Category Archives: Science

Voyage to Pandora: First Interstellar Space Flight


Found this interesting video on YouTube. If you like science, space and our possible future, please enjoy!

Pandora is the idyllic blue world featured in the movie Avatar. Its location is a real place: Alpha Centauri, the nearest star to our Sun and the most likely destination for our first journey beyond the solar system.

The year is 2154. Our planet has been ruined by environmental catastrophe. In the movie Avatar, greedy prospectors from Earth descend on the world of an innocent hunter-gatherer people called the Na’vi.

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Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, no more…


Avro Arrow on display at the Canadian Air and ...

Image via Wikipedia

TORONTO – Second World War pilot Philip Gray says it is “immoral” that Downsview Park is evicting the Canadian Air and Space Museum.

“This is a terrible way to repay young 21-year-old boys who went to war and never turned 22. I am disgusted that their heritage can be just wiped out,” the 89-year-old Gray said Tuesday as the museum was packing up artifacts.

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Super 8 and awesome I hope?


I have been patiently anticipating the release of Super 8. I still have absolutely no idea what the movie is actually about. Is it science fiction, fantasy, a thriller, an action or a horror flick? It’s hard to really know. What really gets me high hopes are seen through the clips I have already seen. Visions of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. and a modern adventure seem to encompass this feature films trailers. I worry that they may all be some marketing ploy. But who really knows? We all remember Clover field. However this seems to be something different. Something exciting! We will have to wait and see. For now we are stuck with speculation and rumor. I am hoping that it will go back to a time of imagination. Maybe it will be something we did not see coming. Based on the latest trailer it seems that it is either a monster or something else? Here are some questions that need answering.

What is being transported on an unarmed train? What woke up whatever it was?Why did the pickup seem to purposely crash into the train? Why are the kids only semi-afraid? Why are there so many electrical issues? Who is throwing the cars around? The Army seems to know something? Possible Super Heros or Super Villains? Is it something created? Does Super 8 mean “8 super humans”? Is it a prequel to an existing franchise? Is it a transformer? Cannot wait to see it!

By: Andy MJ a.k.a The GTA Patriot

The deadly asbestos trade


Asbestos is a mineral with long, thin fibrous crystals. The word asbestos (῾ἀσβεστος) is derived from a Greek adjective meaning inextinguishable. The Greeks termed asbestos the miracle mineral because of its soft and pliant properties, as well as its ability to withstand heat.

Asbestos is known to have toxicity. The inhalation of toxic asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis (also called pneumoconiosis). Since the mid 1980s, many uses of asbestos have been banned in many countries.

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Canada’s deadly trade in asbestos

by Mark Bourrie

Canada is starting work this summer on a billion dollar project to renovate its parliamentary buildings and cleanse them of asbestos, which has been found to cause cancer.

The project will take six years to complete but, in the meantime, Canadian government agents are still pushing exports of the fibre. Canada even has gone so far as to argue a challenge at the World Trade Organization that a proposed French ban on asbestos imports would be an illegal trade practice.

Despite recent warnings that asbestos was the cause of 500,000 cancer victims in western Europe alone, Canadian asbestos producers continue to promote and sell their fibre worldwide – especially to developing nations.

Asbestos is used as a binder in cement, as insulation, and in anti-fire walls. It is also a potent carcinogen with a long, well-documented legacy of death.

The danger comes when small asbestos fibres are released and inhaled by labourers. The fibres cause cancerous growths in the lungs, lung lining and abdomen but can take 20 years or more to manifest.

In 1997, Canada exported 430,000 tonnes of asbestos – more than 96% of production – most of it to the developing world. Canada is the world’s second-largest exporter of asbestos after Russia.

Union activists, who have visited India and other developing countries say, however, that the public relations efforts of the government and the asbestos industry are simply window-dressing to hide the fact that most people who work with the natural mineral fibre risk cancer.

Critics of Canada’s asbestos exports say the country is exporting death to protect the profits of a handful of companies and the jobs of 1,600 miners.

“What’s the difference between land mines and asbestos?” asks Dr. Barry Castleman, author of a respected book on the danger of asbestos. “A key difference, of course, is that Canada doesn’t export land mines.”

At the heart of the issue is Canada’s own precarious political situation. All of the asbestos mines in Canada are in Quebec, a predominantly French-speaking province with a separatist government.

Federal and provincial politicians are pushing asbestos exports to prove that they are successful at developing overseas markets, and are protective of Quebec workers. Critics of asbestos exports say the industry would probably be allowed to die if it was centred in any other part of the country.

“Personally, I believe this is all about Quebec politics,” says Canadian Auto Workers Health and Safety director Cathy Walker. “The Canadian and Quebec governments are competing with one another to show just how prepared they all are to protect Quebec jobs.”

The real costs will be borne by the developing world, she says.

Walker just returned from India, where she saw unprotected workers slashing open bags of asbestos fibres. In places where the asbestos was being mixed into cement, clouds of the carcinogenic fibres swirled around workers.

In Britain, the Cancer Research Campaign said in January that its study into the European asbestos-linked cancer epidemic should sound alarm bells everywhere, “particularly in the developing world where uncontrolled asbestos is still very common,” said CRC director Gordon McVie.

Seven of Canada’s top 10 markets are Third World countries. Still, the Canadian government, the asbestos industry and lobby groups are trying to put a good face on the asbestos industry.

Recently, diplomats stationed here were flown to asbestos- producing regions on an all-expense-paid first-class junket.

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Revolutionary plastic e-paper set to hit the high street


By Chris Laker
Last updated at 4:43 PM on 15th October 2008

The era of the traditional newspaper could soon be over as scientists launch production of a revolutionary electronic version – made out of plastic.

