If You Love Staying Up Late and Sleeping In, Doing Otherwise Might Actually Hurt Your Health

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Night owls might get a rap for staying up too late watching Netflix or getting lost in meme spirals on the web, but it’s not all fun and games. Study after study shows the later you sleep and rise, the more likely you are to develop some serious health complications.

A 2018 paper by researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Surrey in the UK doubles down on the findings that night owls are more likely to suffer from a host of different diseases and disorders—diabetes, mental illnesses, neurological problems, gastrointestinal issues, and heart disease, to name a few. It also concludes, for the first time, that night owls had a 10 percent increased risk of dying (in the time period used in the study) compared to those who are early to rise and early to sleep (a.k.a. larks).

“I think it’s really important to get this message out to people who are night owls,” says lead author Kristen Knutson, an associate professor of neurology at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “There may be some compelling consequences associated with these habits, and they might need to be more vigilant in maintaining a healthier lifestyle.”

Published in Chronobiology International, the paper analyzed 433,268 individuals who participated in the UK Biobank, a massive cohort study run from 2006 to 2010 aimed at investigating the role of genetic predisposition and environmental contributions to disease prevalence. Those participants were asked questions related to their chronotype, or preferred time and duration of sleeping during a 24-hour day. Participants identified as “definitely a morning person,” “more a morning person than evening person,” “more an evening than a morning person,” or “definitely an evening person.”

The researchers found that about 10,000 subjects died in the six-and-a-half years that followed the end of the Biobank study, and the ones who were “definite evening types” had a 10 percent increased risk of perishing compared to “definite morning types.” This number, the researchers say, was found after controlling for age, gender, ethnicity, and prior health problems.

That sounds scary, sure—but there are a few limitations worth considering. For one, says Knutson, “we weren’t able to pinpoint and find out why night owls were more likely to die sooner,” so the direct cause of mortality is unknown, creating some murkiness as to what extent night owl lifestyles influenced those deaths.

“We think,” says Knutson, “it is at least partly due to our biological clocks. We think the problem is that the night owls are forced to live in a more ‘lark’ world, where you have to get up early for work and start the day than their internal clocks want to. So it’s a mismatch between the internal clock and the external world, and it’s a problem in the long run.”

The mismatch Knutson is referring to has to do with circadian rhythms, the biological processes that govern the body over the course of the 24-hour day. Circadian rhythms determine sleep patterns, energy levels, hormones, and body temperature—basically all the most important things. “There are ideal or optimal times for certain things to occur,” says Knutson.

Messing with your preferred sleep schedule can drastically disrupt your circadian rhythms, which in turn can have severe, negative effects on your health. We’re all feeling the effects of this, to some extent, no matter when we like to go to sleep; research indicates that modern humans are sleeping poorly thanks to artificial light, warmer temperatures, and stress, and scientists are working to understand what kind of impact this has on our health. Studies on extreme cases—shift workers and people like ER doctors and firefighters who regularly stay up all night—suggest the downsides can be quite dire.

Unfortunately, the Biobank data only indicated whether someone identified as a morning or evening person, not whether they had a sleep schedule that suited their chronotype. “We know what their preferred time to sleep is, but we have no idea what they were actually doing on a day-to-day basis,” says Knutson. That’s a question she hopes to address in subsequent studies.

Moreover, the data is limited to just British participants, most of whom were caucasians of Irish or English descent. It’s likely the results would be similar for other populations in the Western world, but they could also be substantially different for night owls elsewhere.

To some extent, you’re stuck with the chronotype you’re born with. Genes play a significant role in governing your internal clock, so if you’re naturally attuned to sleeping at 3:00 a.m. and waking up at 11:00 a.m., your best bet would be to find a career and lifestyle where this is okay.

But there are certain actions individuals could take to minimize the difference between their internal clock and their external life. In a perfect world, Knutson notes, employers could be more cognizant and allow employees to pick a work schedule that offers a good compromise between everyone’s needs. People can also shift their sleep and wake hours a little earlier to minimize discord, but they would need to do so gradually, and maintain that shift consistently. Lapsing into night owl habits on the weekends or on vacation is out of the question.

Of course, being a creature of the night isn’t all bad. Other studies have shown that the whole morning versus night person debate is really more of a proxy battle between organized and meticulous, or being expressive and imaginative: day-dwellers might be more focused on achieving goals and paying attention to details, but all-nighters tend to be more creative and open to new experiences. If you’re a night owl, don’t be too rash to think you should change yourself. Maybe you just need a career that harnesses your artistic side—and lets you sleep in a little.

By: Neel V. Patel

Source: Pocket

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Critics:

A night owl, evening person or simply owl, is a person who tends to stay up until late at night, or the early hours of the morning. Night owls who are involuntarily unable to fall asleep for several hours after a normal time may have delayed sleep phase disorder.

