Pyramid Science

This is for researching science-based articles and the contents are for personal use although a wider potential interest is possible and so they are left here to view. No medical advice is given and a qualified medical practitioner should be consulted if any concerns are raised. Comments have been disabled, but any and all unsolicited or unauthorised links are absolutely disavowed.

Friday, June 10, 2016


Stretching is about resetting the tension in a muscle that the brain will allow. Without a mechanism to limit tension, it would be impossible to walk. Your legs would separate like a giraffe drinking water. The permanent lengthening of the muscle. It is definitely not short term and is not lost if discontinued. It will last. The stretching is the method to achieve flexibility to the desired maximum for the particular requirement. It would seem pointless to achieve a greater range of motion than is necessary but the greater the flexibility over requirement then the greater the flexibility reserve.
   This translates to safety.
   There is a diminishing likelihood of injury if the flexibility is well past that which is required for your purpose. It is much like a car built with a high-speed potential. You do not need to drive the car at top speed just because it is possible. But if necessary the reserve performance is available.
   If you have no intention of asserting yourself and applying what is needed then I recommend you do not bother to attempt stretching to achieve this greater potential. You will be wasting your time and energy. You will not get the desired results and possibly only injuries. Read on and perhaps you will be inspired.
   If you know what is needed and understand what is necessary, you will want to get down to it and get some pain.

It's your reward for effort

   Stretching for its sake only is not realistic. It is useful to a degree but what it takes to achieve this greater range of motion is probably not worth the effort. Taekwon-Do without an increased range of motion in all directions (including those not yet imaginable) is dangerous. The technique will always be poor. So, separately stretching or Taekwon-Do is useful. Together the combined benefit is tremendous. This is symbiosis in action - the sum is far greater than the individual components.
   The most important aspect of stretching is to realise that discomfort is to be expected. Not only should it be expected, but it should be regarded as your reward for good quality training. It should be embraced. Welcomed.
   The attitude should be to look forward to it. If there is no feedback from the body in the guise of pain then there has not been sufficient effort expended to cause adaptation of the body to the stress.
   Stretching pains arrive about 36-48 hours after the training session and last about two days. It will then be gone (until the next time - DA). It is a different sort of pain to the usual stiffness caused by untrained muscle use. This is residual lactic acid generated through anaerobic exercise and inadequate blood flow to remove the byproducts of such energy production.
   The whole point of receiving pain is that it shows that the stretched muscles have become stretched and/or strengthened, depending on the type of work done, and are really undergoing change. More ability to accommodate the stresses of a further stretch or strength improvement will happen. The next time you train and use stretching exercises you will need to increase your range to attract more pain. This is the progressive nature of stretching. If the stretch range is not increased then the pain will not happen, but there will be no further range increases. Clearly, pain does equate to improvement.
   No pain, no gain. It really is true.
   Passive stretching is satisfactory if there is plenty of time - years! This is not always a suitable time to wait, but it is the easy way. If you keep it up. So, look forward to pain, but make sure it is caused by good technique. The pain must not be caused by injury due to sloppy or incorrect technique. The type of pain will be recognised through experience.
   A second very important factor to understand is that stretching a muscle weakens it. It is not necessary to know about muscle physiology to accept this other than the overlap of the two contractile proteins within the muscle is reduced. It is not important that children do strength work to counter this since the normal development of a child will naturally lead to increased strength in muscle. As young people continue to grow and become involved in all kinds of sport then again strength improvements will occur naturally. The person at risk by stretching without strengthening is the one who is fully grown with an associated full muscle development for their lifestyle. The stretch of this muscle will require some sort of strength improvement to make training safe. Muscle protects joints. If the muscle is weakened then the joint becomes exposed to injury - it can become unstable.
   The stretch actually resets what the brain allows. If tension failed to keep limbs (legs) together, walking would be impossible.
   Sit on the floor and keep your right leg directly in front of you. Move the left leg quite easily to 90deg left. Now change the direction of your legs - left ahead and right up towards your right. Again, quite easy. The left and right legs are not connected by either muscle or tendon so why is it difficult/impossible to take the left leg to left and right leg to right to perform a split?
   The brain must relearn the allowable tension.
   This is the real purpose of stretching.

