Testing Astrology With Science

asgywscRegardless of their attitude to sun signs, we invited astrologers and scientists to devise a test for each of the following hypotheses:

* Sun sign forecasts are sufficiently valid for ethical use.

* Sun sign delineations are sufficiently valid for ethical use.

Our invitation was to devise tests, not to perform rests, so nobody had to leave their armchair. We chose the terms “valid” and “ethical” because their dictionary definitions are clear and unambiguous (valid = accurate, ethical = responsible), but respondents were welcome to use their own definitions (none of those proposing tests did so). Tests had to cover all twelve signs Aries through Pisces, had to include full instructions, and had to be feasible, for example they could not require samples too large to be reasonably collected. Respondents had to specify the results they would accept as disconfirming each hypothesis. We offered no prizes because our invitation was not a competition. If respondents wished, they could send …

All the Scandalous Possibilities

mouthpiecesWe all like to sleep as soundly as possible. Many people have hard, long days at their workplaces and with their families. Life isn’t easy and it doesn’t matter what your walk of life is. The reality is that everyone has a hard day every now and then and usually the best cure for a terrible day is to have a really nice sleep. Get all nice and cozy in your bed, maybe hunker down with your favourite book or television show until you feel the slumber taking you over. It always seems to work out that once you finally drift of into sleepy land something happens that ruins all your hard work. It could be a child coming into your room or a pet loudly proclaiming their existence. More often than not people are interrupted by someone in their home snoring. It could be their partner, a parent, a sibling, or even themselves that suddenly pierce the silence with that all too familiar snoring sound.

There are lots of options available to help curb snoring. Many people snore due to health reasons such as being overweight, carrying a lot of stress, smoking or drinking heavily before bedtime and those who take sedatives just to get any sleep at all. A lot of the aforementioned health causes can be addressed and changed; with time. Nothing happens overnight so there must be something done in the meantime.

While there are a lot of good products on the market there are also some less than savoury options as well. The problem with a lot of the products out there is that they are riding on the coattails of something successful and are trying to imitate it. There are scads of chinstraps, sprays, pillows, nasal strips and mouthpieces that all boast that they can solve your snoring problem almost immediately. The smart person knows that no, nothing can be done instantly. When it comes to snoring there are no overnight solutions. It will take time and dedication to reduce and eliminate snoring but that is not to say that it can’t be done.

The Breathe-Easy anti-snoring mouthpiece markets itself like all mouthpieces do. The company sells their product through Amazon and it has several pictures to give more detail. It comes with a free case and claims it can reduce or eliminate snoring in one easy step. It comes in one size and is the type of mouthpiece that needs to employ the boil-and-bite method in order to customize the piece to your mouths unique shape. This is already an issue because mouthpieces that uses this method means that it is really only one size and therefore may be uncomfortable.

When reading through reviews on Amazon there are many that claim the product they received was nothing like the picture shown on the product page. This immediately smells like a scam. Reading more reviews it becomes apparent that what many people are claiming they received were basic sports mouth guards which will do nothing to help stop snoring. If you get hit in the face, they’ll protect your teeth but not many people fight in their sleep.

When a company is so blatantly dishonest it ruins the entire aspect of faith those who purchase things online have. It’s true that when you buy online you never really know what you are getting until it arrives at your doorstep but most people have expectations. Companies appeal to shoppers by uploading pictures of their product and usually from various angles. But when the trust is broken, there is no turning back. The minute something feels like a scam it usually means it is and you should run screaming for the hills.

For reviews of devices that are effective and help snorers, click here. (more…)

Not To Be Too Obvious, But

biotoHow better to state the obvious than by saying so. As Yogi Berra might have put it, addiction is habit-forming. Don’t giggle, we’re all addicted to something. Breathing oxygen, for a trivial example. But, in addition to [O.sub.2], we also aspirate in our everyday air mix a nitrogen component that comprises three-quarters of the atmosphere and which has no known biological function in its gaseous state except as a narco-clathrate. It can be addictive. This low-level nitrogen narcosis was the underlying theme of my 1995 book, Raptures of the Deep (Cahners: Chicago).

