Thursday, August 31, 2006

A History of Elasticity

Author: James Monahan

Man has, since the early times, found out how useful elastic materials are. And today's man has improved on this idea and constantly finds ways to make more elastic materials to suit his everyday needs.

Elasticity refers to the property of an object to deform when load is applied to it, and to return to its natural form when the load is relieved. Many of the everyday things you see around you are elastic materials: rubber bands, sports balls, slingshots, bows, and even bungees!

From the earliest days, man found out that certain objects would 'spring' back to its original shape if pressure to deform the object was removed.

At first, this sort of annoyed him since the most common things that showed this property were animal parts which he ate. Somewhere between inventing fire and creating the wheel, he thought, ""Hmm, maybe I could use this for something.""

Thus was born the first elastic strings made of animal gut to hold stuff together. As time passed by, man found out that these elastic strings made from animal gut could be used as a weapon. When a projectile was loaded in to these elastic strings, they were propelled through the air at great speeds. Thus was born the bow and arrow.

Rubber is one of the more popular elastic materials around. Many products derived from rubber are bounced around, stretched, and pounded - and they come back to shape.

Because of this property, many people find diversified reasons to love rubber. If people were to use rigid materials, those objects would break, or get deformed. And for some objects deformity equates to unusability.

Rubber was used by the Early American Indians before Columbus even set foot on the Americas. They called the substance Caoutchouc, which comes from the word cahuhchu - meaning weeping wood. This substance came from the sap of the rubber tree.

At first the westerners found out that this substance could be used to rub out pencil stains. Therefore, it was called rubber - to commemorate its glorious ability to rub.

Other elastic materials have varied uses in today's world. Rubber is used for tires, elastic bands, and other 'bouncy' objects. Coiled spring is used for suspensions, and spring-loaded applications. They are even used in variable sized sheathings.

The most common example of this is the condom. Elastic materials are commonly used on clothing to provide a comfortable fit on people. They are also useful in cases where you need watertight equipment.

Elastic materials are also handy in creating cushioning materials: tires, soles for shoes, for cars, for beddings and other uses. These applications require materials that will protect the user from sudden shock. Elastic materials absorb the energy and disperse them in a non-traumatic manner for cushions.

These materials are also used in sports. Insulated, elastic balls are integral to many sports because non-elastic balls would deform when used. Basketballs, volleyballs, and soccer balls have to be elastic to allow them to return to their normal shape after being subject to load and trauma.

There seems to be no sure hint that the use of elastic materials will abate. There will constantly be use for these sort of materials. As man steadily finds ways to make use of these wonders, he also steadily finds better ways to create more elastic materials.

About the author: James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of and writes expert articles about elastic .

Commotion with Corrosion

Author: James Monahan

This is not another boring science topic that will put you off to sleep. Trust me, I'll make this as simple and as interesting read as possible.

Corrosion's dictionary meaning is synonymous to a list of words like rusting, corroding, erosion, a chemical process, a chemical change, a chemical action a natural activity, deterioration of metals through the process of oxidation or chemical action.


To explain it further, corrosion is defined as the wearing away of materials in a slow blow by blow process. It does not literally pertain to the destruction of metals and other related materials.

Corrosion is then followed by reversion to a more subtle and balanced pairs or combination where metals are known as the most popular examples. Corrosion, in short, is the opposite of metallurgy.

Because while metallurgy is the molding and making of metals, corrosion on the other hand, is the rusting, corroding and unmaking of metals caused by a chemical reaction between the metal and its external faculties which makes up its environment.

Corrosion, in its broadest studies are subdivided into a number of categories with each type processing a different characteristic from the other.

But for a more comprehensive study and understanding of corrosion, scientist have specifically classified corrosion into 2 general and most known types and methods in which the process of unmaking the metals can take place.

The first of which is ""typified corrosion"" whereby metal iron is exposed to its external agencies during which the temperature is high or eleveated. During typified corrosion, the corroding and rusting of the metal begins as soon as the oxygen in the atmosphere to produce 'mill scale', a common product formed whenever oxygen reacts with its surroundings.

Mill scale and magnetite, which plays a vital role in the method of typified corrosion, contains the same chemical composition called iron ores.

Other forms of metals behave in the same way when associated to its external environment, they also produce varieties of oxides and may have the tendency to behave in the similar manner to come up with other compounds.

All of these chemical reaction and activity points to summarize that the result of direct combination between the given reacting elements results to products of corrosion, and does not plainly embody the end product formed through the substitution of or displacement of an element for or by another element.

However, the second type and method of corrosion is referred to as ""galvanic"" corrosion or ""electrochemical corrosion"".

This method is characterized by the process of displacement of one given element in one phase (usually in the form of alloy or metal). And since electric current is the focal point of the variable displacement of one given element by the other given element, literally defining the very meaning of galvanic or electrochemical corrosion.

Furthermore, electrochemical corrosion generally refers to cases of corrosion in which metal or alloy being rusted is continuously associated and linked with the corrosion-causing solution, or another given element that is a dissimilar metal or may also be some different conducting or solid material.

The term electrochemical corrosion may also be used in cases when either pure metal, impure metals, or other forms of metal or alloys are exposed to pure water, aqueous solution of water soluble materials, or different mixtures of water with other elements which is both not soluble nor a solvent of water.

Corrosion will not take place in the absence of corrosion cells. In a more simplified situation, it's like a cheeseburger without cheese. Before such corrosion cells do their function, some pre-requisites must be met.

First requirement is for cells to have doors to connect two points, the metal and the solution, to allow the flow of electric current to and from each other in the metal surface.

Second, the cell must be capable of electric conductivity. And lastly, there must be a motivating force or 'push' that will enable the initiation (first step), and maintenance (second step) of flow of current all throughout the system.

About the author: James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of and writes expert articles about corrosion

Pump It Up!

Author: James Monahan

Pumps are pump in anyway you put it. The word alone can give you an idea what it is. Its main purpose is to pump liquid in and out of a vessel or vessels.

Pumps are employed to every imaginable job that is detailed with liquid or water. Basically, pumps have been in use for as long as the good Lord has allowed man to invent it. Its use ranged from medical mileages to outer space. And the versatility of this tool has since been renowned.

How a pump works is quite simple, but that depends on what kind of pump. There manual pumps and motorized pumps. Manual pumps are those used for small amounts of liquids that don't really require much effort to pump in or out.

These are the aspirators for manually forcing air into a vessel or liquid into a vessel. These are commonly used pumping out milk from a mother's breast to preserve them for later use.

But there is also a motorized version of this that is used mainly for cows and pump out their milk for commercial consumption. And there's the medicine dropper, which is also a kind of manual pump used to take small amounts of liquid from a bottle or vial.

This is used to administer medicine to children and infants that have yet to develop swallowing. This is also used to prevent over dose in little children. A syringe can also be considered as a manual pump, since it it's used to pump out blood sample from people or to administer medicine to them.

Besides being used for administering medicine or taking blood samples, pumps are mainly designed to get water or to dump water to and from a source. Deep wells used this primarily. Places were tap water isn't available out of a faucet; people use pumps to get it out of the ground.

These are called deep well pumps. Over the years, because of the shortage of the supply of water in some countries, the developments of motorized pumps have gone into consideration. It's more of putting a good thing and making it better for people.

Motorized motor pumps were first introduced to areas where the water pressure is low. They used this to add pressure to their water lines and provide them with more water.

These pumps still work the same way as other pumps, the only difference is that instead of manually doing all the pumping, a motor is hooked up into the pump to make the pumping faster and at a steadier phase. These are the residential motor pumps or jet pumps.

Its main job description is to aid the low water pressure that's being pumped out of the city's main line.

Speaking of cities, every major city has a massive network of pumps and plumbing that deliver the water throughout its borders. But this time, instead of just pumping out water to an outgoing line they have a specialized central pump that pumps the water back into the city's water treatment facility to cure the water and the water waste.

It all starts with the water reservoir of the city, which also contains the water treatment facility. They pump the water out to the main line to the connecting pipes all over the city.

After distribution process, the water wastes are pumped back into the treatment facility to have cured and be ready for distribution again. But besides all of these commercial usage pumps are also used in agriculture, construction, and even aeronautics.

So the list goes on and on for the pump but still, one thing is for sure when there's water or liquid that needs to be moved in or out, go grab a pump apparatus.

About the author: James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of and writes expert articles about pumps .

Copper Makes the World Go Round Too

Author: James Monahan

I'm pretty sure you know what copper is. After all, it's found in a lot of the things we come across in our day-to-day experiences.

Copper wires. Copper plumbing. Doorknobs. Sterling silver. Flatware (dining utensils). Electromagnets; electromagnetic motors; the steam engine; spare change (coins); brass musical instruments; ceramic glazes; electrical relays, busbars, and switches; mildew killer; vacuum tubes; cathode ray tubes; spare change; and tons more.

