Monthly Archives: June 2009

Dark Matter Lab dedicated at Sanford

darkmatterlab-sanford

This week, the Sanford Lab dedicated an underground science fortress to research dark matter. The lab is 5,000 feet underground in the mountains of South Dakota, shielded from cosmic radiation.

The lab is on a site that used to do physics research, and was a gold mine before that. The current Sanford Lab, in collaboration with the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), is the deepest underground lab in the world. It’s divided into three levels: the shallow lab, the mid-level, and the deep campus. The deep campus is 6 and a half Empire State Buildings deep, or around 8,000 feet.

Experiments are already underway at the 5,000 foot level, but the lab intends to run its dark matter experiments as deep as possible in a lab called the Xenon detector experiment, or LUX. Doing the experiments deep inside the earth isn’t just a demonstration in mad science; it’s also a way to keep out interfering cosmic radiation.

The effects of dark matter in these experiments are so minuscule that any interfering radiation could throw off any experiments done at ground level. To get any real data, these experiments require a lot of shielding. Thousands of feet of earth should do the job just fine.

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Frog Spawning Areas

This is the best year I have seen in the past 2 decades for even the most marginal tadpole habitat. Usually there are significant portions of the frog spawning ditches, seasonal ponds etc. that dry up before a large number of tadpoles can fully develop.

Last year was typical. There are some path-side ditches near my home across from a more substantial swampy area. By the second week of June last year these marginal wetlands were drying up. By the end of the third week they were completely dry and many if not most of the tadpoles perished before reaching frog-hood.

This year we have had several rainstorms that dumped a lot of water in the Portland area. When I checked these ditches 2 days ago they had more water in them they they had a week before.

Usually I collect as many tadpoles as I can just before the big “dry-up” and grow them to maturity in a tank outside. When they are ready, they leave. (I use flake fish food to feed them- they don’t eat it but it encourages algae and they eat that.)

This is one year I don’t have to do that. I’ve still collected a few just because I like to watch them grow legs and hop away.

Some of last years pictures. More later.

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Exodus

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Wednesday Book Club

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.

-Aldous Huxley

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First-

Someone said something the other day and used a phrase I remember from reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I don’t remember the phrase but it had to do with Ford (and other US auto companies). I was reminded of how Our Ford was an equivalent of Our Father (who art in heaven, etc.). Anyway, so I got to thinking about Huxley.

brave-new-world-aldous-huxley-poster

And here is the complete Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, now public Domain, for you to download:

Brave New World

And here are some interesting links related to Mr. Huxley- for fans and not-yet fans. The guy was a genius. So check out:

Download Brave New World- The movie shown originally on BBC in the UK in 1980 (it’s a long download- the Movie is 184 minutes, file size about 550 megs:

mystical

Also on my mind this week,

The Upanishads.

When I was about 10 I started reading through the religion section of the library. Many of the texts I found there opened my mind as I read through Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism etc. A couple of books entered my life at that time that especially resonated with me.

One was the Dhammapada. The other was the Upanishads.

Sounds like…. mahanyaasam1-upanishads

Chakras

Some excerpts:

TWELFTH KHANDA.

1. ‘Maghavat, this body is mortal and always held by death. It is the abode of that Self which is immortal and without body [*1]. When in the body (by thinking this body is I and I am this body) the Self is held by pleasure and pain. So long as he is in the body, he cannot get free from pleasure and pain. But when he is free of the body (when he knows himself different from the body), then neither pleasure nor pain touches him.

2. ‘The wind is without body, the cloud, lightning, and thunder are without body (without hands, feet, &c.) Now as these, arising from this heavenly ether (space), appear in their own form, as soon as they have approached the highest light,

3. ‘Thus does that serene being, arising from this body, appear in its own form, as soon as it has approached the highest light (the knowledge of Self [*3]) He (in that state) is the highest person (uttama purusha). He moves about there laughing (or eating), playing, and rejoicing (in his mind), be it with women, carriages, or relatives, never minding that body into which he was born.

‘Like as a horse attached to a cart, so is the spirit [*1] (prana, pragnatman) attached to this body.

4. ‘Now where the sight has entered into the void (the open space, the black pupil of the eye), there is the person of the eye, the eye itself is the instrument of seeing. He who knows, let me smell this, he is the Self, the nose is the instrument of smelling. He who knows, let me say this, he is the Self, the tongue is the instrument of saying. He who knows, let me hear this, he is the Self, the ear is the instrument of hearing.

5. ‘He who knows, let me think this, he is the Self, the mind is his divine eye. He, the Self, seeing these pleasures (which to others are hidden like a buried treasure of gold) through his divine eye, i. e. the mind, rejoices.

‘The Devas who are in the world of Brahman meditate on that Self (as taught by Pragapati to Indra, and by Indra to the Devas). Therefore all worlds belong to them, and all desires. He who knows that Self and understands it, obtains all worlds and all desires.’ Thus said Pragapati, yea, thus said Pragapati.

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I have the complete Upanishads in 2 parts-

Part one

of the Max Muller translation, in Word document form,

(with copius notes and other debris) can be downlaoded here:

upanishadspt1

I have not finished cleaning up Part 2.

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