Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Random musings

So I was thinking about baptism from the LDS perspective. It starts usually with a wait on dry ground staring into the water. From our initial perspective, because of the index of refraction of water it is difficult for us to see its depths. However, our time to take the plunge comes. We enter into the water and again because of the index of refraction we are unable to see the surface, though we are able to quite effectively see the details of the watery world we are currently in. After all is said and done we re-emerge back were we started in the light of day on dry land. When we are first on land we are in what my religion has termed the "pre-mortal" life. We are unable to see mortality because of the reflection and refraction of Snell's law--the veil. Our time in the water is short as is our time in mortality. Every moment underwater is a struggle for breath, a struggle for air. Mortality is a struggle to keep our selves righteous. And yet the veil functions both ways. In the water it is difficult to see the surface the veil precludes it. On land once again we know have the memories of our life in the water. Land is again familiar. And breathing easy is taken for granted and not appreachiated as it was when we were under. Our bodies are only appreciated because of their eventual loss. More thoughts to come on the nature of spiritual refraction indices, but for now I leave this to raticionate upon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why you should not commit a crime!

While doing research for my molecular genetics class, I came across the following paper:

Or in more scientific terms

Do Vale Gomes, A., F.L. Melo, R.P. Werkhauser, and F.G.C. Abath. 2006. Development of a real time polymerase chain reaction for quantitation of Schistosoma mansoni DNA. Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Crus (101).

Anyway, the point of the paper was that they were able to isolate a sample of 10fg! Yes, that's 10 femto-grams, 10^-15 g, or 0.0000000000000010 g of DNA, or about 2% of the DNA from a single cell! Yeah so it was from a parasite--Humans have way more DNA than a parasite and if they can sequence a worm they can certainly sequence a crook.

Excellent genetics review site

This site contains an excellent selection of genetics figures and a brief overview of the procedures involved.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This guy is a quack, but his stuff is interesting!

So the guy is most probably a quack, but the sheer volume of "evidence" is a bit surprizing.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Quantum Mechanics and Free Will

A common postulate of quantum mechanics is that by confining a particle its energy is quantized. It is the confining of waves to a space that allows resonances to set up and standing waves to form. We see this with stings of fixed lengths. One may vibrate with a single node, or a node and an anti-node, or it may vibrate with integers of n multiples of nodes and anti-nodes. In 1924 Louis De Broglie proposed matter behaves in an analogous fashion. This astounding proposition has been since been experimentally verified by blasting crystals with electrons and a wave pattern results. The point of all of this is the assertion that objects when contained can exist in only a finite number of states and for a given ammount of energy there are only a few possibilities. When there are only a few possibilities a prediction can be made. If I flip a coin I know it must land on either heads or tails, it cannot come up apples, or aliens but only heads or tails can be the result. Consider this, we are born. We also die. Thus in at least a mortal sense we have a begining and an end. Thus we too must also be quantized, there is only a finite number of things we can do. Therefore our actions have at least some degree of predictability. We may be able to choose our energy state, but there is only a finite number of states we can exist in. If our actions are predictable then there is a devine will, but because we get to choose we also have free will, but the amazing corrallary of this entire train of logic is that if as many religions believe there is no begining and no end, or if we allow the supposition that we do exist after we die and before we are born (pre-mortal and post mortal lives) then we are no longer a confined particle ergo our energy states are no longer confined and we are allowed to do ANYTHING! I'll leave it to you to fill in the further implications of these assertions.

For Quantum References see Taylor, Zafiratos and Dubson. Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers 2004

Friday, February 20, 2009

I love you Charla!