Muscle: Names, Stretching and Aims


The aim of this article is to stimulate the desire to stretch correctly and thus to benefit most from a stretching program. What I hope to show is the relationship between stretching and strengthening and the importance of balanced muscle power and length. Both correct method and technique are essential if safe and good development is to be achieved.
   This is neither a guide to Taekwon-Do training or any other sport nor does it deal with muscle building techniques. However, the content does provide information to develop the body to be a better tool. Some people believe that although they know that stretching is part of Taekwon-Do they do not really appreciate its importance and place within the training program. As a result of this lack of understanding, stretching is at worst not done at all or at best without motivation and application. Generally poor results ensue. Everything has to be learned and practiced. We do not remember learning to stand upright and walk but watch an infant struggling to its feet. There you can see the continuous micro adjustments of the neck, back and leg muscles to alter the balance. We all do this but with smoother and more sophisticated muscle control. Progress in Taekwon-Do is quite similar, just more advanced but it still relies on personal effort. The more good quality work done then the greater the overall benefit.
   Nobody is completely flexible just some more than others. There is no such thing as a double-jointedness or natural flexibility. The only way to be able to perform well executed techniques in Taekwon-Do or any sport that requires leg movement with power is to be flexible. By not stretching every important muscle group some techniques cannot be performed properly if at all. Those that people have difficulty with or cannot do usually results in these techniques never being attempted. Body inflexibility will restrict the range of motion and it is unimaginable that a serious track athlete would not stretch extensively to work the hamstrings. An explosive extension of the hamstring muscles from starting blocks caused by a powerful knee extension (quadriceps contraction) would rip the back thigh muscles apart - even if well warmed up such an explosive action would be hazardous to a short hamstring.
   A footballer also using powerful quadriceps contractions when kicking the ball would experience severe hamstring problems under such conditions. The hamstrings must be long enough and flexible enough to stretch out rapidly as the knee is extended forcefully. It is absolutely essential to understand and be certain that without flexibility and strength it is impossible to achieve control. This is regardless of whether to restrict or increase speed and power.
   Stretching is but one part of training much in the same way that patterns, sparring and destruction are all integral to Taekwon-Do. Strengthening of skeletal muscle is an essential part of Taekwon-Do for control purposes and protection from injury. Thick and strong muscle protects the softer and more vulnerable parts of the body - joints, particularly the shoulder, bones and vital organs.
   The head is an area that needs protecting, but cannot be strengthened. Everybody, no matter how big or strong, has a vulnerable head to protect. What body strength will do is allow protection more effectively by preventing (blocking) attack.
   Perhaps more importantly is the exposure to injury through weakened joints, especially the knees. If the muscles and ligaments around the knee joint are stretched then the whole joint may become less stable by virtue of less tension.
   Strengthening is important to retain stability. Strengthening and flexibility cannot be separated from one another. They are totally integrated. Again, this applies not only to Taekwon-Do but to many sports. Be sure, there are no short cuts to stretching. There is no other way but through effort using the correct technique and the appropriate type of stretching within any training program. With the right approach and attitude rapid results can be achieved - months or even weeks instead of years.

Flexibility and Strength

It is important to get in touch with your body and feel by actually touching or simply sensing the muscles (kinesthenics) as they tighten or relax. It is also important to know which muscles are involved in any action. By knowing this it is possible to deliberately relax a muscle through mental control where the natural reaction is for the muscle to tighten especially when being stretched. This is a natural protection mechanism and must be offset by training. It is fundamental to stretching and improved flexibility. The difference between an isometric stretch of 5-30 or so seconds and a sustained relaxed stretch (static passive) of 15-30 seconds or more must be understood. The former is a deliberate and hard contraction at the full muscle length.
   The muscle cannot shorten under this contraction as the limb is prevented from moving. The latter is a completely relaxed muscle but at full length working against the natural tendency to contract. It is difficult to learn this control but is the key to effective stretching. It is the same kind of mental control necessary to relax while fighting yet retain fast and smooth movements. One parameter to increase power is to increase speed over a fixed distance.
   Power is related to the square of the speed of the fist or foot (tool) and the kinetic energy (KE) is one-half the mass x the square of the velocity: 1/2 x m x v x v. So doubling the speed gives four times the power. Three times the speed results in 9 times power and so on. As an example consider the focus of punching power and the speed/distance relationship. The chest and back muscles can be prestretched much in the same way as an elastic band if pulled apart. They will contract very powerfully. Stretched muscles are elastic. The added energy can be utilised during a concentric (positive) contraction immediately following the stretch. This would lead to a stronger contraction. The main muscle groups involved in punching are at the side of the back below the arm (latissimus dorsi) and chest (pectoralis major). The punching arm is brought back with the hand to the hip and elbow to the rear.
   The chest muscles and the large muscles of the back between the rear of the shoulder and waist all tighten - if the elbow moves out to the side the tension between the chest and shoulder is lost as is that down the back on the side of the punching arm. The punch is delivered and the chest muscles contract more powerfully as the arm straightens. At the same time as the punch is prepared the opposite side of the body is also prestretched across the chest and back by raising the reaction arm outwards and to the centre in front. The combination of left and right prestretched muscles enhances even more the punching power by the increased speed of contraction. Prestretching the shoulder and chest muscles increases the energy available for a punch. Now, if the muscles are lengthened by stretching not only is the distance between the fist and target increased but also the contraction power of the lengthened muscles. The hand can travel a greater distance in the same time assisted by this prestretching. A stretched muscles results in more potential power through prestretching than does an inflexible one. The greater the length of the muscle and the resultant increase in contraction by stretching, then the greater the potential speed. The punching power is increased. This is simply in regard of stretching. If the muscles are increased in size and strength then the increase in power is even more. The same applies to any technique. The greater the length of a muscle the contraction power is increased as is the prestretching potential.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Compression And Distance

