August 19, 2014

Message from a Space Traveller… Far Far in the Future…

Filed under: Cool, Extraterrestrial Life, Life, Religion — bferrari @ 7:01 am


I remember when we took our first steps upon the moon. For millennia we had looked upon her as a merciful goddess, who gifted us with light in the darkness and the rule to measure our years. What bounty of life did she hold, we wondered, when we discovered our world was a sphere? Then we invented telescopes, and found her to possess not an alien world of cold white fire, but the rough beauty of the highest, most barren mountains.

Even though our imaginations had failed us, we still sought to visit her, this great beautiful land that had occupied our nights and dreams since the dawn of our species. From swan-pulled boats to great hot-air balloons, we struggled to reach the land that we could never touch. Then came the wars, the terrible wars, and we found ourselves thrust out of our gentle lives. Great new weapons were forged, new realms of science uncovered. And the secret of spaceflight discovered.

When I finally reached her, after travelling for three days aboard my tiny rocket pod, I touched down in one of the great basalt seas that dotted the moon’s surface. And there, I found the first signs of life on the moon; a flag in brilliant colours, a ship much larger and more alien than my own and a bronze plaque bearing the image of a world and an unknown language.

When we tested the dust upon these artifacts, we came to a startling conclusion. They were more than four million years old, the product of a civilisation little more advanced than our own. The world on the plaque was unrecognisable except to paleogeologists, as the state of our continents and seas in the distant past, when our race had swum through primordial seas. Imagine! Some other life had lived and breathed and touched the heavens, and vanished, yet still its creations endured upon the merciful moon.

When we walked the rust-red surface of Geyes, we bore the inscription upon the plaque with us, engraved on our ships. When we sailed the endless skies of Jalbador, we bore the inscription on our atmosuits. When we launched our first interstellar spaceship, she bore the inscription upon her brow and carried the plaque upon her bridge. And when we first made contact, we learned what the inscription said.

“We came in peace, for all mankind.”

January 2, 2014

Ancient textile may contain lost Biblical blue dye, Israeli researcher says

Filed under: Cool, Life, Religion — bferrari @ 11:45 am

Dec. 31, 2013: A nearly 2,000-year old textile that appears to contain a mysterious blue color described in the Bible, one of the few remnants of the ancient color ever discovered. (AP PHOTO/CLARA AMIT, ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY, HOPD)

JERUSALEM –  An Israeli researcher says she has identified a nearly 2,000-year old textile that may contain a mysterious blue dye described in the Bible, one of the few remnants of the ancient color ever found.

Naama Sukenik of Israel’s Antiquities Authority said Tuesday that recent examination of a small woolen textile discovered in the 1950s found that the textile was colored with a dye from the Murex trunculus, a snail researchers believe was the source of the Biblical blue.

Researchers and rabbis have long searched for the enigmatic color, called tekhelet in Hebrew. The Bible commands Jews to wear a blue fringe on their garments, but the dye was lost in antiquity.

Sukenik examined the textile for a doctorate at Bar-Ilan University and published the finding at a Jerusalem conference Monday.



October 22, 2012

Space Exploration – What is the point of that waste of time and money?

This was the first color image of earth ever taken from the moon, taken in 1968…

First Image of Earth from the Moon

First Image of Earth from the Moon

… the instant this photo comes out, it becomes the defining picture of the whole earth catalogue:

1970: the comprehensive clean air act is passed.
March, 1970: Earth Day became a holiday.
1970: environmental protection agency was founded.
1971: Doctors WIthout Borders was founded.
1971: Clean water act.
1972: DDT is banned.
1972: endangered species act.
1973: the catalytic converter gets put in.
1973: unleaded gas starts being used.

The vietnam war is still going on, and there is still chaos in the streets from protests and mass arrests and yet people still found the time to think about the earth as a whole.

That’s space exploration doing it’s part in influencing culture, and you cannot put a price on that.

