Social Media

 

 

chocolate cake

Relationships are like baking a cake.  If you don’t put in the right ingredients then it can possibly flop or not set up right.  When talking about the mechanics of a relationship then that means that we constantly like a car have to maintenance the relationship.  This maintenance is in the form of showing respect, love, appreciation, warmth, and attention.  Lack of communication as Dr. Phil said one day on his TV show is the number Dr. Philone cause of divorce.  Today I watched a video that Pastor Greg Locke posted on Facebook.  He was completely heartbroken over what kind of a firestorm on social media that his family has come under due to his recent divorce.  He was going on for several minutes quite distressed over what others are saying about him that are part of another church.  He describes the stress he is under based on how people are treating him now that he is divorced.  They are accusing him of being an adulterer because his wife’s close friend and him were friends.  The words are affecting him and are like poison because they are lies he claims and if you watch the video then you can see how sad he is about losing his wife or he is one great actor.

Pastor Greg Locke

Later in the day, I was trying to pull up Greg Locke’s Facebook video that I watched earlier to copy the link and I came across this site called Pulpit & Pen.  The site had an article about Greg Locke and his marriage and why people at his church are upset.  The article claimed that he left his wife due to her having a mental illness.  It said in the article that he just put his wife in a car and sent her away.  Then within a month after his divorce that it was common knowledge that he was having a courtship with a woman named Tai.  He hired her to work at the church before his divorce happened.  What my question here to pose to you the reader is “how can we know when someone else is telling us the truth from what we read and hear on social media?”.  I watched his video on Facebook first which he seemed gut-wrenched over his split from his wife.  Then, I read this article posted on Pulpit & Pen about his congregation suffering from his decisions.

Pulpit & Pen

Divorce is a private and personal matter; however, because this man is in the public eye leading a congregation of followers at Global Vision Bible Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee then he is being closely judged.  The Bible states in Matthew 7:1-2 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”.  James 4:12 states that “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One that is able to save and destroy.  But who are you to judge your neighbor?”.   Then in John 7:24 Jesus says, “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.” Also, in 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 the Scripture says “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?  Are you not to judge those inside?  God will judge those outside.  “Expel the wicked man from among you.”.

No one in this world is perfect.  I don’t believe getting a divorce is like brushing your teeth which means needed every day but if two people are miserable for an ongoing time together then I don’t think God would want two people living their lives like that either.  Not saying that is what happened to Greg Locke’s marriage because I have no idea and I don’t want to know because that is his private business.  I know the Bible frowns on divorce and it is considered a sin according to the Bible.  What are your thoughts about it being a sin?  How far does that go in your mind?  I remember someone telling me that when he went through his divorce the church that he attended basically turned their backs on him he felt.  He told me that most of the people started treating him differently.  Why when Jesus tells us to love one another would people do that to this person who had committed no great offense in his marriage?  I am not saying that all churches of people are like this to others who have experienced divorce.  The tenet of the church I attend says that “God loves you no matter what.”.

After this person explained their experience of divorce to me it made me feel like his divorce sounded like he was being judged like how the character Hester Prynne was 36ccb4421b974e83d94912b08ba6ffbejudged in The Scarlett Letter.  Again, how far does this have to go?  My opinion of how far it has to go is not like how some people believe which is dis-association of the person from others or the circles of life.  I think how it should go is one extending their heart and hand towards that other person who is experiencing grief due to their loss.  I think we need to show a net of community and love towards that person not disgrace and judgment.

