Someone asked how to deal with a denialist on scientific topics. I think the process can be best explained using a flow chart.
The first question is whether you're dealing with a fully committed denialist. You're never going to get Peter Duesberg to admit HIV causes AIDS or someone from the Heartland Institute to accept that we've got over a century's worth of science behind climate change. So if your first answer is "yes," then you have to think about whether an audience is present or likely to ever see the conversation. If not, then there's no point in engaging. You're never going to get anywhere with the individual, and nobody is going to benefit from the time you will spend trying.
If an audience is present, then you have to be ready for the discussion to happen on the denialist's terms. They're going to nitpick every bit of evidence you have and throw out badly misinterpreted science faster than you can clarify it. Your opponent's goal isn't to help the audience to understand the science; it's to make you look bad and, therefore, to make people less likely to accept what you understand.
Return the favor. They will say something absurd—it will either be something that's wrong, or something with absurd consequences, or something that they don't really understand. Latch on to that and don't let it go. Force them to address it. Ken Miller, a biologist who's involved in a lot of creationism/evolution debates, said his favorite tactic is to take some of the things that creationists say to their logical end. If creationists think that there was a global flood followed by an ice age, make them explain where the water came from, calculate where all the energy involved in freezing all that water went in a few hundred years—and then have them figure out where the energy that melted the ice came from.
Another good thing to latch on to is a logical inconsistency. Climate change denialists tend to deride computer models, apparently not realizing they're used ubiquitously in science. So, there's a chance that some of the studies they like (because they suggest a lower climate sensitivity or something similar) also used a computer model. Call them on this, and don't let it drop. They'll also object to the policy implications of the science; they're separate, and it's often easy to make that clear.
Moving back to the top of the flow chart, there's the option that the person you're talking with is not a hard-core denialist. In fact, the majority of people you'll talk to on any topic falls in this category. You may talk to someone who isn't pathologically, Ken Ham-style committed to believing the Earth is 6,000 years old but has heard from people who say that humans and dinosaurs could have lived at the same time. Or someone who doesn't know much about climate change but can't stand Al Gore. The majority of people who don't trust some aspect of science don't do so because they know science; they do so because a cultural group they belong to doesn't like some apparent consequence of the science.
Here, the best thing to do is simply communicate with them without dismissing what they think. You can find out what exactly they object to and see if it's about the science. If so, you can work to try to help them understand how to find more reliable sources of information. If it's less about the science and more about culture or ideology, work on breaking down the cultural barriers by finding things in common with them. Maybe you both had parents who served in the same branch of the military or grandparents who came through Ellis Island. Maybe you share some of the same concerns, like worries about the future for the youngest members of your families.
The key thing is that you have to get them past the feeling that anyone who accepts scientific evidence is somehow radically different from them, with completely different values and experiences.
What you can accomplish depends on the person. Maybe you can get him or her to see the science as separate from the cultural concerns. Maybe you can shift the discussion into the realm of policy, ethics, or something else, issues that are really the foundation for their discomfort. Maybe you can get them to look into the reliability of the places they've been getting their information. Maybe you can just get them to read a few things they might not have otherwise looked at.
But you have to be willing to accept this sort of incremental progress—nobody is going to have a sudden epiphany and completely revise their opinions overnight. You can be part of the process that changes people's minds, though. It might not be incredibly satisfying, but it's far better than being part of the problem by dismissing everyone with shouts of "denialist." And, over the years, I've gotten a number of e-mails or comments from people who have gone on to change their minds on various processes. And that is incredibly satisfying.
Static electricity is the imbalance of electric charges within or on the surface of a material. A cheap electrostatic generator can be used to produce static electricity with high voltage and low continuous current. The charge imbalance between the hand and the particles of sand cause them to become repelled from one another.
In 1987, Steve Wilhite gave the world an image format that would forever change the Internet: the GIF. Here are 15 science experiment GIFs—and what's going on in each.