Copper is also used as a biostatic liner in hospitals and ships. Bacteria and living things will not grow on biostatic surfaces. Doorknobs are made of copper in hospitals to help prevent disease transfer. Ships are lined with copper so that barnacles and mussels will not cling to its outside surfaces.

Fun fact of the day: The Statue of Liberty contains 179,000 pounds of copper.

Rumor even has it that sucking on a copper penny will let the breathalyzer test read 0.

In fact, I bet copper has been ingrained in each of our minds because of the existence of Chemistry class in our high school curriculum.

Copper isn't always that red element with a bright lustre and shine you see almost everywhere. Sometimes it comes in a blue solution of copper ions. Sometimes it's mixed in with other metals, such as otherwise pure bricks of gold, because gold is much too soft to keep in brick forms all by themselves.

Copper has been used since the dawn of the most ancient civilizations. It may well be the oldest metal in use, being utilized by the people for over ten thousand years. In fact, for five millenia ancient civilizations did not know any other metal.

Because of its malleability they simply hammered out the native ore into the shapes they desired, usually containers. It was called ""chalkos"" in Greek times. In Roman times the term was ""Cyprium,"" from which copper's symbol in the periodic table of elements is derived.

So how is copper extracted from the earth's crust? Native copper is mineral form, and they are found in ores, being extracted from open-pit mines. The ores are extracted from a hard, igneous rock containing crystals called porphyry. Even then, the amount of copper you can extract is as little as 0.4 to 1 percent.

While copper is necessary for all higher plants and animals, it can be toxic if found in exceedingly high amounts. It can lead to schizophrenia.

There is an inherited illness that retains copper called Wilson's disease, which prevents copper from being excreted into bile by the liver. If left untreated, the excess copper found in the body can lead to brain and liver damage.

Copper is surely a valuable metal to all. In fact, there was even a group that was formed, with an aim to try and regulate copper export, trying to gain the same power that OPEC has.

It did not succeed because America was never a member, it being the second largest producer of copper in the world today. It's largest copper mine can be found in the state of Utah.

So look around you for a while. Chances are, you can find a hint of copper. In fact, there might be a copper wire poking through from your CPU right now. Never underestimate it, as surely the world wouldn't be what it is today without copper. Copper makes the world go round too.

About the author: James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of and writes expert articles about copper .

Many Uses of Metal Detectors

Author: James Hunt

Have you ever lost something at the beach or at a park and wondered for weeks what happened to it? Chances are that someone was walking with the ingenious invention, the metal detector, and found it.

How it works and what it does:

It simply does what the name suggests. It finds anything with any metal in it up to a certain length beneath the earth's surface. Many fancy metal detectors will even tell you how deep down the metal object is so you can find it easier.

What Can I Find With a Metal Detector?

You could find rings, bracelets, necklaces, coins or anything metal. Depending on the brand of metal detector you buy and model it is you will get different results. Just ask or research to find out what kind would best suit you.

Other Uses

Schools everywhere are using metal detectors to help filter out violence. The metal detectors can very easily (for this is why they are used) detect a knife or gun. Police stations and Airports use them as well. Even some amusement parks such as ""Six Flags Fiesta Texas"" use them, you buy your ticket then proceed to the park being stopped momentarily so the patrolmen can search any bags and have you walk through a metal detector.

As you can probably tell metal detectors are very useful not only to find that cherished earring but for our everyday safety and well being. This is a great invention that will be here for years to come.

So next time you loose that ring at the beach or you dime at the park remember there are ways to find you beloved object. Have Fun.

About the author: James Hunt has spent 15 years as a professional writer and researcher covering stories that cover a whole spectrum of interest. Read more at

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Glass We Know

Author: James Monahan

It's a such common everyday material, I'm so sure that you'll be able to see it everywhere you turn. Glass. Yup, that amorphous liquid made out of sand.

If you've seen ""Sweet Home Alabama"" before, than you know what I'm talking about. Glass is naturally made out of sand when it is striked by lightning, morphing into brilliant shapes and objects.

I don't think glass will ever cease to be useful, but even as it is highly utilized in this world, glass can also be turned into highly-valued works of art.

In fact, here's a tip for you: search the beaches to see if you've found pieces of sea glass (not naturally occuring but the kind that was thrown into the sea and molded by it after many years into smooth, round shapes) because they have lately become valuable and highly sought-after.

It was naturally occuring glass, like obsidian (glass naturally created from volcaninc magma), that has been in use since the stone age.

It was then used as a glaze for pottery until the method of glass-blowing was developed in the first century b.c., making glass more available. Its name is derived from the Latin word for ice, ""glacies.""

Glass can be made out of pure silica, but to make the glassmaking process easier, ash and lime is added. From these basic ingredients, a variety of glass can be formed.

There is the float or annealed glass. Most of the world's flat glass is annealed glass, since the process for making this was invented in the 1950s by Sir Alastair Pilkington.

Molten glass is poured onto a tin bath and levels out to dry in parallel, flat surfaces. Annealed glass is not suitable for building as it breaks into shards.

Before annealed glass, there was plate glass, where it was formed by rolling it flat.

There is such a kind of glass that is a bit tougher and safer from breakage, called tempered glass. It is said to be six times stronger than annealed glass, but it does have a few drawbacks.

If it does get broken, the whole glass panel will fall apart into small bits. Also, since the portions of the tempered glass are formed differently, the outer portion of the panel is more susceptible to scratches.

Laminated glass was invented by Edouard Benedictus, after discovering that a glass flask coated with cellulose nitrate was dropped to the ground, shattered, but did not break.

This type of glass is more commonly used for windshields and security purposes, as it is bulletproof. Laminated glass is formed from typical annealed glass and a generous coating of polyvinyl butyral.

Recently innovated is self-cleaning glass, which may just put window-cleaners out of business. It is coated with titanium dioxide. It enables ultraviolet rays to break down organic compounds on the surface.

Water is also attracted to the surface of the glass, leaving a thin coat that washes away these compounds.

Low-emmisivity glass has metallic-based coatings that hinder the glass from transferring thermal energy, making it more energy-efficient.

So whenever you're drinking a glass of water or marvelling at a glass sculpture or modern glass architecture, think of what you've just learned and how glass can change the world you live in.

About the author: James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of and writes expert articles about glass .

Coordination and Biotech Research

Author: James Wachai

One of the reasons why Africa and other poor regions of the world trail in crop biotechnology is lack of collaboration and coordination among scientists. There are millions of well-trained crop biotechnologists in poor countries. But due to resource constraints and other challenges, hardly do they work together. So, we have a situation where so many scientists, working in different parts of the continent, are engaged in identical biotech projects. It's like a case of one hand not knowing what the other is doing.

At a time when Africa desperately needs crop biotechnology to alleviate hunger and malnutrition, its scientists should be moving towards collaborative research. Scientists who pull in different directions can't make any meaningful impact in the scientific world. Cooperation, not competition, is the bane of science. With regard to crop biotechnology, collaboration is urgently needed if Africa dreams of solving its endemic food problems.

Currently, Africa is playing host to top-notch research in crop biotechnology. Dr. Florence Wambugu of Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International is busy developing a new strain of wheat resistant to drought and common fungal diseases. Dr. Wambugu is an authority in genetic engineering and has been leading the campaign to persuade Africa to embrace genetically modified crops. Dr. Monty Jones of the Africa Rice Centre (WARDA), in a groundbreaking research, has developed New Rice for Africa (Nerica), resistant to drought and pests, which is bound to enhance food security in many West African countries. Dr. Jones' expertise in genetic engineering can be a big asset to Africa is shared.

Organizations like International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), Insect Resistant Maize for Africa (IRMA) and International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), too, are engaged in high-tech crop biotechnology research. Their work deserve praise, but they stand to achieve more if there is more sharing.

Perhaps, a recently mooted idea by South African scientists is worth considering.They have formed an umbrella organization, which seeks to consolidate the gains already made in modern biotechnology. Called the African Centre for Gene Technology (ACGT), the body will act as a centre of excellence for all African scientists involved in biotech research. In Kenya, the African Biotechnology Stakeholders Forum is promoting partnerships and education. African scientists should embrace these projects and see them as opportunities for self-growth. Investors in North America, Europe and elsewhere should be investing and partnering with these organizations and scientists. After all, they have a common goal - to alleviate hunger and malnutrition.

