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Given sufficient forward speed, a bicycle pushed sideways, will not fall over. Scientists have been trying to find a conclusive explanation for this remarkable characteristic for over a century. This week, researchers at TU Delft have thrown new light on the question in a publication in Science.

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Staying stable

The research at TU Delft, in collaboration with scientists from Cornell University (USA), centred on the following intriguing question: why is a bicycle self stable, above a certain speed? You add speed to a bike and can then give it a sideways push without it falling over.

Rotating wheels

Scientists have long been poring over this complicated question, even from as far back as the nineteenth century. Until recently, the consensus within the scientific community was that the stability was very closely related to two factors. First, the rotating wheels of the bicycle were supposed to provide stability through gyroscopic effects. Secondly, it was thought that the ‘trail’ played an important part. Trail is the distance by which the contact point of the front wheel trails behind the steering axis.

Predicting

The publication by TU Delft in Science puts paid to this old notion once and for all. 'We have known for years that the generally accepted explanation for the stability of the bicycle was too simple,' says researcher Dr Arend Schwab of the 3mE faculty at TU Delft. 'Gyroscopic effects and trail do help, but are not essential for stability.' Dr Schwab and a number of colleagues brought out a publication several years ago on the theory behind the stability of the bicycle (in 2007 in Proceedings of the Royal Society, doi:10.1098/rspa.2007.1857). A mathematical model with around 25 physical parameters was developed at the time, which appeared to be able to predict very accurately whether, and at what speeds, a particular design of bicycle would be stable.

The Experiment

'In our publication in Science we have now shown not only theoretically but also by means of experiment  that our insights are correct.' Together with PhD student Jodi Kooijman, Schwab designed and constructed a bicycle with which it could be shown, in an experiment, that both gyroscopic effects and trail are not necessary for a bicycle to remain stable by itself above a certain speed.
This is the so-called Two Mass Skate bicycle. It has small and counter rotating wheels, which means there is no gyroscopic effect to speak of, and a small negative trail (in other words, where the point of contact of the front wheel is marginally in front of the steering axis). And yet the bicycle remains stable.

See the experiment Here

Giving up

'It was not easy,' explains PhD student Jodi Kooijman, who carried out most of the experimental work. 'The first prototype did not work, and we had almost given up hope after a number of iteration attempts, when we suddenly found ourselves able to show the stability. But of course everything has to fall into place. You have to deal with the ground surface, for example, which has to have exactly the right roughness and stiffness. In Sporthal II of TU Delft we found all the right conditions.'

Steering

So the theory has now been proven by experiment. But has the experimental work led to the emergence of new theoretical insights? Dr Schwab answers, 'We have demonstrated that the mass distribution is also important for stability, especially the location of the centre of mass of the bicycle's steering mechanism.' For a bicycle to be stable, the steering mechanism has to be unstable; if the bike falls, the steering should fall even more quickly.

Bicycle manufacturers

Are the theoretical insights of Schwab and his companions of any use to bicycle manufacturers? 'Certainly. Today’s bicycles are the result of a fairly long evolutionary process, and are therefore rather conservative. Essentially, there is nothing about the basic design of the bicycle that has changed since the end of the nineteenth century. Manufacturers can use our model to make directed modifications to the stability of their bicycles. That may be of particular interest for unusual designs, such as recumbent bicycles, folding bicycles and cargo bicycles.'

Source: 3mE TU Delft

More information

Title: A Bicycle Can Be Self-Stable Without Gyroscopic or Caster Effects.

Authors: J.D.G. Kooijman; A. L. Schwab (TU Delft), J.P. Meijaard (University of Twente), J.M. Papadopoulos (University of Wisconsin–Stout), A. Ruina (Cornell University)

Website Science publication, with extensive background material, photos and video: http://bicycle.tudelft.nl/stablebicycle/

Website Bicycle Dynamics research: http://bicycle.tudelft.nl/schwab/Bicycle/index.htm

 

It is said that wisdom comes with age, but with openness and skepticism, the key principles of the scientific method, we don't need decades of trial and error to sort out which of our convictions may be improbable. The questions is not whether our beliefs are right or wrong, but whether or not being emotionally attached to them is more or less likely to benefit us. There is no such thing of free choice while being emotionally attached to a belief system. The moment we are self-aware enough to realize this, we can truly work together to figure out the real odds of what will benefit us the most.


Professor of Communication Studies Corey Anton at Grand Valley State University reviews AToE:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK9-KQZbnHQ
Rocket Engineer Evie Marom's review: 
http://bit.ly/gCvM8e

1080P Torrent link: http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/6125081 / Direct download:http://wioym.net/athene/atoe.mp4
(much higher quality than YouTube's 1080P)

http://www.Athenism.net
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Athenist
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Athenism/126607000711913
Reese on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Reese015

Full soundtrack coming soon at
http://www.ProfessorKliq.com
(who did the amazing original soundtrack)

Full HD torrent coming soon.


Related links that can help in understanding Athene's Theory of Everything:

(Neuroscience related:)
YouTube - Part 4 - Phantoms In The Brain (Episode 1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1RPkp7rdnw#t=2m30s
YouTube - Part 5 - Phantoms In The Brain (Episode 1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0R0OCurkLM#t=3m36s
Where is consciousness?
http://discovermagazine.com/video/unlocking-secrets-power-of-brain-nsf
Joseph M. Carver, Ph.D. - Norepinephrine: From Arousal to Panic 
http://www.enotalone.com/article/4117.html
Dharol Tankersley, C Jill Stowe, and Scott A Huettel - Brain Scan Predicts Difference Between Altruistic And Selfish People 
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/61312.php
New Scientist - Empathetic mirror neurons found in humans at last
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627565.600-empathetic-mirror-neurons-...
Dr. Christopher Reist - Psychiatry And The Brain
http://www.videojug.com/interview/psychiatry-and-the-brain
John McManamy - Dopamine - Serotonin's Secret Weapon 
http://www.mcmanweb.com/dopamine.html
Invalidation 
http://eqi.org/invalid.htm
YouTube - The Neuroscience of Emotions 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tShDYA3NFVs
How Our Brains Make Memories
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/How-Our-Brains-Make-Memories.htm...
Alpha, beta, gamma - The language of brainwaves - life - 12 July 2010 - New Scientist
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727680.200-alpha-beta-gamma-the-langu...
TSN: Take the Neuron Express for a brief tour of consciousness
http://thesciencenetwork.org/programs/the-science-studio/take-the-neuron-expr...
LeDouxlab Web-AudioFearful_Brains
http://www.cns.nyu.edu/ledoux/slide_show/Audio_show_Fearful_Brains.htm
Joseph LeDoux Can Memories Be Erased
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-ledoux/can-memories-be-erased_b_303519.html
Zócalo Public Square :: Full Video
http://zocalopublicsquare.org/full_video.php?event_id=163
When in doubt, shout -- why shaking someone's beliefs turns them into stronger advocates | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2010/10/19/when-in-doubt-s...
The Brain: How The Brain Rewires Itself - TIME
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1580438,00.html

(physics related:)
The Feynman Double Slit 
http://www.upscale.utoronto.ca/PVB/Harrison/DoubleSlit/DoubleSlit.html
YouTube - Lecture - 1 Introduction to Quantum Physics;Heisenberg''s uncertainty principle 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcmGYe39XG0&feature=PlayList&p=0F530F3...
The Wave Nature of Matter 
http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/quantumzone/debroglie.html
The Particle Adventure - What holds it together - The unseen effect
http://www.particleadventure.org/unseen.html
Unsolved problems in physics
http://www.cpepweb.org/images/chart_details/Unsolved.jpg
Press Pass - Press Release - CDF B_s 
http://www.fnal.gov/pub/presspass/press_releases/CDF_meson.html
Big Bang Timeline
http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/media/060915/060915_CMB_Timeline300.jpg
Einstein's time dilation apparent when obeying the speed limit 
http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/09/einsteins-relativity-measured-in-...
The Ultimate Field Guide to Subatomic Particles 
http://io9.com/5639192/


For press inquiries:
Reese Leysen, CEO ipowerproject.com
e-mail: press@ipowerproject.com
phone: +32 (0) 496 46 97 18

 

Few groups are as vilified as atheists. They tend to be viewed as party poopers bent on dismantling the cherished beliefs of "people of faith." While that element of the atheist community does exist--as is verified by the endless websites and books dedicated solely to tackling the logical flaws in religious claims--the reality is that the growing movement of outspoken atheists have far more on offer than winning arguments with people who believe in a god. Atheism is also a burgeoning social justice movement that looks to tear down the social structures that have perpetuated injustice for millennia.

Just as feminists take on the patriarchy, peace activists fight the ideology of war, civil rights activists and abolitionists dismantle the traditions of racism, and humanists erode authoritarian hierarchies, atheists are standing up and saying that the human race needs to evolve beyond religion. And it’s this social justice model that’s invigorating a new generation of atheists to move beyond just quietly disbelieving into openly challenging religious irrationality.  

