Religion and Science: From Galileo to Aliens

One of the most famous examples of the clash between religion and science is the trial of Galileo Galilei. Galileo supported Copernicus’ view that the Earth orbited the sun, a “heliocentric” theory which the church declared contrary to Scripture. Galileo was warned to abandon his support for this theory and instead embrace the traditional “geocentric” notion that the Earth was an unmovable point around which the universe revolved.
Instead, in 1632 Galileo published “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.” The book was structured as a conversation between Salviati, a heliocentric philosopher, Simplicio, a geocentric philosopher, and Sagredo, a neutral layman. Pope Urban VIII had actually given Galileo permission to write the book as long as he didn’t promote one viewpoint over the other. However, Salviati forcefully argued Galileo’s beliefs, while Simplicio was often ridiculed as a fool.
An often-repeated view about the furor which followed the publication of Galileo’s book is that the pope was insulted by having his words expressed by Simplicio. Not only was the character made to look ridiculous, but the name itself likely was a double entendre for “simple-minded” (simplice in Italian). However, Vatican astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno disputes this analysis.

“First, ‘Simplicio’ was a well-established name in philosophical discourses, not something invented by Galileo, to represent a person who was able to see through the fog generated by the more clever and learned philosophers who invent elaborate theories and lose sight of simple obvious truths, like the innocent child who can recognize that the emperor has no clothes,” said Consolmagno. “In this context, its use could be seen as a compliment. Second, this kind of punning is quite common in English but my impression is that it is not really done all that much, or in the same way, in Italian; I do not know if anyone at that time and place would have interpreted it the way we English speakers do. And finally, the book was originally approved by the Pope’s censors before being published; if he were going to be insulted by the name, he’d have noticed it long before it was ever printed.”
Still, the political fallout eventually led the church to withdraw its permission to publish the book. Galileo faced a specially convened panel of ten judges, who found him guilty of suspicion of heresy. By abjuring – saying that he never believed in the heliocentric point of view expressed in the book – Galileo’s sentence was reduced to house arrest.
“He served (his sentence) first as the honored guest of the bishop of Siena before returning to his own villa, where he lived for another decade, had a regular string of visitors, and wrote another book,” said Consolmagno. “I don’t want to whitewash the mistakes the church made in the Galileo affair, but…it certainly was not a simple knee-jerk reaction against science.”
Consolmagno said that to truly understand what happened, we need to take into account the philosophical thinking of the time and the events that were taking place both within the Church and in the larger society. This context can be glimpsed in the original documents from the trial, which have been translated into English in various publications, such as Maurice Finocchiaro’s “The Galileo Affair” (University of California Press, 1989).
“They got Galileo on a technicality, and he was guilty of that technicality; but why they decided to go after him, in that way, at that time, is an open question,” said Consolmagno. “We can see today that he should never have been brought to trial in the first place.”
By 1992, Pope John Paul II issued a declaration acknowledging errors in Galileo’s trial. No such apologetic statement has been made for Giordano Bruno, whom the Church burned at the stake in 1600.
Bruno not only supported the heliocentric view, he also claimed there are multiple worlds beyond Earth, each orbiting their own sun. Consolmagno and his colleague, Vatican astronomer Father Paul Pavel Gabor, say Bruno’s death sentence was not due to him advancing these notions.
“The old joke is that if he was burned for anything back then, it was for plagiarism,” said Consolmagno. “Nicholas of Cusa published those same ideas 200 years earlier, and he was a Cardinal.”
Nicholas of Cusa’s book, “On Learned Ignorance,” in which he discussed the possibility of multiple worlds, was published in 1440. He also wrote that aliens could exist on the moon and the sun.
“He was made a cardinal in 1448, so it’s quite obvious that it didn’t damage his career,” noted Gabor.
Consolmagno said the most probable reason for the church’s enmity was that Bruno denied the divinity of Christ, as well as some other fundamental doctrines of Christianity.
A bronze statue of Giordano Bruno stands in the Campo de’ Fiori in Rome, where he was executed in 1600

“I think the real problem with Bruno was he was accused of being an English spy,” added Gabor. He said that Bruno was imprisoned in various places throughout Europe before landing in jail in Venice, which then led to his death in Rome. Gabor said that the file on last 7 years of his trial is gone, because Napoleon looted the Vatican for paper.
“Everybody who keeps writing about it as if they knew what happened is actually just fantasizing,” said Gabor.
Both Consolmagno and Gabor stress that the idea of aliens and multiple worlds is not a new idea for the church, and doesn’t challenge or threaten the central beliefs of their religion. The Vatican even sponsored an astrobiology workshop in 2009. According to Consolmagno, the church did so in order to create a forum for top scientists in the field to have a conversation.
“It was not the way it was reported on CNN, where the Catholic church was worried about aliens,” he said.
They say there was no religious discussion during this workshop; instead the focus was purely on the science of astrobiology. The philosophical crossover between religion and science was only discussed informally, during coffee breaks and other social gatherings.
Philosophers have been grappling with the implications of alien life for hundreds of years, if not longer. But until aliens are found, said Consolmagno, these issues will remain in the realm of science fiction instead of religion or science.
“I think that’s a very important role that science fiction has to play, because at this point we’re just playing with ideas,” said Consolmagno. “We’re just exploring the space where the ideas could be. We don’t know – we don’t have the answers. That’s why it’s so much fun!”

Aptiom Monotherapy Cuts Seizures

Study supports FDA filing for expanded indication.

  • Medpage Today

 The recently approved anti-epileptic drug eslicarbazepine acetate (Aptiom), currently indicated only as adjunctive therapy, is also effective by itself, according to a manufacturer-sponsored study reported here.

In pooled data from two clinical studies that used historical controls as the comparator, eslicarbazepine monotherapy at two different dosages led to a reduced rate of loss of seizure control, which was the primary endpoint, according to Ladislav Pazdera, MD, of Oblastni Nemocnice Rychnov Nad Kneznou in the Czech Republic, and colleagues, in a poster presented at the American Epilepsy Society annual meeting.

