Topics: Chemistry, Polymer Science, Materials Science, Research
A polymer-based gel made by researchers in the US and inspired by the Venus flytrap plant can snap, jump and “reset” itself autonomously. The new self-propelled material might have applications in micron-sized robots and other devices that operate without batteries or motors.
Snapping instabilities The Venus flytrap plant works by regulating the way its turgor pressure – that is, the swelling produced as stored water pushes against a plant cell wall – is distributed through its leaves. Beyond a certain point, this swelling leads to a condition known as a snapping instability, where the tiny additional pressure of a fly’s footsteps is enough to cause the plant to snap shut. The plant then automatically regenerates its internal structures in readiness for its next meal.
Topics: Chemistry, Einstein, Materials Science, Research
To date, researchers have created more than two dozen synthetic chemical elements that don’t exist naturally on Earth. Neptunium (atomic number Z = 93) and plutonium (Z = 94), the first two artificial elements after naturally occurring uranium, are produced in nuclear reactors by the thousands of kilograms. But the accessibility of transuranic elements drops quickly with Z: Einsteinium (Z = 99) can be made only in microgram quantities in specialized laboratories, fermium (Z = 100) is produced by the picogram and has never been purified, and all elements after that are made just one atom at a time.
There are ways to probe the atomic properties of elements produced atom by atom (see, for example, Physics Today, June 2015, page 14). But when it comes to the traditional way of investigating how atoms behave—mixing them with other substances in solution to form chemical compounds—Es is effectively the end of the periodic table.
Now Rebecca Abergel (head of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s heavy element chemistry program) and her colleagues have performed the most complicated and informative Es chemistry experiment to date. They chose to react Es with a so-called octadentate ligand—a single organic molecule, held together by the backbone shown in blue, that wraps around a central metal atom and binds to it from all sides—to create the molecular structure shown in the figure. In their previous work, Abergel and colleagues used the same ligand to study transition metals, lanthanides, and lighter actinides. When they were fortunate enough to acquire a few hundred nanograms of Es from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they used it on that as well.
Topics: Mars, NASA, Perseverance, Space Exploration, Spaceflight
Editor’s Note: This release was updated on Feb. 22 to correct the metric unit for the speed at which the rover’s wheels made contact with the surface to kph.
New video from NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover chronicles major milestones during the final minutes of its entry, descent, and landing (EDL) on the Red Planet on Feb. 18 as the spacecraft plummeted, parachuted, and rocketed toward the surface of Mars. A microphone on the rover also has provided the first audio recording of sounds from Mars.
Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights, Politics
To split the baby is a reference to a story in the Old Testament in Kings 3:5-14, regarding a decision of Solomon that shows his wisdom when given a difficult task. Solomon as king was often asked to judge between people with difficult problems, and his solutions were accounted as very wise. The term is often used to describe an unreasonable solution that may be used as a way to find an underlying truth.
In Kings, two women approach Solomon, both claiming to be the mother of the same baby. In fact, one woman has smothered her own child in her sleep and has taken the child of another woman with whom she shares a home. Upon waking, the mother of the living baby finds she is holding the dead child, who she knows is not hers. Since she cannot convince the mother of the dead child to give her back her child, they go to Solomon for judgment.
Solomon’s solution is fairly unique. He hears both sides, which are identical, and decides that the best course is to cut the baby in half so both mothers will have a share. To do this, however, means to kill the child. The mother who has already lost a child is happy with the solution, but the real mother cries out and begs Solomon to let the other woman raise her child alive.
When the real mother protests the solution and is willing to give up her rights as a mother to preserve the life of her child, Solomon hands the baby to her.
What did it mean? Pontius Pilate was the Roman procurator (governor) of Judaea living in Jerusalem during the trial of Jesus. According to the story, he washed his hands to indicate that he believed Jesus was innocent of any capital crime – if he was killed – it wasn’t on him.
The prosecution put on a clinic in the Well of the Senate in their closing remarks. Every avenue to derail the trial on “procedure,” or “constitutional norms” was deftly batted away. It helps when the prosecution is playing seven-dimensional chess, and the defense team of Foggy Foghorn Leghorn, and Rage Elmer Fudd, is playing jacks.
The former Party of Lincoln has ridden this Kraken before the Orange Orangutan. Roger Ailes and talk radio proto Karl Rove, “created their own reality” in a Rush Limbaugh, cigar-chomping, racist ranting clones (because you don’t need talent if you get a raging crowd buying your product), against the libs, Feminazis, and cooties. For forty-one years, from Reagan to Orange Satan, they have gaslighted their constituents, blamed every convenient “other” they could label and shoveled money uphill like a Hoover vacuum to their one percent benefactors. They have no intention of getting off this bucking steer in the right-wing rodeo, otherwise, like rodeo clowns, they might get skewered by the bull.