1. BLUE MAGNETIC PUTTY
You've probably played with thinking putty at least once in your life. If you haven't, what you need to know is that it has viscoelastic properties, so you can pour it like a liquid but also bounce it like a solid. It's also a dilatant fluid, meaning it will thicken increasingly with applied shear stress. Magnetic putty is the same substance, only this time, an iron oxide powder is added. The iron oxide will make the entire substance react to magnetic forces. Now all you need is a magnet, like the sphere above, and your putty will act like it has a mind of its own. Check out how you can make it yourself.
2. HUMAN LOOP
We've seen people on skateboards and motorcycles loop the loop many times. Damian Walter is the first human to do it on foot. To run it without falling, you need to reach the right speed; then, centrifugal forces will keep you locked on the track. Note how his shoulder line stays dead center of the loop. For this particular one, Damian needed to accelerate up to 8.65 mph in the highest point to be able to gain enough inertia as to rotate his body and legs around his head fast enough, so when gravity finally wins, he's already feet down on the track. The is part of a Pepsi promotional campaign.
3. QUANTUM LOCKING
The edge of the table is a magnet and the puck is a regular wafer coated with a half micrometer (around one-hundredth the width of a hair) veneer of superconductor. Superconductors conduct electrical currents with zero resistance when cooled to extreme temperature (which is why the puck is frosted). The levitation is possible thanks to quantum locking (also known as flux pinning). Superconductors have zero electrical resistance, and they always want to expel magnetic fields from themselves. In this GIF, because the superconductor layer around the wafer is so thin, some magnetic field gets "trapped" inside it. The superconductor can't move the magnetic field without breaking the superconducting state, so the trapped bits of magnetic field just stay there, locking the puck in a hovering position in midair. And because the track is a circle with the same magnetic field throughout, the puck can travel around without ever breaking the lock. If you want to see something really cool, the puck does the exact same thing .
4. ORBITS OF EARTH AND VENUS
Venus' orbit around the Sun takes 224.7 Earth days. At first it just seems like a random number, but when scaled in time, we see that both planets interlock their orbits in a 13:8 ratio (Venus: Earth, respectively)—so for every eight years on Earth, Venus cycles around the Sun roughly 13 times. When we trace the two orbits for that time and draw a line between them each week, we see they draw a beautiful 5-fold symmetrical pattern. If we map each point when the two planets align with the Sun and run imaginary lines, we see a near-perfect 5-pointed star. Here's more about this phenomenon, and here's a very cool simulation.
5. SLINKY FALLING IN SLOW MOTION
The slinky is simply a spring. When a spring is stretched, tension tries to pull it back together towards a collapsed state. The spring's tension is occurring mostly symmetrically, so it pulls all ends towards the center. When dropped vertically, the bottom end is trying to fall down, but tension acts in the opposite direction, so the bottom of the spring remains stationary. Meanwhile, the top end is collapsing with G (9.81 m/s2) and spring tension. It's not until the rest of the spring hits the bottom of the spring, eliminating the tension that had counteracted gravity, that the slinky finally collapses and falls to the ground. Here is the this GIF is from, which explains it in more detail.
6. TOUCH-ME-NOT SEED POT EXPLODING
Some plants have figured out astonishing ways to reproduce, including the jewelweed (Impatiens ****capensis********), also known as the spotted touch-me-not. When the seeds mature enough to start a new generation, their pods develop a nastic response and explode, dispersing the seeds in the environment. When the time comes, the cells of the seed pod accumulate and store mechanical energy based on their hydration level. Any external stimuli then overloads the system, and the walls separate and quickly coil up on themselves, transferring energy to the seeds and launching them outwards. This study from the Journal of Experimental Biology explores how this mechanism works.
7. PINE CONE OPENING
When it's dry outside, pine cones open up to disperse seed. When it's damp, it's no longer a favorable condition, so they close to protect them. Pine cones are the most common example of a hygromorph, which changes shape based on humidity levels. The cells inside the cone are dead, and the triggered response is completely automatic. When they're dry, a small section of the outer layer of the scale near the mid-rib shrinks, pulling the whole scale back and opening it up. When it's damp, the moisture causes the layer to expand in such a way that it closes the cone. Here is a detailed study on the subject.