Depending on viewpoint, by moving away from a centre in regular increments, the distance between points appears to decrease even though the step that separates individual locations remains unchanged. This occurs with railway lines disappearing into the distance or positions more distal from The Sun, but in the same plane as the ecliptic.

Railway lines converge as they move away to the vanishing point.

Gas Giant

The Gas Giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) or Ice Giants (the two outermost GGs Uranus and Neptune) at the extremities of a solar system are capable of being lost since the forces of gravity from the central star (Sun) are not necessarily strong enough to hold an entity in an orbit.


A captured ‘planet’ may integrate into a particular orbital distance from its star (Sun). Another planet may already exist at or near this distance. This will ultimately result in a collision. When will depend on the mass and velocities of the two objects. The outcome also has these dependencies.
  • The asteroid belt may describe such an occurrence.
   It could be that a shower of bodies arrived together and any with the appropriate (correct) velocity, approach angle etc would be captured into an orbit about the Sun. The appearance is one of 'just right', though anything that is not 'just right' is lost. This explains the Asteroid Belt (potential collision). Water (and sand) were delivered to Earth.
  • There is another way of considering a meteor shower. The Earth is orbiting the Sun at 29.786km/s and such a shower falls upon the planet. An alternative view is that Earth passes through a relatively stationary asteroid flow.

Hypothesis and Theory

Hypothesis based on a concept is formulated and the theory later developed that explains the mechanism by which the hypothesis works when supportive, but not necessarily conclusive, observational evidence exists.

Proof can never happen, only more results

that are consistent can be observed

   There comes a time, however, when the hypothesis and the explanatory theory become an established fact. Prediction of future observation will almost certainly convince doubters or possible skeptics that the 'established facts' are absolutely correct. The problem here is that the 'accepted' theory is unlikely to be considered wrongLater observed facts that cannot easily be explained based on a theory that may itself be wrong can result in a conversion:

small errors

large errors

   Everything starts to fail, but both the hypothesis and the theory (probably) remain unchanged. An alternative may exist that explains all the observed facts with nothing added or taken away.

Everything must... fit

   Theories are themselves developed from existing theories that may themselves be misconceived. A hypothesis has starting and endpoints and the danger is that any preconceived starting point and the consequential post-accepted absolutes of 'proven fact' can cause failure.

The mighty oak that does not yield

to the increasing

strength of winds of test will fall over

   The length of the time that a theory has existed just strengthens belief, regardless of the integrity of argument, in the light of new information. Support for a belief can be from those who simply... just believe. There will always be those who will remain in denial even after the evidence strongly suggests an alternative mechanism to an incorrect theory that supposedly explains nothing more than a hypothesis, itself nothing more than conjecture.

If something is wrong,

it remains wrong

   Selecting an argument (cherry-picking) to support a prejudged conclusion is not scientific. Great care must be exercised to ensure that no bias is introduced and must involve everything and ignore nothing (good science). If anomalous features are uncovered they must all be explicable within any overall conclusion, otherwise, the hypothesis and theory are probably invalid. Life is unlikely to simply... begin, it's too complex. This, must, however, remain a possibility.


