Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

The Science of Dreams

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

This is going take a lot of thought, but I think I am on the right track. And it is worth it, given how much of our lives are in dreams…


Freezers are more efficient when they are full. I presume that brains are more efficient (or just better) when more neurons are connected to each other (synapses). This from Harvard:

…most neuroscientists now believe that the complexity of cellular and molecular organization of neural connections, or synapses, is what truly determines a brain’s computational capacity. This view is supported by findings that intelligence is more correlated with frontal lobe volume and volume of gray matter, which is dense in neural cell bodies and synapses, than sheer brain size. Other research comparing proteins at synapses between different species suggests that what makes up synapses at the molecular level has had a huge impact on intelligence throughout evolutionary history. So, although having a big brain is somewhat predictive of having big smarts, intelligence probably depends much more on how efficiently different parts of your brain communicate with each other.

The brain is a giant relational database. Pieces of data connect to each other. If you are struggling to think of someone’s name, running your mind through the alphabet can help. It is just like a computer.

Without dreams, your brain is purely connections that make sense. And they make up just a fraction of all the possible connections. I’m guessing a lot of twos to the power of twos less.

It might be advantageous to build a few more connections, but they can’t just be random – there needs to be a plan.

Deep down we have reptilian brains (read up on this and be creeped out about where many of your base instincts come from…). So it makes sense that how these extra connections come to be, in dreams, is primal.

Threat: recognising anything that can harm you. Of course in modern humans this could be anything from a fear of public speaking, to public toilets, to rejection on a blind date. As long as your brain’s relational database categorises it as fear, it is in.

Relationship: From a primal point of view, I reckon the categories are potential mate, family member, and pecking order (as in alpha male and subordinates).

Location: This needs more thought, because in my dreams places seem familiar, but they are never exact depictions of real places.

Now, in marketing we have this thing in Google AdWords and Facebook Ads where you can provide a set of people who like or use your product, and the ad system will generate a “lookalike audience”.

Lookalike Audiences are a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to customers you care about.

You have a list of real people who are really into your product. Facebook/Google looks at all the commonalities and creates a list of people that are so similar in many aspects that they would quite likely like your product as well.

So here’s the new(?) idea: your brain creates lookalike connections from existing brain connections – and uses them to seed dreams

Take a situation from the preceding day. It might not have bothered your conscious self, but your subconscious does have some concerns. Find a lookalike situation. It will have a similar threat, someone from the same type of relationship, and an imaginary place that includes important aspects of today’s scene. The dream will make the brain connections real, but presumably of a lesser importance to real connections.

In my personal experience, dreams about a particular person typically have a different person representing them. A dream that feels like it is about Max, has Sam as the main character.

So that’s the basic framework. It is certainly much more complicated than that. Dream themes tend to repeat, so there is a feedback aspect. Imaginary locations are repeatedly used. Threats can become obsessive. There’s definitely a learning by rote aspect to dreams as well.



While I’m here… I’m pretty sure dreams are in black and white, but with knowledge of what colours things are. This would save on bandwidth.

I’m also quite sure that rather than 60fps, dreams are more like 1 frame per 5 seconds. More like an MTV video than real life. Just flashes of images that tell a story. Also saves on bandwidth for your sleeping brain.

Non-clock measurements of time and other numbers

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

When looking for patterns in the universe, or some sort of theory of everything, it is important to keep in mind that the hour, minute and second are artificial constructs. So too is base 10.

What I would like to do one day is get all of the numbers out there, and compare them to each other, and in different bases.

For example, atomic clocks are based on cesium, “remains in a specific spin state only when bathed in electromagnetic radiation with precisely 9,192, 631,770 passing waves per second”. I don’t know what that means. but it should be added to the list of numbers to test

Cesium - 9,192, 631,770
Quartz – vibrates 32,768 times per second
Pi – 3.1415926
Euler’s number - 2.7182818284590
Phi -  1.6180339887

More here:

Step One

Compare each possible number pairing to see what the ratio to 1 is

Step Two
Convert each number into a different base and see if there is a whole number ratio to be found – I’m guessing it might be difficult!

