Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

The Free Library of Philadelphia; detail of Edison Mazda Lamps Calendar: Ecstasy. Click image to enlarge to 1043 x 1508.

The New York Times calls him "one of the country's first brand-name artists" and notes that his images "helped define the mood and style of an era." Smithsonian magazine calls him "the common man's Rembrandt." By the 1920s, he was the highest paid artist in America, and his prints were said to hang in one out of every four households.

Deeply committed to the popularization of art, Maxfield Parrish was one of the first artists to take advantage of technological advances in the color printing industry. For seven decades, he made a fine living turning out magazine covers, book illustrations, posters, calendars, murals and paintings. He actually conceived many of his paintings with a mind to how they would look as prints.

For their part, Americans delighted in his visions of fantasy, with overtones of nostalgia, innocence and humor. They loved his hyperrealistic renderings and his signature "Parrish blue"-- an iridescent blend of cobalt, emerald, Indian yellow and rose madder. As Brace Watson sums it up in Smithsonian: "In a hustling world where skies were too often gray and gardens no bigger than a Brooklyn back-yard, Parrish painted the stuff dreams are made of." -- Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester - Maxfield Parrish, 1870-1966

~ ~ ~

Yesterday I unimagined clouds... (with great success.) - I love it when art remains relevant... and the Universe play tricks through synchronicity. - c

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet

The next great advance in biology will change more than science textbooks - it will revolutionize the way you live your life.

Dr. Bruce H. Lipton explains, "In the past, we've been taught that living beings are like machines run by biochemicals and DNA. What we now know is that our entire biology is shaped by the intelligence of each of our fifty trillion cells. And the single most important way to influence them is through the energy of our beliefs."

In this lecture and in his book, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles, Bruce Lipton explains the stunning new discoveries that have been made about the interaction between your mind and body and the processes by which cells receive information. He shows that genes and DNA do not control our biology, that instead DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our thoughts.

Using simple language, illustrations, humor, and everyday examples, he demonstrates how the new science of Epigenetics is revolutionizing our understanding of the link between mind and matter and the profound effects it has on our personal lives and the collective life of our species.

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 1

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 2

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 3

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 4

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 5

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 6

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 7

~ ~ ~ Intermission ~ ~ ~

Prepare to go down the rabbit hole. ;)

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 8

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 9

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 10

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 11

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 12

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 13

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 14

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 15

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 16

The New Biology: Where Mind and Matter Meet, pt. 17

Sheryl Crow - Everyday Is A Winding Road - Live

Sheryl Crow - Everyday Is A Winding Road

I hitched a ride with a vending machine repair man
He says he's been down this road more than twice
He was high on intellectualism
I've never been there but the brochure looks nice
Jump in, let's go
Lay back, enjoy the show
Everybody gets high, everybody gets low,
These are the days when anything goes

Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine

He's got a daughter he calls Easter
She was born on a Tuesday night
I'm just wondering why I feel so all alone
Why I'm a stranger in my own life
Jump in, let's go
Lay back, enjoy the show
Everybody gets high, everybody gets low
These are the days when anything goes

Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer

Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine

I've been swimming in a sea of anarchy
I've been living on coffee and nicotine
I've been wondering if all the things I've seen
Were ever real, were ever really happening

Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer

Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine

Everyday is a winding road

Phenomenon

Phenomenon

entire movie - follow the embedded links for parts 2-11

meanwhile - don't forget to keep breathing in and out

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Did you know there exists an Interplanetary Transport Network?

This stylized depiction of the ITN is designed to show its (often convoluted) path through the solar system. The green ribbon represents one path from among the many that are mathematically possible along the surface of the darker green bounding tube. Locations where the ribbon changes direction abruptly represent trajectory changes at Lagrange points, while constricted areas represent locations where objects linger in temporary orbit around a point before continuing on.

The Interplanetary Transport Network (ITN) is a collection of gravitationally determined pathways through the solar system that require very little energy for an object to follow. The ITN makes particular use of Lagrange points as locations where trajectories through space can be redirected using little or no energy. These points have the peculiar property of allowing objects to orbit around them, despite the absence of any material object therein. -- Read more at Wikipedia

h/t: spacefuture

Terra: Gnawing, Thawing, Changing

Magnitude 8.8 Earthquake - OFFSHORE MAULE, CHILE - 2010 February 27 06:34:14 UTC

This earthquake occurred at the boundary between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates [highlighted in red.] The two plates are converging at a rate of 80 mm per year. The earthquake occurred as thrust-faulting on the interface between the two plates, with the Nazca plate moving down and landward below the South American plate. -- USGS Earthquake Hazards Program

... A WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT ... [canceled]

Hotline to reach U.S. citizens in Chile: 1-888-407-4747

Hotline to reach Canadian citizens in Chile: 1-800-387-3124

Chile quake may have tipped Earth's axis

~ ~ ~

A aerial view of the Mertz Glacier tongue breaking off from a glacier in Antarctica after being rammed by another giant iceberg, February 20, 2010. Photo credit: REUTERS/Neal Young/Australian Antarctic Division. - Watch Animation

An iceberg the size of Luxembourg has broken off from a glacier in Antarctica -- an event that could affect ocean circulation patterns. -- Read more from Reuters UK

Watch how Hollywood portrays this event: The Day After Tomorrow

A summary of the path of the thermohaline circulation/ Great Ocean Conveyor. Blue paths represent deep-water currents, while red paths represent surface currents. -- Read more at Wikipedia

The Earth, she is a changing...

What can we expect next?

Read clif high's The Shape of Things to Come (2010/2011) - Issue Three [Possibly the most entertaining $10 you'll ever spend.]

And don't miss George Ure's [free] daily play-by-play updates at Urban Survival.