July 4, 2012

Physicists find evidence of new subatomic particle that resembles Higgs boson

Filed under: Big Bang, Black Holes, Cool, Gadgets, Religion — bferrari @ 7:15 am
Particles collide during a CERN experiment. How does the Higgs Boson work? (CERN)

Particles collide during a CERN experiment. How does the Higgs Boson work? (CERN)

GENEVA – To cheers and standing ovations from scientists, the world’s biggest atom smasher claimed the discovery of a new subatomic particle Wednesday, calling it “consistent” with the long-sought Higgs boson — popularly known as the “God particle” — that helps explain what gives all matter in the universe size and shape.
“We have now found the missing cornerstone of particle physics,” Rolf Heuer, director of the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), told scientists.
He said the newly discovered subatomic particle is a boson, but he stopped just shy of claiming outright that it is the Higgs boson itself — an extremely fine distinction.
“As a layman, I think we did it,” he told the elated crowd. “We have a discovery. We have observed a new particle that is consistent with a Higgs boson.”
The Higgs boson, which until now has been a theoretical particle, is seen as the key to our understanding of why matter has mass, which combines with gravity to give an object weight. The idea is much like gravity and Isaac Newton’s discovery of it: Gravity was there all the time before Newton explained it. But now scientists know what a boson is and can put that knowledge to further use.
CERN’s atom smasher, the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider on the Swiss-French border, has been creating high-energy collisions of protons to investigate dark matter, antimatter and the creation of the universe, which many theorize occurred in a massive explosion known as the Big Bang.
Two independent teams at CERN said Wednesday they have both “observed” a new subatomic particle — a boson. Heuer called it “most probably a Higgs boson, but we have to find out what kind of Higgs boson it is. ”
Asked whether the find is a discovery, Heuer answered, “As a layman, I think we have it. But as a scientist, I have to say, `”What do we have?’ ”
The leaders of the two teams — Joe Incandela, head of CMS with 2,100 scientists, and Fabiola Gianotti, head of ATLAS with 3,000 scientists — each presented in complicated scientific terms what was essentially extremely strong evidence of a new particle.
Incandela said it was too soon to say definitively whether it is the “standard model” Higgs that Scottish physicist Peter Higgs and others predicted in the 1960s. That was part of a standard model theory of physics involving an energy field where particles interact with a key particle, the Higgs boson. Asked his opinion, Higgs said he also could not yet say.
The stunning work elicited standing ovations and frequent applause at a packed auditorium in CERN as Gianotti and Incandela each took their turn.
Incandela called it “a Higgs-like particle” and said “we know it must be a boson and it’s the heaviest boson ever found.”
“Thanks, nature!” Gianotti said to laughs, giving thanks for the discovery.
The phrase “God particle” was coined by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon Lederman but is used by laymen, not physicists, as an easier way of explaining how the subatomic universe works and got started.


July 25, 2011

Believers in Mysterious Planet Nibiru, Comet Elenin Await Earth’s End

Artist's conception of the rogue planet Nibiru, or Planet X.

Artist's conception of the rogue planet Nibiru, or Planet X.

Renowned astrophysicist Carl Sagan once described a “baloney detection kit” — a set of tools that skeptical thinkers use to investigate any new concept. A few of the key tools include a healthy distrust of information that isn’t independently verified, critically assessing an idea rather than becoming irrationally attached to it simply because it’s intriguing, and a preference for simple explanations over wildly speculative ones.

The waxing obsession with the planet Nibiru , which conspiracy theorists say is a planet swinging in from the outskirts of our solar system that is going to crash into Earth and wipe out humanity in 2012 — or, in some opinions, 2011 — shows that an astonishing number of people “are watching YouTube videos and visiting slick websites with nothing in their skeptical toolkit,” in the words of David Morrison, a planetary astronomer at NASA Ames Research Center and senior scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

Morrison estimates that there are 2 million websites discussing the impending Nibiru-Earth collision. He receives, on average, five email inquiries about Nibiru every day.

“At least a once a week I get a message from a young person — as young as 11 — who says they are ill and/or contemplating suicide because of the coming doomsday,” Morrison told Life’s Little Mysteries, a sister site to

What’s the origin of this mass panic about Nibiru, which astronomers say doesn’t exist?

A suspect origin

The idea that doomsday will result from a planetary collision was first proposed in 1995 by Nancy Lieder, a self-described “contactee.” Lieder claims she has the ability to receive messages through an implant in her brain from aliens in the Zeta Reticuli star system. On her website, ZetaTalk, she stated that she was chosen to warn mankind of an impending planetary collision which would wipe out humanity in May 2003. (When no such cataclysmic event occurred, Lieder’s followers chose 2012 as the new date for the Nibiru collision, which coincides neatly with other doomsday prophecies focused on the ending of the Mayan calendar.) [Doomsday Facts (or Fictions)]

Lieder originally called the bringer of doom “Planet X,” and later connected it to a planet that was hypothesized to exist by a writer named Zecharia Sitchin in his book “The 12th Planet” (Harper 1976). According to Sitchin (1920-2010), the ancient Sumerians wrote about a giant planet called Nibiru — the “twelfth planet” in the solar system, after the other planets (including Pluto), the sun and moon — which has an oblong orbit that swings near Earth every 3,600 years. Humans actually evolved on Nibiru, he said, and colonized this planet during a previous flyby.