I had an article pop up on my cell phone the other day about the Golden Globes and how Angelina Jolie was looking down while Jennifer Aniston was presenting onstage with Carol Burnett.  I saw the pic in the article and then it proceeded on to say how Dakota Johnson was looking over at Angelina doing this behavior.  Also, the article went to point out about Laura Dern also being onstage and Angelina showing the same signals.  I felt like the article was shaming Angelina Jolie for it mentioning her coming between two relationships in her past with Brad Pitt and Billy Bob Thornton to these particular women.  Yes, Angelina got involved with both of these men but so did they with her. The article didn’t say anything about them and their character.  They were just scrutinizing Angelina.  She was looking down because she felt bad maybe one of the comments said.  I don’t know what the reason was and that was her way of doing things.  I feel that what decisions took place between these couples was their decisions and is really none of our business.  It becomes our business though because of social media and them being a public figure in the public eye.  I understand that we need to know certain news like Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey who had a teenage boy in his hotel room giving him drugs.  Yes, we need to know that to not support him or vote for him and to be aware of people engaging in child sex trafficking out in the world.  When it comes to celebrities and their relationships then I think that is their personal business.  Now that we know that about the supposed break-up of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt due to Angelina Jolie coming into the picture, does that solve any matters of the world today?  What about Brad’s decision too involving that matter?26157067_952188248279322_3414744586549985280_n

Going back to what I stated before, I think it is wrong for some of these judgments to be made like in the case of Pastor Greg Locke until we know all of the facts for sure.  Greg Locke I think shows his pain in the video clearly for losing his wife.  In the cases of movie director Harvey Weinstein and Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey,  yes this is newsworthy and should be heard and them be judged accordingly for their sins.  Some things like the celebrities’ relationships are personal and private that not everyone needs to know about or is newsworthy.  I don’t want to be reminded of a dirty scandal that has happened in history every time I turn on the TV or laptop to watch the news.

Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey

Sometimes compassion is shown like this beautiful woman did when facing her son’s killer in the courtroom.  This woman’s name is Rukiye Abdul-Mutakallim.  This woman showed the most compassion and support to a young man (age 14) who murdered her son Suliman.  The way that she could hug the person who committed this atrocity and also hug his mom is the love Jesus is talking about.

Rukiye Abdul-Mutakallim

  Mother Teresa’s quotes are something to live by to have peace in your life.  Peace is what I want in my life and what I want to bring to others every day of my life.  Like Romans 12:18 states, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with mother-teresa Do It Anywayeveryone.”.  What are your thoughts about all of the examples I have provided above involving social media and how we should show love to others concerning these different situations?  We have to be careful in how we filter our reading and believing of what is put on social media.  With what I have learned about reading the New Testament’s Scripture on judging others is that we should do it wisely and not wickedly.  Some of the examples listed above are extreme cases where yes we have to judge the people for their sins and about my thoughts on divorce being a sin is that it is not if there is good reasons behind it.  Sometimes people come to irreconcilable differences and I am not one who will judge someone based on divorce.  I never really try to judge anyone but when you see major sins occurring like in the case of child sex trafficking and murder then we as a society have to judge the person in the courtroom based on their sin.  Do I believe in rehabilitation?  Yes I do.  Do I believe in forgiving others?  Yes I do.  Do I think Rukiye Abdul-Mutakallim was silly for having responded that way in the courtroom? No.  I actually think it is pretty amazing that she could feel that way.  That is true forgiveness and love.

Community 2

     We all have things that have happened to us in our lives that have hurt our feelings or have made us sad.  I think life is about community and forging positive relationships with many people.  Constantly trying to be a positive force or influence in other people’s lives.  Starting over and trying again with the same person who has hurt your feelings.  Saying you are sorry to each other and then becoming friends that can share in laughs and smiles together.  “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”.–Mother Teresa

 

 

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Social Media

The Three R’s to Help the Planet Earth

Landfill 4

The three R’s to help the planet Earth are Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Have you started recycling?  I started to become more of a recycler myself when becoming a home owner.  When I was growing up, my parents would have their aluminum cans recycled.  Also, another way that my parents and I have recycled is through having garage sales and donating used items.  I have become more concerned about the amount of trash that takes up space on Earth.  When I heard from someone else that garbage from New York City comes to Columbus OH, I was completely amazed when I heard that.  I was thinking instantly just how much garbage do we all produce on a daily basis.  Another thing that sparked my interest in doing research on this project was when I found the YouTube video of the big mass of plastic floating out in the open ocean.  It is a mass of a pretty huge size.