The drug’s sponsor, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, said it had applied to the FDA for permission to market the drug as monotherapy for partial-onset seizures on the basis of these data.

When eslicarbazepine was initially approved in November 2013, the FDA restricted its use to add-on therapy, because its pivotal trials had involved patients who had remained on other anti-epileptic medications but continued to have seizures. Because the drug is related to one of those existing medications, oxcarbazepine (specifically, it’s a slowly metabolized prodrug for oxcarbazepine’s active metabolite), Sunovion believed it could be an effective monotherapy as well.

The two trials reported here had identical designs and enrolled a total of 332 patients, about two-thirds of them in the U.S., who showed at least four partial-onset seizures during the 8 weeks prior to screening despite use of one or two conventional medications.

They were randomized to target doses of 1,600 or 1,200 mg/day of eslicarbazepine, which were titrated upward from low starting doses while their prior medications were tapered to zero. The eslicarbazepine monotherapy period lasted 10 weeks.

For comparison, the study used data from a 2010 review of seizure control over time from previous clinical trial data. Pazdera and colleagues calculated that, on the basis of those data, 65.3% of patients would be predicted to show worsened control over the 10-week monotherapy period. Significantly lower rates of this outcome would signify a beneficial effect of eslicarbazepine monotherapy.

Both doses of the drug did indeed lead to significantly lower rates of worsened seizure control compared with the 65.3% threshold. Across the two studies, approximately 32% of patients with the 1,200-mg target dose and 22% of those with the 1,600-mg target met this endpoint (both P<0.05).

There was a significant discrepancy between the two trials, though, apparently related to where the patients were located.

The proportion of patients meeting the primary endpoint criteria was markedly greater in the trial conducted mainly in the U.S., with worsened seizure control seen in about 45% of patients in the low-dose group and 30% of the high-dose group.

In the second trial, with only 25% of patients from the U.S., rates of worsened seizure control were dramatically lower — less than 15% at both doses. But even in the U.S.-predominant trial, outcomes according to the primary endpoint were still significantly better than the historical control rate.

The investigators said that a higher rate of obesity in the U.S. patients might have accounted for the different results. They noted a previous study indicating that obese epilepsy patients were generally less responsive to drug therapies. However, they did not perform a multivariate analysis to examine body mass index or weight category and U.S. residence as independent variables.

As expected, Pazdera and colleagues found that patients with more severe epilepsy at baseline — as indicated by more frequent seizures and/or by more intensive treatment prior to enrollment — were more likely to fail on eslicarbazepine monotherapy compared with participants with less severe baseline illness.

Safety data were generally consistent with those seen in the drug’s previous trials. For one particular adverse effect seen with eslicarbazepine, hyponatremia, the overall incidence was less than 5%, the investigators said.

Ayurveda’s 5 Tips For Healthy Glowing Skin.

Do you ever feel like you’ve tried every skin-benefiting lotion and potion known to man, and yet, do not see any benefits to your skin? Are you sick and tired of spending tons of time, money, and energy on complicated 10-step skin care regimens that are yielding no results?

Ayurveda's 5 Tips for Healthy Flawless Skin.

Ever feel like giving up altogether on the possibility of healthy skin?

Fret no longer. Thanks to the ancient science of Ayurveda, which is the sister science of Yoga, it is possible to not only have healthy, but glowing skin, which truly radiates from the inside-out.

Ayurveda’s Approach to Healthy Skin

In Ayurveda, we work to actively promote health primarily by what we put into, versus onto, our bodies.

Ayurveda, which is comprised of the words “Ayur,” meaning “life,” and “Veda,” meaning “knowledge,” is known as the science of life. As such, Ayurveda truly touches upon all of the myriad aspects of life that make it as full and rich as it is. From digestion to psychology to sexual health to spirituality to skincare, Ayurveda, as a spiritual science of life, really covers it all, with incredible precision, clarity, and insight.

In the modern era, we work so hard to cover up our skin with various products, from moisturizers to toners to serums to lotions and creams that often deliver limited results, at best. At worst, these products, because they are all chemically based, cause our skin to react, which means we resort to wearing to makeup, which then further ruins our skin, creating a vicious cycle.

5 Ayurvedic Secrets to Glowing Skin:

Here are five surprising Ayurvedic skincare secrets that I have truly benefited from, which you, too, can begin to employ from within to activate your inner glow.

1) Avoid or cut down on heavy seafood intake.

In one of the classical Ayurvedic texts called Charaka Samhita Nidanasthana, Chapter 5, Verse 6 outlines the causative factors of skin-related diseases and imbalances. One of these factors is “continuous intake of fish in large quantity.”

Because everything in Ayurveda is customized per individual, one person may be able to safely consume more seafood than another and actually benefit greatly from the seafood. As a general rule of thumb, however, it would be best to cut down on heavy seafood intake, especially if you are seeking to improve your skin in any way.

2) Do not mix milk with fruits, meat, salt, vegetables, or honey.

Ayurveda teaches that are some things that simply do not go together. The above list are called incompatible food combinations, which hinder the digestive process. Healthy, balanced digestion is considered the cornerstone of optimal health in Ayurveda, as healthy digestion reflects solid overall physical health.

And digestion is not just something that happens in the stomach only. Skin is the largest organ of the body and is more vulnerable to disease, infection, injury, and imbalance than any other bodily structure. When we don’t digest our food properly, it not only affects our body internally; it is also reflected in the quality of our skin. That is why we focus so much in Ayurveda on avoiding those foods that cannot be easily digested, such as the incompatible combinations listed above.

I can clearly see how my skin and digestion have improved since I stopped eating incompatible foods in particular.

3) Go to sleep and wake up early.