Blame the religious right for pushing atheists in this new, more political direction. The past couple of decades have seen an explosion in fundamentalist energy and power. The immediacy of the fundamentalist threat to science, education and human rights starkly demonstrates that the problem of religion extends beyond its inherent irrationality. Many atheists who find endless proofs against god tiring find themselves drawn to organized atheism as a weapon against this religious threat to liberty and free inquiry.  

Even though many liberal religious people exist, at its base, the argument between god believers and atheists is roughly the same argument as that between conservatives and progressives. Liberalism is rooted in the humanist tradition, which demands that society and government prioritize human needs and desires, using the tools of rationality and evidence toward those goals. Conservativism values hierarchy and tradition and rejects evidence-based reasoning in favor of arguments from authority. The imaginary god provides the perfect conservative authority; a completely evidence-free, ultimate authority that can make pronouncements believers are expected to simply submit to. Submission and faith are built into even the most liberal Christian traditions, in direct contrast to the humanist philosophy of questioning and demanding evidence.  

Humanism has given birth to progressivism by opening up space to question some of the oldest prejudices: the belief that men are better than women, that gays are “unnatural,” that different skin colors or ethnicities automatically means different roles and mental abilities, that people are wealthier because they’re more deserving, that kings rule by divine right. When you start asking hard questions of these other beliefs, you often discover that the rationale for all of them tends to circle back toward “God said so.” By questioning this most fundamental of beliefs, that there is a god and he’s making the rules, we can call into question the illogic of all these other beliefs.  

Despite the atheist movement's emphasis on proofs against supernatural claims, many, if not most people who join the atheist movement came to atheism because they were questioning other beliefs and traditions. Certainly this was my path. I never really “believed” in god growing up, but I didn’t identify as an atheist either. I just didn’t think about the issue much. Feminism compelled me to start looking harder at religious arguments against women’s equality, and in doing so, I realized that without a forceful response to religious irrationality, feminist progress would be stymied. And so I started engaging logical arguments supporting what seemed self-evident to me, that there couldn’t be any gods, and therefore no supernatural beings whose authority can be invoked when anti-feminists lack real-world evidence for their claims. 

I’m far from alone in this. Last November, when I spoke on feminism and atheism at the annual atheist/skeptical conference in Springfield, MO, I met dozens of young and eager atheists. A solid majority of them had come to the movement after feeling oppressed by religion. Some people had grown up in fundamentalist communities whose backward beliefs about gender and sexuality drove them to start asking questions, while others had dealt with conflicts between their own love of science and the claims of religion. Still others had mostly dealt with moderate or even liberal churches, but were disappointed by the way even the most liberal religions discourage hard questions. In other words, these people began from a position of valuing progressive ideals, and those values led them to the atheist community.  

Online atheist communities find their secular values make a sort of “pure” atheism that’s largely apolitical and impossible to maintain. The popular atheist/skeptic website Skepchick started mainly to highlight women who support atheism, rational inquiry and science, but over time the site made a turn toward the explicitly feminist, in part because of the constant drumbeat of fact-free claims about women’s roles being made by religious figures in the media. Links between atheism and progressivism have also been easy to make for proponents of gay rights and sexual liberation, as demonstrated by recent research showing that those who lose their faith and embrace atheism report an improved sex life.

But atheist progressives shouldn’t feel limited to arguments about gender and sexuality when linking their atheism to broader issues. There’s plenty of room for an atheist environmentalism -- since there’s no afterlife, we should prioritize taking care of the one world we do have. Or an atheist economic liberalism -- since there’s no such thing as “providence,” it’s our responsibility to care for the poor and the needy.

Atheists are only by limited by our imaginations in seeking ways to make our lack of faith as central to our view of a just world as religious people make their faith central to their worldviews.

Source: alternet.org - Author: Amanda Marcotte (she co-writes the blog Pandagon. She is the author of It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments.)

 

The expectations people have about how others will behave play a large role in determining whether people cooperate with each other or not. And moreover that very first expectation, or impression, is hard to change. "This is particularly true when the impression is a negative one," says Michael Kurschilgen from the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn, summarising the key findings of a study in which he and his colleagues Christoph Engel and Sebastian Kube examined the results of so-called public good games. One's own expectation thereby becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: those who expect people to act selfishly, actually experience uncooperative behavior from others more often.

In previous studies, other researchers had successfully put participants in Bonn and London into a social dilemma with such games, which are very popular in experimental economics. Engel, Kube and Kurschilgen used them as a template for their study, which focuses on an aspect that ought to be of interest to social policymakers and town planners too. "We wanted to find out whether the 'broken windows' theory held true in the lab as well," explained Michael Kurschilgen.

According to this theory, minor details, like broken windows in abandoned buildings or rubbish on the streets, can give rise to desolate conditions like the utter neglect of a district. "Such signs of neglect give people the impression that social standards do not apply there," says Kurschilgen, explaining the idea behind the theory, which was the motivation behind New York mayor Rudy Giuliani's decision to embark on the zero-tolerance strategy he employed to clean up the city in the 1990s.

In their study, the three MPI scientists tested the theory in a scientific experiment. Using the kind of public good games that are often applied in the field of experimental economics, their aim was to find out the extent to which first impressions determine how people will behave, and the extent to which this can be influenced by selective information. The games are set up around the classic dilemma of self-interest and socially minded behaviour: each member of a group of four players is given the sum of 20 tokens They can either keep these for themselves or invest them in a community project. Each player receives 0.4 tokens in return for each tokens they invest in the community project. If all four group members invest their 20 tokens, each one of them receives 32 tokens, in other words 12 tokens more than if they all keep the money for themselves. But if only three of them invest their money in the community, the selfish fourth player gets 44 tokens.

So even the free rider profits from the other players' investment in the community fund. "The public good game thus creates a social dilemma," explains the economist. That's because it would be best for the community if everybody invested in the collective. However, on an individual level the free rider gets the best out of it. They ultimately receive the bonus without having made the investment.

Surprisingly, there are significant differences between Bonn and London in the willingness to invest in the common good. Londoners invested a mere 43 per cent, on average, in the common good. In Bonn, on the other hand, the figure was 82 per cent. "This is probably down to differing expectations of what constitutes normal behaviour," postulates Kurschilgen. Individuals who assume that the others will act selfishly too are hardly likely to commit altruistic deeds themselves. "From that point of view, Londoners have a more pessimistic view of man than do the participants in Bonn," he concludes in respect of the Brits' reticence. Consequently, whether a person decides to behave cooperatively or not depends strongly on how that person thinks the other players will behave.

In their series of experiments, Engel, Kube and Kurschilgen told their newly recruited players from Bonn the results of the London study. The players in the new round of games evidently reacted very negatively to the information that few of the players in the previous experiments in London had exhibited cooperative behaviour. Unlike the virtuous people of Bonn from the previous rounds, they showed far fewer pretensions of being good citizens: instead of investing more than 80 per cent in the common good, the participants in these experiments contributed just 51 per cent, on average. Therefore, the negative information was enough to revise the previously positive image held by the Bonn residents. This model did not really work the other way around – good examples did not make bad teammates into goody two-shoes.

"Our findings demonstrate that the core of the 'broken windows' theory does actually hold true. Faced with a social dilemma, people are guided to a very great extent by their original expectations of what other people will do, but they are also particularly sensitive to negative impressions," says Kurschilgen, summing up the observations.

Given this conclusion, it is clear to him that every cent spent on maintaining residential districts does more than just make the neighbourhood look prettier – it also represents a sound investment against crime.

More information: Engel C., et al. Can we manage first impressions in cooperation problems? An experimental study on “Broken (and Fixed) Windows," Preprints of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, 2011/05

Source: Physorg.com

 

Graphene is the material from which graphite, the core of your No. 2 pencil, is made. It is also the latest "wonder material," and may be the electronics industry’s next great hope for the creation of extremely fast electronic devices. Researchers at North Carolina State University have found one of the first roadblocks to utilizing graphene by proving that its conductivity decreases significantly when more than one layer is present.

Graphene’s structure is what makes it promising for electronics. Because of the way its carbon atoms are arranged, its electrons are very mobile. Mobile electrons mean that a material should have high conductivity. But NC State physicist Dr. Marco Buongiorno-Nardelli and NC State electrical and computer engineer Dr. Ki Wook Kim wanted to find a way to study the behavior of “real” graphene and see if this was actually the case.

“You can talk about the electronic structure of graphene, but you must consider that those electrons don’t exist alone in the material,” Buongiorno-Nardelli says. “There are impurities, and most importantly, there are vibrations present from the atoms in the material. The electrons encounter and interact with these vibrations, and that can affect the material’s conductivity.”

Buongiorno-Nardelli, Kim and graduate students Kostya Borysenko and Jeff Mullen developed a computer model that would predict the actual conductivity of graphene, both as a single layer and in a bilayer form, with two layers of graphene sitting on top of one another. It was important to study the bilayer model because actual electronic devices cannot work with only a single layer of the material present.

