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 Post subject: from current journals as of 2017 01 08
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:16 am 
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Naval History February 2017
Naval History News
Scavengers Trash WWII Java Sea Shipwrecks
Three WWII British shipwrecks (Exeter, Encounter and Electra) and a US submarine wreck (Perch) sunk during battles around Indonesian have been completely removed by illegal commercial salvage (it’s illegal under Admiralty law; a sunken civilian vessel belongs to whoever can find and salvage it, but sunken warships belong to the owning country in perpetuity; this has caused some interesting problems with Spanish treasure ships – were they warships or commercial vessels – and with ships belonging to the Confederate States Navy – who do they belong to now?).
Historic Aircraft
The US Marine Corps got into the airborne business in 1940, shortly after the success of German paratroops and gliders. The Marines ordered 200 Waco gliders, but the order was soon canceled when the Marines decided gliders and paratroops really weren’t suited for the kind of war they intended to fight. The gliders already received were turned over to the Army; ironically, the Army did successfully use gliders in the Burma campaign (although it’s unknown if any of the ex-marine ones were involved).
The Plane That Won The War
A straightforward article on the design and use of the SBD Dauntless dive bomber; of some interest here because the article author is Barrett Tillman, who has written several books on the Pacific and Vietnam wars, including one reviewed here. A biographic snippet notes the Tillman family owns the world’s only flyable SBD.
Flying the Empire Express
Naval aviation being the theme for this issue, author David Sears discusses USN reconnaissance flights out of Attu in the Aleutians. Most of these were conducted by PBY Catalinas, but author David Sears makes an interesting claim; the USAAF had objected to the USN flying land-based aircraft out of the Aleutians; however they did a deal in exchange for being allowed to use Navy facilities in Renton, Washington for the B-29 program. The Navy therefore began flying PV-1 Venturas out of Attu. The Ventura pilots had converted from Catalinas and had to be broken of some PBY habits – including expecting the aircraft to bounce off the ocean during instrument approaches. However eventually two Navy patrol squadrons began staging night reconnaissance (with flash bombs) on Paramushiro. It was an 11-hour round trip over water, with little slack for evasion and maneuver over the target, which leads to the next story in this issue:
Pipeline to Freedom
Navy and USAAF pilots that ran into trouble over the Kuriles and couldn’t make it back to base were instructed to divert to an “alternate” site – Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka. Eventually seventeen aircrews – 10 Navy and seven USAAF – ended up guests of the Soviets. The crews praised Soviet hospitality but became bored; they were moved around the country by air and rail and eventually ended up at an internment camp right on the Iranian border in Ashkabad, where they “escaped” to a bunch of Lend-Lease trucks conveniently waiting on the Iranian side.

Archaeology January-February 2017
World’s Oldest Dress
The “Tarkhan Dress” (I’d call it more of a shirt or tunic) was discovered in 1913, bur hasn’t been radiocarbon dated until this year. The result is rather astonishing; the dress dates to between 3482 and 3103 BCE, making it the oldest woven garment know. It dates from the Predynastic period, even before Egypt was united into a single monarchy.
The underwater archaeology of the attack on Pearl Harbor
The article notes the Arizona is still in pretty good shape and will maintain structural integrity for at least 150 years. When the wreck was transferred from the Navy to the National Park Service in 1980, archaeologists were surprised to discover that the Number 1 Turret is still there; it had been thought all four turrets were removed in 1942. Arizona leaks about a gallon of Bunker C a day – the resulting slick is called “The Tears of Arizona”. There are about 500K gallons of fuel left on board, and some thought has been given to removing it, but archaeologists note that there is only one spot where a leak is directly connected to a fuel cell – the remaining oil is following a tortuous path inside the wreck before reaching the surface. The oil is believed to be adding buoyancy to the wreck and preserving it from some corrosion, plus a recovery effort would involve disturbing war dead.
Five Japanese midget submarines were deployed for the attack. One washed ashore more or less intact on Oahu on December 8, 1941; it is currently on display in Fredericksburg, Texas. The second was recovered from Pearl Harbor in 1942 (it had been rammed and sunk by the destroyer Monaghan on December 7th); it was examined and then dumped back in the harbor. The third was discovered outside the harbor in 1960; parts were sent back to Japan. The fourth was found in three pieces, in 1992, 2000, and 2001; it’s not clear exactly what happened to it. It has a shell hole corresponding to a shot fired by the destroyer Ward on the morning of the attack, but that doesn’t explain how it ended up in parts. One theory is that the shot from Ward didn’t sink it and it made it into the harbor, fired torpedoes, and then set off its scuttling charge. In 1944 there was an enormous accidental explosion at Peal that supposedly swept the sub off the seafloor and broke it into three pieces. The second theory is it’s the sub mentioned in a 1951 report that was recovered, cut up, and redumped. The 1951 report was apparently sent to Life magazine under unusual circumstances. Regardless, that still leaves a fifth midget sub out there somewhere.
In the 1980s, the wreck of a PBY-5 was identified by, of all things, mine-hunting dolphins. It was restudied in 1994 by archaeology faculty and students from the University of Hawaii and East Carolina University. The cockpit was more or less intact; the port throttle is in full forward position, suggesting a takeoff was attempted, but the plane is still attached to a mooring line; one expects stuff like that happened in the confusion of the attack. Researchers are unable to determine exactly how many PBY-5s were at Kaneohe Air Station – eyewitnesses say three, four or six – or what happened to the pilots.