Sleep is considered one of the three pillars of health, according to Ayurveda. The body actually heals itself as we sleep at night, ideally by 10pm. When we miss the ideal time for sleep and try to compensate by sleeping excessively during the day, our health suffers, and it shows up adversely on our skin. Excess daytime sleep is also one of the causative factors of skin-related conditions.

Going to sleep and waking up early, between 4-6am, has changed my life in countless ways, giving me tremendous willpower, insight, and clarity, in addition to better skin.

4) Stop sunbathing.

This one should come as no surprise. Ayurveda is all about addressing the root causes of why health problems manifest in the first place. No matter how much sunscreen you may liberally apply to your face and body, excess sun exposure will definitely damage your skin. It is therefore essential to protect yourself with a hat and/or sunglasses. Whenever you feel the temptation to soak in the sun, ask yourself, is it really necessary?

5) Do something to be of service, without any strings attached.

Mental stress is a huge causative factor for skin problems. From Ayurveda, we learn that Sadvritta, a noble code of social and moral behavior, is an essential part of health that is just as important as what we put into and onto our bodies. So much of our stress in life comes from the kinds of relationships we have with others, as well as our own worries about our current and/or future security, whether that be physical, emotional, financial, etc.

Whenever we are able to step out of our own suffering enough to help another, we are automatically filled with joy. Even if all we can do is spend an hour a week serving soup in a soup kitchen, that one hour can help us connect with our inherent goodness, bringing out our inner glow and light of Sattva (an auspicious, peaceful, noble, and joyful state of mind that Ayurveda psychology teaches is our true state).

Beauty is as beauty does, after all.

All the spiritual traditions of the world stress the importance of selfless service. Ayurveda is no exception – in the Charaka Samhita text, in addition to food and lifestyle corrections, and developing better mental equanimity, it actually lists selfless service as one of the ways to recover from disease.

When we act in beautiful ways, we are able to connect with the most beautiful part of ourselves, which is our own ever-glowing, eternally radiant soul.

Following all of the above secrets has changed my life in countless, wonderful ways. I am thus delighted to invite you on this amazing journey of awakening your true beauty, from within.

Use of smartphones alters brain .

A team of Swiss scientists set out on a quest to learn if using smartphones actually makes us smarter. Their study revealed that using a touchscreen device affects a part of the brain that processes touch.

In a study published in the journal Current Biology, Swiss researchers said that people who use smartphones have an enhanced somatosensory cortex.
The team monitored 37 volunteers over 10 days – 26 of whom used touchscreen phones and 11 of whom used only old cellphones.

Individuals then had an electroencephalogram (EEG), which recorded voltage changes from brain activity. The strongest response was triggered by the thumb, followed by the index and middle fingers.

“By using electroencephalography, we measured the cortical potentials in response to mechanical touch on the thumb, index, and middle fingertips of touchscreen phone users and nonusers [owning only old-technology mobile phones],” the study said.

AFP Photo/Fabrice Coffrini

Based on the results, the researchers proposed “that cortical sensory processing in the contemporary brain is continuously shaped by the use of personal digital technology.”

The significance of the changes in the users’ brains depended on how recent the exposure to screens was, the study clarified.

“The closer they were to their peak usage, in time, the more brain activity they had associated with their thumb,” LA Times quoted the lead investigator of the study and neuroscientist at the University of Zurich, Arko Ghosh, as saying.

“The findings don’t offer a major breakthrough for brain science, per se, but they do represent a clever way to track how the brain adapts during daily activity,” Ghosh said, adding that scientists can now “start extracting which factors matter for the brain, which don’t, what are the drivers of plasticity and what are not?”

“To do this, connecting our digital footprints to brain activity is what we need to do,” he added.

Gooseberry (Amla) contains nearly 20 times vitamin C as orange juice

Health benefits of the Indian Gooseberry or Amla can be attributed to the high vitamin C content.
Gooseberry juice contains nearly twenty times as much vitamin C as orange juice.


One small Gooseberry is equals to 2 Oranges if compared with Vitamin C.
The Vitamin C in the Amalaki fruit is bonded with tannins that protect it from being destroyed by heat or light.

Ayurved says that regular use of Gooseberry can a help us live more than 100 years, a healthy life.

Gooseberry the richest natural source of vitamin C.
It tastes sour. Both dried and fresh fruits can be used.
The fresh fruit contains more than 80% water, protein, minerals, carbohydrates and fiber
It contains many minerals and vitamins like Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Carotene and Vitamin B Complex. Amla is also a powerful antioxidant agent.

The Indian Gooseberry belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family.

It is also a very important ingredient in the famous Chyavanaprash, and a constituent of Triphala (three fruits) powder.

The Gooseberry fruit tree has been worshipped in India from ancient times as the ‘Earth Mother’.

In Chinese traditional therapy, Gooseberry fruit is called Yuganzi which is used to cure throat inflammation.

The nutrition values of Amala are:
1. moisture, 91.4;
2. mineral matter, 0.7;
3. fiber, 3.4; calorie,
4. 96 (energy);
5. protein, 0.9;
6. fat, 0.1;
7. carbohydrate, 6.9g.
8. calcium, 34;
9. iron, 1.2;
10. vitamin B-1, 0.02;
11. vitamin B-2, 0.08,
12. vitamin C 463 mg. /100gms.

Following are the Health benefits, advantages of Amla.
Daily consumption is about 2 to 3 amla’s preferably morning time.

Can also be consumed in the form of Juice.

Gooseberry Candy is the dried form of Amla Fruit in Sugar Syrup.

