Profile

Cover photo
Verified name
Lacerant Plainer
Attends Science Fiction
88,235 followers|269,131,427 views
AboutPostsCollectionsPhotos+1's

Stream

Lacerant Plainer

Shared publicly  - 
 
Why do we yawn? : While this sounds like a question which has been answered already, the real reason is still a hypothesis. Yawning helps to get oxygen into our bloodstream and makes us more awake. Right? Wrong. It has nothing to do with Oxygen at all. Read on...

Radiator cooling : When our bodies are hot, standing in front of a fan can be a quick fix, and the brain is the same way. When we yawn, we pull in cool air through the nasal and oral cavities, and that air comes in contact with all of the blood vessels in those densely packed areas. Many of those blood vessels carry blood directly to the brain, and the surge of air cools the blood, and thus the brain.

Catching a yawn : Why are yawns so contagious? Does the fact that we catch them from one another shed light on their underlying function? One possibility is that contagious yawning serves as a way of showing empathy. While all vertebrate mammals experience spontaneous yawning, only humans and our closest relatives, chimpanzees, seem to experience the contagion effect—a sign that there may be a deeper social meaning to the experience. What’s more, while spontaneous yawning occurs in the womb, contagious yawning develops only later in life, as does empathy. Children younger than five don’t yawn any more often when watching videos of yawns than they would normally.

Bigger brains mean longer yawns : Yawning—a stretching of the jaw, gaping of the mouth and long deep inhalation, followed by a shallow exhalation—may serve as a thermoregulatory mechanism, says Andrew Gallup, a psychology professor at SUNY College at Oneonta. In other words, it’s kind of like a radiator. In a 2007 study, Gallup found that holding hot or cold packs to the forehead influenced how often people yawned when they saw videos of others doing it. When participants held a warm pack to their forehead, they yawned 41 percent of the time. When they held a cold pack, the incidence of yawning dropped to 9 percent.

H/t to +Amanda Powter for asking this question

References and links

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-do-we-yawn-and-why-is-it-contagious-3749674/

http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/the-surprising-science-of-yawning

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/10/bigger-your-brain-longer-you-yawn

https://www.scienceabc.com/humans/why-is-yawning-contagious-people.html

#yawn   #science  
31
4
Michael Harris's profile photoMinal C.'s profile photoLacerant Plainer's profile photo
4 comments
 
+Minal C. That is what I thought too for quite a while!
Add a comment...

Lacerant Plainer

Shared publicly  - 
 
How a supervolcano almost halted the human migration : Or did it? Genetics, Archaeology and physics are being used to figure out that happened.

What is Toba? Mt. Toba was a supervolcano which erupted around 75,000 years back. This was Earth's largest volcanic eruption in the past 2 million years.

Why does this matter? Toba drastically altered the world’s climate and caused a six-year-long volcanic winter in some parts of the world. Correlating the date of the eruption to evidence of a genetic bottleneck in the modern human population around the same time, some researchers suggested that populations of modern humans (Homo sapiens) that had previously expanded out of Africa were unable to cope with these changes, and thus experienced huge population declines everywhere except in tropical, mainly African, refuges.

Alternate routes Genetic and fossil evidence has accumulated in support of an African origin for modern humans. Despite this consensus, several questions remain with regard to the mode and timing of dispersal out of the continent. Competing models differ primarily by the number of dispersals, their geographic route, and the extent to which expanding modern humans interacted with other hominins.

Please note the pic is not Mt.Toba

References and links

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040618215011891

http://www.pnas.org/content/110/26/10699.full

http://www.yourgenome.org/stories/evolution-of-modern-humans

http://www.geotimes.org/sept07/article.html?id=nn_eruption.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory
84
15
Lacerant Plainer's profile photoDennis Dowd's profile photo
8 comments
 
This seems like how the world may end. I truly intrigued with all eruptions.
Add a comment...

Lacerant Plainer
owner

• General/Interdisciplinary  - 
 
 
Is the Science settled? : I often read or hear about people asking this. Is science sure about this? That is the wrong question. To find out more about what the real question should be, read on...

Science is a methodology : Science looks to find answers about us, the place we live in, the way things work. We find out incrementally new things about phenomena everyday. So what we know today to be 'true' is often something we find is not tomorrow.

