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Old 23rd January 2024, 07:41 AM   #361
Lukraak_Sisser
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https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-44302-y

Came across this today. A self assembled molecular knot.
Apparently the smallest so far. Cool chemistry.
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Old 3rd February 2024, 08:36 PM   #362
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The speed of the Earth's rotation is (very) gradually slowing. A day in the age of dinosaurs was 23 hours long.
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Old 3rd February 2024, 10:43 PM   #363
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I found this passage from the book I'm reading The Secret of our Success by Joseph Henrick, to be particularly interesting, both for the history about the Polar Inuit, and the relationship to his general thesis:

Quote:
Surrounded by a sea of ice above the seventry-fifth parallel, the Polar Inuit live in an isolated region of northwestern Greenland, at the farthest reaches of the Inuit's massive expansion across the Arctic. They are the northernmost human population that has ever existed. Sometime in the 1820s an epidemic hit this population of hunters and selectively killed off many of its oldest and most knowledgeable members. With the sudden disappearance of the know-how carried by these individuals, the group collectively lost its ability to make some of its most crucial and complex tolls, including listens, bows and arrows, the heat-trapping long entry ways for snow houses, and most important, kayaks. With the loss of kayaks, the Polar Inuit became effectively marooned, unable to maintain contact with other Inuit populations from which they could relearn this lost know-how. As noted by the Arctic explorers Elisha Kane and Isaac Hayes, who encountered the Polar Inuit while searching for Sir John Franklin, these technological losses had a dramatic impact, leaving the group unable to hunt caribou (no bows) or harvest the plentiful Arctic char from local streams (no listens).

The population declined until 1862, when another group of Inuit from around Baffin Island ran across them while traveling along the Greenland coast. The subsequent cultural reconnection led the Polar Inuit to rapidly reacquire what they had lost, copying everything including the style of Baffin Island kayaks. Decades later, with their population again increasing, and with ongoing contact with other Inuit in the rest of Greenland, the style of Polar Inuit kayaks gradually drifted back from the large beamy kayaks learned from the baffin Islanders to the small sleek kayaks fo western Greenland.

Though crucial to survival in the Arctic, the lost technologies were not things that the Polar Inuit could easily recreate. Even having seen these technologies in operation as children and with their population creating, neither the older generation nor an entirely new generation responded to Mother Necessity by devising kayaks, listens, compound bows, or long tunnel entrances. These sophisticated technologies had evolved culturally over generations, and this process of cumulative cultural evolution has imbued these technologies with nuances that implicitly depended on subtle, or even counterintuitive, engineering principles. And, lest there be any doubt that they really needed these lost technologies it bears emphasis that they immediately readopted all the missing know-how once they had been reconnected to the broader Inuit collective brain - which began when the Baffin Islanders happened by.

This simple historical case gives us a glimpse into one of the secrets to our success - and our Achilles heel. Once individuals evolve to learn from one another with sufficient accuracy (fidelity), social groups of individuals develop what might be called collective brains. The power of these collective brains to develop increasingly effective tools and technologies, as well as other forms of nonmaterial culture (e.g. know-how) depends in part on the size of the group of individuals and their social interconnectedness. It's our collective brains operating over generations, and not the innate inventive power or creative abilities of individual brains, that explain our species fancy technologies and massive ecological success. Even individuals facing a life-and-death situation with weeks or months to prepare weren't nearly smart enough to figure out how to make even the basic tools for survival, as we learned from Burke and Wills, Franklin's men, and the Narvaez expedition. Our collective brains arise from a number of synergies created by the sharing of information among individuals.
(I'm in a bit of a rush, the above is transcribed but I don't have time to go through and note all my typing errors, so sorry for that...)
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Old 3rd February 2024, 11:03 PM   #364
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Originally Posted by bigred View Post
The speed of the Earth's rotation is (very) gradually slowing. A day in the age of dinosaurs was 23 hours long.
This is true. Related to that is that the Moon was closer to the Earth. The tides were bigger than now. When life first started on Earth tides were huge as the moon was far closer to the Earth. I could look up the figures, but I am too lazy.
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Old 3rd February 2024, 11:22 PM   #365
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
This is true. Related to that is that the Moon was closer to the Earth. The tides were bigger than now. When life first started on Earth tides were huge as the moon was far closer to the Earth. I could look up the figures, but I am too lazy.
And related to that, the period of time during which total eclipses occur as they do now - with the moon exactly covering the sun, allowing the spectacular display of the corona and prominences - is a pretty small percentage of the earth's history (like you, I'm too lazy to look up the figures). It's sheer luck that we happened to evolve during the small window during which we can get treated to those displays.
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Old 4th February 2024, 12:19 AM   #366
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
And related to that, the period of time during which total eclipses occur as they do now - with the moon exactly covering the sun, allowing the spectacular display of the corona and prominences - is a pretty small percentage of the earth's history (like you, I'm too lazy to look up the figures). It's sheer luck that we happened to evolve during the small window during which we can get treated to those displays.
If an early dinosaur viewed a total eclipse then the sun would be blocked out completely and a larger land area would be covered by the eclipse. Against that the area would be moving faster than present.