Drink Beer Slower From Straight Glasses

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

If your beer mug / pint / schooner / pot glass has curves or is fluted – then it is tricking you into thinking that you have much more left to drink than you really do.

In a paper published this month in PLoS ONE, the team reports that whereas the group with straight glasses nursed their 354 milliliters of lager for about 13 minutes, the group with the same amount of beer served in curved glasses finished in less than 8 minutes, drinking alcohol almost as quickly as the soda-drinkers guzzled their pop. However, the researchers observed no differences between people drinking 177 milliliters of beer out of straight versus fluted glasses.

They drank while watching a nature video – chosen as a neutral way of keeping them occupied while they sipped beer as in a social situation.

Another experiment in which participants were asked to judge different levels of fluid in photographs of straight and curved glasses showed that people consistently misjudge the volume in fluted glasses, Attwood says. A simple solution to this problem would be to mark beer glasses with the accurate halfway point, she says. Full story.

Ultra-Ultra-Light Metal

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

The pic says it all:

It’s called an ultralight metallic microlattice, and it’s produced in an intriguing way. The method involves using a liquid photopolymer which solidifies when hit by ultraviolet radiation. Scientists shine light on the liquid through a pattern. Only the exposed bits of the liquid become solid, creating a lattice-work scaffold, which is then coated with nickel-phosphorous. Once the photopolymer is etched away, all that is left is a 3D, hollow lattice of metal which is more air than anything else.

This stuff weighs less than one milligram per cubic centimeter, completely bounces back after compression, and is made of a repeating lattice. It has incredible potential for use as thermal insulation; acoustic, vibration or shock dampening; energy absorption and recovery; and electronic parts.

The video is pretty cool:

Nobel Prize via LSD

Friday, February 24th, 2012

The quote says it all – for some people recreational drugs can be mentally beneficial:

In 1966, Mullis tried LSD for the first time. After it was made illegal two years later, he and some student colleagues learned how to synthesise hallucinogens that were still legal. These drugs, he later said, were essential in allowing his mind to process ideas visually, enabling him to imagine himself “down there with the molecules”, looking at what would need to happen for the DNA strands to separate and be copied.

The breakthrough moment came in May 1983 when he was driving along a Californian highway. “My mind drifted back into the lab. DNA chains coiled and floated. Lurid blue and pink images of electric molecules injected themselves somewhere between the mountain road and my eyes,” as he puts it in his 1998 autobiography Dancing Naked in the Mind Field. It was on this journey that he came up with the polymerase chain reaction, the first method used for copying DNA.

The idea won him a Nobel prize. The Nobel Foundation described it as “of very great significance for biochemical and genetic research”, but made no mention of hallucinogens. [New Scientist, 9 July 2011]

Monsanto Superinsects

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

People who research the NWO etc, if you ask them to make a list of who/what is trul evil, they’ll most likely have Monsanto as prominent. Not only have they stolen the ownership of staple crops, they’ve done it recklessly.

Dumping a single herbicide onto millions of acres of farmland has, predictably enough, given rise to weeds resistant to that herbicide. Such “superweeds” are now galloping through cotton and corn country, forcing farmers to resort to highly toxic herbicide cocktails and even hand-weeding. More than 11 million acres are infested with Roundup-resistant weeds, up from 2.4 million acres in 2007, reckons Penn State University weed expert David Mortensen. 

And now insects are developing resistance to Monsanto’s insecticide-infused crops, reports the Wall Street Journal. Fields planted in Monsanto’s Bt corn in some areas of the Midwest are showing damage from the corn rootworm – the very species targeted by Monsanto’s engineered trait. An Iowa State University scientist has conclusively identified Bt-resistant root worms in four Iowa fields, the Journal reports. 

Their solution is to take even greater risks with our health:

Scientists at Monsanto and Syngenta AG of Basel, Switzerland, are already researching how to use a medical breakthrough called RNA interference to, among other things, make crops deadly for insects to eat. If this works, a bug munching on such a plant could ingest genetic code that turns off one of its essential genes.

I certainly don’t want to be eating that!

Full story at Mother Jones