The opposite of a night owl is an early bird – a lark as opposed to an owl – which is someone who tends to begin sleeping at a time that is considered early and also wakes early. Researchers traditionally use the terms morningness and eveningness[1] for the two chronotypes or diurnality and nocturnality in animal behavior. In several countries, especially in Scandinavia, early birds are called A-people and night owls are called B-people.

The tendency to be a night owl exists on a spectrum, with most people being typical, some people having a small or moderate tendency to be a night owl, and a few having an extreme tendency to be a night owl.[13] An individual’s own tendency can change over time and is influenced by multiple factors, including:

  • a genetic predisposition, which can cause the tendency to run in families,
  • the person’s age, with teenagers and young adults tending to be night owls more than young children or elderly people, and
  • the environment the person lives in, except for the patterns of light they are exposed to through seasonal changes as well as through lifestyle (such as spending the day indoors and using electric lights in the evening).[13]

The genetic make-up of the circadian timing system underpins the difference between early and late chronotypes, or early birds and night owls.[14] While it has been suggested that circadian rhythms may change over time, including dramatic changes that turn a morning lark to a night owl or vice versa,[15][16] evidence for familial patterns of early or late waking would seem to contradict this, and individual changes are likely on a smaller scale.[17]

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References:

Teaching Diversity And Inclusion To The Billions Of Intelligent Systems Making Autonomous Decisions

Engineers Meeting in Robotic Research Laboratory

The idea that diversity and inclusion should be core drivers of the new economy and the emerging global society are mostly understood at a human level. The more people who are part of one system, being offered the same opportunities regardless of their gender, race, ethnic origin, and many other diverse variables, the higher the tide rises for everybody. But even with that intrinsic understanding of the idea that diversity and inclusion will generate a different and better world, significant barriers still exist to making this human truth a practical reality in our daily lives.

The power of all genders, all races, and all languages can change the world. Even each of these pieces, though, has its blind spots if taken as a standalone viewpoint — in effect, by seeing the world through a single lens, that lens can act as a deep barrier. Imagine how much is lost with only a single way of seeing, thinking, learning, and maybe even applying those learnings.

Digital companies talk about the power of the individual or the customer to be the center of the service. Yet how can we build around individuals without recognizing and servicing the unique combinations of needs or opinions that diverse thinking and actions entail? McKinsey has, since 2014, leaned into the idea of measuring diversity and inclusivity as a driver of business value creation. The intent is to show every year that companies that live and deliver diverse and inclusive strategies outperform their industry peers.

The gap (between diverse and inclusive leaders and the poorest performers) has gotten bigger year by year, growing from 33% percent in 2018 to 36% in 2019. Even with clear and longitudinal data, we still struggle against many inherent biases to accept and act on the fact that diversity and inclusion widen the lens for viewing ideas, thinking, processes, and customers in an increasingly global market.

The world will get more diverse over time. By 2044 it is projected that over half of Americans will belong to a minority group. We will in effect be a collection of diversities, with one in five of us not being born in the USA but living here. Multiply this American future by the nuances of each of the 195 countries in the world and together we will be the largest collection of diversities the planet has ever seen.

Now imagine a world of not just 7 billion people, but 40 billion devices computing, connecting, sensing, predicting, and running autonomously in an intelligent systems world. PwC estimated that 70% of all global GDP growth between 2020 and 2030 will come from this machine economy (AI, robotics, IoT devices).

U.S. GDP is expected to grow $10T between now and 2030. If 70% of that is from these machines sensing, predicting, computing, and connecting on the intelligent edge, then that is a $7T economy. Will these machines be more capable than humankind has been to think about diversity and inclusion in the way they work with data, humans, and other machines?

These devices don’t have a McKinsey to explain to them where and how inclusion and diversity will drive a better result. They make decisions in milliseconds based on the programming instructions they receive, and they learn as they execute their many, often complex and intelligent, tasks.

How these machines learn to think (constantly) are driven by rules set by humans and by other machines that were in part or wholly programmed by humans. How can the right behaviors be instilled in these intelligent systems? Think of two basic dynamics we must pay attention to in an increasingly intelligent systems world:

Human experiences drive diversity and inclusive design

Learning — and applying — how to be aware of the needs of diverse groups has more value than ever before. This acquired knowledge will act as the codex for how we program the devices that live and work with us globally by 2030 and beyond. There is a narrow time window in which to take our own personal experiences and the experience of others around us into account in the design and programming process for intelligent systems that will manage autonomous vehicles, medical devices, and manufacturing environments where cobots will be working alongside humans.

All machines might look and behave in the same way, but the humans around them do not, so what machine biases will exist in the intelligent systems world? Understanding how to design and program for inclusive and diverse thinking without bias means intelligent systems need to have a progressive learning ability (e.g., machine learning and digital feedback loops), as well as mission-critical capacities that mean they can safely and securely function around humans who may look, sound, move, or think differently from those whom the machines have been designed or operated around.