According to the article “Human Footprint” by Dan Kulpinski, we Americans discard four-fifths of a ton of trash per person, per year. Americans generated 251 million tons of trash in 2006.  Our per capita trash disposal rate was 4.6 pounds per person, per day.  Sixty-five percent of it came from residences, while 35 percent came from schools and commercial locations such as hospitals and businesses.  Right now, for every pound of garbage people generate, about seven pounds of waste are produced upstream (in the manufacturing process, before the product gets to the consumer).  If your trash goes to a landfill it will end up sealed in the ground.  It won’t decompose much, if at all, because air and water can’t get in.  “Most landfills are more like mummifiers than composters,” wrote Elizabeth Royte in “Garbage Land.”  They can leak liquids into the groundwater.  If your trash goes to an incinerator, it gets burned and turned into ash, which is used to make roads or parking lots, or is dumped into landfills.  In Manhattan, diesel trucks carry garbage 7.8 million miles every year, according to “Trash and the City”, a report by Environmental Defense.  That is the equivalent of circling the Earth 312 times.  “Waste is just really a design flaw and we have to be pushing on manufacturers and product designers to design things which are easily recyclable,” said Krebs.

Landfill 3 Landfill 5

 

 

Recycling has benefits such as manufacturers using less greenhouse gases that impact the environment. According to the EPA, recycling provides an annual benefit of 49.7 million metric tons of carbon equivalent emissions reduced, comparable to removing 39.4 million passenger cars from the road each year.  Scrap paper is our number one U.S. export by volume and scrap metal is among our most valuable exports.

 

Reduce Reuse Recycle 2Jack Johnson 1

Jack Johnson singing the song “The 3 R’s” is about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It is a song that my kids and I enjoy listening to and singing along with.  I recycle everything that can be recycled like paper, plastic, and glass.  I have garage sales and donate clothing and used items to Goodwill.  I want to make a positive difference living here on planet Earth and make things as less polluted as possible.

The Three R’s to Help the Planet Earth

The Food Offenders

Have you caught yourself wondering what is in the food that you are eating?   I caught myself wondering that question and I also wondered what kind of effect of what I am eating is having on my body.  I wanted to research this topic further so I did.  I read about different food additives in our food in various articles online.  Also, I started looking at the ingredients on packaging when I would go grocery shopping.  I was shocked to find lots of ingredients in many foods that are not good for our bodies.  I wanted to learn more about the food offenders.

There are several food offenders out there but I just decided to focus on the following ones which are Azodicarbonamide (ADA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), Carmine, Carrageenan, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).

AzodicarbonamideAzodicarbonamide (ADA) is used as a flour bleaching agent and dough conditioner.
Azodicarbonamide Yoga MatThe principal use of azodicarbonamide is in the production of foamed plastics as a blowing agent.  The thermal decomposition of ADA results in the evolution of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and ammonia gases.  ADA has been linked to “respiratory issues, allergies and asthma” for individuals at workplaces where ADA is manufactured or handled in raw form.

BHTButylated HydroxytolueBHT Food Picne (BHT) is a lipophilic organic compound, chemically a derivative of phenol.  In the petroleum industry, BHT is used in hydraulic fluids, turbine and gear oils, and jet fuels.  BHT has been linked to cancer, asthma, and behavioral issues in children.

Carmine

Carmine also called crimson lake, cochineal, Carmine 2natural red 4, C. I. 75470, or E120 is a pigment of a bright-red color obtained from the aluminum salt of carminic acid.  The pigment is produced from some scale insects such as the cochineal scale and certain Porphyrophora species (Armenian cochineal and Polish cochineal).  As a food dye it has been known to cause severe allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock in some people.

Carrageenan 3

Carrageenan are a
family of linear sulphated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds.  They are widely used in the food industry for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties.  The ingredient has been linked to GI disease in lab animals, including ulcerative colitis, intestinal lesions, and colon cancer.

