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Scott Toste
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Scott Toste

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Good job, +Jeff Sullivan, this was a joy to watch.
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I have truly enjoyed watching the video interviews on this website which centers around the PBS TV series, Closer To Truth. 

From the "About" section of the website:
Closer To Truth is the definitive resource for Cosmos, Consciousness and Meaning, a global journey in search of the vital ideas of existence featuring leading scientists, philosophers and creative thinkers.

Cosmos: How vast is our universe? How did it begin? Is it fine-tuned for life? What is the far future of our universe? Are there multiple universes? What is time? What is the nature of physical laws? What things really exist? What is nothing? Why is there anything at all? 

Consciousness: What is consciousness? Why is it so mysterious? What is the mind/body problem? Can brain explain mind? What is the self? How does personal identity persist through time? Do we have free will? Are there alien intelligences? What is parapsychology? Is there life after death?

Meaning: What does it all mean? Is there purpose in the cosmos? What do religions say about the meaning of life? What causes religious belief? What is God? Can God be proven or disproven? What are the arguments for and against God? Do science and religion conflict? Does God exist in or outside of time? Did God create evil?

#cosmos   #meaning   #consciousness   #physicis   #quantumphysics   #neuroscience   #theology   #epistemology   #cosmology   #teleology   #faith   #science   #philosophy  
The greatest thinkers exploring the deepest questions, Closer to Truth discusses life's most essential topics and encourages the conversation to continue.
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Scott Toste

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This was the view from my front porch one morning in early December, 2014. As I was walking to my kitchen I noticed an intense orange glow coming from the front of the house. I walked over to a window and saw this view. I had to get my boys to school and didn't have much time to spare. I quickly grabbed my camera, stepped out onto my front porch, and captured this beautiful sunrise.
This was the view from my front porch one morning in early December, 2014. As I was walking to my kitchen I noticed an intense orange glow coming from the front of the house. I walked over to a window and saw this view. I had to get my boys to school and didn't have much time to spare. I quickly grabbed my camera, stepped out onto my front porch, and captured this beautiful sunrise.
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Scott Toste

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I watched this video and BAM! I was gobsmacked! Something now makes sense that didn't before. 

Roger Penrose, an English mathematical physicist, recreational mathematician and philosopher talks about the relationship of gravity, time and the big bang. This is a topic in which I sometimes lose myself in thought. The early universe is a complex mess to understand. Our normal, everyday, (Netwtonian) laws of physics break down in the early moments of creation. We use relativity and quantum physics to help explain things. But it is a very complex and ambiguous thing to study that often clouds my mind. Penrose suggests that time loses it's meaning depending on how you characterize the early (and very remote future) universe. He uses conformal geometry to explain it (and an MC Escher drawing). AND it made sense to me!!! BAM! It clicked! I know this is a totally geeky, esoteric thing, but I'm really excited that it makes sense. One of the things that helped me understand what Penrose was describing came from the different ways that I have used to project the spherical photography that I've done -- especially the stereographic "little-planet" projections. I feel giddy with delight. This is so cool! 

And, yes, I know this will make some of you think I'm strange. Just be happy for me that one more piece of the universe has become slightly more understandable to me. 
Why did our Universe Begin? That the universe began seems astonishing. What brought it about? What forces were involved? How did the laws of nature generate the vast expanse of billions of galaxies of billions of stars and planets in the structures that we see today?
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Scott Toste

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Interesting findings show that breathing in cold air slightly lowers the body's immune response to the rhinovirus. May there is something to what my mom always warned me about catching a cold when it is cold outside.
 
As it turns out, it's the breathing in of cold(er) air which helps the cold virus (rhinovirus) slip past the body's immune system. These recent findings may just explain why colds are so much more prevalent in the colder seasons, as well as why the humble rhinovirus is one of the most successful viruses in terms of infection ratio each year.
New research suggests that lower temperatures help rhinoviruses get past the immune system.
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The visual microphone extracts audio signals from video signals. This is fascinating and scary. 

