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CNET: No, NASA didn’t find evidence of a parallel universe where time runs backwards


There’s no mirror universe, sorry.NASA/Hubble

Sorry, you’re stuck with this universe.

Let’s play a game of bad news, good news, bad news.

Bad news first: 2020. Literally all of it. Every second. Every waking moment of 2020. It’s grim, I know. Bushfires, pandemic, murder hornets. When will it end?

But the good news: Apparently, scientists have discovered a parallel universe, just like our own. It’s a little different to ours though. In this mirror world, time runs backward. It’s like a Benjamin Button universe. That means they’re heading back to 2019, the good ol’ days, right?

Well, now more bad news: I’m here to spoil the parallel universe party. Scientists haven’t actually discovered a parallel universe, but you might think they have, based on multiple reports from across the web. 

In the last few days a number of publications have suggested scientists “found evidence” for a parallel universe where time runs backward. These mind-bending articles posit that an experiment in Antarctica detected particles that break the laws of physics. All the reports pull from the same source of information: A pay-walled report by New Scientist on April 8 titled “We may have spotted a parallel universe going backwards in time.”

At the center of the report are findings from the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna or ANITA, an experiment maintained by researchers at NASA. It involves an array of radio antennas attached to a helium balloon which flies over the Antarctic ice sheet at 37,000 meters, almost four times as high as a commercial flight. At such a height, the antennas can “listen” to the cosmos and detect high-energy particles, known as neutrinos, which constantly bombard the planet. 

Video: Black hole seen in real life for the first time

These particles pose no threat to us and pass through most solid objects without anyone even noticing — some estimates suggest 100 trillion neutrinos pass through your body every second! Rarely do they interact with matter. But if they do smash into an atom, they produce a shower of secondary particles we can detect, which allows us to probe where they came from in the universe. ANITA detects neutrinos pinging in from space and colliding with matter in the Antarctic ice sheet.

Over the years, ANITA has detected a handful of “anomalous” events. Instead of the high-energy neutrinos streaming in from space, they seem to have come from a strange angle, through the Earth’s interior, before hitting the detector. These findings can’t be explained by our current understanding of physics — that much is true.

“In such a situation you start exploring even more extreme possibilities,” says Ekers.

There is a really interesting science story here, but it’s not the one you’re being sold. The ANITA experiment is mind-boggling in its own right. It looks for “ghostly” particles that pass through most matter. It has definitely detected something unusual and unexpected. There are plenty of competing theories that aren’t explored in the quick news hits, like the idea the Antarctic ice may itself be giving rise to these anomalous events.

But there’s so much we don’t know about neutrinos that astrophysicists and scientists are still trying to unravel. “We are absolutely sure that there is new physics out there to be found,” says Clancy James, a radio astronomer at Curtin University in Australia. 

Jumping straight to “parallel universes” is a little over-the-top, and there are less extreme theories that could explain what ANITA has detected. More than that, reports regurgitating this theory without thorough examination complicate the public’s relationship with science, which is already on shaky ground thanks to misinformation campaigns around climate change and the coronavirus pandemic

When you see stories like these its good to remember “the Sagan Standard”, an adage uttered by the famed astronomer Carl Sagan. It goes “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

At present, we’ve got a great theory but we lack the extraordinary evidence to back it up

What we do have, Ekers says, is “a somewhat cheeky explanation … born out of the frustration of having nothing else that worked.” He says this is “good out-of-the-box thinking” and a “fascinating” idea but not one that should be taken very seriously. 

So, I’m sorry. We didn’t find evidence for a parallel universe. Fortunately, if there is one, then over there this article doesn’t spoil the theory at all! It supports it! So please, direct all your email toward the parallel universe Jackson Ryan. 

No, I won’t be taking questions.

Is the Brain a Useful Model for Artificial Intelligence?

Machine cogs and chains forming brain stem


Thinking machines think just like us—but only up to a point.

IN THE SUMMER of 2009, the Israeli neuroscientist Henry Markram strode onto the TED stage in Oxford, England, and made an immodest proposal: Within a decade, he said, he and his colleagues would build a complete simulation of the human brain inside a supercomputer. They’d already spent years mapping the cells in the neocortex, the supposed seat of thought and perception. “It’s a bit like going and cataloging a piece of the rain forest,” Markram explained. “How many trees does it have? What shapes are the trees?” Now his team would create a virtual rain forest in silicon, from which they hoped artificial intelligence would organically emerge. If all went well, he quipped, perhaps the simulated brain would give a follow-up TED talk, beamed in by hologram.