“You cannot make a semiconductor with just one graphite layer,” Buongiorno-Nardelli explains. “To make a device, the conductive material must have a means by which it can be turned off and on. And bilayer provides such ability.”

With the help of the high performance computers at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, the NC State team discovered both good and bad news about graphene. Their results appear as an Editor’s Suggestion in the April 15 edition of Physical Review B.

With a single layer of graphene, the mobility – and therefore conductivity – shown by the researchers’ simulations turned out to be much higher than they had originally thought. This good news was balanced, however, by the results from the bilayer state.

“We expected that the electrons’ conductivity in bilayer graphene could be somewhat worse, due to the ways in which the vibrations from the atoms in each individual layer interact with one another,” Mullen says. “Surprisingly, we found that the mobility of electrons in bilayer graphene is roughly an order of magnitude lower than in a single graphene sheet.”

“The reduction is substantial, but even this reduced number is higher than in many conventional semiconductors,” Borysenko adds.

Buongiorno-Nardelli says that the NC State researchers are turning their attention to remedying this problem.

“If we put the graphene on a substrate that can ‘siphon off’ some of the heat generated by the electric current, the crystal vibrations will decrease and the mobility will increase. Those are our next steps – running the simulations withgraphene and substrates that have this property.”

Source: PhysOrg

 

The researchers report in Nature Nanotechnology that the transistor's central component -- an island only 1.5 nanometers in diameter -- operates with the addition of only one or two electrons. That capability would make the transistor important to a range of computational applications, from ultradense memories to quantum processors, powerful devices that promise to solve problems so complex that all of the world's computers working together for billions of years could not crack them.

In addition, the tiny central island could be used as an artificial atom for developing new classes of artificial electronic materials, such as exotic superconductors with properties not found in natural materials, explained lead researcher Jeremy Levy, a professor of physics and astronomy in Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences. Levy worked with lead author and Pitt physics and astronomy graduate student Guanglei Cheng, as well as with Pitt physics and astronomy researchers Feng Bi, Daniela Bogorin,and Cheng Cen. The Pitt researchers worked with a team from the University of Wisconsin at Madison led by materials science and engineering professor Chang-Beom Eom, including research associates Chung Wun Bark, Jae-Wan Park, and Chad Folkman. Also part of the team were Gilberto Medeiros-Ribeiro, of HP Labs, and Pablo F. Siles, a doctoral student at the State University of Campinas in Brazil.

Levy and his colleagues named their device SketchSET, or sketch-based single-electron transistor, after a technique developed in Levy's lab in 2008 that works like a microscopic Etch A SketchTM, the drawing toy that inspired the idea. Using the sharp conducting probe of an atomic force microscope, Levy can create such electronic devices as wires and transistors of nanometer dimensions at the interface of a crystal of strontium titanate and a 1.2 nanometer thick layer of lanthanum aluminate. The electronic devices can then be erased and the interface used anew.

The SketchSET -- which is the first single-electron transistor made entirely of oxide-based materials -- consists of an island formation that can house up to two electrons. The number of electrons on the island -- which can be only zero, one, or two -- results in distinct conductive properties. Wires extending from the transistor carry additional electrons across the island.

One virtue of a single-electron transistor is its extreme sensitivity to an electric charge, Levy explained. Another property of these oxide materials is ferroelectricity, which allows the transistor to act as a solid-state memory. The ferroelectric state can, in the absence of external power, control the number of electrons on the island, which in turn can be used to represent the 1 or 0 state of a memory element. A computer memory based on this property would be able to retain information even when the processor itself is powered down, Levy said. The ferroelectric state also is expected to be sensitive to small pressure changes at nanometer scales, making this device potentially useful as a nanoscale charge and force sensor.

The research in Nature Nanotechnology also was supported in part by grants from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Army Research Office, the National Science Foundation, and the Fine Foundation.

Source: Science Daily

 

Researchers have developed a new way of producing very dense arrays of carbon nanotubes suitable for making complex integrated circuits.

Nanotube transistors have shown great promise in simple experimental prototypes, but making them into the complex circuits—needed for the chips that run computers and cell phones—has proven tricky. Researchers at Stanford University are using the new fabrication method to build ever more complex circuits that they hope will soon rival the speed of silicon.

Dense tubes: Speedier integrated circuits can be made from these densely packed arrays of carbon nanotubes. Credit: Nano Letters/ACS

For years, computer scientists have worried that, as they continue to miniaturize silicon transistors in order to cram more computing power in ever-smaller spaces, they will come up against the material's physical limits. Many replacements are being explored, including exotic semiconductors and another form of carbon called graphene. For digital logic, though, many believe carbon nanotubes show the greatest promise. "No other material has shown the same ability to scale down as aggressively as carbon nanotubes can," says Aaron Franklin, a researcher at IBM's Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. When silicon transistors are miniaturized to a comparable size scale, they become leaky and unstable.

However, making a single high-performance nanotube transistor is one thing; making a large array of nanotubes integrated into a circuit is quite another. In the past few years, researchers at Stanford have made some of the most complex nanotube circuits yet. They developed workarounds to overcome carbon nanotubes' imperfections—the presence of metallic tubes amongst the semiconducting ones needed for transistors, for example. But these circuits were still relatively simple, performing arithmetic at about the level silicon circuits achieved in the 1960s.

The bottleneck has been making dense arrays of well-aligned carbon nanotubes. Stanford professors H-S Philip Wong and Subhasish Mitra previously used a stamping technique to transfer well-aligned nanotubes grown on quartz to a silicon-dioxide wafer for fabrication into transistor arrays and circuits. But there weren't very many nanotubes in each transistor to carry the current, and the low-current transistors didn't have high enough output to be made into complex circuits. That's because the Stanford researchers were only able to do one transfer step before the nanotubes became tangled up into a mess that couldn't be made into a transistor. When researchers try to lay down more nanotubes hoping for a proportional increase in current, says Mitra, "all sorts of weird interactions happen and sometimes you actually get less current."

The same researchers have now developed a method for holding down layers of nanotubes while more layers are deposited on top. "The nanotubes are like fragile threads that want to interact with one another," says Mitra. "We had to add a thin layer of a solid in between to protect them."

The Stanford researchers put down a thin layer of gold with each stamp. Once the gold and nanotubes are in place, the researchers etch away areas of gold where they want to place each transistor's electrical contacts. They then fill these holes with a metal contact material such titanium and palladium. Finally, they etch away the rest of the gold. This entire structure is built up on top of a silicon dioxide wafer patterned with back gates for the transistors. This work is described online this week in the journal Nano Letters.

Mitra says it should be possible to perform several transfers for for a density of 100 to 200 nanotubes per micrometer. The transfer technique is also compatible with techniques the group has developed in the past to deal with stray metallic nanotubes and the occasional misplaced nanotube.

"Nanotubes are messy to work with today," says Franklin. But "there is no fundamental bottleneck that says this can't be done."

Source: Technology Review

 

Anonymous Author, 2010.

PLEASE NOTE: This letter has been written in a special way. It contains difficult but necessary truths. Some people may feel uncomfortable or upset while reading the first half of the letter, but it is important to keep reading until you reach the second half.

When you get there, you will understand why the first part needs to exist. Please do not be upset or afraid. That is just your ego reacting the way all egos do. Merely observe the negative feelings and let them pass. This letter has been written to help you.

Dear YOU,

Straight away, before anything else, I want you to understand that what you are about to read is a love letter, written because I love you. In fact, it's very possible that I love you even more than you love yourself, which is why I'm writing to you today.

It's also why I'm going to tell you some things that might be hard to hear. In fact, they WILL be hard to hear. The first thing I'm going to tell you might hurt worst of all.

YOU, my dear beloved creature, are INSANE. Not just a little insane, in the way you think of the people you may know who are diagnosed with "depression" or 'bipolar disorder" or what have you. Your insanity isn't something so easily treated with a pill or a visit to a therapist. I wish it were.

Your insanity is systemic, very nearly universal, and absolutely incurable from within the system that sustains it. Every "professional" you might go to for help is as crazy as you are. Get that straight right here and right now. Your insanity is not recognized, acknowledged, or understood by the "mental health system." In fact, all that system can do is help you become a happier crazy person.

Yes, my dear beloved human being, you are as crazy as a shithouse rat, and there's absolutely nothing anybody you might be have trusted to help you can do about it, because they are as insane as you are.

It's an awful situation you are in, and because you are thoroughly insane, you don't know how to do anything but make it worse.

Don't get me wrong, help for your deadly condition does exist. There have been qualified doctors who have tried to help you many times, but because of your insanity, most of you have either ignored them, jailed them, and/or or tried to kill them. And those of you who did want the help they offered still weren't able to accept it, because you're just too crazy, thanks to the crazy world around you.