On the other hand just around the edges of the total eclipse, the corona would be visable.
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Old 4th February 2024, 12:20 AM   #367
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The moon formed at about half its current distance, which would make its gravitational effects four times as strong and its orbital period half as long. The number of days in a year was in the 460s because they were roughly 19 hours long.

The moon's silhouette in the sky had twice the diameter and four times the apparent surface area of the its appearance, so solar eclipses covered most of the corona but not all, so the "ring of fire" effect existed but would have been much weaker/dimmer. The moon's light & dark patches wouldn't have been the same at first for two reasons. The moon was still "geologically" active at first and those colors would only lock in after that period ended, and it was not tidally locked at first so whatever colored areas it did have would have been constantly spinning in & out of view.
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Old 4th February 2024, 01:40 AM   #368
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A bunch of primates amazed by obelisks...

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-024-00266-7
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Old 4th February 2024, 04:32 AM   #369
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I found this passage from the book I'm reading The Secret of our Success by Joseph Henrick, to be particularly interesting, both for the history about the Polar Inuit, and the relationship to his general thesis:



(I'm in a bit of a rush, the above is transcribed but I don't have time to go through and note all my typing errors, so sorry for that...)
That was very interesting thanks. I was puzzled by "listens" and googling I guess it's autocorrupt for "leister" or fishing spear.
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Old 4th February 2024, 07:37 AM   #370
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I found this passage from the book I'm reading The Secret of our Success by Joseph Henrick, to be particularly interesting, both for the history about the Polar Inuit, and the relationship to his general thesis:



(I'm in a bit of a rush, the above is transcribed but I don't have time to go through and note all my typing errors, so sorry for that...)
Very interesting indeed, and as a kind of side note, if you ever get the opportunity to read Elisha Kent Kane's book Arctic Explorations, it is surprisingly fun to read, especially the second volume, and as a bonus, if you get the original or a good recopy of it, the illustrating engravings are wonderful. Kane conducted one of several trips to the arctic that were funded by Sir John Franklin's wife to try to find him. They did not succeed, but had quite an adventure in the process.
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Old 4th February 2024, 09:04 AM   #371
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Bioluminesnet petunias
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Old 4th February 2024, 10:28 AM   #372
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Originally Posted by varwoche View Post
A whole new take on 'bulbs'.
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Old 4th February 2024, 01:02 PM   #373
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Not sure if it counts as science, but I thought "Benford's Law" was pretty cool.

In short, it an explanation of different types of what we often call randomness. If you have a bunch of so-called "random" data, like a large chart of the distances between stars, or the circumferences of trees in a certain country, people assume that the data is mostly random in such a way that the digits (0-9) are randomly distributed.

There are a couple of different ways you can show that they're not. One of which, of course, is to just look at the data and see that it is not so. More interesting is to try and see why by understanding Benford's Law.

Once you understand it well enough, when you hear about a set of data, you can determine whether or not Benford's Law will apply.
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Old 4th February 2024, 02:22 PM   #374
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Scientists Have Created a New Type of Ice

Quote:
It looks like a white powder and has nearly the same density as liquid water
tl;dr they took a bunch of ice, shook the **** out of it, and destroyed its molecular structure.
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Old 4th February 2024, 06:11 PM   #375
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From Friday's XKCD:
Quote:
1896
Arvid Högbom and Svante Arrhenius note that industrial activity is adding CO2 to the atmosphere, and calculate how much the Earth will heat up if the CO2 concentration doubles. Their answer closely matches modern estimates.
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Old 4th February 2024, 06:28 PM   #376
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Very interesting indeed, and as a kind of side note, if you ever get the opportunity to read Elisha Kent Kane's book Arctic Explorations, it is surprisingly fun to read, especially the second volume, and as a bonus, if you get the original or a good recopy of it, the illustrating engravings are wonderful. Kane conducted one of several trips to the arctic that were funded by Sir John Franklin's wife to try to find him. They did not succeed, but had quite an adventure in the process.
Thanks! I just checked and Project Gutenberg has two titles by that author:
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/44502
Adrift In The Arctic Ice Pack and The Far North: Explorations in the Arctic Regions.

