Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pathways to Female Sexual Pleasure

Previously published on Al Fin, You Sexy Thing! blog

Different women may travel somewhat different paths to achieving their ultimate sexual pleasure. The path begins with basic health and self esteem, and will be more ore less accessible depending upon the state of receptivity. That will vary by time of the month, basic physical comfort and satiety levels, a sense of physical safety, and more. Receptivity is influenced by degree of physical and emotional attraction, by chemical intoxicants, or by other influences on the brain -- particularly the pre-frontal lobes (judgment and decision-making) and the pleasure centres of the brain.

But once a couple proceeds past the preliminaries, and are committed to the act, a knowledge of the basic anatomy of erogenous areas can prove immensely facilitating.

There are a number of erogenous areas which elevate the levels of female sexual excitement when properly stimulated at the right time. Kissing the lips and fondling the breasts stimulates two very powerful erogenous areas, and helps to direct blood flow to the pelvic erogenous areas, pictured below.

The clitoris is the best known female pelvic erotic trigger, and the easiest to find right away. The "U-spot" around the urethral opening is much less well known, but in certain women it can open the gate to orgasms not accessible otherwise. The same is true for the "G-spot," located along the mid-anterior wall of the vagina, at about the level of the bladder sphincter. The "A-spot" is further back on the anterior vagina, toward the cervix. The cervix itself -- and attached structures -- can also be considered an erogenous area for many women. Stimulation of both the A-spot and the cervix requires deeper penetration as opposed to stimulation of the more superficial erogenous centres.

The trick to being a great lover of women, is understanding each phase of female sexual attraction and arousal, and stimulating the appropriate erogenous zones of the woman's mind and body for the particular stage of seduction. The approach to pleasing a woman will necessarily be different for each woman. If you have found this not to be the case, than it is likely that you are being deceived by both the women involved and by your own narcissistic nature.

Once you reach the stage of genital contact and penetration, it is important to visualise what is taking place on the inside, in places where the sun and other sources of illumination are unlikely to shine.

By studying the anatomy of intercourse, as well as the anatomy of the female erogenous areas, one should be capable of modifying one's approach in response to how the woman is responding to the situation as a whole.

A woman may achieve intense orgasm by using a vibrator or other sexual utensil. But a vibrator does not satisfy the multiple levels of sexual needs and desires which a woman is likely to have. Of course, neither do most men. But that is a situation which we hope to remedy, at least for the most insightful readers of the Al Fin blogs.


More reading:

Clitoris, G spot, U spot, A spot . . .

Female erogenous zones in general

Does the female G spot exist for every woman?

The female is a subtle and highly variable animal. Make broad and blanket assumptions at your own peril.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

General Fusion Gets New Funding to Pursue Unconventional Fusion Power Approach

For all its promise, the quest for net gain fusion has been a time consuming and costly endeavor. The ITER reactor is projected to take 10 years and 13 billion euros to construct. That doesn’t count the 25 years and counting since the project began and the millions poured in by contributors so far. Even when built, ITER’s super conducting magnets and other components would require 50 MW worth of input power to start and maintain the reaction. Similarly, costs for Laurence Livermore’s National Ignition Facility are estimated at upwards of $850 million and its reactor requires 500 trillion watts of laser light to kick-start fusion reactions.

Where General Fusion’s magnetized target method stands apart is in its relatively low-tech, low-cost mechanical means of compressing the plasma. “As an energy storage medium, compressed gas is orders of magnitude less expensive than capacitors,” Delage explains, “but it’s hard to release this energy quickly.”

...“Our sphere is in fact full of holes, like a Wiffle ball,” he explains. “Each hole is plugged with an ‘anvil’ and compressed gas is used to accelerate a 100 kg ‘hammer’ piston. This acceleration takes about 80 milliseconds. When the hammer piston impacts on the anvil piston, it moves a small amount and transfers the energy into the liquid metal in about 80 microseconds. That’s a timescale shorter than the lifetime of the magnetized target and an increase in power of 1000 times.” _Canadian Manufacturing _via_NBF

General Fusion has secured a new round of funding (PDF) and is prepared to take their unconventional approach to fusion as far as they can take it. No one needs to tell the General Fusion team or their investors that they are pursuing a long shot.

But then, the same applies to all the other small-scale fusion startups, who are trying to do an end-run around the huge multi-billion dollar approaches taken by ITER and Lawrence Livermore, etc.

The General Fusion website contains much more information about the science, technology, and the people behind this dark horse candidate to develop commercial fusion power.

Brian Wang provides a library of NextBigFuture articles devoted to the General Fusion effort

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

What is True? The Dynamic 3D Jigsaws of Reality

The following article by Peter Ellerton is re-published from The Conversation

The truth, the whole truth and … wait, how many truths are there?