Carrageenan 4

HFCSHFCS 4

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener made from corn starch that has been processed by glucose isomerase to convert some of its glucose into fructose.  It was first marketed in the early 1970’s by The Clinton Corn Processing Company, together with the Japanese research institute where the enzyme was discovered.  This ingredient can be linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and autism.

MSGMSG Side Effects

Monosodium Glutamate(MSG) is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids.  Glutamic acid was discovered and identified in 1866 by the German chemist Karl Heinrich Ritthausen who treated wheat gluten with sulfuric acid.  MSG has been used for more than 100 years to season food.  There has been some evidence called the MSG symptom complex where a person can experience symptoms of headache, flushing, sweating, facial pressure or tightness, tingling, burning, or numbness in the face, neck, and other areas, rapid fluttering heartbeats, chest pain, nausea, and weakness.Karl Ritthausen 2

Not saying we can get around all of the food offenders out there but this article is just a way of educating your mind about what is going into your body.  We have consumed many of these additives for years but the point is that we must cut down on our consumption of these additives in our diet.  Some people go to a Whole Foods store or Trader Joe’s to get foods that have less additives in them or some just shop in the Organic and Healthy Living section of Kroger.  I am still eating additives just not as many of them.  I have become a much more informed grocery shopper due to my studies about food offenders and I feel it will improve my family’s health.

The Food Offenders

The Arcade Age

I remember being so excited about going to the video game arcade when I was growing up.  One of my favorite video game arcades was called Scratch N’ Tilt.  There were so many different games to choose to play in this arcade.  Some of my favorites were Paperboy, The Gauntlet, Donkey Kong, Centipede, and Ms. Pac Man.  There was great excitement that grew inside of me as I raced over to the token machine and got those gold tokens for game play.  I would see my friends at the arcade which was nice too.

Paperboy Arcade gameGauntlet Arcade GameDonkey_Kong_arcadeCentipede Arcade GameMs. Pac Man

The birth of video arcades came from the ancestors of these types of venues called penny arcades.  The video arcade got its start in the late 1970’s and continued until the mid-1980’s.  The first video game to ever be created was by a Brookhaven National Laboratory physicist by the name of William Higinbotham in 1958.  The name of his game was called Tennis for Two created for Visitor’s Day and was played on an oscilloscope hooked up to an analog computer.  The analog computer would be hooked up to the oscilloscope in such a way that a “ball” of light would randomly bounce around the screen.  “We found,” Higinbotham remembered, that we could make a game which would have a ball bouncing back and forth, sort of like a tennis game viewed from its side.”  He never received any credit for his game in his lifetime and even if he did since he worked for the government, they would have owned the patent.

William Higinbotham

Tennis for Two Oscilloscope Game

In 1971, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney created the first coin-operated arcade video game to be sold commercially (and the first widely available video game of any kind).   It was called Computer Space and it was based on Steve Russell’s game SpaceWar.  A year later, another game created by Bushnell and Dabney named Pong became the first successful arcade video game and led to the popularization of the medium.  The word “video” in “video game” refers to a raster display device.  A raster display device is a scanning pattern of parallel lines that form the image projected on a cathode-ray tube of a television set or display screen. Prior to the “golden age”, pinball machines were more popular than video games.  The “golden age” of video arcade games in the 1980’s became a peak era of video arcade game popularity, innovation, and earnings.  The era saw the rapid spread of video arcades across North America, Western Europe, and Japan.  For example, in North America, the video arcades more than doubled between 1980 and 1982, reaching a peak of 13,000 video game arcades across the region (compared to 4,000 today).

Computer Space 4

Spacewar 1

Ted Dabney, Nolan Bushnell, Fred Marincic, and Al Alcorn

Jerry Parker Mayor of Ottumwa IowaOn November 30, 1982, Jerry Parker, the Mayor of Ottumwa, Iowa, declared his city the “Video Game Capital of the World”.  This initiative resulted in many firsts in video game history.  Ottumwa saw the birth of the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard and the U.S. National Video Game Team, two organizations that still exist today.   Other events were birthed like the first video-game-themed parade or the first video game world championship as well as the first official day to honor a video game player. In the 1990’s, the video arcades in North America were decreasing.  This was because of the technology of home video game consoles began to rival and eventually exceed that of arcade games.  Also, the rise of the internet kept many potential arcade customers home.

