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, October 31, 2008

Dark Phenomena

    • An object in space that has almost no volume and infinite density. Its gravity is so strong that within a certain distance from it, nothing, not even light, can escape. A black hole is formed when a star more than 10 times as massive as our Sun collapses and explodes as a supernova. A super massive black hole with the mass of a million or more stars is thought to reside at the centre of most galaxies. Speculated by inference only.
This is all conjecture and unproven, though accepted by the scientific community as 'fact'.
    • A hypothetical and speculative form of energy that permeates all space and is thought to increase the rate of expansion of the universe. The Cosmological Constant And Dark Energy. Dark Energy is the leading explanation accounting for the recent observation that the universe appears to be expanding at an accelerating rate. This is a consequence of observation of Type 1a Supernovae. Dark Energy currently accounts for 74% of the total mass-energy of the ('known') universe.
    • Matter that cannot be observed because it does not emit electromagnetic radiation. Its existence is inferred (fits the paradigm) by its gravitational influence in galaxy clusters and galactic halos as well as the warping of space measured by gravitational lensing.

The three concepts of the Black Hole, Dark Energy and Dark Matter constitute speculation to attempt the explanation of observed phenomena. Mostly gravitational affects. Nothing can be seen, all blackness or invisible, and so none of it can be examined. Only the inferences. This by itself should create wariness about the entire topic of speculation. The centre of any galaxy is proposed to contain a Black Hole, yet most images show a brilliant light source. Should such a massively high gravitational entity exist, the light escaping from this location is in conflict with the idea that even light cannot outrun its pull. The centre of a (spiral) galaxy should be empty blackness. No light.

The Local Group is the name given to the 36 or so galaxy groups that span an estimated 6 million light years across. This region is a (presumed) small part of the universe though how small or large cannot ever be determined. Perhaps containing over a trillion Suns that are assumed to be similar, though varying in magnitude and size to The Sun at the centre of our solar system [8 planets (excluding Pluto)], the Milky Way ('home' galaxy) is at the edge of a Local Supercluster. More speculation suggests that there might be a Dark Galaxy, a clump of hydrogen and Dark Matter that has yet to form stars. Highly speculative. Through collisions and mergers of small galaxies and star clusters, order has evolved from chaos and larger galaxies have been created from the aggregation of many smaller ones. This blending of galaxies has been described as being like a gigantic food mixer: the Cosmic Cuisinart. Contrails a hundred million light-years long exist made up of the wispy streams of stars generated from the ripped-apart galaxies and shine as the halo of The Milky Way (Spiral galaxy). This halo is possibly populated by older stars that formed in the Local Group billions of years ago.

Dwarf galaxies are fragile and show disruption as they venture close to the gravitational centre of The Milky Way. They currently represent the best model for the birth of a galaxy in the early universe and predict an invisible form of matter known only by its gravitational force. This is known as Dark Matter since it has no light. After the Big Bang, Dark Matter was able to attract ordinary matter in the form of vast clouds of gas. The most dense clouds contracted to form stars and galaxies and the dwarf galaxies were the first to emerge.

Big Bang Expanded

Big Bang: 7th November, 2006

The Big Bang is the 'accepted theory' of how the universe came into being. Scientists have been trying to explain and understand how the planets, stars and galaxies of the universe evolved from a sea of chaotic particles and in 2003, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) of NASA has been accorded success in producing the first detailed full-sky map of the universe at the 'dawn of time'. The image of the 13.7bn year old universe at 379,000 years after the event is regarded as powerful confirmation of the basic theory of the Big Bang and the first record of the light freely emerging from the expanded fireball.

Much as an infrared (weather) map of the Earth displays the distribution of heat and cold in a clear, discernible pattern, the WMAP image is interpreted as the distribution of light just a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang. As the universe continued to cool (heat dissipated on expansion), protons and electrons combined to form neutral hydrogen, whose interaction with cosmic microwave background photons has been interpreted as the image across billions of light-years. The WMAP radiation 'blueprint' of the universe, where red signifies warmer spots and blue the cooler areas, has enabled cosmologists to identify the faint precursors of the galaxies that eventually became the real thing. Assumptions have been confirmed and now the composition has been determined to be 4% atoms, 22% (cold) dark matter and 74% dark energy. The universe's rate of expansion has been narrowed to a 5% margin of error, critical to calculating its age: 13.7bn years to within a 1% margin of error.

Various issues arise from this explanation and essentially focus of the concept of speculation based on speculation. The 'fact' that the age of the universe (after the event) can be accurately measured at 379,000 years is very weak: Truth. The viewpoint of the 'universe' is the same for everyone and the furthest actual images have been recorded, at best, only a few billion km from Earth by probes. When imagery is described this plants a picture in the individual's mind and can never be original. It is assumed that images are returned to Earth without distortion or influence of the unknowns of space. Even the structure of the Milky Way galaxy is only an interpretation of what has been viewed through telescopes of other galaxies. Closer to home, the rear of your own head cannot be seen without mirrors. And then it's only an image. It's an example of something never seen. Never 'seeable'. It is similarly impossible to see yourself as others see you. Any image will always be the wrong way around: left -> right and right -> left.