1.Gooseberry is a vrishya herb, which means that it enhances all the seven tissues (dhatus), including the reproductive tissue.
2. Amla is useful in treating skin diseases. it has sheet virya in potency. It inhibits pitta and thus helps in getting relief from all the skin disorders caused by pitta .
3. Scientists at the Ferrara University in Italy have found that amla extracts slow the activity of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone.
4.Gooseberry powder helps to clear pimples and acne
5. Amla prevents health related hyperlipidaemia through attenuating oxidative stress in the ageing process.
6. Applying the paste of ground seeds of Amla mixed with lemon- especially on the roots of the hair and washing after half an hour will clear the lices from the hair.
7. It enriches hair growth and hair pigmentation. It strengthens roots of hair, maintains color.
8. Amla powder prevents dandruff
9.Gooseberry Protects the body from radiation
10. It helps in chronic cough, child hood, tuberculosis and allergic asthma .
11. Taking Amla juice with honey is good for improving eyesight.
12. Amla is rich in antibacterial qualities; it helps the body fight better against infection and also builds up your immunity, which makes you more resistant to diseases.
13.Gooseberry stimulate the isolated group of cells that secrete the hormone insulin. Thus it reduces blood sugar in diabetic patient. Amla Juice with a pinch of turmeric twice a day before each meal.
14. Amla strengthens heart muscles.
15. It improves body resistance.
16. Due to its strong, cooling and laxative properties Amla is useful for remedies for diarrhea and dysentery. The dried Amla fruit is astringent and useful in cases of diarrhea and dysentery.
17.Gooseberry helps to get relief for gastric syndrome and hyperchlorhydria (burning sensation in abdomen).
18. fever
19. liver disorder , Amla is excellent live tonic
20. If you take powder of Amlaki mixed with sugar in milk, about two time everyday, you will be cured of acidity completely.
21. The application of a small quantity of Amla oil to the head before bathing removes diseases of the eyes, night blindness and bilious giddiness
22. Indigestion – Dried Amla is an excellent digestive, which can be consumed after meals.
23. Taking fresh Amla juice with half tsp of ghee and 1 tsp. of honey and 100 gms. of milk-after lunch helps in curing piles problem.
24. anemia
25. It provides nourishment to the nerves and is helpful in paralytic situation.
26. urinary problems
27. respiratory problems
28. cerebral, gastro
29. cardiovascular illness
30. It lowers cholesterol level.
31.Gooseberry juice or powder with honey purifies blood.
32. It increases red blood cell production
33. Amla increases Hemoglobin.
34.Gooseberry strengthens teeth and nails.
35. Amla helps to reduce menstrual disorders. Keeps it regular.
36. It also acts as anti-inflammatory agent thereby suppresses swelling and pain.
37.Gooseberry confection is used in syphilis, flatulence, bronchitis, asthma and consumption.
38. To prevent or cure diabetes take a fresh one-fourth cup of Amla or a tea spoon of Amla powder with a tea spoon of turmeric powder everyday.
39. Amla is rich in chromium, which makes it very beneficial for diabetics.
40.Gooseberry and the Jamun fruit are mixed together, this mixture when taken in a teaspoon two time a day, can help in curing diabetes.
41. To get relief from acidity, mix one gram of amla powder with some sugar and add it to a glass of water drink it twice a day.
42. It supports strength of heart and lungs.
43.Gooseberry is good for Brain. To revitalize brain take a cupful of sugarless milk with the murabba of Amla.
44. Amla helps to improve memory
45. Taking Amla powder with radish helps in checking stone in bladder by breaking the stones and throwing it out with urine.
46.Gooseberry is helpful in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar level.
47. Amla with honey every day for one mouth cures the problem of leucorrhoea.
48.Gooseberry also helps boost protein metabolism. As amla enhances metabolism, it helps you lose weight faster.
49. Amla supports the reproductive systems of both men and women and can help overcome difficulty in conceiving.
50.Gooseberry revitalizes the semen. It helps in improving quality of sperms due to its sweet vipaka property.

According to U.S. RDA, daily intake of dietary vitamin C is as below:

1. Infants (age below 1 year): 30 to 35 mg
2. Children (age 1 to 14 years): 40 to 50 mg
3. Adolescent (age 15 to 18 years): 65 to 75 mg
4. Men (age over 18 years): 90 mg
5. Women (age over 18 years): 75 mg




Imagination, Reality Look Different in the Brain

“Turn off your mind, relax, and float down stream…”

Scientists have achieved brain-to-brain communication of a rudimentary sort, over the Internet.

Maybe John Lennon was onto something when he wrote those words for the Beatles’ song “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

It turns out that that reality and imagination flow in different directions in the brain, researchers say. The visual information from real events that the eyes see flows “up” from the brain’s occipital lobe to the parietal lobe, but imagined images flow “down” from the parietal to the occipital.

“There seems to be a lot in our brains and animal brains that is directional — that neural signals move in a particular direction, then stop, and start somewhere else,” said Dr. Giulio Tononi, a psychiatry professor and neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and one of the study’s co-authors. “I think this is really a new theme that had not been explored.”

Optical Illusions: Your Brain Is Way Ahead of You

The finding, published in the November issue of the journal NeuroImage, may lead to a better understanding of how the brain processes short-term memories and how memory is connected to imagination, the researchers said.

By “flow,” the scientists are referring to the general direction of electrical signaling of neurons in the brain. This direction is oriented against the various lobes of the brain. [Inside the Brain: A Photo Journey Through Time]

The occipital lobe sits in the lower, back part of the brain. Containing the visual cortex, this lobe’s primary function is to process visual information. The parietal lobe lies above the occipital lobe, and its primary function is to integrate sensory information, such as vision, but also touch and sound. In doing so, the parietal lobe assembles elementary building bricks from so-called “lower-order” brain regions to create concepts, said Daniela Dentico, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and lead author on the report.

This is Your Brain on Video Games (Infographic)

A leading theory in image processing “posits that our visual mental images are not stored somewhere in the brain, but get actively reconstructed,” Dentico told Live Science. The brain does this, she said, by reversing the order it uses for visual perception. She described this as the “top-down” direction, which starts from the big concept and moves back toward the smaller elements.