You want the truth? You can’t handle the … wait: it’s actually quite simple.

Calling something a “scientific truth” is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it carries a kind of epistemic (how we know) credibility, a quality assurance that a truth has been arrived at in an understandable and verifiable way.

On the other, it seems to suggest science provides one of many possible categories of truth, all of which must be equal or, at least, non-comparable. Simply put, if there’s a “scientific truth” there must be other truths out there. Right?

Let me answer this by reference to the fingernail-on-the-chalkboard phrase I’ve heard a little too often:

“But whose truth?”

If somebody uses this phrase in the context of scientific knowledge, it shows me they’ve conflated several incompatible uses of “truth” with little understanding of any of them.

As is almost always the case, clarity must come before anything else. So here is the way I see truth, shot from the hip.

Venture Vancouver

While philosophers talk about the coherence or correspondence theories of truth, the rest of us have to deal with another, more immediate, division: subjective, deductive (logical) and inductive (in this case, scientific) truth.

This has to do with how we use the word and is a very practical consideration. Just about every problem a scientist or science communicator comes across in the public understanding of “truth” is a function of mixing up these three things.

Subjective truth

Subjective truth is what is true about your experience of the world. How you feel when you see the colour red, what ice-cream tastes like to you, what it’s like being with your family, all these are your experiences and yours alone.

In 1974 the philosopher Thomas Nagel published a now-famous paper about what it might be like to be a bat. He points out that even the best chiropterologist in the world, knowledgeable about the mating, eating, breeding, feeding and physiology of bats, has no more idea of what it is like to be a bat than you or me.


Similarly, I have no idea what a banana tastes like to you, because I am not you and cannot ever be in your head to feel what you feel (there are arguments regarding common physiology and hence psychology that could suggest similarities in subjective experiences, but these are presently beyond verification).

What’s more, if you tell me your favourite colour is orange, there are absolutely no grounds on which I can argue against this – even if I felt inclined. Why would I want to argue, and what would I hope to gain? What you experience is true for you, end of story.

Deductive truth

Deductive truth, on the other hand, is that contained within and defined by deductive logic. Here’s an example:

Premise 1: All Gronks are green.
Premise 2: Fred is a Gronk.
Conclusion: Fred is green.

Even if we have no idea what a Gronk is, the conclusion of this argument is true if the premises are true. If you think this isn’t the case, you’re wrong. It’s not a matter of opinion or personal taste.


If you want to argue the case, you have to step out of the logical framework in which deductive logic operates, and this invalidates rational discussion. We might be better placed using the language of deduction and just call it “valid”, but “true” will do for now.

In my classes on deductive logic we talk about truth tables, truth trees, and use “true” and “false” in every second sentence and no one bats (cough) an eyelid, because we know what we mean when we use the word.

Using “true” in science, however, is problematic for much the same reason that using “prove” is problematic (and I have written about that on The Conversation before). This is a function of the nature of inductive reasoning.

Inductive truth

Induction works mostly through analogy and generalisation. Unlike deduction, it allows us to draw justified conclusions that go beyond the information contained in the premise. It is induction’s reliance on empirical observation that separates science from mathematics.

In observing one phenomenon occurring in conjunction with another – an electric current and an induced magnetic field, for instance – I generalise that this will always be so. I might even create a model, an analogy of the workings of the real world, to explain it – in this case that of particles and fields.

This then allows me to predict what future events might occur or to draw implications and create technologies, such as developing an electric motor.

And so I inductively scaffold my knowledge, using information I rely upon as a resource for further enquiry. At no stage do I arrive at deductive certainty, but I do enjoy greater degrees of confidence.

I might even speak about things being “true”, but, apart from simple observational statements about the world, I use the term as a manner of speech only to indicate my high level of confidence.

Now, there are some philosophical hairs to split here, but my point is not to define exactly what truth is, but rather to say there are differences in how the word can be used, and that ignoring or conflating these uses leads to a misunderstanding of what science is and how it works.

For instance, the lady that said to me it was true for her that ghosts exist was conflating a subjective truth with a truth about the external world.

I asked her if what she really meant was “it is true that I believe ghosts exist”. At first she was resistant, but when I asked her if it could be true for her that gravity is repulsive, she was obliging enough to accept my suggestion.


Such is the nature of many “it’s true for me” statements, in which the epistemic validity of a subjective experience is misleadingly extended to facts about the world.

Put simply, it smears the meaning of truth so much that the distinctions I have outlined above disappear, as if “truth” only means one thing.

This is generally done with the intent of presenting the unassailable validity of said subject experiences as a shield for dubious claims about the external world – claiming that homeopathy works “for me”, for instance. Attacking the truth claim is then, if you accept this deceit, equivalent to questioning the genuine subject experience.

Checkmate … unless you see how the rules have been changed.

