Friday, September 21, 2012

Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 11

Grooves around Vesta's Equator
This is a post in a series where I discuss science issues that are not always mainstream science, but which are supported by sufficient scientific evidence to support a hypothesis.

As you know, in science a hypothesis is the first step in a process that progresses into a theory, and finally into a law, so long as there is more evidence along the way for a valid elevation to a theory from a hypothesis, and thereafter for a valid elevation to a law from a theory.

Some of these Dredd Blog science excursions have involved a hypothesis that is linked to one of the Exploded Planet Hypotheses (EPH), specifically one set forth by an astronomer Dr. Thomas C. Van Flandern, who worked for the United States Naval Observatory for ~21 years, and who was not afraid to question status quo scientific dogma when he thought that there was sufficient evidence for a hypothesis (peer reviewed paper: The Challenge of the Exploded Planet Hypothesis, Cambridge Journals Online, International Journal of Astrobiology / Volume 6 / Issue 03 / July 2007, pp 185-197).

The EPH holds that the asteroids are debris left over from a planet that exploded, and is in scientific friction with the mainstream hypothesis which holds that the asteroids are material that did not bind together to form a planet for some reason.

Concerning the grooves around Vesta, our hypothesis is that they are strata in a chunk of the ancient planet that exploded.

This also indicates that the planet had oceans which had built up the strata over eons of time, like at the Grand Canyon, which water laid layers of strata now show up as dust covered grooves along Vesta's equator.

New data have been released by NASA which have given this hypothetical analysis of the equatorial strata of Vesta support, and have bolstered the hypothesis that those strata originally had water in them:
Two new papers based on observations from the low-altitude mapping orbit of the Dawn mission show that volatile, or easily evaporated materials, have colored Vesta's surface in a broad swath around its equator.
The strongest signature for hydrogen in the latest data came from regions near the equator, where water ice is not stable.
The holes that were left as the water escaped stretch as much as 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) across and go down as deep as 700 feet (200 meters). Seen in images from Dawn's framing camera, this pitted terrain is best preserved in sections of Marcia crater.

"The pits look just like features seen on Mars, but while water was common on Mars, it was totally unexpected on Vesta in these high abundances," said Denevi. "These results provide evidence that not only were hydrated materials present, but they played an important role in shaping the asteroid's geology and the surface we see today."
(NASA - Dawn, emphasis added). The scientists who wrote the recent papers think the water was delivered by meteorites hitting Vesta's surface.

However, once again our hypothesis is that Vesta is a chunk from a planet that had large oceans, and when it exploded those chunks that had water in them vented that water when those chunks became debris.

Specifically, when the hot explosion shot the Vesta chunk of the planet into the vacuum of space, it caused the venting of the water from the strata.

There were then violent ejections of water from the Vesta chunk along its strata lines that held water, somewhat like those from Enceladus, a moon of Saturn.

Except in this case the escape holes where water vented are found in the strata along what is now Vesta's equatorial area.

The violent ejections marked those strata with the "holes that were left as the water escaped" which after all these billions of years, still "stretch as much as 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) across and go down as deep as 700 feet (200 meters)."

For illustration only, the amount of water to fill just one of those cone shaped surface vents would be:
vent diameter = 1 kilometer (3280.8 ft)
radius (r) = 3280.8 / 2
r = ~1640 ft

height (h) = 700 feet

cone volume formula: v = 1/3 * 3.14 * r^2 * h

v = .33 * 3.14 * 2,689,600 * 700

v = 1,950,874,464 cu ft

assume there are 7.48 gallons of water per cu ft

water in cone = 1,950,874,464 cu ft / 7.48 cu ft

gallons of water = ~260,812,094 gal (for 1 vent)
I don't think meteorites would have the volume of water to cause such focused, and violent ejections to make cone-shaped vents a kilometer across and 700 feet deep, because among other things, the meteorite types with the most water are carbonaceous chondrite types, having 3% - 22% water by weight.

