Science writer Charles Seife discussed the implications of the recent CERN collider experiments, bizarre nuclear weapons research done by the US and Russia, the ongoing climate change debate, and fusion as an alternative energy source. While Seife classified the ongoing problems with the CERN project as "a bit unusual," he was skeptical of theories that the machine is being sabotaged by otherwordly outside forces. Meanwhile, he was enthused by the prospect of the project creating black holes, explaining that such a development would represent going "to the edge of space-time."
Seife also discussed Project Plowshare, a US research study helmed by Edward Teller in the 1960's, and its Russian counterpart Project Seven. The goals of the projects were, purportedly, to use nuclear weapons for peaceful means such as construction. However, Seife theorized that the operation was really just a means for Teller to continue creating powerful weapons and side-step the nuclear test ban treaty. While the Russian version of Plowshare successfully created a man-made lake in Kazakhstan, Seife said, both projects were ultimately considered failures, with the US version never developing anything useful.
Additionally, he reacted to the ongoing debate over climate change and pointed out that while heated arguments in new science have always happened, the political elements attached to the global warming issue have elevated it to extreme levels. He observed that factors such as power and money have corrupted the discussion, resulting in steadfast camps on each side and, thus, "if that genuine debate is just bickering without any real dialogue, there's no real progress." On the subject of fusion energy, Seife was skeptical about the viability of such research, noting that the most promising project, a massive facility in France aimed at generating magnetic fusion power, "probably will work, maybe 50 to 100 years down the line."
During the 4th hour, paranormal investigator Joshua P. Warren shared his research into orbs. "By far, the most annoying part of the photographic analysis field is the orb phenomenon," lamented Warren, who speculated that 95% of orb photos are merely conventional objects like dust and moisture. He put forth some tips to discern the difference between "an orb-like anomaly and one that is not." Such insights pointing to "good orbs" included: if there is a person or scientific meter reacting to the presence of the orb or if there is a singular object rather than a mass of them.
Bumper music from Wednesday December 02, 2009