In your madness, you projected your own twisted and warped ideas onto these doctors and tried to make them into gods, villians, lords, martyrs, and damn near anything else your diseased minds could think of to transform them into something other than what they were - your brothers and sisters in humanity who recognized and shared your suffering. All they ever wanted to do was help you, because they loved you that much. They loved you more than you love yourselves, and they paid the price for it.

And how did these doctors want to help you? Without exception, they had only one prescription - to lead you back to you who you really are. In fact, you probably don't know it, but that's all "religion" really is and all it was ever meant to be, at least before it was hijacked by hordes of self-serving crazy people. "Religion" means "reconnection" - reconnecting with your real nature - who and what you really are. If you're a stickler for details, like most of you crazy folks are, go ahead and look it up. That's the root of the word "religion."

But before your knee-jerk aversions and pre-programmed ideas kick in and cause you to flee from this page in fear of being assailed by typical proselytizing, let me assure you that I'm not here to preach religion to you - at least not in the crazy, insane sense that you understand religion. I'm not here to convert you to Jesus, Buddha, Flying Spaghetti Monster, or the fencepost. Don't be scared. I care about your freedom of conscience as a sentient being and I wouldn't do that to you. Only crazy people are into the whole concept of conversion, because it's totally insane.

Instead, what I'm here to do is guide you toward the very same medicine those "doctors" I mentioned tried to prescribe for you (with the possible humorous exception of the Flying Spaghetti Monster). But please pay attention - I'm not here to tell you about what you might already THINK those guys taught. It's a very safe bet that you really don't have a clue what they actually taught, because the only source of information you have about them is the insane distortions and misunderstandings projected onto them by your fellow crazy people.

So, who the hell am I, anyway? Because I know you much better than you know yourself (just like all sane people understand crazy people better than crazy people understand themselves), I know that's what you're probably wondering right about now. What's my whole deal and what right do I have to talk to you like this? In addition, you're probably starting to strongly suspect that I'm the crazy one, not you. All the signs are there - or at least all the signs your fellow crazy people have taught you to help you detect people who are actually sane and label them nuts. You see, that's the whole game - that's how your insanity maintains itself. You label the people who are actually sane as crazy. It's so simple that you couldn't call it rocket science, and yet it's also diabolically brilliant. And, just in case you care, it's also progressively killing your whole so-called "civilization" deader than a doornail.

But enough about that right now. By the end of this letter, you'll either see it or you won't. As for me, my "personal identity" is not important. Don't bother trying to discover it, as I'll deny it even if you happen to guess right. The only purpose of knowing "who I am" in terms of my mundane life in this crazy world would be to check me out and get my "bonafides" in order to figure out if I'm qualified to be talking to you like this. Well, let me tell you straight off, I have no "bonafides" whatsoever in your crazy society. I have no degrees attesting to my ability to pass crazy tests designed by crazy people. I have no insane titles - academic, religious, psychological, or otherwise - to indicate my exceptional achievement in jumping through misguided hoops devised by an insane world. Why on Earth would I choose to spend a single minute pursuing any such thing? Can you tell me? Think about it for a moment or two, and then let's move on.

Now that that's out of the way, let me tell you my *actual* bonafides - the actual things that qualify me to write you this rather unusual love letter. Firstly, and most importantly, I care about you. I've said it several times already, but it bears repeating. Because you are insane, you don't understand actual love in the slightest and have to be continually reminded that it isn't the sentimental nonsense you're trained to expect from romantic comedies and Hallmark cards, nor is it the self-serving lies you are told by politicians, world leaders, or celebrities of any kind. I'm writing to you today because you are in a life-threatening state of emergency. Your mind is occupied by a deadly, world-killing insanity and I want to help you cure yourself of it. It's just that simple. I'm no god, guru, lord, master, or martyr. I'm simply an unusual kind of doctor, if you will - one who is not licensed to practice in any state or municipailty in the world other than the hearts and minds of those who sense that something is dreadfully wrong. And those are the only places I need to practice.

Secondly, I'm qualified to talk to you this way because I've spent far more time and energy figuring out how to be sane than most of you have spent doing anything in your entire lives. While you were wasting time at your insane, world-killing jobs, schools, and churches (sorry, but it's true), I was working hard every day, all day, 7 days a week trying to figure out how not to be as crazy as you are. I did this for 15 years. That's 15 long, hard years, trudging through 10 miles of psychological snow every day, uphill both ways. I have given blood, sweat, and tears for a scrap of actual sanity - just a scrap. And in comparison to your crazy society, a scrap of actual sanity is like a ten-ton hammer.

And why did I do such a thankless thing? Because I care for you. I see your suffering. I see your world dying - being murdered. I see the never-ending tide of your pain and tears. I see your self-inflicted tragedy reflected in six billion hauntingly brilliant shades and colors, and because I am not insane like you are, I cannot simply stand by and watch it happen without doing anything in my power to help. I'm not a hero, a martyr, or a grandiose person by any means. I'm just a flawed, ordinary human being like yourself who, through a fortunate series of misfortunes, had the dumb luck to become distanced enough from your crazy world to get a glimpse of actual sanity. That's the only real, significant difference between you and I. It doesn't matter that my IQ is higher than yours (which it perhaps isn't) or that I read better books or comb my hair backwards or smoke Camels instead of Marlboros or anything else. It only matters that I, though no fault, merit, or intention of my own, just so happened to end up living a rather different sort of life than most of you have, and therefore I have gained access to a rather different sort of perspective.

However, on the other hand, don't take me for one of your beer buddies, because that would be just as wrong as the opposite error. Don't doubt that after 15 years of practice, I understand every bolt and screw in your diseased minds better than most of you will ever understand yourselves, even in 100 crazy lifetimes. Believe me when I tell you that should you find yourself in my presence, it would take no more than smallest flick of my metaphorical wrist to psychologically destroy you in any way I should so choose. I'm not exceptional or special in this regard - all sane people have the very same ability. Like Jeff Goldblum's cable TV repairman character in the movie Independence Day says to his father when asked how he managed to triangulate someone's location electronically, "all cable guys can do it, Dad." It's not hard to manipulate the crazy fears and insecurities of the insane. Your "authorities" and "rulers" also know just enough about how the madness of your world works to be capable of turning your screws to destroy you for their benefit, - and guess what? That's exactly what they do. But I don't, because I have no interest in enslaving or exploiting you.

On the contrary - I want to free you, which is a much taller order.

Because destruction is not what I want for you, I will never stop caring about you no matter how many times you laugh in my face, belittle me, spit on me, or attempt to mistreat me in any of the ten thousand ways your insane society has taught you to marginalize and neutralize the threat of people who dare to be sane. Your attempts to turn me against you lost their power years ago. Rest assured, I've got training in this, because you started early with me. You tried to destroy me in your insane school system long before a hair had even thought to sprout on my chin - but I survived, recovered, and grew beyond anything you could have imagined.

Pay attention - the fact that you think this is a self-pitying "sob story" indicates just how insane and clueless you are. It is precisely the opposite. Do you want to know what fear is? Then read and understand now - you cannot stop me from caring for you. I will do everything in my power to drag you, quite possibly kicking and screaming for all you're worth, into the light. I will do everything I can to save you from yourselves no matter how hard you fight to defend your twisted attachment to self-destruction. Through the priceless gift of over thirty years of your ceaseless opposition, you have given me that power, and I thank you for it on behalf of all those who have benefited and will benefit until the day they shove me into a pine box and I am forced by Nature herself to stop doing my own small part to free a suffering world.

Incidentally, just in case you care, Jesus and Socrates had the same love for you, and you killed them for it - exactly as they had planned and willingly allowed. In permitting you to fool yourselves into thinking you had destroyed them, they became more powerful than entire civilizations and empires. You read their words today because they did as I have done, and as all sane people must do in the face of your insanity - they allowed you to give them the gift of your ignorance and hatred. As you hated them more fiercely, so did their light shine ever-brighter, until in at last killing them, you ignited them as eternal stars in the heavens, never to die.

Don't get me wrong, though. I'm nowhere near the level of of a Jesus or a Socrates. You can put away that "he's a lunatic who thinks he's Jesus" label you're trying to stick on me as one of your predictable little pre-programmed defense mechanisms. Only in my dreams am I at such a level - but I don't need to be at that level to tell you what you need to be told. A lesser degree of development will suffice just fine, because to be frank, it doesn't take Einstein to figure out that our world, under your insane psuedo-democratic "leadership," is in serious trouble. Heap big trouble, kemosabe.

But this letter is not about me, Jesus, Socrates, or anybody other than YOU. And that, of course, is where the tricky part comes in. You see, while I have the power to destroy what is good and beautiful, just as you do (and which you have a habit of psychotically utilizing at every opportunity), I lack the power to do the opposite. I cannot give you the gifts of sanity, love, and freedom. If I could, I would do it instantly. I would do it with such force as to imprint compassion and truth on your soul irrevocably. But I can't. You have to freely accept the gift of sanity of your own volition, and that's incredibly hard for you to do, because you're so thoroughly insane.