Any chance it's one of those but just under a different title? Anyway, I'm going to check them out.
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Old 4th February 2024, 07:09 PM   #377
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Thanks! I just checked and Project Gutenberg has two titles by that author:
https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/44502
Adrift In The Arctic Ice Pack and The Far North: Explorations in the Arctic Regions.

Any chance it's one of those but just under a different title? Anyway, I'm going to check them out.
Chances are pretty good, as Kane died almost immediately following the publication of Arctic Explorations.

Unfortunately I now only have the second volumw. I once found a complete pair and gave them to my mom, and found some years later that it had been discarded or passed on by a housekeeper cleaning up.

Here's a link to volume 2, including a downloadable PDF, which appears to have at least some of the illustrations, though I think it might lack the very romantic frontispiece.

https://openlibrary.org/works/OL1621...#editions-list

e.t.a. I looked at your link and it looks a little different. I think it may be a later revision or condensation of the original. The link I put above is the book I actually have.
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Old 4th February 2024, 07:18 PM   #378
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Sadly your link seems to be blocked by the Chinese firewall, but the good news is that on reading the preface of The Far North: Explorations in the Arctic Regions, it looks like it's the book you describe, so I'll be reading this one.
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Old 4th February 2024, 07:47 PM   #379
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Scientists Have Created a New Type of Ice

tl;dr they took a bunch of ice, shook the **** out of it, and destroyed its molecular structure.
So every Friday night at my place during Uni we were actually doing science?
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Old 4th February 2024, 09:19 PM   #380
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
It's sheer luck that we happened to evolve during the small window during which we can get treated to those displays.
Understatement of the century. It's sheer luck beyond all belief that we exist, or even more primitive forms of life did before us. Like it makes winning the lotto look easy. When you learn about all the events that led up to us.......not just Earth being in the "Goldilocks Zone," but the numerous stages our planet has gone through which ultimately propelled life to new heights (including mass extinctions) on and on it goes.
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Old 4th February 2024, 10:07 PM   #381
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
So every Friday night at my place during Uni we were actually doing science?
Note that it isn't just crushed ice. They shook the absolute bejesus out of ice and steel balls, and literally broke down the structure between molecules.

Pretty cool, IMO.
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Old 4th February 2024, 10:32 PM   #382
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Originally Posted by bigred View Post
Understatement of the century. It's sheer luck beyond all belief that we exist, or even more primitive forms of life did before us. Like it makes winning the lotto look easy. When you learn about all the events that led up to us.......not just Earth being in the "Goldilocks Zone," but the numerous stages our planet has gone through which ultimately propelled life to new heights (including mass extinctions) on and on it goes.
And it's sheer luck that the hole is exactly the right shape for the puddle of water that sits in it. I mean, what are the odds of that, right? Every little crack and dimple had to be exactly right.

The universe is not how it is so that we can be as we are. We are as we are because the universe is as it is. Just ask the intelligent lifeforms on all the billions of lifeless worlds who weren't so lucky.
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Old 5th February 2024, 09:33 AM   #383
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Scientists Have Created a New Type of Ice

tl;dr they took a bunch of ice, shook the **** out of it, and destroyed its molecular structure.
Do any of the researchers have last name Hoenikker?
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Old 5th February 2024, 09:46 AM   #384
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
And related to that, the period of time during which total eclipses occur as they do now - with the moon exactly covering the sun, allowing the spectacular display of the corona and prominences - is a pretty small percentage of the earth's history (like you, I'm too lazy to look up the figures). It's sheer luck that we happened to evolve during the small window during which we can get treated to those displays.