Depending on the type of carbonaceous chondrite meteorite, this calculates out to a lot of weight because water (on Earth) weighs ~8.34 pounds per gallon, so 260,812,094 * 8.34 = ~2,175,172,864 lbs, or ~1,087,586 tons (2,000 lbs = 1 ton)  of water in just one cone.

Furthermore, the water in each meteorite would be vented as steam upon impact with Vesta, and would go in all directions, not just toward the surface in that one direction to make a large vent cone.

Nor, as is obvious, do meteorites make craters only along the equator of orbs they impact (craters are everywhere on Vesta, not just at the equator).

The evidence shows that this violent venting took place in the strata lines along the equator, indicating that the concentration of the water was in the strata.

Other Weekend Rebel Science Excursion posts are linked to on the Series Posts tab above under "SCIENCE (of the rebellion)."

For another detailed theoretical discussion of where the mass of the exploded planet went, besides the asteroids that is, read Exploded Planet, by Rich Anders (2nd of two).

The following video shows Vesta rotating with the strata shown to go all the way through the asteroid because they go all around the sphere, from one side to the other.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Mystery of Science Friction

Where are the microbes?
What is science friction?

We sometimes tend to forget how much scientists challenge one another, even causing friction from time to time, and we tend to forget how much that can help move science along.

In a more severe sense today's "science" even sometimes becomes tomorrow's "heresy" (see e.g. What Is Pseudo Science?, Heretics Deny The Dark Matter of Faith, Tyranny Of Dogma In Science, and State Crimes Against Democracy).

Yes, the status quo sometimes has more gravity and mass than "new stuff", more gravity and mass than the status quo should have, and hence the friction.

A recent example concerns the Earth - Mars interactions that occur in the form of Martian meteorites making their way to the Earth's surface.

Naturally the scientists want to examine those meteorites to determine what they are made of, but some of the scientists have taken a look inside for evidence of life, and have come up with friction generating results:
Richard Hoover has discovered evidence of microfossils similar to Cyanobacteria, in freshly fractured slices of the interior surfaces of the Alais, Ivuna, and Orgueil CI1 carbonaceous meteorites. Based on Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) and other measures, Richard Hoover has concluded they are indigenous to these meteors and are similar to trichomic cyanobacteria and other trichomic prokaryotes such as filamentous sulfur bacteria. He concludes these fossilized bacteria are not Earthly contaminants but are the fossilized remains of living organisms which lived in the parent bodies of these meteors, e.g. comets, moons, and other astral bodies.
(A Structure RE: The Corruption of Memes). Another discovery presents an interesting nexus between microbial life of that sort and things found on both Earth and Mars, which were nicknamed "blueberries" by scientists:
It was originally thought that those spheres of hematite here on Earth, and by extrapolation those on Mars, were chemically produced, not organically produced.

However, and to the contrary, new research of similar hematite spheres here on Earth has found that those here on Earth were formed by microbes:
Spherical iron-oxide concretions - dubbed "blueberries" - were first found on the Red Planet in 2004 by an earlier NASA robotic probe - Opportunity Rover - providing some of the first evidence for liquid water on Mars.

Earth-based analogues for these "blueberries" are found in the Jurassic Navajo Sandstone near the Colorado River, Utah, where the concretions range in size from small marbles to cannonballs and consist of a hard shell of iron oxide surrounding a softer sandy interior.

Previous theories suggested these concretions were formed by simple chemical reactions without the help of life. However, new UWA research shows clear evidence that microbes were essential in their formation.

This raises the possibility that Martian "blueberries" may not only reveal that water was present on Mars - but life too.
(Phys Org). This may also hold true for the new type of "blueberries" found in Endeavour Crater very recently, found also by the Opportunity Rover:
NASA's long-lived rover Opportunity has returned an image of the Martian surface that is puzzling researchers.

Spherical objects concentrated at an outcrop called Kirkwood on the western rim of Endeavour Crater differ in several ways from iron-rich spherules nicknamed "blueberries" the rover found at its landing site in early 2004.