Things I've Learned About Germany's Hyperinflation: Dylan Gryce

To read click "Fullscreen" (top center) then "Zoom +" (lower left).

Things I've Learned About Germany's Hyperinflation: Dylan Gryce

h/t: Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge who concludes:

How many more parallels do we need: escalating geopolitical tensions across the world, an Eastern European powder keg, Quantitave Easing masking as just economic doctrine, and, on top of it all, a deranged money printer. Just as von Havenstein set the foundations for the most destructive war in world history, is his modern reincarnation currently doing the same, as yet another, much more destructive military conflict possibly approaches?

"The Great Silence" - Stephen Hawking & Others Look at Why Life Has Yet to be Discovered Beyond Earth

Click image to enlarge to 1280 x 1002. Image Credit: www.astro.columbia.edu/~astrobio/ProjectsII.html.

"The idea that we are the only intelligent creatures in a cosmos of a hundred billion galaxies is so preposterous that there are very few astronomers today who would take it seriously. It is safest to assume therefore, that they are out there and to consider the manner in which this may impinge upon human society." -- Arthur C. Clarke, physicist and author of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Source: New Scientist, via The Daily Galaxy

One of the greatest philosophical and scientific challenges that currently confronts humanity is the unsolved question of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence.

The Fermi paradox is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for or contact with such civilizations.

The 14-billion-year age of the universe and its 130 billion galaxies and a Milky Way Galaxy with some 400 billion stars suggest that if the Earth is typical, should be common. Nobel laureate Enrico Fermi, discussing this observation with colleagues over lunch in 1950, asked, logically: "Where are they?" Why, if advanced extraterrestrial civilizations exist in our Milky Way galaxy, hasn't evidence such as probes, spacecraft, or radio transmissions been found?

As our technologies become ever more sophisticated and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence continues to fail, the "Great Silence" becomes louder than ever. The seemingly empty cosmos is screaming out to us that something is amiss. Or is it?

Using a computer simulation of our own galaxy, the Milky Way, Rasmus Bjork, a physicist at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, proposed an answer to the Fermi Paradox. Bjork proposed that an alien civilization might build intergalactic probes and launch them on missions to search for life.

He found, however, that even if the alien ships could hurtle through space at a tenth of the speed of light, or 30,000km a second, - NASA's current Cassini mission to Saturn is gliding along at 32km a second - it would take 10 billion years, roughly half the age of the universe, to explore a mere four percent of the galaxy.

Like humans, alien civilizations could shorten the time to find extra-terrestrials by picking up television and radio broadcasts that might leak from colonized planets. "Even then," he reported, "unless they can develop an exotic form of transport that gets them across the galaxy in two weeks it's still going to take millions of years to find us. There are so many stars in the galaxy that probably life could exist elsewhere, but will we ever get in contact with them? Not in our lifetime."

The problem of distance is compounded by the fact that timescales that provide a "window of opportunity" for detection or contact might be quite small. Advanced civilizations may periodically arise and fall throughout our galaxy as they do here, on Earth, but this may be such a rare event, relatively speaking, that the odds of two or more such civilizations existing at the same time are low.

In short, there may have been intelligent civilizations in the galaxy before the emergence of intelligence on Earth, and there may be intelligent civilizations after its extinction, but it is possible that human beings are the only intelligent civilization in existence "now." "Now" assumes that an extraterrestrial intelligence is not able to travel to our vicinity at faster-than-light speeds, in order to detect an intelligence 1,000 light-years distant, that intelligence will need to have been active 1,000 years ago.

There is also a possibility that archaeological evidence of past civilizations may be detected through deep space observations — especially if they left behind large artifacts such as Dyson spheres.

Perhaps... but in our search for life and intelligence we have to keep in mind that the Milky Way Galaxy is two or three times the age of our Solar System, so there are going to be some societies out there that are millions of years, maybe more, beyond ours, which may have proceeded beyond biology—that have invented intelligent, self-replicating machines and it could be that what we first find is something that's artificially constructed if we have the ability to recognize it as such. It may very well be that our greatest discovery will be that the very nature of alien communication will prevent our being able to communicate with it.

In his famous lecture on Life in the Universe, Stephen Hawking asks: "What are the chances that we will encounter some alien form of life, as we explore the galaxy?"

If the argument about the time scale for the appearance of life on Earth is correct, Hawking says "there ought to be many other stars, whose planets have life on them. Some of these stellar systems could have formed 5 billion years before the Earth. So why is the galaxy not crawling with self-designing mechanical or biological life forms?"

Why hasn't the Earth been visited, and even colonized? Hawking asks. "I discount suggestions that UFO's contain beings from outer space. I think any visits by aliens, would be much more obvious, and probably also, much more unpleasant."

Hawking continues: "What is the explanation of why we have not been visited? One possibility is that the argument, about the appearance of life on Earth, is wrong. Maybe the probability of life spontaneously appearing is so low, that Earth is the only planet in the galaxy, or in the observable universe, in which it happened. Another possibility is that there was a reasonable probability of forming self reproducing systems, like cells, but that most of these forms of life did not evolve intelligence."

We are used to thinking of intelligent life, as an inevitable consequence of evolution, Hawking emphasized, but it is more likely that evolution is a random process, with intelligence as only one of a large number of possible outcomes.

Intelligence, Hawking believes contrary to our human-centric existece, may not have any long-term survival value. In comparison the microbial world, will live on, even if all other life on Earth is wiped out by our actions. Hawking's main insight is that intelligence was an unlikely development for life on Earth, from the chronology of evolution: "It took a very long time, two and a half billion years, to go from single cells to multi-cell beings, which are a necessary precursor to intelligence. This is a good fraction of the total time available, before the Sun blows up. So it would be consistent with the hypothesis, that the probability for life to develop intelligence, is low. In this case, we might expect to find many other life forms in the galaxy, but we are unlikely to find intelligent life."