The e-reader is the brainchild of students at Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory and will be developed by manufacturing plant Plastic Logic at a factory in Germany. The invention is due to hit the high street next year.

Each part of the design will be made from plastic and will be super-thin, as light as the average magazine and able to store and display documents.

Dean Baker, Manufacturing Engineering Manager of Plastic Logic, said the invention of the lightweight e-reader will also drastically reduce the waste that currently comes with the traditional product.

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Alberta oilsands refineries could cause irreversible damage


 

Alberta Oil Sands

Alberta Oil Sands

The development of a pipeline network and refineries around the Great Lakes to process Alberta bitumen “could cause irreversible” environmental damage to the region, says a new report that traces the tendrils of Alberta’s oilsands developments across the continent.

 

There are currently 17 refinery projects either being “considered, planned, applied for, approved or developed” around the Great Lakes, according to the report, How the Oil Sands Got to the Great Lakes, released Wednesday.

The report, commissioned by the University of Toronto’s Munk Centre program on water issues, warns that little is known about the environmental impact on the Great Lakes given the level of greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption that comes with the refining process.
There are currently 17 refinery projects either being ‘considered, planned, applied for, approved or developed’ around the Great Lakes, according to the report, How the Oil Sands Got to the Great Lakes, released Wednesday.
There are currently 17 refinery projects either being ‘considered, planned, applied for, approved or developed’ around the Great Lakes, according to the report, How the Oil Sands Got to the Great Lakes, released Wednesday.

“We are paying more attention at the oilsands end, but not where the oil gets to and what happens there,” said David Israelson, the report’s author. “The other big issue is climate change and this means exponential increase in greenhouse gas emissions before you put a drop in your car.”

Dubbing it a “pollution delivery system,” the report said the thousands-kilometres-long pipeline complex used to ferry Athabasca bitumen from source to refinery could bring “2.3 million tonnes” of greenhouse gas emissions to the centre of North America every year.

“It will also bring new, large-scale sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions – the building blocks of acid rain – as well as fine particulate matter, which is responsible for premature deaths,” said the report. “Pipeline and refinery expansion applications are being made and approved right now with little general awareness of the potential long-term damage to the Great Lakes environment.”

Bitumen is a tar-like heavy hydrocarbon that is removed from Alberta’s oilsands and upgraded into synthetic crude oil.

Environmental groups were quick to back the report’s findings. Justin Duncan, a lawyer with Ecojustice, said the federal government needs to revise its entire approach to oilsands

read more | digg story

LHC ready for trial collisions


Let’s smash some atoms!

The Large Hadron Collider is back on track for trial collisions this week, after a glitch with the cooling system, Times Online reports. Once the two beams had been inserted into the LHC ring last Wednesday, the next task was to “capture” them so that protons could be fired in neat pulses or “bunches”.

read more | digg story

Melamine


Melamine is an organic base with the chemical formulaC3H6N6, with the IUPAC name1,3,5-triazine-2,4,6-triamine. It is only slightly soluble in water.Melamine is a trimer ofcyanamide. Like cyanamide, it is 66% nitrogen (by mass) and provides fire retardantproperties to resin formulas by releasing nitrogen when burned or charred. Dicyandiamide (or cyanoguanidine), the dimer ofcyanamide, is also used as a fire retardant.

Melamine is a metabolite of cyromazine, a pesticide.

 

Secret of red wine revealed


It’s an enzyme called Aldehyde dehydrogenase. Specifically it’s a version of this enzyme designated as ALDH-2. Used to burn off alcohol in the liver, it also acts against toxins released when fats break down during a heart attack.

Now a team led by Stanford researchers has created a synthetic version of the enzyme, aldA-1, that could mimic the effect upon injection and help the enzyme do its job.

One plan would be to inject it along with nitroglycerin, helping those 40% of East Asians who don’t respond well to that drug. But here is a clue — those same people can’t handle their alcohol.

Thomas Hurley of Indiana University, who worked on the study, said aldA-1 works by signaling ALDH-2 directly to get to work protecting the heart muscle in breaking down fats.

By repairing damaged fats during a heart attack, the enzyme keeps cells from dying, reducing the actual damage to the muscle. The synthetic version may also re-activate ALDH-2 molecules that have mutated.

In the study of aldA-1, the team found that damage to rat hearts was cut by 60% when the synthetic enzyme was used.

Heartwire contacted Dr. Eric Topol of the Scripps Research Institute, who noted that many chemicals have been found to work in studies of rats, like this study, but were later found not to work in people.

Still, even he said this deserves a follow-up.

Pharmacologist Daria Mochly-Rosen of Stanford, who headed the study, said the finding may also help in the treatment of other diseases caused by malfunctioning ALDH-2, including Alzheimer’s.

read more | digg story

World’s largest particle collider conducts successful test


GENEVA – The world’s largest particle collider successfully completed its first major test by firing a beam of protons all the way around a 27-kilometre tunnel Wednesday in what scientists hope is the next great step to understanding the makeup of the universe.

“Eventually the two beams will be fired in opposite directions with the aim of smashing together protons to see how they are made.”

read more | digg story

WOW! Everyone please “calm down”….


 

Everyone please remain calm! We are OK...

Everyone please remain calm! We are OK...

I did not realize there would be so much concern to a device that will unlock secrets and answer some important questions. With poverty, wars, hate and so many other things going on in the planet I am sure the billions of dollars spent (maybe millions?) will be put to humanity’s good use. I only wanted to post this because it seemed that no one knew about this important experiment happening in the next couple days. I am sure that it just did not make headlines because nothing bad has happened or will happen. So, please everyone remain calm and take a deep breath. Hopefully you will be able to take a few more after Wednesday!

 

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a the G.T.A. Patriot


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