To be reviewed/updated - 28.03.2017

On Earth several factors must be considered concerning wave frequency and cause. The time of the year is important as is the axial tilt (obliquity). Earth revolves at a constant velocity as water is attracted by gravity towards Moon. There is a ‘bulge’ that maximises at Moon’s postion (High Tide) and diametrically opposite. Between the two (at 90°) there is a minimum (Low Tide). The position will affect the water and tides. Just ahead of Moon is the deepest point and this depth can be used to track Moon. Or the other way around. As Earth turns this (HT-LT-HT-LT) arrangement remains as Moon moves slowly ahead relative to Earth. The turning-away Earth makes it appear that Moon is slower, receding towards the west.
   The seas move with Earth (Moon’s gravity is insufficient to overwhelm Earth’s hold on the water.) This Earth-water combination results in a wave that causes the observed tides. The reason the ‘bulge’ moves ahead of Moon is probably a combination of the distance between Earth-Moon, the delay, and the revolution of Earth resulting in a dimishing gravitational attraction.
   Moon travels slightly faster than Earth (30.731km/s v. 29.786km/s = 0.945km/s), but Earth is also revolving eastwards (anti-clockwise or West to East) from Moon (1668km/h at the equator, 0.00km/h at a pole) as it orbits the Sun. The sea (water) moves around with Earth and the total depth will produce a roughly constant value. This can be demonstrated by adding FM (full Moon), LQ (last quarter), NM (new Moon) and FQ (first quarter) depths together for the same place. Considering high tide (HT) depths over all four phases throughout 2011 it is seen that HTs at Margate (FM) are around midnight. The second HTs are always about midday. HTs for LQ and FQ are approximately 6hr later and are dependent on the Earth-Moon interplanetary distance and the axial tilt.
   There is a gradual lessening of tidal depth between FM (or NM) and these intermediate quarters since Moon becomes the principal gravitational attractant. At the FM of Dec (10.12.2011), the Sun is nearest and in-line at perihelion (Winter Solstice = 22.12.2011). The shallowest tide will be at Sun aphelion (furthest) (Summer solstice = 21.06.2011). At FQ or LQ in June (2010/2011), again with Sun/Moon at 90°, Moon is the principal attractant. The gravitational influence of the Sun is constant throughout a lunation (FM LQ NM → FQ) except at a (FM) lunar eclipse when Earth blocks Sun → Moon. Moon gravity matched with Earth's rotation cause the tides and the total time (4 quarters FM, LQ, NM, FQ) always adds to around 24h.
   The tide (wave) movement can be seen in the behaviour of anchored ships/boats
(one anchor at the bow). The front of the vessel points into the deepening water, but the waves of an incoming/outgoing tide will always be toward the shore and maybe up to 90° of the flow of water. The erection of a tent by a central pole illustrates the motion - the upward direction is to the centre regardless of the perimeter (edge).
   There is an important distinction between the two types of wave. The one around the Earth (two waves: deepest → shallowest → deepest → shallowest = 24h) and those approaching/receding from the shore (frequency is generally 4-5 seconds). This frequency may be related to Earth → Moon distance (unknown).The origin of these waves is not (yet) known, though notably large lakes that are not tidal do not exhibit such a wave nature. A reasonable conclusion is that the two types of wave (12h x 2 = 24h and 4-5 second in/out nature during tides) are related.
   The mass of water that moves is billions and billions of tons and a smooth movement is highly improbable given that the underwater ground surface is not itself smooth. Immovable land masses create enormous buffeting around the planet and these land masses occur at very irregular locations. The water will crash into itself differently at myriad places and result in enormous turbulence on a global scale. There could never be any synchronisation over such a vast area of water.
   Water finds its own level and a following wind will have an effect. One must move, though not necessarily smoothly, into the other. The speed of the water (different depths vary = velocity gradient) is (perhaps) not enough (or shallow enough) to collapse the wave and form a ‘breaker’. The depth of the water is critical. Insufficient depth and the water will not remain stable. A surface wind can accelerate the surface water and create small local breakers. The velocity gradient is exceeded.
   Waves can be a relatively short width and this depends on the underwater terrain: a narrow channel or large and deep canyon. Any sort of trench whatever its size will funnel water as the tide comes in and the resulting wave can, therefore, be massive or small. The wave is a measure of the changing amplitude of water in that particular region and generally deeper water will exhibit a swell. In shallower areas, breaking waves manifest - the surface water moves faster than at depth (at or near the ground) and results in a collapsing wave.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Solar Power

Around 1400 megawatts - the amount of solar energy received by every square kilometre of the outer atmosphere in one minute. Some 50% of that (not absorbed by clouds or reflected) reaches Earth. Potentially a lot of energy.

Checked - 26.01.2017

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Accelerating Expansion

The presumption that the universe is accelerating. As it moves away (expanding universe). This shows a potential flaw in human thinking: the same 'observations' happen everywhere. It can never be tested that the same 'laws' of physics (or anything else) apply everywhere. It appears that the colour shift (Doppler Effect) of a galaxy shows its state as it moves away. But this is only assuming that everything is the same.