Machines will be diverse too and will need to be inclusive of each other

Once we live in an intelligent systems world, we will need intelligent systems to recognize each other in near instant time. These systems might be doing completely different tasks, but they might need to share data, space, or compute capacity in milliseconds. Knowing when, where, and how to have that network effect in an intelligent systems world (for example, consider autonomous vehicles) requires a capacity for inclusiveness and maybe even a clear comprehension about the power of diverse data sets from different devices to create value far greater than the sum of all parts.

Nurturing that capacity to create systems for a diversity of design and operations, as well as for an inclusiveness to allow constant learning, is a challenge that will be essential in an intelligent systems world.

We will not be able to make the right world for these intelligent systems and all that they can bring to humanity if we do not design, operate, and build them to be inclusive, diverse, and without bias in how they operate. While not suggesting that there should be a soul to an intelligent system, we should recognize that the moment in our own human world to encourage as much diversity and inclusion in our thinking is right now, and how well we do it will have major consequences for how we teach our intelligent systems to thrive in a world dominated with a diversity of machines and humans.

PRESIDENT AND CEO

With more than 25 years of experience driving digital innovation and growth at technology companies, Kevin Dallas is responsible for all aspects of the Wind River business globally. He joined Wind River from Microsoft, where he most recently served as the corporate vice president for cloud and AI business development. At Microsoft, he led a team creating partnerships that enable the digital transformation of customers and partners across a range of industries including: connected/autonomous vehicles, industrial IoT, discrete manufacturing, retail, financial services, media and entertainment, and healthcare.

Prior to joining Microsoft in 1996, he held roles at NVIDIA Corporation and National Semiconductor (now Texas Instruments Inc.) in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East in roles that included microprocessor design, systems engineering, product management, and end-to-end business leadership. He currently serves as a director on the board of Align Technology, Inc. He holds a B.S.c. degree in electrical and electronic engineering from Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England.

Source: Teaching Diversity And Inclusion To The Billions Of Intelligent Systems Making Autonomous Decisions

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Related Links:

Understood.Org -Loneliness Can Impact Kids Who Learn and Think Differently

Beyond Differences – Consequences of Social Isolation

Vox – America’s Loneliness Epidemic and Coronavirus Pandemic Together

New York Times – Learning Pods

CDC.Gov – Parent Checklist

Tyler Clementi Foundation’s Cybersafety Guide

Connecticut Children’s – Mindfulness Exercises for Kids

Beyond Tolerance

Teaching Tolerance

National Seed Project Curriculum

Everyday Feminism: What is Heteronormativity?

https://www.weareteachers.com/mirrors-and-windows/

The Link Between Bioelectricity and Consciousness

Life seems to be tied to bioelectricity at every level. The late electrophysiologist and surgeon Robert Becker spent decades researching the role of the body’s electric fields in development, wound healing, and limb regrowth. His 1985 book, The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life, was a fascinating deep dive into how the body is electric through and through—despite our inability to see or sense these fields with our unaided senses. But Becker’s work was far from complete.

One scientist who has taken up Becker’s line of inquiry is Michael Levin. He got hooked on the subject after he read The Body Electric. Levin has been working on “cracking the bioelectric code,” as a 2013 paper of his put it, ever since. “Evolution,” Levin has said, “really did discover how good the biophysics of electricity is for computing and processing information in non-neural tissues,” the many thousands of cell types that make up the body, our word for trillions of cells cooperating. “It’s really hard to define what’s special about neurons,” he told me. “Almost all cells do the things neurons do, just more slowly.”

How do disarranged cells and organs intuit what do to?

His team at Tufts University develops new molecular-genetic and conceptual tools to probe large-scale information processing in regeneration, embryo development, and cancer suppression—all mediated by bioelectric fields in varying degrees. This work involves examining, for example, how frogs, which normally don’t regenerate whole limbs (like salamanders do) can regrow limbs, repair their brains and spinal cords, or normalize tumors with the help of “electroceuticals” (a pun based on “pharmaceuticals”).

These are therapies that target the bioelectric circuits of tumors instead of, or together with, chemical-based therapies. Bioelectric fields are, in other words, more powerful than we have suspected and perform many surprising roles in the human body and all animal bodies.

Nature seems to have figured out that electric fields, similar to the role they play in human-created machines, can power a wide array of processes essential to life. Perhaps even consciousness itself. A veritable army of neuroscientists and electrophysiologists around the world are developing steadily deeper insights into the degree that electric and magnetic fields—“brainwaves” or “neural oscillations”—seem to reveal key aspects of consciousness.

The prevailing view for some time now has been that the brain’s bioelectric fields, which are electrical and magnetic fields produced at various physical scales, are an interesting side effect—or epiphenomenon—of the brains’ activity, but not necessarily relevant to the functioning of consciousness itself.

A number of thinkers are suggesting now, instead, that these fields may in fact be the main game in town when it comes to explaining consciousness. In a 2013 paper, philosopher Mostyn Jones reviewed various field theories of consciousness, still a minority school of thought in the field but growing.