Does that mean I can't trust science? : The answer is a big resounding NO. Scientific methods lead to better and better answers everyday. The very nature of the process questions the very basis of things we know and looks at alternatives and tests to disprove hypothesis.

Can I therefore say that Gravity should be questioned? : Surprisingly, the straight answer is yes. But it is much more nuanced that that. One needs higher and higher bars on the disproving of a theory which is established. It requires extraordinary proof and peer review by many reputed researchers to pull down an established theory.

Scientists often Hedge their claims : Because they know the pitfalls of being an absolutist. Check the video to see how Prof. Brian Cox. says "This is the best prediction we have. And we get better at it everyday."


Brain Cox explains the scientific method : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxEGHW6Lbu8

Related article : http://kbsgk12project.kbs.msu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Nat_Geo_War_on_Science.pdf
14 comments on original post
77
15
Betsy Luengas's profile photo
2 comments
 
Superb. Prof. Cox vs those who pick and choose arguments only for effect. 
Add a comment...

Lacerant Plainer

Shared publicly  - 
 
Advantages of Trump becoming President

As a third-worldy person, I can actually see a bunch of advantages. Most of them to make other countries feel good...

- Third world countries can laugh at the complete chaos he will create, and that will make them feel good about their own crappy situations.

- Comedians around the world will get so much material to work off of.

- Maybe when he manages to take the US to the stone age, other countries can help... which will make everyone happy.

- The dollar will be devalued so much, we can travel to the US and treat the locals to a good time.

I usually don't write or post about politics... but this is too much to pass up. You will get the future you deserve; but seriously people?

Tagging +Gita Jaisinghani 
32
1
Frank Gainsford's profile photoJoan Poh's profile photoLacerant Plainer's profile photoDon Peterson's profile photo
23 comments
 
and WE BOTH have to live in the swamp so i suggest a more positive approach in my decades with 1000s of special needs children/adults as a therapist/teacher ,,,and look in the mirror before critique another…..it sounds to me WE are critiquing ourselves first and you get to keep what you project onto others ….Just a suggestion
Add a comment...

Lacerant Plainer

Shared publicly  - 
 
The best Indian food in Bombay? You gotta know it.....

Stuffed myself silly. And then some.

Main Pic : Raan - Lamb falling off the bone

Top right : Dal Bhukhara Butter lentil goodness
53
1
Lacerant Plainer's profile photoKyra George's profile photoLisa Garretson's profile photoMz Maau's profile photo
20 comments
Mz Maau
+
2
3
2
 
A couple comments above has the link to a recipe for the lentil dish.
Add a comment...

Lacerant Plainer

Shared publicly  - 
 
Should we be worried? : Artificial Intelligence (AI) is round the corner and some of the brightest and most 'in the know' people are worried. Should we be? You decide. Is it time for us to make sure AIs follow Isaac Asimov's three laws? 

Google Deepmind : DeepMind's AlphaGo artificial intelligence has won the final match of the Go series against world champion Lee Sedol. The AlphaGo AI, which aims to mimic how a human brain learns, effectively defeated humans at Go by a process of trial and error.

It combines advanced search techniques with neural networking, allowing it to both think creatively and take advantage of huge amounts of data about previously played games of Go. Using 12 layers of neural networks, it selects its next move using just one element of its system while the others predict how the rest of the game will play out. Predicting the future in this way, it adjusts its strategy and moves gradually towards victory.

Movers and Shakers : In a poignant interview given in 2014, Elon Musk likened AI to “summoning the demon.” Stephen Hawking warned that it might “spell the end of the human race.”  Other notable individuals have also come out against AI. Bill Gates recently stated, “I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don’t understand why some people are not concerned.” So why aren’t more people concerned? Surely, if left unchecked, AI will pose an existential threat to the entire human race.

In a riveting discussion between arguably two of the world’s  most intelligent people, Neil Degrasse Tyson and Ray Kurzweil, some important points were made on the future of technology. Ray Kurzweil, a computer engineer, celebrated author, and known futurist points out that by “2029 computers would have all of the intellectual and emotional capabilities of humans.”

