Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Creation of Internet: Good and Bad

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It is quite interesting to think about how consumerism has evolved through time. This is due to technology and the creation of social networks which would never have been possible without science.

At the time, no one was aware of the big movement that they would be creating by releasing such a powerful technology. But scientists are always curious to know more about everything; therefore, I don’t think that anything would have stopped them.

There are multiple advantages that come with the creation of internet. Firstly, analyzing search engines can be one of the many ways that organizations can deduce what consumers want. Internet will have proven to be more useful than scientists had originally thought. It was during the 1950’s that electronic computers started to make their first appearance although; it was only at the end of 1980 that the internet became commercialized.

Predictions could now be made about many things such as which brand would be more popular, how many movie tickets would be sold for a show or even flu tendencies for each region. I am sure everyone would be unable to imagine a world without internet these days. How would we stay connected to the world?

All of our ancestors were able to manage without it, but today, no one dares to mention the idea since some people even live off of the internet.

Some might argue that the internet has become too open. What I mean is that every event, incident or information is posted on the network; therefore, it is hard to keep information private. I can relate to this since it has happened to me before and I know how frustrating and embarrassing it can be. The other person who posted the picture was playing the innocent and pretending that it was actually a great one. But I did not agree. This was when I decided that I would always stay in control of what image is portrayed about me on the internet.  

Although this is a disadvantage, there are ways around it so that people can stay safe both on the internet and in their daily lives. Laws have been created that forbid certain information’s to be used against other people such as cases of cyberbullying. The only thing left for a person to do is to inform themselves of their possibilities concerning their privacy on internet.

In our society, internet now has many advantages and disadvantages which make it a debatable topic among scientists. Although, since it has grown in popularity, the internet is a tool that still wants to be used by many consumers and producers. An interesting article which explores the subjects of computers, the web and how humans could make their computers understand them can be read at http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20827821.100-50-ideas-to-change-science-forever-computing.html#.U0XEd_ldV8E.

 

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The Time Traveling Experience

I’m sure many of you have thought of the idea of time traveling. I know that it has come to my mind multiple times and I have thought about where I would like to go. Some of the places were: traveling to the future to be in Cuba on a nice summer day, traveling in the past back when I was an innocent child who had no worries about life, and also going in the past to see what my parents and grandparents looked like when they were young. This blog will describe where I would go if I could time travel right now. I was inspired by The Daily Post’s blog called “Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine”.

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After opening my eyes, I looked around and saw that I was outside moving along on a dirt road. There was a wagon in front of me pulled by two black horses carrying wooden barrels as well as two men sitting in the front seat. I realized as I looked down that I was sitting in a saddle on a walking horse. I hadn’t felt this rhythmical movement in so long and it felt wonderful.

“Leslie,” called the man wearing a hat, “Ride up to the house and go tell your mother that we will be arriving soon.”

At first I was bewildered. This man wasn’t my father and why was he calling me Leslie?

I started to accelerate on the path and it dawned on me. I was now in the mind of a young women living in the past and I could actually feel her presence inside of my head. I had the feeling that the real Leslie was actually unconscious. I remember feeling how weird it was but at the same how amazing it was that I was actually in the past!

Since I didn’t know where the house was, I just started to explore the land which looked like a typical Quebec landscape. I passed by a small house and realized that it was made out of bricks. That was when I started to wonder what year I was in.

I came across a trash can which contained a newspaper. I jumped off my horse and saw that the date was July 5th 1710. I couldn’t believe what I was reading! I found myself wondering what I knew about this era. This is when there was the Port Royal and Quebec was occupied by the French who were loyal to the British Crown. This was also when Isaac Newton was still living and he had discovered many scientific principles that hadn’t been thought of before him. Although, as all scientists know, proving your theories takes a lot of time which is why Newton had no life outside of his scientific research career.

I ended up staying there for a whole day and saw how people were living and what food they were eating. I compared this to how we are living today and realized how easy our lives actually are. For food, we can use the microwave which heats our food up in no time. We have machines who wash our clothes. We have cars who enable us to travel wherever we want. And the list goes on and on.

This experienced has lead me to understand better how society was living at the time and how much humans have evolved both in the scientific field and on the social level. Time traveling is an experience that I would want to relive any day if I had the opportunity to.

 

To read the blog about the Time traveling challenge, visit: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/writing-challenge-time-machine/

 

Leonardo da Vinci: A Legend

After watching this short documentary about Leonardo da Vinci, I believe that one of his big desires was to learn how to fly. He had designed different kinds of machines to do this such as his glider or his famous parachute with no hole in the center.