About the author: James Wachai is a communication specialist who uses his expertise to increase public understanding of science and technology, specifically biotechnology. Read more from James at

UFO Spotted Over Overland Park in 2004

Author: Mark Fisher

It started out as a tiny star, barely a speck in the sky, at 10:37 p.m. approximately. A reddish colored dot, hardly noticeable until it began to change color as it get bigger, or closer, changing from red to blue to a bright red and finally to a true gold, not yellow, not orange, but a true gold as it became incredibly bright and huge. It was bright enough to cast a shadow, not like a ray or beam of light, but rather from an overall gold glow. Hovering... Quietly... Not making a sound, not rustling the leaves or making any breeze. It just got bigger, closer, brighter, ""golder"". Much bigger than an airplane. Then, suddenly, it began to dart across the sky, rapidly, like on a straight line. Then, just as rapidly, without stopping, it changed direction and darted back towards its once previous position. Closer. Then it would begin rising and moving further away, only to suddenly become bigger again as it would quickly begin coming closer once again. Two witnesses noticed the red light from their windows and followed it, getting interested enough to go downstairs and outside to gain a better look. Two witnesses, one a woman, one a man, told matching tales of the object, agreeing on every last detail. Twice I tried to trick them by mentioning yellow or green lights but instead they would correct me saying it was red, then blue, then bright red, then an extremely bright glowing gold color, NOT yellow they would insist. No matter how hard I tried to sway them from their statements, they remained consistent and adamant.

This writer knows both witnesses well, and knows they are not the type or types to fashion some hairbrained scheme or story. The woman is a teacher of children, dedicated to bettering the life of young children. The man is a responsible businessperson, the manager of a successful business. Neither take drugs. Neither were drinking, not even so much as a thimbleful of cough medicine between them. No, it was not in their heads - it was real. Actual visions of something mysterious, frightening, and, perhaps, menacing. Both got spooked and sought shelter. Both continued to watch it behind locked doors. For over twenty minutes it would come, go, dart one direction for several seconds then dart back. Changing colors as it got closer or farther away. Finally, it moved ""mostly North, slightly West"", perhaps NNW as it became only a reddish spark in the sky, until finally it had moved so far that it could no longer be seen, hidden by trees and the many miles with which it was traveling away.

Zach F. saw it first. He frequently watches planes come and go at the nearby municipal airport. He knows an airplane or a helicopter when he sees one. He knows where planes land and take off from and the basic locations of all the small airports, and major ones, in the area. Zach knows planes and helicopters. He does not know of objects that can change speed and direction so abruptly and change colors so totally. Certainly not an object as large as this. Trisha M. knows what she saw, the whole experience indelibly imprinted into her memory banks by the importance and significance she felt as she witnessed it. ""This is not right"", was an everpresent thought, so she watched carefully and noted each and every detail, not knowing what might be important.

An eerie thirty minute experience that will require some answers for two quite shaken witnesses and this inquisitive writer, who fully believes their identical, corroborated stories, but neither authorities, nor the media are interested in hearing their story. One can only wonder ""Why?"" Surely there cannot be some vast comspiracy could exist regarding UFOs, can there? More likely is that they saw some new hush-hush experimental military vehicle. Perhaps in ten or twenty years, classified documents can be declassified and made public about a highly maneuverable, extremely fast military vehicle that can change color and direction at will. Only then might we learn the truth.

About the author: Mark Robert Fisher is a freelance writer/journalist and entrepreneur, a member of the International Press Association and the National Writer's Union. Mark has been published in the US, UK, and Europe. He is available via his website:

Bird Flu Facts Can Save Lives

Author: Ben Franklin

Doctors and scientists around the world fear it may well become the next pandemic. People have died and many are concerned it's just a matter of time before the crafty bird flu manages to spread not only from bird to human but also from human to human.

The scare level is high as scientists race to create a vaccine and reports of deaths slowly rack up. But what is the bird flu and what can be done to prevent its spread, and more importantly, protect people?

The bird flu is a strain of influenza occurs naturally in birds. Much like humans, wild birds all over the world carry viruses in their intestines, but generally don't become sick from them. Avian influenza, however, is different and can make some birds, including chickens, ducks and turkeys quite sick and can even result in death.

While most bird viruses don't effect humans, the latest strains have been creating problems in the human world, thus the concerns. Since 1997 there have been 100 confirmed cases of human infection with bird flu viruses.

People can become infected with bird flu through close contact with infected birds and most especially their excretions and secretions. Although the spread of the illness from one person to the next has been reported only rarely, and even then not beyond one additional person, there are many concerns in the scientific and medical communities that this will not continue. Viruses such as the flu are well known for their abilities to mutate and there's no reason to believe that won't be the case with this quite deadly strain of flu.

Avian flu symptoms in humans are very much like those of run-of-the-mill flu - with a wide variety found. These can include cough, sore throat, fever, eye infections, respiratory issues and other life-threatening complications.

While it's believed the medications that can help ease the symptoms of human flu viruses might help in the case of the avian flu, there are concerns the bird virus will become resistant to these drugs, creating a bigger issue. At this time there is no vaccine for the bird flu either.

At this point, it is not believed a person can become infected with the bird flu by eating poultry or eggs. As long as safe cooking practices are followed, there should be little concern. To avoid exposure, make sure chicken and eggs are properly cooked and take care to clean up well following preparation. Washing hands and kitchen surfaces is an absolute must. Sanitary practices are a must in avoiding the bird flu and lots of other viruses and bacterial conditions as well.

Will the avian flu become the next pandemic, striking and perhaps killing thousands and thousands the world over?

Unfortunately, only time will tell. The potential, scientists fear, is absolutely there. The only way at this point for people to protect themselves is to use common sense when handling birds - either domestic or wild. Don't eat, drink or smoke while handling birds, live or dead. Wash hands thoroughly and use caution while cooking.

As it is with so many other illnesses, the simple act of hand washing frequently and correctly can go a long way toward minimizing exposure.

About the author: #1 Resource

Bird flu update and safety precautions.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Hidden Truth Behind an Emblem

Author: James Monahan

An emblem is a visual representation that defines an idea, thought, or an entity. It's synonymous with the words symbol and sign.

They are written everywhere in our daily lives. Around the world, it is universally accepted that the symbol of a heart represents love; or that a peace sign tattooed on an arm or posted on a wall is a visual reminder of the pronouncement of peace.

An emblem crosses boundaries and cultural barriers. It speaks without speaking. It is probably the first mode of visual communication known to man. Its more popular use dates back to the time of the conception of the Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Now let us take a look back at the history of the emblem and try to decipher what lies behind the surface of these symbols. Later we'll take a look at the more renowned emblems that have now become a part of the visual landscape of our culture.

To have a better understanding of their more profound meaning, let us trace back their origin and study the ideas that were rooted behind these colorful signs.

The word emblem first began to surface within the confines of the argot of architecture during the 15th century. They meant a sculptural illustration of an idea or concept pertaining to the structure of houses.

Emblems also became identified with the esoteric and iconic language of the Egyptian hieroglyphics.

The first emblem book was published in 1531 in Augsburg. The book was entitled the Emblata. It was authored by Andrea Alciato, who was an Italian jurist who came from the city of Milan, but resided in France during the early 16th century.

In our century arguably the most notorious of all emblems is the swastika, whose most renowned identification lies with the affiliation with the Nazi movement. Interesting to note that originally the swastika was a holy symbol in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.

Its earliest use can be traced back with the early dwellers of Eurasia. This emblem was also adopted in the culture of Native Americans with a seemingly independent usage.

In India the swastika is universally used in celebrations, festivals and weddings. Many Indian temples are decorated with swastikas. During the early 20th century, it gained the recognition of an emblem that stands for good luck and prosperity.

Other notable emblems are: the red cross on a white flag. This symbol is identified with the American red cross. The red cross is a symbol that stands for the spirit of humanity.

The star of David, is most commonly recognized as the symbol for Judaism. It is also referred to as Magen David, or shield of David. The skull, the symbol of death and the transient state of the human life.

A skull and crossbones, this emblem stands for poison. Whenever this appears on a product, it warns us that we are in the presence of a potentially harmful, or even deadly substance. This appears often on cleaning solution and insecticide sprays.

That is why it is very important to know what certain emblems mean because in our society emblems have become permanent fixtures, and not knowing what they stand for could be detrimental to our daily lives.

Just go to any mall and you will see that these symbols are everywhere. Whether it takes shape in the form of a man or a woman posted on the lavatory to indicate if it is a male or female bathroom.

You will also see them while travelling on the highways. Multi-directional arrows that are posted on billboards alongside the names of the place they are pointing towards. This tells you which direction you are heading. It functions as a guide so you will not get lost. It also keeps road transportation organized.

They are inescapable these emblems that decorate our everyday lives. It is part of our human consciousness, a part of our history, a part of our mode of communication. That is why it is best if each and everyone of us get better acquainted with the more vital symbols that are now in use in our society.

After all, to know more about the things around you enhances your consciousness and experience of life. Plus, these symbols will also warn us against the hazards that are part of our environment.

Remember that emblems are not just a visual display. They are part of a more serious, profound, and bigger truth. You just have to learn to look beyond the surface to know the message they are trying to convey. Emblems exist for a reason, it is up to you to read the signs.

