Posts by Pierre A Renaud

1) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Planet Hunters Report Record-Breaking Discovery, Search for other habitable planets (Message 1955689)
Posted 2 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
The Closest Exoplanet to Earth Could Be “Highly Habitable” - September 14, 2018
A new study suggests Proxima Centauri b could sustain liquid water on its surface

Ever since the discovery of the exoplanet—known as Proxima Centauri b—in 2016, people have wondered whether it could be capable of sustaining life.

Now, using computer models similar to those used to study climate change on Earth, researchers have found that, under a wide range of conditions, Proxima Centauri b can sustain enormous areas of liquid water on its surface, potentially raising its prospects for harboring living organisms.
2) Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : WorldCommunityGrid will start THREE new internal projects from IBM concerning climate change (Message 1955685)
Posted 2 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
How Much Hotter Is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born ?

As the world warms because of human-induced climate change, most of us can expect to see more days when temperatures hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) or higher. See how your hometown has changed so far and how much hotter it may get.
NASA Has Discovered Arctic Lakes Bubbling With Methane—and That’s Very Bad News
by Hannah Osborne On 9/13/18

Lakes across Alaska and Siberia have started to bubble with methane, and the release of this highly potent greenhouse gas has scientists worried. Last month NASA released footage showing the bubbling Arctic lakes, which are the result of a little known phenomenon called “abrupt thawing.” It occurs when the permafrost—ground that has been frozen for potentially thousands of years—thaws faster than expected.

Scientists have long known that the thawing permafrost has the potential to release large amounts of methane into the atmosphere. As the organic matter that has been locked up in the ground defrosts it decomposes, releasing carbon and methane (a hydrocarbon) in the process. If all this was released into the atmosphere, the impact on climate change would be huge. In total there is about 1,500 billion tons of carbon locked up in the permafrost—almost double the amount of carbon in the atmosphere right now.

Researchers used measurements from 11 thermokarst lakes and computer models to show that abrupt thawing will result in more than double previous estimates of the warming from the thawing permafrost. They found methane bubbling at 72 locations within these lakes, measuring the amount of gas being released by the permafrost beneath the water. They then compared the release to that seen at normal Arctic lakes, where gradual permafrost thaw is taking place.

Findings showed the abrupt thawing at the thermokarst lakes was significant in terms of methane release—and the researchers noted that this source of greenhouse gases was not accounted for properly in the climate change scenarios set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
3) Message boards : Cafe SETI : congestive heart failure - signs - symptoms - treatments and disscussion. (Message 1954993)
Posted 6 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
4) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Planet Hunters Report Record-Breaking Discovery, Search for other habitable planets (Message 1954439)
Posted 9 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
Great link. And as Gordon pointed out, Bob, Sagan can be (on the b&w photograph) spotted behind Bones (and Fletcher).

The person in the photo shot identified as Carl Sagan looks more like Arthur C. Clarke to me. Carl Sagan wasn't that tall.

Sagan didn't wear glasses, Clarke does, however too much hair. The person is actually James D. Fletcher, NASA Administrator.
5) Message boards : Cafe SETI : congestive heart failure - signs - symptoms - treatments and disscussion. (Message 1954364)
Posted 10 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
oh i've almost finished cardiac rehab. been bouncing around places to workout. looking for a good pool to swim in. i spend 30 minutes a day on a stationary bike. 20 minutes on a stepper. and 20 minutes walking.
thats just to limber up enough after the bike and the stepper
to be able to get to the car. hahaha

diet is just important.
As is regular and sufficient sleep time (as in "I shouldn'nt be on the internet at 0h45 am"). I realize that in the end, all the cheats and shortcuts I took to gain time aren't worth the healthier - and more productive, enjoyable - life I can get when I take the trouble to pay attention to sleep, diet, exercise (and to the politicians I vote for heh).
6) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Planet Hunters Report Record-Breaking Discovery, Search for other habitable planets (Message 1954039)
Posted 12 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
A short pause down memory lane :

When Gene Roddenberry Explained 'Star Trek' in 1966 - 9/4/2018

"Why a journey into space? Because science is now learning that the infinite reaches of our universe probably teem with as much life and adventure as Earth's own oceans and continents. Our galaxy alone is so incredibly vast that the most conservative mathematical odds still add up to millions of planets almost identical to our own — capable of life, even intelligence and strange new civilizations. Alien beings that will range from the fiercely primitive to the incredibly exotic intelligence which will far surpass Mankind."