8. WATER TRANSFER PRINTING
Water printing, a.k.a. hydrographics, is a fast and efficient method to coat an object. The hydrographic film is first placed on the surface of a tank with water. The film itself is soluble in water, so after a short time, it dissolves, leaving the ink calmly floating on the surface. The item is carefully dipped inside as to accurately transfer the texture and details of the film. A swirling motion disperses the ink to ensure the texture stays perfectly printed. The object then needs to dry and get a clear coat finish, just like any other printing process. Here's a Q&A about water printing.
9. ANTS ACTING AS A FLUID OR A SOLID
Ants, being the social bunch they are, figure out that by grouping and acting like a single body, they can counteract external forces very effectively and, as a group, adapt to a variety of situations. By latching themselves to each other, they can create a single solid mass that's elastic and springy in nature. This, for example, allows them to endure a big push, which would otherwise throw off a single ant. When they need to be more flexible with their surroundings, they simply move around within the body of ants and it allows them to act as a fluid and easily overcome obstacles. Take a look at this great production by the New York Times.
10. DIVERS UPSIDE DOWN UNDER THE ICE
When you notice that the air bubbles "fall down," you'll realize these divers are actually walking upside down on the underside of the ice on a frozen lake. This becomes possible when they inflate their gear with air, which increases their buoyancy and makes them go up. A little fine tuning, and they can simulate gravity upside down. They can do that as long as they have air in their bottles, because the water pressure around them is supporting their entire bodies from all sides. Watch the .
11. WATERMELON EXPLODED BY RUBBER BANDS
The watermelon's outer wall is usually pretty rigid and durable. Slowly wrapping rubber bands around it gently increases external pressure, which is squeezing the interior of the watermelon onto either side of the rubber band, increasing the pressure on those other areas. Notice also how they go along the short side, which is weaker than the longer one. At around 500 rubber bands, the external pressure eventually forces the watermelon to distribute so much internal pressure to the upper and lower shells that it cracks the outer wall (notice how the first crack appears at the very top, and that's quickly followed by a crack a couple inches above the rubber bands. Those were weak points). And without watermelon inside, the wall is much easier for the rubber bands to break. After they've gone through the wall, the flesh of the fruit provides little resistance, so they snap and transfer all the force to the melon from the inside, which makes it explode outwards. Here is the original video from the Slo Mo Guys.
12. LUNAR PHASES ASSEMBLED
One full revolution of the Moon around the Earth takes about 29.53 days. In this time it goes through several phases, all of which are characterized by the portion of the Moon that's visible to the Earth. In the new moon phase, the Moon stands between our planet and the Sun. Since the Sun is the only major source of light in the Solar System, the moon is in shadow. (That faint brightness on the moon around this time is because of earthshine—sunlight reflecting off the Earth onto the moon.) At the opposite end of this cycle, the "Full Moon" phase, the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth, illuminated by the Sun, and thus we see the entire side of the Moon that always faces us (thanks to tidal locking). Here's some good reading material on lunar phases.
13. GLASS FRACTURING AT 10 MILLION FPS
Glass is a peculiar material. It's incredibly durable to compression, to the point where to shatter a cube of one cubic centimeter, you'd require a load of 10 tons. Regardless, the average tensile strength of glass is very low, making it amazingly weak against fast and focused blows. Scientists have yet to discover exactly how glass shatters on an atomic level, but at least we can enjoy these beautiful fractals while we're waiting for them to figure it out. Here are some theories about how glass breaks.
14. NON-NEWTONIAN FLUIDS
Unlike regular fluids, non-Newtonian fluids change their behavior based on your interaction with them. For example, when one type of non-Newtonian fluid is introduced to high stress, like a fast hit, its viscosity increases, and it thickens up to act like a solid. This is because the particles inside a non-Newtonian fluid are many times larger than in a regular fluid. When exposed to an action that would result in a very fast deformation, they simply don't have the time to move around and reshape their form, so they resist. When approached gradually, the non-Newtonian fluid will act as expected. Quicksand is a natural example of this phenomenon. Here's an in-depth further read, and a very entertaining .