About the author: James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of and writes expert articles about emblems .

Kenya Inches Close to Food Sustainability

Author: James Wachai

Kenya has begun a countdown to commercializing genetically modified maize(corn). Scientists at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and Insect Resistant Maize for Africa (IRMA) have already developed a new maize seed, resistant to the stem borer. Stem borer destroys 400,000 tonnes of Maize in Kenya, alone. In Sub-Saharan Africa, chronic cases of stem borer infestation account for 10-70 per cent of yield losses. This has had devastating effects on Africa's efforts to feed its ever soaring population. Maize is the primary staple food and an occasional cash crop in many parts of Africa.

The first case of stem borer was discovered in Malawi in 1932. Since then, a raft of methods, pointedly, biological control, habitat management and use of natural pesticides, have been used to deal with the stem borer menace. Unfortunately, very little has been achieved. Bounty yields, a common occurrence in countries such as US, Canada, Argentina, India and China, which have embraced biotechnology, have not been forthcoming. For instance, Niger, one of the poorest countries in Africa is currently facing acute food shortage due to crop failure and drought. About 3.6 million people are on the verge of death due to hunger. Horrifying is news that 800,000 children are chronically malnourished.

Niger is a semi-desert country where lack of rain can result to massive crop failures. This situation and others in Africa can be avoided. Dishing emergency food aid, as is happening at the moment, will help in the short run. But long-term measures need to be explored.

The development of seeds with tolerance to drought and low soil fertility through modern biotechnology could benefit Niger and other countries in similar situations.

Maize varieties with improved nutritional content will be a boon to malnourished children who strand the African continent.

It is worth noting that the development of maize seed resistant to pests such as stem borer not only heralds a new chapter in Kenya but Africa as a whole. Other African countries should now borrow a leaf from these two countries. They should swim by the waves rest they continue to be perpetual beneficiaries of relief food.

Kenyan scientists have demonstrated determination to seek homegrown solutions to Africa's food problems. It would be interesting to hear the views of critics of modern biotechnology about this latest development.In the past, they have accused rich countries of foisting novel technologies such as biotechnology on ""hapless"" Africa, in total disregard of their environmental impact or health complications associated with consumption of genetically modified food.

The jury is now out. To quote Dr Stephen Mugo, a plant breeder with CIMMYT, ""The converted seeds have been studied, multiplied and tested in laboratories and greenhouse conditions.""

About the author: James Wachai is a communication specialist who uses his expertise to increase public understanding of science and technology, specifically biotechnology. Read more from James at

Zimbabwe and Biotechnology

Author: James Wachai

Two years ago, drought and famine ravaged Zimbabwe. Many Zimbabweans cheated death by a whisker as their leaders haggled over whether to accept food aid, especially maize (corn) from the World Food Programme (WFP).

The borne of contention was whether to allow WFP deliver genetically modified food to hungry Zimbabweans. In the words of the then Minister for Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Joseph Mande, Zimbabweans would not accept any food from WFP as it was ""contaminated"" with genetically modified organisms. ""You cannot use the Zimbabwe population as guinea pigs,"" Mande was quoted as saying. President Mugabe, himself, declared that his country would not be receptive of any genetically modified food. This year again, Zimbabwe is facing another worst food crisis. After another long spell of drought, Zimbabweans face, perhaps, the worst food shortage.

After months of self-denial, the Mugabe government is finally pleading with WFP for food. It is, however, interesting that no one is talking about genetically modified food. What more can one say? Evidently, the Mugabe government must have learnt that the debate about GMOs, especially by Africans is a luxury. It is important to point out that all this chest-thumping rhetoric about genetically modified food has one thing in common.

The rhetoric is devoid of hard scientific evidence to support the case against GMOs. President Mugabe and Minister Mande's allegations about GMOs would only be described as wild and misplaced. At the height of hunger in 2002, Mugabe allowed WFP to bring in genetically modified maize as long as it was milled. For a president who cares about the 'health' of his people, this somersaulting was unexpected. But it confirms the fact that the hubris about the dangers posed by genetically modified food is, again, only informed by ignorance and disinformation.

If milled genetically modified maize would be safe to Zimbabweans, why not the unmilled one? Critics of GMOs need to realize that they cannot eat their cake and have it. Those who allude at the US's hypocrisy in introducing GMOs in Africa are, to say the least, are misinformed. Genetically modified food, has been certified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe to eat and plant. FDA is highly respected regulatory agency that would not compromise the health of consumers of genetically modified food. This is why if you go to Wal-mart, Kenmart or any other supermarket in the US, you will not encounter corn labeled 'genetically modified.'

What Africa needs is a technology that will guarantee its farming community sustained food production. Genetic engineering offers this hope.

About the author: James Wachai is a communication specialist who uses his expertise to increase public understanding of science and technology, specifically biotechnology. Read more from James at

Biotechnology: Zimbabwe Must Learn From China

Author: James Wachai

Ever heard of the saying, you cannot bite the hand that feeds you?.Shunned by the West for oppressing his people, Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, has turned to China for comradeship. Two weeks ago, Mugabe and his lieutenants were in China - on a begging mission. His country's economy now in a shambles, Mugabe saw it fit to plead with China to rescue his fast sinking ship. Expectedly, China - a fast growing economy, has pledged to come to Mugabe's aid. Help will be limited, meaning that Zimbabweans' troubles are far from over.

What now awaits Zimbabwe - once Africa's food basket? Agriculture, which is the backbone of Zimbabwe's economy, for one, is on its last throes. Outdated agricultural policies, obsolete farming technologies coupled with bad politics are largely to blame for the country's economic down-turn. Why shouldn't Zimbabwe, now, take advantage of its newfound suitor - China, to revitalize its agriculture? China, for instance, has and continue to benefit from modern biotechnology. Zimbabwe, similarly could benefit immensely if it courts biotechnology. This would make it self-sufficient in food and stop relying on relief aid! Monetary handouts such as the one President Mugabe is craving for are only stop-gap measures to Zimbabwe's food problems.

China is currently the hub of biotechnology in Asia. Since the planting of the first genetically modified crop in the US fifteen years ago, China has aggressively pursued cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops. So far, it has given regulatory approval to eight varieties of biotech corn, seven types of canola and one of soybeans. As a result, China can now feed its more than 1 billion population without seeking outside help. China is no longer in the list of countries the United Nations (UN) consider in need of food assistance. In a very short period of time, China has transformed its agriculture, effectively moving from recipient of food aid to a donor. Admirable achievement!

China's success in biotechnology can be attributed to a number of factors. One, China, unlike many African countries, has refused to politicize the issue of genetically modified food. It has worked closely with the US to promote a regulatory system based on sound science to expedite GM approvals. This is despite the presence of major political differences between these two countries.

Two, China's enthusiasm in training first-class scientists on modern biotechnology has been steadfast. It has invested billions of dollars in science and technology education . As a result the country is now able to make informed decisions about genetically modified food.

Now that Zimbabwe is engaged with China, can't it take advantage of this new acquaintance to modernize its agriculture? Zimbabwe remains strongly opposed to GM food for no justifiable reasons. Even a time like this when it is facing acute food shortage, Zimbabwe would not allow food aid laced with genetically modified organisms into its territory. Relief organizations are required to produce GMO certificates to certify that food being brought into the country is GM free. Is this necessary at all?

Many a times, African countries have complained about being used as guinea pigs by biotech companies! This is ridiculous. China, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and South Africa are some of the countries from developing world currently growing genetically modified food. Are they guinea pigs?

China, early enough, saw the folly of politicizing the biotech debate. It is now reaping bountifully. A poor country a decade ago, China is now able to bail out a country like Zimbabwe.

When Mugabe travels to Beijing again, China should remind him that its wealth has been accrued from modern biotechnology. And that Zimbabwe should follow suit. Failure to do so amounts to biting the hand that feeds it.

About the author: James Wachai is a communication specialist who uses his expertise to increase public understanding of science and technology, specifically biotechnology. Read more from James at

What a Stale Argument!

Author: James Wachai

Does politics has a place in genetically modified (GM) food debate? ""No"", is the obvious answer. Politics and science are such sworn adversaries that they cannot eat from the same plate. Politics mainly thrive on propaganda, vilification, name-calling and personal gratification at the expense of the general good. Science is anchored on verifiable facts, it is objective, gentle, and seeks to make the world a better place for all of us to live. You cannot politicize science unless you fancy mediocrity.

One Jeffrey Smith, the author of ""Seeds of Deception,"" this week advised South Africans to avoid genetically modified food like plague. Why? South Africans stand to lose European beef and poultry markets if they feed their livestock on genetically modified food. To be on the safe side, South Africans should use conventional feeds. Pooh!