Walter Koenig, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Gene Roddenberry, and Carl Sagan
7) Message boards : Cafe SETI : congestive heart failure - signs - symptoms - treatments and disscussion. (Message 1953837)
Posted 13 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
I'm very glad that you were able to fight back and take control of your health, Byron. Thank you very much for your long awaited health report and lessons learned.

Yes, life is a terminal disease (lol) but also a disease worth fighting for, as brillantly examplified by your own experience.

Please keep us posted about your continuing progresses and (no easy task either!) keep following doctors' orders =:)
8) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Thor is the Designer Cafe! (Message 1953833)
Posted 13 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
For those of us active on WCG (don't wait until Thor's day to swing your hammer!) :

World Community Grid Team Captains can register (until Sept. 23) their team for the THOR Challenge 2018 here (source).

From Dr Dave Anderson :

CRUNCHERS SANS FRONTIERES is sponsoring THOR Challenge 2018, a team crunching competition to benefit IBM World Community Grid. It will take place from September 24 to November 11, 2018.
9) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Planet Hunters Report Record-Breaking Discovery, Search for other habitable planets (Message 1953729)
Posted 14 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
I've been using the regularly updated NASA Exoplanet Archive episodically, but as soon as I can fix compatibility issues I really intend to test drive your apparently sexier EoE recommendation =:) Is the latter's database still limited to +/- 1000 objects as implied by the possibly outdated JPL's description ?

i am not sure if it is here it belongs... any of you have heard about Eyes on Exoplanets program from Nasa ?

i spent like 3-4 hours on this , and this tool is unbelievable !!!! i was searching by name and was getting full 3D information about the host star, its planetary system, habitable zones and rotations/distances... it is like a google earth sky view but 100000X better !! you can surf through the exoplanet lists and see all planetary systems
10) Message boards : Politics : Computers & Technology 3 (Message 1953727)
Posted 14 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
BBC News: The race to make the world's most powerful computer ever - 4 September 2018

Quantum computers have long been touted as incredibly powerful machines that will be able to solve hugely complex computational problems much faster than any computer we have available today. But no-one can agree on the best way to make them. Who will win the race?

Physicists, engineers and computer scientists around the world are trying to develop four very different types of quantum computers, based around light particles, trapped ions, superconducting qubits, or nitrogen-vacancy centres in diamonds.

Companies like IBM, Google, Rigetti, Intel and Microsoft are currently leading the quantum charge.

Each method has its pros and cons, but the overarching challenge is the fragile nature of quantum itself.
11) Message boards : Number crunching : Panic Mode On (113) Server Problems? (Message 1953631)
Posted 15 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
Downloads are resuming, sorry WCG & CSG. Thanks Eric & Mark ^.^

Just got word from Eric that he is looking at things now.
Not sure if it is fixable, but at least he will do what he can via remote.
12) Message boards : Team Recruitment Center : CARL SAGAN (Message 1953577)
Posted 15 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
On this day, Team Carl Sagan has reached over 1 billion credits.

In the spirit of Carl Sagan, I'll raise a cup of Star Stuff Coffee to you all team members and SETI@home contributors alike who, by their endurance and perseverance, are making the discovery of a potential extraterrestrial technosignal possible.

13) Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Women in Science 1 (Message 1953228)
Posted 17 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
The book that fights sexism with science
With "Inferior", Angela Saini counters long-held beliefs that biology stands in the way of parity between the sexes.
Now her message is set to reach thousands of schools.
by Donna Ferguson, Sat 11 Aug 2018

My Mom, the Missile Computress
What it was like being among the first women in the US missile program
by Karen Piper, August 30, 2018
14) Message boards : SETI@home Science : SETI & Radioastronomy News 1 (Message 1953007)
Posted 18 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
SETI on the Side: Seeking Dyson Spheres with Gaia
by Kerry Hensley, 27 August 2018

Signs of extraterrestrial intelligence don’t appear in the astrophysical literature very often. One of the most well-known signposts of advanced spacefaring civilizations, a Dyson sphere, named after physicist Freeman Dyson, is a theorized structure surrounding a star, through which a highly technologically advanced civilization could harness the full energy output of its star.

