It’s not the size or the color of your Bic that matters…

I love the physical process of writing. I sit down with my pen and a blank sheet of paper and anything is possible.

The feel of the pen moving across the page is very much a romantic experience for me. I can get lost so easily while writing, creating something new…

Something that I pull from the very depths of me, that is tangible. For what I create in that moment, in that instance that it is just me and my pen comes from inside me which I rip open and spill out intimately onto the page. It is that which I can hold aloft and grasped in my hand.

I can see it, feel it and by doing so it comes to life.

I am happiest writing.

THAT is who I am.

Eventually (or not, more often as the case may be) I type up what I have hand written onto my computer, but that is where more of the “work” part of writing comes in, where it loses a bit of its romance. The creative, sexy part? That is utterly unique experience with  just me and my pen and paper.

I must admit, I am very much a Bic pen girl.

I have written with them for years and honestly, I think the relationship between me and my Bic pens of choice are the longest relationships that I’ve had.

You can laugh, I completely understand. I do at that sad fact, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

Anytime I sit down to write some original fiction, I fall just a bit more in love. Bic is my pen of choice, and my “go to” in order to birth my creations, after all…

It’s not the size or the color of your Bic that matters, it’s what you do with it.

With that said, I must admit they might just have some competition on their hands.

I read this just today. Check this out:

Liquid Pencil? Are you kidding me – How ingenious?!

Wow.

I hate to be a cheater, so Bic, my friend…Catch up!

I would hate to stray from you, but I want one of these…

Badly.

So get on the ball.

I will be waiting for you to exceed my expectations and totally ready to “Rock out, with my Bic out!

Just.Like. Always!

Signed,

Anguished Repose –  A Life Long Fan

They replicate, mutate and evolve – the new technology! OMG

Now, they have a name…

Our future Robot Overlords.

Avidians.

Sure they are tiny now, but some say we started out that way as well and look how fantastically we evolved.

Avidians NOW compete with each other for resources [eek], replicate [O-M-G], mutate [Argh!], evolve and do so to the point where it is said that one day they WILL be artificial intelligent life forms.

And from that point on?

The battle between man and what he created will rage:

FOR generations, the Avidians have been cloning themselves quietly in a box. They’re not perfect, but most of their mutations go unnoticed. Then something remarkable happens. One steps forward, and that changes everything. Tens of thousands of generations down the line, some of its descendents will evolve memory.

Avidians are not microbes, or sci-fi alien life forms. They are the digital offspring of Charles Ofria and colleagues at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing. They “live” in a computer world called Avida, and replicate using strings of coded computer instructions instead of DNA. But in many ways they are similar to real life: they compete with each other for resources, replicate, mutate, and evolve. They – or things like them – might eventually evolve to become artificially intelligent life forms.


Similar to microbes, Avidians take up very little space, have short generation times, and can evolve new traits to out-compete their rivals. Unlike microbes, their evolution can be stopped at any time, reversed, repeated, and the precise sequence of mutations that led to the new trait can be dissected. “They’re wonderful evolutionary pets,” says Ben Kerr, a biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Oh, he says that they are fun pets now…

Just wait until we become their pets.

Mwhahahahahahahaha!


The religious are happier and healthier than atheists, say scientists

Researchers have determined that thinking about God can help relieve anxiety associated with making mistakes. However, the finding only holds for people who believe in a God.

The researchers measured brain waves for a particular kind of distress response while participants made mistakes on a test.

Those who had been prepared with religious thoughts had a less prominent response to mistakes than those who hadn’t.

In other words they were better equipped, mentally, to handle it.

Sorry, I just have to interject this response for just a second…

Duh.

OK.

ehm

Back we go to the article.

“Eighty-five percent of the world has some sort of religious beliefs,” says Michael Inzlicht, who cowrote the study with Alexa Tullett, both at the University of Toronto-Scarborough.

“I think it behooves us as psychologists to study why people have these beliefs; exploring what functions, if any, they may serve.”

With two experiments, the researchers showed that when people think about religion and God, their brains respond differently—in a way that lets them take setbacks in stride and react with less distress to anxiety-provoking mistakes.

Participants either wrote about religion or did a scrambled word task that included religion and God-related words.

Then the researchers recorded their brain activity as they completed a computerized task—one that was chosen because it has a high rate of errors.

The results showed that when people were primed to think about religion and God, either consciously or unconsciously, brain activity decreases in areas consistent with the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). The ACC is associated with a number of things, including regulating bodily states of arousal and alerting us when things are going wrong.