""There is a massive rejection of genetically modified ingredients in human food in Europe, and growing demand that animals are fed on conventional crops,"" Smith told his audience. What a misleading advice!

Deliberately misleading the public on any issue is both morally reprehensible and abominable. Those who exploit the vulnerability of the poor for self gains risk isolation by the world. Why misinform to confuse? United States of America is a traditional grower of genetically modified food. The U.S.'s European beef markets have not shrunk as a result of cultivating GMOs.Latest statistics at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) show beef and veal exports ballooned from 461 million pounds in 2004 to 615 billion pounds in 2005. The bulk of the exports went to European markets. Smith lives in the U.S. and ought to have made this clear to his audience. If he did so, I would not be here penning this article.

Europe, itself, is fast embracing genetically modified food. Last month, the European Union endorsed importation of genetically modified animal feed. Does Smith want to tell South Africa that Europe is shooting itself in the foot?

Already, farmers in five European Union countries, including France and Germany are growing genetically modified food. They have not lost their beef and poultry markets. In Spain, GMO Maize's harvest this year will top 50,000 hectares, all of which will be used as cattle feed. Spain's beef markets in Europe remain intact. They are not in limbo. These are hard facts and no amount of propaganda and grandstanding will change them. Let's be pragmatic when debating the issue of genetically modified food.This is the only way to help consumers to make informed decisons.

Debate on pros and cons of genetically modified food is a luxury to Africa. Somebody should not make Africa believe that it would lose oversees markets for growing genetically modified food. Africa cannot feed itself as of now. Women and kids are dying in Niger, Ethiopia, and Eritrea of hunger. Priority, now, should not be to grow food for exports but to feed the hungry and the malnourished. To scare Africa that it will lose oversees markets is putting the cart before the horse.

About the author: James Wachai is a communication specialist who uses his expertise to increase public understanding of science and technology, specifically biotechnology. Read more from James at

Monday, August 28, 2006

Biotechnology Rather Than Aid Can Alleviate Poverty

Author: James Wachai

G8 leaders have agreed to boost aid to Africa by $25 billion by 2010. The G8 countries include USA, Canada, Britain, France, Japan, Russia, Germany and Italy. As expected, Africa is in celebration mood. To many, this announcement heralds the demise of poverty in Africa. No more hunger, no more deaths by easily preventable diseases. Africa will be saved from all manners of miseries. The doubling of aid would emancipate this desolate continent from the yokes of destituteness and hopelessness. These expectations are expected in a continent where more than 75 per cent of the population live on less than a dollar a day.

The million dollar question, however, is, will doubling of aid, to Africa, alone, enhance sustainable development? The answer is no. Africa has, in the past, refused to embrace poverty alleviation initiatives introduced by the very countries that it is begging aid from. Take the case of biotechnology. G8 countries continue to mint billions of dollars from genetically modified food. The latest report by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Business Applications (ISAAA) forecasts the 2005 global market value for biotech crops to be US$ 5 billion. Unfortunately, Africa will derive negligible benefits from the sale of biotech products. The continent is still dilly-dallying on whether to embrace biotechnology. While other countries are scrambling to increase acreage of GM crops, Africa is still procrastinating - worrying about environmental and health impact of GM crops, which science has already clarified.

Isn't time for rich countries to demand that Africa expresses willingness to embrace modern farming technologies so as to reduce its reliance on foreign aid? There is, certainly, no other way to be self-sufficient in food production than to swim by the waves!

The US and Canada, for instance, are reaping huge economic benefits from genetically modified crops. And they happen to be more sympathetic to the African cause. It is ironical that Africa expects them to be more generous with the money accrued from a technology it despises. Africa cannot eat its cake and have it. If it cannot borrow a leaf from these biotech giants, then, it makes no sense to beg for aid from them!

Biotech has already boosted the economies of India, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Romania, Mexico, Philippines, Australia and Spain. What's Africa waiting for? Africa, the Green Revolution by-passed you. India and Pakistan embraced the Green Revolution. It revolutionized their economies. They are now basking in glory, with plenty to eat and export. These, and other Asian countries, no longer rely on relief food. It is time for Africa to follow suit.

South Africa, to its credit, is the only African country growing genetically modified crops for commercial purposes. Already, the country has 0.5 million hectares of land under GM cultivation. This, however, is a drop in the ocean considering that global area of approved biotech crops, currently, stands at 81 million hectares. But it is a step towards the right direction. South Africa no longer experience food deficits. In fact, it is a major food provider to famine-stricken countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique, all of which are yet to embrace biotechnology.

This is the path the rest of Africa should follow. Instead of begging the West for aid, Africa should strive to share the spoils of such technologies as biotechnology. This is the only and surest way of alleviating poverty.

About the author: James Wachai is a communication specialist who uses his expertise to increase public understanding of science and technology, specifically biotechnology. Read more from James at

How To Make Lighter and Thinner Magnesium Components?

Author: Ken Yap

Magnesium is the lightest structural material offering very good damping characteristics, weldability and excellent shielding against electro-magnetic interferance, and is unlimited in supply. It has been an excellent material for making portable electronic and telecommunication devices, and automotive and aerospace equipment such as MD player casings, chassis for cell phones, video cameras and notebook computers, automotive gear housings, car wheels and engine blocks.

The most common method to produce magnesium parts is by die casting and thixomolding processes. However, these runner and gating processes provide a low material yield of only 30% for thin-wall casting and can only produce thin walls of between 0.7mm to 1.2mm.

If we can form magnesium parts from sheet metal just like metal stamping of steel and aluminum parts, we can achieve better material yield of about 80% and possibly safer operation due to the lower processing temperature. However, magnesium is known to be non-formable as it is very resistant to deformation due to its hexagonal close-packed structure. The only way is warm forming of magnesium as deformation of magnesium above 225 degrees Celsius will cause additional slip planes to become operative.

Extensive process research in this area have resulted in a few warm forming hydraulic presses available in the market for draw forming. Recently, research in warm draw forming of magnesium to make cell phone chassis has successfully shown that 0.4mm thin walls can be achieved consistently. Metallographic tests of the chassis have also demonstrated that there is zero porosity and increased rigidity.

While the current warm forming press systems are complicated to operate as they require the preliminary building of stroke and force profiles for the specific products using data acquisition modules and forming simulation softwares, the increased replacement of aluminum and plastics with magnesium for handheld electronic devices may well accelerate this process. Progressive early adopters of this technology would have a first mover advantage in the competitive global manufacturing industry.

About the author: Author Ken Yap is a director of Suwa Precision Engineering Pte Ltd in Singapore which represents metal stamping, precision machining, miniature precision balls and PCB manufacturers from Suwa, Japan . He is also a director of Attisse Pte Ltd, a business and market research consultancy firm for Japanese investors .

What's the MATTER?

Author: Charles Douglas Wehner

Einstein has shown that energy can be converted into matter? That`s a nice trick!

Matter consists of the elements hydrogen, helium, beryllium, boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine, neon and on and on..... That is the periodic table of the elements, from Mendeleev, in which the components of matter are laid out in order of increasing weight, for ease of study.

So I invite you to take some energy and convert it into matter. I will then take that matter into the chemical laboratory, and tell you whether it was hydrogen, helium, beryllium or some other element that you have made for me.

If you do not accept the challenge, you will never know what you would have made. You might have transmuted base energy into GOLD - the 79th element of the Periodic Table. This has been the quest of alchemists throughout the ages. You cannot know what wonders you have missed.

Still not tempted? Then I will tell you a secret. Even nature cannot transmute energy into matter. Some might say that even God cannot.

But Einstein was a GENIUS. He could do things where Nature and God had failed. Or so we are given to believe.

So Einstein was wrong. How often I have heard this phrase. I was accosted on the streets for years by a young man who had heard that I was clever. He would routinely deliver his latest critique of Einstein. It was based - as is usual - upon semiscience, and eventually I knew why. Those who run the ""Einstein was wrong"" campaign have two things in common. Firstly, they are not scientists, and secondly they have a history of mental illness. Theirs is a campaign, by finding something deep and profound, to silence their own critics who say that they are mad.

Einstein was not wrong.

The problem is compounded by the disinformation campaign run by governments. Einstein had, with his famous equation, quantified the energy that might be obtained from a bomb. He had provided the mathematical basis for nuclear warfare, and the tyrants who deign to rule us were quite thrilled. They made Einstein into the greatest genius ever known, even though there have been several ""Zweisteins"". Madame Curie and Linus Pauling, for example, both got two Nobel prizes where Einstein got only one.

In 1955, Einstein started with Bertrand Russell the ""Ban the Bomb"" campaign. They jointly wrote the Russell-Einstein Manifesto. Einstein died - probably murdered - just before the American ""Ban the Bomb"" campaign was to start. The Manifesto was issued, and Russell soldiered on alone in England.

In his quest for peace, Einstein was not wrong either.