Historians and language scholars say that Stitchin grossly mistranslated ancient texts. The Sumerians did indeed believe in a cosmology involving planets; however they thought there were five planets, not 12, and they did not believe that humans hopped to Earth from a place called Nibiru. Furthermore, astronomers have pointed out that a planetary orbit like the one Sitchin proposed for Nibiru is impossible: No celestial body could maintain a stable orbit that swings it through the inner solar system every 3,600 years and keeps it beyond Pluto the rest of the time. The body would quickly get sucked in or pushed out.

Nonetheless, Sitchin’s books have been translated into 25 languages and sold millions of copies worldwide. Lieder’s planetary collision theory has adopted the name of Nibiru for Earth’s planetary nemesis. Many people who believe that doomsday will occur when the Mayan calendar ends in 2012 have adopted Lieder’s Nibiru collision prophecy as the cataclysm that will bring us to that end.

Missing planet

The biggest missing link in the doomsday prophecy is Nibiru itself. Because no giant, rogue planet has been found in the outer solar system to play the role of Nibiru, some conspiracy theorists have decided that a small comet called Elenin ” href=”/cms/articles/11617-comet-elenin-wimpy-solar-system”>comet called Elenin (which will pass nearest Earth in October 2011) is actually Nibiru. Even then, though, scientists say Elenin will come no closer than 100 times farther than the distance from Earth to the moon. [What If Our Solar System Formed Closer to Milky Way’s Edge?]

“The fact is that these folks are constantly changing their story,” Morrison wrote in an email. “For some, Nibiru is no longer the Sumerian god or planet that is supposed to be returning to Earth in late 2012. It has become a catchword for almost any cosmic catastrophe.”

Internet rumors about Elenin began spreading earlier this year. Its approach to Earth was blamed for shifting the Earth’s axis by 3 degrees in February, precipitating the Chile earthquake, then shifting the pole even more to trigger the Japan quake in March. “Ignoring plate tectonics as the cause of earthquakes, they suggest that the comet exerted strong gravitational or electromagnetic effects on our planet,” Morrison wrote.

When scientists pointed out that the comet is a mere 3-mile-wide glob of ice with no magnetic field and that it won’t even pass very near Earth — and that plate tectonics, not comets, cause earthquakes — rumors began to circulate that NASA was withholding information about Elenin.

“Ironically, the inconspicuous nature of this comet plays into some of the conspiracy theories,” Morrison pointed out. “For people who are convinced the comet did cause the earthquakes, this proves that Elenin is not a comet at all, but a much more massive, and dangerous, interloper.” Conspiracy theorists began speculating that the comet is Nibiru in disguise — a planet or even an enormous brown dwarf star.

In fact, Elenin is a textbook comet; it has visible “coma,” or nucleus, and a long tail made of vaporizing ice. [What’s the Difference Between an Asteroid and a Comet?]

If it were a brown dwarf, “it would not have a coma or tail, because the gas cannot escape from an object with substantial gravity. In addition, if it were massive we would be seeing its gravitational influence on the orbits of the planets, especially Mars and Earth, but there is no change in these orbits,” Morrison wrote. “Finally, if it were a brown dwarf it would have been easily detected in various previous astronomical surveys, including the recent WISE infrared mission, even when it was still in the outer solar system,” he wrote.

The fact that the comet isn’t headed our way is overlooked by most conspiracy theorists, while others say its path is going to change. “[Some] websites suggest that the comet is accompanied by a giant UFO, which controls its orbit,” Morrison told us; in effect, who cares if Elenin doesn’t seem to be headed in our direction — it’ll be steered here.

Distinguishing truth from lies

Morrison offered some advice to those who are interested in astronomy or are worried about impending collisions. “If it [a story] is real, it is likely to be in regular news media, not just posted on some website,” he told us. Furthermore, “not everyone who claims on YouTube to be a scientist or an employee of NASA is. But there is no simple way to distinguish truth from lies.”

The Nibiru conspiracies are so nonsensical that Morrison wonders whether even their purveyors believe them. Because many websites sell Nibiru books, tapes and even “survival kits,” Morrison thinks they are purposely taking advantage of people who aren’t able to distinguish credible sources from crackpot ones. “This is especially a problem for young people, which is why I am so angry at those who target children,” he said.