Caffeine is addictive; witness those of us who almost wish for a morning intravenous infusion of coffee. Nicotine is certainly addictive; been dangling a pipe myself for the past 50 years as both a trademark and a once socially acceptable thumb in the mouth. Never tried any of the more exotic blends.

Addiction can also take the form of conditioning, by being constantly told that some things …

Hard Drive Recovery Tips For Beginners

hhrtpsHard drive recovery can be easy only if you have the experience and expertise to do it. However, there are those people who are just fresh from training and will have to repair a few hard disks before they gain experience. Do not panic just because you have been given your first hard drive to recover. Start by identifying the hard drive type. Different hard drives will require different methods of recovering them. Always make sure that you are using the right tool during the hard drive recovery process. The wrong tool might damage the screws or the disks which can all but kill important information. Experience is something that you will gain with time. Make sure that you take on many recovery challenges as possible for them to sharpen your skills.

There is no crime in asking for help during the hard disk recovery process. Professional companies can save you lots of time. Asking for help means that you acknowledge the fact that the data you are trying to recover is important. Some people might be too proud to ask for help, and it is not a good thing. This could lead to some serious damage to the hard drive if you mess up.

Easy Hard Disk Repair Tricks That Actually Work

When your hard disk stops working, it is a daunting task to fix it as you need to identify what may have caused the problem in the first place. While there are available solutions online, if you do not have sufficient knowledge about the issue, you may have to take your hard disk to a computer technician that can effectively deal with the problem. When it comes to an effective hard disk repair, you need to start by digging deeper into the root cause of the problem. Check the errors and this can be done using a few simple steps. You should start by clicking the start button and choosing computer.

It should show the list of hard disk drives you wanted checked. For you to check its status, simply select properties and go to the tools tab. You should see error-checking and this will give you the option to check its status. It should have ‘check now’ option. If the system detects a problem, it will automatically provide you with hard disk repair techniques. More often than not, it shows errors and if the system cannot repair these errors, you will be given some additional solutions. Do not attempt to perform other solutions yourself as this may damage your hard disk drive further.

Why Do Hard Drive Failure Symptoms Occur?

If you are having a hard time with your drive then you must have heard about the term hard drive crash; this term indicates anything that could happen that causes your hard drive to cease functioning normally. But why do hard drive failure symptoms occur in the first place? Why can a hard disk not continue to work without any problems? And most importantly why do some hard drives break down while some keep running smoothly?

The thing is, hard drive failure symptoms do not necessarily occur as side effects of the drive crash, but rather, they actually ARE the failure. A slowing hard drive is simply a dying hard drive. This gradual decline could take a year or two or even a month or two. (more…)

Interesting Innovations Abound: A Look Back

irestginnnsWhile regular readers no doubt know my strong bias against pseudoscience, I also strongly feel that viable forums most assuredly should exist for unpopular or non-mainstream thought. Above all, independent thought and hands-on personal experiments definitely must be encouraged. One place where that happens is at The International Tesla Society’s ExtraOrdinary Science Conferences in Colorado Springs, where bunches of highly controversial alternate-energy and non-traditional medical papers and workshops are encouraged. Some of the more technical papers are listed in Fig. 1.

Anyway, I’ve belatedly sat down and gone through their entire last year’s video set, and thought I would share several of my impressions with you. To be honest, after blearily wading through lots of tape, I didn’t find all that much here to get excited about. There was nothing even remotely in the same league as the real science carbon nanotubes (Rodriguez in the Hydrogen de Fuel Cell Letter, Feb, 97) or the photosynthesis metalloradicals (Hoganson in Science, Sept …

Innovation Has Blossomed In A “Virtual Environment”

vtualEnvtAt the Ford Research Laboratory in Dearborn, Michigan, Chaitanya Narula is trying to find new catalysts to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from diesel engine exhausts. His strategy is to take the best catalyst, platinum; form it into minute clusters; and attach these uniformly to support particles (in this case, titanium dioxide). Ford’s facilities can be used for making and joining the clusters and their support particles, but not for characterizing their individual sizes and pattern of joining. Yet the individual sizes and joining pattern are of critical importance to turning Narula’s concept into a viable commercial product, a key to his startup’s success, according to small business authority blog Launchscore.com.