As any concentric circle moves away (outward) the distance between any two waves (boundaries) is not going to be the same. The length (circumference) of any wave as it moves away could remain roughly constant and as the circumference increases, the distance between successive waves as they move away would decrease. Over colossal distances (distal) his can never be tested. Only presumed (speculated).

Duchenne (Muscular Dystrophy)

Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have been developed into muscle tissue and transplanted into mice bred with the genetic mutation that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy (muscle wasting). When injected into the mouse bloodstream, they migrated to the diseased tissue to replenish them and improve their function. The possibility of translating this into humans becomes viable.

Nature Magazine


Weirdest Cosmology Theories

Gravity And Distance

How is the gravity of a distant object measured and then verified as being accurate?

The result can only be by an unverifiable inference.

The speed of gravity has now been claimed to be that of light, rather than a (Newtonian) distance dependency. This universal force is thought to be constant.


Heroin And Methadone

Moon Illusion

Body Heat

The whole concept of retaining body heat is a fascinating one. Reptiles are cold-blooded creatures and very rarely exist in cold climates (Siberian newt). They have no way of generating body heat for survival and need warm surroundings: exposure to the heat from The Sun and hibernate in cold winters.

Siberian salamander - deep freeze

Mammalian (human) creatures are warm-blooded and this means they are capable of generating the necessary heat internally for body chemistry to function. When a wind (a stream of air) passes over a surface, it removes heat. The use of a coat for humans simply acts as a barrier to retain body heat and slow the loss of warmth from the system.

Warm-blooded creatures are all much the same in this respect.

The natural barrier to heat loss for many mammals is hair growth. This also has a major benefit of minimising heat loss by preventing the wind from contacting the surface in the first place.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Taste and Smell

A few years ago I touched upon the idea of Sniffing in Stereo. The discussion can be extended by considering taste and the whole issue of chirality. This in essence can be thought of as 'handedness' or mirror images. A reflected object is identical in every way except being the complete opposite. The right hand will not fit inside a left glove. The left foot would not fit (comfortably) inside a right shoe.

Every 24 hours, taste buds on the tongue are completely renewed, yet taste is possibly much more complex than just these taste receptors. The capacity to detect odours (olfaction) is critical for taste. Consider the case where brain injury (lesion) causes issues down one side of the body. If the left part of the brain is concerned then usually the right of the body is affected. Or the other way around.

Carvone exists as two chiral molecules: the (S)-(+)- form is the main constituent (50 - 70%) of the oil from caraway seeds and the oil from dill seeds (50%), while the R-(-) - form has its origins in several species of mint (particularly spearmint oil - mentha spicata).

Should one side of a the olfactory response be compromised then would taste also be compromised? Taste can certainly be affected, though the detection of odours may appear to be unchallenged.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Climate Change

The subject of climate change will always bring up its anthropogenic (caused by humans) nature. Skeptics are described as people in denial of this phenomenon. This is entirely wrong. There is a great deal of evidence to support climate change, but little links it to human behaviour. Nothing is mentioned about planet Earth’s orbit or its ever-changing position relative to the Sun.

Precessional behaviour and axial tilt are critical to explain climate change. There can be little argument that mankind’s use of fossil fuels and the production of carbon dioxide does not help, though it is not the cause. To complicate the situation, the increasing human population destroys more and more livestock that must grow in numbers to feed this population. This livestock produces vast volumes of methane. A potent greenhouse gas. It has more than x20 the capacity of CO2 to retain heat.

Claims are often made that planet Earth will become another Venus unless we mend our ways. And that means by paying more to allow polluting the atmosphere and spending a fortune (to somebody) for expensive new technology. It promotes the ideal of the (highly dangerous) nuclear future.

Venus is 40 million km nearer to the Sun than the Earth
The atmosphere is 95% CO2.
Venus is very, very... hot

This should be no surprise

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Small bites: 200 - 203

200. Moon libration: this has an obvious origin and is the appearance only of 'wobble'. The distance between the two planets is variable within a lunation of less than 360,000km to over 405,000km. As a consequence, the Moon disc size ranges over 12% and is smaller towards apogee and largest at perigee. Diurnal libration is the result of Earth diameter and rotation (east/west perspective).

201. Vertebrates are warm-blooded with the egg inside the womb as its shell and invertebrates are cold-blooded with the egg outside in a physical shell.

202. In genetics what evidence is there to support the Woolly Mammoth being related to the elephant? It appears nothing more than like comparing a horse with a donkey or a whale with a shark.

203. A planet can be regarded as a parasite by swallowing up everything to become bigger and emptying the space around itself at the same time. Competition is destroyed.