Since Leonardo da Vinci was so ahead of his time, not many people believed in his theories because they were so extravagant. Not only this but Leonardo didn’t have all of the resources necessary to perform all of his experiments, for example, his plans of building the biggest horse statue.

Today, we now realize how he was actually a genius! I think it is too bad that such a great man never got the opportunity to see how his brilliant ideas and discoveries increased the evolution of our society. More than that, it made us ask questions about our world and opened our mind to new comcepts.

If Leonardo da Vinci were to come back and live another day in our world, what would be his opinion? And what would he do?

Firstly, I think that he would be impressed at how much we have come to treat all of his works as divine. What I mean by this is that we now consider Leonardo as someone who was very intelligent and we have a lot of respect for him. He would be fascinated by all of the things we have created such as cameras, televisions, motors, hydroelectric dams, and the list goes on.

Moreover, I think he would probably want to take a flight on a plane and be in the cockpit just to see what it feels like. He would probably also ask if he could take a look at the plans of the plane and ask questions to the engineer.
After learning who Leonardo da Vinci was, we can see how curious he was about the world around him. Also, how perseverant he was to perform his experiments his way.

This man will never be forgotten even though he was alive more than 600 years ago. He has marked our past and allowed us to grow as a society because of his many discoveries. We will forever remain in his debt.

Cat Vision for Humans!

An interesting idea was published in POPULAR SCIENCE about a new kind of contact lenses that would allow humans to see in the dark. These lenses would be made with graphene which is a type of carbon crystal that is light and thin and that detects infrared light. 

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This means we would be closer to becoming like felines who can see in the dark, although it wouldn’t be in exactly the same way. We would then be a step closer to improving the human capacity of observation!

Have you never questioned yourself about how these animals see the world? This is an interesting question since it leads us to new ideas and concepts that haven’t been explored yet. Imagine spending a whole day seeing what a cat sees. This would be quite an experience indeed!  

If we compare our vision with cats (who are in the feline family), we can see that cats can see better in the dark due to the big number of rods they have in their retina ( http://www.livescience.com/40459-what-do-cats-see.html ). On the other hand, we see better in bright light because of the cones in our retina.  Therefore, if we start using this new idea of contact lenses, we would have a better vision than cats altogether.

Furthermore, these new lenses would bring multiple advantages for our society. A simple advantage would be not worrying about bringing a flashlight when going for a walk at dusk. Also, when entering a dark room, we would be able to instantly recognize if someone is hiding in it or if it is completely empty. Another advantage that we might not think about is when there is a power failure. We would then be able to get candles without hurting ourselves in the process.

Finally, I encourage scientists to work on this project because it would allow us to see the world differently in darkness. This could also help scientists when they must do their observations for their experiments. With all of these benefits, it would be nice to know when these scientists predict to put this new product on the market.

To read the article about these lenses got to: http://www.popsci.com/article/technology/new-material-night-vision-contact-lenses?src=SOC&dom=tw

How Far Can Anatomy take us?

When people think about scientific discoveries, most people would think that this refers to new concepts and ideas that could enhance our future. But these are not the only discoveries that are made. Some scientists are working on discovering more about our past and how we evolved as a society but also how animals have evolved to become who they are today.

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It was discovered a long time ago that Homo sapiens are a specie that has evolved from apes, also known as Hominidae. This was discovered by observing the anatomy of both apes and humans which are quite similar even today. It should also be noted that both humans and animals have evolved in the past even though it is more noticeable in some species compared to others.

Similarly, Jonathan Geisler (an anatomist) compared the new whale species called Cotylocara macei to dolphins and porpoises. He found that all three species have air pockets in their skulls which enable them to perform echolocation. This is when an animal sends sound waves towards an object (usually a prey or a predator) and listens to when they bounce back which will allow them to identify how far this object is relative to them. This is a very powerful defense mechanism since these animals can always be aware of who is surrounding them, which is a very impressive technology.

The new whale specie that was identified was actually an old one since anatomists were analyzing its fossil that was 28 million years old. It helped scientists educate themselves even more about the history of how our world has evolved.

Visit http://www.livescience.com/44056-whale-evolved-echolocation-early.html to read the article about Cotylocara macei.

Bill Nye’s Contribution to Science

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Recently, I watched a video by Bill Nye, the Science Guy, who was discussing his opinion about what is happening in space at the moment. He is the executive director of The Planetary Society which is a non-profit organization that promotes the exploration in space. 

Their recent project is sending a spacecraft into space, no later than August 2014, which contains folded solar panels. When the craft will reach outer space, these panels (which are thin and pliable) will unfold. This is a brilliant idea since we could get energy from the sun without having to build huge solar panels that are very costly!

Also, this will allow us to maximize our space on earth because as we all know, our population is continuously growing. Consequently, we need more and more territory to live on. Therefore, getting our energy from space would be a good advantage for us.   