Fortunately for Narula’s research, Ford has entered an agreement that permits its researchers to gain remote access to advanced microscopes at three national laboratories and a major research university, which are joined in the DOE2000 Materials Microcharacterization Collaboratory (MMC). Narula could therefore send the sample to the High …

Neuroscience Changes The Way We Think

neoscFOR more than three decades, Tom Wolfe has been an astute observer of the rise and fall of contemporary fashions, heroes, and mores. In the 1970s, he wrote about hippies. In the 1980s, he wrote about Wall Street stockbrokers. In the 1990s, though, he has written about neuroscientists.

Neuroscience is “hot.” Even Larry King recently called the Nineties “the decade of the brain.” Are neuroscientists the new Masters of the Universe? They certainly enjoy great prestige, and for many good reasons. Their research has led to dramatic and more humane treatments of persons suffering from mental disease, depression, and physical injury to the brain and nervous system. Alzheimer’s disease may be cured within the next decade. Paralysis as the result of trauma to the spinal chord has been made less common. As I learned in my work as President Bush’s drug czar, neuroscience has taught us a great deal about addiction; about, for example, the effects of cocaine on dopamine …

Thank God For Metrication!

tgfgmenThe metre is now defined in terms of fundamental constants of physics such as the speed of light and one of the vibrational frequencies of the cesium atom.

The charge levelled against metrication as a “Stalinist” imposition by the scientific establishment on the public is easily dismissed. It is worth stepping back for a moment and understanding how modern science has chosen its units of measurement. There are seven basic units in the so-called International System, known in scientific circles by its French acronym SI. These are the metre, kilogram, second, ampere, kelvin, candela and mole. They measure, respectively, length, mass, time, electric current, temperature, luminous intensity and amount of substance in terms of its atomic weight. Then there are the secondary units derived from these and also forming part of the SI, such as volt to measure voltage, newton (force), joule (energy), watt (power) and so on. The units may be combined to form compound units, such as metre …

Fighting Ignorance With Science

ftigwscDoes this ignorance matter and, if so, what can be done to remedy it? I believe that it does matter because people ignorant of science and technology cannot place themselves in physical context, just as the parallel ignorance of history and geography prevents them from placing themselves in temporal and spatial contexts. They literally don’t know what is going on around them and inside them and form judgments only on the basis of raw emotion or wrong and often absurd notions. They are also more open to manipulation and are unable to evaluate new technology, including the personally important medical technology. Most obviously, a scientifically illiterate population is a threat to Australia’s future as an advanced, knowledge-based economy.

What causes this state of affairs? We can dismiss out of hand the notion that it is due to poor communications skills of scientists or their desire to be high priests of science. While most scientists are indeed miserable communicators and are …

Radiation Imaging Continues To Astound

rdiimagingThe Radiation Imaging Group at the University of Surrey is one of the leading European academic centers for radiation detector development. Its research is focused on the development of new sensors and systems for radiation imaging. The group’s goals are primarily to image the growth and development of plant seeds in order to understand and breed newer and better plants for use in developing countries. Its research has far-reaching implications for industries as varied as forestry, ecology, entomology, agronomy, environmental science, pharmaceuticals, and process control engineering.

“The ability to non-destructively image a cross-section through a sample is a very powerful technique” said Dr. Paul Jenneson, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Radiation Imaging Group. “The potential users for such a system are too numerous to mention individually.”

The Radiation Imaging Group was also the first organization to visualize the germination of a wheat seed in its native ferrous soil. “We don’t want to interfere with the environment, and we want …