we can make plasma waves amplify or cancel each other. This makes the whole sample either completely opaque or transparent to the incident THz radiation.
dumuzi writes: 40 years ago Vitaly Efimov predicted very cold systems (atoms) would produce trimers at specific bond strengths. "A lot of people didn't believe him," said Hulet "... physicists can handle two-body problems quite well and many-body problems fairly well, but when there are just a few objects, like the three bodies in these Efimov trimers, there are just too many variables."
As Hulet points out, there is still no general mathematical solution for the most classic of all "three-body" problems — the sun-Earth-moon problem.
What Efimov offered in 1970 was not a general solution for the three-body problem, but it was the next-best thing — a universal relationship that would hold true for any particle but only under a particular set of circumstances.
Hulet, working at Rice University, confirmed that trimers form at specific resonate bond strengths using ultracold lithium atoms, he also confirmed tetramers, all as predicted by Efimov. This is Rice Univeristy's summary of the findings, and here is the paper.
dumuzi writes: Scientists studying how bacteria under stress collectively weigh and initiate different survival strategies say they have gained new insights into how humans make strategic decisions that affect their health, wealth and the fate of others in society. The authors of the new study are theoretical physicists and chemists at the University of California, San Diego's Center for Theoretical Biological Physics. In nature, bacteria live in large colonies whose numbers may reach up to 100 times the number of people on earth. Many bacteria respond to extreme stress — such as starvation, poisoning and irradiation — by creating spores". Alternately the bacteria may "choose" to enter a state called competence where they are able to absorb the nutrients from their newly deceased comrades. "Each bacterium in the colony communicates via chemical messages and performs a sophisticated decision making process using a specialized network of genes and proteins. Modeling this complex interplay of genes and proteins by the bacteria enabled the scientists to assess the pros and cons of different choices in game theory." "It pays for the individual cell to take the risk and escape into competence only if it notices that the majority of the cells decide to sporulate," explained Onuchic. "But if this is the case, it should not take this chance because most of the other cells might reach the same conclusion and escape from sporulation.
dumuzi writes: 6 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Canada.
2 are in the province of British Columbia, these individuals recently returned from Mexico.
The other 4 confirmed cases were in students at a private school in the Eastern province of Nova Scotia. 2 of these are students who recently returned from a trip to Mexico. The other two were not on the trip to Mexico, they caught the flu from their sick schoolmates.
This confirms that human to human transmission has occurred in Canada. 21 individuals from the school in Nova Scotia are in isolation. All of the Canadian cases so far are mild.
April 8, 2008: "Replikins Ltd. has found that the Replikin Count(TM) of the H1N1 strain of influenza virus has recently increased to 7.6 (plus/minus 1.4), its highest level since the 1918 H1N1 pandemic (p value less than 0.001). A rising Replikin Count of a particular influenza strain, indicating rapid replication of the virus, is an early warning which has been followed consistently by an outbreak of the specific strain." "The current H1N1 appears to be rapidly replicating simultaneously in the U.S. and Austria. It may succeed H5N1 as the leading candidate for the next expected overdue pandemic."
The company predicts a high rate of infection with a relatively low "2.5% to 10%" mortality rate, the 1918 flu also had a high rate of infection and a relatively low mortality rate."