I don’t expect there to be enough votes to convict him. It will be just shy of sixty-seven. I hope to be pleasantly surprised. The arcane rules of the Senate even after the off possibility of getting to sixty-seven, then have to take a simple majority vote to remove him from running again for office. He will be fatter, four years older, more insane, and publicly incontinent in 2024 (he wears Adult Depends now). Entropy can save us, or his criminal trials for state crimes in New York, and Georgia can put him in a wardrobe matching his fake, and grotesque spray tan. Cruz and Holley are salivating at this possibility.
They are splitting the baby: forty or so white republicans, and their mascot, Tim Scott, will vote again to acquit a criminal. Not because they’re no longer the “party of law, and order.” Not because the Party of Reagan was any greater: he started his campaign BLOCKS away from the death site of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner; he spoke openly about Welfare Queens, Young Bucks, and African Monkeys. Doofus Gambino is the end of Entropy: over a long period of time, any system goes from order to chaos. Forty-plus one poodle are looking forward to the next midterm, the next election, the next voter suppression, and now added to the quiver: the next insurrection, Like see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil monkeys, they will ignore it, and use it as a tool if they lose future elections.
The Neo-Confederates are self-immolating, and not for some noble protest, but to maintain power at the expense of the republic. They are the party whose defense will relitigate “WHATABOUTISM” with Antifa (anti-fascists), Benghazi (might as well), and Black Lives Matter (because, they don’t). Foggy Fog, and Rage Elmer will unimpressively rest today. Gaslighting and created realities will blow them up to the high crest peak of BS mountain. Rage will then observe the Sabbath at sundown.
They are the party of white nationalists. They are the party screaming the N-word at Capital Police during the insurrection. They are the party of smeared feces and urinated Capitol halls. They are the party of Camp Auschwitz T-Shirts: Work Brings Freedom. They are the party of the Battle Ensign of Robert E. Lee (NEVER call it the Confederate Flag) flying at the Capitol, something not accomplished during the Civil War. They are the party of Ukraine and Georgia election interference “perfect” phone calls. They are the party that would sacrifice their own sycophant Vice President Mike Pence, and execute the first and only female Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. They are the party of Vice President of the treasonous Confederacy, Alexander M. Stephens, and the “Cornerstone Speech”:
“Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”Cornerstone Speech
They have not wavered from this mentality. It’s been taught over and over, father to son, mother to daughter. The first gaslighting being the “lost cause” narrative lie, metastasizing to the inherited inferiority narrative shoveled at all of us, the proto version of birtherism, stolen from Orly Taitz. This “alternative fact” was amplified by a failed businessman, a faux billionaire that [probably] had Russian prostitutes urinate in a bed of the black president and first lady he hated with every fiber of his dark soul, that knows no love.
Eighty-one percent of white evangelicals left any allegiance they ever had to brown-skinned, Palestinian prophets, and voted for this Antichrist.
They, therefore, cannot be called Republicans any longer: they are fascists.
America is building a new weapon of mass destruction, a nuclear missile the length of a bowling lane. It will be able to travel some 6,000 miles, carrying a warhead more than 20 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It will be able to kill hundreds of thousands of people in a single shot.
The US Air Force plans to order more than 600 of them.
On September 8, the Air Force gave the defense company Northrop Grumman an initial contract of $13.3 billion to begin engineering and manufacturing the missile, but that will be just a fraction of the total bill. Based on a Pentagon report cited by the Arms Control Association Association and Bloomberg News, the government will spend roughly $100 billion to build the weapon, which will be ready to use around 2029.
To put that price tag in perspective, $100 billion could pay 1.24 million elementary school teacher salaries for a year, provide 2.84 million four-year university scholarships, or cover 3.3 million hospital stays for covid-19 patients. It’s enough to build a massive mechanical wall to protect New York City from sea level rise. It’s enough to get to Mars.
A new type of quasiparticle – dubbed the “spinaron” by the scientists who discovered it – could be responsible for a magnetic phenomenon that is usually attributed to the Kondo effect. The research, which was carried out by Samir Lounis and colleagues at Germany’s Forschungszentrum Jülich, casts doubt on current theories of the Kondo effect, and could have implications for data storage and processing based on structures such as quantum dots.
The electrical resistance of most metals decreases as the temperature drops. Metals containing magnetic impurities, however, behave differently. Below a certain threshold temperature, their electrical resistance increases rapidly, and continues to increase as the temperature drops further. First spotted in the 1930s, this phenomenon became known as the Kondo effect after the Japanese theoretical physicist Jun Kondo published an explanation for it in 1964.
Anthony Fauci – director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, an expert on HIV and immunoregulation, and the de facto public face of a science-based recovery from COVID-19 – has been named the winner of the 2021 Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, awarded annually by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to a scientist or public servant who has contributed significantly to the advancement of science in the United States.