Interestingly, atheists reacted differently. When they were unconsciously primed with God-related ideas, their ACC increased its activity. The researchers suggest that for religious people, thinking about God may provide a way of ordering the world and explaining apparently random events and thus reduce their feelings of distress.

In contrast, for atheists, thoughts of God may contradict the meaning systems they embrace and thus cause them more distress.

Again…

Duh.

Atheists are not capable to cope with unknown variables, such as religion, in whatever form they may take and what is life, but a wondrous thing cropped FULL of the unknown?

Atheists function in a world of rational thought full of tangible “facts” and I get that, I even respect them for it, but in a world where religion exists, heck in a world where quantum physics exists, not everything can be tangible.

Sometimes, a lot of things, just have to be taken on faith.

What atheists don’t understand about the religious, is that religion is a coping mechanism to help the “unknown” make sense and a lot less scary…(Physics, is good for that too, but IT tends to be a little frightening so I’m not counting it.)

“Thinking about religion makes you calm under fire. It makes you less distressed when you’ve made an error,” says Inzlicht.

“We think this can help us understand some of the really interesting findings about people who are religious. Although not unequivocal, there is some evidence that religious people live longer and they tend to be happier and healthier.”


22 foot long croc makes one heck of a picture!

I understand why they had to do it. I have been raised around cattle and cattle ranches, so I get it, I do. But with that said, is it weird of me that my first thought seeing this pic was, “I wonder how old that guy is?”

I mean geez, look at him!

Hard not to respect an animal like that when Mother Nature makes such a HUGE statement…

22 feet of it, at that!

Cattle or no cattle, I almost wish they would have found another way instead of having to kill him.

Even Crocodile Dundee would think twice before tackling this monster.

At 22ft from its snout to the tip of its tail, it’s as long as a truck and terrorised locals in a remote Aboriginal community in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Fortunately for them it is now dead, having been shot by farmers whose cattle and goats it kept attacking. But the bad news is that two more giant crocodiles are believed to be still in the area – and could be even bigger than this one.

Eisenhower and Churchill order a UFO cover-up?

Will we ever really know? If something was indeed out there, its reports like this that make you wonder…

They also make you wonder just what other information is out there to be discovered, which is being kept hidden “for our own good”.

I must admit, it’s hard not to see their point.

Discovering there is life out there would quite simply…

Change everything in an instant.

Secret files revealed today show that Winston Churchill was accused of ordering a UFO cover-up – because he was worried people would panic.


British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower covered up a UFO sighting during World War II in an effort to prevent mass panic, a letter sent to the British government suggests.

The missive was one of thousands of documents related to the sighting of unidentified flying objects released by the United Kingdom’s National Archives on Wednesday.

This is the second mass release of UFO-related documents this year, and the sixth since 2008. The latest collection spans from 1995 to 2003.

A letter sent in 1999 by an unnamed person from Leicester, England, relays a story he was told by his mother, which came from his grandfather, who claimed to have witnessed the alleged cover-up.

“It is claimed that my grandfather, [REDACTED] was present during a debate between Winston Churchill and Mr. Eisenhower during World War II involving making a decision about an unexpected incident,” the letter states, dated Sept. 20, 1999.

The incident in question took place off the English coast and involved a Royal Air Force bomber crew, which was returning from a “photographic mission” in either Germany or France.

“The aircraft was intercepted by an object of unknown origin,” the letter explains, “which matched course and speed with the aircraft for a time and then underwent an extremely rapid acceleration away.”

Photos and/or film were supposedly captured of the object, which “hovered noiselessly” and seemed metallic.

The incident sparked a discussion between Churchill and General Eisenhower, presumably via telephone, who commanded the Allied forces during the later period of the war.

According to the letter, the grandfather who witnessed the conversation heard Churchill state: “This event should be immediately classified since it would create mass panic amongst the general population and destroy one’s belief in the Church.”

The writer of the letter claims to not be a “crackpot,” but explains that his interest is purely scientific, having heard the story for so many years.

According to the reply sent by the Ministry of Defense, which received the letter, documents relating to UFO are destroyed after five years when a threat to national security is not involved.

“Any ‘UFO’ report files from the WWII era would most probably have been destroyed,” the reply letter, dated Sept. 30, 1999, states.

The massive collection of letters, all of which have had the names and addresses blacked out, include an array of stories of people who have spotted UFOs or claim to have come in contact with alien lifeforms.