“Our study represents the first direct measure of the prevalence of top-down signal flow during imagery,” Dentico added.

To determine the flow of neural firing, the Madison researchers, along with scientists at University of Liege in Belgium, asked study participants who were hooked up to an electroencephalography (EEG) machine to watch videos or to imagine fantastical scenes, such as traveling on a magic bicycle. EEG is an established technique that uses sensors on the scalp to measure underlying electrical activity.

The Brain: Now in Ultra High-Res 3D

But because the brain isn’t “quiet,” EEGs tend to reveal the cacophony of brain activity, said Barry Van Veen, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Madison and senior author on the report.

So, to zero in on the flow of reality and imagination, the researchers created complex statistical modeling requiring high-throughput computing. From this, they could determine, for the first time, the average directional flow of neural firing during the tasks of seeing and imagining.

The researchers could not determine, however, whether imagination originates in the parietal lobe. It may instead flow through the parietal lobe from the frontal lobe, the brain region most associated with human intelligence. This is a topic for further investigation, the researchers said.


The Ten Inventions of Nikola Tesla Which Changed The World

‘Ere many generations pass, our machinery will be driven by a power obtainable at any point of the universe. Throughout space there is energy. — Nikola Tesla, 1892

Nikola Tesla is finally beginning to attract real attention and encourage serious debate nearly 70 years after his death.  Was he for real? A crackpot? Part of an early experiment in corporate-government control?

nic tesla 300x264 The Ten Inventions of Nikola Tesla Which Changed The World

We know that he was undoubtedly persecuted by the energy power brokers of his day — namely Thomas Edison, whom we are taught in school to revere as a genius.  He was also attacked by J.P. Morgan and other “captains of industry.” Upon Tesla’s death on January 7th, 1943, the U.S. government moved into his lab and apartment confiscating all of his scientific research, and to this day none of this research has been made public.

Besides his persecution by corporate-government interests (which is practically a certification of authenticity), there is at least one solid indication of Nikola Tesla’s integrity — he tore up a contract with Westinghouse that was worth billions in order to save the company from paying him his huge royalty payments.

But, let’s take a look at what Nikola Tesla — a man who died broke and alone — has actually given to the world. For better or worse, with credit or without, he changed the face of the planet in ways that perhaps no man ever has.

The Inventions of Nikola Tesla

1. Alternating Current

This is where it all began, and what ultimately caused such a stir at the 1893 World’s Expo in Chicago.  A war was leveled ever-after between the vision of Edison and the vision of Tesla for how electricity would be produced and distributed.  The division can be summarized as one of cost and safety: The DC current that Edison (backed by General Electric) had been working on was costly over long distances, and produced dangerous sparking from the required converter (called a commutator).  Regardless, Edison and his backers utilized the general “dangers” of electric current to instill fear in Tesla’s alternative: Alternating Current.

As proof, Edison sometimes electrocuted animals at demonstrations. Consequently, Edison gave the world the electric chair, while simultaneously maligning Tesla’s attempt to offer safety at a lower cost.  Tesla responded by demonstrating that AC was perfectly safe by famously shooting current through his own body to produce light.  This Edison-Tesla (GE-Westinghouse) feud in 1893 was the culmination of over a decade of shady business deals, stolen ideas, and patent suppression that Edison and his moneyed interests wielded over Tesla’s inventions. Yet, despite it all, it is Tesla’s system that provides power generation and distribution to North America in our modern era.

2. Light 

Of course he didn’t invent light itself, but he did invent how light can be harnessed and distributed. Tesla developed and used florescent bulbs in his lab some 40 years before industry “invented” them.At the World’s Fair, Tesla took glass tubes and bent them into famous scientists’ names, in effect creating the first neon signs. However, it is his Tesla Coil that might be the most impressive, and controversial. The Tesla Coil is certainly something that big industry would have liked to suppress: the concept that the Earth itself is a magnet that can generate electricity (electromagnetism) utilizing frequencies as a transmitter. All that is needed on the other end is the receiver — much like a radio.

3. X-rays 

Electromagnetic and ionizing radiation was heavily researched in the late 1800s, but Tesla researched the entire gamut. Everything from a precursor to Kirlian photography, which has the ability to document life force, to what we now use in medical diagnostics, this was a transformative invention of which Tesla played a central role. X-rays, like so many of Tesla’s contributions, stemmed from his belief that everything we need to understand the universe is virtually around us at all times, but we need to use our minds to develop real-world devices to augment our innate perception of existence.

4. Radio

Guglielmo Marconi was initially credited, and most believe him to be the inventor of radio to this day. However, the Supreme Court overturned Marconi’s patent in 1943, when it was proven that Tesla invented the radio years previous to Marconi. Radio signals are just another frequency that needs a transmitter and receiver, which Tesla also demonstrated in 1893 during a presentation before The National Electric Light Association. In 1897 Tesla applied for two patents US 645576, and US 649621. In 1904, however, The U.S. Patent Office reversed its decision, awarding Marconi a patent for the invention of radio, possibly influenced by Marconi’s financial backers in the States, who included Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie. This also allowed the U.S. government (among others) to avoid having to pay the royalties that were being claimed by Tesla.

5. Remote Control

This invention was a natural outcropping of radio. Patent No. 613809 was the first remote controlled model boat, demonstrated in 1898. Utilizing several large batteries; radio signals controlled switches, which then energized the boat’s propeller, rudder, and scaled-down running lights. While this exact technology was not widely used for some time, we now can see the power that was appropriated by the military in its pursuit of remote controlled war. Radio controlled tanks were introduced by the Germans in WWII, and developments in this realm have since slid quickly away from the direction of human freedom.