15. GLADIATOR SPIDER HUNTING
Most spiders spend their time weaving great networks of webs to trap any unfortunate visitor. Rather than take the passive approach, the gladiator spider has inverted the process and leads a rather active hunting life. It carefully weaves a quadratic net, which is very elastic, and although not very sticky, it does well to entangle whiskers, bristles, and hairs. When it's ready, the gladiator spider waits for the perfect moment. Its eyes are very developed and allow it to spot prey in near darkness. After it's close enough, the spider pounces downward while extending the net, trapping the insect. Watch the full video here.
In #1899 Tesla gave this interview which has rarely ever been published for over 100 years. In it Tesla pulls no punches and reveals the #great #conspiracy #of #science that was well under way, the #suppression of ether and the introduction of a new fake science to conceal it as well as to suppress the work of Tesla himself.
Once, in 1899, Nikola Tesla had an interview with a certain journalist, John Smith, when Tesla said, “Everything is the light.” In one of its rays is the fate of nations, each nation has its own ray in that great light source, which we see as the Sun. In this interview this greatest inventor and seer of modern time unravels a new vision of humanity which we, the light warriors of the first and the last hour, have created a century later. A must read for every Ascended Master from the PAT.
Part of this interview is dedicated to Tesla’s critics on Einstein’s theory of relativity that discards the ether as energy. I have proved in the new Theory of the Universal Law why Einstein’s theory of relativity is entirely wrong and why there is no vacuum (void), and that everything is energy. Thus I confirm Tesla’s ideas as expressed in this interview.
In this work, a rope bridge that can support the crossing of a person is built by quadrocopters, showing for the ﬁrst time that small ﬂying machines are capable of autonomously realizing load-bearing structures at full-scale and proceeding a step further towards real-world scenarios.
Except for the required anchor points at both ends of the structure, the bridge consists exclusively of tensile elements and its connections and links are entirely realized by ﬂying machines.
Spanning 7.4 m between two scaffolding structures, the bridge consists of nine rope segments for a total rope length of about 120 m and is composed of different elements, such as knots, links, and braids. The rope used for these experiments is made out of Dyneema, a material with a low weight-to-strength ratio and thus suitable for aerial construction. Of little weight (7 g per meter), a 4 mm diameter rope can sustain 1300 kg.
The vehicles are equipped with a motorized spool that allows them to control the tension acting on the rope during deployment. A plastic tube guides the rope to the release point located between two propellers. The external forces and torques exerted on the quadrocopter by the rope during deployment are estimated and taken into account to achieve compliant ﬂight behavior. The assembly of the bridge is performed by small custom quadrocopters and builds upon the Flying Machine Arena, a research and demonstration platform for aerial robotics. The arena is equipped with a motion capture system that provides vehicle position and attitude measurements. Algorithms are run on a computer and commands are then sent to the ﬂying machines via a customized wireless infrastructure.
In order to be able to design tensile structures that are buildable with flying robots, a series of computational tools have been developed, specifically addressing the characteristics of the building method. The design tools allow to simulate, sequence, and evaluate the structure before building.
The location of the scaffolding structure is manually measured before starting the construction. The primary and bracing structure can then be realized without human intervention. Before realizing the stabilizers, the locations of the narrow openings of the bridge are measured and input to the system, which adapts the trajectories accordingly.
Conducted by University of Warwick researchers, the study found that humans and other animals capable of mentally simulating environments require at least a primitive sense of self. The finding suggests that any animal that can simulate environments must have a form of self-awareness. Often viewed as one of man's defining characteristics, the study strongly suggests that self-awareness is not unique to mankind and is instead likely to be common among animals.
Since 2003, forests in #Russia and #China have expanded and tropical #deforestation has declined, the report says, adding that the savannahs of northern #Australia and southern #Africa have also shown an increase in aboveground #biomass #carbon (basically, plant matter).
