Welcome to The Carnal Carnival!

August 11, 2010 § 1 Comment

 The Carnal Carnival appealing to your more sophomoric interests since 2010 (it's science, we promise!)Who ever said scientists had no sense of humor, never met these guys. What, from my point of view as a casual twitter observer, began as a joke on twitter a few days ago has turned into a full-blown blog with articles scheduled out through October 2011 so far. Themes include: poop, barf, orgasm, and weird animal sex just to name a few. These are my kind of people. The tag line for  the blog is:

appealing to your more sophomoric interests since 2010 (it’s science, we promise!)

“The Carnal Carnival will publish the third Friday of each month. The host will pick the general topic for that particular month.”

via Welcome to The Carnal Carnival! «. <<Click Here

The Carnal Carnival is also on twitter.com

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Big Bang Abandoned in New Model of the Universe

July 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

This is one of the most exciting theories I have heard in a long time. I am going to tell you why and you are going to think I am even nuttier than you already do. But, as you know, I don’t care. One night after watching some documentary about Stephen Hawking and the black hole wars, I was lying in bed just contemplating the Universe. Suddenly and image came into focus and a said aloud to my husband.

“I get it. It has a hole but it has no hole.”

Of course he groggily responded.

“What the hell are you talking about?”

I went on to explain that I had seen an image of the Universe. That it was kind of like a doughnut. But, because we are inside the ring so we just keep going around and around. From our perspective it doesn’t have a hole. And the image I saw it was all stretched out so the “doughnut hole” was almost invisible.

“A new cosmology successfully explains the accelerating expansion of the universe without dark energy; but only if the universe has no beginning and no end.

Shu’s idea is that time and space are not independent entities but can be converted back and forth between each other. In his formulation of the geometry of spacetime, the speed of light is simply the conversion factor between the two. Similarly, mass and length are interchangeable in a relationship in which the conversion factor depends on both the gravitational constant G and the speed of light, neither of which need be constant.

So as the Universe expands, mass and time are converted to length and space and vice versa as it contracts.

This universe has no beginning or end, just alternating periods of expansion and contraction. In fact, Shu shows that singularities cannot exist in this cosmos.” Read the full article…

via Technology Review: Blogs: arXiv blog: Big Bang Abandoned in New Model of the Universe.

Critical Thinking 101: A Skeptics Toolkit

July 27, 2010 § 2 Comments

Have you ever tried convincing someone that ghosts aren’t real, aliens are not abducting people or that psychics are con artists, only to end up in an argument? It has happened to me. More often you are presented with a situation where a friend or family member states something you know to be complete baloney, but out of politeness or fear you say nothing. Well, thanks to The Cleveland Skeptics, now you can. They have put together a toolkit. When someone says something stupid just find the appropriate video or podcast and send it to them. It is also a good idea to go through all of the material yourself.

“Critical Thinking 101

These are videos, podcasts, articles and books that, I think, provide the basic knowledge for skepticism. These are the essential tools that every active skeptic should have.” Please read and bookmark

via The Cleveland Skeptics: Critical Thinking 101.

Beginning and End of the Universe

July 26, 2010 § 3 Comments

Universe History

* The diagram below outlines the major Eras of the Universe according to the Big Bang Theory. Click the picture for many more details and a larger image. The one line in the article that caught my attention the most was at the end.

“One important point is that since everything that we learn about the Universe comes from light (photons), if there are no photons there is no information. Thus, before the end of the era of nuclei, we have no information since the photons were trapped. We will never see this era of the Universe with photons, but maybe gravity waves (?).”

That is a point that has been bothering me. Since we can’t “see” most of the Universe why do some (not all) scientists cling so tightly to one theory to the exclusion of all others? Isn’t it possible the standard model is wrong? Or, Isn’t is possible string theory is wrong? or M-theory? or even the Big Bang Theory? People use to think the theory of a geocentric universe was true. We agreed to get over that. Well, most of us did. I am just saying Science is about keeping an open mind about the facts. And the facts are, at the moment, most of the Universe is still invisible.

via Astronomy 309: COSMOLOGY.

Are We Living Inside a Black Hole?

July 23, 2010 § 1 Comment

Are We Living Inside a Black Hole?This is a new one. I don’t know about you, but I will have fun thinking abut this one this weekend. My definition of fun is different than most.

“Scientists trying to explain the universe’s accelerating expansion usually point to dark energy, which seems to be pushing everything apart.

But an Indiana University professor has a new theory, reports New Scientist: We’re inside a black hole that exists in another universe. Specifically, a black hole that rebounded, somewhat like a spring.

Some fairly mind-blowing physics is involved here, but the gist is that Nikodem Poplawski of IU-Bloomington used a modified version of Einstein’s general relativity equation set that takes particle spin into account.” Read Full Story

via Are We Living Inside a Black Hole? | Popular Science.

Oh Cool, Super Bubbles!

July 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Taratula Nebula “The enormous stars in the [Tarantula]nebula are producing intense radiation and searing winds of multimillion-degree gas that carve out gigantic bubbles in the surrounding cooler gas and dust. Other massive stars have raced through their evolution and exploded catastrophically as supernovae, expanding these bubbles into X-ray-brightened superbubbles.” Read full story

via Image of the Day: Ghost Bubbles of the Tarantula Nebula.

We are never ever alone

July 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

No metazoan is an islandPZ Myers is still writing.  Get ready for some poop.

“It is our conceit to regard ourselves as individuals of Homo sapiens, a body of cells clonally derived from a single human cell. It’s not true. It turns out that each one of us is actually a whole population of species, linked by our evolutionary history and lumbering through the world as a team.”

Read the entire article on Panda’s Thumb “No metazoan is an island

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