"This is one of the most extraordinary pictures from the whole mission," said Opportunity's principal investigator, Steve Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. "Kirkwood is chock full of a dense accumulation of these small spherical objects. Of course, we immediately thought of the blueberries, but this is something different. We never have seen such a dense accumulation of spherules in a rock outcrop on Mars."
(Mystery Spheres on Mars, NASA). The spherical objects at Endeavour are not of the same composition as those found in 2004 shortly after Opportunity landed.
(Cosmic Rosetta Stones?). So, we know that the spherical stones called "blueberries" were made by microbial activity here on Earth, not by purely chemical process as was once thought.

So, the possibility that their twins on Mars were likewise made by microbes is a plausible reality, especially since microbe fossils from ancient Mars have been found in meteorites here on Earth.

The theory that a planet near Mars exploded long ago, destroying the ecosystems of Mars (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion), together with the theory that a Dyson Grid malfunctioned to cause that explosion, creates yet more science friction (Exploded Planet Hypothesis).

The new Mars Rover Curiosity (Mars: Analyzing Layers of History) will hopefully take some of the friction out of the discussion, and add some more settled science to the discussion.

Isn't science friction fun?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

NeoCon Planet: Maggie's Farm

Is this a workable political philosophy?
If pig-headed stubbornness was a virtue this series about neoCon ideology would track in another direction.

In this series we have been attempting to characterize the ideologies that are being expressed by the campaign rhetoric going on in this U.S. election cycle.

Not only that, since inherent in such an attempt is an inclusion of the ideologies that will remain once the campaigns evaporate like a fog, and a different group of elected faces emerge from that campaign fog, we are looking at a dynamic discussion that could be called "all about policy morph."

The bottom line is that we are all about finding out what our policies are now, then comparing those policies with what we think they should be.

Will the new political faces emerging from the fog of the campaign bridge the gap between current policy and what we want policy to become, what we think policy should be?

Those really can be two completely different worlds in a bad political context, i.e., what politicians say they will do and what they actually do if elected.

So, not only do we spend our time trying to find the candidate voicing the better policies, but more than that, we try to find a political candidate who will stand for those policies after being elected.

Let's do a short review of this series, then we'll go to Maggie's Farm.

In the post NeoCon Planet: The Presidents of Kolob we discussed one aspect of this bloviating for office phenomenon, which features presidents who eventually run away from the home world, yes, disappearing after saying one thing during their campaign, then doing the opposite on steroids once in office.

In the post NeoCon Planet: Magic Teflon Vagina Juice we discussed how some of our policy will spring from voodoo magic if the words of the candidate become the actions of the office holder.

So, what do the Rmoney-Ferengi think of this home world, what kind of place is it, and what kind of place should it be, according to their world view?

I would say it is described by some lyrics in the song Maggie's Farm:

I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
It’s a shame the way she makes me scrub the floor
No, I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s brother no more
Well, he hands you a nickel
He hands you a dime
He asks you with a grin
If you’re havin’ a good time
Then he fines you every time you slam the door
No, I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s pa no more
Well, he puts his cigar
Out in your face just for kicks
His bedroom window
It is made out of bricks
The National Guard stands around his door
No, I ain’t gonna work for Maggie’s ma no more
Well, she talks to all the servants
About man and God and law
Everybody says
She’s the brains behind pa
She’s sixty-eight, but she says she’s twenty-four
No, I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
Well, I try my best
To be just like I am
But everybody wants you
To be just like them
They say sing while you slave and I just get bored

(Bob Dylan, Maggie's Farm). Maggie is Ayn Rand, and her farm is a place of oppression, a place of The Bully Religion.

Our policies need to be those that take us in the direction of "a kinder gentler nation", not in the direction of "a mad bull that has lost its way".

This is the religious sentiment
the neoCon's want you to have
as they oppress you:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy - 4

Ayn Rand @ Hollywood
In this series I have been linking the dogma of the neoCon far right with the ideology of Ayn Rand.

It is in some part an ironic story for neoCons to identify with, because she was an immigrant from Russia who settled in Hollywood, married in Hollywood, and became a citizen while in Hollywood (Wikipedia).