Smithsonian January-February 2017
Technology
Rage Against the Machines
In an article mostly about the history of the 19th-century Luddite movement – which is interesting enough on its own – author Clive Thompson drops a couple of predictions about future US employment. In 20 years, 47 percent of all US jobs will be automated. Among the jobs predicted to disappear are: library technician, tax preparer, insurance underwriter, telemarketer and – this one surprised me – long haul truckers. One interesting thing here is automation penetrating white collar jobs. I also note, though, that my research on various industrial processes reminds me that there have been entire industries in the US that have vanished – the examples I ran into in my work were manufactured gas and steam locomotives. It wasn’t just the central industry workers that vanished – i.e., manufactured gas plant employees and steam locomotive engineers – there was a whole network of things that went with them: automatic stokers, boiler makers, coal miners, and so on. I predict, therefore, that the replacement of long haul truckers by AI will spell the end of the country and western music industry.

Scientific American January 2017
Advances
Whose Tools Are These?
There have been some MSM and scientific journal reports about stone tools, tentatively named “Lomekwian” and even older than Olduwan. However, other researchers found capuchin monkeys in Brazil making “tools” apparently identical to the Lowekwian “industry”. The catch, and why “tools” is in quotes, is the monkeys aren’t making tools; i.e. they are not modifying rocks to make them better at something. Instead they are just smashing rocks because they like smashing rocks. Of course, this is probably on the route to toolmaking; sooner or later a rock smashing monkey would figure out the smashed rocks were useful for something else. It also suggests that the very first tool – object deliberately modified to be useful for doing something – was probably not a cutting tool or scraping tool or chopping tool but a rock shaped to make it better at smashing other rocks for the amusement value – i.e., not the ancient precursor of axe or knife but of the video game system.
Veggies with Vision
Some plants make compounds that are precursors of retinal pigments; what’s more these show upo in structures called plastoglobuli, leading to the suggestion that these are precursors of eyespots. It’s noted that some climbing vines can modify the shape and color of their leaves to mimic those of their host plant, implying some sort of vision.
Skeptic
When Facts Backfire
Columnist Michael Shermer makes an observation still useful although it’s been repeated from many sources in the past couple months: offering facts contradictory to deeply held beliefs makes those beliefs stronger, not weaker. He offers 6 techniques (but notes they are from his experience, not actually tested): (1) Keep emotions out. (2) No ad hominem or ad Hitlerum. (3) Listen carefully; be able to articulate the other position clearly. (4) Show respect. (5) Acknowledge that you understand how someone might hold that opinion. (6) Try to show how accepting a particular set of facts will not affect overall worldview. These all seem like good ideas but Shermer provides no evidence that they actually work. A challenge, therefore; name a strong world view that you’ve changed and what facts brought about that change. In my case, I think those would be anthropogenic climate change and cladistic taxonomy. In neither case where there a particular fact or even set of facts; just the weight of the evidence (note that “weight of evidence” is not the same as “scientific consensus”).

Journal of Paleontology Number 6 2016
Ernietta from the late Edicaran Nama Group, Namibia
Edicaran (I note there’s apparently disagreement over whether it’s “Edicaran” or “Ediacaran”; “Edicaran” is what’s used in this article) things are always interesting. Most are preserved on bedding surfaces; this example in preserved in the sediment. Unfortunately what remains is apparently a holdfast; whatever projected above the sediment surface is missing. At any rate, what’s left of Ernietta seems to be a tube open at both ends (at least, that’s the position of these authors; I note previous reconstructions show it closed at the “bottom”). The organism was apparently colonial or at least gregarious; each organism distorts the shape of its neighbor where it presses against it. Googling Ernietta will give you a number of interpretations of what the whole organism might have looked like.