I gotta say, I my experience in college has been really great! I met the love of my life--Ochem. J/K just kidneying. Seriously though, ochem is weird. There is almost a social status with how many times you fail that class. Hey man, it took me THREE times to pass ochem. Woah! Ah, that's nothing--5. 12. What up, who's the man now huh? Me--I feel like a freakin idiot I only got a C the FIRST time I took it--and that was in the summer & I got married! Personally, I would recomend that to EVERYONE!! Even you. Not the married part--the ochem, especially in the summer (kidding, I Love you Charla!). Personally, I think they should teach ochem in high school. I mean seriously--The ONLY way to pass that class is if you are young, single, out of a job, no TV, no chance of a date and don't have many friends--high school. The last person I know who passed ochem, won a Nobel prize that same year. And the worst part, no ever, ever, EVER gets an A in that class. Not even the guy who sits second row, not the first because he wants to maintain constant eye-contact with the professor the whole time. You know the one--Oxidative carboxylation YES! YES! OH YES! Anerobic deamination O! YES!! Yeah, he got a B. Even the professor, the one who teaches ochem even he didn't gett an A in the class--in fact even he hates it. The only reason he's teaching it is he is one of three people on staff who actually passed let alone took ochem. Yeah C- at best--he's teaching because it pays the bills and he failed out of med-school. But me, I'm different--I love ochem--HA HA HA HA! Sorry that was hard to say with a straight face. Actually I love ______ (insert name here) HA HA HA HA! Sorry that was hard to say with a straight face.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Time has Mass!

Precept 1. Things diffuse from a small volume into a larger one.
Precept the second. Time is diffusing. The big-bang says that time has a begining. From the begining until now is a fixed amount of of time, and also of space. From now until the end of time is a much larger volume i.e. neigh unto infinite.

1st Hypothesis. We observe time going only one direction because it is diffusing from a finite box into an infinite box. Time doesn't go backwards for the same reason gas doesn't diffuse back into the box. The probability is gas-ly small, infact if the outer box is really infinite the probability of diffusing back in is zero.

If you will allow the assumption that time is diffusing, then we can model the average path of time with the root mean square velocity, or the average speed with which a molecule of time will travel. V=(3kT/m)^(1/2) where V is the velocity, which in our case is C, the speed of light. Einstein and others have suggested that if you travel faster than the speed of light you will have traveled in time. Therefore, time travels at the speed of light or about 299792458 m/s. The symbol k is the Boltzman's constant which is equal to 1.3806504 x 10^-23 J/K and T is the temperature, or in our case the average temperature of the universe which is between 2.7280 and 2.7282 K plugging in and rearranging we see that m, the mass of time = 3kT/C^2 or 1.25726*10^-39 kg but surprizingly this unit of time does not have a "time" associated with it, so is time quantized? Is it discrete? Or is this the "rest mass of time" I don't know. However, time having a mass could account for the mysterious dark matter in the universe, if time has a mass according to DeBroglie it could have a wavelength and it might be that time itself is vibrating rather than say light or matter, perhaps it is time that gives things their duality? Oh and on a more religious note, if something is beyond time is it no longer a dichotomy? Is this what gives God his constancy? Ponder away, and I wish you luck.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Really Cool Cell Images

Behold various parts of a mouse brain stained with various fluorescent molecules that release light after being excited. The technical information as to what exactly is going on can be found by clicking here.

Step 1: Change the World

Here be Obama's amazing transcript of his speech today (Jan 20, 2009)

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the
trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our
ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as
well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this
Inauguration Day
Local stories

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words
have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still
waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst
gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has
carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high
office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals
of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation
is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our
economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility
on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard
choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost;
jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our
schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the
ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics.
Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across
our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and
that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are
serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short
span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of
purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and
false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far
too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has
come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our
enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that
precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to
generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free,
and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that
greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never
been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path
for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or
seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the
risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but
more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us
up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled
across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the
lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg;
Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked
till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They
saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions;
greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous,
powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than
when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods
and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or
last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of
standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off
unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today,
we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the
work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the
economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only
to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will
build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that
feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to
its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health
care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the
winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we
will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the
demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who
suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their
memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has
already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is
joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted
beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed
us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not
whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -
whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can
afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we
intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.
And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to
account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in
the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust
between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good
or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched,
but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the
market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long
when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has
always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product,
but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend
opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because
it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our
safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can
scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the
rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those
ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for
expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who
are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village
where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each
nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and
dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not
just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring
convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us,
nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that
our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from
the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering
qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once
more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort -
even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will
begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned
peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work
tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of
a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will
we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims
by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that
our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us,
and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.
We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and
non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn
from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter
swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter
stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old
hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon
dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall
reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a
new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual
interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who
seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know
that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you
destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit
and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of
history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench
your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make
your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved
bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that
enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to
suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's
resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we
must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with
humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol
far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us
today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through
the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our
liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness
to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at
this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely
this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the
faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation
relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees
break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours
than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest
hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled
with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that
finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them
may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard
work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity,
loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true.
They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.
What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required
of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part
of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and
the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize
gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to
the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a
difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on
us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women
and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration
across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than
sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can
now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we
have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of
months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the
shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was
advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the
outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation
ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter,
when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the
country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our
hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue,
let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may
come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were
tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back
nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace
upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it
safely to future generations.

