Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The new weapon of mass destruction

Forget nuclear weapon, forget antimatter bomb, forget even the black hole producing LHC, we have a new weapon of mass destruction one that as laid hidden for untold generation: PEANUTS! Yes this immensely powerfull allergent can kill an allergic person if she hears that someone knows a person that has one though he had seens someones that knew a third person that might have seens someone actually eat something that can within a lightyear of a peanut. Take that Shadow planet killer from Babylon 5 your power is just dwarfed by the amazing peanut.

Now, you might wonder why in the hell am I ranting about peanuts. Well, it because it seems our society has reached a level of idocy that can only be a prelude to total intellectual extinction. You know that peanut product have been ban in school in Quebec right? Well, school official are now asking parents to be carefull not to feed their children product with peanuts butter or peanuts before they go to school. Yes the justification for this is that allergic reactions to peanuts are so strong that if someone that had eaten the peanuty stuff for breakfast were to touch someone that is allergic there is a very good chance the allergic person would die. The stupid it burns!

Even if nuts allergies are amounts the most dangerous food allergies that we know, they actually require the person to be in contact with the allergen. Otherwise I’m sorry but the genes brining those allergic reactions would have removed themselves from the population long ago. Also, why are we not asking the people that are allergic to have with them the proper medication for any allergic reaction that might happen? And insure that the public institution they attend have on hand the correct medication to react appropriately in case of a severe reaction. I really don’t understand why we stop the vast majority of children from enjoying nuts and all those stuff because of the 1% that suffer from it.

Think about it when I was in high school we about 800 students, which mean that only about 8 persons where allergic to various degrees to peanuts. Since I did not know everyone chances are that I never came into contact with anyone that is really allergic (ok, that false I knew that one of my friend was allergic, still I’ve eaten peanut butter in his presence and he still alive, no sign of any reaction). Now these day, the school has to make sure that nothing it serve is contaminated by peanuts and that the other children do not bring any peanut product in the school. Come on for about 10 peoples that have a condition that is preventable, treatable and for which we have very efficient medecine, 800 need to change their diet!

The moral of this is simple, if you are allergic to anything, make sure you have the correct medication with you and know how to use it in case of a dangerous reaction. Don’t expect the universe to protect you from your allergen, it won’t.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ok, I love La Pocatière but come on!

I just read this new (in french sorry) about the Quebec governement investing 10M$ in La Pocatière to move the center for physical technology and create 4... yes 4 new jobs. Wow, 4 job, that what 2.5M$ for each? No I know the move is not made to create job (at least I hope so) but come on governement and Radio Canada if you only create 4 jobs for 10M$ don't mention the number of job created, it makes you look stupid.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I could use a good new

Well, you might have notice that I did not update this blog as much as I used too in the past few months. One of the reasons for this is that I am working just about full time on finishing my phd thesis and I do not want to “waste” a few hours each day typing some text on my blog. Well ok, maybe not an hour but still the time spent writing here add-up fast, and it does eat up on my thesis writing time. Then there is the fact that my life feels kinda boring at the moment. Nothing spectacullarly good, or bad is happenning, which isn’t that bad in itself, except that it feels like for each small tibbits of sligthly good news I get I receive about 20 slightly bad news. For exemple, my thesis advisor finish reading my first 2 chapters and says they are good and only need a few little change before I can send them to be evaluated, a good news. Then in the two weeks following that news I get this: the two girls I find interesting in my dances class have boyfriend and the job I had appliend on and that seemed really interesting was given to someone else. Yes, that 3 “bad” news not 20 but put the 2 girlst hing on the same night and it gets a lot more annoying and a lot more draining energy wise. In short, I need a good news, something to cheer me up, and no good news about my friends won’t do it. I’m very happy for all the nice and good stuff happening in their lifes but it doesn’t make mine any more interesting. Selfish I know, sorry.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Music of the stars..

Scientist, you know those very cool people that gave you penciling, radio, tv, the internet and all that stuff you don't use all the time have recorded something quite intriguing. The "sound" produced by a few stars in our galaxy. Now you might say: "But Asaathi we're not moron we know that sound doesn't travel in a vacuum!" and would be right. However you would also be something else than an astrophysicist. You see, as wave travel through a medium, air for example, it produce density highs and lows. This mean that some places have more matter then other, only slightly more but enough to be measured. Now a star is made of plasma, which is a scientific name for hot as hell gas, and when wave travels through them the same process that allow us to hear happen. The local density of the star change, now since it's plasma and luminous, this change in density produce a change in what we call opacity, the transparency of the star to light. Ok, you're still not hearing anything but we are getting close, now suppose that either the star rotate or that it pulse (it's shape/size change with time) and you get changes in the density produced by the waves in the stars. Record those change and you record the waves in the stars and if you pipe this record into your speaker you might hear stuff if the waves have component in the frequency our body can understand.

Now that I've explained to you how we do it here is the sounds of the stars: HD181420 , HD49933 , from a globular cluster (an very dense group of stars) and from our sun. Please be amazed that we live in a time where everyone can share amazing discovery. And enjoy, this first music from the stars.

Just a reminder, we live in amazing times.

Well, I think it's good to be reminded of a few things once in a while no?

Earthly X ray source

Now, you can say what you want about science but their is one thing you have to admit it is surprising. Scientist have found that you can produce a rather impressive amount of X-RAY from doing a rather inocculous thing: peeling off scotch tape. Yep you read it right, peeling off scotch tape (in a vacuum, don't be affraid). Enough X-ray in fact to produce an x ray picture of one finger. Now just what the hell can such a discovery bring to the human race? Portable X-Ray machine for one (ok, might not be a good thing to give everyone x-ray machine) that paramedics could use or that could be used in remote territories where electricity is harder to come by. As I always say: isn't science cool?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Science it's that cool thing the humans are doing

Science never cease to amaze me, and for my 700th post I got some new science stuff that is really impressive. Science as found a way to bypass severed nerve and restore control to limbs. It's really great stuff, meaning we understand more and more about our body and how it works. Also, thing about the number of people that could be helped with that kind of technology has long as you have the part of the brain that control mouvement we could technically give you back that capability. Not to mention that with a clearer understing of how our mind control our limbs we will be able to create better more precise prosthetic limbs. We do live in intersting time no?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I've long held the belief that a matriarchy wouldn't be that much different from the current "patriarchy". Everything bad about "male-dominated" culture would still exist in the "woman-dominated" world, it might only take a different shape. Apparently anthropologist are finding that my intuition is not that bad. Ok, the result comes from the study of primates, but since we have yet to find a human matriarchy it's the next best thing.