#science   #technology   #spying  
Meet the “motion microscope,” a video-processing tool that plays up tiny changes in motion and color impossible to see with the naked eye. Video researcher Michael Rubinstein plays us clip after jaw-dropping clip showing how this tech can track an individual’s pulse and heartbeat simply from a piece of footage. Watch him recreate a conversation by amplifying the movements from sound waves bouncing off a bag of chips. The wow-inspiring and siniste...
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Here's additional information. http://people.csail.mit.edu/mrub/vidmag/
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Scott Toste

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"He's not really dead as long as we remember him." - Dr. Leonard H. McCoy

Today Leonard Nimoy passed away. If you didn't know (which would make me wonder what rock you live under) he was the actor that played Spock in Star Trek. I could go on and on about the importance Star Trek, and specifically the half-Vulcan-half-Human character of Spock, have played in my life. But if you know me, then you already know how utterly great I thought that character was. Spock ". . . made science and technology important to the story, while never failing to show, by example, that it is the people around us who matter most." The character's friendship with Kirk and McCoy was legendary. Yet Nimoy was even cooler than than the character he played. Did you know he was a photographer, a writer, a director and a poet? He even sang -- not great, but far better than I can. Do you remember the late 70's TV show "In Search Of . . ." that he narrated? What a great voice.

The universe is a little emptier without you, Mr. Nimoy, and I will miss you. You lived long, and I have prospered in many small ways because of the life you lived. I will remember you.

http://www.npr.org/2015/02/27/389520008/he-was-and-will-always-be-our-friend-remembering-leonard-nimoy

http://www.nasa.gov/content/nasa-remembers-leonard-nimoy/index.html#.VPFo0PnF_Am

http://petapixel.com/2015/02/27/leonard-nimoys-passion-for-photography/

http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2015/02/27/389589676/leonard-nimoys-advice-to-a-biracial-girl-in-1968
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Here's a little Led Zeppelin to brighten your morning.

The 2014-15 Louisville Leopard Percussionists rehearsing Kashmir, The Ocean, and Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin. They are a performing ensemble of approximately 55 student musicians, ages 7-12, living in and around Louisville, Kentucky. Each student learns and acquires proficiency on several instruments, such as marimbas, xylophone, vibraphone, drum set, timbales, congas, bongos and piano.
http://youtu.be/JYuOZnAqQCY
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Scott Toste

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Some exciting research on Alzheimer's Disease has come out of Stanford University.
Brain cells called microglia chew up toxic substances and cell debris, calm inflammation and make nerve-cell-nurturing substances. New research shows that keeping them on the job may prevent neurodegeneration.
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Scott Toste

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Here's a sunrise in early December 2104 as seen from my front porch. This is one of the many advantages of living in the country -- the relatively unobstructed view of the sky.
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When I was a young boy I fell in love with space. I spent countless hours with my cheap, little telescope peering into the inky blackness of the night sky. I checked out every book from my elementary school libraries (many of them multiple times) that had to do with space or rockets or nature. This led to a passion for science and exploration. The more I discovered about our universe the more I wanted to know about every aspect of it. The resources I had available in the 1970's were meager by today's standards -- mainly consisting of books, magazines, and star charts. It would have been intoxicating as a boy if I had access to a modern Internet with it's expansive collection of information. Graphics and videos explaining all manner of things literally at the tips of my fingers. My head would have exploded. Instead I soaked up everything I could about the world around me at a manageable and sustainable rate, and made it to adulthood with a largely intact cranium (although pharmacy school made me feel like I blew some neural circuits).

I'm still in awe of the night sky. We live in a magnificently beautiful universe. In the span of my own lifetime we have peered deeply into space and unlocked many mysteries -- while discovering many more that remain unsolved. Viewing the images of the Hubble Space Telescope has brought me much delight. Hubble was recently used to study our closes galactic neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy. 411 images were combined to create a 1.5 billion pixel panoramic image of a section of the galaxy. You can take a look this image using an interactive, zoomable browser at the link below. If I had seen something like this as a boy . . . .

#astronomy   #hubblespacetelescope   #space   #andromedagalaxy   #astrophotography   #childhoodwonder  
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And here is a link to the Space Telescope's web page with details of the image. http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1502/
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Scott Toste

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A very nice series of video articles on the history of photography.
Back in 2012, the George Eastman House released a series of six videos showing six photo processes used in the history of photography. This month, the muse
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Work
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Farmer & Pharmacist
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Explorer - Scientist - Scholar - Family Man
Introduction
So what can I briefly say about myself? Nature fascinates me, and I am passionate about exploring it. I use the tools of science and technology to understand it, my senses to enjoy it, and photography to record it. Oh, and I love maps.

My website

My photography site
Bragging rights
Photography is my hobby and I'm an avid hiker and explorer. The Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and the Pacific Coast are my favorite places to visit. I have an incredible wife and two boys. My oldest son survived childhood cancer and has been cancer free since the end of 2008! I have a Doctorate in Pharmacy.
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Male
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Married