Those "values voters" the neoCons claim as their own would also find some of Rand's ideology iffy ("In 1954 Rand's close relationship with the much younger Nathaniel Branden turned into a romantic affair, with the consent of their spouses", ibid, Wikipedia).

Progressive posts in this series moved from general characteristics of neoCons, then to some specific characteristics, and finally those characteristics were linked to current neoCon politicians in the U.S. campaign for the office of President and Vice President.

In the first post (Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy) we looked at the secular and the religious roots of the dogma she espoused in no uncertain terms in her novels, essays, and interviews.

In the second post (Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy - 2) we focused on some of the sociopathic and psychopathic nature of her dogma.

In the third post (Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy - 3) we linked the dogma to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) with his own words:
In a 2005 speech to a group of Rand devotees called the Atlas Society, Ryan said that Rand was required reading for his office staff and interns. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” he told the group.
(ibid, quoting The New Yorker). Thus, I have not linked the V.P. candidate Paul Ryan to Ayn Rand in a theoretical way, rather, I have done it with the words that neoCon himself spoke during a prepared speech.

Today we, you readers and I, will see that the neoCon candidate for president is no piker when it comes to the dogma of Ayn Rand either:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what … These are people who pay no income tax.
[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
(Mother Jones, quoting Williard 'Mitt' Romney, emphasis added). No need to discuss the falseness and utter out of touchness Romney's sentiment reveals, but I will quote Chuck Todd on his program this morning: "Those 47% of the people he described ... well 40% of them are Romney voters" (paraphrased).

Today's post deals with how that Romney speech behind closed doors stacks up with the dogma of Ayn Rand:
Selfishness, it contends, is good, altruism evil, empathy and compassion are irrational and destructive. The poor deserve to die; the rich deserve unmediated power.
Rand was a Russian from a prosperous family who emigrated to the United States. Through her novels (such as Atlas Shrugged) and her nonfiction (such as The Virtue of Selfishness) she explained a philosophy she called Objectivism. This holds that the only moral course is pure self-interest. We owe nothing, she insists, to anyone, even to members of our own families. She described the poor and weak as "refuse" and "parasites", and excoriated anyone seeking to assist them.
Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, depicts a United States crippled by government intervention in which heroic millionaires struggle against a nation of spongers. The millionaires, whom she portrays as Atlas holding the world aloft, withdraw their labour, with the result that the nation collapses. It is rescued, through unregulated greed and selfishness, by one of the heroic plutocrats, John Galt.
(Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy, quoting George Monbiot). As was asked in another Dredd Blog post, "what planet does he think he is campaigning on?" (NeoCon Planet: The Presidents of Kolob), or as we also asked in another post, is he "lying for the lord?:
D. Michael Quinn called the use of deception by LDS church leaders, "theocratic ethics." (The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, page 112) Smith lied to protect himself or the church; which was an extension of himself. Dan Vogel in his excellent work, Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet, described Smith's viewpoint; he was a pious deceiver. Smith used deception if in his mind; it resulted in a good outcome. Smith had Moroni, an ancient American prophet and custodian of the gold plates declare, "And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. ( Moroni 4:11-12). Translation: if deception was necessary to do good, or bring a soul to Christ, then it was worth it, as long as God approves. Smith believed he knew when God approved of lying.
(The Homeland: Big Brother Plutonomy, quoting Lying For The Lord). Several videos are available at Mother Jones.

The previous post in this series is here.

Ode to Ayn Rand:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Play Pretend Missile Offense Rejected - 2

Give money a chance
From time to time regular readers know that Dredd Blog replays some oldies to see if they are still goodies.

It is amazing sometimes, when we do this, to notice how things stay the same even though we have a perception, created by the propaganda media, that all things are changing.