Another possibility is that there is a reasonable probability for life to form, and to evolve to intelligent beings, but at some point in their technological development "the system becomes unstable, and the intelligent life destroys itself. This would be a very pessimistic conclusion. I very much hope it isn't true."

Hawkling prefers another possibility: that there are other forms of intelligent life out there, but that we have been overlooked. If we should pick up signals from alien civilizations, Hawking warns,"we should have be wary of answering back, until we have evolved" a bit further. Meeting a more advanced civilization, at our present stage,' Hawking says "might be a bit like the original inhabitants of America meeting Columbus. I don't think they were better off for it."

~ ~ ~

Michio Kaku: Alien Life Top Secret on Coast to Coast

Michio Kaku and much of the civilian scientific community think that alien life should be top secret, even if it's found light years away in outer space. Imagine if they were here already. Do you think the governments and the scientists would tell us?

The Most Beautiful Thing

The Time Traveler - With Proof


“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” -- Albert Einstein


Michio Kaku: Time Travel, Parallel Universes, and Reality

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Pernicious Precious Metals Parable

Bernanke Repudiates 2002 Thesis

If you expect Bernanke to "hyperinflate" the economy you need to listen to this - and find the clip, if you can, of California's Mr. Sherman and Mr. Bernanke from yesterday.

All is not as you have assumed. [emphasis mine] -- Karl Denninger, The Market Ticker

Ben Bernanke in 2002:

"The conclusion that deflation is always reversible under a fiat money system follows from basic economic reasoning.

A little parable may prove useful: Today an ounce of gold sells for $300, more or less. Now suppose that a modern alchemist solves his subject’s oldest problem by finding a way to produce unlimited amounts of new gold at essentially no cost. Moreover, his invention is widely publicized and scientifically verified, and he announces his intention to begin massive production of gold within days. What would happen to the price of gold? Presumably, the potentially unlimited supply of cheap gold would cause the market price of gold to plummet. Indeed, if the market for gold is to any degree efficient, the price of gold would collapse immediately after the announcement of the invention, before the alchemist had produced and marketed a single ounce of yellow metal.

What has this got to do with monetary policy? Like gold, U.S. dollars have value only to the extent that they are strictly limited in supply. But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation."

~

Did that make your ears tickle or your hair stand up? That was far too interesting a choice of parable from the alchemist's camp for me. Perhaps, driven by ego, they were compelled to announce their discovery? Regardless, I'm rethinking that planned precious metals purchase... better to put in storage some more wholesome food and clean (fluoride-free) water. I'm reasonably sure they haven't been able to manufacture those yet. - c

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Powder

Powder

entire movie - follow the embedded links for parts 2-11

may you realize your limitless potential

Great Depression Cooking with Clara - Dandelion Salad

Great Depression Cooking with Clara - Dandelion Salad

94 year old cook and great grandmother, Clara, recounts her childhood during the Great Depression as she prepares meals from the era. Learn how to make simple yet delicious dishes while listening to stories from the Great Depression.

This recipe and more can be found in Clara's new book, Clara's Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression.

Our Window on the Universe

"The Milky Way Tree" via The Daily Galaxy.

"Our human window on the Universe is terribly small within a stunningly small range of wavelengths. With our eyes we see wavelengths between 0.00004 and 0.00008 of a centimeter (where, not so oddly, the Sun and stars emit most of their energy). The human visual spectrum from violet to red is but one octave on an imaginary electromagnetic piano with a keyboard hundreds of kilometers long." -- James Kaler, astronomer and author of Heaven's Touch: From Killer Stars to the Seeds of Life, How We Are Connected to the Universe. Read Chapter 1 [PDF].

Click image to enlarge to 4,299 × 3,490 pixels, file size: 8.93 MB, JPEG.

This image of Messier 82 is a composite of Chandra, HST and Spitzer images. X-ray data recorded by Chandra appears in blue; infrared light recorded by Spitzer appears in red; Hubble's observations of hydrogen emission appear in orange, and the bluest visible light appears in yellow-green. -- Wikipedia

In the infrared light, M82 is the brightest galaxy in the sky; it exhibits a so-called infrared excess, being much brighter at infrared wavelengths than in the visible part of the spectrum. -- The Daily Galaxy

The Meeting of Science and Mysticism

Remedios Varo, Creation of the Birds, 1957. Remedios Varo’s small, complex paintings portray a world in which alchemy, magic, mysticism and science co-exist. -- Read a brief history of Varo and view more of her work at Venetian Red.

~ ~ ~

The Meeting of Science and Mysticism

New theories in physics suggest that “no man is an island” and “the greatest is within the smallest”

By Robert Anton Wilson (Fate, 1992)

In 1964 Dr. John Stewart Bell, an Irishman working at CERN nuclear research centre (Switzerland) published a mathematical paper that staggered the scientific world. The central idea of the paper - now called Bell's Theorem – suggested new views about reality so hair-raising that even Dr. Bell himself repudiates most of the interpretations by other physicists about what his mathematics imply.

Bell’s Theorem seems to portray a universe far weirder than science has previously realized – so weird, in fact, that it hauntingly resembles many “mystical” and “superstitious” ideas of the past. For instance, I shook hands with the editor of a Berlin magazine a month ago. Since our hands touched, according to Bell, some particles in my hand remain, and always will remain, in a kind or correlation or “union” with some particles in the editor’s hand. Mystics have talked about such linkages all through history, of course, but science never took such ideas seriously – until Bell came along.

Since so much dispute rages about Bell’s demonstration, we should use careful language in discussing it.

