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Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry

4 Oct

Johannes Vermeer is best known for his meticulously rendered images of women in light-filled domestic interiors. A slow and methodical painter, Vermeer produced relatively few paintings (34 have been attributed to him) but was a modest celebrity in his hometown of Delft during his lifetime. After he died, he fell into obscurity until the 19th century when he was rediscovered by German art historian Gustav Friedrich Waagen and French journalist and art critic Théophile Thoré-Bürger. Vermeer is now considered one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. [from https://www.artsy.net/artist/johannes-vermeer]

The exhibition, Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry opens on October 22 at the National Gallery of Art and closes January 21, 2018.
Useful resources for Art collecting and information is offered by the Artsy team, at the site https://www.artsy.net, Artsy’s mission is to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
Jan_Vermeer_-_The_Art_of_Painting_-_Google_Art_Project

Vermeer’s Art of Painting or The Allegory of Painting (c. 1666–68), Image credit: Wikipedia

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Colin Maclaurin popularized the physico-mathematical work of Isaac Newton

17 Feb

newtonadam-smith

Colin Maclaurin (1698-1746), in Scottish Gaelic his name pronounce Cailean MacLabhruinn, was a Scottish mathematician who made important contributions to mathematics, in special, he is known by his Maclaurin series. He was the first one to popularize the physico-mathematical work of sir Isaac Newton publishing An Account of Isaac Newton’s Philosophical Discoveries (see link below). This publication raised a so great interest and admiration that for some it constituted the “great intellectual affair of the century: …the application of the experimental and geometrical method of Newton to the study of human nature, now stripped of the trappings of theology”[2].

Sir Isaac Newton contributed decisively to the Enlightenment (reason as the primary source of authority and legitimacy). There is great evidence, and several historians of science soustain the argument, that Adam Smith and other intellectuals had the “secret ambition” to make parallelism of his theories, to imitate Newton, and Adam Smith work shows is efforts to discover general laws of economy, inspired by the success of Newton and his discovery of the natural laws of motion

 

REF:

[1] An Account of Isaac Newton’s Philosophical Discoveries, by Colin Maclaurin

[2] Political Economy in the Mirror of Physics: Adam Smith and Isaac Newton, by Arnaud Diemer and Hervé Guillemin, Revue d’histoire des sciences, 2011/1 (Volume 64)

 

When all are equal, can one make the difference?…

23 Sep

max

Scientific research can help society to progress, but can also be deceptively dangerous… Research in the field of statistical physics shows that the collective behavior of population can have a ‘giant response’ if an individual is properly tuned. So, the task of social media is to avoid, or strongly reduce the possibility for this situation to happen… Then “spontaneous symmetry breaking” occurs and “someone, no matter who, has to do the job”… The work done by Federico Corberi, a Researcher at the Salerno University, in Italy, was published in Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical. [1]

REF:

[1] When all are equal, one can be very different [http://iopscience.iop.org/journal/1751-8121/labtalk/article/63268]

 

Can we survive after-death?…

12 Jun

Can we (i.e. our soul, our consciousness, our spirit, our élan vital,…) survive after death?…A scientific study points for that possibility… At least, and for now, according to Dr. Parnia, in the interview stated: “The evidence thus far suggests that in the first few minutes after death, consciousness is not annihilated. Whether it fades away afterwards, we do not know, but right after death, consciousness is not lost.

funny-life-after-death-www_grayee_blogspot_com_

We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating. But in this case conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes into the period when the heart wasn’t beating, even though the brain typically shuts down within 20-30 seconds after the heart has stopped. This is significant, since it has often been assumed that experiences in relation to death are likely hallucinations or illusions, occurring either before the heart stops or after the heart has been successfully restarted. but not an experience corresponding with ‘real’ events when the heart isn’t beating. Furthermore, the detailed recollections of visual awareness in this case were consistent with verified events”.

The important research accomplished may represent the first step towards the “proof” that our soul, conscience, spirit, survive after our body dies…

Learn more here: after-death scientific study

References:

[1] – AWARE—AWAreness during REsuscitation—A prospective study

[2] Video famous cardiac surgeon talk about his experience.

Why is there something in the universe instead of nothing?…

7 May

 

“The Principles of Nature and Grace, Based on Reason” (1714):

“…now we…make use of the great…principle that nothing takes place without a sufficient reason; in other words, that nothing occurs for which it would be impossible for someone who has enough knowledge of things to give a reason adequate to determine why the thing is as it is and not otherwise. This principle having been stated, the first question which we have a right to ask will be, ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’…. Further, assuming that things must exist, it must be possible to give a reason why they should exist as they do and not otherwise.”

We all know that Leibniz attributes the final reason for things to God. But, God, an entity that possibly exists but we don’t grasp the entire meaning, is not sufficient reason for a scientific explanation for why there’s a lack of something, why there is large “holes” in space, called the bootes void. These holes are not completely empty, some contain a few random galaxies, but the vast majority don’t have stars, galaxies, planets, or any kind of visible matter. Curiously enough, our Milky Way galaxy (member of the Local Group), is locates at the edge of one of these voids, which is called the “local void.”

