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Category Archives: Borderlands
For many of us, static electricity is one of the earliest encounters we have with electromagnetism, and it’s a staple of high school physics. Typically, it’s explained as a product of electrons transferred in one direction between unlike substances, like glass and wool, or a balloon and a cotton T-shirt (depending on whether the demo is in a high school class or a kids’ party). Different substances have a tendency to pick up either positive or negative charges, we’re often told, and the process doesn’t transfer a lot of charge, but it’s enough to cause a balloon to stick to the ceiling, or to give someone a shock on a cold, dry day.
Nearly all of that is wrong, according to a paper published in today’s issue of Science. Charges can be transferred between identical materials, all materials behave roughly the same, the charges are the product of chemical reactions, and each surface becomes a patchwork of positive and negative charges, which reach levels a thousand times higher than the surfaces’ average charge.
Where to begin? The authors start about 2,500 years ago, noting that the study of static began with a Greek named Thales of Miletus, who generated it using amber and wool. But it wasn’t until last year that some of the authors of the new paper published a surprising result: contact electrification (as this phenomenon is known among its technically oriented fans) can occur between two sheets of the same substance, even when they’re simply allowed to lie flat against each other. “According to the conventional view of contact electrification,” they note, “this should not happen since the chemical potentials of the two surfaces/materials are identical and there is apparently no thermodynamic force to drive charge transfer.”
PossessedHand, being developed jointly by the University of Tokyo, Japan, and Sony Computer Science Laboratories, electrically stimulates the muscles in the forearm that move your fingers.
A belt worn around that part of the subject’s arm contains 28 electrode pads that flex the joints between the three bones of each finger and the two bones of the thumb, and provide two wrist movements. Users were able to sense the movement of their hands that this produced, even with their eyes closed.
Having successfully hijacked a hand, the researchers tried to teach it how to play the koto, a traditional Japanese stringed instrument. Koto players wear different picks on three fingers, but pluck the strings with all five fingertips, so each finger produces a distinctive sound.
PossessedHand does not generate enough force to pluck the koto strings, but it could help novice players by teaching them the correct finger movements.
When one adds water to a Tibetan singing bowl and plays – often by tracing the edge with a mallet – the bowl’s haunting sound is accompanied by ripples on the water’s surface. That’s because the mallet pushes on the side of the bowl – made from bronze alloy that is more malleable than glass – and deforms it on a microscopic scale.
The deformation pushes on the air and the water, forming waves. The air waves are sound; the water waves race around the ring. If they are sufficiently excited, the waves break and eject droplets. The same happens in a wine glass, though at higher resonant frequencies.
On the face of it, this seems an unlikely proposition. Natural sources of radio waves include lightning, stars and pulsars while artificial sources include radar, mobile phones and computers. This is a diverse list. So it’s hard to see what these things might have in common with bacteria that could be responsible for making radio waves.
But today, Allan Widom at Northeastern University in Boston and a few pals, say they’ve worked out how it could be done.
They point out that many types of bacterial DNA take the form of circular loops. So they’ve modelled the behaviour of free electrons moving around such a small loop, pointing out that, as quantum objects, the electrons can take certain energy levels.
Widom and co calculate that the transition frequencies between these energy levels correspond to radio signals broadcast at 0.5, 1 and 1.5 kilohertz. And they point out that exactly this kind of signal has been measured in E Coli bacteria.
Was getting your name legally changed a lot of work?
Not really, I have a good lawyer. He composed the paperwork, and I signed it.
Is it more for outward appearances or your own self? Do people seem to take you more or less seriously with a name like Nyarlathotep Diabolus Rex? What are your thoughts on the magical implications of chosen names?
Historically and from magickal tradition it was common practice to change ones name in keeping with one’s initiatory development and transformation. In the ritual chamber, the function of which is to act as an amplifier and a magnet. A magical name is as much a sorceric weapon as a sword, dagger, bell, staff, etc… and should not be scoffed at.
Many practitioners will forgo this essential element as a result of ingrained timidity or embarrassment. The more your magickal name is used there will be the reciprocal effect of growing affinity and power; in time the mask will become the face. As for how others may feel about my name, whether amused, frightened, or angered, is of no consequence.
When you combine iron and carbon, it becomes “steel.” The psych-eccentric consciousness refined through the fire of “Will” in the ritual chamber becomes the crucible and forge for the advent of a new “Being,” one is no longer the same creature. This is the nature of authentic initiation.
I remember reading something on your website years ago about a piece of artwork. You created some sort of display behind glass including worms and maggots. Was this in High School? Tell me about that whole experience.
The Ray of Discovery is a video series, written and produced by Gerry Vassilatos. Presented by the kind folk at Borderland Sciences.
Ray I: Nikola Tesla
In ETHERIC PHYSICS we learn about the phenomenal discoveries which led to Tesla’s great life-work. Revealed here is his conception of the ether and its relationship with our own innermost lives. We are also informed about the pathological resistance by the House of Morgan to his discoveries. Insight into the opposition of Morgan, whose daughter fell deeply in love with Tesla, reveals the formidable forces opposing all discoverers in the field of etheric energy. ECHOES OF RADIANT SPACE recounts the way in which Tesla tapped into the vast etheric reservoirs of dynamic energies. We are told how Tesla’s large designs actually yielded far more energy than they took to run. We are, finally, driven into the astonishing revelation concerning Tesla’s involvement with what later was called psychotronics. Many of his claims are actually forerunners of a new technology — yet to be revealed.
Ray II: Rife Raytube Therapy
WAVES THAT CURE chronicles the work and life of Dr. Royal R. Rife, Californian pathologist and discoverer of the BX cancer virus. We follow the steps which led to his discovery of a powerful agent to selectively destroy any virus: The design and implementation of this tremendously powerful Universal Microscope is recounted; the only microscope capable of viewing viruses in the living state. The method and theory of resonant shattering is taught. This way of destroying a virus — while still in a patient’s body— is described in great detail. A total disclosure of his methods, designs, and success is made in these two half-hour episodes.
Only last year, scientists were astonished to find that the nebula — a giant cloud 6,500 light-years from Earth with the spinning cinder of an exploded star at its center — had spat out gamma-ray flares that fluctuated on time scales of only a few days.
Last month, however, the nebula outdid itself, says Rolf Buehler of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California. The Crab hurled gamma-ray flares, more energetic and five times brighter than any previously recorded, that fluctuated over just one to three hours. Buehler announced the findings, based on observations with the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, on May 11 in Rome at the annual Fermi symposium. A second team observed the April fireworks with Agile, another orbiting telescope.
“These recently discovered flares indeed present a new set of challenges and highlight our ignorance of how this fascinating [object] works,” comments theorist Dmitri Uzdensky of the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Earlier outbursts had already suggested that the Crab is producing gamma rays by accelerating electrons and positrons to energies around a quadrillion, or 1015, electron-volts — about 100 times higher than the maximum energy of protons at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful atom smasher. Because no signal can travel a distance greater than light can in a given period of time, the rapid variation of the April flares indicates that the charged particles were revved up within a tiny region of the vast Crab no bigger than the solar system, Buehler notes.