If that approach is right, it is likely that the body’s bioelectric fields are also, more generally, associated in some manner with some kind of consciousness at various levels. Levin provided some support for this notion when I asked him about the potential for consciousness, in at least some rudimentary form, in the body’s electric fields.

“There are very few fundamental differences between neural networks and other tissues of bioelectrically communicating cells,” he said in an email. “If you think that consciousness in the brain is somehow a consequence of the brain’s electrical activity, then there’s no principled reason to assume that non-neural electric networks won’t underlie some primitive, basal (ancient) form of nonverbal consciousness.”

This way of thinking opens up exciting possibilities. It recognizes that there is perhaps some intelligence (and, to some thinkers, maybe even consciousness) in all of the body’s bioelectric fields, which are efficient sources of information transfer and even a kind of computation. In his work, Levin pieces together how these fields can contain information that guides growth and regeneration.

He sometimes describes these guiding forces as “morphogenetic fields.” It may sound like a mystical notion, but it’s quite physical and real, backed up by hard data. This information, Levin said, can be stored in multicellular electric fields “in a way that is likely very similar to how behavioral memories—of seeing a specific shape for example—are stored in a neuronal network.”

Take the case of a frog. “To become frogs, tadpoles have to rearrange their faces during metamorphosis,” Levin said. “It used to be thought that these movements were hardcoded, but our ‘Picasso’ tadpoles—which have all the organs in the wrong places—showed otherwise.” The apparent know-how that these bioelectric fields demonstrate, in terms of growing normal frogs in very un-normal circumstances, is uncanny. “Amazingly, they still largely became normal frogs!”

How do disarranged cells and organs intuit what do to? Levin, and the renowned philosopher and cognitive scientist Daniel Dennet, recently tackled this question in a rather provocatively titled article, “Cognition All the Way Down.” Something like thinking, they argue, isn’t just something we do in our heads that requires brains.

It’s a process even individual cells themselves, and not requiring any kind of brain, also take part in. To the biologists who see this as a cavalier form of anthropomorphization, Levin and Dennet say, “Chill out.” It’s useful to anthropomorphize many different kinds of life, to see in their parts and processes a variety of teleological experience. “Ever since the cybernetics advances of the 1940s and ’50s, engineers have had a robust, practical science of mechanisms with purpose and goal-directedness—without mysticism,” they write. “We suggest that biologists catch up.”

With respect to purposes and teleology (goal-directed behavior), they make their key point clear: “We think that this commendable scientific caution has gone too far, putting biologists into a straitjacket.”

A promising route for better understanding may be found, they write, in “thinking of parts of organisms as agents, detecting opportunities and trying to accomplish missions.” This is “risky, but the payoff in insight can be large.” For Levin, at least, bioelectric fields are key mechanisms for this kind of collective decision-making. These fields connect cells and tissues together, allowing, along with synaptic connections, for rapid information exchange, not only with immediate neighbors but distant ones as well.

These communication channels are involved in the emergence of cancer, which means that, according to Levin, they can potentially be useful in curing some forms of cancer. “You can [use bioelectric fields to] induce full-on metastatic melanoma—a kind of skin cancer—in perfectly normal animals with no carcinogens or nasty chemicals that break DNA,” he said. You can also use these same fields “to normalize existing tumors or prevent them from forming.” He’s currently moving this work to human clinical models.

The importance of bioelectric fields is all about connection, information, and computation. These ingredients equal cognition for Levin and Dennett, which is, for them, a continuum of complexity that has developed over a billion years of biological evolution. It’s not an all or nothing kind of thing but a spectrum—one that plays a role in development, evolution, cancer, and in the workings of consciousness itself.

By: Tom Hunt

Tam Hunt is a philosopher, a practicing lawyer, and writer. He is the author of two books on the philosophy of consciousness: Eco, Ego, Eros: Essays in Philosophy, Spirituality, and Science and Mind, World, God: Science and Spirit in the 21st Century.

Source: The Link Between Bioelectricity and Consciousness

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Our bodies rely on an ultrafast nervous system to send impulses very quickly and it all starts with a special cell called the neuron. In this episode, Patrick will explain how these cells tell your body what to do. » Subscribe to Seeker! http://bit.ly/subscribeseeker » Watch more Human! http://bit.ly/HUMANplaylist » Visit our shop at http://shop.seeker.com
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Big Ethical Questions about the Future of AI

Artificial intelligence is already changing the way we live our daily lives and interact with machines. From optimizing supply chains to chatting with Amazon Alexa, artificial intelligence already has a profound impact on our society and economy. Over the coming years, that impact will only grow as the capabilities and applications of AI continue to expand.

AI promises to make our lives easier and more connected than ever. However, there are serious ethical considerations to any technology that affects society so profoundly. This is especially true in the case of designing and creating intelligence that humans will interact with and trust. Experts have warned about the serious ethical dangers involved in developing AI too quickly or without proper forethought. These are the top issues keeping AI researchers up at night.