But there is this bigger void, approximately 25 million light years in diameter, covering about 0.27% of the entire diameter of the known universe. With only 60 galaxies, instead f the average 10,000 galaxies, nobody knows for sure why they exist. However, several “explanations” were advanced, one of them is akin to a science-fiction novel. Maybe they exist due to the existence of a highly advanced civilization , a Type 3 civilization, that have created a dynasphere around stars [1] and is actually extracting a huge amount of energy to run their power plants {1}.

universe_hole

Among other scientific explanations is the “inflation theory” [2] suggesting that in the first fractions of a second after the universe come into existence by the big bang, matter was not equally distributed in spacetime due to cosmic fluctuations, and this resulted in voids. These are mapped in the cosmic microwave background radiation, the left-over thermal radiation after the big bang and also known by the big bang “afterglow”, cooled by the expansion of the Universe to just 2.725 degree above the absolute zero, appearing not as visible light, but in the form of short-wavelength  radio waves (principally microwaves) {2}.

cbr

The cosmic microwave background radiation with the biggest voids observed. Image credit: ESA Planck collaboration.

Whatever these voids represent, they are among the most mysterious facts of our universe.

REFERENCES:

Books:

[1] – Freeman Dyson, Search for Artificial Stellar Sources of Infrared Radiation, Science, Vol. 131, June 3, 1960, pp. 1667-1668.

[2] – Ian G. Moss, quantum theory, black holes and inflation (John wiley & Sons, New York, 1996)

Sites:

{1} – http://mkaku.org/home/articles/the-physics-of-extraterrestrial-civilizations/

{2} – http://www.ctc.cam.ac.uk/outreach/origins/inflation_zero.php

The Laws of Causality and… Synchronicity

21 Jun

Human opinions are children’s toysHeraclitus

All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and hold this must minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a consciousness and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter. – Max Planck, Nobel Prize speech in 1944.

Oswald Spengler (1880-1936) gave a vivid account of the causal thinking that we, humans, are proud of.

 With his hand, his weapon, and his personal thinking man became creative. All that animals do remains inside the limits of their genus-activity   and does not enrich life at all. Man, however, the creative animal, has spread   such a wealth of inventive thought There is already activity in the existence of the animals, but deeds begin only with Man.   Nothing is more enlightening in this connexion than the story of fire. Man   sees (cause and effect) how a fire starts, and so also do many of the beasts. But Man alone (end and means) thinks out a process   of starting it. No other act so impresses us with the sense of creation as this one. One of the most uncanny, violent, enigmatic phenomena   of Nature — lightning, forest fire, volcano — is henceforth called into   life by Man and action all over the world that he seems perfectly   entitled to call his brief history “world-history” and to regard his entourage as “humanity,”   with all the rest of Nature as a background, an object, and a means.The act of   the thinking hand we call a deed. himself, against Nature. What it must have been to man’s soul, that first   sight of a fire evoked by himself! – Oswald Spengler [1]

The discovery of fire is the first instance when humankind understood the cause and effect kind of law, and from that moment this law serve as a guide to us. Quite interestingly, fire was discovered by human species well before what previously was thought. Researchers recently discovered evidence of human use of fire dating back about 1 million years ago, in the Wonderwerk Cave, in South Africa, a massive cavern located near the edge of the Kalahari Desert.

Every problem contains its own solution, and it is part of human life to be repeatedly confronted with sources of difficulties that requires a solution. In fact, these situations are the ones that keep us alert, sharpens our senses and challenges our rational mind.

We live in a materialistic world bound by a narrow logic, and constrained “physical laws” that restrain the appealing of the mysterious in us.

The usual causal thinking follows a linear trail, where events A,B,C follow one after the other, C takes place because of B, and B is due to A. Jung hypothesized that causal effects have place with transmission of energy from cause to effect. However, there are some effects that apparently occur without Exchange of energy, and the event was called acausal by Carl Jung. A well-known physical effect representing an acausal effect is the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen effect, which is also a non-local effect.

I am therefore using the general concept of synchronicity in the special sense of a coincidence in time of two or more causally unrelated events which have the same or similar meaning…Synchronicity therefore means the simultaneous occurrence of a certain psychic state with one or more external events which appears as meaningful parallels to the momentary subjective state-and, in certain cases, vice-versa. – Carl Jung, p. 251 Ref. [3].