Oh yes, you are disastrously insane. I know I'm in danger of the broken record effect, but have I really made that clear enough yet? Have I repeated it frequently enough for it to begin to penetrate the massive concrete bunker of crazy that is your mind, even just a little? No, probably not. But perhaps, just maybe, the utter "weirdness" of what I am saying has interested you enough to keep reading. Maybe you want to see where this whole bizarre trainwreck leads, because that's still what it is to you, isn't it? A bizarre trainwreck obviously written by a crazy person. Something on the order of the Unabomber or David Koresh, no doubt. You're programmed to associate any sudden appearance of actual sanity with those caricatured, media-pimped bogeymen to make it go away. That's okay, I don't mind. Please go right ahead reading under the assumption that I'm a nut. I don't blame you at all, because you have absoutely no other way to see it - at least for the time being.

Nonetheless, please understand that your world IS crazy, regardless of whether or not I am. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you are some seriously whacked-out people. You do crazy, crazy, batshit crazy and insane things and label them "normal," "necessary," or "justified." Don't you see that when you do that, you are declaring to all the world that you are crazier than a shithouse rat? You go to war and justify it as "a fact of life." Thousands are slaughtered for the sake of absolute lies and evil motives, and you don't bat an eyelash. That's not "just the way life is," it's batshit crazy - I mean drooling, straightjacket batshit crazy. Can you imagine YOURSELF doing it? Would you REALLY fire a deadly weapon at another human being just because "your leaders" told you to? If you would, then my God, you are really crying out for the tender mercies of Nurse Ratchet.

But that's not even the worst of it. Like a group of sugar-buzzed, frenetic children playing a massive game of "Hungry, Hungry Hippos," you view life as a contest, a race, or a competition to control as large a share of the world's resources as you can get your hands on in the 80 trifling years you have on Earth - and you don't see a damn thing wrong with that, even as your brothers and sisters in humankind starve and die because of it. In fact, you celebrate this madness, preach about its "necessity" and "morality," and assure the world that "there is no alternative." That is murderously, shockingly, abysmally crazy. It is among the craziest things that any intelligence could concieve of. Even God Himself would have considerable difficulty devising a more insane world than yours - the very same one you are trained to think of as "normal."

You are killing yourselves. And in reality, it is worse than that - you are murdering yourselves, and murdering as much of this beautiful, irreplaceable planet as you can manage to take down with you. But, being blindingly insane, you certainly don't stop at homicide and terracide (the murder of planet Earth). That wouldn't be nearly enough to satisfy your psychotic thirst for destruction. It isn't just that you kill, rape, enslave, and destroy in the name of "war," "politics," economics," "religion," "truth," or a thousand other distorted self-serving fictions and fantasies. Merely doing that would mean that there would be some period of your lives in which you were not behaving insanely, and that simply won't do. Your virulent madness will settle for nothing less than complete domination of the entire human experience, lock, stock, and barrel, 24/7/365.

And so, you enslave yourselves. You sell yourselves to the highest bidder. Without so much as a twinge of conscience, you shamelessly piss away your ONLY two God-given (or Nature-given, if you prefer) resources in this life - your precious time, and your precious energy. And let me assure you, my dear insane friends, these are not resources which you have in great supply. You've been told over and over that your lives are short and your energies are limited, but you don't really believe it, because you are completely in denial. You behave with unbelievable recklessness, acting as if you had unlimited amounts of time and energy to waste on utter trivialities, traps, distractions, mental prisons, and every other kind of insane, diabolical pitfall your fellow crazy people expect you to spend your whole life falling into. And before you can say "Orville Redenbacher," whammo, right out of the clear blue sky and much to your total surprise, you are going to be out of time and wake up dead - but not before realizing at the last minute the enormous true value of what you wasted and threw away.

But hey, I could go on and on (and trust me, I really could), but you get the idea by now - even if you refuse to accept it because of the insane brainwashing you've been callously and cynically subjected to every day of your life right up to this moment. So let's cut to the chase, right? Well, here it is on a silver platter:

Pitiably, regrettably, and disastrously, your insanity almost always prevents you from realizing that all you have to do in life is love each other. That's it. Nothing less, nothing more. That is the ONLY thing that determines whether or not you are "successful" as a human being. Do you understand? All you have to do is really give a damn about your neighbor and act like it. I mean really care, in the same way you care about yourselves. You've been told this before, but your insanity ensures that it is the LAST thing you really want to do. You'll go to any lengths to avoid taking it seriously. You'll move Heaven and Earth - literally - to run away from it.

Because of this, you're destroying yourselves and taking everybody on Spaceship Earth down with you. Sorry to beat a dead horse, but you're crazy - homicidally crazy - and you're killing yourselves along with your brothers and sisters. Worst of all, barely one man or woman in ten thousand even has the small scrap of actual sanity needed to suggest that maybe you ought to cut it out. You are well and truly screwed, and had better start considering the possibility of paying attention to what I'm saying here very quickly. Like yesterday, or last week. You have no time to waste, because even if you don't value your own time and energy, rest assured that I do. What this means is that I am an extremely limited resource. There aren't very many like me in the world (especially since you've worked so hard to erase us all from existence) and your chances of even encountering this message to begin with are extremely slim - but somehow you did anyway. And do you know what that means?

It means that congratulations are in order, because you have just won the lottery. Not the money lottery, of course, which would only entrench you in your insanity even further. If you'll kindly allow me a slight (but relevant) tangent, it bears noting that your love of money is perhaps the clearest sign of your tremendous sickness. If you had any actual sanity at all, you would hate and despise money beyond belief. I know that statement just pegged the needle on the handy-dandy "crazy meter" you've been programmed to use to defend yourself from the dangerous influence of people like me, but just for kicks, why not consider it anyway? You think of yourself as a freethinking person, right? It won't kill you to entertain an idea, will it? Just turn it over in your head, if you have the cojones. As a thought experiment and nothing more, take a minute or two to play with the idea of actually hating and despising money. It feels completely bizarre, foreign, and crazy to you, doesn't it? Guess what. That's because you are thoroughly insane.

There, that was good practice, and if you're still reading, I'll assume it didn't kill you. Give yourself a round of applause, but don't get too carried away. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Money, war, and selfishness are only three of the countless sick, twisted, insane, and evil ideas you believe are "necessary facts of life," but they are perhaps the three finest examples of how deep your craziness runs. Why did I mention selfishness, you may be wondering? Isn't the acceptance of selfishness so well-ingrained in modern thinking as to stand beyond question? Haven't you, for thousands of years collectively and decades individually, heard and been comforted and justified by continual rationalizations of selfishness, its basis as the foundation of human nature, its necessity, and even its virtue? Of course you have, because you are part of a ravaging horde of crazy people trying to convince each other how real and wonderful your twisted and destructive delusions are. That's the gist of it in a nutshell. A nutty nutshell.

Enough beating around the bush. If I spend any more time trying to convince you of how insane your world is, I think we'll both get a migraine. Besides, that's not even the worst of it, at least from your perspective. Here is the reality, which I promise that you will NOT be able to accept without extreme difficulty. Get your blindfolds ready, because this is going to hit far harder than what I've written so far, and cut far deeper. It's far more frightening and offensive to your diseased minds than an eternity of calling you "crazy" and "insane" would be. That, you can handle (because you're used to abuse, given that your whole society is based on it) - but what I'm about to tell you, you can't handle. You've proven it over and over for thousands of years. In fact, I've only been calling you crazy and insane to prepare you for the REAL awful truth - and here it is:

YOU are a beautiful, inherently powerful, irreplaceable, unique and wonderful being of infinite worth and value.

Yeah, YOU. The frustrated, depressed middle manager who has already sold away well over half your precious time and energy to the highest bidder only to have life hand you one shit sandwich after another for your trouble. As you lift a drink to your mouth to wash away the pain of your empty existence, know this and at last have hope:

YOU are a beautiful, inherently powerful, irreplaceable, unique and wonderful being of infinite worth and value.

Yeah, YOU. The kid in school who is picked on continuously, to the point that you've given up on life. As you contemplate suicide and consider the unspeakable act of depriving the world of your irreplaceable presence and all the good you will someday do thanks to the gift of your painful origins, know this and understand:

YOU are a beautiful, inherently powerful, irreplaceable, unique and wonderful being of infinite worth and value.

Yeah, YOU. Whoever you are, whatever you've done with your life up to this very moment (even if all you've ever done is piss it away), and whichever one of the 6 billion unique and irreplaceable facets of human life on this Earth you might happen to be, know this for a fact and feel its truth in your heart - perhaps for the very first time:

YOU are a beautiful, inherently powerful, irreplaceable, unique and wonderful being of infinite worth and value.