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog has pointed out that the oil wars have been the same for a long time (The Peak Of The Oil Wars), and Dredd Blog has pointed out recently that the war propaganda about Iran has been the same for a long time too:
That plank is old and rotting, but fundamentally, so is most of their illusive platform of ideology:
For more than quarter of a century Western officials have claimed repeatedly that Iran is close to joining the nuclear club. Such a result is always declared "unacceptable" and a possible reason for military action, with "all options on the table" to prevent upsetting the Mideast strategic balance dominated by the US and Israel.

And yet, those predictions have time and again come and gone. This chronicle of past predictions lends historical perspective to today’s rhetoric about Iran.
(Christian Science Monitor). Celebrity has even morphed into a propaganda tool that is used to forge our ideas about war (see The Government of MOMCOM: Wartocracy).
(The Fruits of A Celebrity World of Illusion). So, here is the post from today's date in 2009 showing the 2009 version of that redundant, tiring propaganda:

The Bush II regime had a "you are with us or against us, bring it on" foreign policy that seemed to implement an "offend everybody except oil sheiks" type of result. One of the pieces of that puzzling dogma was to put up a missile base near the Russian border but within Poland and the Czech Republic.

That ill fated move was propagandised as a safety shield from Iranian missiles, a nation so mighty that it fought Iraq for 8 years, resulting in the two nations taking on a million or so casualties, but gaining not an inch of either nation's territory.

Some threat. Gotta build them star wars gadgets to "purtek Amurka" was the ruse that fooled only the fools.

They created a mega-department that liked searching Americans who were only trying to get on aircraft to go to a business meeting or vacation, like they had for decades before.

In the Bush II movie they were to be accosted by Mr. I.M Purtekting-Yoo who had a runaway paranoid imagination and a low paying job. Mr. Purtekting-Yoo once netted Senator Ted Kennedy trying to get on a plane home to rest up. Big Fish!

Bush II was strongly "guided" by military oil media complex participants, and was acting out their screenplay scripts constantly.

This see-through plot was one of those puffing moments they do to scare up some new, unnecessary, and money wasting boy toys.

They religiously hoped to scare them up some citizens who would eventually be whipped up into a frenzy of rhetorically glorifying them.

But instead, the war gained in being more and more unpopular, and the used car salesman media did too for spouting bad propaganda.

In what sane people everywhere hope signals a return to reality based fiscal policies, before we are bankrupt beyond recovery by military spending, this ill advised plan has been stopped:
The Obama administration is shelving an Eastern European missile defense plan that has been a major irritant in relations with Russia, a U.S. ally said Thursday. The Pentagon confirmed a "major adjustment" of the system designed to guard against Iranian missiles.

Jan Fischer, the prime minister of the Czech Republic, told reporters that President Barack Obama phoned him overnight to say the U.S. "is pulling out of plans to build a missile defense radar on Czech territory."

The missile defense system, planned under the Bush administration, was being built in the Czech Republic and Poland.
(AP Yahoo, The Daily Progress). This ranks up there with shutting the abominable GITMO, pulling out of Iraq, and stopping torture; all gestures to the world showing that the United States is recovering from its decade long bout of dementia.

Even Israel acknowledges that Iran is not an existential threat to them, so Poland, the Czechs, and even podunk Arkansas can give up the bull.

And that was the way it was is.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Teapot In A Tempest

Tempest or just a tea pot?
Protest music has many forms, probably best formulated and made most famous "recently" during the 1960's, but is protest music still going strong, I mean is there any new good stuff?

Has it grown and taken on any new facets, become more subtile, or exposed any government madness lately?

Or were accounts of the dangers of nuclear war, focused on by many protest songs, nothing more than chicken little running around talking about things that were too far off to capture the public's interest, and therefore the message they proclaimed has been lost forever?

The answers to those questions depends a lot on both the lyrics or the interpretation of those lyrics, and most importantly, world conditions which those songs sing about.

So, before looking at some new lyrics, let's first take a gander at world conditions that form the context for the songs:
An expert assessment of China's nuclear weapons strategy highlights the risk of escalation to nuclear war from a conflict beginning with conventional weapons, due to the unusual structure of the nation's military.

