Monthly Archives: February 2014

Aerogels Can be Used to Absorb Oil, Chemicals

Aerogels Can be Used to Absorb Oil, Chemicals

“The aerogel prepared in Gong’s lab is made of cellulose nanofibrils (sustainable wood-based materials) and an environmentally friendly polymer. Furthermore, these cellulose-based aerogels are made using an environmentally friendly freeze-drying process without the use of organic solvents.

It’s the combination of this “greener” material and its high performance that got Gong’s attention.

“For this material, one unique property is that it has superior absorbing ability for organic solvents — up to nearly 100 times its own weight,” she says. “It also has strong absorbing ability for metal ions.'”

Marijuana Will Bring Colorado $600 Million a year in Taxes.

Marijuana Will Bring Colorady $600 Million a year in Taxes.

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s legal marijuana market is far exceeding tax expectations, according to a budget proposal released Wednesday by Gov. John Hickenlooper that gives the first official estimate of how much the state expects to make from pot taxes.

The proposal outlines plans to spend some $99 million next fiscal year on substance abuse prevention, youth marijuana use prevention and other priorities. The money would come from a statewide 12.9 percent sales tax on recreational pot. Colorado’s total pot sales next fiscal year were estimated to be about $610 million.

Upheaval in Venezuela (Happening Now)

Upheaval in Venezuela (Happening Now)

Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting. People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street. And that’s just what came out in real time, over Twitter and YouTube, before any real investigation is carried out. Online media is next, a city of 645,000 inhabitants has been taken off the internet amid mounting repression, and this blog itself has been the object of a Facebook “block” campaign.

Vegan Blueberry Chocolate Bar Recipe

Vegan Blueberry Chocolate Bar Recipe

Preparation: 40 minutes

Chocolate ingredients:
50g raw cocoa butter
50g raw cocoa powder
3 tablespoons raw coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling ingredients:
70g fresh blueberries
40g coconut butter
1 medjool date (pitted)

You will also need: A heart shaped chocolate mold with 12 hearts. You can use any chocolate mold shape if you’d prefer a different shape.

To make the chocolate:

Step One: ‘Shave’ the solid cocoa butter with a sharp knife or grater. Shaving is just really thin slicing that makes the cocoa butter crumble. The finer you can get it, the easier it will be to melt. You can leave it in big chunks if you like, but be prepared to wait a while for it to melt.

Step Two: Melt the cocoa butter. You can do this by leaving it in a warm place in a heat proof glass bowl by a fire or directly above a hot radiator. It melts at 34˚C. The idea is to melt it, rather than cook it, maintaining its ‘un-cookedness’. If you don’t have a gentle heat source then use a hob or stove. Put the cocoa butter in a small, oven proof, glass bowl and then put that bowl in a pan containing an inch or so of really hot water. Keep the hob/stove burning on a low heat. The heat will then transfer through the bowl, enough to melt the cocoa butter. Give it frequent stirs to assist the melting process. Don’t keep it on the heat any longer than it takes to melt it.

The best time to use it is when it has just melted. If it is too hot, then it takes longer to cool down and the coconut sugar will sink to the bottom of the chocolate when added.

Step Three: Add the coconut sugar to the melting cocoa butter during step two. The melting cocoa butter will help to soften and dissolve the sugar.

Step Four: When the cocoa butter has finally melted, mix in the cocoa powder and any other remaining ingredients.

Scientists “Freeze” Light, Application in Data Storage

Scientists “Freeze” Light, Application in Data Storage

“For this particular experiment, researcher Georg Heinze and his team converted light coherence into atomic coherences. They did so by using a quantum interference effect that makes an opaque medium — in this case a crystal — transparent over a narrow range of light spectra (a process called electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT)). The researchers shot a laser through this crystal (a source of light), which sent its atoms into a quantum superposition of two states. A second beam then switched off the first laser, and as a consequence, the transparency. Thus, the researchers collapsed the superposition — and trapped the second laser beam inside.”

String of “Suicides” in Major Global Financial Institutions Makes You Wonder What These People [Thought They] KNEW

String of “Suicides” in Major Global Financial Institutions Makes You Wonder What These People [Thought They] KNEW

“If the bodies were dots on a piece of paper, connecting them results in a sinister picture being drawn that involves global criminal activity in the financial world the likes of which is almost without precedent. It should serve as a warning that we are at the precipice of something so big, it will shake the financial world as we know it to its core. It seems to illustrate the complicity of big banks and governments, the intelligence community, and the media.”

Remember the Buffalo Lodge in the Flintstones?

Remember the Buffalo Lodge in the Flintstones?

‘“Good evening, Exalted High Council, former Grand Swipes, Grand Swipes-in-waiting, fellow Wall Street Kappas, Kappas from the Spring Street and Montgomery Street chapters, and worthless neophytes!”’

“It was January 2012, and Ross, wearing a tuxedo and purple velvet moccasins embroidered with the fraternity’s Greek letters, was standing at the dais of the St. Regis Hotel ballroom, welcoming a crowd of two hundred wealthy and famous Wall Street figures to the Kappa Beta Phi dinner. Ross, the leader (or “Grand Swipe”) of the fraternity, was preparing to invite 21 new members — “neophytes,” as the group called them — to join its exclusive ranks.

Looking up at him from an elegant dinner of rack of lamb and foie gras were many of the most famous investors in the world, including executives from nearly every too-big-to-fail bank, private equity megafirm, and major hedge fund. AIG CEO Bob Benmosche was there, as were Wall Street superlawyer Marty Lipton and Alan “Ace” Greenberg, the former chairman of Bear Stearns. And those were just the returning members. Among the neophytes were hedge fund billionaire and major Obama donor Marc Lasry and Joe Reece, a high-ranking dealmaker at Credit Suisse.”

 

Where it All Starts

Where it All Starts

In quantum physics—the scientific study of the nature of physical reality—there is plenty of room for interpretation within the realm of what is known. The most popular mainstream interpretation, the Copenhagen interpretation, has as one of its central tenets the concept of wave function collapse. That is to say, every event exists as a “wave function” which contains every possible outcome of that event, which “collapses”—distilling into the actual outcome, once it is observed. For example, if a room is unobserved, anything and everything that could possibly be in that room exists in “quantum superposition”—an indeterminate state, full of every possibility, at least until someone enters the room and observes it, thereby collapsing the wave function and solidifying the reality.

The role of the observer has long been a source of contention for those who disagree with the theory. The strongest competition to this interpretation, and probably the second most popular mainstream interpretation (meaning, a lot of incredibly smart people think it’s a sound theory) is called the Everett interpretation after Hugh Everett, who first proposed it in 1957. It’s known colloquially as the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI), because it postulates simply that the wave function never collapses; it simply branches into its own unique world-line, resulting in every possible outcome of every situation existing in physical reality.”

Is America Ready for a “Gift Economy”?

Is America Ready for a “Gift Economy”?

“As Charles Eisenstein so famously said, “The gift economy represents a shift from consumption to contribution, transaction to trust, scarcity to abundance, and isolation to community.” Adrian Hoppel has joined a growing number of “gift businesses”, including several Panera bread stores in the United States, and even certain health care clinics in California. By giving and being open to receive, it seems mutual trust and good-willed service can provide sufficient income.”