Nature 22/29 December 2016 (Nature publishes 52 issues a year – the last issue is double).
Seven Days
Telescope setback
We have a couple of threads on the trials of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) in Hawaii; now a local judge has overturned the approval of the site’s sublease from the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Nature notes this is less of a setback than the Hawaii Supreme Court overturning the building permit, but it adds yet another layer of difficulty to the project. It looks increasingly like the TMT will be built in the Canary Islands. I wonder if the activists will now turn on the other telescopes on Mauna Kea?

Science 16 December 2016
News in Brief
Data mount linking Zika, birth defects
For more on Zika, see here. One of the puzzles with Zika is apparent uneven distribution of adverse effects; while Colombia had the second highest infection rate per capita after Brazil, it reported many fewer microcephaly cases. It appears this was due to poor reporting; independent researchers reported more than twice as many microcephaly cases as the official government figures. In Brazil, meanwhile, there are more and more reports of “adverse outcomes” to pregnancy for Zika-infected mothers, these include microcephaly but also miscarriage and infant brain hemorrhage. Adverse outcomes are more the earlier the Zika infection occurred: 56% in the first trimester, 52% in the second, and 29% in the third.
Research
Large gem diamonds from metallic liquid in Earth’s deep mantle
The authors note that really large diamonds – they cite the Cullinan, Constellation, and Koh-i-noor – carry inclusions indicative of crystallization from highly reducing metal-saturated conditions. It’s noted that the amount of free metal present in the deep mantle is important to many theories of mantle and core composition. It suggested that appropriate conditions occur at around 660 km down.
Fault activation by hydraulic fracturing in western Canada
While there’s a lot of chatter about “frackquakes”, what people are actually referring to is seismic events caused by deep fluid injection for disposal; the fluid can come from fracking but also from conventional wells. However this study demonstrates at least one earthquake in western Canada (in the Fox Creek area, northwest of Edmonton) that was actually caused by fracking rather than fluid disposal. The quake was moment magnitude 3.9; there are about 10000 earthquakes of this magnitude every year.
More tornadoes in the most extreme U.S. tornado outbreaks
Another thread we saw before; if climate change isn’t giving us more severe storms, then if we HARK the data enough we’ll eventually find something its doing. In this case, the number of storms with multiple tornadoes is increasing and that “extreme” outbreaks are increasing even faster. The data seems fairly convincing; however the authors note with some puzzlement that “the trends do not resemble those currently expected to result from global warming”.

Science 16 December 2016 (supplement to the issue above)
Sponsored Supplement: Brain Inspired Intelligent Robotics
Collective robots: Architecture, cognitive behavior model, and robot operating system
This is a supplement to Science sponsored by a Chinese robotics institute. This particular article discusses “collective” robots. The article first distinguishes between “swarm robots”, “multirobots”, and “collective robots”. “Swarm robots” seem to have mostly military application; you send a whole bunch of robots against a target in the hopes they will overwhelm defenses. However, the individual robots each act independently. The only example of “multirobots” given is robotic soccer, which I confess I haven’t encountered. Apparently the individual soccer playing robots have some independent capability but there is overall central command; also the individual robots are identical. The true “collective robots” are heterogeneous but share information; the example given for collective robots is a hazardous or unknown environment. The article doesn’t mention autonomous vehicles, which seems like an ideal application for collective robots; cars could share information about traffic, road conditions, etc.