What Bell’s math showed was that 1) if we accept an objective universe separate from our ideas, and 2) if the equations of quantum (sub-atomic) physics accurately describe that universe, then 3) any two particles that once contacted each other continue to “influence” each other, or remain “parts of a unified system,” no matter how far apart they subsequently move in space or in time-even if they move to opposite ends of the universe.

Bell’s math thus suggests that space and time only exist on some levels of the universe - or only in our minds - or that we must assume a level of reality where space and time don’t exist at all. “Here is there,” says physicist Dr. Nick Herbert, when explaining Bell’s Theorem.” There is no difference between anything,” he adds with a twinkle in his eye.

The Billiard Table Example

To visualize what this means, and how it differs from all previous science, imagine an ordinary billiard table.

In Newtonian physics, if a ball (let’s call it B), moves, it’s because it is hit by another ball (which we can call A).This accords with the standard mechanical picture of the universe, which most people still identify with “science” with a capital S.

However, in field physics (pioneered in the 19th century by James Clerk Maxwell), ball B might move and ball A along with it, not because of mechanical collisions, but because a magnet below the table has created an electromagnetic field, which causes the balls to jump in a certain direction. Field theories, while in a sense less “materialistic” than mechanical collision theories, still involve connection, interaction and causality. They still live in “the same ball park” as mechanical theories.

In Einstein’s General Relativity, we find a third kind of causality. The balls might move because of the seeming flatness of the table, which we see, only appears on the small scale. On a larger scale the table actually curves. (In the Einstein universe the planets orbit the sun because space itself curves, even though we can’t see the curvature directly and have to deduce it mathematically.) This moves us even further from collision models than the field theories do, but Einstein remains in a ball park we can visualize - with a little extra effort. Einsteinian space-time involves connections, interaction and a kind of determinism - geometric determinism. The mass of matter determines the curvature of space, and the curvature of space determines the movement of matter.

In all these kinds of scientific explanations - the mechanical, the field theory and the geometric (curvature) theory - the cause of the movement of the billiard balls can be pictured in a mental image and, once we understand the theory, it makes sense to us.

In Bell’s universe, however, ball A and ball B might move without any of these three types of causes (the only types of causes science recognizes) - and perhaps without any cause at all! In other words, A moves because B moves or B moves because A moves and we seemingly cannot say anything more about the movements. Maybe we can’t even say the much since the word “because” doesn’t really seem to fit this case.

Imagine yourself in a room with such a billiard table. Ball A at one end of the table suddenly turns clockwise and exactly at that moment ball B at the other end turns counter-clockwise. You observe carefully that nobody pushed the balls or fired another ball at them. You check under the table and find no hidden magnets to create field effects. You then think of Einstein and geometry, but when you check, the table has no curvature of any sort. You look at the table again and ball A turns counter-clockwise while ball B turns clockwise. That sort of thing usually only happens in movies about a haunted house.

Spooks, Flim-Flam or...

At this point you would probably say, “spooks!” or something similar. James Randi would shout “Fraud!” or “Flim-flam!”

That’s just about what most physicists said when Bell’s Theorem was published. The math was absolutely irrefutable, but the conclusion seemed impossible to believe.

Several experiments, however – most notably, those by Dr. Clauser of the University of California at Berkeley and Dr. Aspect at the optical institute in Orsay, France – have shown that atomic particles behave exactly as Bell said they should. For instance, in Aspect’s most recent experiment two photons (particles of light) ejected from a common source (a mercury atom) acted just as Bell predicted, or just like the billiard balls in our illustration. Whenever the photon manifested the mathematical state called “spin up,” the other photon measured “spin down.” This happened despite the total absence of any form of connection or cause known to science.

Another Model

To be even clear about how “mystical” this seems, let me paraphrase a life – size model once used by Dr. Bell in a lecture.

Imagine two men who live in Paris and Mexico City. Imagine that we keep them under observation continually and discover that every time the man in Paris wears red socks, the man in Mexico City wears Blue socks. Now suppose we check every possible communication system and prove that no way exists for the two men to send messages to each other – they can’t get near a phone or shortwave radio or telegraph or any similar device. Then we take the red socks of the man in Paris and put blue socks on him. Immediately – with not a fraction of a second of time delay – the man in Mexico City sits down, takes of his red socks and puts on blue socks.

Even stranger, this would happen every single time we tried the experiment if the man behaved like the atomic particles in Bell’s Theorem and the experiments of Clauser and Aspect.

What It Means

What the deuce can this mean? Physicists remain in violent disagreement with each other about the question, but all the answers are equally astounding to ordinary folks.

According to Dr. David Bohm of the University of London, “It may mean that everything in the universe is in a kind of total rapport, so that whatever happens is related to everything else; or it may be that there is some kind of information that can travel faster than the speed of light: or it may mean that our concepts of space and time have to be modified in some way that we don’t now understand.” (London Times, February 20, 1983.)

A Holistic Universe

Consider the first alternative. If “what happens is related to everything else,” we live in the kind of holistic Universe described by the mystics of the East, especially the Hindus and Buddhists. In the humorous metaphor of Charles Fort, if a bear coughs at the north pole, a bottle of Ketchup will fall out of a window in New York City. In the more grim metaphors of Buddhism, if a single angry or cruel act (or thought) occurs anywhere, every sentient being in the universe will feel the effects. In the poetic language of the Englishman, John Donne: No man is an island... if a clod of Spain be washed away, Europe is the less... Each man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in humanity.

This “non-local connection” (as some call it) may mean that if you have touched a pair of dice your brain can then exercise some control over them, just as most gamblers think. This sounds like some wild, science-fiction elaboration of Bell, but it has been seriously proposed by Dr. Evan Harris Walker, an American physicist who deduced, from Bell’s math and the math of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle* just how the human brain should be able to affect the dice.