Any image from any estimated distance is only seen in two dimensions and the perception of distance effects can only be imagined. Unless the viewpoint is actually 'there' all images of such distant volumes in space must be 'seen', at best, in 2D . Stereoscopic images are theoretically possible, but even this can only be 'seen' on a 2D medium. The hologram can only reproduce what is originally viewable in 3D and obviously distant objects cannot be recorded. As a purely academic point, stereo-vision is only a concept experienced by the human-brain combination. Two eyes create the 3D perspective. Were the capability enhanced by 3-eyes, a different view would be experienced. The brain is unlikely to be able to decipher or interpret a three viewpoint creation.


Nothing has actually been confirmed, only possible evidence that supports the hypothesis has been recorded. Certainty is a very dangerous concept when dealing with possibility and unknowns. It is possibly interpreted correctly, but it is only interpretation and cannot be discussed as 'fact'.

The concept itself of the Big Bang is highly controversial. In the sense of God, this concept cannot be proved or disproved.

The Perception Of Conspiracy Theory

Many, however, view this as enough to be proof positive. This is not good science. The observations and interpretations may suggest more than one single 'fact', but anything outside the box of 'known fact' is summarily ignored. The conclusions may well be correct, but the evidence is not strong. This is like dark phenomena: black holes, dark energy and dark matter. All are inferred and not directly observed. Many times has subsequent, new observation overturned the 'known facts'. These later theories that supersede the original ones may themselves be wrong. The original one may be more correct, though not necessarily in its entirety. When observations are open to interpretation an open mind is essential.

The Paradoxical Scientist

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Fashion too commonly involves high risk and considerable danger: Size Zero. Shoe design is no different and with the foot being at the lowest end of the anatomy can cause the greatest damage. The forces involved are enormous even if simply walking barefoot over flat surfaces and the list of problems is very long (animation), yet disturbingly cosmetic foot surgery is marketed as highly sought after. This may be so, but the reason to seek out correction is not cosmetic and totally ignores the fact that such surgery becomes a necessity once avoidable damage has been done. If any part of the foot is injured, great pain is nearly always involved and resting the feet is usually impracticable and typically impossible. This will almost certainly result in further complications. Damage is time-consuming and can be very expensive to repair (if at all possible).

Invariably, a seemingly 'simple' sprain can develop into a more serious problem as the individual attempts to minimise any pain. The most serious ankle breakage is quite common with modern shoes, but an ankle sprain can all too easily create other gait errors. This is effectively an unconscious response and will cause knee and consequential hip problems by poor walking posture and all as the result of attempts to reduce pain. Adjustments are continuously made in muscular activity to right and left body sides in the attempt to compensate to yet unrecognised, but probable problems in development. The 'fashionable' Size Zero ideal develops a wasting of muscle in the entire leg and supportive pelvic and hip regions with the result that walking becomes dangerous in even 'sensible' shoes. Flexibility between the foot and lower leg through the ankle to the calf is compromised.

  • It is important to recognise the difference between muscle, tendon and ligament. Muscles within the body can be stretched by more than 30% of their normal length within the body. Both ligaments and tendons are made from collagen and are only slightly elastic. Collagen is very strong and a 1 mm diameter cord can support a 10kg weight. A tendon is a structure that attaches a muscle to a bone in a moving joint and are white, glistening, fibrous cords and vary in length and thickness. They are sometimes round and sometimes flattened and have considerable strength, but cannot contract and have little elasticity. Any extension beyond 4% of their length causes irreversible deformation.

Fashionable shoe design is a disaster and it is a case of not if, but when problems will be recognised, probably through initial pain. The appearance of bunions does not produce attractiveness. One of the first obvious actions is to always wear shoes to hide an ugly problem. Clearly, this aggravates the problem and produces a 'between the rock and a hard place' situation. Psychological issues can then develop. Shoes that are too flat do not offer any support to the arch in the underside of the foot and muscle is stretched. The lengthening muscle creates excess strain on the tendons in the foot that cannot be stretched and the eventual result is predictable damage. Flexibility between the entire foot and lower leg (calf) is lost and mechanically this involves an extensive range of complex interactions between the muscles that control joint movement.

The angle of the foot out of level alignment with respect to the lower leg is inversion for the inner edge of the foot tilted down and outer edge tilted up, and eversion in the reverse sense. Outer edge downwards and inner edge upwards: physiology.