Chinese philosophy thought occurrence of events differently from us. We usually ask: what causes this? Classic chinese texts ask: what likes to occur with what?…

But there is mysterious and inexplicable coincidences in our lives that we feel are full of meaning, although we don’t understand if we follow the stringent logic of reason, as teached by Aristotle and others in the West. These coincidences are what Carl Jung called “meaningful coincidences”, James Joyce’s “epiphanies”, and those that experienced them (and we all did) feel as they are occasions when a bridge are formed in order to connect the inner and outer worlds. We quote now the very funny text wrote by James Joyce and entitled “Stephen Hero” where he gave his definition of epiphany {FN1}:

He [Stephen Hero] was passing through Eccles’ St one evening, one misty evening, with all these thoughts dancing the dance of unrest in his brain when a trivial incident set him composing some ardent verses which he entitled a “villanelle of the Temptress.” A young lady was standing on the steps of one of those brown brick houses which seem the very incarnation of Irish paralysis. A young gentleman was leaning on the rusty railings of the area. Stephen as he passed on his quest heard the following fragment of colloquy out of which he received an impression keen enough to afflict his sensitiveness very severely.

The Young Lady-(drawling discreetly) … 0, yes … I was … at the … cha … pel …

The Young Gentleman- (inaudibly) … I … (again inaudibly) … I …

The Young Lady-(softly) … 0 … but you’re … ve … ry … wick … ed .

This trivialit*y made him think of collecting many such moments together in a book of epiphanies. By an epiphany he meant ‘ a sudden spiritual manifestation, whether in the vulgarity of speech or of gesture or in a memorable phase of the mind itself. He believed that it was for the man of letters to record these epiphanies with extreme care, seeing that they themselves are the most delicate and evanescent of moments. He told Cranly that the clock of the Ballast Office was capable of an epiphany. Cranly questioned the inscrutable dial of the Ballast Office with his no less inscrutable countenance:

-Yes, said Stephen. I will pass it time after time, allude to it, refer to it, catch a glimpse of it. It is only an item in the catalogue of Dublin’s street furniture. Then all at once I see it and I know at once what it is: epiphany.

 -What?

-Imagine my glimpses at that clock as the gropings of a spiritual eye which seeks to adjust its vision to an exact focus. The moment the focus is reached the object is epiphanised. It is just in this epiphany that I find the third, the supreme quality of beauty.

-Yes? said Cranly absently.

What we see here, is the apparent lack of rational explanation in terms of the usual methods that are currently teached in school, in terms of causal links and connections that hide a fabric of underlying patterns where the mental and the material coincide in what seems to be connectors with potential to transform our lives. The transformative power of synchronicities led the outstanding physicist Wolfgang Pauli to explore the deep connections between the psyche and matter in the book “Resurrection of Spirit within the World of Matter” [2]{3}.

Why a great physicist, as Wolfgang Pauli was, become interested in Synchronicity and the role of the psychic life, may be found in the tragedy that attained him when his mother committed suicide, after knowing about his father’s infidelity. This tragedy accompanied Pauli all his entire life, and the series of dreams that so much have perturbed him, lead him to Carl Jung, and from the therapeutics sessions he had with Jung, it followed an intense collaboration and sharing of thoughts about these matters, that culminated in Jung’s book “Psychology and Alchemy”. One recurrent dream that Pauli had, called “The World Clock”. Pauli recurrently saw two clocks with a common axis, but one clock was at 90 degrees with other, connecting two different patterns of movement, and apparently showing a link between the real time and the complex time, since complex numbers can be represented since Euler, Wessel and D’Argand in a kind of Cartesian frame where the Ox axis represents real numbers and the Oy axis the complex numbers (see Complex Plane).

Wolfgang Pauli 45's birthday.

Wolfgang Pauli 45’s birthday.

Pauli’s mind was full of strange dreams that reflect his deep interest about all this world we are living in. He was deeply interest in a dimensionless constant of physics that is near the cabalistic number “137” (the fine-structure constant representing the coupling of light to matter). We may say here that Pauli was na outstanding physicist, maybe greater than Albert Einstein, but instead to be willing at the front with other succesful physicists, he choose to stay behind, thinking and giving ideas to others. He died in a hospital room number 137…

Another strange dream that was reported about Pauli involves a Persian figure. Pauli asks: “Are you my shadow?” The Persian replies: “I am between you and the light, hence you are my shadow. Not the other way around.” Pauli: “Are you studying physics?” The Persian: “Your language thereof is too difficult for me, but in my language you would not understand physics.”{4}

As David Peat wrote in his inspiring book “Synchronicity: the Bridge between Matter and Mind and the Resurrection of Spirit in the World” [4]:

The universe was perceived not so much in terms of separately distinct objects connected by forces but through sympathies, influences, humors, resonances and patterns that belong together. It was not that movements of the planets causally influenced events on earth, but that an essential harmony was maintained between the patterns of heaven and earth. Within such a world-view, synchronicity is perfectly natural.

The concept of Causal relationships implies a linear concept of time, introduced with the rise of banking and commerce, when lending money implies accumulating interest. With the Renaissance, all other concepts of time (including the idea of a circular time, the eternal return) were definitively banned, and replaced with a “time” used for prediction, control, accumulation rates, and wealth. With this time it followed the concept of biological evolution (Krishnamurty and David Bohm they don’t believe on this concept, see important interview), and the general idea that pervades our societies that linear time lead us all to progress.