In The Complete Quantum Anthropologist, Dr. Walker demonstrates that this mathematically theoretical limit of control – “mind over matter” – corresponds exactly to the degree of control demonstrated by Hakoon Forwald, a retired electrical engineer, in a long-running series of experiments on “psychokinesis.” Forwald’s subjects in the years between 1949 and 1970 tried to influence dice by brain power and score just as far above chance as Walker’s math says they should have scored.

It does not seem far from this “psychokinesis” to the traditional belief that if a sorcerer gets a hold of a strand of your hair, anything he does will eventually affect your hair.

Information Without Transportation

Before we get spooked too much by this line of thought, let us look at Dr. Bohm’s second alternative:

"Information that can travel faster than the speed of light,” Since no energy can travel faster than the speed of light, this means information without energy. Another physicist, Dr. Jack Sarfatti, has called it “information without transportation.” Such ghostly information moving around without energy or transportation to carry it might explain the kind of things that parapsychologists call telepathy or precognition or ESP.

This sounds a medieval as the sorcerer working magic on a lock of hair, doesn’t it? Nonetheless, two physicists from Stanford Research International (now SRI International), Dr. Harold Puthoff and Dr. Russell Targ, in their book Mind Reach, offer it as an explanation of “distant viewing” (telepathy across thousands of miles.)

Time Travel

Even more bizarre, as Dr. Sarfatti has pointed out in many lectures, “information without transportation: could travel into the past." You see, in Relativity Theory, going faster than the speed of light seems impossible because it means going backwards in time. Some interpretations of Bell, however, suggest that information can indeed go backwards in time. This leads to speculations that have previously only appeared in science fiction, not in science.

For instance, it leads to the “Grandfather paradox.” Thus: if I had a time machine, went back to the 1890s, and for some perverse reason murdered my grandfather before he could marry my grandmother, then when I came back to 1992 I wouldn’t find myself here, would I? Where would I exist, if I existed at all? It seems from a theoretical mathematical basis I would dwell in a parallel universe – one in which I remained sane enough not to go back in time to kill my granddad. But this universe, where poor old granddad, would still exist – except that my father and I wouldn’t live in it.

The same logic that governs such a sci-fi time machine applies to “information that moves faster than light.” If I could send Bell’s kind of information into the past, my grandfather might receive it. He might alter his actions in such a way that I wouldn’t get born in this universe anymore. I would have sent the information from the universe next door, so to speak.

If that doesn’t boggle your mind, consider a further development suggested by Dr. John Archibald Wheeler, often called the father of the Hydrogen bomb. In the Science Digest of October 1984, Dr. Wheeler suggests that the current and recent scientific experiments on atomic energy literally created this universe (or “selected” it out of all possible universes).

In other words, every time we meddle with an atomic system, according to Dr. Wheeler, the “non-local” effects go every which way into space and time, and some of them affect the nature of the Big Bang from which the universe emerged. You see, Dr. Wheeler has often argued that many, many universes emerged from the Big Bang – more than 10,000-million-million-million-million-million-million-million-million-million-million-million-million-million-million-million-million-million-million of them, at least – all of them stacked up in parallel to ours in “super-space,” a geometrical construct he invented to solve some of the problems with General Relativity. Dr. Wheeler now argues, in the light of Bell’s Theorem, that we have, through our experiments, “fine-tuned” the Big Bang to produce the kind of universe in which we can exist and can conduct such experiments. Zillions and Zillions of other universes, without our meddling, evolve in different ways, and most of them collapse inward again very shortly after the Big Bang and thus never produce human beings.

Space and Time Might Not Even Exist

Then we have Dr. Bohm’s third alternative: “Our concepts of space and time will have to be modified in some way we do not understand. “Many philosophers have examined this idea in the past – especially the Buddhists in the East and Bishop Berkeley and Immanuel Kant in Europe. All come to the same conclusion, basically. Space and time don’t exist “out there,” apart from us. The human brain just invented them to have a filing system for its impressions.

Dr. Nick Herbert presents a scientific form of this theory in his book, Quantum Reality. According to Dr. Herbert, all experience remains “local” (bound by space and time) but reality itself exists “non-locally” (not bound by space and time, or “transcendental”) in exactly the sense of all mystic teachings.

Dr. Bohm states the same idea in a more precise way. As he sees it, the universe may consist of an implicate order much like the software (programs) of a computer and an explicate order, much like the hardware – what we can see and experience – has locality. It remains here, not there, and now, not then. The implicative order or software, however - which we cannot see or experience but only deduce from our experiments and math – has total non-locality. It exists both here and there, both now and then.

In this model we do not need to posit information without transportation or any of the spooky stuff. The information does not travel without a medium because it does not travel at all; it exists already, always, everywhere. In every electron, in every atom, in every molecule, every stone, every animal or person, every planet, every galaxy, however different their locations in space and time, the basic information, or universal blueprint (Bohm’s implicate order) remains the same.

This sounds very much like the Hindu concept of God or the Chinese Tao. In fact Bohm’s implicate order exactly fits Lao-Tse’s paradox of the Tao: “The greatest is within the smallest.” It also strikingly resembles the major axiom of Hermetic mysticism in the West: “That which is above is reflected in that which is below.”

What happens when your back is turned?

There remains one way to avoid all of these shocking and bizarre sounding interpretations of John S. Bell’s discovery. That way is to deny the first step of the argument – that we can posit an objective universe separate from our ideas. This path, thus far, has appeared only in the works of Dr. David Mermin of Columbia University. In two astounding papers – “Quantum Mysteries for Everyone” and “ Is the Moon There When Nobody Looks?”- Dr. Mermin argues that quantum physics (the physics of small particles, from which Bell began) finally makes sense if we assume the universe only exists when we look at it. If you don’t look at your automobile, and nobody else looks at it, it ceases to exist until somebody looks at it again. Then it pops back into reality – presto!