One woman sent a hand-written letter in 1997 relating her experience with alien abduction, in which she details a list of aliens, and their locations around the world, which included “Stargate Aliens” in America, as well as spider people in Russia.

There are also letters relating to “Britain’s Roswell,” an incident that took place in 1980 in Rendlesham Forest, outside an RAF base, as well as several seeking to expose England’s version of “Area 51,” Rudloe Manor.

Electrons observed moving a ‘quintillionths of a second’ fast

How fast is fast?

How about ‘quintillionths of a second’ fast?

Well, this ‘fast’ is fast enough to directly observe electrons moving about the outer orbit of an atom thanks to a process called attosecond absorption spectroscopy.


In an unprecedented achievement, physicists have managed to directly observe electrons moving about the outer orbit of an atom. It’s all thanks to some nifty quantum trickery and a machine that measures time in quintillionths of a second.

The actual process used by the scientists, called attosecond absorption spectroscopy, is about as fiendishly complicated as its name, so let’s take this slowly. They started by taking some atoms of krypton, one of the nobles gases. They then ionized the atoms using a near-infrared laser pulse. This pulse operated in cycles of a few femtoseconds each. A femtosecond is 10^-15 second, or a quadrillionth of a second. This ionization pulse caused anywhere from one to three of the eight electrons in the krypton’s outermost shell to leave the atom, leaving an empty space in this furthest valence.


Next, it was time for the attosecond pulse. An attosecond is a thousandth of a femtosecond, which is also 10^-18 second (not to mention a quintillionth of a second, just so all our bases are covered). They sent an extreme-ultraviolet attosecond pulse on the same path as that of the earlier, femtosecond pulse. And this is where the physicists were able to directly observe electrons at work in the wake of ionization.

The attosecond pulse excited one or more of the electrons in the next energy orbital beneath the outermost shell, causing them to jump to the outer orbital and fill the gap created by the departed electrons. At that point, the electron starts “flopping” between the two orbits, creating complementary interference patterns that essentially merge into one, thanks to the quantum concept of coherence.

Read any good books lately?

Ever wanted to immerse yourself in a good book –  How about thousands of them?

Well, now’s your chance.

Literally:

We’ve covered Matej Kren’s amazing feats of book-stacking before, and now his largest book installation to date is on display in Italy at the Museum of Modern Art in Bologna (MAMbo). The piece, entitled “Scanner,” is a gigantic tunnel of books that is meant to inspire reflection, impose greatness, and confuse perspective. Decked out with mirrors and thousands of books, “Scanner” is a new read on how we experience place.

Kren created “Scanner” specifically for MAMbo in collaboration with the Slovakian Centre for Information on Literature. The installation is the seminal event of a local children’s book fair — some of us may have been raised to treat books like books and only books, but Kren manages to inspire literary reverence by using books as building materials. However intellectually metaphorical that may sound, it’s a physical truth.

A wasp epidemic is upon us.

What you should know to be safe:

For all those otherwise sane people who start running round in circles at the merest hint of a threatening buzzzz, the news is not good: we are in the throes of a wasp epidemic  –  and according to the experts it’s only going to get worse.

The heatwave is partly responsible for ramping up the number of these menacing yellow and black creatures.

Because it’s not just humans who’ve been loving this summer’s extraordinary spell of long, scorching days and clammy evenings. For wasps, hot weather is bliss because it means improved breeding conditions and better survival rates for the insects on which they like to feed. In other words, more grub.

The past year has been a bumper one for wasps, according to Rentokil’s technical director Savvas Othon, ‘and with many wasps’ nests being left untreated due to the recession, there could be even more around this year.’


The company has already seen a 231per cent rise in wasp inquiries over a five-week period in the early summer and, it says, ‘with more warm weather expected and wasps’ nests growing in size as the season progresses, we expect the number of wasp-related inquiries to rise substantially.’

So how many wasps are there in this country?

‘No one knows exactly, but more than there are people at this time of year,’ says David Glaser, who runs a website called Wasp Watch, which he set up to give information on wasps after he had a bad allergic reaction when he was stung nine years ago.

For sufferers of spheksophobia (fear of wasps), the website’s most mesmerising feature may be its Sting Index, which gives an indication of how often people are being stung, measured by the amount of internet traffic looking at cures for wasp stings.

What should know NOT to do, to be safe:

Rule #1 – DON’T THROW BALLS AT THE NESTS!

Don’t do that?

And you should be just fine.