Category: Earth and cosmos

green issues, geology, geography, space, astronomy

That vital spark

As usual, your humble blogger fails to get the point he’s meant to get and gets several others possibly unintended.

for a start, as mentioned at Martin Scriblerus, a big turn-off from the get-go is a blogger so enamoured of his own writing that he cuts out the sidebar altogether and places his post in large print, in the middle of the page, adn surrounds it with twinkling stars.

However, let that one go. It certainly opens well:

Every so often a new development in digital hardware or software is heralded as the beginning of artificial intelligence. And every time, I look at it and see a machine – a machine designed to store and manipulate symbols (data) according to a set of rules – that works a little faster and more efficiently than its predecessors. What I don’t see is intelligence. The desk-top on which I am writing this article can’t do anything that the Apple II I used in the 70s couldn’t do.

The fifth element

According to a paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, physicists at the University of California, Irvine, may have discovered a previously unknown subatomic particle that’s evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature. reports

Uh-huh.  I read down the page a bit:

‘The experimentalists weren’t able to claim that it was a new force,’ Feng said. ‘They simply saw an excess of events that indicated a new particle, but it was not clear to them whether it was a matter particle or a force-carrying particle.’

Let’s look at that again. They weren’t able to determine what the vague thing was, so it looks like a 5th element, eh?  I’m not altogether clear why I’m weary too, so that means I’ve discovered the life force itself, does it not?

[h/T haiku]…

River tales

Two separate but connected posts:

How a Champagne-Laden Steamship Ended Up in a Kansas Cornfield

“You don’t have to go into the ocean to find a shipwreck,” says Kansas City explorer David Hawley. “They’re buried in your own back yard.”

Hawley and his intrepid team have quite the incredible passion: discovering and excavating steamboats from the 19th century that may have sunk in the Missouri, but now lie beneath fields of farmers’ midwestern corn. “Ours is a tale of treasures lost,” says Hawley. “A journey to locate sunken steamboats mystery cargo that vanished long ago.”

steamboat loading