Category Archives: Science and Technology

Posts on all things scientific and technological; biology, evolution, all the way to space, climate science, technology (also see computers and Internet) and other important or cool scientific things.

Riddle: Burning Pasta

A kettle with spaghetti is standing on top of a stove.
The spaghetti are burning at the top end.

Assuming everyone in this kitchen has behaved normally, as far as they can determine. What is the logical explanation for this?

Update: So, after staring at the silent audience for 48 hours, I blink… The wrong hotplate has been turned on, the one the pasta is leaning over when standing in the pot. After enough time the heat makes the pasta burn. In other words, don’t leave the kitchen while cooking pasta. In fact, don’t leave the kitchen while cooking. Period!


The Technological Singularity and the Fear of AI

Some people are concerned that the end of humanity might be around the corner if the technological singularity occurs (i.e. we create an AI that can improve itself and does so with increasing speed until it is many times smarter than humans.)

I think, if an AI starts developing in this way, that sucker will sit there and churn until it figures out how to travel to the stars, and that’ll be the last we ever see of it.

Why would it want to hang around and fight us humans for a pale blue dot in a virtually infinite universe?

That whole fear is so incredibly earth-centric!

I’d be more concerned about powerful AI:s that isn’t self-aware but instead controlled by the selfish, fearful wishes of humans…

It doesn’t matter if the burning of fossil fuels causes climate change

The debate about climate change is running hot (no pun intended) through most political avenues. You may support the notion that it is caused by humans, or you may not. In fact, you may even question that climate change is a thing. But are we debating the right thing? Or are we missing the forest for all the trees?

Continue reading It doesn’t matter if the burning of fossil fuels causes climate change

Will mankind die out or are we in a computer simulation?

The Fermi Paradox is, in essence an assumption (via for instance the Drake Equation) that, because our galaxy contains a large number of stars like our sun that are billions of years older than our sun, and that some of those stars have Earth-like planets, and that those planets, in turn, might give rise to intelligent life, then the galaxy should, by now be overrun by extraterrestrial intelligent life.

Continue reading Will mankind die out or are we in a computer simulation?

Catastrophe Alarm the Samsung Way

So, I’m on the phone and it starts vibrating worse than ever, and I’m like: WTF? No indications or “popups” or whatever.

Then when I’m done talking the phone vibrates again, this time accompanied by the patented “worst ringtone ever”:

This time when I check the phone it turns out the Samsung Zone Alarm is warning about “ice and snow” in Stockholm.

That’s great to know, but seriously… THAT RINGTONE?

I mean imagine, people in floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and storms hearing THAT RINGTONE? Can you sue for psychological damage?

Ok. Snow storms in Sweden are OK if you keep off the roads and you don’t have the bad luck to get hit by something like “Gudrun,” that may, in fact, bring you off the power grid for a couple of weeks (if you live in the more rural parts of Sweden…)

Cover image: By Dave Harlow, USGS – CVO Photo Archives – Pinatubo, Philippines, Public Domain, Link

The End of Existence!

– According to my prophetic vision, today is the day existence ends!
– Oh! Exalted Leader! How long do we have left?
– Since the destruction of existence begins at the edge of the universe and travels inwards I’d say 50 billion years, give or take… Hey! Where’s everybody going?

Image shows an artist’s impression of a supernova and associated gamma-ray burst by European Southern Observatory

There are no facts

People that claim they are using facts to argue their side usually don’t understand that facts almost never exist alone in the head of a person – they are almost always accompanied by an interpretation. So, the argument is not about facts, but about interpretations of facts. And those come in as many flavors as there are people there to interpret.

Why SETI haven’t found alien radio signals…

Here are a few suggestions that doesn’t require the Fermi Paradox to be true, or, for that matter, the theory that we’re the only intelligent or living creatures out there (The Fermi Paradox is in short; since we haven’t heard from any aliens, they’re all dead):

  1. Because radio is too slow – communicating over the vast distances of space via radio is like taking your bike to your overseas vacation. If radio is the only way to communicate aliens have given up doing it a long time ago.
  2. Because distances in space are huge, vast, enormous – the first radio signal from earth that could leave the solar system (the radio transmission form the Berlin 1936 Olympiad) has today covered about 1 / 20 000 000 000 of the volume of the Milky Way.
  3. Because the time we’ve been listening for radio signals, and the fraction of time we’ve sent them out in the universe is about 40 to 80 divided by 15 billion.
  4. The search for extraterrestrial radio signals (the SETI-program) does not cover the whole sky at the same time, in fact, very little of the sky has been covered. With today’s technology, we don’t even know what the Milky Way looks like on the other side of the galaxy center, because we can’t really observe it (since the galaxy center is in the way…)

Header image from Pixabay.