Great speech in my humble opinion. Oh and for the record Apple-Shift-4 is the copy function on a mac.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Skydiving & Religion

In case you missed it, once upon a summer I went skydiving (If you click here it links to my skydiving video). I mention it now because last night I watched the movie "The Bucket List" its a good movie, I'd recommend it, but it has a sequence where the two protagonists leap from a plane. This got me to reminiscing about the time I too purposefully leap from a perfectly good plane. And since it was a Sunday while watching said movie, I was also thinking a bit about religion. It turns out that skydiving is a very apt metaphor for Christianity, but also religion in general.

The adventure starts with a choice. Choose to go skydiving, choose to be a righteous person. The next step is to learn as much as possible about said event. Talk with people who have been, read the literature get the training on exactly what is skydiving and what you will be doing. Read the Bible, read the Book of Mormon, read what ever great book you are pursuing. Participate in the missionary discussions. Next comes the dreaded waiver of doom (seriously the thing is two whole pages outlining in detail ALL of the ways you can die). This is your contract, this is what you agree to. This is your covenants. Do you agree to live well, to read daily, to become an active member and to not sue if anything happens. Taking an enormous gulp realizing your life will never again be the same after you make this commitment, you tell yourself its not really that much you are promising, ok it really is, but its not that bad and you are willing to accept the liabilities and responsibilities. Oh yeah there are those few parts you still don't agree with, "wait what I have to pay for the plane if it breaks?!" Wait what I have to be a good person?! Ok I have faith I can handle that clause, I can get over this, I can do this. In fact, I am going to do this! Step one complete, you have decided to make the journey.

You board the plane. The plane climbs. Whether you stay aboard or jump the choice is yours, but you are responsible for your choice. The time comes near. Altitude is reached. Your ears are swimming, you are clad in your special robes. Your mentor is there. It is time to take the plunge. With a "gentle" laying on of hands and a confirmation you are imersed. A former ground-based life safe and secure just died. A new life having tasted of flight is born. You have faith that if you listen to the little voice in your ear and do what it says you will land well and have a great flight. You have faith that if you pull your cord your chute will open and that you will be uplifted and saved when your time draws near. As you fall, you are witnessing a miracle. You a land based terra-firm organism are flying. You are gazing eye-level with the heavens and their majestic vistas are opened before you. All creation is laid bare before you. You can see the sky, the clouds, the Earth all ov it floats before you. The miracle happens but before it can you must have faith. You must make the leap before God reveals his hand. Time stops. But eventually it must resume. There is a plan for when you will pull the chute, but ultimately it is up to you when the chord is pulled. A parayer is said, "Please, O please, O please let this work!" And Lo! God does not disappoint. Gossamer wings unfurl above you, you are rise from your falling state. No longer fallin, you rise above your previous estate. Finally the time has come, Earth returns anew, and it is a promised land. A beautiful loving land, but there are yet trials to come. That voice that has guided you safely thus far whispers again in your ear, "pull up your feet." Obey, and follow what you have been taught and you will be saved. But that ground is calling. It looks so soft. How you long to just stretch out your feet. You know you shouldn't but it is just so tempting to touch down your feet and to embrace callings of the world. Reader beware! If you do reach out to the world below you, it will destroy you. The entire weight of the world smashes into you faster than you can react, you will suffer much if you let the world break you. You may eventually be able to walk, to regain use of your legs repentance is always possible, but if you follow the prompting of the unseen guide behind you all the way and let the world slide beneth you. You will come out safely. The choice is yours. May all of your days be lofty. May your ambitions be high. And always follow the voice of the one who leads you through your jump. May you one day help others too to jump. May god be with.