Science 9 December 2016
News
Global science scores flat
The 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment found little change in student science scores since the last test in 2006. The top countries were Singapore, Japan, Estonia, Taiwan, Finland and Canada. The US was in the middle of the pack; US educators, attempting to find a bright spot, noted that the gap between the best-performing and worst-performing US students had lessened; unfortunately that was because the best performers did worse. Science comments that the test seems to refute three principles held by the education establishment: that spending more on education will increase scores, that immigrants pull down test performance, and that students who enjoy science do better than their peers. These conclusions will likely be greeted by a blank stare and changing the subject.
News in Depth
Carbon monoxide, the silent killer, may have met its match
Once again serendipity strikes. A research team at the University of Pittsburg was looking at the protein neuroglobin; to their annoyance they found that the neuroglobin they were trying to purify almost always had CO bound to it, which required an extra chemical step to remove. Then a casual comment came up – that there was no known antidote for carbon monoxide poisoning. The Pittsburg team took some mice, poisoned them with a lethal dose of CO (3% for 4 minutes), and just as they were sprouting wings and heading for the Great Cheese in the Sky, injected them with neuroglobin. The mice recovered; further trials showed 87% percent of test mice recovered if giving neuroglobin within 5 minutes of a lethal CO dose. Trials will continue on larger animals and eventually people. The FDA is expected to expedite approval. Toxicologists caution that CO poisoning has complicated long term effects, but also note that it’s better to be dealing with a live patient with side effects than a blue corpse on a slab.
Policy forum
What life scientists should know about security threats
A recent US government risk assessment noted 56 incidents involving attempts and actual use of pathogens to cause harm. Twenty one were criminal acts by individuals, 17 were domestic terrorists, and 18 were transnational terrorists. There were 26 cases of attacks on life-science facilities and hospitals (i.e., arson or vandalism not involving pathogens); the majority were by domestic terrorists (Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front were used as examples), but a significant fraction were by individuals sabotaging other’s experiments. It’s noted that “insiders” were involved in the majority of incidents, either acting directly or recruited by outside groups.
Letters
Editorial Expression of Concern
Earlier this year the MSM published stories about microscopic plastic particles harming larval fish; a paper appeared in the June 3 2016 Science. Science now notes that the computer containing the raw data for that paper has been stolen, and there was no backup; thus the results cannot be replicated or the original data reanalyzed.
Report
Sensitive electromechanical sensors using viscoelastic graphene-polymer nanocomposites
The authors made their own Silly Putty™ by mixing silicone oil and boric acid, then mixed that with homemade graphene sheets. The resulting material (they call it “G-putty”) is somewhat stiffer than Silly Putty™, but still elastic; and it is electrically conductive; the conductivity is extremely sensitive to deformation. In particular, G-putty can act as a pulse monitor when applied to the carotid artery (I assume this was done outside the patient but the article doesn’t say); it's sensitive enough to show the “characteristic double peak and dicrotic notch” (the more medically astute here can probably tell me what that means). The material was also sensitive enough to record the footsteps of a small spider walking across it.
The long-run poverty and gender impacts of mobile money
“Mobile money” allows monetary value to be stored in a mobile phone and sent to other users by text message. In Kenya, the mobile money system has reportedly moved 194K households (about 2% of the Kenyan population) out of poverty. The effect was stronger in female-headed households; particular results were increased saving, increased financial resilience, and occupation changes (farming to business, for example)