Most Dyson sphere searches to date have looked for excess infrared radiation. Since a large portion of the star is covered, the amount of visible light emitted drops sharply. However, the emission from the Dyson sphere itself, which has an estimated temperature between 50 and 1,000 K, peaks in the infrared. So far, searches for infrared excesses have come up empty.

Zackrisson and coauthors looked for Dyson spheres with little or no infrared excess, just the sort that would have been overlooked by past searches. Specifically, they considered the case of a Dyson sphere made of a gray absorber — a material that dims the star’s light equally at all wavelengths. An observer will see the same overall shape of the star’s spectrum, but the flux will be lower everywhere.

This means that if you try to measure the distance to the star spectrophotometrically — by comparing the star’s observed flux and spectrum to stellar emission models — your measurements will tell you that the star is farther away than it actually is. However, the dimming of the star by the Dyson sphere won’t fool the parallax method, which uses the apparent movement of the target star against the background of more distant stars seen as Earth orbits the Sun. The greater the difference in distances from these two methods, the larger the fraction of the star’s surface is covered by the Dyson sphere.
Boyajian's Star KIC 8462852
GAIA, TYC 7169-153-1 and TYC 6111-1162-1

15) Message boards : SETI@home Science : SETI & Radioastronomy News 1 (Message 1953004)
Posted 18 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
Food for thought. 

Our Attitude Toward Aliens Proves We Still Think We’re Special - Why we downplay Fermi’s paradox - Aug. 2, 2018
by Milan Ćirković, senior research associate atr the Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade
& assistant professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Novi Sad

Many of us choose to ignore Fermi’s paradox, or even fight it, because it requires too complete an acceptance of our cosmic mediocrity. We would rather secretly believe we are special than confront the real consequences of the paradox—consequences like, for example, intelligence being a maladaptive trait, or our universe being a simulation, or us living in a cosmic zoo. Some of us even go so far as to argue that we have become a navel-gazing, self-absorbed civilization, without much chance of developing a sustained cosmic presence and industrial bases all over the solar system. Destroying what Olaf Stapledon and R. Buckminster Fuller have dubbed the cosmic vision of humanity’s future lets us duck out of the Fermi’s paradox conversation. If we can’t do it, our extraterrestrial peers can’t do it either and we shouldn’t waste time and money searching for them. This subtle form of anthropocentrism leads us to a very dangerous path, since it impedes the best—and ultimately only—prospect for humanity to achieve its cosmic potential.
16) Message boards : SETI@home Science : SETI & Radioastronomy News 1 (Message 1953001)
Posted 18 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
Enough goofing around: SETI research, the Rio 2.0 scale 
and the fight against fake news (a less politically-correct report).

SETI Researchers Want to End the Alien-Detection Hype
By Meghan Bartels, Senior Writer | July 31, 2018

Researchers looking for signals from technologically advanced aliens pick up countless strange pings — but so far, nothing has convinced them that a message really came from aliens.

But that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of overblown media headlines about potential alien detections. So a team of researchers pursuing the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, has decided to revive a scale meant to ground these detections in reality. They shared their scale, called Rio 2.0, in a new paper that takes aim at SETI researchers and the media for irresponsible coverage of potential detections.

"It's absolutely crucial that when we talk about something so hugely significant as the discovery of intelligent life beyond the Earth, we do it clearly and carefully," lead author Duncan Forgan, a SETI scientist at the University of St Andrews in the U.K., said in a statement from the SETI Institute. "Having Rio 2.0 allows us to rank a signal quickly in a way that the general public can easily understand, and helps us keep their trust in a world filled with fake news."
17) Message boards : SETI@home Science : SETI & Radioastronomy News 1 (Message 1952999)
Posted 18 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
Besides, we all know that real men develop oxygen homeostasis, quicly transition from water to land and sky, and do not aimlessly bubble up around stinky deep-sea hydrothermal vents, right ? =:)

On a more serious note, Mr Kevvy, congrats for your 15th place in the 2018 WOW Event. To be there at the top against more than 730 opponents means seriously powerful, finely-tuned rigs.

Not just locked away, but the chance of developing communications technology without fire, (feasible) electricity or even hands is arguably remote... even if we could reach them. there would be probably be nothing to reach.
18) Message boards : Politics : China (Message 1952892)
Posted 19 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
Disease X: China ignores UK request to share samples of flu virus with pandemic potential - 29 August 2018

Requests by UK experts to Chinese authorities for samples of the latest strain of a dangerous and evolving avian influenza virus, known as H7N9 have so far been ignored, the Telegraph has learned.