6. Electric Motor

Tesla’s invention of the electric motor has finally been popularized by a car brandishing his name. While the technical specifications are beyond the scope of this summary, suffice to say that Tesla’s invention of a motor with rotating magnetic fields could have freed mankind much sooner from the stranglehold of Big Oil. However, his invention in 1930 succumbed to the economic crisis and the world war that followed. Nevertheless, this invention has fundamentally changed the landscape of what we now take for granted: industrial fans, household applicances, water pumps, machine tools, power tools, disk drives, electric wristwatches and compressors.

7. Robotics

Tesla’s overly enhanced scientific mind led him to the idea that all living beings are merely driven by external impulses. He stated: “I have by every thought and act of mine, demonstrated, and does so daily, to my absolute satisfaction that I am an automaton endowed with power of movement, which merely responds to external stimuli.” Thus, the concept of the robot was born. However, an element of the human remained present, as Tesla asserted that these human replicas should have limitations — namely growth and propagation. Nevertheless, Tesla unabashedly embraced all of what intelligence could produce. His visions for a future filled with intelligent cars, robotic human companions, and the use of sensors, and autonomous systems are detailed in a must-read entry in the Serbian Journal of Electrical Engineering, 2006 (PDF).

8. Laser

Tesla’s invention of the laser may be one of the best examples of the good and evil bound up together within the mind of man. Lasers have transformed surgical applications in an undeniably beneficial way, and they have given rise to much of our current digital media. However, with this leap in innovation we have also crossed into the land of science fiction. From Reagan’s “Star Wars” laser defense system to today’s Orwellian “non-lethal” weapons’ arsenal, which includes laser rifles and directed energy “death rays,” there is great potential for development in both directions.

9 and 10. Wireless Communications and Limitless Free Energy

These two are inextricably linked, as they were the last straw for the power elite — what good is energy if it can’t be metered and controlled? Free? Never. J.P. Morgan backed Tesla with $150,000 to build a tower that would use the natural frequencies of our universe to transmit data, including a wide range of information communicated through images, voice messages, and text. This represented the world’s first wireless communications, but it also meant that aside from the cost of the tower itself, the universe was filled with free energy that could be utilized to form a world wide web connecting all people in all places, as well as allow people to harness the free energy around them. Essentially, the 0’s and 1’s of the universe are embedded in the fabric of existence for each of us to access as needed. Nikola Tesla was dedicated to empowering the individual to receive and transmit this data virtually free of charge. But we know the ending to that story . . . until now?

The release of Nikola Tesla’s technical and scientific research — specifically his research into harnessing electricity from the ionosphere at a facility called Wardenclyffe — is a necessary step toward true freedom of information. Please add your voice by sharing this information with as many people as possible.

As they state:

Tell your friends, bring it up and discuss it at your next general assembly, do whatever you can to get the word out, organize locally to make a stand for the release of Nikola Tesla’s research…. America is tired of corrupt corporate greed, supported by The American government, holding us back in a stagnant society in the name of profit . . . The Energy Crisis is a lie.

As an aside: there are some who have pointed out that Tesla’s experimentation with the ionosphere very well could have caused the massive explosion over Tunguska, Siberia in 1908, which leveled an estimated 60 million trees over 2,150 square kilometers, and may even have led to the much malignedHAARP technology. I submit that we would do well to remember that technology is never the true enemy; it is the misuse of technology that can enslave rather than free mankind from its animal-level survivalism.


Putting bedbugs to bed forever

A team of scientists has found a way to conquer the global bedbug epidemic. By lending their own arms for thousands of bed bug bites, they have finally found the solution — a set of chemical attractants, or pheromones, that lure the bedbugs into traps, and keep them there.

By giving blood weekly to her life partner’s bug experiment, SFU scientist Regine Gries has all but given us the gift of freedom from bed bug torture.

The world owes a debt of gratitude to Simon Fraser University biologist Regine Gries. Her arms have provided a blood meal for more than a thousand bedbugs each week for five years while she and her husband, biology professor Gerhard Gries, searched for a way to conquer the global bedbug epidemic.

Working with SFU chemist Robert Britton and a team of students, they have finally found the solution–a set of chemical attractants, or pheromones, that lure the bedbugs into traps, and keep them there.

This month, after a series of successful trials in bedbug-infested apartments in Metro Vancouver, they have published their research, “Bedbug aggregation pheromone finally identified,” in Angewandte Chemie, a general chemistry journal.

They’re working with Victoria-based Contech Enterprises Inc. to develop the first effective and affordable bait and trap for detecting and monitoring bedbug infestations. They expect it to be commercially available next year.

“The biggest challenge in dealing with bedbugs is to detect the infestation at an early stage,” says Gerhard, who holds an NSERC-Industrial Research Chair in Multimodal Animal Communication Ecology.

“This trap will help landlords, tenants, and pest-control professionals determine whether premises have a bedbug problem, so that they can treat it quickly. It will also be useful for monitoring the treatment’s effectiveness.”

It’s a solution the world has been waiting for.

Over the last two decades the common bedbug (Cimex lectularius), once thought eradicated in industrialized countries, has reappeared as a global scourge. These nasty insects are infesting not just low-income housing but also expensive hotels and apartments, and public venues such as stores, movie theatres, libraries and even public transit.

And while these blood-sucking pests were previously not considered a carrier of disease, scientists have recently discovered they can transmit the pathogen that causes Chagas disease, which is prevalent in Central and South America. Yet until now, tools for detecting and monitoring these pests have been expensive and technically challenging to use.

The research was funded with a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada industry grant in partnership with Contech Enterprises Inc.

Backgrounder: The research story–180,000 bedbug bites later

The Gries’ began their research eight years ago when Gerhard, who is internationally renowned for his pioneering work in chemical and bioacoustic communication between insects, began searching for pheromones that could lure and trap bedbugs.

Regine worked with him, running all of the lab and field experiments and, just as importantly, enduring 180,000 bedbug bites in order to feed the large bedbug colony required for their research. She became the unintentional “host” because, unlike Gerhard, she is immune to the bites, suffering only a slight rash instead of the ferocious itching and swelling most people suffer.