It is progressively clear that Science is not serving humanity the way it should. Since the Atomic Bombs and the horror provoked in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Cold War and its sequels, the use of science (including fractal geometries) to finance that ultimately led us to the bankruptcy, and the end of the dream, the use of technology to submit man to powerful people who the only good they seek is money and power, is not a good asset for our future. Scientists must depart in a new journey, developing a new Science where the soul and qualities are treated  equally, finishing with the general mechanistic view, and thinking about what kind of Science is good for all of us. Otherwise, Science risks to become a real danger, or at minimum no more an interesting subject with important outcomes for Society (for example, David Bohm and even Einstein, they wouldn’t choose the same profession, if reborn). In a way, I believe that a new Era for humanity is already beginning, scientists (including me) are committed to explore new paths, aiming to serve humanity, helping us to more deeply what means to be a human being, and for what purpose we are here on this little planet.

We recall here Pauli, again, as reported in his autobiography by the brilliant Dutch theoretician H.B.G. Casimir who discover an important proof of the existence of the vacuum as having an internal structure: “We are living in curious times. Christianity has lost its grip on humanity. Other times should come. I think that I know, what will come. I know it quite certain. But I won’t tell anyone, because otherwise they will think that I am crazy.”

REFERENCES:

[1] Oswald Spengler, Man and Technic

[2] David Peat, Synchronicity

[3] Jung and the Postmodern: the interpretation of Realities, by Christopher Hauke

[4] “Synchronicity: the Bridge between Matter and Mind and the Resurrection of Spirit in the World”, by F. David Peat, Edited by Robert jon Religa

[5] H.B.G. Casimir, Haphazard Reality: Half a Century of Science, 1984, Harper Collins.

SITES:

{1} Hot Find! Humans Used Fire 1 Million Years Ago, Charles Choi, LiveScience Contributor

{2} Excerpt of James Joyce’s Stephen Hero.

{3} Listen to Sting, singing together with The Polices, the theme Synchronicity

{4} Towards One World

The sun, our star – Part 1

27 Jan

“When pain brings you down, don’t be silly, don’t close your eyes and cry, you just might be in the best position to see the sun shine.”  – Alanis Morisetti

“If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.”  
―   Napoleon Bonaparte

Without our star, the Sun, we were not here on this planet, or any form of life we know, it is common knowledge. Its importance is clear in the myths of the sun and of the cycles of nature. Osiris, Adonis, Dionysus, Mithras, Buda, Bachus, Jesus Christ, they all were born on the 25th December, since it is …and they all die around Easter, when nature reborn from the cold winter (in north hemisphere).

Below it is shown the decorative theme in the tomb of Ramesses IX showing the king’s adoration of the sun disk, accompanied by Isis and Nephthys on the lintel over the entrance.

PLASMA: THE FOURTH STATE OF MATTER

To understand our sun we need to recall what is a plasma. The plasma is considered to be the fourth state of matter, after the gas, liquid and solid states. At ambient pressure and temperature, a gas is a good electrical insulator. For example, if we connect two electrodes separated by a few millimeters to an electric generator (let us say, feeding the circuit with 220 Volts), apparently there is no net current crossing the space between them. However, if you do the same experiment, with the electrodes immersed in a gas at a lower pressure, you will notice na electric current across the gas, and at the same time, the gas start to glow with a color that depends on the spectral composition of the gas and the current value and gas pressure (VIDEO 1). The current is mainly transported by free electrons that succeed to cross the gas from one electrode (cathode) to the other (anode) by taking energy from the electric field acting between the two electrodes. We say that the gas become a plasma, a phenomena that currently can be seen almost everywhere (VIDEO 2).

Another type of plasma discharge occurs around high-tension distribution lines that fed sub-stations and cities with electric energy. The electric field near electrodes (the role of electrodes being in this case played by two cables, or by a cable and electrical connection to earth). Electrons are created by several processes and are strongly transported by the field, producing streamers of electrons that originate from the ionization process of molecules and atoms. This type of discharge is called corona discharges, and are accompanied by a characteristic noise, and it is shown in Fig.2. Artificial sunlight can be obtained using small bulbs (for example, with a small drop of Mercury inside a quartz tube filled with a rare gas at a low pressure, typically a few millimeters of Mercury or one hundred pascal, see pressure units here). Seasonal affective disorder can be treated with sun lamp light therapy {1}.

enseignes lumineuses

Fig.1 – Tokyo is full of illuminated advertisements. Image credit: http://whisky.centerblog

When the voltage applied to the electrodes inside the bulb increases, a small current cross the gas, ionizing molecules and atoms (neutral particles) and a feeble luminosity appears – that’s what is called a glow discharge (see VIDEO). The word plasma was coined by Irving Langmuir (1881-1957), a term that ensued from his observations of the separation of the plasma into cell-like regions with boundaries formed by charged particles sheathes, whenever regions with different densities, temperatures, or electromagnetic fields inhomogeneity are present. [1]. In general terms, plasma is a state of matter composed by ions (positive and negative) and free electrons subject to collective Coulonbian forces in a médium composed by neutral particles (atomes and/or molecules).