Bias: Is AI fair

Bias is a well-established facet of AI (or of human intelligence, for that matter). AI takes on the biases of the dataset it learns from. This means that if researchers train an AI on data that are skewed for race, gender, education, wealth, or any other point of bias, the AI will learn that bias. For instance, an artificial intelligence application used to predict future criminals in the United States showed higher risk scores and recommended harsher actions for black people than white based on the racial bias in America’s criminal incarceration data.

Of course, the challenge with AI training is there’s no such thing as a perfect dataset. There will always be under- and overrepresentation in any sample. These are not problems that can be addressed quickly. Mitigating bias in training data and providing equal treatment from AI is a major key to developing ethical artificial intelligence.

Liability: Who is responsible for AI?

Last month when an Uber autonomous vehicle killed a pedestrian, it raised many ethical questions. Chief among them is “Who is responsible, and who’s to blame when something goes wrong?” One could blame the developer who wrote the code, the sensor hardware manufacturer, Uber itself, the Uber supervisor sitting in the car, or the pedestrian for crossing outside a crosswalk.

Developing AI will have errors, long-term changes, and unforeseen consequences of the technology. Since AI is so complex, determining liability isn’t trivial. This is especially true when AI has serious implications on human lives, like piloting vehicles, determining prison sentences, or automating university admissions. These decisions will affect real people for the rest of their lives. On one hand, AI may be able to handle these situations more safely and efficiently than humans. On the other hand, it’s unrealistic to expect AI will never make a mistake. Should we write that off as the cost of switching to AI systems, or should we prosecute AI developers when their models inevitably make mistakes?

Security: How do we protect access to AI from bad actors?

As AI becomes more powerful across our society, it will also become more dangerous as a weapon. It’s possible to imagine a scary scenario where a bad actor takes over the AI model that controls a city’s water supply, power grid, or traffic signals. More scary is the militarization of AI, where robots learn to fight and drones can fly themselves into combat.

Cybersecurity will become more important than ever. Controlling access to the power of AI is a huge challenge and a difficult tightrope to walk. We shouldn’t centralise the benefits of AI, but we also don’t want the dangers of AI to spread. This becomes especially challenging in the coming years as AI becomes more intelligent and faster than our brains by an order of magnitude.

Human Interaction: Will we stop talking to one another?

An interesting ethical dilemma of AI is the decline in human interaction. Now more than any time in history it’s possible to entertain yourself at home, alone. Online shopping means you don’t ever have to go out if you don’t want to.

While most of us still have a social life, the amount of in-person interactions we have has diminished. Now, we’re content to maintain relationships via text messages and Facebook posts. In the future, AI could be a better friend to you than your closest friends. It could learn what you like and tell you what you want to hear. Many have worried that this digitization (and perhaps eventual replacement) of human relationships is sacrificing an essential, social part of our humanity.

Employment: Is AI getting rid of jobs?

This is a concern that repeatedly appears in the press. It’s true that AI will be able to do some of today’s jobs better than humans. Inevitably, those people will lose their jobs, and it will take a major societal initiative to retrain those employees for new work. However, it’s likely that AI will replace jobs that were boring, menial, or unfulfilling. Individuals will be able to spend their time on more creative pursuits, and higher-level tasks. While jobs will go away, AI will also create new markets, industries, and jobs for future generations.

Wealth Inequality: Who benefits from AI?

The companies who are spending the most on AI development today are companies that have a lot of money to spend. A major ethical concern is AI will only serve to centralizecoro wealth further. If an employer can lay off workers and replace them with unpaid AI, then it can generate the same amount of profit without the need to pay for employees.

Machines will create wealth more than ever in the economy of the future. Governments and corporations should start thinking now about how we redistribute that wealth so that everyone can participate in the AI-powered economy.

Power & Control: Who decides how to deploy AI?

Along with the centralization of wealth comes the centralization of power and control. The companies that control AI will have tremendous influence over how our society thinks and acts each day. Regulating the development and operation of AI applications will be critical for governments and consumers. Just as we’ve recently seen Facebook get in trouble for the influence its technology and advertising has had on society, we might also see AI regulations that codify equal opportunity for everyone and consumer data privacy.

Robot Rights: Can AI suffer?

A more conceptual ethical concern is whether AI can or should have rights. As a piece of computer code, it’s tempting to think that artificially intelligent systems can’t have feelings. You can get angry with Siri or Alexa without hurting their feelings. However, it’s clear that consciousness and intelligence operate on a system of reward and aversion. As artificially intelligent machines become smarter than us, we’ll want them to be our partners, not our enemies. Codifying humane treatment of machines could play a big role in that.

Ethics in AI in the coming years

Artificial intelligence is one of the most promising technological innovations in human history. It could help us solve a myriad of technical, economic, and societal problems. However, it will also come with serious drawbacks and ethical challenges. It’s important that experts and consumers alike be mindful of these questions, as they’ll determine the success and fairness of AI over the coming years.