It has been a long and painful struggle for science to rise from this cognitive quagmire, separating out subjective experience from inductive methodology. Any attempt to reunite them in the public understanding of science needs immediate attention.

Operating as it should, science doesn’t spend its time just making truth claims about the world, nor does it question the validity of subject experience – it simply says it’s not enough to make object claims that anyone else should believe.

Subjective truths and scientific truths are different creatures, and while they sometimes play nicely together, their offspring are not always fertile.

So next time you are talking about truth in a deductive or scientifically inductive way and someone says “but whose truths”, tell them a hard one: it’s not all about them.

This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article.

The above article provides a nice introduction to the idea of truth discovery. In the real world, of course, there are many more types of truth which are utilised by a wide range of occupations, industries, avocations, and institutions.

One important type of truth in the real world, is "legal truth." The standards of truth in legal proceedings are likely to involve the hybrid combination of subjective judgments, inductive determinations, and deductive logic. If you add "probabilistic truth" to the mix, you provide at least a patina of objectivity to the judicial process.

What is "probabilistic truth?" It is the attempt to utilise the tools of modern probability theory in order to achieve something that is most likely to be true. Such tools have been customised to serve a wide range of industries and institutions from political campaigns to marketing to engineering design to social engineering.

There is also something called "literary or artistic truth." It is a deeper type of subjective truth that can be elicited when verbal and logical judgment is suspended as far as possible, and the core consciousness is allowed to react to art, literature, or music while in a relatively undefended state. Such subjective truths are likely to be ineffable, falling outside of language or conventional logic.

The author of the re-published piece above is a student of philosophy, and still finding his voice and style. By helping to tease out the tangles of conventional ideas about truth, he is making a good and useful start.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Fighting Zombies with Automated Ghosts

Researchers have chosen a site near Hobbs, New Mexico, to build an automated ghost town, empty of human inhabitants. The town will function as if it were a real human town, but it will be controlled by advanced automation and communications networks. In case of a zombie apocalypse, it is hoped that zombies will be attracted to the carefully simulated town, where they can be trapped, destroyed, and properly disposed of according to government regulations.
Associated Press
A scientific ghost town in the heart of southeastern New Mexico oil and gas country will hum with the latest next-generation technology - but no people.

A $1 billion city without residents will be developed in Lea County near Hobbs, officials said Tuesday, to help researchers test everything from intelligent traffic systems and next-generation wireless networks to automated washing machines and self-flushing toilets -- in an attempt to create a zombie trap, in case of a zombie apocalypse.

Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb said the unique ... empty city will be a key for protecting the nearby human community from zombies, by acting as a type of bait and trap. _AP
The plan is to conduct a controlled release of groups of 50 to 100 zombies at random locations midway between Hobbs and the automated ghost town. The zombies will be fitted with tracking devices and their locations will be monitored closely throughout each experiment. Zombies which stray too closely to the human settlement of Hobbs will be either trapped and relocated, or will be destroyed in place, depending upon the assessed threat by officials on the scene.

As groups of zombies shuffle into the automated ghost town, proximity detectors will be triggered, and reactive systems will automatically activate. The zombies will be unwittingly herded into a specially designed "zombie kill zone" area in the middle of the ghost town, where they will be reduced to atomic particles for later conversion into fuels, high value chemicals, and fertilizers. In this way it is hoped that the zombie apocalypse can be turned to the benefit of the human survivors.

The New Mexico town is considered a prototype automated zombie trap ghost community, which will facilitate advance preparation work to minimize the impact of the full scale zombie apocalypse, when it eventually occurs. We can only hope that there will be time to apply the lessons learned.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ultimate Zombie Escape Vehicle?

When the zombie apocalypse hits, you may not have much warning to get out of town. Freeways and surface roads will be jammed to a standstill, and walking out of the city with zombies on the loose could be extremely dangerous. In such an event, you will want a method of urban exfiltration. Helicopters are generally considered the best method of fast evacuation, but a flying car or flying motorcycle ranks high on the list. The Pal-V personal flying road vehicle is an auto-gyro and a three-wheel motorcycle all in one. Here's more:
On the ground this slim, aerodynamic, 3-wheeled vehicle has the comfort of a car with the agility of a motorcycle thanks to its patented, cutting-edge, ‘tilting’ system. It can be driven to the nearest airfield and take off just like any other airplane. The single rotor and propeller are unfolded to make the PAL-V ONE ready to fly. When airborne, the PAL-V usually flies below 4,000 feet (1,200 m), the airspace available for uncontrolled Visual Flight Rules (VFR) traffic; so there will be no interference from commercial air traffic. Furthermore, the PAL-V is powered by a very robust, flight certified aircraft engine. It runs on gasoline. It can reach speeds of up to 180 km/h (112 mph) both on land and in the air. The PAL-V ONE has a very short take off and landing capability, making it possible to land practically anywhere. When not using controlled airspace, you can take off without filing a flight plan. Flying a PAL-V is like a standard gyrocopter. It is quieter than helicopters due to the slower rotation of the main rotor. It takes off and lands with low speed, cannot stall, and is very easy to control. The gyroplane technology means that it can be steered and landed safely even if the engine fails, because the rotor keeps auto rotating. _PAL-V
Escaping a Zombie-Infested San Francisco
The PAL-V One can reach speeds up to 112 mph. On the road, the PAL-V One has a range of 750 miles from its gasoline engine and in the air it has a range of up to 315 miles. It runs on gasoline like a conventional car, but there will also be versions that use biodiesel or bio-ethanol. _Inhabitat
In a world of zombies, there are very few second chances. Best to plan ahead.