This theory, known as “solipsism,” has never appealed to scientists or philosophers, although a few cynics have always argued in favor of it, just to annoy the orthodox. Nobody seems to have ever taken it seriously – until now. Dr. Mermin soberly claims that solipsism leads to less absurd results than any other way of interpreting Bell’s math.

I don’t think Dr. Mermin intends to make a joke. He truly fins solipsism less unthinkable than ghostly information moving every which way in space and time with no medium to carry it, or parallel universes being created out of nothing whenever an atomic measurement is made, or the other alternatives that physicists are considering in trying to understand Bell’s Theorem.

Science and Mysticism Joined?

In summary, Bell’s Theorem does not prove the truth of the basic ideas of mysticism, but it definitely makes them seem more plausible than any previous scientific discovery did. Any alternative explanation of the non-local reality described by Bell does not bring us safely home to “common sense.” The other explanations sound even stranger than anything that mystics have ever claimed. We can only conclude, as the great biologist J.B.S. Haldane did after experimenting with yoga, that “The universe may be, not only queerer than we think, but queerer than we can think.”

~

* Editor’s note: The Uncertainty Principle is that “the accurate measurement of one or two related, observable quantities, as position and momentum or energy and time, produce uncertainties in the measurement of the other, such that the product of the uncertainties of both quantities is equal to or greater than h / 2 pi, where h equals Plank’s constant. “ [ - from The Random House Dictionary of the English Language]. Simply put, the principle means that you can know either the position or motion of a particle, but not both.

~ ~ ~

Remedios Varo, Still Life Reviving, 1963.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds

"If by some magic, autism had been eradicated from the face of the earth, then men would still be socializing in front of a wood fire at the entrance to a cave." -- Temple Grandin

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Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds

Autism activist Temple Grandin talks about how her mind works -- sharing her ability to "think in pictures," which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids.

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HBO Films: Temple Grandin Trailer

Claire Danes stars in the new HBO Original Movie, "Temple Grandin." The movie premiered Saturday, February 6.

Man's Greatest Achievement

This Nikola Tesla article is from the book Universal Laws Never Before Revealed: Keely's Secrets : Understanding and Using the Science of Sympathetic Vibration.

Man's Greatest Achievement

By Nikola Tesla

There manifests itself in the fully developed being - MAN - a desire mysterious, inscrutable and irresistible: to imitate nature, to create, to work himself the wonders he perceives. Inspired to this task he searches, discovers and invents, designs and constructs, and covers with monuments of beauty, grandeur and awe, the star of his birth. He descends into the bowels of the globe to bring forth its hidden treasures and to unlock its immense imprisoned energies for his use. He invades the dark depths of the ocean and the azure regions of the sky. He peers in the innermost nooks and recesses of molecular structure and lays bare to his gaze worlds infinitely remote. He subdues and puts to his service the fierce, devastating spark of Prometheus, the titanic forces of the waterfall, the wind and the tide. He tames the thundering bolt of Jove and annihilates time and space. He makes the great Sun itself his obedient toiling slave. Such is his power and might that the heavens reverberate and the whole earth trembles by the mere sound of his voice.

What has the future in store for this strange being, born of a breath, of perishable tissue, yet Immortal, with his powers fearful and Divine? What magic will be wrought by him in the end? What is to be his greatest deed, his crowning achievement?

Long ago he recognized that all perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or a tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the Akasha or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life-giving Prana or Creative Force, calling into existence, in never ending cycles, all things and phenomena. The primary substance, thrown into infinitesimal whirls of prodigious velocity, becomes gross matter; the force subsiding, the motion ceases and matter disappears, reverting to the primary substance.

Can man control this grandest, most awe-inspiring of all processes in nature? Can he harness her inexhaustible energies to perform all their functions at his bidding? More still - cause them to operate simply by the force of his will?

If he could do this, he would have powers almost unlimited and supernatural. At his command, with but a slight effort on his part, old worlds would disappear and new ones of his planning would spring into being. He could fix, solidify and preserve the ethereal shapes of his imagining, the fleeting visions of his dreams. He could express all the creations of his mind on any scale, in forms concrete and imperishable. He could alter the size of this planet, control its seasons, guide it along any path he might choose through the depths of the Universe. He could cause planets to collide and produce his suns and stars, his heat and light. He could originate and develop life in all its infinite forms.

To create and to annihilate material substance, cause it to aggregate in forms according to his desire, would be the supreme manifestation of the power of Man's mind, his most complete triumph over the physical world, his crowning achievement, which would place him beside his Creator, make him fulfill his Ultimate Destiny.

Tickle Tickle

~ ~ ~

[Where VPF is the virtual particle flux and interactions of the vacuum and LLLT is relativistic spacetime.]

Considering the positive energy/positive probability interactions, then smaller virtual particles interact to make larger structures (particle groups and assemblies etc.) until the quantum threshold is breached, and the increasing interactions from there on are directly creating and sustaining any and all parts of observed physical reality.

This is a shocking discovery: Any and every part of physical reality is continually being created and sustained as a tremendous, ongoing set of interactions between the virtual particles of the seething virtual state vacuum.

The shock comes in realizing that, by deliberately adding negative energy/negative probabilities into a chosen ongoing "bubbling virtual particle creative set", we can "tailor" and change that ongoing creative interaction set as we will.

In short, we can now directly engineer physical reality at will, once the technology is experimentally developed and applied. -- T. E. Bearden [PDF]

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eat The Weeds: Edible Plants Near an Urban Lake

Eat The Weeds: Edible Plants Near an Urban Lake - pt. 1

Wild food is where the water is. The farther you get away from water, the less food you will find. Also a large amount of edible weeds are found in urban areas, not in the wilds. To demonstrate that, Green Deane walks around a small lake and points out many edible species including: tansy mustard, yellow wood sorrel, dollarweed, pepper grass, false hawksbeard, pellitory, bulrush, yellow pond lily, water hyssop, stinging nettle.