By: By Steve Kilpatrick
Co-Founder & Director
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

More contents:

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Future of Mankind

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5 Remote Friendly Teaching Strategies to Deepen Empathy

During Universal Human Rights Month this December and every month, optimizing classroom activities to foster learning and caring about global human rights is a crucial task of modern educators. For all of the vital information that is available about histories of struggles for human rights and coverage of ongoing struggles, teaching this material demands parallel attention to deepening our capacities for empathy and perspective taking. Based on a bedrock of social-emotional learning (SEL) methodology, Facing History offers these 5 remote-friendly teaching strategies to aid thoughtful teaching in remote and mixed learning environments:

Contracting for Remote Learning
Contracting is the process of openly discussing with students how classroom members will engage with each other and with the learning experience, and it is an important strategy for making the classroom a reflective and respectful community. Since remote learning deeply affects the progression of classroom communication, it is important to update your class contract so it accounts for any new logistical circumstances so students can feel engaged, valued, respected, and heard.

Bio-poem: Connecting Identity and Poetry
“Who am I?” is a question on the minds of many adolescents. This activity helps students clarify important elements of their identities by writing a poem about themselves or about a historical or literary figure. By providing a structure for students to think more critically about an individual’s traits, experiences, and character, bio-poems allow students to build peer relationships and foster a cohesive classroom community.

Reflection upon the complexity of one’s own identity is also crucial for building an empathic bridge to the inner worlds and social lives of others.
[NOTE: We invite you to make logistical tweaks to ensure alignment with your current teaching situation.]

Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, Text-to-World
Reading comes alive when we recognize how the ideas in a text connect to our experiences and beliefs, events happening in the larger world, our understanding of history, and our knowledge of other texts. This strategy helps students develop the habit of making these connections as they read. When students are given a purpose for their reading, they are able to better comprehend and make meaning of the ideas in the text.

Promoting processing on these multiple levels also trains students to carry this mode of analysis beyond the classroom and apply it in situations where they have the potential to make a difference.
[NOTE: We invite you to make logistical tweaks to ensure alignment with your current teaching situation.]

Graffiti Boards
Virtual Graffiti Boards are a shared writing space (such as Google Docs, Google Jamboard, Padlet, Flipgrid, or VoiceThread) where students can write comments or questions during a synchronous session or during a defined asynchronous time. The purpose of this strategy is to help students “hear” each other’s ideas. Virtual Graffiti Boards create a record of students’ ideas and questions that can be referred to at a later point, and give students space and time to process emotional material.

Students’ responses can give you insight into what they are thinking and feeling about a topic and provide a springboard for both synchronous and asynchronous discussions. Further, this strategy allows students to practice taking in the perspectives of others and trying on others’ experiences in a manner that also provides them with space to process material that may be challenging.

Journals in Remote Learning
Journals play a key role in a Facing History classroom, whether the learning is in person or remote. Many students find that writing or drawing in a journal helps them process ideas, formulate questions, retain information, and synthesize their perspectives and experiences with those of classmates.

Journals make learning visible by providing a safe, accessible space for students to share thoughts, feelings, and uncertainties.

They also help nurture classroom community and offer a way for you to build relationships with your students through reading and commenting on their journals. And frequent journal writing helps students become more fluent in expressing their ideas in writing or speaking.

Facing History and Ourselves invites educators to use our resource collection for remote and hybrid learning, Taking School Online with a Student-Centered Approach.

Topics: Online Learning, Empathy

By Kaitlin Smith
Kaitlin Smith is a Marketing and Communications Writer for Facing History and Ourselves. At Facing History and Ourselves, we value conversation—in classrooms, in our professional development for educators, and online. When you comment on Facing Today, you’re engaging with our worldwide community of learners, so please take care that your contributions are constructive, civil, and advance the conversation.

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Kafoople Land

WATCH NEXT ▶ https://youtu.be/-mzXW_uBU1w *Hey Hey!* Do you need some remote, distance, online learning hacks to incorporate into your teaching? These tips and strategies for remote teaching will enhance your work-life balance as a teacher and (hopefully) keep you sane during this time. Let me know in the comments if you have any other distance learning/teaching tips that may help other teachers; especially if you are further along in the remote teaching journey than I am! #distancelearning#remotelearning#remoteteaching *SIGN UP* for regular updates HERE https://mailchi.mp/4b53faf5e751/kafoo… *SUBSCRIBE HERE* https://goo.gl/njMj9G Please consider subscribing as I am keen to hit 2000 subscribers this year. 🙂 I’m currently at 1789 at the time of this upload…) *GET* your 2020 Digital Teacher Planner HERE https://gum.co/KHetUa *WATCH* SIMILAR VIDEOS HERE Remote Teaching playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list… Teach From Home Teacher Tag https://youtu.be/sW9TF7v8l1E Classroom Management Tips https://youtu.be/X3TJjNXVcWI 5 Mistakes New Teachers Make https://youtu.be/qygFew2gjZ0 Google Classroom for Beginners https://youtu.be/fRlmgO4FVa0 Remote Teaching in Australia https://youtu.be/-mzXW_uBU1w *CURRENT FAVES* These are the YouTube channels that I am currently watching (and LOVING!) … Janice Wan Vlogs https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvEp… Chronicles of Teacher Tay https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0He… The Michelaks https://www.youtube.com/user/alittleb… Sarah’s Day https://www.youtube.com/user/sarahsda… *GET* your 2020 Digital Teacher Planner HERE https://gum.co/KHetUa Here at Kafoople Land my passion is for you to be able to: 🌸TEACH WELL 🌸LIVE WELL and 🌸BE WELL

COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories Are Spreading Rapidly—and They’re a Public Health Risk All Their Own

Public health crises have spawned conspiracy theories as far back as when the Black Death ravaged Europe in the 1300s, as people desperately try to make sense of the chaotic forces disrupting their lives. While modern science offers a better understanding of how diseases infect people and how to contain them, COVID-19 conspiracy theories are spreading rapidly via social media, unreliable news outlets . The result: many Americans now believe pandemic-related conspiracy theories—and, alarmingly, those same people are less likely to take steps to prevent the virus from spreading.

In a University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Public Policy Center study published Monday in Social Science & Medicine, researchers surveyed a group of 840 U.S. adults—first in late March, and then again in mid-July—to determine how Americans’ beliefs and actions regarding the pandemic changed over time. Overall, they found that COVID-19 conspiracy theories are not only commonplace, they’re gaining traction.

Back in March, 28% of people believed a debunked rumor that the Chinese government created the coronavirus as a bioweapon; that number rose to 37% by July. About 24% believed that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exaggerated the virus’ danger to hurt Trump politically despite a lack of evidence; by July, that figure rose to 32%. And in March, about 15% of respondents said they believed that the pharmaceutical industry created the virus to boost drug and vaccine sales—another unfounded theory—compared to 17% in July.

Whether or not someone thinks NASA hired Stanley Kubrick to fake the moon landing has little bearing on the world beyond that person. But in the case of a pandemic—which requires people to follow public health guidance in order to keep one another safe—conspiratorial thinking can have disturbing consequences.

Indeed, the Annenberg study found that only 62% of people who were most likely to believe the coronavirus conspiracies said they wear a mask every day when they’re around other people away from home, compared to 95% of non-believers. Furthermore, people who believe COVID-19 conspiracy theories were 2.2 times less likely to say they wanted to receive a vaccine in March; by July, they were 3.5 times less likely to want to be vaccinated.

“Belief in pandemic conspiracy theories appears to be an obstacle to minimizing the spread of COVID-19,” said Dan Romer, Annenberg Public Policy Center research director and a study co-author, in a statement.

Where are people picking up COVID-19 conspiracy theories? Believers were more likely to be heavy users of social media and viewers of conservative media like Fox News, the study found. Meanwhile, people who watch other television news channels were more likely to follow public health guidance and to desire vaccination.

While the researchers say they understand how pandemic conspiracy theories are spreading, they say it’s still a challenge to get believers to reconsider once they’re sucked in. Other research suggests that simply correcting false information doesn’t usually work—and can even cause some people to believe conspiracies even more deeply.

“Conspiracy theories are difficult to displace because they provide explanations for events that are not fully understood, such as the current pandemic, play on people’s distrust of government and other powerful actors, and involve accusations that cannot be easily fact-checked,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Annenberg Public Policy Center director and study co-author, in a statement.

By Tara Law

From a secret plan to stop Brexit, to a virus engineered to control population, the conspiracies surrounding the coronavirus have been spreading fast on social media.

Subscribe to our channel here: https://goo.gl/31Q53F Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube have all seen a host of misinformation being spread on their platform, with fake news sources amassing over 50 million engagements.

Facebook, which has over 2 billion accounts worldwide, has announced that it’s busy removing false claims from its site and will promote the guidance of the World Health organisation. Despite this push from FB, online analytics show that in the UK the NHS website is still seeing fewer engagements than fake news sources from the US. Katie Razzall is joined by Anna-Sophie Harling from NewsGuard, an online browser extension that reports on digital misinformation, and Victoria Baine a former Facebook Trust and Safety Manager to discuss what needs to be done to protect ourselves from digital misinformation.