And that's the truth you'll never, ever be told by the insane world that wants to use fear and self-loathing to control you, just as they have done all your life so far. Understand me clearly - this isn't about "self-esteem" or some slick self-help nonsense peddled on Oprah's book club. This is about the fact that your incredibly unlikely, miraculous existence is the cold, hard, factual result of a universal process that extends all the way back to Big Bang, the divine moment of creation, the Garden of Eden, or whatever story of creation you happen to prefer. Whether you were created by God, Nature, random quantum fluctuations, or the Noodly Appendage of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the simple fact that YOU are here is a miracle. That's not New Age nonsense, it's the very reality of your whole being. I don't care who you are, what you look like, how much money you make, or what anybody else thinks of you - if anything in this endless Universe is a miracle, then you are a miracle. Learn it, love it, and start acting like it.

People of the world, or at least the few who will ever have the opportunity to read this letter, please - listen. Listen for any reason you like, even if only to ridicule me, use me as an example of whatever insanity you want to project onto me, to try to smear my words or my personality, or whatever you like, but simply listen, just for a few more brief moments. I have some special words to share with you, from a special source. I don't care one iota if you want to call that source God, Buddha, Nature, my subconscious mind, the collective unconscious, bipolar disorder, sniffing glue, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Allah, or whatever the hell you like. Simply trust, if only for five minutes, that there is a source beyond the ordinary experience you think of as "reality" - a source not subject to the insanity of your crazy world - and whatever it might be, it has begged and pleaded with you for all of human history simply to hear and take heed of a few simple words.

So, with no further ado...

You MUST stop all of this hatred and division. Not for me, and not only for yourselves, but for ALL LIFE. Do you understand that ALL LIFE is what you really are? No, of course you don't, because your crazy world has denied you this knowledge - but it remains true nonetheless. Can you understand that there is NO SUCH THING as an isolated, truly "independent" being on this world or on any other in this infinite Universe? Every living thing is your brother or sister. KNOW NOW, right now, that this is not some recycled hippie New Age John Lennon "kumbaya" bullshit I'm trying to sell you. That's how you are denied this truth in your crazy world - it is lumped into those tired old dismissive categories and swept out of your sight, never to trouble you again. But nonetheless, it remains true that not even GOD HIMSELF can alter the fact that unity and interconnection is the ACTUAL TRUTH of all existence. It's a fact, a complete, stone cold concrete FACT, and the only fact that matters.

Phew, that was a lot of capitalized words. Please don't get the wrong idea and imagine that I'm trying to preach to you like the self-serving spiritual salesmen do, convince you to believe anything through bullshit sophistry, or bully you into accepting anything that isn't already present in your own heart. I cannot do that, even if I wanted to! Not even God, Nature, or David Hasselhoff has that power, much less a mere mortal such as myself.

Instead, what I am trying to do is LOVE you. Do you understand that? Have you ever actually been loved - really loved - in your whole crazy, manipulated, pre-packaged life? Perhaps you've been exposed to so much blithering insanity disguised as "love" that I am the first person to ever really show you what the real thing looks like. Think of what that would mean. If you don't now understand in your heart of hearts how crazy your whole world is - when perhaps the one of the only examples of real love you've ever known is coming into your life through a random internet web page - then perhaps I cannot help you - but I will keep trying anyway.

Look, I'm not above begging, if that's what it takes. Please, please stop hurting yourselves and everyone else. Stop all of this killing, exploiting, enslaving, and self-serving blindness. It's not "necessary," it's not "just the way life is," and there ARE alternatives - an infinite number of alternatives, or at least as many as six billion free and sane human minds can come up with. Your insistence on imagining that utter self-destruction and planet-wide injustice is "just the way things have to be" is so painful. Just in case you're interested in history, please understand that it has torn the heart and soul out of every indigenous culture you have crushed under its heel. There is a reason so many Native Americans sit around on the reservation and drink their lives away - and it ain't what you might think it is. It's not their "laziness," "lack of education," "unemployment," or anything else of that nature. It is the pain of having a sane world stolen from them and replaced with an insane one.

This world has been called a "vale of tears," and it certainly is - but only because you refuse to stop hurting yourselves and everyone else. Doctor after doctor has tried to cure you of your madness without success, and they have done so *fully knowing* that most people would offer them nothing but a piping hot shit sandwich for their trouble. My efforts will be (and have been) received no differently for the most part, but at least perhaps I can plant a seed in a few rare open hearts.

Take this fragile little seed of compassion as my gift to you. Do with it what you will. Throw it out the window into the trash heap ten minutes from now if you must - but just for now, right at this moment and with no thought of the future, take the seed, just because you can. Don't be afraid. It has taken a few of us "doctors" thousands of years to produce it at the cost of sacrificing everything. We have bled for it, died for it, submitted ourselves to every kind of degradation, rejection, and humiliation for it, worn rags for it, starved for it, and willingly accepted every kind of abuse for it - for no other purpose than to pass it on to YOU. But don't pity us, because we knew what we were doing and we did it willingly. Take the little seed we've made for you, just for a single moment, as our free gift. You don't have to say a prayer, bow to anyone, go to any church, join any movement, or do anything besides open your heart just a tiny bit and allow the little seed to take root. That's it. No strings attached, no shipping and handling, no gimmicks. In the words of Huey Louis and the News, "you don't need money, don't need fame. Don't need no credit card to ride this train."

The rest is just a matter of staying out of the way of your own heart. The seed will grow as grass grows - without effort and without struggle - as long as you simply let it be.

Let the seed grow, and as begins to flower into a mighty oak, begin to understand that you must no longer sell your precious time and energy to the highest bidder. You must no longer waste your resources on things as meaningless as the insane world's ideas of "status" and "success." Chasing after those things is a virulent form of insanity that is killing the world, and you have chosen to become sane instead.

Let the seed grow, and as it sinks its strong roots into the fertile soil that is the interconnection and brotherhood of all beings, understand that you must no longer submit to those insane ideas and forces which seek to replace your infinite value and beauty with a false sense of lack. You lack nothing. Whatever belongs to the Universe belongs to you, as your absolute inalienable birthright. If you are being denied any portion of that birthright, it is through no deficiency or failing of your own, but through the machinations of a destructive madness which you have chosen to no longer support. For the first time in your life, you will experience what it is like to be without constant guilt and shame, because for the first time in your life, your heart of hearts knows that you are no longer helping the insane world to kill itself.

Let the seed grow, and as its healthy green leaves turn toward the infinite sun of true Being, understand that the senseless killing, exploiting, and enslaving must end. In the sanctum of your own mind, ask the insane world around you "what part of Thou Shalt Not Kill didn't you understand?" What part of "exploitation and slavery are wrong" don't "normal" people get? Don't hope for a sane answer, though. The crazy world around you is incapable of providing one, but that's okay, because you have chosen to no longer share their delusions.

When you must kill, even a fly, make a practice of apologizing out loud with true regret - and when you do, reflect on how crazy the world would think you are if they caught you doing that. Understand that it's not your insanity for doing so, it's theirs for not. And then know that everything you need to do to live with compassion and actual sanity is just like apologizing to the fly. It is simply a matter of being sane enough to let the whole crazy world think you are nuts for the sake of love. Do you see how this works? Doctor Jiddu Krishnamurti (a "doctor" in the true sense) said it best - "it is no measure of sanity to be well-adjusted to an insane world." Live with true compassion and you'll be called a nut. Understand this, accept it, and do it anyway.

Let the seed grow in a thousand other wonderful and surprising ways, as compassion begins to flower in your heart. Never beat yourself up for anything - let the crazy world take care of beating itself up, as it always has. Don't be afraid to get angry from time to time - no one whose heart knows genuine compassion has ever gone without knowing the burn of anger. You are angry because you care. You are angry because you love.

Most importantly, you are angry because you live in a world that is killing, enslaving, and destroying itself in a state of total self-satisfied, smug arrogance, and by God (or Darwin), you've had it up to here. You aren't just a little miffed or vaguely disappointed at the sorry shape the human race is in. That's for people who don't care much, and don't intend to let such small stirrings of conscience disrupt their TV time. No, that route is not open to you anymore. You already know too much, and try as you might, you can never unsee what you've seen in the few minutes we've spent together. Sorry, Charlie, but I wasn't being completely truthful with you when I said I wouldn't turn your psychological screws. It was a little white lie that was necessary to uproot a big black one.

If you have allowed love and compassion to take firm root in your heart, do not be surprised or dismayed that you are quite capable of becoming enraged, livid, and furious at the insanity of it all. This does not mean you are a "spiritual failure" as the phony, self-seeking "gurus" of the world would have you believe. It means precisely the opposite. You have the capacity for great anger because you have the capacity for great compassion. They are co-identical, like the Taoist concepts of yin and yang, and neither occurs without implying the co-existence of the other. Thousands of children are starving to death every day, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the fact that you may begin to feel absolutely outraged over it. On the contrary - what's so horribly wrong with the world is that everyone else doesn't.