Nature 8 December 2016
News in Focus
Researchers baffled by nationalist surge
Sociologists express puzzlement over the popularity of “nationalist” politics in the US and Europe – I suspect “nationalist” here is Nature’s polite code word for another “ist” word that begins with an “f”. The sociologists note that in the past “authoritarian” leaders took advantage of severe economic times, but the economy is supposedly good in both the US and Europe. An American study notes that both Democrats and Republicans are becoming more “hard line” in their respective constituencies.
News Feature
Freedom in exile
Something I knew nothing about. When the Royal Navy conducted antislavery patrols in the mid-1800s, it found itself with shiploads of liberated slaves; the slave ships were usually captured on their way to South America. They were taken to the closest RN base and held in a refugee camp until their final disposition could be arranged; this turned out to be the island of St. Helena in mid-Atlantic. Over 27000 freed slaves were taken to St. Helena; about 10000 died and were buried there. (the survivors were not returned to Africa, but were taken to British Caribbean colonies as free blacks). The story was known but generally ignored, until construction of an airport (previously the only way to get to the island was by ship from South Africa). This turned up thousands of graves. Some DNA sequencing has tied individual skeletons to various populations in Africa. It’s noted that current inhabitants – who generally refer to themselves as “Saints” – are reluctant to confess to some degree of African ancestry.
Outlook
Unlock your inner salamander
A salamander can regrow an entire limb; a lizard can regrow a tail; but the ability seem to be lost in “higher” vertebrates. There are some tantalizing possibilities, though. Most mammals have some sort of regenerative ability that is lost during life; children under age six can usually lose an entire digit tip – as long as it’s not past the joint – and have it grow back. A one-day-old mouse embryo can have an entire heart ventricle removed and grow it back; the ability is lost by the time the embryo is seven days old. The African spiny mouse can lose large patches of skin – in fact, big chunks of skin typically come off during laboratory handling – and grow them back, complete with hair follicles and cartilage (if the ear is involved) and without scarring. It’s noted that just the ability to regenerate heart tissue – like the day-old mouse embryo – would be an immense step, as now a heart attack leaves a scar that permanently weakens the heart and leaves it vulnerable.
Rewriting the regenerative rule book
Stem cells have become a battleground between the FDA, which takes a hard line approach, and some patient groups, who attribute benefits to stem cell treatments that are often not even speculative. The FDA has two broad categories for human cells, tissues, and cellular and tissue based products (HCT/Ps); section 361 covers things like organ and blood donations and are intended to protect against disease transmission but otherwise do not require a great deal of FDA oversight. Section 351 products, on the other hand, are treated as drugs and require the same series of clinical trials and protocols that new drugs do. However, it’s noted that despite a successful lawsuit against Regenerative Sciences of Broomfield, Colorado – in which the court upheld the FDA’s decision to regulate under section 351 – there has been little FDA activity against various other clinics and entities providing stem cell treatments. The main argument over whether section 361 or section 351 applies are based on the degree of “manipulation” involved; the FDA concedes that removing something from a patient and replacing it with “minimal manipulation” comes under section 361. As you might expect, there is a lot of argument over what constitutes “minimal manipulation”, which is what got Regenerative Sciences in trouble. The general consensus among the doctors, lawyers, and ethicists interviewed for the Nature article (the FDA was invited to comment but declined) was that the FDA interpretations were too strict and were hampering doctor’s abilities to provide the best possible outcomes to their patients.
News & Views
Forty years of linking orbits and ice ages
Way back in the 1940s, Serbian mathematician Milutin Milanković suggested that long term variation in the Earth’s orbital parameters – orbital eccentricity, axial tilt, axial precession, and orbital precession – were responsible for ice ages. The idea languished until the 1970s, when accumulating long-term climate data and radiometric dating techniques provided partial confirmation; “orbital forcing” did not account for the formation and disappearance of ice sheets but it did strongly explain smaller advances and retreats; in fact the correlation was so strong that it is now used in reverse; instead of dated glacial advances and retreats being used to confirm orbital forcing cycles, orbital forcing cycles are matched with glacial advances and retreats to date them.
Letter
Greenland was nearly ice-free for extended periods during the Pleistocene
The melting of the Greenland ice cap is one of the many disasters predicted to result from anthropogenic climate change. Recent coring that penetrated all the way through the ice to bedrock showed that (based on bedrock exposure to cosmic rays, resulting in radiogenic ¹⁰Be and ²⁶Al) at least 90% of Greenland ice melted during Pleistocene interglacials, with the remaining 10% a cap on the East Greenland highlands. The longest period of Greenland ice cap consistent with the authors’ model is 1.1My, preceded by at least 280Ky of ice-free Greenland; it’s noted that this is a maximum and shorter durations for the ice cap are more realistic. It’s also noted that most climate models assume the “normal” state for Greenland during the Pleistocene is ice-covered.
A persistent and dynamic East Greenland Ice Sheet over the past 7.5 million years
Attempted refutation of the above. The authors here use off-shore sediment derived from subglacial bedrock and cosmogenically dated to claim there has been a consistent Greenland ice sheet for at least the middle and late Pleistocene (the last 7.5My). As it turns out, the two papers are not necessarily inconsistent. The sedimentary data comes only from the Greenland east coast and the sedimentation rate is so slow that the data cannot distinguish between a remnant ice sheet on the East Greenland highlands (which is what the previous paper predicts during deglaciation) and a diminished continent-wide ice sheet.

Nature 1 December 2016
This Week
Break out of the echo chamber
In an obvious response to the presidential election results, the editorial discusses two articles recently published in The New York Times. One, by Columbia University researcher Mark Lilla, called for “the end of liberal identity politics”. The theme is liberals have become so focused on race, gender and sexual identity politics that they live in “bubbles” and have alienated white, religious and rural groups. The other Times article referenced was by Nicholas Kristof, who Nature notes “can scarcely be accused of conservative bias”. Kristof accused liberal academics of “selective tolerance” when it came to conservative or religious viewpoints, and argued that the plunging representation of conservatives and religious on American campuses is impoverishing intellectual diversity. Nature suggests both articles overstate the case but offer food for thought. It notes neither column went down well with liberal respondents – the most highly recommended comment to Kristof’s column was “You don’t diversify with idiots”. Nature’s counter was that a substantial part of the US population voted for Donald Trump, and not all are bigots and racists, and liberals should look in the mirror. (It probably would have been a little much to suggest they should look for the beam in their own eye).
Letter
The rapid formation of Sputnik Planita early in Pluto’s history
Sputnik Planita is a Plutonian feature resembling a polar ice cap – but it’s not at one on the poles; instead it’s directly opposite Charon, on the system’s tidal axis. The authors of this paper note that ice (in this case, nitrogen ice) will quickly accumulate at Plutonian latitudes 30° north and south because these are the coldest regions averaged over the dwarf planet’s orbit. Once there it would concentrate in a single cap owing to albedo effects, and that cap would end up directly opposite Charon due to tidal locking.

