Bubbles… Being…

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The flow of granular materials, such as sand and catalytic particles used in chemical reactors, and enables a wide range of natural phenomena, from mudslides to volcanos, as well as a broad array of industrial processes, from pharmaceutical production to carbon capture. While the motion and mixing of granular matter often display striking similarities to liquids, as in moving sand dunes, avalanches, and quicksand, the physics underlying granular flows is not as well-understood as liquid flows.

Now, a recent discovery by Chris Boyce, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Columbia Engineering, explains a new family of gravitational instabilities in granular particles of different densities that are driven by a gas-channeling mechanism not seen in fluids. Boyce’s team observed an unexpected Rayleigh-Taylor (R-T)-like instability in which lighter grains rise through heavier grains in the form of “fingers” and “granular bubbles.” R-T instabilities, which are produced by the interactions of two fluids of different densities that do not mix — oil and water, for example — because the lighter fluid pushes aside the heavier one, have not been seen between two dry granular materials.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to demonstrate that “bubbles” of lighter sand form and rise through heavier sand when the two types of sand are subject to vertical vibration and upward gas flow, similar to the bubbles that form and rise in lava lamps. (1)

In a world full of being, bubbles of existence will always emerge.

Don’t be too fascinated by them. For when you try to catch them, they vanish.

In a cosmos looking up to the stars, people forget to look beyond the world.

Don’t be fooled.

It is not the bubbles rising to the sky.

 It is the sky coming down on them…

At some point it will touch you.

And you will start rising along with them…

Fragile and awesome.

Ready to explode…

At the very first touch of death…

Advanced tool. Prehistoric people. Tears and laughter…

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Artefacts such as bows and arrows do not necessarily prove our ancestors had sophisticated reasoning and understanding of how these tools worked, new research suggests.

Instead, such items could have emerged from an “accumulation of improvements made across generations” – with each generation understanding no more than the last.

The new study, by the University of Exeter and the Catholic University of Lille, does not question humanity’s capacity for “enhanced causal reasoning” – but argues this did not necessarily drive the development of technologies such as bows, boats and houses. (1)

Blessed we are.

Through aeons of life.

We manage to die.

Creating nothing.

At the end, all will perish.

Are you afraid to smile?

Reverse evolution

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The study of evolution is revealing new complexities, showing how the traits most beneficial to the fitness of individual plants and animals are not always the ones we see in nature. Instead, new research by behavioral scientists shows that in certain cases evolution works in the opposite direction, reversing individual improvements to benefit related members of the same group.

The research lead author David Fisher shows that the increased evolution of selfless traits – such as sharing food and keeping watch for one another – is mathematically equivalent to the decreased evolution of individually beneficial traits.

“On one side, traits evolve that benefit your kin, but don’t benefit you, because you’re helping your siblings or cousins. On the other side, traits that benefit you but cost your neighbors don’t evolve, because you’re causing damage to related individuals”, Fisher explains.

The work is part of the ongoing effort to understand the paradox of altruistic behavior in the wild, explains Fisher, a research fellow in McMaster’s Department of Psychology,Neuroscience and Behaviour. (1)

We seek evolution in all the wrong ways.

For true evolution is not about preserving life.

True evolution is about reaching death.

For only through death can we touch the essence of life.

And discover the meaning of existence.

Look at all those people living.

They know nothing about death.

And if not…

How can they know anything about life?

Wise men across the centuries sought not to preserve life.

But to remind us of death.

A death we have already experienced.

But that we choose to forget every day.

At the end, life and death do not matter.

Helping your self is helping others.

Helping others means helping yourself.

Look at your image in the mirror.

Can you clap with one hand?

Laugh.

Dance.

And the cosmos will die…

Can you feel the flowers grow?

Self-navigation…

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Human eyes are insensitive to polarized light and ultraviolet radiation, but that is not the case for ants, who use it to locate themselves in space. Cataglyphis desert ants in particular can cover several hundreds of meters in direct sunlight in the desert to find food, then return in a straight line to the nest, without getting lost. They cannot use pheromones: they come out when the temperature would burn the slightest drop. Their navigation talent relies on two pieces of information: the heading measured using a sort of “celestial compass” to orient themselves using the sky’s polarized light, and the distance covered, measured by simply counting steps and incorporating the rate of movement relative to the sun measured optically by their eyes. Distance and heading are the two fundamental pieces of information that, once combined, allow them to return smoothly to the nest.

AntBot, a robot designed by CNRS and Aix-Marseille University (AMU) researchers at ISM, copies the desert ants’ exceptional navigation capacities to navigate without the use of GPS. It is equipped with an optical compass used to determine its heading by means of polarized light, and by an optical movement sensor directed to the sun to measure the distance covered. Armed with this information, AntBot has been shown to be able, like the desert ants, to explore its environment and to return on its own to its base, with precision of up to 1 cm after having covered a total distance of 14 meters. (1)

Navigating without GPS. Walking on your own.

This is the way it was supposed to be.

Relying not on things outside.

But on yourself inside.

Finding not your way with the light of the Sun.

But sensing your path through darkness with the Moon.

Treading the dark forest of existence.

With the help of the light of death inside you.

Trace your footsteps back to where you started from.

How could you ever want to go anywhere?

Take a good look.

These are not your footsteps…

Καλή Ανάσταση! (On the irrationality of the modern belief in death)

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Happy Easter! (“Καλή Ανάσταση” in Greek literally means ‘Happy Resurrection’)

And let not the irrationality of the miracle of resurrection hinder you from believing.

The most important things in life we anyway do not understand.

Our self.

Being.

The cosmos itself.

And yet we are defined by them. And we live by them.

Yes, the resurrection is irrational.

And that is why it is true. (refer to “Resurrection – Illogical, thus True.“)

Because knowing is not about understanding, as Shestov said.

You think you need to believe in order to accept the resurrection.

But it is the other way around…

You already believe so many things and that is why you accept death.

Think again.

Time. Existence. Matter. Identity. Me. You. The notion of change itself.

Who told you these exist?

Do not ask whether Christ was risen.

But instead.

Could you ever die?

PS. Refer to the “What does it take to believe in Death” series of articles at the Blogger Harmonia Philosophica portal for more extensive coverage of the ideas that support our belief in Death. I was much younger when I wrote it and did not wrote so eloquently as now (at least not as much as I believe I do anyway), but my ideas were far more clear and raw. Thus, I still like them. Hope you like them too.