Links and References

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertadams/2016/03/25/is-artificial-intelligence-dangerous/#7711831d1d01

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2016-03/15/alphago-deepmind-google-wins-lee-sedol

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/26/technology/the-race-is-on-to-control-artificial-intelligence-and-techs-future.html?_r=0
112
18
Joey Bryan's profile photoMAYA's profile photoRaymond Oliver's profile photoIvan Kirkpatrick's profile photo
34 comments
 
I think the AI will surpass humanity. Humans are not very good in general, for each other or for the planet. We are basically a very violent and destructive species that is a plague. Why should there be 7 billion+ humans?

I think the AI will replace humanity but not by violent means, but by benign tolerance and eventually humans will just die out, leaving only the AI. 
Add a comment...

Lacerant Plainer

Shared publicly  - 
 
The Pale Blue dot : Carl Sagan gives us some perspective, which is both a point of view and unique way an astronomer looks at the Earth. It is a mote in the immensity of the Universe.

From the Planetary Society's website This image of Earth is one of 60 frames taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft on February 14, 1990 from a distance of more than 6 billion kilometers (4 billion miles) and about 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane. In the image the Earth is a mere point of light, a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size. Our planet was caught in the center of one of the scattered light rays resulting from taking the image so close to the Sun. This image is part of Voyager 1's final photographic assignment which captured family portraits of the Sun and planets.

Reference : http://www.planetary.org/explore/space-topics/earth/pale-blue-dot.html

Attributed to -- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994
14
4
Add a comment...

Lacerant Plainer

Shared publicly  - 
 
What's new with the Hyperloop? : Recently Hyperloop has spawned two new startups; Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), both racing to get their proof of concept and test tracks ready. And India and the UK are very, very interested. Why is that?

The promise of a low-carbon large people mover : The Hyperloop will be able to move large number of people, really quickly with a low carbon footprint. So what is holding it back? In the U.S., political will is divided, but there are high investment costs and support required to prove the concept commercially.

Immense potential : “Imagine Chennai to Bengaluru in less than 30 minutes for a fraction of the cost of air travel today,” Joel Michael, the chief global operations director of the Los Angeles-based company told the Economic Times via email. The executive is slated to attend the i5 Summit in India next week, where initial negotiations might commence.

“Transportation is a multi-billion dollar industry that has yet to meaningfully innovate against issues like gridlock, pollution and traveler discomfort,” said Gresta. “We see our role as taking responsibility for introducing that innovation.”

People mover : Every year around 1/3rd of the world's population travels by air. The fuel costs, the costs of running this high volume is going up daily. And we are reaching the point where prices are only going to go up. Even more worrying is the amount of fossil fuels that are burnt to keep aircraft in the air. And airports are unable to keep up with the burgeoning demand for air travel.

References and Links

http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/hyperloop-india/

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/hyperloop-technology-uk

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperloop

https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/14/shervin-pishevar-the-first-hyperloop-will-likely-be-built-overseas/?ncid=rss

http://www.spacex.com/hyperloop

http://www.dnaindia.com/scitech/report-tesla-s-hyperloop-may-just-see-a-pilot-happening-at-the-mumbai-pune-expressway-2255932
55
4
Rob Mellor's profile photoCharles Strebor (Rantz)'s profile photoLacerant Plainer's profile photoJyoti Q Dahiya's profile photo
10 comments
 
Naah, won't work here. Hyperloop needs to be foolproof, but you can never make anything foolproof because the fools are so ingenious!
Add a comment...

Lacerant Plainer

Shared publicly  - 
 
Is the Science settled? : I often read or hear about people asking this. Is science sure about this? That is the wrong question. To find out more about what the real question should be, read on...

Science is a methodology : Science looks to find answers about us, the place we live in, the way things work. We find out incrementally new things about phenomena everyday. So what we know today to be 'true' is often something we find is not tomorrow.

Does that mean I can't trust science? : The answer is a big resounding NO. Scientific methods lead to better and better answers everyday. The very nature of the process questions the very basis of things we know and looks at alternatives and tests to disprove hypothesis.

Can I therefore say that Gravity should be questioned? : Surprisingly, the straight answer is yes. But it is much more nuanced that that. One needs higher and higher bars on the disproving of a theory which is established. It requires extraordinary proof and peer review by many reputed researchers to pull down an established theory.

Scientists often Hedge their claims : Because they know the pitfalls of being an absolutist. Check the video to see how Prof. Brian Cox. says "This is the best prediction we have. And we get better at it everyday."