LP News December 2016
Libertarian election winners:
AZ Ruth Bennett to the Continental Elementary School District Board
CA Jonathan Hall to the Tehachapi Cummings Water District Board
CA Brian Holtz to the Purissima Hills Water District Board
CA Wallace Stewart to the Viata Fire Protection District Board
CA Susan Marie Weber to the Palm Desert City Council
FL Matthew Bymaster to the Palm Beach County Soil and Water Conservation District
FL Jared Girfoni to the Marco Island City Council
KY Mitch Rushing to the Jefferson County Commissioners
MI Elizabeth Corder to the Ypsilanti Township Parks Commission
MN Maynard Meyer to Mayor of Madison
MN Cara Schultz to the Burnsville City Council
NE Ben Backus the the Gering City Council
TX Larry Bush to Mayor of Jarrell
VA Jessica Abbott to Virginia Beach City Council
Tomorrow the world.

Science 25 November 2016
News in brief
Harm reduction underused
The UK based Harm Reduction International reports half of the world’s estimated 12M injected illegal drug users have hepatitis C, 14% have HIV, and 9% have hepatitis B. The nonprofit call for providing clean needles and syringes, and methadone.
Surgeon General flags addition
Apropos of the above, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called for more research on addiction, noting in 2015 66.7M Americans reported binge drinking and 27.1M reported using illegal drugs or misusing prescription drugs.
News in depth
Graveyard of cold slabs mapped in the Earth’s mantle
“Cold” is surely a misnomer, as they are probably considerably warmer now than they were when they were at the surface; they just aren’t subducting any more. Dutch geophysicists used a tomography technique to map over 100 subducted plates, with information about age, size and related surface rocks. It’s noted the method is controversial; over 20 groups around the world have competing models for subducted slabs. However the Dutch group seems to have the most consistent results.

Nature 24 November 2016
Seven Days
CRISPR in humans
News in focus
CRISPR gene editing done on a person
A Chinese medical team injected a patient with cells modified by the CRISPR technique, in a clinical trial of a method to treat aggressive lung cancer. The short note merely reports; the longer story says the cells involved were from the patient’s blood and were edited to remove a gene that slows immune system response. The cells were then cultured and reinjected. An American doctor commented “I think this is going to be Sputnik 2.0”, while critics do not think the trial will work.
Texas tea
The USGS reported the west Texas Wolfcamp Shale contains 20G barrels of oil and 1.6G barrels of natural gas, which would be the largest oil field ever discovered in the US.. “Barrels” is an unusual way to report natural gas volume. The short note the “unconventional” resources would have to be extracted using “special methods”, but does not specify what those methods might be.


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 Post subject: Re: from current journals as of 2017 01 08
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:45 am
Posts: 8222
setnahkt wrote:
Naval History February 2017
Historic Aircraft
The US Marine Corps got into the airborne business in 1940, shortly after the success of German paratroops and gliders. The Marines ordered 200 Waco gliders, but the order was soon canceled when the Marines decided gliders and paratroops really weren’t suited for the kind of war they intended to fight. The gliders already received were turned over to the Army; ironically, the Army did successfully use gliders in the Burma campaign (although it’s unknown if any of the ex-marine ones were involved).


The Marines actually had a Paramarine battalion assigned to each division at the start of the Pacific War. As you say, these were soon viewed as unnecessary, and were used as cadre for Sixth Division.

Quote:
The Plane That Won The War
A straightforward article on the design and use of the SBD Dauntless dive bomber; of some interest here because the article author is Barrett Tillman, who has written several books on the Pacific and Vietnam wars, including one reviewed here. A biographic snippet notes the Tillman family owns the world’s only flyable SBD.


Not single-handed, but if I had to choose an aircraft that did the most to win the Pacific War, yeah.

Quote:
Pipeline to Freedom
Navy and USAAF pilots that ran into trouble over the Kuriles and couldn’t make it back to base were instructed to divert to an “alternate” site – Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka. Eventually seventeen aircrews – 10 Navy and seven USAAF – ended up guests of the Soviets. The crews praised Soviet hospitality but became bored; they were moved around the country by air and rail and eventually ended up at an internment camp right on the Iranian border in Ashkabad, where they “escaped” to a bunch of Lend-Lease trucks conveniently waiting on the Iranian side.


This happened with one of the Doolittle Raiders. However, they report the accommodations being rather primitive. Either way, the aircraft did not accompany the airmen on their "escape"; the Russians claimed them as reparations for the expenses of internment. (Neutrals were required by international law to intern combatants that entered their territory, other than visiting warships, and could charge the combatant country the costs of internment."

Quote:
The underwater archaeology of the attack on Pearl Harbor
The article notes the Arizona is still in pretty good shape and will maintain structural integrity for at least 150 years. When the wreck was transferred from the Navy to the National Park Service in 1980, archaeologists were surprised to discover that the Number 1 Turret is still there; it had been thought all four turrets were removed in 1942.


