Jump to content


Senior Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by jimmydasaint

  1. Are there concepts which are too difficult to explain to a layman (except for mathematical concepts)? I don't know the answer. However, I would say that there are situations where there are two levels of explanations. For example, most people on this forum could probably write a manual for a car, a fridge-freezer or a computer without the understanding of how any of them works in detail. IMO, I would posit that most phenomena are explicable, although some need words and others need a diagram. Think of explaining an electromagnetic wave to someone as opposed to drawing a representation of an EM wave on a piece of paper.
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/design/electronics/calculationsrev1.shtml
  3. As a former PhD and postdoc, I was so used to the language of scientific papers, which is often convoluted and aimed at specialists that I found it difficult to adjust my level to normal conversation and bored my wife and other family members with the results of my, no doubt highly important, cogitations. When I started teaching, I thought I could aim high and let the children rise up to the level I expected linguistically. It failed completely! As a consequence, after a month I had to re-adjust to "student speak" and, 18 years later, it seems to work, most of the time. However, in this august and most- esteemed science forum, I notice that specialists quite frequently refer to specialist sites to explain what they are elucidating, as if it is obvious to a layman. Is this a sort of blindness to audience level from specialists or is it habit, or both?
  4. In the UK, my stores self checkout line have a full time assistant on hand who helps people when they mess up. They mess up about 50% of the time and slow down the line considerably. I have this down to a fine art now if I really need to. Normally I only use them when I want to make a package for some homeless person(s) outside the store. What a saint eh?
  5. Mate, the current splits up for each branch at the right and then comes together on the left. The current is different depending on the size of the resistance. As an easy example see the following: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/standard/physics/using_electricity/useful_circuits/revision/3/
  6. There is a very rare case of paternal mitochondrial inheritance. Whilst extremely rare, it also calls into question some of the hypotheses of evolutionary biologist that depend upon exclusively maternal inheritance of mitochondria. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2716-mitochondria-can-be-inherited-from-both-parents/
  7. This is an awesome quote. Inspiring! I think I have had a life full of ups and downs. Every time, I think my intellectual, moral and spiritual core has been changed/evolved until I am a better man rather than a bitter man overall. My present self is far superior to my previous self, but I think that is the purpose of life itself, to learn and adjust until the personality gains from the experience. Adversity hurts like hell but it also accelerates learning.
  8. Moontanman, I am just a biologist and didn't understand about half of what I read but my main points would be: 1. Is the research reproducible and replicable? (can it be repeated by other laboratories and also in the original laboratory) 2. Can the method be scaled up for actual energy production? If the answer to either 1 or 2 is "no" then look for a new energy resource. Wasn't that the main point of the research? The two original authors had to take a lot of crap from their contemporaries but I liked the look of this theory: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/its-not-cold-fusion-but-its-something/
  9. But, it is impersonal contact. No one asks you if you need anything and you are being watched by a computer eye - this is pretty creepy in my opinion. There probably would have to be increased security to stop people from sneaking in and stealing things etc... I like talking to store clerks as part of my interaction with people. I suppose that this is a function of increasing age and I now have more time to speak with people and have meaningful exchanges rather than the brief, mandatory exchanges of impetuous youth. Shoplifters would need an Amazon account to enter but, if they wish to shoplift, it could be done if the item is concealed. I am not a shoplifter by the way...
  10. I am sorry but I am an oldie who didn't have a bloody clue what the art was about. My children used to watch Japanese cartoons when they were young and I did not have a bloody clue what they were about either. Creativity, in my opinion, is essential to mainstream Science (whatever that is). Gene editing, which is set to revolutionise medicine, is highly creative and even artistic, as an expression of human creativity (which is my definition of art). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pp17E4E-O8
  11. This is an awful dystopian future. One of the benefits of shopping is human contact, no matter how brief. Sitting isolated at my computer all day causes a change in my mindset and makes me feel quite lonely actually. I miss human interaction and need to get out of the house to experience sensory stimuli. Imagine sitting in all day buying crap I don't actually need - I can't. My opinion is that we are gregarious animals who need to meet in groups called families or groups called colleagues, or groups called friends. This is not a positive trend in my opinion and could atomise society even further until we feel no need to treat our neighbours with concern because all we are doing is protecting our little corner of privacy. I don't mean any disrespect to you because you seem keen on the idea of this level of automation but I have to say it as I see it.
  12. Thunder, just another under-rated British band:
  13. I thought SJ's explanation was pretty clear. Bacteria that operate in anaerobic conditions are found in the animal manure by the millions. These comprise acidogenic bacteria which make acid compounds from the waste products that are used to produce biofuel, and also methanogenic bacteria which use the products of the acidogenic bacteria to make methane and carbon dioxide. If you want to grow bacteria in larger and larger numbers, you always start with a small (seeding) population found in a small sample (inoculum). As soon as you drop the inoculum into a suitable nutrient liquid, the bacteria multiply in numbers at a logarithmic rate. The process by which the inoculum seeding population would work is mentioned in this wiki link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_digestion
  14. Happy Newton's birthday to all on this Forum. If anyone is reading this today, I hope you have a restful, peaceful and contentment-filled holiday. As they say in Scotland - "Aw ra best, mair power to your sporran" (Happy Christmas).