Brain Cox explains the scientific method : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxEGHW6Lbu8

Related article : http://kbsgk12project.kbs.msu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Nat_Geo_War_on_Science.pdf
59
28
Marti Lawrence's profile photoDryade Geo's profile photoDavid Andrews's profile photoLacerant Plainer's profile photo
14 comments
 
+David Andrews good to see you too :) !

I was reading up a paper on gravity and gravitons. That is still such a question mark, one has to wonder at the way it has eluded all attempts to pin it down :P
Add a comment...

Lacerant Plainer

Shared publicly  - 
 
From +Rhys Taylor ..... Please sign. Observatories are awesome!
 
To everyone I know who has large numbers of followers, please consider signing, but more importantly sharing, the following petition regarding the funding of Arecibo Observatory :
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/arecibo-observatory-pr-danger-being-closed-or-severely-impaired-take-action-keep-it-well-funded-0
It's currently acquiring new signatures at an extremely low rate, otherwise I wouldn't bother drawing it to your attention. I don't think I need to tell any of you why this is important, but I'll write a strongly-worded blog post if necessary. Or a weakly-worded blog post, whatever works.

Off the top of my head and in no particular order, I'd like to bring this to the attention of +Winchell Chung, +Jenny Winder, +Ciro Villa, +Fraser Cain, +Ethan Siegel, +Jonah Miller, +Lacerant Plainer, +Christopher Butler, +Brian Koberlein, +Jason Major.

I make no apologies for the spam.
We the people ask the federal government to Call on Congress to act on an issue: The Arecibo Observatory in PR is in danger of being closed or severely impaired, take action to keep it well funded. Created by E.D. on May 27, 2016. Sign This Petition. Needs 97134 signatures by June 26, ...
6 comments on original post
8
2
Add a comment...
 
Unfortunately I can no longer eat beef. But, but..... I have to travel often to get some. Plus the politicians are crazy. And loons.
BELHE -- A ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter in India's richest state is threatening to push millions of farmers into penury, deepening distress in the countryside and fanning resentment against
8
1
Aaron Gilliland's profile photo
 
wat
 ·  Translate
Add a comment...

Lacerant Plainer

Shared publicly  - 
 
Citywide Internet? : Only Helsinki has been able to implement a city-wide WiFi internet. And the reasons are quite interesting. The internet is largely kept as a free service without any painful login features. And the municipality pays for it. Is it surprising that it is considered a great place to live? On the other hand, many US cities have tried and failed to provide such a service.... 

Helsinki’s free, city-wide Wi-Fi network is faster than your home internet : Many cities offer Wi-Fi hotspots for visitors. Very few local governments, however, offer free, unrestricted, high-speed Wi-Fi, fast enough for streaming video—the sort that makes your paid-for home Wi-Fi look sluggish. And even fewer provide upload speeds on par with download speeds.

Yet visit the Finnish capital of Helsinki, and there is a free hotspot almost everywhere you need one. It’s fast enough to allow video calling and HD streaming. And it doesn’t require a reading of lengthy terms and conditions, nor a password, nor the need to divulge your age, gender, or email address. Helsinki doesn’t want your identity, or your money, or your data—indeed the only warning before you hit “accept” is a reminder that public networks are insecure, so be careful out there. All it wants is to get you online. Fast.

Cities anyway use this kind of infrastructure : The result is not necessarily blanket coverage, but wherever there is a building or space controlled by the city, there is Wi-Fi coverage. And it isn’t particularly expensive. Otranen says the cost is included in overall maintenance of the city’s internet and is not broken out separately, though Simo Volanen of Helsinki’s IT department estimates that the outside base stations cost some €40,000 to buy and install ($45,000) and have an annual maintenance cost of about €4,000. This does not include the cost of running the network, which Helsinki does for its own purposes in any case.

Sources: http://qz.com/414061/helsinkis-free-city-wide-wi-fi-network-is-faster-than-your-home-internet/

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB122840941903779747
106
13
Jyoti Q Dahiya's profile photoLacerant Plainer's profile photoRobin Laurén's profile photoJoe Stitz's profile photo
26 comments
 
Google is working on satellite global wifi.
Add a comment...
Lacerant's Collections
Work
Occupation
Author @ Science Fiction
Skills
Writer, Thinker, Enterpreneur, New Technology buff, Science Fiction Affocionado... Is possibly an alien. Is not allowed to talk about it.
Employment
  • Consultant, present
Basic Information
Gender
Decline to State
Other names
LP
Story
Tagline
Non Resident Alien & Science Fiction writer www.lacerantplainer.com
Introduction
I am a SF writer. I post about Science and geeky stuff. I write about transhumanism, near as well as distant futures, and like to dream of the possibilities that face us. We are uniquely poised to take advantage, or face the consequences of our actions in the near term and this fascinates me.