So the disinformation campaign takes many forms. Firstly, it spreads dirty rumours about the private lives of Russell and Einstein. Secondly, it plays down Einstein`s deep commitment to peace. Thirdly, it keeps the secrets of how to build the bomb secret, in case an enemy might discover them.

Science is simple. Fake scientists are bombastic. So, in the concealment of the few true facts that go into the making of the nuclear industries, a vast array of complicated and fanciful ""theories"" are generated, which lead to nothing useful. One of those myths is that energy turns into matter, and matter into energy. There is no such nuclear alchemy.

To understand what Einstein said, we must first consider physics. For our equations, we have only pounds, feet and seconds to work with. These might be converted into centimetres, grammes and seconds, or into metres, kilogrammes and seconds - or into something involving minutes or hours, but they remain for all time MASS, DISTANCE and TIME.

So mass, distance and time are the three physical ""elements"" - or physical ""dimensions"". They have nothing to do with chemistry.

Mass is not to be confused with weight. Consider what happens if you have a bag of apples, and take it into orbit. On Earth, it weighs a pound. In orbit it weighs nothing. We speak of the orbital condition as ""weightlessness"".

Now let us throw the apples against a wall. Let us do this twice, firstly at one foot per second and then at a thousand. On earth, the apples bounce off the wall after an impact of one foot per second. They are smashed to pulp at a speed of a thousand feet per second.

In orbit it is exactly the same. Weightlessness is not masslessness.

What causes the impact is momentum - the product of mass and speed. In the first case, we have a single pound-foot-per-second, in the second we have a thousand. The second momentum is a thousand times the first.

The energy needed is one half times the mass times the speed squared. In the first case we have half a foot-poundal, in the second half a million.

Scientists prefer to use other units, however. In the metre-kilogramme-second system (MKS), the energy will be JOULES. This is a convenient unit, because it is WATT SECONDS. It makes sense to the scientist, because he can visualise for how long a one-Watt torch would shine, and so get the ""feel"" of the energy.

Light travels at three hundred million metres per second. So one foot per second is about one third of a metre per second, or about a billionth of the speed of light.

According to Einstein`s equation, something travelling at a billionth of the speed of light will become half times a billionth times a billionth heavier.

So, the apples have a mass of 1.0000000000000000000000000 pounds. In motion, their mass becomes 1.0000000000000000000000005 pounds.

There is very little difference, and Einstein`s modification to the laws of motion barely disturb calculations that are based on Newton.

At a thousand feet per second, however, the mass is 1.0000000000000000005 pounds.

The increment in mass has grown by a million, although it is still trivial.

It is useful at this time to divide the number into two parts. We will call the 1 the ""rest mass"" and the .0000000000000000005 the ""relativistic mass"". Nothing has happened to the apples other than their motion and their change in mass. A bag of five apples does not become a bag of six apples for me to take into the chemical laboratory and discover the added carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and other elements. In short, there is no chemical change.

As the mass increases with increasing speed, we find that for the next relativistic calculation we must calculate the relativistic increment of the 1, and also the relativistic increase in the 0.0000000000000000005. Thus, the relativistic mass grows by compound interest - not by simple interest. There comes a time when the apples are becoming infinitely heavy.

When the apples are almost infinitely heavy, we need almost infinite energy to accelerate them at all. So close to the speed of light, they become impossible to shift.

It seems that nothing can reach the speed of light, for if it did it would contain infinite energy.

But what of light itself?

How did light reach the speed of light? It didn`t. It was BORN THERE.

What happens when you slow light down to rest? What is its rest mass?

If you slowed light down, it would not be light. All light travels at the speed of light.

If you could slow it down, it would have zero rest mass - because it is not matter.

All things, like bagsful of apples, require energy to move them. The apples have their own intrinsic mass - the ""rest mass"" - and the energy has its own mass - the ""relativistic mass"".

Light requires no energy to move it because it is born on the move. It consists purely of energy, and has ""relativistic mass"" without having ""rest mass"".

Regarding chemistry, we can consider hydrogen. It consists of an electron held by its negative charge to a proton, which is positive. However, the electric charge only works up to a point. It takes enormous force to drive the electron into the proton because the short-range forces repel it.

If we persevere, we can indeed crush hydrogen together - and the electric charges cancel. We have created a neutron.

In the SI system of physical units (MKS), the electron weights 9.10956 times ten to the power MINUS THIRTY-ONE kilogrammes. It would take about 1.1 MILLION MILLION MILLION MILLION MILLION (that is, million to the power five) to make a kilogramme of electrons, which are about 2.2 pounds. A million to the power five therefore weigh about two pounds.

Similarly, the proton weighs 1.67261 times ten to the power minus 27 kilogrammes, and the neutron weighs 1.67492 times ten to the minus 27 kilos.

We can see that when we force an electron and a proton together, the neutron weighs as much as 2.536 electrons plus one proton.

Here, the rest mass within the neutron is the sum of the rest masses of the electron and of the proton, whilst the surplus 1.536 electron masses is the relativistic mass due to something moving inside the neutron. We don`t know what it is.

We might conjecture that the electron has been shifted from its outer orbit into some kind of internal orbit within the proton. By whizzing about inside the proton, the electron is everywhere at once, and effectively cancels the positive charge of the proton in all places.

So the neutron is a hydrogen atom with stored energy - as if the electron within it were some kind of flywheel having energy-storage due to its spin.

If we throw the neutron with enough speed at an atom of uranium 238, it forms uranium 239. After a variable period which averages a microsecond, the electron flies out of the uranium. The neutron inside the uranium 239 has turned back into a proton, and the uranium is now plutonium 239. However, the plutonium with the ejected electron have the same mass as uranium 238 plus an electron plus a proton. The only difference is the binding energy, by which the proton is held in the plutonium. This binding energy has relativistic mass.

What has happened to the surplus 1.536 electron masses? They have turned back into the energy that we used to crush the hydrogen at the beginning of the experiment. A gamma ray - high-energy light (an X-ray) - has also been emitted, and light is not matter.

So everything has been accounted for. The matter has always stayed as matter and the energy has always stayed as energy. It is true that we could not see the energy inside the neutron, but we conjectured at some flywheel motion we cannot see - and we could detect its relativistic mass.

When people say that ""Einstein was wrong"", they mean that those REPORTERS who report Einstein are wrong. Bad reporters confuse MATTER with MASS.

Einstein said that energy can transmute into relativistic mass, and relativistic mass can transmute into energy.

In short, energy has mass, and takes it everywhere it goes.

The laws of the conservation of matter, and of the conservation of energy, have been preserved.

Charles Douglas Wehner

About the author: Charles Douglas Wehner, born 1944 in the Isle of Man, was a technical author in nucleonics and radar as well as a design engineer and factory manager in photoelectrics and other electronics and a computer programmer. He has a website devoted to special science.

DNA Genealogy

Author: Curt Whitesides

The next time you are watching your favorite CSI TV show or a particular movie and stumble into the fascinating world of DNA, you might be surprised to know that our DNA can do more than identify a suspect or victim at a crime scene. In fact, DNA is now being used to identify ancestors in the new and exciting field of DNA Genealogy.

DNA Genealogy takes traditional genealogy and applies genetics to it. DNA Genealogy involves the use of genealogical DNA testing to determine the level of genetic relationship between two individuals (Genealogical 2005). DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, is used in the process because of its unique nature and the fact that it is passed down from one generation to the next. In the passing, some parts of the DNA remain almost completely unchanged, while other parts change dramatically. This property allows for the identification of certain consistencies between generations and provides the ability to identify genetic relationships.

There are two types of DNA tests available for testing

DNA Genealogy : Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome DNA tests.

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is found in the cytoplasm of the cell instead of in the nucleus as is Y-chromosome (Tracing 2003). mtDNA is passed by a mother to both her male and female children without any additions or mixing from the father. Therefore, your mtDNA is the same as your mother's mtDNA. mtDNA is different in nature compared to Y-DNA. It changes slowly making it more difficult to determine close relationships and easier to determine relatedness. If two people have the same mtDNA, there is a very good chance that they also share a common maternal ancestor. Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine if that common maternal ancestor was recent or instead lived hundreds of years ago.

Y-chromosome tests have been used more and more recently to determine

DNA Genealogy . The Y-DNA tests are only available for males, because the Y-chromosome is only passed down along the paternal line from father to son. There are tiny chemical markers on the Y-chromosome that create a unique pattern. This pattern of markers is what is called a haplotype. A haplotype is used to determine one male lineage from another. This type of testing is often used to determine if two individuals who have the same surname share a common ancestor.