Fauci is “an outstanding scientist with more than a thousand publications” and “an exceptional public servant, having been at the forefront of the world’s efforts to combat diverse infectious diseases for over 40 years,” wrote Alan Leshner, former chief executive officer of AAAS, in nominating Fauci for the prize. The prize committee cited Fauci’s “extraordinary contributions to science and medicine” and his service that has shaped research and public policy.
Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Existentialism, Fascism, Human Rights
Jacob Chansley, the so-called “QAnon Shaman” arrested for storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, has filed an emergency motion before a federal judge in Washington, D.C., “for sustenance.” In the alternative, Chansley is asking to be released from jail pending trial. The requests are related to Chansley’s belief in Shamanism, a religion which he says allows him to eat only organic food as a core tenet of practice.
The motion, filed by attorney Al Watkins, mirrors requests for organic food which Watkins made during a plea hearing last week. Chansley pleaded not guilty to charges related to the siege.
Watkins says Chansley hasn’t eaten since authorities moved him to Washington, D.C., more than a week ago. Chansley has lost more than twenty pounds, the documents state, and further note that his “physical condition . . . is declining.”
Ahem: This has to be the first documented case of white privilege on steroids. He’s got to be in solitary confinement, for his own safety. He wouldn’t last a nanosecond in general population. The buffalo horns might increase his survivability to about 30%.
James’ words rang through my head over the last 24 hours as it became more and more clear that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, wasn’t actually going to make a decision about whether Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s past extremist and intolerant comments should result in the Georgia congresswoman being stripped of her committee assignments.
After a lengthy meeting with Greene on Tuesday night in which she refused to apologize for her past actions, a person with knowledge of the matter told CNN, McCarthy foisted the matter onto the Republican Steering Committee. But the Steering Committee adjourned Tuesday night without rendering a decision on Greene. So McCarthy turned to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, for help. But a meeting between the two men earlier Wednesday produced no resolution to the problem.
Kevin McCarthy will never be Speaker. Nancy Pelosi gave the SICKEST official burn on the Speaker’s website, which he can only salivate at like Pavlov’s dogs, but will never own. Who wants a squishy surfer dude from California, who’s only talent he thinks he needs in life is to dress in a suit, sport a tan, and jut out his chin for the camera? There is literally nothing of consequence above his neckline.
Don’t fret, though. It’s not like she won’t be busy. She has an active social media existence. I’m holding my breath on the level of crazy she’s going to raise twiddling her Twitter thumbs in the loo since she has absolutely no reason to report to work now. That means watching a lot of right-wing news designed to keep her, and its audience in a perpetual state of pissed-off-ness, and scared of the brown people. The loo is where her 45th court jester did his best disinformation work after all, which is the only things he did other than golf more in four years than President Obama ever could have in eight. In, Game of Thrones parlance, let us “brace ourselves”: next-level insanity is coming because an idle, crazy mind is the devil’s workshop.
The Republican Party isn’t a serious governing body, and that should concern us. “Bipartisanship sometimes referred to as nonpartisanship, is a political situation, usually in the context of a two-party system (especially those of the United States and some other western countries), in which opposing political parties find common ground through compromise.” Source: Wikipedia
Sixty-one republicans wanted to kick Liz Cheney out of leadership – because she FOLLOWED The Constitution and clearly saw Orange Satan incite an insurrection, where they defecated on the floors, urinated in the halls, and that’s supposedly OKAY. Blue Lives Matter, except for the Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, whose ashes laid in state for defending their worthless lives.
One-hundred and ninety-nine republicans (including Liz Cheney) thought Marjorie Taylor-Greene should be on the Education Committee, which by its definition is: “Education can be thought of as the transmission of the values and accumulated knowledge of a society. In this sense, it is equivalent to what social scientists term socialization or enculturation. Children—whether conceived among New Guinea tribespeople, the Renaissance Florentines, or the middle classes of Manhattan—are born without culture. Education is designed to guide them in learning a culture, molding their behavior in the ways of adulthood, and directing them toward their eventual role in society.” Britannica
The party can’t read The Constitution beyond the Second Amendment. Moscow Mitch didn’t pass a THING as Majority Leader, calling himself the grim reaper, but animated his caucus for the lifetime appointment of conservative judges, positions left open because they couldn’t be bothered to “advise and consent” for a black president.
Strangely enough, I don’t want just the Democratic Party. There should be an opposition party, and it should be functional. Instead of, “climate change is a Chinese hoax,” a conservative alternative would be cap-and-trade. Hell, the Affordable Care Act originated from the Heritage Foundation, you know, where Mike Pence works now. Mitt Romney spearheaded it in Massachusetts. He was for his plan before his party put the racist, birther, witchdoctor boogie man spin on it. Politics poetically is “the art of compromise,” and there can’t be compromise in an echo chamber, even one you might like.