Markram’s idea—that we might grasp the nature of biological intelligence by mimicking its forms—was rooted in a long tradition, dating back to the work of the Spanish anatomist and Nobel laureate Santiago Ramón y Cajal. In the late 19th century, Cajal undertook a microscopic study of the brain, which he compared to a forest so dense that “the trunks, branches, and leaves touch everywhere.” By sketching thousands of neurons in exquisite detail, Cajal was able to infer an astonishing amount about how they worked. He saw that they were effectively one-way input-output devices: They received electrochemical messages in treelike structures called dendrites and passed them along through slender tubes called axons, much like “the junctions of electric conductors.”

Cajal’s way of looking at neurons became the lens through which scientists studied brain function. It also inspired major technological advances. In 1943, the psychologist Warren McCulloch and his protégé Walter Pitts, a homeless teenage math prodigy, proposed an elegant framework for how brain cells encode complex thoughts. Each neuron, they theorized, performs a basic logical operation, combining multiple inputs into a single binary output: true or false. These operations, as simple as letters in the alphabet, could be strung together into words, sentences, paragraphs of cognition. McCulloch and Pitts’ model turned out not to describe the brain very well, but it became a key part of the architecture of the first modern computer. Eventually, it evolved into the artificial neural networks now commonly employed in deep learning.

These networks might better be called neural-ish. Like the McCulloch-Pitts neuron, they’re impressionistic portraits of what goes on in the brain. Suppose you’re approached by a yellow Labrador. In order to recognize the dog, your brain must funnel raw data from your retinas through layers of specialized neurons in your cerebral cortex, which pick out the dog’s visual features and assemble the final scene. A deep neural network learns to break down the world similarly. The raw data flows from a large array of neurons through several smaller sets of neurons, each pooling inputs from the previous layer in a way that adds complexity to the overall picture: The first layer finds edges and bright spots, which the next combines into textures, which the next assembles into a snout, and so on, until out pops a Labrador.

Despite these similarities, most artificial neural networks are decidedly un-brainlike, in part because they learn using mathematical tricks that would be difficult, if not impossible, for biological systems to carry out. Yet brains and AI models do share something fundamental in common: Researchers still don’t understand why they work as well as they do.

What computer scientists and neuroscientists are after is a universal theory of intelligence—a set of principles that holds true both in tissue and in silicon. What they have instead is a muddle of details. Eleven years and $1.3 billion after Markram proposed his simulated brain, it has contributed no fundamental insights to the study of intelligence.

Michigan dam breached, another at risk amid Midwest floods


EDENVILLE, Mich. (AP) — People living along two lakes and a river in mid-Michigan rushed to evacuate Tuesday after the breach of a dam following days of heavy flooding across parts of the Midwest.

Two schools were opened for evacuees in the Midland area, about 140 miles north of Detroit, after the breach of Edenville Dam, which holds back Wixom Lake.

Red Cross worker Tom Restgate, who had been helping residents of the area seek shelter from the threat of rising waters, said he received an alert over his cellphone that “the dam … it breached.”

Residents in a span of several miles were urged to evacuate. Officials also were watching the Sanford Dam south of Edenville. The city of Midland, which includes the main plant of Dow Chemical, sits on the banks of the Tittabawassee River about 8 miles away from that dam.

More than 50 roads have been closed in the area. The evacuations in Michigan followed days of heavy rains in parts of the Midwest that also brought flooding to Chicago and other parts of Illinois, Ohio and other states.

“The water is very high,” Catherine Sias, who lives about a mile from the Edenville Dam, said before the breach. “Last night, emergency responders came door-to-door to make sure everybody got out. We have mild flooding every year, but this is unusual.”

Sias, 45, has five cats and two dogs and was about to check into a hotel that allowed pets when she learned it was probably safe for people not living in low-lying areas to return home.

“I’m on the high bank, about 20 feet up,” she said. “A lot of people are having a harder time. Most of them are going to be dealing with flooding in their homes.”

Some residents, such as Jon St. Croix, went to shelters set up in area schools.

“We were laying in bed when I heard sirens,” St. Croix told the Midland Daily News. “A fire truck was driving around, broadcasting that (we needed) to evacuate. It’s a scary thing — you’re sleeping and awake to sirens.”

St. Croix, 62, his wife and a next-door neighbor were among more than a dozen people sheltering in one school. Their home was not flooded, but St. Croix said he had seen flooding in the area.

Volunteers at the schools said about 120 vehicles were in the parking lots of a couple of schools and about 30 people had been staying on cots inside, according to WNEM-TV.

About a dozen people hunkered down overnight at a school in Sanford but had left by early Tuesday afternoon, said Tom Restgate, an American Red Cross safety officer.

The cots inside the school were spread out to observe social distancing recommendations to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Restgate said.

Heavy rains also caused flooding in parts of northwestern Indiana, including Crown Point — the Lake County seat — where about seven inches fell over the weekend.