Since Number 1 turret was directly over the magazine which exploded, I can imagine that removing it might have been difficult.

Quote:
Whose Tools Are These?
There have been some MSM and scientific journal reports about stone tools, tentatively named “Lomekwian” and even older than Olduwan. However, other researchers found capuchin monkeys in Brazil making “tools” apparently identical to the Lowekwian “industry”. The catch, and why “tools” is in quotes, is the monkeys aren’t making tools; i.e. they are not modifying rocks to make them better at something. Instead they are just smashing rocks because they like smashing rocks.


Obviously monkey ritual objects. ;)

Quote:
Of course, this is probably on the route to toolmaking; sooner or later a rock smashing monkey would figure out the smashed rocks were useful for something else. It also suggests that the very first tool – object deliberately modified to be useful for doing something – was probably not a cutting tool or scraping tool or chopping tool but a rock shaped to make it better at smashing other rocks for the amusement value – i.e., not the ancient precursor of axe or knife but of the video game system.


Which raises the possibility that my sons' video games are ritual objects. Probably not far from the truth, at least for my autistic son.

Quote:
Skeptic
When Facts Backfire
Columnist Michael Shermer makes an observation still useful although it’s been repeated from many sources in the past couple months: offering facts contradictory to deeply held beliefs makes those beliefs stronger, not weaker. He offers 6 techniques (but notes they are from his experience, not actually tested): (1) Keep emotions out. (2) No ad hominem or ad Hitlerum. (3) Listen carefully; be able to articulate the other position clearly. (4) Show respect. (5) Acknowledge that you understand how someone might hold that opinion. (6) Try to show how accepting a particular set of facts will not affect overall worldview. These all seem like good ideas but Shermer provides no evidence that they actually work. A challenge, therefore; name a strong world view that you’ve changed and what facts brought about that change. In my case, I think those would be anthropogenic climate change and cladistic taxonomy. In neither case where there a particular fact or even set of facts; just the weight of the evidence (note that “weight of evidence” is not the same as “scientific consensus”).


I have found that it's almost impossible to change the mind of someone who does not share my basic worldview. It works the other way: I'm more receptive to criticisms of the free market, say, from a libertarian-leaning conservative than from Bernie Sanders.

Quote:
Journal of Paleontology Number 6 2016
Ernietta from the late Edicaran Nama Group, Namibia
Edicaran (I note there’s apparently disagreement over whether it’s “Edicaran” or “Ediacaran”; “Edicaran” is what’s used in this article) things are always interesting. Most are preserved on bedding surfaces; this example in preserved in the sediment. Unfortunately what remains is apparently a holdfast; whatever projected above the sediment surface is missing. At any rate, what’s left of Ernietta seems to be a tube open at both ends (at least, that’s the position of these authors; I note previous reconstructions show it closed at the “bottom”). The organism was apparently colonial or at least gregarious; each organism distorts the shape of its neighbor where it presses against it. Googling Ernietta will give you a number of interpretations of what the whole organism might have looked like.


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I'd say Bert is the more tube-shaped one. Berttia?

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Seven Days
Telescope setback
We have a couple of threads on the trials of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) in Hawaii; now a local judge has overturned the approval of the site’s sublease from the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Nature notes this is less of a setback than the Hawaii Supreme Court overturning the building permit, but it adds yet another layer of difficulty to the project. It looks increasingly like the TMT will be built in the Canary Islands. I wonder if the activists will now turn on the other telescopes on Mauna Kea?


SSC already made the U.S. the laughingstock of the world among particle physicists. Looks like that trend it only going to expand.

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Large gem diamonds from metallic liquid in Earth’s deep mantle
The authors note that really large diamonds – they cite the Cullinan, Constellation, and Koh-i-noor – carry inclusions indicative of crystallization from highly reducing metal-saturated conditions. It’s noted that the amount of free metal present in the deep mantle is important to many theories of mantle and core composition. It suggested that appropriate conditions occur at around 660 km down.


Chalcophile metals or iron? Copper and related metals are commonly found in the metallic state in the crust, but metallic iron is almost always meteoric; and non-meteoric metallic iron is always associated with magmatic intrusions of coal beds, or so I'm told.

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More tornadoes in the most extreme U.S. tornado outbreaks
Another thread we saw before; if climate change isn’t giving us more severe storms, then if we HARK the data enough we’ll eventually find something its doing. In this case, the number of storms with multiple tornadoes is increasing and that “extreme” outbreaks are increasing even faster. The data seems fairly convincing; however the authors note with some puzzlement that “the trends do not resemble those currently expected to result from global warming”.