Do not reject anger or try to stifle it with feel-good platitudes, as selfish people who care only for their own happiness do. Instead, use your anger. Allow it to forge your love and compassion for a suffering world into razor-sharp weapons of unbreakable steel. Remember, as it is said, "I come not to bring peace, but a sword." Peace cannot be won without sacrifice. The sword of compassion forged within your heart is not for striking out at others, but for mercilessly slashing away every false and destructive self-deception and every self-justifying excuse in your own mind, until all that remains is an unquenchable desire to do your small but infinitely meaningful part to ease the world's suffering - a desire as keenly felt as a drowning man's desire for air. Become the Bodhisattva, and find your salvation in that of the world.

When anger and frustration come, as they surely will, allow the intensity of these natural feelings to forge your true heart into a fortress that is untouchable and indestructible. Allow them to temper your determination to the point that you will NEVER, EVER stop being willing to reach out to your fellow man in a spirit of true compassion even if they nail you to a cross for it. Allow them to strengthen your resolve so that you know in your heart that not even your own worst fears, or even God Himself, can stop you from reaching out to ease the pain of a suffering world, even if it has to be dragged to the medicine kicking and screaming every step of the way. As Enigma puts it, don't care what people say / just follow your own way. Don't give up and lose the chance / to return to innocence. "Innocence" is simply the nature of who you really are. Know that you will do what it takes to be true to your true self. No, that isn't a redundant or meaningless sentence. If you think it is, read it again until you understand. Read it a thousand times if you must. Whatever it takes.

Let the seed grow, and become strong and powerful, in a way the weak (who are called "strong" in the insane world) will never be able to touch. Never flatter your ego by engaging in self-serving fantasies of yourself as a martyr, but nonetheless prepare yourself to suffer every kind of degradation and abuse for the sake of passing the seed on to just one more open heart. Prepare to be considered "weak" by the "strong" of this world - those who have learned to embrace the insanity, become the craziest inmates of the crazy house, and keep the whole insane system going for their own short-sighted benefit. In the insane world, they call those people "winners," "leaders," "the successful," and "role models." Accept their rejection, condemnation, and abuse without blame. They know no better.

Let the seed grow, and even in the defining moments when you face your personal demons, learn to summon the world-changing strength to love and bless your enemies, for you know something they do not. Even in all their worldly might, they have no power against the seed you carry. Even their shriveled and petrified hearts might someday, somehow be opened to it, much to their shock and horror. No one is beyond redemption, because we all share in the same infinite source. In your "weakness," as seen through the eyes of the insane world, lies your greatest power. By staying true to your true self and the seed (for ultimately they are one and the same), you shall overcome.

If you dare, decide right this moment to turn your life around. I'm sorry if this sounds like an "altar call," but I honestly can't help that. At some point, everyone has to decide which team they are going to bat for. Please understand that I don't mean "turn your life around" in the sense of shouting "praise the lord" or doing some kind of "self-help" program or getting a better job or joining the military or attending the University of Phoenix or deciding to spend 20 minutes a day chanting "AUM." I mean turn your life around in terms of a 180 degree about-face turning away from the whole crazy insanity of this world and toward the REAL truth of who and what you are.

If you dare, decide right now to be "in the world but not of it." Yeah, I know Jesus and some other scary religious people said this, but I can't help that. They said it because they had to. There's no other way to give you any chance of becoming sane. "I am the way, the truth, and the life" doesn't mean that I personally (as in the author of this webpage) am some special awesome being you have to obey and listen to just because I'm The Lord of Lords, Captain America, or even Rick James. Hell no, and please get that crazy rubbish out of your head. Instead, it simply means that this message (the message of compassion) is the only way to actual sanity and a better world - and it meant exactly the same thing when Jesus said it, too. "I, the message of compassion, am the way, the truth, and the life." Sorry about your bad luck, but no man comes to the Father (your true nature) but through me (the message of compassion). Got it now? Okay, good - and don't blame me, meaning "me" as in the imperfect human being who is being used as a vehicle for these truths. I didn't make the rules, and neither did Jesus, Buddha, the Dalai Lama, or anybody else who has tried to carry the message to you.

So, with that in mind, here are some practical steps you can take as soon as you feel ready - but be warned, some of them might be an ouchie at least until you have accumulated some practical experience in not being nuts:

Rather than getting a better job, if you're single and child-free, see if you can figure out how to get rid of your job completely. GASP! The shock! The horror! Well, get over it. I said what I said and I meant it 100%. If you can do something as monumentally "crazy" (in the insane world's eyes) as this, holy mackerel, are you ever on the right track in a big way. Although you'll probably be poor, your spiritual future's so bright you gotta wear shades. You are on the spiritual short list, as opposed to the spiritual short bus. That's the ride everybody else who is still chasing after money is taking.

Rather than joining the military, learn what a "conscientious objector" is and see if you can't become one. Want a hint? It's the totally ridiculous and nutty belief that "war is always wrong." Wow, what a concept, eh? If you can get your crazy little head around that, even if takes you 20 years of arguing with yourself over whether Hitler had to be stopped, then oh boy, are you ever moving in the right direction in a Porsche 944. It might come as a surprise to you, but "thou shalt not kill" is an extremely sane idea. The more you get acquainted with it, the quicker you'll make progress in every area.

Rather than attending the University of Phoenix, why not tear up every degree you might already have and become the dean of your own personal Sanity University? Stop giving credence to the crazy belief that any degree or award the insane world can confer upon you can do one iota to help you move toward actual sanity, happiness, fulfillment, or whatever else you've been falsely promised. If you can manage to never have a thought of chasing another one of their gold stars or seals of approval again, then good lord, are you ever taking off into actual sanity at warp speed. Lao-Tsu said it best - "give up learning, and put and end to your troubles." What you really need to learn, this world doesn't teach.

Rather than chanting "AUM" for 20 minutes a day, start right now to stand up for compassion in every area of your life, beginning from the tip of your nose and extending outward to encompass the whole universe. Aim high and never take "no" for an answer. Don't let anyone tell you you're setting your sights too high. Man's reach must always exceed his grasp or we're all wasting our time doing absolutely nothing. Don't be fooled by those who tell you to "be practical." They only want to kill their consciences by excusing and rationalizing away their own unwillingness to act. Dream big. Resolve to save the whole suffering world and get busy doing it. By doing that, you'll already have succeeded. As Gandhi put it, BE the change. That's all - nothing less, nothing more.

Remember, YOU are a beautiful, inherently powerful, irreplaceable, unique and wonderful being of infinite worth and value. If you're an American, Mister Rogers (one of our truly great spiritual leaders and a thoroughly sane man) told you this as a kid, but the insane world beat it out of you. So now, listen again. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, if you choose to make it one. You have strength beyond measure waiting to be unlocked somewhere deep in your heart. All the "doctors" of history have done their damndest to tell you exactly where to find it, if you'll just shut off the crazy voices of the world in your head for five minutes and really, sincerely LOOK and LISTEN. Turn off the TV and unplug the phone if you have to, just to find a place to start. Never believe that you cannot change the world, for it is really you and ONLY you who can. That's a fact, Jack. Learn it, love it, live it.

But please, for the love of Buddha, don't simply believe anything I'm telling you. I don't care if you "believe" in me, God, Nature, Santa Claus, science, compassion, a spherical Earth, or anything else. In fact, I'd prefer if you didn't "believe" in anything at all. Beliefs are dangerous and you don't exactly have a good history of using them wisely. Instead of believing, go within. Go into the depths of your heart and see if what I've told you rings true. Go to the place where there is no logic, no "truth" that can be formulated in words and used to beat your fellow man over the head, no belief, and no chattering mind. Go to the quiet place where faith lives - and I don't mean Crazytown's phony self-serving sales-pitch version of  "faith" that asks you to send $100 to Benny Hinn, believe that dinosaurs and man walked the Earth together 5000 years ago, or blow yourself up for the glory of Allah. I mean real faith - the universal message of the heart. Put aside everything the crazy world has ever told you, go to that small, still place, and see if what I've said to you rings true. If it doesn't, then I'm sorry I've wasted your time and you can bill me for your two cents worth.

As your brother in humankind, I am at your service forever, even if you choose to hate me, as many of you have already chosen to do throughout our shared lives together here on Planet Crazytown. It's okay - I forgive you and always will, for you truly know not what you do. However, you CAN learn. This is your opportunity. You won't have many more, so take it lightly at your own risk. No conversion, no "sinner's prayer," no church, no collection plate, no robes, no rituals, and nothing other than one totally free being in the universe choosing to open himself or herself to the possibility of a better course for the one and only short little human life any of us have.

As it is has been written in every true medicine book in the world by better doctors than me:

"Treat others as you would be treated, that is the only law."

Or, as one unusually sane man in particular put it:

"Love your neighbor as yourself."

It is up to you now. Will you at least take the seed into your heart, for just a moment? Will you step outside your self-imposed ego prison for just a brief instant and see that the insane ideas, beliefs and attitudes you have been trained to accept as "normal" are killing you and the whole bloody world spiritually, psychologically, and even materially? Will you, like Nero, choose only to fiddle while Rome burns? Can you, just for a moment, set aside this deadly blindness and arrogance? Will you turn away from the madness, at long last, and face the shining Sun of your true infinite being? Will you reach into the depths of your heart and summon the courage to become who you really are?