The Arcade Age

Old Industry versus New Industry

 

While you are out taking a drive, have you taken notice of old abandoned buildings that were once part of the Industrial Revolution in the United States?  Do you ever stop and wonder what was behind this building’s history?  What did the workers do there?  What were their lives like back then?  I have noticed these old pieces of architecture in our landscape and have felt that they were important pieces of history that I should know about.  Around 2007, I wanted to take photographs of some of these past haunts that you see while driving down Old US 52 in Ohio.  By the time my interest peaked about doing this project, I noticed on my drives that these buildings were being demolished.  I felt sad about that because I felt a piece of our history was being erased.

One of the buildings I have been referring to was the New Boston Coke Corp Plant in New Boston, Ohio, near Portsmouth.  This plant operated between 1917 and 2002.  The New Boston Coke Plant operated 70 ovens and had a production capacity of approximately 1,100 tons of coke per day.   It was known to be a pretty important economic force of work in the U.S. during WWII with it being the largest production center of 500-lb bombs that helped the United States win the war against Germany and Japan.  It was considered the most modern steel mill in the country in 1948 employing 3,800.  It moved up to 4,800 in the 1950’s and then came to a gradual shutdown of the entire plant by 2002.  This shutdown was due to increased foreign competition and also the high rate of air pollution and of soil and water.  Cancer rates in New Boston climbed to be some of the highest in the United States.

New Boxton Coke Corp 4New Boston Coke Corp 3New Boston Coke Corp 2

Another historical Southern Ohio business was the Carlyle Labold Tile and Brick Company.  In 1887, this company’s roots  had its beginnings in Portsmouth, OH and was called the Petersburg Brick Company, then the Deegan Brick Company and then the Forestdale Fire Brick Company.  In 1923, Mesars, Carlyle, and Labold began experimenting with clay from Lawrence County, specifically Petersburg (later Coal Grove) and Sheridan and found the clay to be of good quality.  Carlyle Labold constructed a new, modern factory which produced its first brick in 1925.  An elevated span from the factory to the clay mines over Pike Street and the Norfolk & Western Railroad (N&W) was opened in 1929. By the fall of 1928, their brick operation was so successful that a tile plant adjoining the brick plant was constructed and they changed their name to Carlyle Labold Tile and Brick to reflect their new product line.

Carlyle Labold Tile Plant 1Carlyle Labold Tile Plant 2

The clay was shaped into tile instead of brick.  The annual capacity of the plant was 12 million building bricks and as many tiles.  They made 10 different shapes of faced building brick and 10 different shapes of tile.  The plant was electrically operated, except for the coal used in the kilns of the brick division and the gas kilns in the tile division.  In 1935, the plant was sold to Mosaic Tile Company and operated under that name until 1978 when all operations ceased.  McGuiness Incorporated purchased the 30.85 acre property in 2006.  The former brick and tile plant was planned to be home to an intermodal rail, barge, and truck freight center which never got completed.  The buildings were demolished and the demolition completed by January 2007.  The Ohio EPA found a high level of poly-nuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s) in the soil that exceeded the applicable standards so the village of Coal Grove became part of an Ohio EPA Voluntary Action Program(VAP) to help with site clean-up and remediation of the property.

So, here we have two booming and thriving businesses at one time in the Southern Ohio area that are gone among many others out there.  Not even their buildings still stand.  Old industry had unhealthy work conditions because of all of the pollution and endless work hours of working in highly dangerous conditions.

