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It’s been a while since I got on my soapbox of how the 2012 Mayan calendar doomsday myth is, well… a myth. Let me begin by saying that there is no reason to believe that anything exceptional will happen when the Mayan long count calendar ends. Anyone that tells you otherwise is either totally full of shit, or is very gullible to fluff and hype (generated by the former). The descendants of the Mayans themselves have even said that the doomsday myth is bullshit. So, this thing is already completely blown out of the water by real science and reason, but just in case you needed another reason not to believe the doomsday hype, now the actual date of the end of the long count calendar is in question. The methods used to convert the Mayan calendar into our own Gregorian years has been shown to be unreliable, and this could throw off the date conversion by as much as 50 to 100 years. So in reality, the Mayan calendar might have already ended (and thus simply started over again)! I’ll keep an eye out for any updates and clarifications to this story, but let’s face it- the Mayan calendar doomsday hype is nothing more than fear-mongering and utter ignorance. (Via LiveScience)

Image via Wikipedia

I know I link to this blog all the time, but the Boston Globe’s Big Picture blog continually showcases some of the most amazing imagery you’ll find anywhere, and what’s best about it is the content. This particular series involves the National Ignition Facility in California. This massive experiment could literally solve all the world’s energy problems. What they’re attempting to do here is essentially create a miniature star right here on earth. Just recently they completed a successful test in which they fired 192 lasers simultaneously into one tiny frozen target capsule containing deuterium and tritium (isotopes of hydrogen). The ultimate goal is to create a nuclear fusion reaction- the same process taking place in the center of our Sun. As you can easily deduce, this would release enormous amounts of energy that is completely clean- the only by-product is helium, which is the element formed when hydrogen atoms fuse. The only hurdle is that it already requires a massive amount of energy to power the lasers that start the reaction in the first place, so the reactor must produce significantly more energy than it consumes in order to truly be a viable solution to the energy crisis. Another issue could be safety. With a reaction as powerful as nuclear fusion, things can get dangerous very quickly. Thankfully though, if an explosion were to occur, it wouldn’t involve the radioactive fallout danger associated with current nuclear reactors which use a different process- nuclear fission. (AKA the reaction used in the atomic bomb.) Click here to learn more about the NIF.

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Science-y tibits 10/13/09

October 13, 2009

I haven’t posted any science-related stuff on here in waaaay too long. Part if it has been Next Big Nashville, which I’m still recovering from, along with other general business. That being said, here are some goodies for you:

NASA has a renewed focus on the moon, especially to determine how much, if any, water is there.  One of the ways they decided to do that was to smash the rocket stage of the current satellite into the surface and analyze the result plume of dust and debris. Sunday they did just that, and the results are still coming in, but it was definitely a successful impact. Check out more about the LCROSS mission here.

I’ve mentioned the 2012 doomsday myth on here before and linked to various website that thoroughly debunk it, but today one article caught my eye. I’d never even thought to research what the Mayan descendants have to say about this issue. Turns out they are pretty smart and fully understand that the world won’t end just because their Long Count calendar ends. The whole steaming pile of bullshit that is the 12/21/2012 doomsday myth is entirely a creation of modern Western culture that’s been imposed on the Mayan culture and one of their many calendars. The point to drive home here is that THE VERY PEOPLE WHO INVENTED THE CALENDAR DON’T EVEN BELIEVE THE HYPE BECAUSE IT’S BULLSHIT! They simply take it for what it is: an anniversary of sorts, a time when the Long Count calendar starts over again. Read the article at Discovery News.

Remember when Stephen Colbert lead a huge campaign to get the newest node for the Space Station named after him? While he did win the popular vote, NASA had the final say and didn’t name it after him, but they did come up with a ridiculous name for the new treadmill for the ISS that, when abbreviated, spells C.O.L.B.E.R.T. and the astronauts just completed its assembly. Here’s a pic of them using it for the first time:

Via Space.com

Reuters news agency recently did a short interview with Those Darlins, Murfreesboro’s own “rough-and-tumble” all-girl alt-country trio. Their debut album is out now on vinyl in your local indie record store, and hit shelves in all other formats on July 7th. I’m proud to see these awesome ladies gaining such national attention. I’m even more proud that they are paving their own path by not signing to a major label. JT Turner and the Thirty Tigers staff have done an amazing job of managing them and timing their album release. They will be celebrating their album release this Saturday at Mercy Lounge with none other than the Black Lips. Via Nashville Cream.

My official DJ Burgers SUMMERMIXXXX 2009 is up for grabs. Download here. Tracklist:

Shoot The Mountain-Islands (Dpaul remix)
Thieves Like Us- Drugs in my Body
Evan Voytas- Getting Higher
Passion Pit- Little Secrets
Kennedy- John and Yoko
VEGA- No Reasons
Spinnerette- Sex Bomb (Adam Freeland remix)
Das Racist- Combination pizza hut/taco bell (Wallpaper remix)
Black Eyed Peas- Boom boom (Chew Fu remix)
Yuksek- Extraball (Breakbot remix)
AutoKratz- Always More (Yuksek remix)
Make girl dance- Baby baby baby
Peaches- Serpentine

Want to be totally creeped out? Go look at these images of children that have been digitally altered to make them look like talking puppets. Yea. CREEPY. Via Kottke.

This HD trailer for the upcoming Ronald Emmerich film 2012 is total eye-candy (please do watch in full screen), but the marketing for this movie really rubs me the wrong way. There is simply too much misinformation and scaremongering out there regarding the Dec. 21st, 2012 myth. I’ve always considered ridiculous disaster movies a sort of “guilty pleasure,” but this one is going a bit too far with their website/viral marketing campaign. Granted, the first thing that shows up when you Google “2012” is the actual Sony Pictures website, but this Institute for Human Continuity website that comes up when you click the middle link is just ridiculous. It’s obvious this website is meant to look as realistic as possible, with the only hint of its relation to the movie being the copyright info at the bottom of the page. And if you happen to recognize Oliver Platt in that “news feed” section. But trust me, there are plenty of extremely gullible people out there who might think this website is for real. Making an entertaining disaster movie is one thing, but intentionally misleading people is another. It’s just sad that a staggering number of Americans actually believe this hype. I’m not a scientist and I don’t have the time to do a full debunking of this hoax on this blog, so here are some good links regarding the 2012 myth:

2012 Hoax- a website dedicated to debunking the 2012 myth.

2012 is a business.

A very long, scientific explanation of why the world won’t end in 2012.

Face it, the world will not end in 2012. It’s huge scam intended to make money off people’s ignorance and gullibility.

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