This started with Sarah “mama grizzly” Palin. Then, it metastasized into the Tea Party, which almost drove John Boehner insane. I see why he quit, left to go smoke, drink wine, and sell weed. Now, it’s QAnon sense, and they apparently vote in numbers enough to put an insane person in Congress.
QAnon is just another monster from the echo chamber of Breitbart, Fox, News Max, OANN, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and the only human in existence where the first consonants switched in his first and last names sounds like a dirty word: Tucker Carlson.
The Republican Party can decide to follow their 2012 autopsy, or continue to lose elections. One-hundred and ninety-nine opposition ads are gearing up for the 2022 midterm elections. You all just went on-record as the party of QAnon. The party is undergoing a massive contraction after the January 6, 2021 insurrection. Somehow treason isn’t that attractive in the 21st Century. Even if Dumbo Gambino isn’t convicted, if a simple majority vote removes his option to run in 2024 (when he’ll be seventy-eight), he’s done. Every Republican candidate trying to run for dogcatcher will have the orange stain for a generation. Or, if he’s convicted of the other myriad crimes under investigation in New York, he will go to prison. You will then be the party of seditionists, racists, and stupid jailbirds.
This is Black History Month. Every DAY is black history. We know it. We lived the worst of America’s darkness, and we’re still standing.
We’re not going anywhere, and we’re not going back.
I been scarred and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between ’em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin’, stop lovin’, stop livin’– But I don’t care! I’m still here!
Topics: Diversity in Science, Moonbase, NASA, Space Exploration, Spaceflight
Artemis, in Greek religion, the goddess of wild animals, the hunt, and vegetation and of chastity and childbirth; she was identified by the Romans with Diana. Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo. Source: Britannica
The Biden administration’s crucial first 100 days in office now includes a big human spaceflight pledge.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday (Feb. 4) that President Joe Biden will carry on the Artemis program to land humans on the moon in the coming years. Artemis began under Biden’s predecessor, then-President Donald Trump.
“Through the Artemis program, the United States government will work with industry and international partners to send astronauts to the surface of the moon — another man and a woman to the moon,” Psaki told reporters in a White House press briefing Thursday.
“Certainly, we support this effort and endeavor,” she added.
Topics: African Americans, Diaspora, Diversity in Science, Women in Science
Former First Lady, Secretary of State, and Presidential Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said “women’s rights are human rights.” Comparatively, Black History is American History. The insurrection at the Capitol wasn’t just white privilege on-steroids, it was ignorance writ large. Not that the information isn’t in their face for twenty-eight days, twenty-nine on leap years, but an ignorance born of willfulness, arrogance, hubris, and mental deficiencies.
The Middle Passage. December 7, 1941. The Holocaust. September 11, 2001. January 6, 2021. All is a part of our history, days that shall live in infamy. Days we commemorate in ceremony, observance, remembrance, and a commitment within our souls: never again.
You don’t forgive anything by shrugging, and the victims of violence never forget. We’ve all been experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder for four years we would LIKE to forget, but we’d rather heal from, in the light of science, and truth.
The American Psychiatric Association has never officially recognized extreme racism (as opposed to ordinary prejudice) as a mental health problem, although the issue was raised more than 30 years ago. After several racist killings in the civil rights era, a group of black psychiatrists sought to have extreme bigotry classified as a mental disorder. The association’s officials rejected the recommendation, arguing that because so many Americans are racist, even extreme racism in this country is normative—a cultural problem rather than an indication of psychopathology.
The psychiatric profession’s primary index for diagnosing psychiatric symptoms, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), does not include racism, prejudice, or bigotry in its text or index.
Therefore, there is currently no support for including extreme racism under any diagnostic category. This leads psychiatrists to think that it cannot and should not be treated in their patients.
To continue perceiving extreme racism as normative and not pathologic is to lend it legitimacy. Clearly, anyone who scapegoats a whole group of people and seeks to eliminate them to resolve his or her internal conflicts meets criteria for a delusional disorder, a major psychiatric illness.
When astronaut Mae Jemison saw actress Nichelle Nichols portray Lt. Uhura on Star Trek, her life was changed forever. Seeing an African-American role model helped steer Jemison toward a goal – she was determined to join NASA and become an astronaut. Years later, Jemison achieved her goal when she made history as the first African-American woman to go into space with the U.S. space program.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential components to the success of our fields. In recognition of that fact, the American Institute of Physics adopted a Strategic Framework in 2019 that aims to “advance the physical sciences with a unifying voice of strength from diversity.” Further, we are committed to becoming an institution that “leads the physical sciences community toward an impactful understanding of how to be more welcoming to, and supportive of, the full diversity of physical scientists throughout their [education and] careers.”