Old industry picOld Industry 4Old Industry 6Old Industry 3Old Industry 2

New industry involves the digital age.  The ‘new economy’ is believed to have started in the late 1990’s, as high-tech tools, such as the internet, and increasingly powerful computers,  began penetrating the consumer and business marketplace.  Companies in the new industry are heavily involved in the internet and biotech industries.  Manufacturing is going digital.  The old way of making things involved taking lots of parts and screwing them or welding them together.  Now a product can be designed on a computer and “printed” on a 3D printer, which creates a solid object by building up successive layers of material.  The digital design can be tweaked with a few mouseclicks.  The 3D printer can run unattended, and can make many things which are too complex for a traditional factory, to handle.  An engineer working in the middle of a desert who finds he lacks a certain tool no longer has to have it delivered from the nearest city.  He can download the design and print it.

New Industry Pics 1New Industry 6New Industry 5New Industry 4New Industry 3

New materials are lighter, stronger and more durable than the old ones.  Carbon Fibre is replacing steel and aluminum in products ranging from aeroplanes to mountain bikes.  Nanotechnology is giving products enhanced features such as a bandaid that helps heal cuts or crockery that is easier to clean.  Our society has moved towards having products made more swiftly and conveniently.  The manufacturing jobs of the future will require more skills.  Many dull, repetitive tasks will become obsolete.  The factory of the past was based on cranking out zillions of identical products: Ford famously said that car-buyers could have any color they liked, as long as it was black.  The factory of the future will focus on mass customization- and may look more like those weavers’ cottages than Ford’s assembly line.

What are your thoughts about manufacturing becoming more digital?  I think it is better in the way of working conditions being less harsh on workers out there and that health conditions have improved in the workplace.  Also, I am for technology improving and becoming better for mankind.  If the new industry helps promote less pollution and improves society’s health than I am all for things becoming more convenient as long as our society doesn’t become too fast-paced about everything.  I am not wanting to see workers replaced completely by robotics.  I think a good mix is workers and robotics mixed to achieve a great result for humanity.

A great movie I would recommend for you to view about, old industry, the textile Industrial Revolution in England is called North and South, based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel.  Her novel was about how different lifestyles existed in the North of England versus the South of England.  Milton England was a picture of how life was in Manchester England at the time

North and South 3North and South 5NORTH AND SOUTH

Old Industry versus New Industry

Black Hole Paradox

Ever since I was a young child and viewed the Disney movie Black Hole (1979) starring actors Maxmilian Schell, Yvette Mimieux, and Ernest Borgnine to name a few, I was deeply curious or trapped like light is within this phenomenon.  This movie left an impression on my mind.  I was fascinated with the concept of whether a black hole existed or not.  Little did I know at that time that scientific great minds had already been working on the dynamics behind this particular cosmic activity for years.

Black Hole Movie 2

John Michell

The idea of a body so massive that even light could not escape was first put forward by John Michell in a letter written to Henry Cavendish in 1783 of the Royal Society.  The first use of the term “black hole” in print was by journalist Ann Ewing in her article “Black Holes’ in Space”, dated 18th January, 1964 and then the first man to coin the term in a lecture he gave in 1967 was John Wheeler.   A black hole is a region of spacetime from which gravity prevents anything, including light, from escaping.  Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity (1916) predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole.  The boundary of the region from which there is no escape is called the event horizon.  The event horizon is a boundary in spacetime through which matter and light can only pass inward towards the mass of the black hole.  This deformation becomes so strong at the event horizon that nothing can pull away from it.  An effect that was defined by Albert Einstein in 1907 which is called gravitational time dilation is where an object that is falling into a black hole appears to slow down to an observer as it approaches the event horizon versus an object that is further away from the gravitational pull.  At the same time, all processes on this object slow down, for a fixed outside observer, causing emitted light to appear redder and dimmer, an effect known as gravitational redshift.  Eventually, the object becomes so dim that it can no longer be seen.

John Wheeler Einstein

Ann Ewing Black Holes

Black holes are formed by gravitational collapse of astronomical objects such as stars which collapse at the end of their life cycle.  Supermassive black holes of millions of solar masses may form.  There is a general consensus that supermassive black holes exist in the center of most galaxies.  There are on one end countless stellar mass black holes that are peppered throughout our Universe as the result of remnants of massive stars that are 10 to 24 times as massive as the Sun and then we have on the other end of the spectrum what you call supermassive black holes that are millions, if not billions, of times as massive as the Sun.