If the electrons and ions densities are much lower than the desnity of neutral particles, the plasma is said to be weakly ionized (glow discharges, lightning); if, by the contrary, the density of neutral particles is much lower than thecharged particles density, the plasma is said to be strongly ionized (stars, thermonuclear reactors). If ñe    represents the average number density of electrons (average number of electrons per unit of volume) and ñZ is the average number density of ions with ionic positive charge , then the global condition is satisfied:

Globally, the plasma state is characterized by equal number of positive and negative charges.

Eq1

The electromagnetic field is well described by the set of Maxwell’s equations:

Eq2Eq3Eq4Eq5

This set of equations are defined when the Lorentz force is given by:

Eq6

and the constitutive equations are defined by D=εE  and B=μH, relating the electric field vector E and the displacement vector D, and as well the magnetic flux density vector B and magnetic field vector H, while ε and μ are the permittivity and permeability of the medium, and ρ and J are the electric charge and current densities, respectively. m and q are the mass and charge of the particle.

The sun magnetic field gives rise to sunspots, coronal loops, faculae, solar flares, solar wind and prominences, solar cycle, irradiance variability. Usually the magnetic field near the solar surface is measured using the Zeeman effect. Until now, the vast majority of all recordings of the magnetic field still refer to measurements of the Zeeman effect of the photosphere.

Image credit: http://www.daviddarling.info/

Coronal loops. Image credit: http://www.daviddarling.info/

The sun’s magnetic field is responsible for generating self-excited dynamos [2], magnetoconvection phenomena, interaction of radiation with magnetized gas, magnetic reconnection.

The sun rotates around its axis in 26 days (28 days when viewed from the Earth) in the equatorial region, while in the polar regions it takes 37 days (40,5 days when seen from Earth). The spacecraft Mariner II in 1962 detected the solar wind. the speed distribution, direction, temperature, composition, and spatial structure of the solar wind were mapped from a number of spacecraft, mostly sampling at low solar latitudes (few degrees from the plane of the ecliptic). It is the solar wind that stretches the interplanetary magnetic field. The source of the interplanetary sector structure is invariant with time. This means that the same boundary might be observed anew after 27 days. This is just na average value, since the solar wind velocity can modify the time of arrival of a sector boundary in 1 or 2 days.

Faculae, the birghtest region around a sunspot. Image credit: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

Faculae, the brightest region around a sunspot. Image credit: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

What is amazing is the Archimedes spiral that the magnetic field lines of force of the solar wind depict in space, and shown in the document shown below [4].

What scientists found is na Archimedean spiral like figure of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field that reminds the swastika (卐) (Sanskrit: स्वस्तिक), i.e., an equilateral cross with four arms bent at 90 degrees, sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, which literally means “to be good”, or “being with higher self”.Sun001

fig3-pdf

The Interplanetary magnetic field lines of force separated in sectors, as seen by Mariner II.

lord-ganesha-on-swastika-HG75_l

Swastika, means “to be good”

The resemblance between the IMF and the swastika suggest the following question: Did the ancients had knowledge that have been lost to time?…

Below it is shown the solar structure.

structure

The structure of the sun, our star. Image credit: astro-observer.com

SUN OBSERVATORY

You can check out in real-time the current status of our Sun here:
http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/

To be continued…
REFERENCES:

[1] Mario J. Pinheiro, Plasma: the origin of the word, in Philica.com article 363

[2] Dynamo effect, page of the university of Oregon

[3] Geodynamo theory and simulations, Paul H. roberts and Gary A. Glatzmaier, Rev. Mod. Phys. vol. 72, Nº4, October 2000

[4] Large scale properties of the Interplanetary magnetic field, Kennett H. Schatten, NASA Report

SITES:

{1} Sun lamps.

About the End of the World…

20 Dec

Primum vivere, deinde philosophari. – Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

Yes! it is the end of the miserable world!…if the People will understand, open their eyes and look down on their wretchedness, on the abuses they have always suffered; if they will apply the remedy for their evils, – evils which desolate society, regenerate the world, and give it new life. – John F. Mas

It is a very old story, that of the end of the world. The lightning and thunder, the inundations, the drought, the earthquakes, all the great cataclysms have been a rich subject for the priests and Jesuits of all countries to predict the end of the world. The remotest date we can recollect of in history is the year 999. At the last hour of said year 999 , the terrestrial globe, according to our evil prophets, was to disappear like a nutmeg in the hands of a juggler, and all human beings to die instantly, and their soul appear before an old white-bearded man whom they call God. who would judge the ones good for Heaven, the others for Hell and Purgatory, three things which the priests and Jesuits skilfully turn to good account in frightening the credulous and weak-minded people. Nevertheless, the globe still revolves. Those predictions were throwing perturbation and desolation throughout the entire  world, while the hypocritical devotees benignly reaped the earthly treasures from the horrified populations. – John F. Mas, in The end of Miserable World [1]

