21 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 The Increasing Chemical Complexity of the Cosmos

The ancient origins of stars, planets and life may be viewed as a sequence of emergent events, each of which added to the chemical complexity of the cosmos. Stars, which formed from the primordial hydrogen of the Big Bang, underwent nucleosynthesis to produce all the elements of the Periodic Table. Those elements were dispersed during supernova events and provided the raw materials for planets and all their mineralogical diversity. Chemical evolution on Earth (and perhaps countless other plan...
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06 APR 2015 by ideonexus

 Scent on an Airless Planet

Scent seems to have all the disadvantages and none of the advantages, as a long-range sense. However, under special circumstances even a modified nose may fill the need. In a story of my own some years ago ("Uncommon Sense," Astounding Science Fiction, September 1945), I assumed an airless planet, so that molecules could diffuse in nearly straight lines. The local sense organs were basically pinhole cameras, with the retinal mosaic formed of olfactory cells. Since the beings in question were ...
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An species of space whale could smell over long distances, but scent would get swirled and pooled by gravity wells along the way.

30 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Sensation of Pressure

We feel pressure on our skin, when we place our hand over the outlet of a bicycle pump, for example, as a kind of springy push. Actually, pressure is the summed bombardments of thousands of molecules of air, whizzing about in random directions (as opposed to a wind, where the molecules predominantly flow in one particular direction). If you hold your palm up to a high wind you feel the equivalent of pressure - bombardment of molecules. The molecules in a confined space, say, the interior of a...
Folksonomies: perception senses pressure
Folksonomies: perception senses pressure
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24 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Stones are Chaos

The difference between a piece of stone and an atom is that an atom is highly organised, whereas the stone is not. The atom is a pattern, and the molecule is a pattern, and the crystal is a pattem; but the stone, although it is made up of these pattems, is just a mere confusion. It's only when life appears that you begin to get organisation on a larger scale. Life takes the atoms and molecules and crystals; but, instead of making a mess of them like the stone, it combines them into new and mo...
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Despite being made up of atoms, molecules, and crystals, which are organization.

19 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 If a Scientist Wrote the Book of Genesis

In the beginning was the singularity, and the singularity was infinitely dense and infinitely hot, And the singularity expanded and the singularity cooled and there was chaos, And of the primeval atom was born the Universe. And the Universe was matter and antimatter, and baryogenesis was violated and matter annihilated antimatter until only matter remained, And matter resolved into hydrogen, and after hydrogen came helium and deuterium and all elements, And with elements came mass and with ma...
Folksonomies: culture religion science
Folksonomies: culture religion science
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Opening chapter of genesis written in science.

29 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 The Origin of Life from Molecules

The account of the origin of life that I shall give is necessarily speculative; by definition, nobody was around to see what happened. There are a number of rival theories, but they all have certain features in common. The simplified account I shall give is probably not too far from the truth. We do not know what chemical raw materials were abundant on earth before the coming of life, but among the plausible possibilities are water, carbon dioxide, methane, and ammonia: all simple compounds ...
Folksonomies: evolution molecular
Folksonomies: evolution molecular
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Highlights from Dawkin's description of how molecules evolved through natural selection to eventually form life.

21 AUG 2013 by ideonexus

 Drugs is a Human Construct

The human body is an assembly of chemicals, as is all food & all medicine. So what we label as a drug is a social construct. Lifting weights changes your bio-physiology in a way that creates performance-enhancing effects on your body. Drinking coffee changes your metabolism in a way that creates performance-enhancing effects on your body. Eating breakfast changes your biochemstry in a way that creates performance-enhancing effects on your body. Practicing in your sport of choice creat...
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Everyone and every substance is chemicals and molecules. How we classify them is purely a social construct.

22 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

 All Biological Processes Involve Water

Life began in water, and every single function of life takes place in an aqueous environment. A profound way of classification in chemistry is the relation and interaction between molecules, or groups within molecules, and water. Molecules (or parts of molecules) can attract water in which case they are called hydrophilic. As the opposite extreme they can strive to avoid water; these molecules or molecular parts are termed hydrophobic. Most biomolecules possess both these properties; they are...
Folksonomies: biology water
Folksonomies: biology water
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Which means that all molecules involved are of varying degrees hydrophilic and hydrophobic.

16 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 The Sensory Database

Both technological sensors and enhanced biological senses come equipped with databases of scanned “signatures” that make it easier to identify whatever the user is sensing (in the case of bioware, these databases are stored and accessed via the character’s mesh inserts). For example, infrared sensors feature databases listing the heat signatures of different animals and items, making it easier to identify such things. In relevant situations, apply a 20 modifier for identifying targets ...
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SF idea that cyber-implants would be linked to a database of identifiers. Similar to how the nose is a library of molecules, with dogs having longer noses and therefore a larger library of molecules they can identify in their database.

16 MAR 2013 by ideonexus

 The Energy Efficiency of Spheres

Environment-controlling buildings gain or lose their energy as "heat o cool" only through their containing surfaces. Spheres contain the most vololume with the least surface—i.e., have the least possible surface-to-volume ratio. Every time we double the diameter of a spherical structure, we in¬ crease its contained atmosphere eightfold and its enclosing surface onlyily fourfold. When doubling the diameter of our sphere, we are not changiring the size of the contained molecules of atmospher...
Folksonomies: energy spheres buckyballs
Folksonomies: energy spheres buckyballs
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Less surface area to insulate as they grow.