I know I promised you no religious nonsense, but if you will allow me one small metaphor in closing, it is this: When you accept the seed of compassion into your heart, it is at that very moment that all sentient beings are saved and the universe and its infinite angels rejoice for all eternity - because eternity is within you.

Yours Truly,
Actual Sanity

P.S. You'll find no links to my church, my movement, my seminars, my retreats, or anything else. I don't have any. I don't need any. I told you I had nothing of that sort to sell, push, or preach, and I was telling the truth. You know what to do if you want any of that. It's all out there in a thousand forms and a million places. If you want Jesus, he's not hard to find (although I'd recommend staying away from most churches). Ditto the Buddha, Lao-Tsu, the Dalai Lama, Swami Anybodyananda, Pantheism, Humanism, or whatever appeals to you. As long as you understand that all of these doctors prescribe the same medicine you've just been prescribed here, knock yourself out. Compassion is the only medicine in the world on which you can never overdose.

That is all. This is my whole and complete message to you. Take it for what it is - not some "sermon" from on high, not a lecture from some "guru" or "master," but a heart-to-heart personal letter from a brother in humankind who shares in your pain and heartache. Just for today, and just in the form of these few words, I am merely offering to play the role of your "doctor," not your "master." Your true master is and has always been your own heart and nothing else - and if I have been at all successful in opening your mind to its small, still voice, then that is the true medicine.

Good luck to you, and may we each do whatever is in our power to cure our shared suffering together, as brothers and sisters on this little blue ball of mud. I will see a few of you on the streets, at the markets, and on the wires, where you will neither know me nor care to know me - but understand that I do know you, and no matter how crazy you are, you will always be my friend.

And that, very simply, is why I will never lie to you about what really matters. You may now be very, very insane - but you don't have to be. The choice is yours.



Want more actual sanity? Please take the time to view the sanest film in the world today:

 

A British company called Peratech has announced a new technology for touch screens that registers pressure as well as the position of a finger. This could provide new ways of interacting with apps for touch screen mobile phones and tablets.

Transparent touch: Inventor David Lussey displays a sample of QTC Clear. Credit: Peratech

In addition to adding pressure sensitivity to screens, the company claims that the technology, called Quantum Tunneling Composite (QTC) Clear, could make touch screens thinner, more rugged, and more energy-efficient.

Peratech aims to bridge the gap between the two main touch-screen technologies: capacitive and resistive, says joint CEO Philip Taysom. Capacitive touch screens are found in mobile phones and tablets. They respond quickly to multiple fingers at a time, but rely on a grid of electrodes that constantly draw power when a screen is switched on; the bigger the screen, the more power the capacitive sensors gobble up.

Resistive touch screens were used in some early generation handheld devices, and are commonly found at ATMs and point-of-sale screens. They use less power, which makes them more appealing for larger displays, but they aren't as responsive or as durable as capacitive touch screens.

Resistive screens are built by sandwiching a thin layer of air between two sheets of relatively soft material. Applying pressure on the screen forces the layers into contact, closing a circuit and registering a touch. It's a simple approach, but it doesn't allow for high precision or multitouch. And because the screens are constantly deformed, longevity is an issue.

Taysom claims that QTC Clear has the benefits of both technologies while avoiding the downsides of either. A layer of composite material, composed of electrically conducting particles, is sandwiched between sheets of a rigid material like glass. When a finger or stylus presses the top sheet of glass, the particles in the composite conduct electricity proportional to the pressure applied. And, unlike capacitive screens, the system only draws power when touched.

A QTC Clear screen could be more durable than resistive touch screens. Instead of requiring an air gap of millimeters, as with resistive screens, the company uses a six-micron layer of composite material. "There's a lot less of a gap," says Taysom, "and that has a number of significant benefits."

With such a small gap, the materials used to sandwich the polymer don't need to be as soft. Glass, which is much harder than the softer materials found in resistive screens, could make the screens more durable. Additionally, says Taysom, less light is lost through the air gap than through the clear polymer, which translates into less power required to light up the screen.

Peratech isn't the only company developing force-sensitive materials. For years, musical instruments, such as electric pianos, have used a force-sensitive resistor ink, in which microscopic particles conduct electricity in response to varying pressure. In 2009, a startup out of New York University called Touchco that employed transparent force-sensitive resistor ink for touch screens was acquired by Amazon, although no products using the technology have been announced.

Peratech has already licensed earlier, opaque versions of its QTC material. These versions can be found in toys, medical devices, and backpacks with built-in MP3 controls. QTC Clear marks the company's entry into the display industry.

The technology differs from traditional pressure-sensitive inks, says Taysom, because of the electrical properties of the conductive polymers within the composite. Conductive particles in traditional inks are spherical and come in contact with each other when pressure is applied—as more particles come in contact, the material becomes more conductive. QTC's conductive particles, in contrast, are spiky and held together in silicon rubber, which is  electrically insulating. Electrons at the tip of the spikes transfer to the tips of other spikes , conducting electricity over a small distance without touching in a process called quantum tunneling. As a result, the composite responds to even very light pressure, says Taysom.

"Pressure-sensitive space is an important place to be," says Daniel Wigdor, professor of computer science at the University of Toronto. "It adds a third dimension so you can push into the screen and better manipulate things." Wigdor says the low power capabilities of QTC Clear could benefit smaller screens such as those on tablets.

But QTC Clear requires some pressure to be applied in order to respond. "The best user experience today is offered by capacitive screens," says Patrick Baudisch, professor of computer science at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany. "This sounds like a minor detail, but in reality in matters a lot because it allows users to flick to scroll or pan through documents or Web pages."

Consumers will soon have a chance to feel for themselves. According to Taysom, Peratech has licensed QTC Clear to manufacturers. He expects the first product to be available by the end of the year.

Source: TechnologyReview

 

Watching a self-resembling avatar in action turns out to be an effective motivational technique to start exercising, according to a Stanford University research project.

Participants who watched digital versions of themselves run on a treadmill ended up exercising nearly an hour longer than those who watched their avatars hang out or viewed avatars of other people exercising. "We're definitely surprised that the manipulation worked," said Stanford doctoral student Jesse Fox, who oversaw the studies. "I was very fascinated."

Fox, who describes herself as a social scientist who didn't even own a computer, was curious how digital technologies could impact health and other behaviors. In three studies, each of which had about 80 participants, she found that virtual representations are a powerful motivation tool. "When we see models that look like us, we're inclined to imitate the behaviors," Fox told Discovery News.

Virtual Treadmill

After watching virtual representations of themselves run on treadmills, study participants were motivated to hit the gym. Stanford University

It could be narcissism, or perhaps an emotional tie, but the sight of a virtual self exercising and making healthy food choices seems to have a positive impact on behaviors -- at least in the short term, Fox concludes. For the studies, digital photographs of subjects were rendered into avatars. Participants wore a virtual reality helmet that projected images of their avatars running on a treadmill. Other subjects watched avatars they didn't resemble exercise, and a third group watched their digital selves just hang out.

When participants were contacted a day later, those who had watched their digital selves exercise reported working out nearly an hour longer than the other subjects, Fox said.

THE GIST:

- Watching avatars that resemble ourselves could influence our behavior.

- Test subjects exercised nearly an hour longer after watching avatars of themselves run on a treadmill.

- The research opens the door for other therapeutic uses for virtual worlds.

For the studies, digital photographs of subjects were rendered into avatars. Participants wore a virtual reality helmet that projected images of their avatars running on a treadmill. Other subjects watched avatars they didn't resemble exercise, and a third group watched their digital selves just hang out.

When participants were contacted a day later, those who had watched their digital selves exercise reported working out nearly an hour longer than the other subjects, Fox said.

"There is quite a bit of research in psychology indicating that if people mentally visualize themselves performing some task or behavior, they can then in reality actually improve their performance on that task. It's often used in sports psychology," John Suler, a professor of psychology at Rider University's Science and Technology Center, wrote in an email to Discovery News.

"The premise seems to be that if you can imagine it, you can start to make it real. Avatars and virtual environments take that process one step further. Avatars become a way to make more tangible what you would like to imagine yourself to be, which then might activate the potential to actually become what you imagine," Suler said.

Fox would like to take the experiment out of the lab and into more accessible virtual worlds, such as Second Life or possibly mobile applications. She also plans to study other behaviors, such as smoking, tanning and safe sex.

Source: DiscoveryNews

 
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Hi, it's Nathan!Pretty much everyone is using voice search with their Siri/Google/Alexa to ask for services and products now, and next year, it'll be EVERYONE of your customers. Imagine what you are ...
15/01/2019 @ 17:58:25
By Nathan
Now Colorado is one love, I'm already packing suitcases;)
14/01/2018 @ 16:07:36
By Napasechnik
Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch since I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that Thank you for lunch! Whenever you ha...
21/11/2016 @ 09:41:39
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