When man starts to see the “end of the world”, it seems to me that he is attained by this feeling because he perceives his own failures. And unfortunately, in my viewpoint, he is right in this perception, because for the common human being, moderately aware of what is going on, the delusion he actually feels is the outcome of the total comprehension that human history is not what is told in textbooks, is not a guaranteed progress. No, in fact, there is always present the strange possibility of civilizational retroces, this human stupidity that is hidden on our brain wiring, that common politicians use for their profit. Humans, if not educated with higher purpose, are framed to cheat, to use others for their own egoistic and materialistic desires. That’s what we see everyday, in a world without sincere leaders, in the news that are vehiculated by the medias and the horrific programs that are scheduled to frame our state of minds, in the promise made by our politicians, that we know are not serious, are just the way they live, cheating people. The natural expectations human beings may have in their very short lifespan, are prone to delusion, making of every human being, instead of the little god he hides inside of him and the marvellous being he was entitled to be on this planet, one more potential cheater, one more potential killer, and all to benefit this strange political system, that “gently” is dominating this human race.

So, yes, dear Fellow Citizen, this is the End of the World, we all start to recognize the truth behind the ditto. Before us, philosophers tried to clear our minds about what this means.

Friedrich Nietzsche claimed “God is dead”, because in his “optics”, no hope we may receive from the heavens.

In the same tune, Erich Fromm claimed that man is dead [2]{2}, and the day will come when he will cease to be a man, and will become a machine deprived of reflexion and…sentiments.

But I am sure that human beings are well below their true potential, unfortunately controlled by an educative system and mass media that frame their minds.

So, are we talking about the end of the world?…Probably it already started a long time ago…

REFERENCES:

[1] The end of Miserable World, by John F. Mas

[2] The Sane Society, by Erich Fromm

SITES:
{1} 2012 and Counting: A Nasa scientist answer top 20 questions about the End of the World

{2} Marxist.org: Erich Fromm, The Nature of Man, 1961

The amazing similarity between blood and chlorophyll

3 Sep

Education has no meaning unless it helps us to understand the vast expanse of life with all its subtitlities. – Krishnamurti.

What is tru for the [the bacterium] E. Coli is true for the elephant. – François Jacob, 1965 Nobel Prize in Medicine

Part of our knowledge we obtain direct; and part by argument. – John Maynard Kaynes

After all, the ancient worshipers of the Sun have their reasons, they had a theory of life that sees life as a result of the sun light, and for them plant life and human life are closely related to each other. Nowadays, science gives some reason to their not completely satisfying concept of the natural world. Scientist already discovered that life comes from the sun. Chlorophyll contains oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and magnesium, whilst haemoglobin from the blood contains iron at the place of magnesium, see figure above. Both iron and magnesium are metallic atoms.

Organisms spend a lot of time acquiring energy (capacity to do work) and nutrients (substance that an organism needs for growth and survival, but cannot make of itself). Despite the close similarity between blood and chlorophyl, plants are producers (they make their own food using energy and materials from their environment) and animals are consumers (cannot make their own food). As stressed by Jeremy Rifkin {*2} “the first economy of the world is photosynthesis”.

Hemacyanin is another molecule which is responsible to convey oxygen in haemalymph, the blood of arthropods. An arthropod are members of the phylum Arthropoda (invertebrate animal with an exoskeleton, segmented body, and jointed appendages). Insects, arachnids, crustaceans are among this group. Hemacyanin has copper at his center. It is the metallic element at the center of these molecules that give their characteristic color.

arthropods. Image credit: Wikipedia

Chlorophyll, hemoglobin and hemacyanin are three fundamental molecules of life as we know in our planet. Their chemical formulas are:  C55H72O5N4Mg, for chlorophyll, and for hemoglobin is  C2952H4664N812O832S8Fe4. It is therefore clear our parentage…

These molecules are needed since diffusion or plasma solubility in delivering oxygen is very ineffective, and higher organisms needed to evolve in building specific proteins to transport dioxygen in the blood. These substances are able to transport oxygen in the blood through acceptance of dioxygen from a surface in contact with air (lung) or water (gill), circulate to the tissues, delivering their needed oxygen. Of course, the carrier molecule must not be irreversibly oxidized by dioxygen, and transition metals, characterized by lower oxidation states were chosen by nature to accomplish this task. Otherwise, they would be lost for further purpose. However, these metallic elements are carried, involved in a structural protein casing that protect them against irreversible oxidation (in a way not entirely known) [3].

Oxygen may be seen as the elixir of life…and death. The name “oxygen” was bequeathed by Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794), the revolutionary scientist and political conservative beheaded in May 1794 during the French Revolution. The great mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange (1736-1813) regreted the decision of the Revolutionary Tribunal and said: “it took but a moment to cut off that head, though a hundred years perhaps will be required to produce another like it”.