  15. Oh about £120 per year, or £10 per month. There you go, done!
  16. I am confused my friend. Which cells diffuse through other cells? Please clarify and more people will answer.
  17. First, of all, I cannot agree with the word "proved". IMHO, Scientific technique involves investigation of a broad hypothesis which has appeared from observations (which are repeated) of a certain phenomenon, e.g. electricity applied to a frog's leg make it contract. Experiments are then performed on the size of the potential difference until the threshold potential difference is known. Then the frog's muscle and neurons are examined to investigate how electrical events occur to make the muscle move, until a new hypothesis occurs. Falsifiability of the hypothesis is the aim. This is all deductive. Much of scientific experimentation is deductive. Where did you get the idea that all Laws are proved inductively? And how did you come to the idea that Science proves things, when there is no question of 100% proof? I realise that language difficulties may be obscuring what you meant, so I don't mean to sound harsh. Please back up your OP with examples of what you mean.
  18. Under the present pressure of teaching an over-full curriculum which was designed by some Boring Old Farts that wanted to replicate the academic conditions of their own youth, the whole education system would need an overhaul to teach important topics, e.g. wisdom, critical thinking and life skills and scientific investigation. We need to return to a system which would encourage real in-depth thinking and reflection and then we would not need to educate our leaders to real and changing Science. Sadly, I don't see that happening in my lifetime.
  19. I am quite confident that many, if not most, of our British MP's have heard the traditional educational route of private school, Oxford or Cambridge and then straight into politics. However that is not a prerequisite for excellence in Science and not a guarantee that they would vote for sound science from a viewpoint of knowledge and be able to vote for important issues from a neutral position. Thatcher destroyed British industry and the dreams and hopes of thousands in this country. Her legacy was economic disaster farther than the support of sensible scientific consensus. I hated her. But I forgive her.
  20. Ed, could you please re-post the link, it doesn't work for me. Cheers mate.
  21. I was brought up in gangland Glasgow as a child and went to school in a place that used to be called the Gorbals and then had its name changed to Hutchesontown. I had a great childhood but stayed clear of junkies and idiots and avoided fights whenever possible. However, when called upon, I verbally stood up for myself. Being 5ft 4 in, I did not really do much else. Reluctantly, I agree with the UK consensus, bullying in a tough housing estate requires some form of violence. Calling the police is not an option, and the bullies understand violence very well. However, if you are not in the position to stand up to the bullying, being bold and verbally assertive usually helps in the first instance. As a young adult, you may have to learn to be physically in control of any situation though by taking up martial arts. I don't think there is an overall answer, but it is clear that we all hate bullies.....
  22. As a teacher, I would be willing to try to educate politicians in the UK for free, as long as the Science is clear and involves frank and unbiased discussion and then regular updating. I don't doubt the education of the politicians but it is my opinion that their scientific knowledge is given from vested interests and biased sources. The comment about certain industries preventing discussion about climate change is very relevant. The factoids and sermonising approaches occasionally work but, I agree, the factoids should be accompanied with interactive material and discussion. As a teacher, it is one of my disappointments that my less able classes usually want to be beauticians or retail managers and do not care about the science or having enough science knowledge to be able to vote in a confident manner on scientific matters. On the other hand, I may have accidentally switched one or to students on to the beauty of scientific discovery and the mysteries that remain unanswered. Excellent idea! We should have a quota for women in politics as well as spaces for scientists and engineers. However, the nature of the political system, in the UK at least, requires local party activists to vote for a candidate and then to marshal voters to the polling booth. Perhaps we have to encourage scientists and engineers to put themselves forward. This is a drawback of course. We live in the real world where the politicians would be educated and might still vote the same way. What a tragedy. I think that voters could be educated by popular TV programming. However, the politicians and legislators need advice that is untainted.
  23. Reading a separate thread about bullying and subsequent neural regrowth, I became a bit disturbed by the claims of the person who wrote the post saying that he had been bullied all his life and that he was 31 years old at the writing of his OP. http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/100353-can-brain-grow-new-neurons-in-the-cerebrum/?hl=%2Bneural+%2Bregeneration#entry953438 I am horrified by bullying and consider it as an unacceptable infringement on the rights of another human being. However, if you see it happen to an adult, what would you do? 1. Look away? 2. Walk away? 3. Verbally intervene? 4. Physically intervene? 5. Other - please specify. (If this is in the wrong thread, can Mods please send this to "Ethics")
  24. It is one of my passions and dreams that a modern society has enough Science education, numeracy and literacy to be able to comment on, and vote on, serious scientific issues. However, in my opinion, we need to update the Science curriculum for the people that lead us so that they are able to make rational and sensible decisions on the new changes and discoveries in science which are taking place at a blinding pace. In short, do we need to send our politicians and legislators back to school to learn new Science?
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.