The possibility of combining or sequentially launching conventional and nuclear missiles is deemed a fundamental source of political and military strength – but also generates critical uncertainties:
"The basic dilemma for the war planners stems from the deployment of the two types of missiles on the same Second Artillery bases with fundamentally different capabilities and purposes," Lewis and Xue say.

The article notes that Beijing's nuclear missiles exist to deter a nuclear first strike on China, and are only to be used in extremis. At the same time, the conventional weapons on the formerly all-nuclear bases must be ready to strike first and hard. Targeted enemies and their allies will not immediately be able to distinguish whether any missiles fired are conventional or nuclear.

This means that those enemies may justifiably launch on warning and retaliate against all the command-and-control systems and missile assets of the Chinese missile launch base and even the overall command-and-control system of the central Second Artillery headquarters. In the worst case, a self-defensive first strike by Chinese conventional missiles could end in the retaliatory destruction of many Chinese nuclear missiles and their related command-and-control systems.

"That disastrous outcome would force the much smaller surviving and highly vulnerable Chinese nuclear missile units to fire their remaining missiles against the enemy's homeland," Lewis and Xue warn. "Escalation to nuclear war could become accelerated and unavoidable." Policies that have led to conventional and nuclear weapons doubling up at the same base could cause, rather than deter, a nuclear exchange.
Beijing's overall defence strategy has evolved significantly in recent decades. According to the authors, China's revolutionary leader Mao Zedong directly shaped the policies for the Second Artillery, the nation's strategic missile forces.
(China's Nuclear Dilemma, emphasis added). In other words a non-nuclear conventional attack on those bases would evoke a response back at the original attackers that could not be determined to be only a conventional missile response or, instead, an escalation into a nuclear retaliation.

Thus, the original attacker would in effect have to wait until the missiles hit their target to know whether they were conventional warheads or instead were nuclear ... or depending on who is at the button, do what "must be done."

The article goes on to explain that "China's revolutionary leader Mao Zedong directly shaped the policies" that led to this problem, which is troubling because he was not an expert in that field, nor was he a military strategist trained in the dangers of such a structure.

On another front, the U.S. and Russia, there are similar dangers and uncertainties that need to be addressed:
Both US and Russian land-based missiles remain constantly on high-alert status, ready to be launched within minutes. Because of the 30-minute flight times of these missiles, the presidents of both the US and Russia would have only approximately 12 minutes to decide whether to launch their missiles when presented by their military leaders with information indicating an imminent attack (after lower-level threat assessment conferences).

That’s only 12 minutes or less for the president to decide whether to launch global nuclear war. While this scenario is unlikely, it is definitely possible: Presidents have repeatedly rehearsed it, and it cannot be ruled out due to the graveness of its potential consequences.
(A Memorial of The Unmemorialized, quoting Daniel Ellsberg). Does this make you want to listen to some protest music, poetry, look at art, or what?

There is no doubt that Bob Dylan had his eye on some of these problems in his song Masters of War, but what of his latest album Tempest? ... does the main stream media have it right? ... check it out:
Marvel at the vitality of a man who's been makeing albums for 50 years and still manages to be relevant ... That this inscrutable lyricist can continue to amaze, amuse, befuddle and bedazzle past retirement age is something to behold. Nobody makes discs like this anymore.
(David Bauder, Associated Press, emphasis added). Are those the requirements of being relevant ("to amaze, amuse, befuddle and bedazzle"), and thus, Bob Dylan is still Blind Willie McTell who is not going to work on Maggie's Farm no more? ... check it out:
"Me, I don't want to write for people anymore - you know, be a spokesman. From now on, I want to write from inside me ... I'm not part of no movement ... I just can't make it with any organisation ..." [- Bob Dylan, 1964]
(Blind Willie McTell News, quoting Red Pepper). Dylan quit the spokesman's business long ago, and has been retired from it all these years, so is the song on the new Tempest album, "Long And Wasted Years", an epiphany?

Or is all that olden golden protest Long Time Gone?

The lyrics to the following protest song, still being sung in 2011, are here.