It fascinates me how humans have the capability of progressing so fast in the scientific field. In our society, this is a very complicated branch which requires lots of thinking and analyzing.

Furthermore, I would say that space is one of the most difficult aspects of science since the amount of experiments that can be performed in space are limited. This means that scientists must rely on a minimum number of experiments to test their theories which is hard because the more data that is collected, the better a theory can be tested.

Lastly, it would be very interesting to follow up on Bill Nye’s organization in August to know whether or not this prototype will actually work or not. If it does, we can only hope to gain large amounts of energy from it.

 

To watch the interview with Bill Nye go to: http://www.billnye.com/bill-nye-discusses-space-and-the-solar-sail-november-2010/

Always Stick to the Mission!

The art of medicine has always been very important in our society. Without our doctors and surgeons, many people would suffer and die from illnesses or diseases. Their mission, as stated in William Cayley’s article called “Muddling “margin” and “mission””, is to do no harm, always benefit the sick and cure the people who need it. This means that their mission focuses on helping others without thinking about themselves. This makes me think about an ethical way of reasoning called “Utilitarian Ethics”. This way of thinking obeys the following statement: The greatest good for the greatest number.

This relates to the above situation since health care practitioners should always treat patients with all of the resources they have even though some might be more costly. They must always do what is best for the patient first and foremost. By doing this for ever patient, they will be benefiting the society, as a whole, the most.

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Health care specialists should not be concerned by money. This matter should be dealt with by people who have studied for this job. These people have a different mission then the doctors and surgeons. They will make sure that the health consultants will have enough resources that are needed for all of their patients.

If workers start to alter their original objective, then the system that we our dependant on will not function properly anymore. Here is where problems may occur. Situations like this are already occurring today and we should try to fix them for the sake of the well-being of our population.   

Here is a video you should listen to that talks about a passionate doctor describing her job: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46UArj0_qE4 

Humans Creating Autonomous Machines

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Humans are creating an increasing amount of machines that can perform jobs for them, in other words, automated systems. In ScienceDaily’s article called “Emerging ethical dilemmas in science and technology”, written by William G. Gilroy, some questions were raised about this issue.

This matter advanced many debates since these machines take decisions on their own instead of humans, but who will be responsible for all of the decisions they take? Undoubtedly, if a machine makes a wrong decision and causes damage either to humans or their environment, the person owning the machine will be responsible especially since they would have signed a contract agreeing to all the terms of the sale. Although, it would be the responsibility of the scientist who invented the technology only if all autonomous systems, built as a result of his idea, were to have the same problem. This scientist would probably have to review the basis of his method of fabrication.

Furthermore, someone might ask; would it become scientist’s responsibility to design these machines if it could reduce the risk of human casualties? In my opinion, responsibility is a bit of an extreme term. A scientist must judge whether the proposed project is worth their time and money. Not all projects might save lives but they might still be considered as major improvements in scientific technology.

In the near future, there will be more and more autonomous systems that will be part of our society. This means that we will soon have to establish clear regulations concerning these apparatuses. The proof that these rules should be made clear is that there are still a lot of debates concerning this issue. I have come across this debate more than once whether I was in school, at home or even at work. Autonomous systems are an important matter since they will unquestionably enable humans to improve their lives in the near future.

 

The Bionic Hand: A New Technology

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The bionic hand was newly discovered by some European researchers, which could enable an amputated person to actually touch and feel something with their prosthesis. This was decribed in CBC News’s article entitled: “Bionic Hand offers immediate sense of touch.” I think this is a very important technological advancement since it can help many humans function properly again. They will see a great difference in their daily lives, which will bring them a lot of joy. Of course, there are still many tests that must be performed to make sure that this technology will not harm us. We can see that the bionic hand has wires that attach to the person’s nerve. Nerves must always be treated with care because when a force damages them, this damage will be permanent. I am confident that one day, researchers will be able to prove that effectively, these bionic hands work in a safe way and the people who want them only have to ask. This very easily said but will all people really be interested in these artificial hands? Maybe some people can live with their handicap and they do not wish to adapt to another physical change. This can be very long for people who suffer from injuries that require physical therapy. These can take several months to recuperate from, for example, a torn ligament. Having experienced this myself, I can confirm how long and painful it can be to recover.

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There is also the physical appearance of these bionic hands that must be considered. They must look good for people to actually start buying them. If I were to choose between staying handless for the rest of my life and having the opportunity to actually learn how to feel again with an artificial one, I would choose the later. If the product is proven to be safe and the first experiment already proved that the patient was very quick to learn how to maneuver it, then why not take this amazing opportunity to gain mobility and feeling?