Staying happy should not be a burden…


We never realize that bad days just like the good days are part of life. We are constantly running in the search of better days. There are no better days. It is today that can be accepted and can be fully lived. But we are in no mood to accept today. We are constantly thinking of making the future the best day of our life. We are in illusion.

Time is passing by. We also have the tendency to remember past as something perfect. We live in nostalgia and compare everything with the past. It was better then. Oh, I had better friends. Oh, I was happy then. While the truth is that with time, the bad memory fades away. But we keep good memories safely. We constantly think that life has gotten worse and we have to make it alright again.

I am not saying that there are no problems. I am only saying that we make things more complicated. When it comes to acceptance, we are not ready. We keep eating the rotten tomatoes in the hope that we will eat the fresh ones tomorrow. That day never comes. And we never enjoy the fresh tomatoes.

Accept yourself. Accept your life. Accept the challenges that life has given you and work for them. There is no benefit in cursing. Each of us is facing struggles that cannot be understood by everyone. Life is a great leveler. Staying happy should not be a burden. It should be a choice that no matter what comes, we will face it with a smile. You are stronger than you consider you to be. There are no battles that you can lose.

Smile. The world feels better when you smile.

We lose ourselves when we try to be someone we are not.


The desire to be loved, to be heard, to have someone we can share everything with. When these desires are not completed, we create an environment. We make sadness our friend. In this environment, we start hating everything. The environment is a complex place to live in. There are no certainties.

We forget the difference between rights and wrongs. The two worlds start merging and the reality fades away to a place where no one can reach, and no one can make us reach. The truths people tell us to bring us back only haunt us. Imagination is the only place where we find peace and comfort.

We do not accept that we are broken, and to be broken is better than living in that environment.Broken pieces can be healed. The environments stay as they are. And that is a bitter truth.

There are no honest words that will tell you the truth. Only the truth.

I will try to keep my words as close to reality as possible. I will only explain what I have seen, what I believe to be true. I have listened to thousands of people. I have lived their stories. I know how they hurt themselves in the process of staying in the same environment.

They do not even know that it is toxic. They keep trying to make it a happy place, while what they need is to get away from it. They need to find a place where the truths and lies are two different entities. 

They need to find their meaning of peace. They need to find what makes them happy.

There are no better days. There is a present that needs to be taken care of. The past is only here for experiences. Slow how you are living your life. Observe and listen. Love. Travel. Find your way of living. Do not try to be someone that you are not. Talk to someone if you are not feeling well.

I am still trying to understand this world, to learn how humans behave. I am only growing every day. I feel better when you people DM me and write beautiful comments. I am happy that my words resonate with your situations a

I promise…


I promise you to be with you in your ups and downs, to be with you on your good days as well as on your bad days, to entertain you when you’ll in bad mood, to tease you when you’ll be laughing madly, to call you on the nights when you’ll feel vulnerable. I promise I won’t do anything that will ever disappoint you, to respect you for the person you are, to suggest the changes that you should make to change your lifestyle. I don’t promise to be your friend, to be your best friend or anything else for relations with names end, I promise to *stay*.

How Close Are We to Finding a Treatment for COVID-19?



Scientists are following several paths in the battle with COVID-19 as they seek to help treat patients in the short term and protect the population in the future.

The global pandemic has prompted possibly the largest and fastest mobilization of the global scientific community we’ve ever seen. Researchers are working around the clock to find a solution, trials are being initiated at record speed, and businesses are offering up their resources to help in any way they can. It has been a collective response encompassing governments, academia, charities, the pharmaceutical industry, and local communities. But with all that effort, how close are we to a developing a drug to treat or prevent COVID-19?

When it comes to new treatment options, there are three routes that can make a difference for patients both in the near- and mid-term: developing a new vaccine; replicating the antibodies that fight the virus; repurposing existing drugs that might be effective.

The reason for following all of these paths is that they take differing amounts of time to achieve. Developing a drug from scratch can take years while discovering that an existing approved drug is effective can be a matter of weeks. And this is critical for helping seriously ill patients as soon as possible.

Projected timeline for treatment and prevention. Source: data from The Milken Institute, which recently released a detailed tracker to monitor the progress of each of the known COVID-19 treatments and preventions currently in development.

Continue reading How Close Are We to Finding a Treatment for COVID-19?

Interesting Saying and Their Meanings – 1500s style


Very interesting & informative

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were “piss poor.”

But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot; they “didn’t have a pot to piss in” & were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands & complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s.

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. Since they were starting to smell, however, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women, and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it . . . hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof, resulting in the idiom, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed, therefore, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, leading folks to coin the phrase “dirt poor.”

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way, subsequently creating a “thresh hold.”

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while, and thus the rhyme, “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and “chew the fat.”

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the “upper crust.”

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up, creating the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive, so they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

And that’s the truth. Now, whoever said History was boring?