The news comes on the back of revelations earlier this week by the United States’ government that China has, for over a year, refused its requests to share lab samples of the same strain of avian influenza virus.
19) Message boards : Number crunching : Lots of Gaussians from 16au 18aa Batch Sent Out 16th to 18th August 2018. (Message 1952855)
Posted 19 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
I strongly recommend SETIspirit, created by Dirk Schwarting (dschwarting), a powerful tool that would give you, amongst many other statistical details, the target of any of the specific WUs you are currently working on, and its location on a star map. There is here a forum for this outstanding piece of software.

And as Antarctica explorer Ernest Shackleton brilliantly demonstrated, remember that only by endurance can we conquer =:)

Message as title except that I meant 2018 not 20118 of course. I am more than a little curious to try to find out what the target star/object was in the case of these workunits? I have been thinking about packing in and ending my contribution to SETI@home as a Volunteer, but then along came Oumuamua with lots of Gaussians , Andromeda XI soon after with lots of Gaussians and now this mysterious object/objects with lots of Gaussians, so it might be worth while my continuing with it all.
20) Message boards : Politics : Ebola and Infectious diseases, Food and Drugs, Recalls #5 (Message 1952849)
Posted 19 days ago by Profile Pierre A Renaud Project Donor
New Directions in Mosquito Control: A Real Buzzkill
NIAID Now | August 20, 2018

Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals on the planet, transmitting not only malaria parasites but also Zika, West Nile, dengue, and chikungunya viruses as well as other pathogens and bringing death and misery to millions every year. The most common mosquito-control techniques have traditionally involved chemical pesticides that target and kill adult mosquitoes. However, this approach has drawbacks; chemical pesticides may target more than mosquitoes, they may also be toxic to honeybees and other beneficial insects, and may harm fish, aquatic animals, and other wildlife. Additionally, mosquito populations have developed resistance to chemical pesticides over time. These concerns necessitate the development of alternative approaches for mosquito control.

As mosquitoes continue to threaten human health, NIAID is fighting back by supporting basic, translational, and clinical research on non-conventional mosquito-control methods. Through research awards to scientists at universities and small companies, NIAID supports the development of products to control mosquitoes without the limitations of traditional chemical pesticides.

    ISCA Technologies (Riverside, California) is working to develop safer larvicides. One of ISCA’s newest products, SPLAT Bac, controls mosquito populations with no risk to humans or other animals. SPLAT Bac consists of the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, which is toxic only to mosquito larvae, encapsulated in a proprietary waxy substance. This wax matrix contains pheromones (molecules secreted by mosquitoes) that attract female mosquitoes. When SPLAT Bac is applied to a body of water, female mosquitoes are drawn to the area to lay their eggs. After the eggs hatch, the bacteria in SPLAT Bac kill the larvae, halting the next generation of mosquitoes.

    MosquitoMate (Lexington, Kentucky) used NIAID support to develop a way to decrease mosquito populations by infecting male mosquitoes with Wolbachia bacteria. Male mosquitoes do not bite, and when Wolbachia-infected males mate with wild female mosquitoes they effectively sterilize them and thwart the development of their offspring. The male-infecting technology has been developed for two species of mosquito—Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus—that can spread dengue, Zika, and other viruses. Wolbachia-infected males reduce mosquito populations without chemicals or genetic modification.

    NIAID also supported the development of an autocidal gravid ovitrap (AGO) by SpringStar, Inc. (Woodinville, Washington), a device that was initially designed by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. SpringStar’s AGO is a black bucket fitted with a capture chamber and grass-infused water that lures egg-laden female mosquitoes. The females enter the trap through the top screen that is large enough for them to pass through, but small enough to keep birds, squirrels, and other animals out. The mosquitoes try to reach the water to lay their eggs but are blocked by a finer-meshed screen. As they tire, the mosquitoes alight on a replaceable glue board inside the trap and are prevented from laying eggs. This trap is designed to reduce the populations of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes.

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SETI@home and Astropulse are funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and donations from SETI@home volunteers. AstroPulse is funded in part by the NSF through grant AST-0307956.