Supermassive_black_hole Cygnus XR-1

Scientists can’t directly observe black holes with telescopes that detect x-rays, light, or other forms of electromagnetic radiation.  Despite its invisible interior, the presence of a black hole can be inferred through its interaction with other matter and with electromagnetic radiation such as light.  If there are other stars orbiting a black hole, their orbit can be used to determine its mass and location.  Such observations can be used to exclude neutron stars.  Also, if a black hole passes through a cloud of interstellar matter, for example, it will draw matter inward in a process known as accretion.

In this way, astronomers have identified a supermassive black hole of about 4.3 million solar masses in the core of our own Milky Way Galaxy.  X-ray emissions from the double-star system Cygnus X-1 and other recent precise measurements points towards evidence that there is a black hole existing there.  Astronomers have also found convincing evidence for a supermassive black hole in the galaxy NGC 4258, the giant elliptical galaxy M87, and several others.  Scientists verified the existence of the black holes by studying the speed of the clouds of gas orbiting those regions.

Cygnus_X-1

Cygnus X-1

Black holes act as an ideal black body as it reflects no light.  Stephen Hawking in 1974 provided a theoretical argument for black body radiation or Hawking radiation to exist within black holes.  Black body radiation is the type of electromagnetic radiation within or surrounding a body in thermodynamic equilibrium with its environment, or emitted by a black body (an opaque and non-reflective body) held at constant, uniform temperature.  A black-body at room temperature appears black, as most of the energy it radiates is infra-red and cannot be perceived by the human eye.

There are three internal parameters that are important concerning a black hole which are total mass, charge, and angular momentum.  It appears that information concerning these three parameters is only conserved and that all other information about an object entering a black hole is lost.  This brings about the black hole information paradox.  The black hole information paradox results from the combination of quantum mechanics and general relativity.  It suggests that physical information could permanently disappear in a black hole, allowing many physical states to devolve into the same state.  This has brought about controversy because it violates a commonly assumed tenet of science-that in principle complete information about a physical system at one point in time should determine its state at any other time.  If the material entering the black hole were a pure quantum state, the transformation of that state into a mixed state of Hawking radiation would destroy information of the original quantum state.  This presents a physical paradox.

Black Hole War 2  Stephen Hawking Kip Thorne

Stephen Hawking                              Kip Thorne

John Preskill

John Preskill

This annoyed many physicists, notably John Preskill, who in 1997 bet Hawking and Kip Thorne that information was not lost in black holes.  In July 2004, Stephen Hawking published a paper presenting a theory that quantum perturbations of the event horizon could allow information to escape from a black hole which would resolve the information paradox and he conceded his bet.  What are your thoughts about information that enters a black hole?  Do you think it burns up and disintegrates slowly according to Hawking radiation or do you believe the holographic principle that the information can be retrieved or encoded on the surface of the event horizon?  I believe that information is never lost.

Laura Mersini-Houghton

After reading this article, do you believe that black holes exist?  I feel strongly that they do exist.  A physics professor, Laura Mersini-Houghton at UNC-Chapel Hill in the College of Arts and Sciences is still not convinced that they exist.  She has submitted a paper to ArXiv, an online repository of physics papers that is not peer reviewed, offering by exact numerical solutions that they do not exist due to a star losing too much mass when it collapses under its own gravity and then it cannot form a black hole due to lack in density.  What are your thoughts about these being in existence in our Universe?

Black Hole Paradox

Human Cloning- Ethical or Unethical?

Identical Twins

What would the world feel and look like to you if you had another existing you or many of the same exact you to see?  My mom is an identical twin which is a natural form of human cloning which happens when the fertilized egg forms one zygote which splits and forms two embryos.   Monozygotic or identical twins are genetically nearly the same but are not genetically exactly the same.  Identical twins do not have the same fingerprint since they move around in their environment in the womb differently.  They don’t express the same phenotypes which are observable traits expressed by the genes of the individual.  The phenotype is controlled by the genetic make-up of the organism and the environmental pressures the organism is subject to which will be different for both of the individuals.  These different environmental influences can cause genes to be turned on or off or partially turned on or off which makes the identical twins not exactly the same.

