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Alex Lightman
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Attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lives in Santa Monica, California
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Alex Lightman

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Space Shuttle Atlantis launch photographed from the ISS
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Excellent Thanks
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Thanks, AP, for the stroke of brilliance: Convert aging basement video archive into $ by uploading to YouTube and clicking the monetize box!
History on YouTube via AP
Isn’t this fantastic?
The Associated Press has teamed up with British Movietone to share more than a century's worth of newsreel footage with the denizens of the internet. The pair w...
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Happy Golden Anniversary Mariner 4 — You Pioneering Planetary Picture Taker!
Today in History: First images taken of planet in “deep” space by humans, 1965
On July 14, 1965 — 50 years ago today — Mariner 4, after traveling for more than 7-½ months from Earth, flew by Mars and began taking the first photos of Mars (and the first photos of any planet in deep space), which were tape recorded on board the spacecraft and then transmitted back to Earth (taking 4 days for the transmissions). Mariner 4’s camera took 22 pictures covering about 1% of Mars’s surface. The photos showed a cratered surface that much more resembled the Moon’s surface than the Earth’s surface. Subsequent visits to Mars have provided evidence that these pictures were not typical of the planet’s surface.

After Mariner 4 swung by Mars, it continued on to the far side of the Sun before returning to Earth’s vicinity, where it finally ceased operating on December 20, 1967 after being hit with 83 micrometeoroids 10 days earlier.

YouTube Videos:
•5 Ways Mariner 4 Changed Mars Exploration.

Web Sources:

Report from Mars: Mariner IV 1964–1965.

Image credits (left to right; top to bottom):
•Launch of Mariner 4, November 28, 1964. By NASA ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
•First Digital Image Returned to Earth from Mariner 4.
•Mariner 4 being prepared for weight test before mission. By NASA/JPL [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
•Mariner 4 depicted in space. By NASA [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
•Mariner 4’s image tape recorder. By JPL/Caltech) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
•Mariner 4’s clearest image.

#history #history-tech #Mars #planetaryprobes #Mariner #Mariner4
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Roman Roads with Chinese Characteristics
The Roman Empire built decent roads all over Europe. Goths, Visigoths, Vandals, and Huns said, “Thanks for the nice roads, dumbass Romans, which make traveling across Europe much easier. We'll take your roads to your doorstep and attack Rome, and reduce its population from over one million to under 30,000 by destroying aqueducts."

China is equally ungrateful. America's government paid for the first $50 million of the Internet (via ARPA/DARPA and NSF) and kindly and generously shared the Internet with the world.

China said, "Thanks for the nice Internet, dumbass Anericans, which we will take to your databases and steal tens of millions of records, in our 66 year quest to defeat America. You Americans didn't even pay attention to Lenin, who said that the capitalists would sell us the rope we used to hang them. But you gave us the rope for free!"

China has repeatedly told us they were going to do this: it's no surprise. •_What is a surprise is how maladaptive the U.S. intelligence community has been in responding._*

NSA's decades long Jihad against encryption makes America easy pickings for hackers, but, predictably, NSA and its 17 sister agencies fail to take responsibility or apologize for what is only the beginning of a long series of successful hacks and cyberattacks.
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And China is literally the last country I want to go to war with, right next to Russia in second place 
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Best proposal of the 2016 U.S. Presidential race.
The President gets to spend $20 trillion; and more spent on solar, the cheaper each future unit of solar becomes, saving Americans money on electricity.

Warren Buffet is able to buy solar electricity at under 4 cents a kWh as of this month. There’s no reason the poor shouldn’t be able buy it for that also, vs. 14 cents, the average U.S. price for electricity.
"Families across this country struggle to pay electricity bills..."
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Why does the GOP oppose progress? Without fundamentalists' support, they would have no power.  When fundamentalists say they are opposed to evolution, it doesn't mean they believe it wrong, but that they are actually AGAINST evolution (and a general opposition to progress). Also the GOP is a machine of the 0.01% who profit from the oil industry. But that we all voted for the future rather than the past.
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How to care about the future
This is how you show that you care about the future. It's amazing to me that all institutions that expect to be around past 2030 — by which time it will be common knowledge that living without fossil fuels was the way to go — haven't already done this. I like this photo: a room full of people with tablets, laptops and smart phones, voting away the dirty devil's global warming fuels.
Warning of threat to ‘human life itself’, Christian denomination commits to re-investing in clean energy following pope’s pastoral letter on the environment
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Id love to be on solar power. Its horrible the price we havr to pay for electricity and gas. 
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Have him in circles
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Are we all getting addicted to screens?
Television for frogs...

