Category Archives: Nature

A Case for Reverting the US to a Hemp-based Economy

Dear Americans, statespersons, and citizens of the world,

Hemp (Cannabis sativa) can be used for nearly everything currently utilized in our society: from food, to clothing, to paper, to textiles and housing materials, to plastics, to graphene and hence nanotechnology, as well as providing fuel for automobiles and power centers. It is without doubt the most versatile natural resource available on the planet and bears negligible, nearly untraceable amounts of THC (>.3%) and is purposefully bred industrially to keep that psychotropic chemical low.

This proposal calls for a complete legal reform pertaining to industrial hemp; (optimally) to include governmental subsidy to industrialists for the building of processing centers in agricultural areas (this would help to keep energy of production low); and to farmers (regulated by a governing body), growing purposefully diversified strains of hemp (as some strains of hemp are good for fuel, others are good for food, and still others for fiber – farmers would then be partially constrained based on what processing center or centers opened near them [It is preferential, of course, to have every sort of processing plant within a near proximity of the fields, as this would allow each region to become more self-sufficient]) to provide the individual communities that comprise the United States the security they so greatly need and deserve; and to help facilitate a cultural shift in consciousness about hemp and its consumer consumption.

Whatever Made Humanity also gave us a plant that will do everything that we need, but we have villainized it, for greed and Industry and misunderstanding. But we cannot bow any longer to the corruption of capitalism and corporate self-interest, or to ignorance. The status quo can no longer stand – there has been too much damage to the environment for the sake of fiscal gluttony and it will kill us all, fat cats and paupers alike, unless we act radically as immediately as possible.

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Nerd (Micro) Blurbs: Dick Jokes Edition

Interesting late-breakings around the News-o-sphere today regarding size: it DOES matter after all. What’s that? Oh, that was a cheap, inaccurate dick joke? Okay, we’ll get to the actual news then. Scientists have been making tiny breakthroughs and large discoveries and we’ll give you the size of it in this edition.

“…I’m Going to Need a Microscope…” (That’s What She Said!) “…To See Your Processor…”

Because great scientific discoveries always seem to come in twos: two different research facilities are working on processors the size of atoms. But IBM is taking an upper-hand it seems, as The New York Times reports, by making twelve atoms their bitches forcing them to spit out both zeroes and ones. Now, I’m not about to out-write The Times so I’ll let you read that article and not pontificate, but they are partially responsible for all these dick jokes because they interviewed a Stanford professor for this article named Shan X. Wang. I shit you not.

Now, we’re not only talking about quantum computing, but processors infinitely smaller than the ones we have today that can process information better than even the most formidable super computer today. Crazy.

Of course we’re still left with a measurement problem:

"Your porn, under such a quantum processor, would both exist and not exist. Also, your wiener is tiny." -Albert Einstein

That was…uh…helpful, Einstein. Thanks for that. Moving on.

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Nerd Blurbs: Earth, Air, and Space Edition

Greetings earthlings and welcome back to both you and us at Worlds As Myth!

In this week’s edition of Nerd Blurbs we’ll take a look at some hot news regarding the thought-extinct Galapagos tortoise, how carbon emissions are affecting our weather, and we’ll take a look at Joe Piscopo‘s career!…what’s that? Oh, rather, we’ll talk about the new map of the universe’s dark matter – sorry Piscopo for giving you hope you actually have a career to speak of.

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Tools: Updated Daily

Hold on while I load this rock up.

Tools have been an important part of human society since…well, at least 3.4 million years ago, according to a paper published today in the journal Nature. The researchers discovered marks in animal bones, found in Ethiopia, that could only have been made by sharp cutting utensils; though it’s unclear if our progenitors hewed these out of stone, or just looked for naturally edged rocks to act as knives and hammers. Said Zeresenay Alemseged, California Academy of Sciences, lead researcher, of the findings: “These developments had a huge impact on the story of humanity.”

If you think that’s good, Zeresenay, just check out what Google launched today, tool-wise, after the jump.

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Facebook Five-Hundred Million to Herald the End?

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, announced yesterday that Facebook had reached half-a-billion users. Who, from the original gang that joined the formerly collegiate-exclusive site, would have ever imagined this day would come – when the change to public was announced, I remember, it seemed like the end of the world. But it wasn’t the end of the world. But undoubtedly this is.

Mere hours after Zuckerberg’s announcement came the notice from English scientists who discovered what may be a twin site to Stonehenge, reports the Associated Press. This one is constructed out of wood and may actually be a prehistoric burial site, according to Bournemouth University professor of archaeology Tim Darvill. Well dude, how do you know they’re not one and the same?

