Is teleportation possible in the real world, or only in the world of science fiction?
In this very special episode, Dr Boob takes the reigns and leads us on a journey through teleportation, whether or not physics allows it and even if it does, can we technologically achieve it? What are the implications if we recreate someone in another spot - what about their soul? Does such a thing exist? And even if you can technologically achieve this, is it possible to reanimate a copy of someone? What do you do with their original version, if you have simply copied them? This could be considered cloning, which brings in ethical questions.
Perhaps wormholes could be a solution to this problem, but we haven't found any yet - however they are, as physicists like to say, theoretically possible.
Tune in to this very entertaining episode (and I can say this without any false modesty as Dr Boob did it all himself) here.
If you'd like to hear more of Dr Boob on this podcast, check out our past joint episodes, mostly on the science of superheroes. He's also on twitter, so come and follow him, he needs friends!
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This mottled landscape showing the impact crater Tycho is among the most violent-looking places on our moon. Astronomers didn't aim NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to study Tycho, however. The image was taken in preparation to observe the transit of Venus across the sun's face on June 5-6.
“Whether erotic films made by women are more arousing for women than erotic films made by men was studied. Forty-seven subjects were exposed to both a woman-made, female-initiated, and female centered, erotic film excerpt. Photoplethysmographic vaginal pulse amplitude was recorded continuously. Self-report ratings of sexual arousal and affective reactions were collected after each stimulus presentation. Contrary to expectation, genital arousal did not differ between films, although genital response to both films was substantial. Subjective experience of sexual arousal was significantly higher during the woman-made film. The man-made film evoked more feelings of shame, guilt, and aversion. Correlations between subjective experience of sexual arousal and photoplethysmographic measures of sexual arousal were nonsignificant. The largest contribution to female sexual excitement might result from the processing of stimulus-content and stimulus-meaning and not from peripheral vasocongestive feedback.”
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Would Spock be turned on by porn?
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: This holiday season, show your loved ones you care: send an electrovaginogram.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Probably the most horrifying scientific lecture ever.
NCBI ROFL. Real articles. Funny subjects.
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Cassini performed its last of three close encounters with Enceladus for 2012 two days ago, and followed the flyby with some spectacular images of Dione.
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As regulars here may know, I've been getting crank email from John A. Davison for many years now. Until recently, he was sending me his tirades almost every day — and they were just piling up in my spam folder. He was remarkably persistent.
Here is his very last email to me, fished up out of that spam folder, from 26 March.
Stuart "mad dog" Campbell
So the heir apparent to Pee Zee Myers has finally joined that degenerate pig by pretending that WE do not exist. You are in great company. The question you should be asking yourself is - why am I the only one treating Davison with naked contempt? Now, finally, all six of you are doing what all your predecessors have always done, fervently praying that your silence will somehow prevail. It sure took you long enough to join with the others and you still have not shared your monumental ignorance, bigotry and vicious personality with another Natural Selectionist (NSist) You are all pathetic, but you Stuart Campbell are the worst of the lot by far.
----- Original Message -----
From: john a davison
To: Staurt Campbell
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2012 9:40 AM
Check my weblog again you cowardly, snotty little worm.
John A. Davison, Professor of Biology Emeritus, University of Vermont. L4 Grandview Drive, South Burlington, VT 05403
There are about 50 others in there (I really need to flush out that folder), and they're all this same incoherent angry ranting, the same attitude that got him banned for his obsessive commenting all over the net.
That was definitely the last message I'll ever be getting from him. Shortly after sending that, he was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer, and succumbed rapidly: John A Davison died last week.
His favorite catch phrase, typically used in all kinds of weirdly inappropriate situations, was "I love it so". I can't use it here — I'm just sorry he wasted so much of his life flailing wildly for his failed cause, creationism. At least it sounds like he refocused his life on his family in his last weeks.Read the comments on this post...
You may have seen the recent splurge of news stories about how religious different countries are. Depending on where you looked, you may have come away thinking either that belief is in decline worldwide, that Catholic countries are the most religious, or even (and this one is quite bizarre) that people get more religious as they get older. Unless you were reading carefully, you may not even have realised they were talking about the same report!
In fact, the report (which you can read yourself here) shows a pretty fragmented picture with no clear worldwide trends - which is probably why time pressured journalists are finding it tough to get a handle on what it actually says (or alternatively: reading into it what they want to see).
So what is this report anyway? Well, Tom Smith (University of Chicago) has analysed the latest religion survey from the International Social Survey Programme (done in 2008) and compared it with similar surveys done in 1998 and 1991.
Now this survey mostly looks at Europe, which has become less religious over that time. But there's only a few non-European countries, so it doesn't tell us much about the rest of the world. China, India, Nigeria, Egypt, Brazil - none of these major countries are included.
But it does tell us some interesting things about why different countries are heading in different directions. Take a look at the graphic, where I've picked out a few interesting cases.
Starting on the left, you can see that Australia and Ireland now have fewer people who are certain that god exists, Israel and Russia have more, while the USA has pretty much held constant.
Population changes in religious belief can happen for three reasons: conversion, fertility rates, and immigration.
So take a look at the next panel. This shows how many people said ?I believe in God now, but I didn?t use to.?
minus those who said ?I don?t believe in God now, but I used to?. In Australia, more people have converted to atheism, whereas in Russia, more people have converted to belief. Overall, there does not seem to be much net conversion in the other countries.
Now take a look at the next panel. This illustrates the ages of people who say that they have always been an atheist. In Australia and Ireland, they tend to be younger. What this shows is that increasingly, people are being born into atheism as a result of conversion of previous generations (the absolute percentage points are small for Ireland, because there aren't many atheists - but the trend is there).
Now look at people who say they are lifelong believers. In Australia and Ireland, they tend to be old. That supports the idea that the religious culture is becoming a thing of the past.
In Israel, however, you see the opposite effect. There, lifelong atheists are older, and lifelong believers are younger - even though there is little net conversion. It seems likely that this is happening because of the high birth rates among orthodox Jews in Israel.
The USA basically follows the pattern of Australia and Ireland (and Europe), and so I think the future for the USA is in the same direction as these countries.
Russia, however, is showing an upsurge in religion due to conversion over the 20 years since the collapse of communism. Lifelong atheists and lifelong believers both tend to be older, reflecting the state of flux in this country as people dabble with different life stances.
Interestingly, the other ex-communist nations surveyed show different trends. Although there tends to be net conversion to religion (except the Czech republic), East European countries tend to have a preponderance of older lifelong believers and younger lifelong atheist - so a non-religious future seems likely for these countries.
But overall, I think what we are seeing here is a balancing out. Non-religious countries are becoming more religious, while religious Europe is becoming less religious. Israel, meanwhile, is going its own way!
Italian officials have put a group of seismologists on trial for failing to adequately warn the people of L?Aquila of a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck on April 6, 2009.
One of my biggest regrets about living in California for six years is that I never drove to Yosemite National Park, which was a mere 4.5 hours away. What was I thinking? And time lapse videos like this don’t make me feel any better.It’s a[...]
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So today is apparently International Star Wars Day (May the 4th, "May the force...," get it?). It's an amazing work of science fiction that draws on science fact, myth and good old fashioned storytelling. Or at least the first two and half movies did. Because the Dark Lord himself, George Lucas, is master of all copyrights we can't really show you anything from the films without incurring the wrath of his dark forces. So instead, here's a picture of something in science that LOOKS like something in Star Wars; Saturn's moon Mimas totally looks like the Death Star.