Frogfall Verified User
  • Member since Aug 25th 2022

Posts by Frogfall


    A procession of the damned.

    By the damned, I mean the excluded.

    We shall have a procession of data that Science has excluded.

    Charles Fort

    The Book Of The Damned

    Although, I would add that in this case the data has not been tossed aside. It has been studied, and logged - and is there for all to see, if only we bother to look. The problem is that there is so much data that people have to split their studies into nominal "branches" of science - and there is little incentive to cross the divide. Essentially, these phenomena exist in the liminal spaces between people's models of the world.

    Was quickly re-reading a book chapter that I'd posted in the book thread (thanks for the reminder, Alan) - and came upon the following illustration:

    The term "GA" stands for "Gliding Arc" - and it is the arc that can exists in a fast flowing gas (notably, in this case, air at normal atmospheric pressure). Obviously, I was reminded of the ENG8 device that was tested recently in Portugal.

    On page 21 of the book chapter, it says:


    The non-equilibrium GA is a very sophisticated physical phenomenon: this transitional quasi-equilibrium/non-equilibrium discharge is essentially non-uniform in time and in space, and includes ‘mysterious’ internal transition from thermal to non-thermal mechanisms of ionization.

    So, as is so often the case, these odd gas behaviours aren't exactly new - but (partial) knowledge of them has been languishing in the vast backwaters of previously studied, recorded, and filed phenomena.

    I could also add a theme for colour blindness where reds and blues are seen as only shades of greys.

    Not sure that would help - but it's an interesting thought. I suspect the variety in colour blindness effects would mean you would need to allow lots of user choices for anything that displays different colours for text, backgrounds and borders (so that people could find a combination that "works" for them), rather than reducing everything to greys.

    n.b. Colour blindness is a "cones" issue. The contrast sensitivity, due to ageing, is a "rods" issue.

    It seems the number of rods to cones, in the central portion of the retina, declines as we age. The rods work in monochrome, discern levels of contrast, and work well at low light levels. The cones discern colour differences - but need a decent level of light to work.

    Actually, people with some forms of colour blindness do have a lot more rods than cones in the centre of their retina - so they can discern lots of shades, even in low light. Your "dark theme" should already be a help for these people, as they can find bright displays very tiring.

    I'd just be happy with a simple "high contrast text" option (i.e. black text instead of various shades of grey) on the normal theme (like this comment).

    Note that as eyes age (50+) the ability to differentiate different shades of grey deminishes - whereas colour differentiation generally stays about the same.

    Unfortunately, there seems to be a current trend in web page design to use grey text on a grey background, with only a small contrast in shades. This may look "cool" to younger people - but for older people (even those with sharp eyesight) the grey text can be difficult to read.

    I also suspect the average age of forum users is fairly high.

    I think Turing's hypothesis has been disproved by LLM.

    He was discussing a question. I'm not sure there was any "hypothesis" to be disproved.

    LLMs have shown that it is possible to fool some of the people some of the time. Nobody (except the guy that was suspended from his job on AI) seems to regard these machines as "sentient".

    If you read Alan Turing's paper, and consider the state of computing in 1950, it is clear that he was ahead of his time - maybe by a good half century. If anything LLM systems have shown how prescient he was, in that he predicted that digital machines could be designed to fool people. He was also correct in that we still have no real idea as to what constitutes "thinking".

    I find this story on the BBC website a little disturbing.

    AI used to target kids with disinformation
    The BBC finds YouTube videos in more than 20 languages spreading disinformation disguised as science content.

    Not just because of the subject matter - i.e. that AI generated "pseudo-info" videos are made, and get seen by kids - but that the BBC story is itself targeted at kids (through the CBBC "Newsround" channel). Granted the BBC (Auntie Beeb) has been doing this, though the children's TV "Newsround" programme since the early 1970s - and, I guess, has generally steered a fine line between common sense and what some people might have regarded as indoctrination.

    In some ways this could be seen as a service to parents everywhere across the UK - doing a job of "educating" children in worldly matters, which the parents themselves might have neglected to do (through laziness, or their own ignorance). However this story seems to be emphasising a world view in which children are supposed to disbelieve everything they see unless, in some way, the information is officially sanctioned.

    Of course we shouldn't be telling kids that everything they read, or see, is to be believed implicitly. After all, the use and misuse of disinformation is an age-old problem. But this BBC story just feels a bit too cringe-worthy to me.

    high tolerance for high levels of Arsenic.

    There was a wide use of arsenic compounds, at one time, in wood preservatives, paints, wallpapers, and wall/plaster fungicidal washes. They helped to make damp buidings habitable - by preventing the growth of toxic molds and reducing insect infestation. We didn't all die of arsenic poisoning (although some historians seem obsessed by the idea that Napoleon Bonaparte died of arsenic poisoning from the furniture paint and wallwaper in his room, when in exile).