Eat The Weeds: Edible Plants Near an Urban Lake - pt. 2

Plants featured in part 2 include: amaranth, swinecress, spiny sow thistle, hairy bittercress, American nightshade (Solanum americanum)[toxic], camphor tree, elderberry, skunkvine, grapes, sword fern, pink sorrel (oxalis articulata), Florida betony, whitesnow, willow, alligator flag.

www.EatTheWeeds.com

[{Good Cousins}]

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[{Good cousins} should be] able to honestly answer the following 3/three questions: “what is your favorite kind of pie?”; “how do you express your art?”; and, “what is your favorite bob marley song?” -- clif high - [$ - The Shape of Things to Come, Volume 0, Issue 1, p.41]
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Grandma's Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Recipe from Valarie Enters, Sanford, Florida via Food Network
Prep Time: 15 min, Cook Time: 1 hr 5 min, Level: Intermediate, Serves: 1 pie
Ingredients
Crust:

* 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour as needed, up to 1/4 cup
* 1/2 cup cake flour (recommended: Soft As Silk)
* 3 teaspoons sifted powdered sugar
* 1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening (recommended: Crisco)
* 1/4 cup salted butter
* Pinch salt
* 1 egg
* 2 teaspoons vinegar
* 1/4 cup ice cold water

Filling:

* 2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh
* 2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and cut strawberries (in larger pieces)
* 1 1/2 cups sugar (1 1/4 cups for high altitude)
* 2 tablespoons minute tapioca
* 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
* 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3 tablespoons butter, cubed small
* 1 egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon water
* Large granule sugar

Directions

Crust Preparation:

Using 2 pastry blenders, blend the flours, sugar, shortening, butter and salt. Whisk the egg, vinegar and water in a 2-cup measure and pour over the dry ingredients incorporating all the liquid without overworking the dough. Toss the additional flour over the ball of dough and chill if possible. Divide the dough into 2 disks. Roll out 1 piece of dough to make a bottom crust. Place into a pie dish. Put dish in refrigerator to chill.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Filling Preparation:

Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, flour, zest and juice of lemon, dash of cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix well in a large bowl and pour out into chilled crust. Dot the top of the filling with the butter. Brush edges of pie crust with egg white wash. Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling. Crimp to seal edges. Brush with egg white wash and garnish with large granule sugar. Collar with foil and bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling. Higher altitude will take 450 degrees F and 400 degrees F respectively. Also, you can use a pie bird for extra decor. Let cool before serving.
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~ ~ ~
"Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."
Singin': "Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right!"

Rise up this mornin',
Smiled with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', ("This is my message to you-ou-ou:")

Singin': "Don't worry 'bout a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."
Singin': "Don't worry (don't worry) 'bout a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right!"

Rise up this mornin',
Smiled with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', "This is my message to you-ou-ou:"

Singin': "Don't worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh!
Every little thing gonna be all right. Don't worry!"
Singin': "Don't worry about a thing" - I won't worry!
"'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."

Singin': "Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right" - I won't worry!
Singin': "Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."
Singin': "Don't worry about a thing, oh no!
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right!"
~ ~ ~
[Dedicated to 12:02:00 AM]

Monday, February 22, 2010

Civil War Laundry Day

Civil War Laundry Day

This is a demonstration of laundry technique and process during the 1860's.

Related: Super Value Laundry Detergent & This is Lye

Massive Magnetism

Image credit: Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)

NASA spacecraft and amateur astronomers alike are monitoring a staggeringly-long filament of magnetism on the sun. It stretches more than a million kilometers around the sun's southeastern limb:

As this movie shows, the filament has remained mostly stable for at least two days. However, similar filaments in the past have been known to collapse, and when they hit the surface of the sun--bang! A tremendous explosion called a "Hyder flare" results, sometimes rivaling the strongest flares produced by sunspots. Solar physicists have not yet learned to predict Hyder flares, so we cannot estimate the odds of one now. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.

More images: from C. Swiger and J. Stetson of South Portland, Maine; from Mark Townley of Brierley Hill, West Mids, UK; from Cai-Uso Wohler of Bispingen, Germany; from Alan Friedman of downtown Buffalo, NY; from Michael Wilk of Augsburg, Germany. -- SpaceWeather.com, h/t: Urban Survival

Generally Hyder flares are not associated with energetic particle emission or geomagnetic storms (implying that they may not be associated with a coronal mass ejection). However, this is not always the case, as a large halo CME observed by the LASCO solar coronagraph on board the SOHO spacecraft was most definitely associated with a Hyder flare (2N/M1) observed on 12 September 2000. This same complex also appeared to have produced energetic protons at geosynchronous orbit with energies in excess of 100 MeV, and in substantial numbers at energies of 10 MeV. It is believed that the sudden storm commencement observed at 0450UT 15 September, and the subsequent minor geomagnetic storm was produced by this particular CME. -- Australian Government IPS Radio and Space Services

Nikola Tesla, Godfather of the 20th Century

“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.” -- Nikola Tesla

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Nikola Tesla, godfather of the 20th Century, deserves more credit

Excerpt from article by Michael Pravica via The Comment Factory

A recent May 5th article in The New York Times entitled: “A Battle to Preserve a Visionary’s Bold Failure,” discusses the potential sale of the remnants of Nikola Tesla’s Wardenclyffe laboratory on Long Island and thus the potential loss of some of the last physical traces of one of humanity’s greatest minds. It also represents yet one more insult to one of the most misunderstood and unappreciated visionaries who sought only to aid all humanity.