The Gries’ and their students initially found a pheromone blend that attracted bedbugs in lab experiments, but not in bedbug-infested apartments. “We realized that a highly unusual component must be missing–one that we couldn’t find using our regular gas chromatographic and mass spectrometric tools,” says Gerhard.

That’s when they teamed up with Britton, an expert in isolating and solving the structure of natural products, and then synthesizing them in the lab. He used SFU’s state-of-the-art NMR spectrometers to study the infinitesimal amounts of chemicals Regine had isolated from shed bedbug skin, looking for the chemical clues as to why the bedbugs find the presence of skin so appealing in a shelter.

It was like looking for a needle in a haystack.

After two years of frustrating false leads, Britton, his students and the Gries duo finally discovered that histamine, a molecule with unusual properties that eluded identification through traditional methods, signals “safe shelter” to bedbugs. Importantly, once in contact with the histamine, the bedbugs stay put whether or not they have recently fed on a human host.

Yet, to everyone’s disbelief, neither histamine alone nor in combination with the previously identified pheromone components effectively attracted and trapped bedbugs in infested apartments. So Regine began analyzing airborne volatile compounds from bedbug faeces as an alternate source of the missing components.

Five months and 35 experiments later, she had found three new volatiles that had never before been reported for bedbugs. These three components, together with two components from their earlier research and, of course, histamine, became the highly effective lure they were seeking.

Their research isn’t over yet, however. They continue to work with Contech Enterprises to finalize development of the commercial lure–which means Regine is still feeding the bedbugs every week. “I’m not too thrilled about this,” admits Regine, “but knowing how much this technology will benefit so many people, it’s all worth it.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Simon Fraser University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Regine Gries, Robert Britton, Michael Holmes, Huimin Zhai, Jason Draper, Gerhard Gries. Bed Bug Aggregation Pheromone Finally Identified. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201409890

A College Education Can Now Be Found On The Internet for Free

The wealth of knowledge once reserved for the Ivy League Elite is now being released for free on the internet, power to the people! In the beginning information traveled slow, knowledge was confined to a few buildings around the globe that are guarded by high entry fees and standardized test scores. The number of individuals who could gain access to information was kept to a short acceptance list while many were given an Access Denied. But then like a swift kick in the face, the internet came along and changed everything! From media to commerce, the education system is no exception to the tornado that is the world wide web. Where once higher education was reserved for those who could pay the toll, the internet, in all its divinity has endowed us with a free higher education experience for all those who have a connection to the great and powerful Wi-Fi. Here are just a few amazing online institutes that offer free college courses for the good people of planet earth, enjoy and never stop learning! Khan Academy Khan Academy wants to help you learn almost anything for free! Their mission is to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. All of their resources are completely free forever, regardless of whether you’re a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. EdX EdX is a non-profit created by founding partners Harvard and MIT. Bringing the best of higher education to students around the world, EdX offers MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) and interactive online classes in subjects including law, history, science, engineering, business, social sciences, computer science, public health, and artificial intelligence (AI). Coursera Coursera is an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. Their technology enables their partners to teach millions of students around the world rather than just hundreds. “We envision a future where everyone has access to a world-class education that has so far been available to a select few. We aim to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.” MIT OpenCourseWare “The idea is simple: to publish all of our course materials online and make them widely available to everyone.” -Dick K.P. Yue, Professor, MIT School of Engineering MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity. Now the wealth of knowledge from one of the most prestigious technology schools in the world, is now available at your finger tips, without the massive tuition prices and near perfect SAT scores. ALISON ALISON is a two million-strong, global online learning community, filled with free, high-quality resources to help you develop essential, certified workplace skills. “Our mission at ALISON is simple: to enable you, wherever you are in the world, to learn and get certified new skills – at your own pace – using our free, interactive, multimedia.” There are over 500 free courses for you to choose from at ALISON. Every course is standards-based and certified, which means bragging rights with family and friends, an edge in your first job or new job, and inspiration to be all you can be. originates from Denmark, out of Ventus Publishing, established in 1988. Ever since it was founded, the company has focused on publishing education related books for business professionals and students. In 2005 the company made a strategic leap and became the first book publishing company in the world to focus 100% on free eBooks. Ever since, the company has been aiming to set new standards in the world of modern publishing based on the readers’ needs. Open Yale Courses Open Yale Courses (OYC) provides lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses to the public free of charge via the Internet. The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences. It is important to note that for now, the majority of these places like do not offer college credit nor a degree, but it brings up a very interesting question. In the pursuit of knowledge is a degree really the only thing that matters? If you learn a skill or trade is proof by action not enough, or does the piece of paper need to be acquired. There are many people in possession of high degrees because they are good at going to school but are still quite incompetent. Too much emphasis is put on the degree and not enough on actual skills,talents and knowledge. I don’t know about you, but if i learned how to build a Zero-Point Energy Fuel System from MIT, I’m gonna build that Zero-point Energy Fuel System. It is the experience and knowledge you learn along the way, not the piece of paper at the end of the gift shop that says “you where here” that matters. Let your actions speak louder than a degree.

Mathematicians Make a Major Discovery About Prime Numbers

Paul Erdős, left, and Terence Tao discussing math in 1985. This past August, Tao and four other mathematicians proved an old Erdős conjecture, marking the first major advance in 76 years in understanding how far apart prime numbers can be.

In May 2013, the mathematician Yitang Zhang launched what has proven to be a banner year and a half for the study of prime numbers, those numbers that aren’t divisible by any smaller number except 1. Zhang, of the University of New Hampshire, showed for the first time that even though primes get increasingly rare as you go further out along the number line, you will never stop finding pairs of primes that are a bounded distance apart — within 70 million, he proved. Dozens ofmathematicians then put their heads together to improve on Zhang’s 70 million bound, bringing it down to 246 — within striking range of the celebrated twin primes conjecture, which posits that there are infinitely many pairs of primes that differ by only 2.