The loss of the #rainforest is still something to be concerned about, the scientists said. But the increase in overall vegetation could help counteract #climate change, since plants absorb the #carbon dioxide that is released into the air via #fossil #fuels.
Bertrand Piccard plans to fly around the world in a plane that doesn’t use any fuel. Huh? Yep. This machine is equipped with 17,000 solar panels. He explains the logistics and mechanics — and shares some hopes and fears for the upcoming voyage.
p style="text-align: center;">“Ere many generations pass; our machinery will be driven by a power obtainable at any point in the universe.” – Nikola Tesla
p style="text-align: center;">A Reactionless AC Synchronous Generator (RLG) has been invented by Paramahamsa Tewari, electrical engineer and former Executive Director of Nuclear Power Corporation of India. His background includes engineering project management for construction of nuclear power stations. The efficiency of models he has built, which have also been independently built and tested, is as high as 250%.
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p style="text-align: center;">In November 2014, I made one of many visits to the laboratory of Paramahamsa Tewari. I had seen the basis for the RLG design in September of 2010. Mr. Tewari showed me a stiff conductor about a foot long which was allowed to rotate at the center and connected at each end with small gauge wire. A magnetic circuit was placed under the conductor. When a current was allowed to flow through the conductor it rotated, due to a torque induced on the conductor according to Flemings Left Hand Rule and standard theory, verified by experiments at the dawn of the electrical age. With a simple rearrangement of the magnetic circuit, the same current produced no rotation – the torque was cancelled. I later duplicated the setup and experiment on my workbench. It is ingenious and lead to his breakthrough, the invention of a reactionless generator with greatly improved efficiency.
p style="text-align: center;">This experiment has lead to the design and testing of generators with efficiencies far above any previous design. The design uses the same types of materials used in current generators, but the magnetic circuit within the machine is configured to cancel back torque while inducing current and producing power. This might be compared to the rearrangement of materials by the Wright Brothers to build a surface with lift that resulted in manned flight in a time when many, including scientists, said it was impossible. Indeed, physicists who cling to an outdated model of the properties and structure of space have declared what has been done by Tewari to be impossible.
p style="text-align: center;">During the November testing I witnessed two tests of efficiency on the new model in Tewari’s lab. The second test was several percent better than the first and produced 6.6 KVA with an efficiency of 238%. A second set of stator coils was not connected yet but is expected to increase output to 300%. This is a 3 phase, 248 volt Hz, AC synchronous generator operating at 50 Hz. State of the art, true RMS meters on the input and output that measured KW, KVA, and power factor confirmed the readings of meters we had supplied for tests I observed in April of 2014.
p style="text-align: center;">We were able to visit a 130-acre factory site of one of the top electrical machinery manufacturing companies in India. At this site the company manufactures rotating electrical machines, including generators. When the chief electrical engineer first saw the drawings and design of the RLG he knew immediately what it meant for efficiency! Because of their confidence in the design, and the results of the tests on the smaller model, the company has assembled a self-excited machine designed to produce 20 KVA.
p style="text-align: center;">When we arrived at the factory a vice president of the company, the factory general manager, and the chief engineer greeted us. We then inspected the new machine and met the engineering design team assigned to this project. They are electrical and mechanical engineers who design and build conventional generators with output as high as 500 KVA. They are very enthusiastic and understand the breakthrough. A second machine rated at 25 KVA is now under construction at this company in India.I am not a technician but understand that this is a groundbreaking invention ... read the rest of the story by clicking on the title ... and/or go to http://www.tewari.org
"Ere many generations pass; our machinery will be driven by a power obtainable at any point in the universe." - Nikola Tesla A Reactionless AC Synchronous Generator (RLG) has been invented by Paramahamsa Tewari, electrical engineer and former Executive Director of Nuclear Power Corporation of India.
Introducing Sherrian Felix (@Skyefx2) as our first guest writer. Who would have thought that natures’ toughest creature would be 1 mm (0.0393 in.) long (when fully grown) and require the use of a microscope just to see it. I was instantly intrigued the first time I heard about it and wanted to know more. Here are some …