Life on Earth start with anaerobic metabolism that still nowadays persist in the form of bacteria living in oxygen-poor environments. In the early earth, nearly all oxygen was bound in compounds, like water and silicate rocks. But nearly 3 billions years ago the “invention” in nature of plant photosynthesis turned anaerobic world into our present type of environment with aerobic life. It is clear that the introduction of oxygen into the anaerobic world obliged the organisms existing at that time to adapt, since a lot of the by-products from oxygen metabolism are toxic compounds. Oxygen was essential to retain on Earth much of the hydrogen, since our planet has a relatively small mass, and can easily lose free hydrogen to the cosmic space. Without binding to oxygen, nearly all hydrogen would be lost forever.

The atomic structure dictates what an element can do, what compounds it can form, and what properties it possess. The nucleus of the comoomn isotope of oxygen contains eight protons and eight neutrons, and is designated by 16O. Quamtum mechanics tells us that electrons are not located around the nucleus as “orbitals”, but as a “cloud”, a region of space where electrons are most likely to be.

The following video shows how oxygen is transported through our bodies.

Image credits:7salemanimalkingdom.wikispaces.com

According to the bible and the Quran, Israelites were nourished about 40 years (while wondering in the Sinai desert) from the heavens with manna, apparently a member of lichen family [4].

Algae can be a source of food and energy {3*} in a world where a multitude of people don’t take due attention to the quality of their eating habits, see site below (and I am thankful to Molly Brooks, who called my attention to her infographic)
Guide to Cleansing
Created by: www.MedicalAssistantCertification.com

REFERENCES:

[1] Nobel Prize presentation, Chemistry, 1915

[2] Chlorophyll and hæmoglobin regeneration after hæmorrhage, by J. Howell Hughes and  A. L. Latner

[3] Oxygen and the Evolution of Life, by Heinz Decker,Kensal E. Van Holde

[4] Charles Berlitz’s World of the Odd and Awesome, by Charles Berlitz

SITES:

{*1} Alternative treatment for cancer

{*2} Jeremy Rifkin, Lecture at Ross’ Institute in 2010, entitled “The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis”.

{3*} Shearable:Science and Tech

The Art of Scientific Illustration

21 Apr

 One Picture is Worth Ten Thousand Words – Confucius.

Create, as if your life depends upon it – Jessie Shaw

There is hardly a more familiar artifact of modern life than the so-called scientific illustrations. That is, the diagram or picture in isometric or linear perspective with notations for scale and measurement which show how machines or houses or even human beings are put together and taken apart and how they work. Who, indeed, has never depended on such an illustration for assembling a Christmas bicycle or a Sears & Roebuch porch swing (not to mention for constructing an atomic reactor or preparing for open heart surgery)? So taken for granted is the ubiquitous scientific illustration that few scholars have ever sensed that it has any historical interest. – Samuel Y. Edgerton, Jr. [1]

Leonardo's drawing of an ornithopter. He was inspired by the observation of birds flying, and this drawing is considered the first scientific illustration. Image credit: NASA/Photo Researchers, Inc.

The art of scientific drawing is an irreplaceable method for better apprehension of ideas, and a way to prepare the ground for new discoveries. All along the history of science, we know of great genius that relied on drawing to discover or better express his/her ideas.

The first men of science illustrating their writings were Leonardo da Vinci (see the ornithopter), Francis Bacon, Galileo, William Harvey, Descartes.

Leonardo was very eager to keep his secrets, not wanting they fall into the wrong hands. For this motive, he had a preferred left-hand writing in his notebooks (called ‘mirror writing’), while employing his hand-writing in conventional communication (in his letters). Movement specialist Grant Ramey [2] sustains that Da Vinci use ‘mirror writing’ because he was passionate by symmetry and the human form in art and science. Apparently, Da Vinci wrote in his notebooks from right to left, with his left-hand, in order to keep thinking (instead to remain focused on his own writing), see here.

Scientific illustration is an important form of art, intending at the same time accurately transmit scientific knowledge. Interestingly, Goethe is quoted to have said that you really do not see a plant until you actually draw it…

Why we should start to draw figures in our intellectual and aesthetic activities? In order to understand the power of drawing, let us start to quote here another great man, Thomas H. Huxley, since it is with them that we learn: «[…] I should, in the first place, secure that training of the young in reading and writing, and in the habit of attention and observation, both to that which is told them, and that which they see, which everybody agrees to. But in addition to that, I should make it absolutely necessary for everybody, for a longer or shorter period, to learn to draw.»

In Meno, famous dialogue between Socrates and one of Meno’s slave (a boy), see Ref.[3] to read the complete dialogue, it is clear that by drawing and with the right questions, we may “recall” the knowledge we have in our minds. This famous dialogue depicts the problem of teaching science, in fact a very old topic in philosophy of science, the problem of the “tacit knowledge” that we all may eventually possess.

We quote next to a short part of this important dialogue, led by Socrates, while drawing on the ground.