Now, mathematicians have made the first substantial progress in 76 years on the reverse question: How far apart can consecutive primes be? The average spacing between primes approaches infinity as you travel up the number line, but in any finite list of numbers, the biggest prime gap could be much larger than the average. No one has been able to establish how large these gaps can be.

“It’s a very obvious question, one of the first you might ever ask about primes,” said Andrew Granville, a number theorist at the University of Montreal. “But the answer has been more or less stuck for almost 80 years.”

This past August, two different groups of mathematicians released papers proving a long-standing conjecture by the mathematician Paul Erdősabout how large prime gaps can get. The two teams have joined forces to strengthen their result on the spacing of primes still further, and expect to release a new paper later this month.

Erdős, who was one of the most prolific mathematicians of the 20th century, came up with hundreds of mathematics problems over his lifetime, and had a penchant for offering cash prizes for their solutions. Though these prizes were typically just $25, Erdős (“somewhat rashly,” as he later wrote) offered a $10,000 prize for the solution to his prime gaps conjecture — by far the largest prize he ever offered.


Erdős’ conjecture is based on a bizarre-looking bound for large prime gaps devised in 1938 by the Scottish mathematician Robert Alexander Rankin. For big enough numbers X, Rankin showed, the largest prime gap below X is at least


Number theory formulas are notorious for having many “logs” (short for the natural logarithm), said Terence Tao of the University of California, Los Angeles, who wrote one of the two new papers along with Kevin Ford of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Ben Green of the University of Oxford and Sergei Konyagin of the Steklov Mathematical Institute in Moscow. In fact, number theorists have a favorite joke, Tao said: What does a drowning number theorist say? “Log log log log … ”

Nevertheless, Rankin’s result is “a ridiculous formula, that you would never expect to show up naturally,” Tao said. “Everyone thought it would be improved on quickly, because it’s just so weird.” But Rankin’s formula resisted all but the most minor improvements for more than seven decades.

Terence Tao of the University of California, Los Angeles, said this is the first Erdős prize problem he has been able to solve.

Many mathematicians believe that the true size of large prime gaps is probably considerably larger — more on the order of (log X)2, an idea first put forth by the Swedish mathematician Harald Cramér in 1936. Gaps of size (log X)2 are what would occur if the prime numbers behaved like a collection of random numbers, which in many respects they appear to do. But no one can come close to proving Cramér’s conjecture, Tao said. “We just don’t understand prime numbers very well.”

Erdős made a more modest conjecture: It should be possible, he said, to replace the 1/3 in Rankin’s formula by as large a number as you like, provided you go out far enough along the number line. That would mean that prime gaps can get much larger than in Rankin’s formula, though still smaller than in Cramér’s.

The two new proofs of Erdős’ conjecture are both based on a simple way to construct large prime gaps. A large prime gap is the same thing as a long list of non-prime, or “composite,” numbers between two prime numbers. Here’s one easy way to construct a list of, say, 100 composite numbers in a row: Start with the numbers 2, 3, 4, … , 101, and add to each of these the number 101 factorial (the product of the first 101 numbers, written 101!). The list then becomes 101! + 2, 101! + 3, 101! + 4, … , 101! + 101. Since 101! is divisible by all the numbers from 2 to 101, each of the numbers in the new list is composite: 101! + 2 is divisible by 2, 101! + 3 is divisible by 3, and so on. “All the proofs about large prime gaps use only slight variations on this high school construction,” said James Maynard of Oxford, who wrote the second of the two papers.

The composite numbers in the above list are enormous, since 101! has 160 digits. To improve on Rankin’s formula, mathematicians had to show that lists of composite numbers appear much earlier in the number line — that it’s possible to add a much smaller number to a list such as 2, 3, … , 101 and again get only composite numbers. Both teams did this by exploiting recent results — different ones in each case — about patterns in the spacing of prime numbers. In a nice twist, Maynard’s paper used tools that he developed last year to understand small gaps between primes.

The five researchers have now joined together to refine their new bound, and plan to release a preprint within a week or two which, Tao feels, pushes Rankin’s basic method as far as possible using currently available techniques.

The new work has no immediate applications, although understanding large prime gaps could ultimately have implications for cryptography algorithms. If there turn out to be longer prime-free stretches of numbers than even Cramér’s conjecture predicts, that could, in principle, spell trouble for cryptography algorithms that depend on finding large prime numbers, Maynard said. “If they got unlucky and started testing for primes at the beginning of a huge gap, the algorithm would take a very long time to run.”

James Maynard of the University of Oxford wrote the second paper proving Erdős’ conjecture on large prime gaps.

Tao has a more personal motivation for studying prime gaps. “After a while, these things taunt you,” he said. “You’re supposed to be an expert on prime numbers, but there are these basic questions you can’t answer, even though people have thought about them for centuries.”

Erdős died in 1996, but Ronald Graham, a mathematician at the University of California, San Diego, who collaborated extensively with Erdős, has offered to make good on the $10,000 prize. Tao is toying with the idea of creating a new prize for anyone who makes a big enough improvement on the latest result, he said.

In 1985, Tao, then a 10-year-old prodigy, met Erdős at a math event. “He treated me as an equal,” recalled Tao, who in 2006 won a Fields Medal, widely seen as the highest honor in mathematics. “He talked very serious mathematics to me.” This is the first Erdős prize problem Tao has been able to solve, he said. “So that’s kind of cool.”

The recent progress in understanding both small and large prime gaps has spawned a generation of number theorists who feel that anything is possible, Granville said. “Back when I was growing up mathematically, we thought there were these eternal questions that we wouldn’t see answered until another era,” he said. “But I think attitudes have changed in the last year or two. There are a lot of young people who are much more ambitious than in the past, because they’ve seen that you can make massive breakthroughs.”