Posted this specially for my IRL friend +Jo Dempsey​ who's joined us gplussers recently, she's a frog lady with a great left field sense of humour, and a newbie to social media, please add her and help make her feel welcome here 👍☺

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Earth 2.0?
Isn’t this the greatest news in about 4.5 billion years?
A haul of planets from Nasa's Kepler telescope includes a world sharing many characteristics with Earth.
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If you always lift weights, you will always be able to lift weights.
If you always take the stairs, you'll always be able to take the stairs.

I've lived in the same place for 21.5 years and observed something: my neighbors, the people who sell things to me or serve, and even the homeless people who occupy the same space for years have two paths.

(1) If they take the stairs or I see them on their feet moving around, they are still taking the stairs years or even decades later.

(2) But if I see them sitting, often I see them gain weight and sit on a wheelchair. And if see them go to a wheelchair or a Rascal or a scooter because of weight, I almost never see them get up again. 
More often than not, within a few years of moving to the wheelchair, they are dead.

At Gold's Gym, I have met 74 or 75 year old weightlifters. As strange as this may sound, they age more slowly than almost anyone else.
If you always lift weights, you'll always be able to lift weights.
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100% agreed.
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Why You're Tired All the Time and Have to Drink So Much Coffee
Are you too tired to exercise? Did you take any of these drugs? You might have damaged mitochondria, the power plants in each of your cells.

I am disappointed to see Metformin on this list, as the head of USC's Gerontology School (ranked no. 1) told me that it was one of only two drugs, along with Rapamycin, with proven longevity benefits. Well, if your mitochondria aren't working and you don't have energy to exercise daily, you're not going to maximize your lifespan, healthspan, and fitspan.

Table 5. Medications documented to induce mitochondrial damage

Alcoholism medications:
• Disulfiram (Antabusem)

Analgesic (for pain) and anti-inflammatory:
•acetaminophen (Tylenol),
•diclofenac (Voltarenm, Voltarolm, Diclonm, Dicloflexm
Difen and Cataflamm),
•fenoprofen (Nalfonm),
•indomethacin (Indocinm, Indocidm, Indochron E-Rm Indocin-SRm), •Naproxen (Alevem, Naprosynm)


Angina medications:
•amiodarone (Cordaronem),
•Diethylaminoethoxyhexesterol (DEAEH)

Antiarrhythmic (regulates heartbeat): 
•Amiodarone (Cordarone)

•Tetracycline, antimycin A

•Amitriptyline (Lentizol),
•amoxapine (Asendis),
•citalopram (Cipramil),
•fluoxetine (Prozac, Symbyax, Sarafem, Fontex, Foxetin, Ladose, Fluctin, Prodep, Fludac, Oxetin, Seronil, Lovan)


Anxiety medications:
•Alprazolam (Xanaxm),
•diazepam (valium, diastat)

•Amobarbital (Amytalm),
•butalbital (Fiorinalm), 
•hexobarbital (Sombulexm),
•methylphenobarbital (Mebaralm),
•pentobarbital (Nembutalm),
•phenobarbital (Luminalm),
•secobarbital (Seconalm), Talbutalm), thiobarbital

Cholesterol medications:
Statins –
 •atorvastatin (Lipitorm, Torvastm), fluvastatin (Lescolm),
 •lovastatin (Mevacorm, Altocorm),
 •pitavastatin (Livalom, Pitavam),
 •pravastatin (Pravacholm, Selektinem, Lipostatm), rosuvastatin (Crestorm),
 •simvastatin (Zocorm, Lipexm)
Bile acids –
 •cholestyramine (Questranm),
 •clofibrate (Atromid-Sm),
 •ciprofibrate (Modalimm),
 •colestipol (Colestidm),
 •colesevelam (Welcholm)

Cancer (chemotherapy) medications:
•Mitomycin C,
•adriamycin (also called doxorubicin and hydroxydaunorubicin and included in the following chemotherapeutic regimens – ABVD, CHOP, and FAC)

•Tacrine (Cognexm),Galantamine (Reminylm)

Diabetes medications:
•Metformin (Fortametm, Glucophagem, Glucophage XR, Riomet 1),

HIV/AIDS medications:
•Epivirm (abacavir sulfate),
•Hividm (ddC, zalcitabine),
•Retrovirm (AZT, ZDV, zidovudine),
•Videxm (ddI, didanosine),
•Videxm EC,
•Zeritm (d4T, stavudine),