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Monday, May 07, 2012

Did Gigantic Phartosaurs Devastate the Mesozoic Climate?

UK climate scientologists scientists have discovered that huge dinosaurs -- nicknamed "phartosaurs" -- may have produced enough methane by flatulence to tip the balance of the mesozoic climate into catastrophe.
Baby Phartosaurs in Various Stages of Hatching
Like huge cows, the mighty sauropods would have generated enormous quantities of methane. Sauropods, recognisable by their long necks and tails, were widespread around 150 million years ago.

They included some of the largest animals to walk the Earth, such as Diplodocus, which measured 150 feet and weighed up to 45 tonnes.

Scientists believe that, just as in cows, methane-producing bacteria aided the digestion of sauropods by fermenting their plant food.

''A simple mathematical model suggests that the microbes living in sauropod dinosaurs may have produced enough methane to have an important effect on the Mesozoic climate,'' said study leader Dr Dave Wilkinson, from Liverpool John Moores University.

''Indeed, our calculations suggest that these dinosaurs could have produced more methane than all modern sources - both natural and man-made - put together.''

The research is published today in the journal Current Biology. _Telegraph_via_WUWT

This "phartosaur hypothesis" is still in its preliminary stages, although it is as well supported as any other catastrophic theories or models of climate put forward by IPCC climate scientologists scientists up until now.

One must admire the brilliance of the keen minds capable of dreaming up modeling such clever hypotheses.

By the way, how long is it going to take Steven Spielberg to grow some of those giant phartosaurs, as food livestock? Imagine how many hungry people could be fed around the world from just a small herd of domesticated phartosaurs! Hurry up, Steven. There are hungry people out there!


Saturday, May 05, 2012

Sizing the Power Supply for Your Doomsday Bunker

After the Apocalypse

After the doomsday bell tolls, you will want to have a safe hideaway, packed with your favourite foods, beverages, people, and prescription drugs. But no matter how safely your bunker is designed, you cannot survive long without a source of heating and electrical power.

Issues of energy density dictate the need for a nuclear power and heat source -- either fission or fusion. The choice seems to come down to either a small modular nuclear fission reactor -- such as the NuScale or Wilcox and Babcock models, vs one of the new scalable fusion reactor models. The Lawrenceville Plasma Physics focus fusion device pictured below, appears to be the leader of the pack in terms of timeline for proof of concept, prototype, commercial demo, and mass production.
All images below taken from Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Inc (PDF) (via) NBF

Five megawatts baseload power should be enough to supply the power and heat needs of most medium-sized doomsday communities. When living in an underground environment, it is easy to underestimate needs for space lighting and grow-lighting, as well as power for supplying pumps, compressors, blowers, fans, filtration devices, and various electronic devices.

The diagram above attempts to illustrate energy flows and losses in the focus fusion system. Operation of the reactor will be highly automated, but a certain amount of oversight will be necessary, to assure smooth function and to limit any need for routine maintenance shutdown.

Baseload power generation means that the reactor produces 5 MW at all times. Any heat and power produced above the needs of the doomsday community will converted as needed, and routed to storage or to a sink. Since the reactor utilises hydrogen and boron as fuel, a significant amount of excess power will be used to maintain hydrogen stores. The hydrogen can be used as fuel in either the focus fusion reactor, or in backup fuel cell CHP generators.

The timeline for production of the LPP focus fusion reactors is particularly optimistic, with estimates for mass production as early as 2016.

Keep in mind that US federal and state regulators are unlikely to approve these devices for sale in the US anytime within the next decade. This means that any US citizen wishing to use these reactors as backup power supplies for their home, seastead, polar outpost, or doomsday bunker, will either need to locate outside the US, or will need to find extra-legal ways of installing their nuclear fusion (or SMR fission) reactors within the borders of the US.

In the event of doomsday, it is expected that nuclear enforcement by US federal or state officials will be suspended for a number of years. In such a case, issues of survival are likely to be paramount, over issues of bureaucratic red tape.

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