One of the early beginnings of DNA Genealogy was a study published by Bryan Sykes in 2000 (Sykes and Irven 2000) that used DNA Genealogy (Y-chromosome markers) along with surname studies to determine relatedness. The study compared 48 men with the same surname of Sykes from the regions of England and analyzed four Short Tandem Repeats (STRs) on their Y-chromosome: DYS19, DYS390, DYS391, and DYS393. The study found that of the 48 men tested, 21 had the same core haplotype and many others were only one mutational step away from the core haplotype. Skypes interpreted these results to reveal a common origin from an ancestor who lived some 700 years ago (Butler 2005).

Since its early beginnings,

DNA Genealogy has come a long way and has grown rapidly. DNA Genealogy continues to increase in popularity as the price of tests becomes much more affordable and the number of markers and clarity of the tests become greater. Additionally, DNA collection techniques make it a very simple and pain-free process.


Butler J. (2005) Forensic DNA Typing; Biology, Technology, and Genetics of STR Markers, 74, 231-232.

Genealogical DNA test. (2005, December 7). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:52, December 8, 2005 from ldid=30489865.

Sykes, B. and Irven, C. (2000) American Journal of Human Genetics, 66, 1417-1419.

Tracing Your Ancestry Through DNA (2003)

About the author: Relative Genetics , a leading provider of

DNA Genealogy , specializes in testing services on both the paternal and maternal lines, extended and nuclear family relationships, and Ancestral Origins TM analysis including both deep ancestry and ethnic heritage analysis.

A Brief History of Creation - Part One

Author: Clara Szalai

What is the loop of Creation? How is there something from nothing?

In spite of the fact that it is impossible to prove that anything exists beyond one's perception since any such proof would involve one's perception (I observed it, I heard it, I thought about it, I calculated it, and etc.), science deals with a so-called objective reality ""out there,"" beyond one's perception professing to describe Nature objectively (as if there was a Nature or reality external to one's perception). The shocking impact of Matrix was precisely the valid possibility that what we believed to be reality was but our perception; however, this was presented through showing a real reality wherein the perceived reality was a computer simulation. Many who toy with the idea that perhaps, indeed, we are computer simulations, deviate towards questions, such as, who could create such software and what kind of hardware would be needed for such a feat. Although such questions assume that reality is our perception, they also axiomatically presuppose the existence of an objective deterministic world ""out there"" that nevertheless must be responsible for how we perceive our reality. This is a major mistake emphasizing technology and algorithms instead of trying to discover the nature of reality and the structure of creation. As will be shown in the following, the required paradigm shift from ""perception is our reality fixed within an objective world,"" to ""perception is reality without the need of an objective world 'out there,'"" is provided by a dynamic logical structure. The Holophanic loop logic is responsible for a consistent and complete worldview that not only describes, but also creates whatever can be perceived or experienced.

Stating that it is impossible to prove the existence of anything beyond one's perception is not saying there is nothing beyond perception, only that if there is anything, then whatever that is, is indefinite. It could be argued that the existence of physical laws, the universal perception that the apple falls to the ground is proof of an objective reality. However, this universal agreement is also our perception. It could be argued that if we cannot decide what to perceive, and everybody perceives the same physical reality, then there must be some lawfulness that dictates how we perceive and therefore, this lawfulness could be external to our perception. However, this lawfulness, as we shall see later on, is the precise lawfulness that creates perception, the process of definition, which is not external to perception (this process creates the perceived and the perceiver, which then gives meaning to this process - a loop - but about that, later). It could be argued, that hitting our knee on the table - whether we believe in the table or not - will hurt. The table is external to our body, but not to our perception. What then is perception? It is relating, a process of definition, defining and thereby rendering meaningful what has been perceived.

What then is this process of definition? It is creating borders within which one's perception gains meaning. The word ""definition"" comes from the Latin de finire , meaning, making finite or limited. In Hebrew, definition is HAGDARA (?????), meaning, to border. Any definition necessarily implies what the definition is not, or stated differently, to have meaning, whatever is defined explicitly includes the meaning by implicitly excluding everything else. Consequently, to define means to place the defined object within borders that by default create something beyond the borders of the definition. What is this something beyond the defined? The implicitly excluded everything else, or in other words, the indefinite. The paramount importance of incorporating the indefinite within a consistent logical structure cannot be overemphasized. The indefinite itself is a paradox, and incorporating it within the Holophanic logical structure engenders the loop of Creation where the dynamic structure of paradoxes is both the creative force of existence, and also the proof of the necessity of existence.

To better grasp the impetus of Creation, let's look at the indefinite and paradoxes. What does ""indefinite"" mean? Anything as long as it is not specified (not defined); anything that appears both within and beyond the borders of the definition and thereby rendering the border superfluous, which means, no border, no definition. If nevertheless we would attempt to define the notion ""indefinite,"" then that's a paradox because if we succeed, then it is defined, which contradicts its meaning - its indefiniteness - and the word ""indefinite"" means that it cannot be defined. This is an example of a paradox, that in essence means, if it is what it is, then it is not what it is, yet if it is not what it is, then it is what it is. A paradox is a creature that consists of a structure (how it is defined, the dynamic process on its way to stabilization) that contradicts its significance (what it is, the stabilized entity). What characterizes a paradox is the motion between its structure and significance, where the structure implies that its significance contradicts its structure, and vice versa.

Another example of a paradox would be ""wholeness."" Wholeness (totality, infinite, boundless) can only be wholeness if we can find a way to define it so that it includes everything and there is nothing beyond it. However, if we define wholeness, then to have meaning, it must be bordered within the walls of the definition, which implies that there is something beyond this border, in which case it is not wholeness. Or in more formal language, wholeness is only wholeness if it is not wholeness, which is an inconsistency. If we are satisfied with that, then we have completed the definition of wholeness. However, if we try to include the beyond created by our earlier definition within the borders of our next attempt at defining wholeness, then we gain a new definition of wholeness, which by the sheer structure of the process of defining creates a new beyond . In this case, the process of defining wholeness will be consistent but incomplete, and wholeness will remain indefinite.

Contemplating the paradox of Creation, the ancient Egyptian myth of Creation springs to mind, the myth of the self-creating god, Amun (or Amon). Amun masturbated and swallowed his semen, after which he spit it out in the form of a ball, thereby impregnating his mother, the sky. And only then, was he born. Thus Amun was his own father. Those pious who discovered the illustrated version of this myth in Karnak covered up the erect phallus of Amun, and with it, this story of Creation was laid into obscurity. The Holophanic model of Creation could regard this Egyptian myth as Amun retromorphously creating himself. I have coined the word retromorphous to mean, defining in retrospect, turning non-being into the potential of whatever the observation is made from, or in other words, creating the past from the present, creating the source from its outcome, which is the basis of complexity in the context of the loop logic. That is, only after Amun was born can he give meaning to his mother, the potential from which he emanated and to the process that created him (as represented by masturbation and incest) whereby he was born. Of course, neither the sky nor the masturbating Amun have meaning until Creation takes place de facto and Amun emerges. I find this an enticing illustration of the basic paradox of existence.

So how can there be something from nothing?

To be continued... © Clara Szalai

About the author: Clara Szalai is a philosopher, author, speaker and consultant. Holophany is Clara Szalai's revolutionary philosophy, a consistent and complete worldview that is awakening growing interest among scientists and laymen. Clara Szalai is also the author of the book, ""Holophany, the Loop of Creation."" Complete information on Ms. Szalai's work is available from her web site,

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A Brief History of Creation - Part Two

Author: Clara Szalai

So how can there be something from nothing? What is ""nothing?"" Nothing is what didn't turn into the potential of something. If there was something from nothing, then that nothing would have turned into the potential of something, because when we ask, how is there something from nothing, we ask this question from something, when something already exists. If we take a deeper look at ""nothing,"" we'll discover that ""nothing"" is a paradox. Any definition is something, so if we defined ""nothing,"" then it would become something, which contradicts its essence of being ""nothing."" Another way of looking at ""nothing"" would be by means of it being something that is meaningless. That is, ""nothing"" could be something that does not relate and that no thing or no one relates to. That is, if there was something totally alone in the universe, then that would be nothing, but it would be meaningless. If such existed, its existence would be external to our perception, and as such, this ""nothing"" would be indefinite.

We said that the indefinite could be anything, as long as it is not specified (not defined). However, if we nevertheless tried to define ""nothing"" (the indefinite), what would we get then? Since ""nothing"" is non-definable, it is transparent as the object of our inquiry. So when we attempt to define it, all we have is what we put into it, which is the process of definition. ""Nothing"" stayed nothing, we didn't define it, only made the process of definition explicit. ""Nothing"" gains meaning when we fail to define it; but having tried, we are left with a bonus, a something, which is our process of defining ""nothing."" Creation of something from nothing is not a function of defining something, but a function of attempting to define ""nothing."" And then, if that process of definition - which already is an existence - looks back at its origins, if this process of defining investigates into its own genesis, then what does it see? It sees itself. It sees the process of definition - self-reference.