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Science 16 December 2016 (supplement to the issue above)
Sponsored Supplement: Brain Inspired Intelligent Robotics


Isn't all inteligent robotics pretty much brain-inspired?

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Global science scores flat
The 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment found little change in student science scores since the last test in 2006. The top countries were Singapore, Japan, Estonia, Taiwan, Finland and Canada. The US was in the middle of the pack; US educators, attempting to find a bright spot, noted that the gap between the best-performing and worst-performing US students had lessened; unfortunately that was because the best performers did worse. Science comments that the test seems to refute three principles held by the education establishment: that spending more on education will increase scores, that immigrants pull down test performance, and that students who enjoy science do better than their peers. These conclusions will likely be greeted by a blank stare and changing the subject.


I confess the last conclusions startles me.

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Forty years of linking orbits and ice ages
Way back in the 1940s, Serbian mathematician Milutin Milanković suggested that long term variation in the Earth’s orbital parameters – orbital eccentricity, axial tilt, axial precession, and orbital precession – were responsible for ice ages. The idea languished until the 1970s, when accumulating long-term climate data and radiometric dating techniques provided partial confirmation; “orbital forcing” did not account for the formation and disappearance of ice sheets but it did strongly explain smaller advances and retreats; in fact the correlation was so strong that it is now used in reverse; instead of dated glacial advances and retreats being used to confirm orbital forcing cycles, orbital forcing cycles are matched with glacial advances and retreats to date them.


Interesting. When do these cycles predict the next advance?


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Break out of the echo chamber
In an obvious response to the presidential election results, the editorial discusses two articles recently published in The New York Times. One, by Columbia University researcher Mark Lilla, called for “the end of liberal identity politics”. The theme is liberals have become so focused on race, gender and sexual identity politics that they live in “bubbles” and have alienated white, religious and rural groups. The other Times article referenced was by Nicholas Kristof, who Nature notes “can scarcely be accused of conservative bias”. Kristof accused liberal academics of “selective tolerance” when it came to conservative or religious viewpoints, and argued that the plunging representation of conservatives and religious on American campuses is impoverishing intellectual diversity. Nature suggests both articles overstate the case but offer food for thought. It notes neither column went down well with liberal respondents – the most highly recommended comment to Kristof’s column was “You don’t diversify with idiots”. Nature’s counter was that a substantial part of the US population voted for Donald Trump, and not all are bigots and racists, and liberals should look in the mirror. (It probably would have been a little much to suggest they should look for the beam in their own eye).


Probably pointless; I doubt many are familiar with the New Testament parable.

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The USGS reported the west Texas Wolfcamp Shale contains 20G barrels of oil and 1.6G barrels of natural gas, which would be the largest oil field ever discovered in the US.. “Barrels” is an unusual way to report natural gas volume. The short note the “unconventional” resources would have to be extracted using “special methods”, but does not specify what those methods might be.
[/quote][/quote]

Whatever they are, environmentalists won't like them and EPA will try to ban them.


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 Post subject: Re: from current journals as of 2017 01 08
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:28 am 
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KGB wrote:
setnahkt wrote:
Large gem diamonds from metallic liquid in Earth’s deep mantle
The authors note that really large diamonds – they cite the Cullinan, Constellation, and Koh-i-noor – carry inclusions indicative of crystallization from highly reducing metal-saturated conditions. It’s noted that the amount of free metal present in the deep mantle is important to many theories of mantle and core composition. It suggested that appropriate conditions occur at around 660 km down.


Quote:
Chalcophile metals or iron? Copper and related metals are commonly found in the metallic state in the crust, but metallic iron is almost always meteoric; and non-meteoric metallic iron is always associated with magmatic intrusions of coal beds, or so I'm told.


The article notes cohenite (iron-nickel carbide), an iron-nickel alloy, and pyrrhotite (an iron sulfide) as major components in the inclusions and iron phosphate, chromium-iron oxide and iron oxide as minor components. There are thin layers of liquid methane around most of the inclusions. This is down deep in the mantle, not in the crust.


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 Post subject: Re: from current journals as of 2017 01 08
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:06 pm 
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The sociologists note that in the past “authoritarian” leaders took advantage of severe economic times, but the economy is supposedly good in both the US and Europe.

The sociologists should check with the historians. The economy and social conditions were improving in Russia before the 1904 Russian revolution that eventually spawned the 1917 revolution. The economy was improving in Spain before Franco their civil war. The economy was improving in Italy before the Facists took control. The German economy was improving before the NAZIs took control.

There is no chance of catching up with KGB.

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