April 6, 2009

Giant ‘Hand’ Reaches Across Space

Filed under: Cosmology, Religion, Space Exploration, Supernova, Wierd — bferrari @ 11:09 pm

First an eye, now a hand… seems that all the pieces are falling into place.

Hand of God?

Hand of God?

Tiny and dying but still-powerful stars called pulsars spin like crazy and light up their surroundings, often with ghostly glows.

So it is with PSR B1509-58, which long ago collapsed into a sphere just 12 miles in diameter after running out of fuel.

And what a strange scene this one has created.

In a new image from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, high-energy X-rays emanating from the nebula around PSR B1509-58 have been colored blue to reveal a structure resembling a hand reaching for some eternal red cosmic light.

The star now spins around at the dizzying pace of seven times every second — as pulsars do — spewing energy into space that creates the scene.

Strong magnetic fields, 15 trillion times stronger than the Earth’s magnetic field, are thought to be involved, too. The combination drives an energetic wind of electrons and ions away from the dying star. As the electrons move through the magnetized nebula, they radiate away their energy as X-rays.

The red light actually a neighboring gas cloud, RCW 89, energized into glowing by the fingers of the PSR B1509-58 nebula, astronomers believe.

The scene, which spans 150 light-years, is about 17,000 light years away, so what we see now is how it actually looked 17,000 years ago, and that light is just arriving here.

A light-year is the distance light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).


Here’s the Eye of God… eerie, isn’t it? It’s also known as the Helix Nebula.

The Eye of God

The Eye of God

December 31, 2008

Creation AND Evolution: Catholic Church comes to grips with Galileo

Filed under: Cosmology, Religion — bferrari @ 11:32 am

By Bob Ferrari

Galileos original self-made telescope

Galileo's original self-made telescope

For centuries, various religions have touted their views of the Universe as the one true vision. There has been the most esoteric battle of all raging throughout the centuries, the combatants are many, their ideologies are one, be it – Theologist vs. Cosmologist, Priest vs. Astronomer, Alchemist vs. Heratic, Wiccan vs. Christian, Druid vs. Muslim, and so on…

This globe-spanning battle continues today and yes people are still dying over this ideology. The ideology is a basic one with universe-spanning consequences. It all boils down to this – Science vs. Religion.

Indeed, the terrorists we as a world are fighting today, base their views on a rather backward-looking religious belief system which justifies their violent actions which includes the miserable way they treat women in their own world.

Religion certainly has it’s place in today’s society as in many cases, helps to guide people’s morals, ethics, and daily lives. For those that take the extremist views, they purposefully misinterpret their religious doctrines to justify crimes against humanity all for their own gain. I don’t need to remind our readers that bomb-vest wearing Muslim-extremists practice this absurd radicalism all in the name of their god.

Science also has it’s place as it serves to explain the mechanisms and laws that the universe today operates on. Indeed Cosmologists believe that they can prove that the universe began some 13.7 billion years ago. They believe they can explain how the universe began…almost. We can go as far back in time to the first billionth of a yactosecond when the four basic forces (strong, weak, electromagnetic, gravity) of the universe were one and the same. Before this time… before the first billionth of a yactosecond, modern science has no explanation of what occurred as the known laws of nature did NOT exist due to the incredible heat and pressure brought on by the initial expansion of the Big Bang.

This initial moment in time is now formerly known as, the Planck Era, named after Max Planck a brilliant German physicist. Science has no knowledge of this era… could god have been part of this era, performed his handiwork by initiating the Big Bang, and then stepped back to let the mechanism of the universe fulfill its destiny? If you base your belief system on Science – no, if Religion – yes. But maybe the universe itself exists due to both, a hybrid of Creationism and Evolution.

The Planck Era (before the first billionth of a yactosecond)

The Universe Life Cycle (Planck Era - the first billionth of a yactosecond after the Big Bang)

With the coming online of the new Large Hadron Collider we may soon even understand what happened during the Planck Era, but I seriously doubt we will know what caused the Big Bang to actually commence. Science does not have the answer for everything yet.

Maybe god didn’t create the universe in seven days but started the process and let it evolve. Maybe, like most ideas, the truth lay somewhere in the middle….

Even the catholic church is coming to grips with science:

Good heavens: Vatican rehabilitating Galileo

VATICAN CITY —  Galileo Galilei is going from heretic to hero.

Pope Praises Galileo, Astronomy in General

VATICAN CITY —  Pope Benedict XVI is marking the 400th anniversary of Galileo's use of a telescope.

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