Somatic-cell nuclear transfer

Stem Cell Treatments

Human cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of a human.  The term is generally referred to mean artificial cloning which is the reproduction of human cells and tissue.  It does not refer to the natural conception and delivery of identical twins.  There are two types of theoretical human cloning which are therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning.  Therapeutic cloning involves cloning cells from a human for use in medicine and transplants.  There are two common methods of therapeutic cloning which are being researched now which are somatic-cell nuclear transfer and pluripotent stem cell induction.  The somatic-cell nuclear transfer(SNCT) is a laboratory technique for creating a viable embryo from a body cell and an egg cell.  In this technique, you take an enucleated oocyte (egg cell) and implant it with a donor nucleus from a somatic (body) cell.  This process is used in both therapeutic and reproductive cloning.  Dolly the Sheep was created in 1996 using the somatic-cell nuclear transfer reproductive technique and was the first successfully cloned mammal.  Several other mammals have been successfully cloned since then as well.  Pluripotent stem cell induction is when cells can be generated directly from adult cells which can form every other cell type in the body such as heart, neuron pancreatic, and liver cells which could be beneficial for regenerative medicine.  This technique has a well-known pluripotent stem cell which is the embryonic stem cell.   The generation of embryonic stem cells involves destruction or at least manipulation of the pre-implementation stage embryo and has been the basis of much controversy.

Dolly the Sheep

“What do you think or make of the cloning of animals?”  “How do you feel about cloned animals being a part of our food supply?”  “Would you want to eat steak or a hamburger from an animal that has been cloned?”   “Would you like to see a human become cloned like what happened in the Doctor Who: “End of Time (Part One)” episode?”.  Being John Malkovich is another good example of seeing massive human cloning.  It gave me an uncomfortable feeling seeing so many of the same individual.  I felt like it was a loss of genetic diversity.  I think human beings in themselves like to see diversity in our society and see people being a “unique” being created naturally instead of an “artificially developed” being.  When I see the word artificial on food labels it bothers me and then when it comes to reading and thinking about it concerning humans or animals reproductively then it bothers me even more.  God created a natural way of life and I feel that we need to be careful of what we are creating on the scientific home front. “Will there be a loss of personality when you clone artificially?”  A person is developed naturally by combining a sperm cell and an egg cell versus in artificial cloning you have a somatic body cell and are taking the nucleus out of the somatic cell and placing it inside an egg cell.

Being John MalkovichBlade Runner

Star Wars Attack of the Clones

I became fascinated and cautious in my mind about the idea of cloning when I saw the movie Blade Runner which was based from Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?   The movie is about human replicants or clones.  The movie touched on important aspects of these individuals like if they had feelings or not or memories of their childhood being in their mind or absent.  The human replicant was only produced to act as slave labor in an off-world for so many years and then their time would be up.  “Would the replicants pose any real kind of threat to anyone else?”  This movie really made me think about the ethics behind cloning.  Another example of a science fiction movie that brings cloning into the forefront is in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.  Obi-Wan Kenobi finds out about the Republic’s sinister plan to build a clone army using bounty hunter, Jango Fett as the template.  Again, using these clones in a defense only lifestyle such as the army makes you wonder if they will have emotions about their lives and how they were created.  The fact is their lifestyle was chosen for them by the Republic and not by them.  That is where the ethics question of cloning comes in for me on whether it is ethical or not.  I believe that human cloning is ethical if used for therapeutic purposes but unethical for reproductive purposes.  Concerning the therapeutic, it would be incredible and beneficial if scientists found cures for the diseases through somatic-cell nuclear transfer(SCNT) but as for reproductive cloning then I think we are heading for a battleground when it comes to that technique of cloning.  Let me know what your thoughts are about this topic.

Human Cloning- Ethical or Unethical?