If there is nothing external to perception, then this process of definition is the overall wholeness, the creator of meaning when it can relate to itself. However, to have meaning, the process of definition has to be defined; this definition would be a self-referential quasi-infinite and continuous process of establishing borders that create the indefinite beyond that establishes borders creating the indefinite beyond that establishes borders... which means, wholeness would continuously and forever fail to define itself while succeeding to define something - anything but itself.

Of course, both the totally defined and the totally indefinite are idealized notions that would be inconsistent with the Holophanic loop logic, nor can they be found in nature. The totally indefinite would be the total meaningless nothing, the kind of non-being that cannot be fathomed because if we would think about it, it would already be something. On the other hand, there can be no total definition either. I have used the term uncertainty of sameness to describe the logical impossibility of total definition. A defined entity can be said to have reached sameness -- it is the same as itself -- which means that it is, it exists as something definite, no matter which parameters defined it. However, no sooner does our object achieve sameness than the uncertainty of sameness raises its ugly head. Could it have been defined differently? Yes, of course. Could it have additional parameters? Yes, of course. Could it have been defined more precisely? Yes, of course. This uncertainty of sameness is the indefinite included in the definition, which is the result of including the tools of definition in the definition. Since 'a' can only be defined as 'a' with meaning if it implies 'not-a' (the indefinite beyond the borders of the definition), and since 'a' can only have meaning as 'a' because it is different from everything else (the everything else is the indefinite beyond the borders, which actually gives meaning to 'a' ), the meaning of 'a' depends on 'not-a.'

When the meaning of something depends on the indefinite, on what our defined object is not, then this indefinite is necessarily included in the process of definition. This logical implication that perception of meaning is only possible if and only if the indefinite is included within the perception is the reason why the 19th century dream of a consistent and complete axiomatic system with only well defined (explicit) empty signs had to fail (see more about that in my article, The Loop Logic ). In spite of the fact that logic is the fundament of algorithms and computer science, it had neither the aspiration nor the ability to be connected to the real world precisely because its propositions were so anemic regarding meaning. In the effort to exclude any hint of the indefinite, logical inference was confined to a binary type of world of true and false and lacking any correlation with life and experiencing. However, including the indefinite in the process of definition not only makes the loop logic the fundament of existence, but determines the necessity of existence. With the birth of Holophany, Heidegger's question, ""Why is there anything at all, rather than nothing?"" becomes irrelevant. When existence is relations, and relating is the act of perceiving, and perceiving is the process of definition, then existence is the overall lawfulness, the isomorphous lawfulness of the process of definition - the loop of Creation. What is being perceived, what is being stabilized, which significance is brought to the foreground from the amorphous background of the indefinite, depends on the non-linear rules of complex interactions. Thus the loop logic emphasizes the creation of essents rather than their interactions.

Is there a lawfulness responsible for any and every existence? An electron and a dog are very different creatures; so what invisible lawfulness is responsible for the existence of both? What kind of lawfulness would fulfill such demands? The answer is, isomorphism -- the same logical inner structure in entirely different representations. Whether an electron, a dog or the weather, each could be a different realization of the same inner logical structure. Creation of anything is the creation of meaning, which is an act of definition. The act of definition attempting to define itself is consciousness. So consciousness, or the soul if you wish, is not some invisible copy of our body carrying our identity, but the lawfulness of Creation expressed as our individual qualitative essence. Of course, it has been endlessly stated that we are God, that we are parts of God, and similar phrases. This is true, but true in the sense that God is the lawfulness that unfolds Creation, and this lawfulness is inherent in all creation including the creatures therein. It could be argued, that a soul, a person is more than mere definitions and intellect. If this logic is the logic of anything and everything, then it should be able to delineate the logical structure of experience as well. Indeed.

Anything that has meaning has to be defined, which places it somewhere on the scale between the continuous and the discrete, between the indefinite and the definite. The indefinite, continuous, infinite tends in the direction of the meaningless, whereas the meaningful is at best imprecise. Experience is the process of attempting to define the indefinite. When we try to capture an experience in a description, we are actually defining our attempt at defining the indefinite. The experience is continuous whereas its description, the definition is discrete. Just as we can never define wholeness, we can never define experience. Any description, any definition, is by nature discrete, whereas the net experience is continuous. So when we have an experience or perception and we become aware of having that experience, then we give it meaning by defining what it is. By doing this we create a discrete replica of the experience, yet the experience remains continuous and non-definable, non-discretizable. Experience is connected to learning. The person encounters something new. How do we know that something is new? Because it is inconsistent with our system. So when we interact with it, we have to integrate it, to assimilate it into our system. If we met something that was not new to the system, then our system would recognize it as part of itself. When that recognition does not occur, the system is interacting with something new. That is the impact. The system adjusts to include the new - that is the change. One's selfhood is the path of changes following one's experiences.

Our knowledge of the experience - whatever it might be that we experience - makes it exist for us. We could say, one only experiences when one is aware of experiencing. How do we know that we are aware of experiencing something? By experiencing it, we experience the awareness of experiencing. In this sense, experience and awareness of the experience, experiencing the awareness of the experience, being aware of experiencing the awareness of the experience, etc. is an infinitely continuous chain, which is what defines what experience is (not the interpretation of a specific experience, but experience in its general sense). And that's the definition of experience: an infinite loop of the process of becoming aware.

When ""nothing"" is the limit of both the totally indefinite and the totally defined, then that's like a circle of going from something to nothing to something to nothing, etc. The 'going' here means perception. ""Nothing"" is only a notion that has meaning if it has been perceived, in fact, a paradox. If it really is ""nothing,"" then it cannot be defined, and hence, it has no meaning. Yet if I relate to it, then it is something. So whenever I relate to ""nothing,"" whenever I say, Creation of something from nothing, that ""nothing"" has meaning for me, and hence, it is significance -- it is something just like any other something. That is, the structure of ""nothing"" is the same structure as that of something. Essentially, something from nothing is formation , not Creation, since nothing is also something. Then what is Creation? Creation is rather the creation of nothing from something, because Creation is the process of definition, and when we define, we create the indefinite beyond the definition, which at its limit is nothing, and only then can we have something from nothing... Oh yes, the loop. A true loop is only such if it contains its own source. If nothing can be proven to exist external to perception, then logic must be a loop, and existence is a logical necessity inferred by the loop.

Including the indefinite in the process of definition has far reaching consequences. It means that the tools of the definition are necessarily included in the definition. It means that meaning can only occur when there is both definition and also experience. It means that consciousness (whether it succeeds to define or not) must be part of science or any so-called objective endeavor. It means that any and all perception includes experience. The interaction with the indefinite, the experience, is what gives meaning to the defined. Perception, meaningful definition, can only occur in a highly flexible complex system that can learn and change. That's the difference between us and an electron, which only has fixed relations, and consequently, limited interactions. An electron always succeeds in defining, or it would be more correct to say, it can only interact with what it succeeds in defining. If it encounters the indefinite, it assumes a state of superposition.

Where is God in the loop of Creation? If we wanted to define God, the totality, we could not define God, because by the act of definition we would create the beyond, what is beyond God, which contradicts God's totality. Therefore, no definition of God would do justice to God, and every such definition would truncate God's wholeness. If God is indefinable, then God is indefinite. If God is indefinite, then I create God by the implication of the act of definition - any definition, because every definition creates the beyond, the indefinite beyond the borders of the definition. In that sense, this is consistent with the statement that I create God by my perception (definition). This does not say that I perceive God, but that my perception implies the existence of the indefinite (God). This means that if I perceive a dog, this perception implies the existence of God. If I perceive that I perceive, then that implies the existence of God. If I perceive dust, a table, an idea, whatever, then that implies the existence of God. If I experience, then that implies the existence of God. That's because any existence implies the existence of God. And that's because any existence is such if it relates or is related to, if it has meaning, if even partially it has been defined, which means, its mere definition implies the indefinite beyond the borders of the definition, it implies God, the indefinable. So one cannot directly perceive God (perhaps that is why it was stated in the Bible that no one could see God's face and live = exist - ""no man shall see me and live..."" - Exodus 33: 20), but only know about God by implication, which means, the implication of the indefinite - God - is what attributes meaning to any existence.

However, ""God"" does not equal ""indefinite,"" but the process that implies the existence of the indefinite is what could be said to be God, since that's the process of Creation. This is the process of Creation that both creates something, existence, and also nothing, the indefinite. This is why this logic is a loop. © Clara Szalai

About the author: Clara Szalai is a philosopher, author, speaker and consultant. Holophany is Clara Szalai's revolutionary philosophy, a consistent and complete worldview that is awakening growing interest among scientists and laymen. Clara Szalai is also the author of the book, ""Holophany, the Loop of Creation."" Complete information on Ms. Szalai's work is available from her web site,