2006 was the sesquicentennial of the birth of one of the worlds greatest geniuses, the Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla. UNESCO dubbed 2006 the “year of Nikola Tesla.” Though you may have heard of the word “Tesla” as a unit of magnetic field (e.g. produced by an MRI machine); the ubiquitous discharging Tesla Coil seen in the old Frankenstein movies and at the Boston Museum of Science; a famous rock group; the name of Belgrade’s airport; David Bowie in “The Prestige”; or as a recently-introduced electric car company, few people are actually aware of the tremendous contributions made for us all by the refined, attractive yet deeply eccentric gentleman behind the name.

Born in 1856 to Serbian parents in a small village, Smiljan, in the Austro-Hungarian empire (today’s Croatia), Tesla’s story of coming to America at age 28 with four cents in his pocket and “transforming” all society as we know it with his inventions was the quintessential story of the immigrants who made America what it is today. After quitting his employment with Thomas Edison who betrayed him, the young inventor went on to single-handedly invent the polyphase system of current generation (known as Alternating Current or “AC”) which ultimately overtook Edison’s Direct Current system as the superior method to transport electrical energy long distances and convert that energy into useful mechanical work.

Tesla first harnessed the enormous power of Niagara Falls as he built the world’s first hydroelectric power station there. Significant fractions of nations’ budgets in e.g, China (Three Gorges Dam), Zambia (Kariba Dam), and our own country (Hoover Dam) are dedicated to developing hydropower where the benefits of “free” power (many Gigawatts) can last for centuries. Today’s nuclear power industry is fashioned on the same basic principles of hydropower: the expansion of steam turns a turbine/dynamo, generating electrical power. The 60 Hz standard of our AC was set by Tesla. His designs for the electric dynamo are still in use today. Tesla also developed the polyphase electric motor which was suited for alternating current as well as the transformer which allowed easy and highly efficient conversion of voltage. The washing machine, dryer, garbage disposal, dishwasher, refrigerator, alternators, heat exchangers/air conditioners, fans, are all example of machines utilizing electric polyphase motors at their core. The Tesla Coil, popular in science museums and movies, enables the generation of enormous high frequency voltages sufficient to create lightning just as he did in Colorado Springs.

Tesla’s inventions had a far greater scope than just household-limited gadgets. His high frequency and high voltage research led to the development of the fluorescent light bulb, and he was likely the first person to create and study x-rays. He was also instrumental in developing the first particle accelerators due to his high voltage and high frequency contributions. Tesla invented the concept of “remote control” when he created a small remotely-controlled boat and submarine for the military. Sadly, the US military was far too primitive at the time to comprehend the use and scope of the invention until many years later. Tesla’s vision of modern warfare involved combat between robots and missiles instead of between human soldiers, thereby reducing casualties considerably.

Tesla was the first person to propose the concept of modern radar in 1900 and also invented a prototype spark plug for autos in 1898. Nikola Tesla was the true father of the radio, not Guglielmo Marconi, as recognized (posthumously by a few months) by the US Supreme Court in 1943. It was Tesla’s idea to use two tuned circuits (one for the transmitter, the other for the receiver) to broadcast information and energy from one to the other and reduce the chance of noise and interference between other transmitters. Without this concept, radio would be useless. Television, satellites, GPS, and cellular phones were all made possible by Tesla’s high frequency research and development of the wireless transmission of energy. Marconi visited Tesla’s lab in New York and incorporated Tesla’s inventions but never credited the inventor for this. Sadly, Marconi received the Nobel Prize and millions of dollars in royalties for his development of the radio. Tesla received nothing for his contribution.

Nikola Tesla was one of the most prolific inventors in human history with some 700 patents to his credit. Yet, for complex reasons, he is not given the credit sorely due him. Most of his failures can be ascribed to his lack of business sense, vicious competition from his rivals, and difficulties in securing the necessary funding for his work. He passed away on Orthodox Christmas, January 7, 1943 in the New Yorker Hotel, alone and a pauper. His cremated remains lie in a museum in Belgrade along with some of the papers/notebooks from his lifelong work.

It is my desire that Americans learn more about Nikola Tesla not only to develop some sense of appreciation for this gentleman’s tireless efforts, but that he also serve as an inspiration to us all in the realization of just how much one human being can do to improve the world. Tesla’s story is also a story of how important it is to fund innovation in an era where companies are increasingly looking to the “bottom line” and less inclined to fund research.

In a day and age where we worship entertainment “heroes” who honestly contribute little to bettering all humanity, we have completely lost perspective of who the real heroes are in our society – scientists and engineers such as Nikola Tesla — who more than anyone have improved all of our lives through their tireless and more often than not unrewarded sacrifices.

Nikola Tesla can rightly be considered the godfather of the 20th Century and beyond. When discussing the lack of credit for his achievements, Tesla once remarked: “The present is theirs, the future, for which I have really worked is mine.”

I encourage everyone to learn more about one of humanity’s greatest unsung heroes and remedy this gross neglect by recognizing his place in human history. A good start would be to declare his laboratory at Wardenclyffe a national historic monument. A website that is useful as a starting point for this goal is here.

Further reading:

Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius

Selected Tesla Articles

The Missing Secrets Of Nikola Tesla

Tesla is best known for:

Tesla coil
Tesla turbine
Teleforce
Tesla's oscillator
Tesla electric car
Tesla principle
Tesla's Egg of Columbus
Alternating current
Induction motor
Rotating magnetic field
Wireless technology
Particle beam weapon
Death ray
Terrestrial stationary waves
Bifilar coil
Telegeodynamics
Electrogravitics

Tesla at a press conference at the Hotel New Yorker July 10, 1935, his seventy-ninth birthday.

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“Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” -- Nikola Tesla