Love to write, and sometimes manage to do that, but not very often. I have a few Science Fiction stories called 'The Final Colony' and  'Orange Rock' on Amazon.com as well as 'The Judgement Conundrum', a version of which is free on Smashwords (http://goo.gl/IWT3K). Would love for you to read my books and comment on your experience. Look for the ebooks in the links.

You can check out my blog for links to my books and flashfiction stories www.lacerantplainer.com

I have a group on Facebook for all things Sci-fi called 'Science Fiction Enthusiasts'. If you want to join, just send me a join request
http://goo.gl/4aZweW

If you want to add my Google Page called 'Sci-Fi Author Lacerant Plainer', its located here https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/103586346709495625226/103586346709495625226/posts

My genre is hard Sci-Fi (if one can categorize it). Though most of my stories do not concentrate on the science.

Co-owner of Science on G+ and moderator of Sci-Fi (also on G+). Moderate other communities and pages as well.

Additional Stuff
Completed course in 'Introduction to Nanotechnology' at Rice University via Coursera and 'Organic Photovoltaics' from Technical University of Denmark.

Bragging rights
Contributing writer published in *Novopulp*
Education
  • Science Fiction
    present
Contact Information
Home
Email
Address
www.lacerantplainer.com
Work
Email
Lacerant Plainer's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Sodacon
plus.google.com

Digital Art Space Rock

SciFi Author: Lacerant Plainer
plus.google.com

Science Fiction writer, Lacerant Plainer.

The Troll
ayiig.blogspot.com

As I cruised the asteroids in search of precious metals much needed by our industrialised society based on depleted Earth I noticed one woul

Full Circle (Mission Impossible -12)
www.lacerantplainer.com

Considering they were now communicating with Earth with a three week lag, even with the communication 'packets' being through the same jumps

Home (Mission Impossible - 5)
www.lacerantplainer.com

The blue planet rose in the viewscreens as they all gathered around to watch 'Earthrise.' It was a purely artificial construct, but it was s

Fire and Night - A Mobile Photography Short Story
www.mobilography.net

This mobile photography story - Fire and Night © 2014 - was created over the course of several years, but until August 2013, was never writt

Mission Impossible 2 - Cat and Mouse
www.lacerantplainer.com

Jumping in space was a complicated business. It required triangulation of a group of stars, matching against the existing star system, takin

Obsolescence
www.lacerantplainer.com

Kerry was the first. The progenitor of the PV... the one who had made it all possible. And Kerry was now at the end of his useful life. But

An Idea worth writing about
www.lacerantplainer.com

Marge was quite amazed at the way things had gone. She was taken aback at the speed at which she was whisked away .... things were explained

Quantum Dreams - II
www.lacerantplainer.com

Hamil was determined. After months of following his own dream of the quantum nature of particles, he was convinced he had hit upon something

Poi Making
rantz.me

The lads are spinning the poi that we made whilst on the beach. The poi took five minutes - at most - to make and that five minutes also inc

SpaceX
plus.google.com

SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft.

Swimming the Skies
www.lacerantplainer.com

It was a hot and humid day for the trip. But this did not bother Charles. He was going to enjoy the time in the skies. He had decided to use

+1 Button
developers.google.com

Attribute, Value, Default, Description. data-href, URL to +1, current page URL, Sets the URL to +1. Set this attribute when you have a +1 bu

What a life!: Double couple
digitalcaliberdot.blogspot.com

A few weeks ago, beginning of May, my female and I took a walk on a sunny day here in Cologne. We crossed some streets and were near to a pr

Planet Taigas I Hag Jinni
rantz.me

This FauxEquirectangular is the 15th step in a project to emulate being inside the atmosphere of variously coloured gas giants and it is for

Helios solar concept car is bird-like in that it evolved from lizards, h...
www.engadget.com

We'd stick out if we were to drive the Helios concept car down the Long Island Expressway or the 405, but almost every other solar-powered c