    Since the gradual removal of "toxic" compounds from the domestic setting (lead paints, copper arsenate treatments) we have seen a huge rise in mold-related illness - particularly in countries with damp climates (such as the UK). Although this can be partly tackled through improved building techniques (materials, moisture control, ventilation) I think there is still an urgent need for the development, and widespread use, of "safe" fungicidal treatments.

    We will need to put together a programme for this proposed online conference, and may wish to invite guests. Does anybody have content suggestions?

    Personally, I would be more interested in practical sessions on experimental design, and on alternative ways to run controlled variants of classic tests, than have to sit through long presentations on anyone's "new radical theory".

    What would be the envisaged format? e,g One (or more) whole days, or a set of shorter sessions? Would it be webinar-like, with short presentations, and a Q&A after each one? Or would you prefer to run a number of smaller "break-out rooms" - where groups of participants could hold a chaired discussion, on a particular topic, after a brief introduction?

    How would you intend to get around the usual "timezone problems"?

    I quite like Jitsi Meet. I use it every week, and it works directly in the browser (although there are apps if you want them).

    Free Video Conferencing Software for Web & Mobile | Jitsi
    Learn more about Jitsi, a free open-source video conferencing software for web & mobile. Make a call, launch on your own servers, integrate into your app, and…

    Can't use Telegram.

    Never got on well with Discord.

    Zoom usually works, but failed for me at the ISCMNS EGM.

    Never used the others.

    Looks like an exploding electrolytic capacitor that hasn't been biased enough.

    Edit: Frames from top to bottom - (1) just before bang, (2) just as bang is happening, (3) just after everything has settled.

    Judging from the marks on the wall on frame (1), this has happened before.

    A new "splat" is visible when the bang occurs (2), and on the last frame (3) the liquid of that splat is dribbling down the wall.

    Alan Smith , sorry to bother you as you are indeed busy, but as you are back to Ni foam, can you tell us more about the material you have told us is good for separation of the WE and CE, I recall is a mesh but can’t recall the material and if I dreamed or you told us it is covered with a PTFE layer that ensures the isolation and also that it is 0,1 mm thick, is that right?

    In the presentation slides, linked on the previous page, Alan refers to nylon fly screen:

    The closer the WE/CE are the higher the output, The best spacers are both thin, and porous, lightweight fly-screen nylon mesh being the most effective separator tested so far.

    I've been looking at sourcing some, to have a go at creating a LEC - but notice that many of the polymer meshes available are actually HDPE rather than a grade of nylon (sometimes the term "nylon" is used by vendors rather loosely).

    One thing that does concern me is that many of them are black - which often means they have used a small portion of "carbon black" as a filler, to help improve UV stability. Unfortunately the carbon could also affect resistivity of the mesh - which might have consequences for the LEC performance.

    I have plated the counter-electrodes with Zinc. Very simple, the electrolyte is a weak solution of Zinc Chloride and Acetic Acid in DW. Takes around 30 minutes - plated on the right, un-plated on the left.

    And, amazingly, it looks just like the nickel plating photo, from the previous page. ;)

    Hi Alan,

    I'm wondering why you changed from your previous potassium carbonate electrolyte (as used on all the samples in the table from your paper) to lithium hydroxide, for the nickel plated mild steel. (e.g. is it a solution that Frank G uses?)

    A test that does not come out as you had expected is every bit a valuable as one that "works". At the very least, it indicates that your provisional model may not be as useful as previously hoped.

    n.b. I'm still interested in how you measured the voltage (i.e. the physical layout, materials, wiring, meter), as compared to your previous tests (a photo would be good).

    What material did you use for the counter electrode, during measurement? Was it a 2 electrode cell (WE/CE) - or some kind of stack? And did you separate the plates with nylon fly screen, as before? Which electrode was on top, and which was on the bench?


    A couple of decades ago I spent some time investigating the possibility of earthquake lights following repeated sightings of strange lights over a coastal region in northwest England (as an offshoot of an ongoing interest in ball lightning). I contacted the British Geological Survey to get historical earthquake data for the region (there are frequent small tremors recorded all over the world, that go unnoticed by the local population). Although staff at the BGS expressed an interest in my possible findings - they held no particular view on the phenomenon, and certainly didn't bother logging reports of possible EQL sightings.

    BGS Earthquake Seismology

    As it was, I found the reports in question bore no visual relation to the events normally associated with EQL (and didn't synchronise with tremor data). However, I did track down what people were seeing - and even saw some myself.

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