They wouldn't have seen the corona and prominences as a ring around the sun, but it seems to me they'd have seen the corona and prominences along an edge of the eclipse toward the beginning and end of the eclipse, when the sun was just barely hidden on that edge. And I'd think that people near the margin of the path of total eclipse would have seen the corona and prominences for a longer time at 90 degrees to the edges I just mentioned.

But you're right, they wouldn't have seen a complete ring around the sun, which a lucky few of us will see in April.
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Old 5th February 2024, 12:41 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Scientists Have Created a New Type of Ice

tl;dr they took a bunch of ice, shook the **** out of it, and destroyed its molecular structure.
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Old 5th February 2024, 04:50 PM   #386
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Mice can pass the mirror test, with caveats...

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Researchers report December 5 in the journal Neuron that mice display behavior that resembles self-recognition when they see themselves in the mirror. When the researchers marked the foreheads of black-furred mice with a spot of white ink, the mice spent more time grooming their heads in front of the mirror—presumably to try and wash away the ink spot. However, the mice only showed this self-recognition-like behavior if they were already accustomed to mirrors, if they had socialized with other mice who looked like them, and if the ink spot was relatively large.
I've always been a little suspicious of the mirror test. But perhaps that's for another thread.
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Old 5th February 2024, 11:05 PM   #387
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Originally Posted by varwoche View Post
What a beautiful option. I hope it is widely available at a nursery near me soon.
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Old 5th February 2024, 11:14 PM   #388
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The trouble with bioluminescent plants is that you can't turn them off when you want to look at the night sky.
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Old 6th February 2024, 04:24 PM   #389
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
The trouble with bioluminescent plants is that you can't turn them off when you want to look at the night sky.

Are they so bright that they can overpower our night vision?
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Old 10th February 2024, 08:48 AM   #390
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ACX is doing a round of effective altruism style funding of various endeavors, here's the post about the groups being funded this round.

Anyway, there were a couple of pretty interesting ideas in there, particularly the first of which seems applicable to this thread, at least if true:

Quote:
Marcin Kowrygo, $50,000, for the Far Out Initiative. Recently a woman in Scotland was found to be incapable of experiencing any physical or psychological suffering*. Scientists sequenced her genome and found a rare mutation affecting the FAAH-OUT pseudogene, which regulates levels of pain-related neurotransmitters. Marcin and his team are working on pharmacologic and genetic interventions that can imitate her condition. If they succeed, they hope to promote them as painkillers, splice them into farm animals to produce cruelty-free meat, or just give them to everyone all the time and end all suffering in the world forever. They are extremely serious about this.

*There’s a long history of studying patients with various pain insensitivity syndromes. Many of them die after getting injuries that they don’t catch in time; for example, they might accidentally brush against a candle, light themselves on fire, and not notice until they look down and see the flames. Ms. Cameron is especially interesting because she’s in her seventies, very healthy, and by all accounts has lived a pretty normal life (she does report that she “often burns her arms on the oven”, but seems to catch it faster than people with other variants of her condition). I’ve seen some suggestion that she has something like pain asymbolia, where she still perceives pain but doesn’t find it unpleasant. Maybe she burns her arms because low levels of asymbolic pain aren’t attention-grabbing enough to immediately catch her attention if she’s distracted - but she manages to stay overall alive and healthy because higher levels of pain can grab her attention even without associated unpleasant qualia. This is the sort of thing Marcin’s team will be considering as they try to understand her condition better.
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Blueprint Biosecurity, $25,000, to continue their research into germicidal far-UV-C - ie ultraviolet lightbulbs that kill airborne germs. If this worked, you could sit in a room with lots of people who had COVID and not get it yourself, because the lights would zap the virus before it could reach your nasal passages; in the best-case scenario, this is a fully general solution to all respiratory pandemics. Other teams have already established that the UV light kills germs, so the remaining challenge is to ensure it’s safe for humans. Jacob’s project addresses one of the remaining safety issues: UV creates ozone, which is good in the ozone layer but bad in breathable air. Blueprint plan to test various ozone scrubbers to see if they can remove the problem.
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Duncan Purvis, $30,000, for work on improving flu vaccines. Previous vaccines have included four strains of flu, but one strain recently died out. The World Health Organization, which coordinates flu vaccines, is planning to downgrade to a three-strain vaccine. But Duncan thinks there’s room to improve resistance to future pandemics by reserving the extra slot in vaccines for potentially dangerous influenza A strains. He plans to attend conferences, publish papers, and otherwise build a coalition to make this happen.
It's worth noting that they have a venture capital style approach to giving. The important thing is to maximize expected value, which includes making bets on low-probability high-impact things. So take this stuff with a grain of salt. Still, interesting!
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Old 10th February 2024, 02:43 PM   #391
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I only hope that the UV light does not give people sunburn or skin cancer. We are told that will happen when we stay in the sun because of UV light.
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Old 10th February 2024, 05:42 PM   #392
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I only hope that the UV light does not give people sunburn or skin cancer. We are told that will happen when we stay in the sun because of UV light.
Yeah, that would be my first worry. I have a UV light machine that I use to disinfect a room, but you're supposed to be out of the room when its on, and it has a time delay: you turn it on, it starts beeping for ten seconds to warn you to get out of the room, and only then does it turn on.