«Meno: Yes, Socrates. But what do you mean by this, that we do not learn and what is called learning is recollection? Can you teach me that this is so? […]

Meno: Certainly. Step forward here.

Socrates: Now, is he Greek and speaks Greek?

Meno: Absolutely. He was born in the house.

Socrates: Then pay close attention to see whether he seems to recollect or to be learning from me.

M: I certainly will.

So: Tell me, boy, do you know that a square is like this? [Socrates draw a square on the ground, see 1]

Slave: I do.

So: And so a square has these lines, four of them, all equal? [see 2]

Slave: Of course.

So: And these ones going through the center are also equal? [see 3]

Slave: Yes.

So: And so there would be larger and smaller versions of this area? [see 4]

Slave: Certainly.

So: Now, if this side were two feet and this side two feet also, how many feet would the whole be? Look at it like this: if this one were two feet

but this one only one foot, wouldn’t the area have to be two feet taken once? [see 5]

Slave: Yes.

So: When this one is also two feet, there would be twice two?

Slave: There would.

So: An area of twice two feet?

Slave: Yes.

So: How much is twice two feet? Calculate and tell me. [see 6]

Slave: Four, Socrates. [see 7]

So: Couldn’t there be one different from this, doubled, but of the same kind, with all the lines equal, as in that one? [see 8]

Slave: Yes.

So: And how many feet in area?

Slave: Eight.

So: Now could one draw another figure double the size of this, but similar, that is with all its sides equal like this one? [see 9]

Slave: Yes.

So: How many feet will its area be?

Slave: Eight.

So: Now then, try to tell me how long each of its sides will be. The present figure has a side of two feet. What will be the side

of the double-sized one?

Slave: It will be double, Socrates, obviously.

So: You see, Meno, that I am not teaching him anything, only asking. Now he thinks he knows the length of the side of the

eight-feet square.

MENO: Yes.

So: But does he?

Meno: Certainly not.

So: He thinks it is twice the length of the other.

MENO: Yes.

So: Now watch how he recollects things in order — the proper way to recollect.

Archimedes was also known to write in whatever surfaces he had at hand, on the sawdust-covered floors, on the sand, drawing geometric shapes on the extinguished fires. That ‘s why the majority of Archimedes drawings are forever lost. He spent hours, sited on the floor, like most geometers at his time did, since it was too expensive to scribbled on a papyrus and then thrown it away.

Galileo Galilei with the help of his telescope (invented by him) also made the first drawing of the moon. The consequences were controversial, since the Catholic Church saw in his drawings, his sketches of the moon, irregular surface, full of craters, a proof that the heavenly bodies were not perfect, as supposed before. But the dialectical fight between science and religion was just beginning {5}. the old war between the Catholic Church and science, made the popes suspicious of the scientific findings and induce them to create the Vatican Observatory with headquarters at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, outside Rome. Quite surprisingly, they also have a research center, the Vatican Observatory Research Group, hosted by Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA. Located at the Mount Graham International observatory, in southeastern Arizona, the Vatican possess the 1.8m Alice P. Lennon Telescope with its Thomas J. Bannan Astrophysics Facility, known together as the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope. Vatican astronomers said recently that it is okay that people believe in ET’s [5].

Hiero II calling Archimedes to fortify Syracuse. Archimedes was considered at the time a great mind in matters of military strategy. Painting by Sebastiano Ricci. Image credit: http://www.artfund.org

Galileo first drawing of the Moon.

Remark that by drawing you may understand the Pythagoras theorem (see also here).

We must not lose sight that analytical equations represent spatial structures. Our mind must deal with this “hidden” aspect of the mathematical formalism. This is most important for people working in visual science, like computers programming {2}.

Researches done by Professor Shaaron Ainsworth of the University of Nottingham’s School of Psychology, and colleagues from La Trobe and Deakin Universities in Australia, have shown that students learn better when they are endowed to draw, a method which helps students in visualizing abstract concepts, to recall and to more easily engage in communicating with each other. Teachers at school should endeavour to teach and encourage students to draw what they have learned, since this is a powerful method to apprehend any subject, and a powerful process when aiming to transmit ideas to other people {4}. According to Horst Bredekamp [6], it was the ability to draw shown by Galileo that allowed him to better understand Nature; due to their artistic abilities, he could see better than others not gifted in the arts of illustration.

REFERENCES:

[1] Samuel Y. Edgerton, Jr., in “The Renaissance Development of the Scientific Illustration”

[2] Science and Education, Thomas H. Huxley

[3] Meno, by Platon

[4] Scientific Illustrations, by John L. Ridgway

[5] Vatican Astronomers says its okay to believe in ET, by Nancy Atkinson

[6] Galileo in Context, (p. 180) Edited by Jürgen Renn

SITES:

{1} The Craft of Scientific Illustrations [contains important advice on how to draw a scientific illustration] []

{2} The importance of drawing

{3} Drawing pictures key to learn science

{4} Drawing and doodling can help you learn science

{5} Catholic Church and Science

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