Satter’s article indicates that Woodhenge (a different thing than the one announced today- I know, druids are so unoriginal – or maybe that’s the English) contained the skull of a child that had been split open. Presumably, that means, that they did child sacrifices there. And if Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom taught me anything, it’s that when you want to try to end the world, you do child sacrifices. I may need to watch that movie again.

So what I’m saying is that the discovery of a world-ending, child-sacrifice machine right as Facebook announced their five-hundred-millionth customer served (“Congratulations, you have to farm your own potatoes and fight vampires and mafioso if you want to make it in this town, see?”) can’t be coincidence, can it? I mean, what are the odds that two such seemingly unconnected events would happen at precisely the same time. If only Mulder were a real person – he’d figure this one out.

Thanks to AncientCircles.com for the robe image

Mark Zuckerberg: Druid? or Sith Lord?

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Missing Links: Holy Crap Edition

Some stuff garners your attention like nothing else can, drops your jaw and makes you say, “Holy crap.” That’s the type of stuff we’re concerned with on this week’s edition of Missing Links. From farting felines to fun with photoshop, this Missing Links is like a turd dropped in a bowl of sanctified wine…that metaphor sounded better in my head.

  1. Graphic artists in the Netherlands have created one of the craziest light shows in the world. It’s a work that is transformative of the building it’s projected upon. Wholly astounding.
  2. I didn’t even know cats could hiccup. Don’t see why they wouldn’t be able to, but just never have been in the presence of cat-‘cups. Have witnessed their flatulence though, so I’m only half-astounded by this video: Cat Farts & Hiccups at the Same Time. I never thought something like that would be adorable.
  3. Are you a nerd that likes to get his drink on? Combine the two worlds and imbibe this concoction, a taste cocktail affectionately called The Warp Pipe.
  4. Some fun displays of multiplicity. Yes, technology your average person owns has surpassed the best effects of crappy Michael Keaton movies.
  5. Behind the scenes TED talk from engineer Adam Sandusky, discussing the creation of the OK Go Rube Goldberg machine video for This Too Shall Pass, which I was listening to while writing this post. Cheers.
  6. Flash. Circles of color. Put your mouse over them. They divide. Like, whoa man.
  7. One of the coolest clocks I’ve ever seen. I think I’m going to make it my homepage. What’s with the Netherlands totally rocking visual design?
  8. The most holy crap moments filmed ever; some of the luckiest people on the planet, escaping death by just fractions and millimeters.
  9. Wired Science has an article that transitions sci-fi with science fact: the Japanese have deployed a spacecraft with a solar sail propulsion system. Snoogans.
  10. MarioCrossover.com places other video game characters in the plumber’s world. Why no one thought to do this before is beyond me, but it’s awesome…except that one can’t seem to toggle the sound. Oh well.

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How Plastics Can Be Beneficial to a Body

AntibodyCHODisulfide.gif

Yeah, melt down that water bottle and turn it into this.

Researchers out of UC Irvine, working with researchers at the Japanese University of Shizuoka have discovered a means of turning a type of plastic into artificial antibodies, Popular Science reported yesterday. The process involves taking a microscopic amount of a particular plastic with inherent anti-pathogenic properties and molding them into the shapes you see above, imprinted with the shape of the foreign body they’re meant to attack. Set them loose in a body and they have been shown, in lab mice, to significantly amplify a body’s natural foreign-body-fighting ability.

The experiments they’ve run involve using the active ingredient in bee toxin, melittin, in doses fatal to something as small as a mouse – those little rodents that received a dose of the artificial antibodies had a greater success rate than their unfortunate counterparts, indicating to researchers that the plastics are effective at augmenting an immune system. The next step would be tailoring these pseudo-anti-bodies to different pathogens, allergens, toxins, and the like, to effectively create a boost to the immune systems of people suffering from a wide range of infections, from the common cold to, well theoretically, HIV.

I personally have some hangups on this tech. Yes we’re talking about nanoparticles smaller than the width of a human hair, but there’s got to be a threshold. Pump enough of this stuff in someone, whether it’s every time they get a cold or during a hospital stay to ward off the typical ward infections, there’s a great possibility of a pile up. And real antibodies die and get reabsorbed by the body – what happens to these things, when plastics can take millennia to degrade – couldn’t they get absorbed into the body and potentially mutate the person into developing plastic powers, turning him invulnerable to all things except, like high heat?

Okay, I’ve convinced myself. Sign me up for human trials.

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