Epilepsy/Seizure medications:
Valproic acid (Depaconm, Depakenem, Depakene syrup, Depakotem, depakote ER, depakote sprinkle, divalproex sodium)

Mood stabilizers:

Parkinson's disease medications:
•Tolcapone (Tasmarm, Entacapone (COMTanm, also in the combination drug Stalevom)
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I require more information on sources about this list due to the simple fact that risk is everywhere, including the exercise treadmill. Disappointed in Metformin's inclusion? Let's get some statistics on this instead of the click-bait type of headlines used everywhere else.
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Really Big Good News Bad News II of II

As we rise up from iron age myths and fables, we are able to see farther and farther back in time. While many numskulls, some who imagine themselves the majority, think the earth was created 6,000 years ago, the best estimates we have are that the universe is 13.7 billion years old. The farther back time seemed to stretch into the past, the exponentially more time it seemed we would have going forward into the future. 

Alas, we have only 22 billion years of this universe left, so only about 5 billion years until we are in the mid-life of the universe. It comes faster than you think. 

Still, 22 billion years is a reasonable amount of time to accomplish the things we can think of, if we write down our goals and don't excessively procrastinate.

But it's less time than we were told. Doctor Who episode, “The End of Time,” told us we'd have 100 trillion years!

It's funny how our disillusionment with government and other institutions also influences our science. In the 20th century, science causes us to see more and more space and time and even universes. Now science causes us to draw our boundaries closer and closer together.

Unless we learn to create a new universe and travel to it. 

From the article:

Vanderbilt University mathematicians have come up with a new theory of “cosmological viscosity” (how sticky the universe is) that challenges current theories.

For decades, cosmologists have had trouble reconciling the classic notion of viscosity based on the laws of thermodynamics with Einstein’s general theory of relativity, according the the team, which has now come up with a fundamentally new mathematical formulation of the problem that appears to bridge this long-standing gap.

The new math has some significant implications for the ultimate fate of the universe. It tends to favor one of the more radical scenarios that cosmologists have developed: the “Big Rip.”

The new approach was developed by Assistant Professor of Mathematics Marcelo Disconzi in collaboration with physics professors Thomas Kephart and Robert Scherrer and is described in a paper published earlier this year in the journal Physical Review D.

Cosmological viscosity is a form of bulk viscosity, which is the measure of a fluid’s resistance to expansion or contraction. The reason we don’t often deal with bulk viscosity in everyday life is because most liquids we encounter cannot be compressed or expanded very much.

Disconzi began by tackling the problem of relativistic fluids. Astronomical objects that produce this phenomenon include supernovae (exploding stars) and neutron stars (stars that have been crushed down to the size of planets).

The problem: no one has managed to come up with a generally accepted way to handle viscous fluids traveling at relativistic velocities. In the past, the models formulated to predict what happens when these more realistic fluids are accelerated to a fraction of the speed of light have been plagued with inconsistencies: the most glaring of which has been predicting certain conditions where these fluids could travel faster than the speed of light.

“This is disastrously wrong,” said Disconzi, “since it is well-proven experimentally that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.”

These problems inspired the mathematician to re-formulate the equations of relativistic fluid dynamics in a way that does not exhibit the flaw of allowing faster-than-light speeds. He based his approach on one that was advanced in the 1950s by French mathematician André Lichnerowicz. Next, Disconzi teamed up with Kephart and Scherrer to apply his equations to broader cosmological theory. This produced a number of interesting results, including some potential new insights into the mysterious nature of dark energy.

Dark energy theories fail to consider viscosity

In the 1990s, the physics community was shocked when astronomical measurements showed that the universe is expanding at an ever-accelerating rate. To explain this unpredicted acceleration, they were forced to hypothesize the existence of an unknown form of repulsive energy that is spread throughout the universe. Because they knew so little about it, they labeled it “dark energy.”

Most dark energy theories to date have not taken cosmic viscosity into account, despite the fact that it has a repulsive effect strikingly similar to that of dark energy. “It is possible, but not very likely, that viscosity could account for all the acceleration that has been attributed to dark energy,” said Disconzi. “It is more likely that a significant fraction of the acceleration could be due to this more prosaic cause. As a result, viscosity may act as an important constraint on the properties of dark energy.”

Another interesting result involves the ultimate fate of the universe. Since the discovery of the universe’s run-away expansion, cosmologists have come up with a number of dramatic scenarios of what it could mean for the future.

