The Coastal Post - February, 1997

Scanlon's Scientific Updates for 1997

Atmospheric Effects of Aviation

I am not sure if I will be able to attend this year's conference on the impact of aircraft on our atmosphere. It will take place in Virginia Beach Resort Hotel, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Previous conferences, while not secret, have not been covered by the print or broadcast media. My guess is that no one will touch this subject this year too. Maybe I can talk my tight-wad editor into a slight advance. Let him know what you think. Naturally, I'll fly.

Strange Physics of Nothing.

Ten years ago I wrote that since physicists had postulated that there was no such thing as a vacuum, then the "nothing" of outer space was the "something" that hadn't yet been named.

Now scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have measured the nothing that is in a vacuum (Science Times 1/21/97) and have even come up with a sci-fi Armageddon theory of the destruction of everything, just like that, with no warning.

That is, "...something [or nothing] might cause the present day universal vacuum to collapse to a different vacuum of lower energy" [got that!], "The effect [moving] at the speed of light would be the annihilation of all matter in the universe. There would be no warning...the earth, and it's inhabitants would simply cease to exist at the instant the collapsing vacuum reached the planet".

So, if you have a need to worry, this is a good one for you, especially is if someone says "It's nothing to worry about!"

Weird Biology.

About 15 years ago I wrote a series of articles in the Coastal Post on colonies of simple animals forming super organisms. That is when groups of animals forming social units, the social units themselves are actually alive. I even had the nerve to claim that interacting machines are alive too.

This kind of thinking was based on the widespread, but not very popular, notion that all cells, excluding primitive bacteria, are little eco systems created when groups of primitive bacteria learned to live together within one envelope cell. From these little communities or bacteria, multicellular organisms evolved into us and everything else which is alive. So all plants and animals are composed of huge masses of merged bacterial cells.

Further confirmation of this still unpopular work appeared in "The Sciences" this month by Lynn Margulis, the ex-wife of Carl Sagan who recently died. She and a college have been studying the swimming bacteria that live in the intestines of termites for four years.

It is still very hard for many humans to recognize kinship with chimpanzees, apes and monkeys. I suppose it will take centuries or until the vacuum collapses, for Americans to recognize they are composed of fetid water pond scum. Well, maybe just men.

Internal Alien Americans:

I live in America, but I don't often feel like I am part of America. For instance, I have never seen even one episode of the Bill Cosby Show, and have never once seen Seinfeld. The list goes on and on. I could never get used to Ronald Reagan, the president, after having seen him in so many bad movies.

I didn't even know Bill Cosby had a son! What bothered me about this young man's murder was that the story reported on TV was bizarre, but no one seemed to notice.

A young man driving a very expensive ( $100,000 +) sports car has a flat at one o'clock in the morning. He uses his cell phone to call not to call Triple A, but to call a girlfriend to help him change the flat. She shows up in a fur coat and mini-skirt. She sees someone, gets frightened and leaves. When she returns Cosby's only son is dead. She is allegedly too frightened to talk to police, although, she doesn't appear that way in the video standing by the crime scene. The LA police theorized robbery, although nothing is taken.

This is a very strange sequence, but perhaps it only seems that way to me because I am an alien.

It gets stranger. A TV News station broadcasts a close up taken from a helicopter, of the murder victim showing serious physical damage, and, I guess, blood. Listeners call in upset and irate. Media executives pull the tape and apologize to the victim's family.

When are Americans ever going to learn what bullets do to human flesh? How can voters make informed decisions about the production, distribution and registration of firearms if they are ignorant as to what they do? Who is coddling whom, and why?

You can see TV programs showing huge crocodiles tearing gnus and zebra apart, wild dogs tearing Thompson Gazelle calfs' apart, snarling lions with bloody faces stuffed in buffalo body cavities and sharks with huge teeth biting everything is sight, but you never see what bullets do to heads and faces. Only an alien composed of bacteria in a collapsing vacuum would think of that, I suppose.

Murder

Since I wrote about the huge jump in murders in New York and Los Angeles about ten years ago, it is only fair that I report the big drop in murders in New York. The rate is now at a 28-year-low and the number of people deliberately killed last year in the big city is half the number deliberately killed the year before. Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles report similar drops, although in Washington, murders rose slightly for some reason.

Furthermore, the number of U.S. Police officers slain on the job, is now at a 30 year low. Only one officer was killed last year with an assault weapon. However, the bad news is that for the past three years, California has led the nation in the number of police officers killed.

The above information taken from the New York Times did not indicate, for example the number of officers killed in auto accidents, or the number who killed themselves with their own guns.

Jury System Flawed

The National Science Foundation sent me an interesting study which politely says jurors in capital cased may not understand what they are doing. The abstract states: "People called upon to sit on juries for capital crimes often do not understand the language of the law, the factors they are supposed to weigh in considering a sentence, or even that they have final responsibility for imposing punishment."

No kidding! Who would have thought such a thing! Next thing you know someone will come up with a study showing that trial lawyers manipulate jurors.

Alien Threat to Great Lakes:

Channel 5 News got my attention the other night with "This up next: new alien threat to Great Lakes".

It seems that a European Goby, a small fish, is now reproducing rapidly. You'd think everyone would be happy with this hitch hiker because it eats the zebra mussel, another Europest which is coating the bottom of the Great Lakes.

So, what is wrong with he Eruogoby? Well it seems that in eating the polluted food available they get contaminated with PCB, waste chemicals used in the electrical industry. Then game fish eat the gobies and they get the PCBs and then humans eat the game fish. So it is not the industries which produced the pollution which is threatening people, but the invading aliens who are trapped in the web of insanity.

It's hard being an alien.