Major Muscles In Lower Body
Muscles In Motion
Foot Binding

Ankle: high heels invariably cause sprains and bone breakages. Arthritis can be a long term problem once a bone has broken and 'healed'.

Back: bad posture places stress on the lower and middle back, which produces pain. Long-term back problems are more likely.

Balls of feet: metatarsaglia is caused by excessive pressure on the front of the foot and results in pain and 'burning' in the balls of the feet:

Symptoms, Causes, Risks, Complications,
Diagnosis and Treatment

Calves: the calf muscle can be shortened during posture adjustments and in turn can cause strain in the calf when flat shoes without arch support are used.

Heels: inflammation of the plantar fasciitis (foot ligament) is commonly known as policeman's heel, a painful condition. Tight-fitting shoes can also cause the condition known as winter heel and results from a bony bump on the heel, which rubs against shoes causing pain. Repairs to this condition often involve surgery.

Knee: women tend to walk with slightly bent knees and this pushes the kneecap forward and into a painful position. Any reduced muscular strength in the upper leg resulting from weight loss without muscular conditioning, puts more loading on the quadriceps and they are unable to cope with demands.

Neck: high heels force the back out of its natural alignment and this can cause neck pain. Painful migraine-like tension headache can be a consequence of excess strain on the rear neck muscles pulling across the top of the head. Women in pregnancy would exacerbate lumbar problems for similar reasons. The frontal weight increase places extra strain on the lower spine in any case. A mess of potential problems are indicated unless shoe design is placed as a priority. 'Flattish' shoes are indicated, but only those with some foot-arch support.

Toes: the high heel of a shoe raises the anatomical foot heel and walking forces the foot by body weight alone into the narrowed lowest part of the shoe and squashes the toes into a small area. Even individuals with a light body weight will still find the foot forced into the toe area of any shoe. Heavier people will experience more serious problems especially with the winkle-picker type footwear. This style of shoe for people with wide feet is dangerous enough, but add weight excesses and the really serious problems won't be far away.

The combination of a high stiletto heel, narrow toe area and wide foot is possibly the most dangerous. Not just ill-fitting and crushing the foot bones, but unstable. Broken bones and a damaged ankle is indicated. The non-elastic ligaments and tendons are easily ruptured.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Methane - A Greenhouse Gas

Methane - Squaring up to Carbon Dioxide
Methane - The 'Fart'

As a primordial gas, methane was most likely to be the original atmospheric blanket environment and would have developed possibly by combination of hydrogen (from water) and carbon. The mechanism is a little obscure, though these elements somehow generated the gas carbon dioxide which led to oxygen through the existence of bacterial-driven photosynthesis.

Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas (by around 20 times) than carbon dioxide and escapes from solution in the water the same as any gas: warm liquids retain less gas than cooler ones so as the sea temperature warms then more of the gas is released. Water is dynamic and moves around the globe and for this reason carbon trading has no logic. The speed of movement differs between locations, but move it does. The Arctic (and by logical conclusion the Antarctic) will show an increase in the volume of the gas released into the atmosphere. Reports (New Scientist) dating from 2005 illustrate that Russia's northern coast could be releasing billions of tonnes of methane into the atmosphere (Siberian continental shelf). The Arctic, however, is more likely as the source location as vegetation in the northern hemisphere is more abundant.

Arctic methane chimneys have a disappearing ice lid that allows the gas to escape. The association of melting ice and warming temperatures is a natural combination that would prevent the build up of pressure as the gas begins to bubble out of solution. Ice forms a lid over the 'chimney' with decreasing temperature and dissolves more gas or warms and releases the gas from the water. Cyclical and dependent of environmental temperature. This this a classic "chicken and egg" scenario since warming and the associated increase in the volume of methane gas is a cause and effect, but which is the cause and which the effect? The warming effect releases the gas, though is the cause of warming the methane itself? Or is the effect causing the release of methane gas though by some entirely different mechanism?

Clathrate Hydrates
'Solid' Gas

Essentially, the volatile gas at warmer temperatures is frozen by encapsulation with water and is converted to a solid form. As the temperature rises, the ice melts releasing the gas.
  • Perpetual and self-sustaining. The Earth has been in existence for several billions of years so any cyclical events would have occurred many times and the presence of Mankind (responsible or not) has only been around for a few hundred thousand years.
  • Mankind is too readily blamed for causing the problems and the debate continues, but other natural phenomena provide answers. Very gradual precession of the Earth over 1000s of years as it rotates in it's annual orbit around the Sun is an excellent candidate for an alternative and a cooler head.
Devil's Advocate: maybe a similar mechanism for a volatile gas in solution applies and the hotter head allows common sense to boil off, but the cooler head retains more sense.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Complete A to Z Index: 28.10.2017


Abdominal Training
Accelerating Expansion
Alterative Theory
Amino Acids - Branch Chain
Amino Acids - Protein Synthesis