One scenario, dubbed the “Big Freeze,” predicts that after 100 trillion years or so the universe will have grown so vast that the supplies of gas will become too thin for stars to form. As a result, existing stars will gradually burn out, leaving only black holes which, in turn, slowly evaporate away as space itself gets colder and colder.

An even more radical scenario is the “Big Rip.” It is predicated on a type of “phantom” dark energy that gets stronger over time. In this case, the expansion rate of the universe becomes so great that in 22 billion years or so material objects begin to fall apart and individual atoms disassemble themselves into unbound elementary particles and radiation.

The key value involved in this scenario is the ratio between dark energy’s pressure and density, what is called its equation of state parameter. If this value drops below -1 then the universe will eventually be pulled apart. Cosmologists have called this the “phantom barrier.” In previous models with viscosity the universe could not evolve beyond this limit.

In the Desconzi-Kephart-Scherrer formulation, however, this barrier does not exist. Instead, it provides a natural way for the equation of state parameter to fall below -1.

“In previous models with viscosity the Big Rip was not possible,” said Scherrer. “In this new model, viscosity actually drives the universe toward this extreme end state.”

According to the scientists, the results of their pen-and-paper analyses of this new formulation for relativistic viscosity are quite promising but a much deeper analysis must be carried out to determine its viability. The only way to do this is to use powerful computers to analyze the complex equations numerically. In this fashion the scientists can make predictions that can be compared with experiment and observation.

Abstract of New approach to cosmological bulk viscosity

We examine the cosmological consequences of an alternative to the standard expression for bulk viscosity, one which was proposed to avoid the propagation of superluminal signals without the necessity of extending the space of variables of the theory. The Friedmann equation is derived for this case, along with an expression for the effective pressure. We find solutions for the evolution of the density of a viscous component, which differs markedly from the case of conventional Eckart theory; our model evolves toward late-time phantom-like behavior with a future singularity. Entropy production is addressed, and some similarities and differences to approaches based on the Mueller-Israel-Stewart theory are discussed.

Marcelo M. Disconzi, Thomas W. Kephart, Robert J. Scherrer. New approach to cosmological bulk viscosity. Physical Review D, 2015; 91 (4) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.91.043532
New model of cosmic stickiness favors “Big Rip” demise of universe
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China Clean Disrupts Itself
In the last 10 years, China has increased its solar power by 40,000% and on-grid wind power by 9,000%.

Less impressive, and with drawbacks, but better than increasing the burning of 4 billion tons a year of coal, in the last ten years China has increased hydro power by 257% and nuclear power by 290%. 

I like that China is even keeping track and has a number for share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption: 11.2%. Considering that once China bakes a target into its goals, it goes after it with a labor force of over a billion people, I like the new carbon reduction targets. 
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Who'd have thought China would show us up??
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Have him in circles
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  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Civil and Environmental Engineering, 78 - 82
  • Harvard University
    J. F. K. School of Government, 82
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
    International Business, 82
  • Lund University
    Innovation policy, 80
Basic Information
Open for discussion about science, technology, innovation, Transhumanism, the future, science fiction, and economic development
5K friends on Facebook. Author of 1st book on 4G - Brave New Unwired World: The Digital Big Bang and the Infinite Internet, John Wiley, 2002 - and the book Reconciliation: 78 Reasons to End The US Embargo of Cuba. Currently writing national innovation plans focused on accelerating the transfer of science and technology to society.

Recognized as a top writer on Quora by the “Top Writer for 2015 by Quora” award.
Bragging rights
Oct. 21, 2011 received the first and so far only ECONOMIST Reader's Award, on behalf of 4G, voted by world as "the innovation most likely to radically change the world over the next decade 2011-2020", at the end of a process that started with 4,000 proposed innovations. Have published over a million words about the future without any major mistakes. Finished 15 marathons in the last three years. Can leg press and calf press over 700 lbs. and have lifted over 20 different random people from the ground to over my head in the last year.
Write about making the world smarter
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    Reconciliation: 78 Reasons to End the US Embargo of Cuba
  • Author
    Brave New Unwired World: The Digital Big Bang and the Infinite Internet
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Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica, CA - Santa Fe, New Mexico - Washington, DC - Boston, MA - Cambridge, MA - Barre, MA - Hardick, MA - Stamford, CT - New York, NY - Arlington, VA - Reston, VA - Lovettsville, VA - Alexandria, VA - Houston, TX - Magnolia, TX -
Alex Lightman's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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