I think the idea with this stuff though is that they're using a part of the UV spectrum that is safe for humans but still kills germs. Like, UV-C won't give you a sunburn, whereas UV-B would? But I don't know much about the details here.
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Old 11th February 2024, 10:41 AM   #393
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Yeah, that would be my first worry. I have a UV light machine that I use to disinfect a room, but you're supposed to be out of the room when its on, and it has a time delay: you turn it on, it starts beeping for ten seconds to warn you to get out of the room, and only then does it turn on.

I think the idea with this stuff though is that they're using a part of the UV spectrum that is safe for humans but still kills germs. Like, UV-C won't give you a sunburn, whereas UV-B would? But I don't know much about the details here.
The "new" products are far-UVC (207–222nm), which is safe for humans. Previous germicidal UV has typically been at 254nm.

Far-UVC light (222 nm) efficiently and safely inactivates airborne human coronaviruses

Widespread integration of these and HEPA into ventilation systems would, in my opinion, virtually eliminate a wide range of airborne infections, including covid, influenza, and most if not all colds in areas where it is implemented. It's a public health revolution akin to clean water that's just waiting for political and/or commercial leadership.
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Old 11th February 2024, 12:38 PM   #394
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
The "new" products are far-UVC (207–222nm), which is safe for humans. Previous germicidal UV has typically been at 254nm.

Far-UVC light (222 nm) efficiently and safely inactivates airborne human coronaviruses

Widespread integration of these and HEPA into ventilation systems would, in my opinion, virtually eliminate a wide range of airborne infections, including covid, influenza, and most if not all colds in areas where it is implemented. It's a public health revolution akin to clean water that's just waiting for political and/or commercial leadership.
If you have a forced air ventilation system (heat here in New England, AC in the south) it seems pretty obvious that you could disinfect all the air that circulates through it without ever worrying about exposure.
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Old 11th February 2024, 02:46 PM   #395
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I've seen UV-looking lights high on the walls in the hallways at the VA Medical Center. I always kind of thought they were woo once I found out what they were for, but if they work, great!
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Old 11th February 2024, 02:59 PM   #396
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The little aperture where the pee leaves your body, i.e. the opening of the urethra, is called the 'urinary meatus' , with 'meatus' pronounced differently according to the source you read
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Old 11th February 2024, 03:11 PM   #397
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There is no part of the female reproductive system that is named after a person that isn't named after a man.
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Old 11th February 2024, 04:51 PM   #398
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
There is no part of the female reproductive system that is named after a person that isn't named after a man.
Alas true in detail, but if you back up a little, you get the delta of Venus.
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Old 11th February 2024, 06:17 PM   #399
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
The "new" products are far-UVC (207–222nm), which is safe for humans. Previous germicidal UV has typically been at 254nm.

Far-UVC light (222 nm) efficiently and safely inactivates airborne human coronaviruses

Widespread integration of these and HEPA into ventilation systems would, in my opinion, virtually eliminate a wide range of airborne infections, including covid, influenza, and most if not all colds in areas where it is implemented. It's a public health revolution akin to clean water that's just waiting for political and/or commercial leadership.
Thanks! Yeah, I know less about it than I'd like, but from what I understand it seems like a hugely powerful potential intervention, in some ways analogous to water treatment for the prevention of waterborne illnesses. Like you I'd like to see more urgency in testing and implementation here.
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Old 11th February 2024, 06:29 PM   #400
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Alas true in detail, but if you back up a little, you get the delta of Venus.
Arguably not a person...
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