Friday, December 30, 2016

The problem of consciousness

The question of how consciousness comes about has perplexed mankind for ages. Most of those with a science background assume that it arises due to special features of the brain such as high complexity, computing power etc. If this were true then perhaps computers of the distant might start to show this property also. This view suggests that there is no survival after death.

However another school of thought holds that consciousness resides elsewhere (with the soul or spirit) and that the brain is only a kind of filter. Survival after death is therefore possible.

Consider then this story about a man who lives with most of his brain missing... as reported by Science Alert. At first I thought this must be fake news! First described in The Lancet (a well-known medical publication) in 2007, link provided in article.
"A French man who lives a relatively normal, healthy life - despite missing 90 percent of his brain - is causing scientists to rethink what it is from a biological perspective that makes us conscious."

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Solar roofs

The US company Tesla, famous for electric cars, has announced glass roofing tiles which are also solar panels. According to this article in Bloomberg:

"If Musk’s claims prove true, this could be a real turning point in the evolution of solar power. The rooftop shingles he unveiled just a few weeks ago are something to behold: They’re made of textured glass and are virtually indistinguishable from high-end roofing products. They also transform light into power for your home and your electric car. "

While they are not cheap they are tough, light-weight and long-lasting. It looks a very promising product. Hopefully other companies will come out with competing products soon and such tiles will become available in Guyana in a few years. Being light-weight is important as it reduces shipping costs and is also better for the kind of houses built here.

Monday, October 24, 2016

New Baha'i Temple opens in Chile

 The wonderful new Baha'i House of Worship has opened in Chile - the third one in the Americas. The others are in the US (Chicago) and Panama. All open to people of all faiths.
At least one Guyanese was present and many Baha'i's here made contributions towards its construction over the past few years. When we eventually have one here we will no doubt get support from Baha'i's around the world too. That is how its works.

The final picture is of the Panama Temple.
More about the Temple is here.

Note - pictures from the Baha'i International Community.

Friday, September 30, 2016

A hot day in Guyana 34+C

On Tuesday (Sept 27th) the temperature inside our house exceeded 34C. This was in a position exposed to what little breeze there was. I do try and check the temperature on hot days and I have never seen it higher.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Nearest star has Earth-sized planet

Big excitement over the latest exoplanet data. One report on the BBC says:
"Its data suggests Proxima b has a minimum mass 1.3 times that of Earth and orbits at a distance of about 7.5 million km from the star, taking 11.2 days to complete one revolution.
The distance between the star and its planet is considerably smaller than Earth's separation from the Sun (149 million km). But Proxima Centauri is what is termed a red dwarf star. It is much reduced in size and dimmer compared with our Sun, and so a planet can be nearer and still enjoy conditions that are potentially as benign as those on Earth."
I would expect we will hear much more about this planet in the coming years. Sorry no picture yet - those in the media are pure speculation but they do look interesting...