Coronavirus Budget: How will the government respond? https://bbc.in/2TxFiul Inside the lab trying to understand Coronavirus – https://bbc.in/2VVUV0h Coronavirus: Countries need to ‘help each other’ – https://bbc.in/2TQyGX2 Coronavirus and fake news – what to believe? – https://bbc.in/2W8au5l Coronavirus cases pass 50 as UK publishes its plan – https://bbc.in/2VXJmpy Coronavirus cases in the UK increase – https://bbc.in/38yZIrk Coronavirus: Stock market suffers worst week since 2008 crash – https://bbc.in/2wYvAbv Coronavirus: How prepared is the NHS for an outbreak? – https://bbc.in/2TvKE8f Coronavirus: How is it affecting the economy? – https://bbc.in/39eSt8U Coronavirus: How should China’s handling of the crisis inform our response? – https://bbc.in/2TqEkyQ Coronavirus: Is the UK’s response to China virus proportionate? – https://bbc.in/2Ii3p9P Coronavirus: How could it be stopped? – https://bbc.in/32Gw7us Coronavirus: What is it and should we be worried? – https://bbc.in/2vnVDc1#Coronavirus#Covid19#CoronaOutbreak#2019nCov Newsnight is the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs TV programme – with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews. Website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsnight Twitter: https://twitter.com/BBCNewsnight Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bbcnewsnight

Irish Teen Wins 2019 Google Science Fair For Removing Microplastics From Water

An Irish teenager just won $50,000 for his project focusing on extracting micros-plastics from water.

Google launched the Google Science Fair in 2011 where students ages 13 through 18 can submit experiments and their results in front of a panel of judges. The winner receives $50,000. The competition is also sponsored by Lego, Virgin Galactic, National Geographic and Scientific American.

Fionn Ferreira, an 18-year-old from West Cork, Ireland won the competition for his methodology to remove microplastics from water.

Microplastics are defined as having a diameter of 5nm or less and are too small for filtering or screening during wastewater treatment. Microplastics are often included in soaps, shower gels, and facial scrubs for their ability to exfoliate the skin. Microplastics can also come off clothing during normal washing.

These microplastics then make their way into waterways and are virtually impossible to remove through filtration. Small fish are known to eat microplastics and as larger fish eat smaller fish these microplastics are concentrated into larger fish species that humans consume.

Ferreira used a combination of oil and magnetite powder to create a ferrofluid in the water containing microplastics. The microplastics combined with the ferrofluid which was then extracted.

After the microplastics bound to the ferrofluid, Ferreira used a magnet to remove the solution and leave only water.

After 1,000 tests, the method was 87% effective in removing microplastics of all sorts from water. The most effective microplastic removed was that from a washing machine with the hardest to remove being polypropylene plastics.

With the confirmation of the methodology, Ferreira hopes to scale the technology to be able to implement at wastewater treatment facilities.

This would prevent the microplastics from ever reaching waterways and the ocean. While reduction in the use of microplastics is the ideal scenario, this methodology presents a new opportunity to screen for microplastics before they are consumed as food by fish.

At 18 Ferreira has an impressive array of accomplishments. He is the curator at the Schull Planetarium, speaks 3 languages fluently, won 12 previous science fair competitions, plays the trumpet in an orchestra and has a minor planet named after him by MIT.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I am a geologist passionate about sharing Earth’s intricacies with you. I received my PhD from Duke University where I studied the geology and climate of the Amazon.

 

Source: Irish Teen Wins 2019 Google Science Fair For Removing Microplastics From Water

Everyone Missed An Apollo 11 Mistake, And It Almost Killed The Astronauts Returning To Earth

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin raise the American Flag on the Moon, with the shadow of the Lunar Module (where the camera is mounted) seen in nearby. The astronauts might not have successfully returned to Earth, however, if the procedure used to jettison the fuel from the Service Module had let it come into contact with the Command Module. (NASA/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Even from our perspective in 2019, 50 years later, humanity’s achievements from July, 1969, still mark the pinnacle of crewed spaceflight. For the first time in history, human beings successfully landed on the surface of another world. After a 380,000 km journey, the crew set foot on the Moon, walked upon it, installed scientific instruments, took samples, and then departed for Earth.

Three days after leaving the Moon, on July 24, 1969, they splashed down in Earth’s oceans, successfully completing their return trip. But during Apollo 11’s return to Earth, a serious anomaly occurred: one that went undetected until after the crew returned to Earth. Uncovered by Nancy Atkinson in her new book, Eight Years to the Moon, this anomaly could have led to a disastrous ending for astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins. Here’s the story you’ve never heard.

This NASA image was taken on July 16, 1969, and shows some of the thousands of people who camped out on beaches and roads adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center to watch the Apollo 11 mission Liftoff aboard the Saturn V rocket. Four days later, humanity would take our first footsteps on another world. Four days after that, the astronauts successfully returned to Earth, but that was not a foregone conclusion. (NASA / AFP / Getty Images)

This NASA image was taken on July 16, 1969, and shows some of the thousands of people who camped out on beaches and roads adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center to watch the Apollo 11 mission Liftoff aboard the Saturn V rocket. Four days later, humanity would take our first footsteps on another world. Four days after that, the astronauts successfully returned to Earth, but that was not a foregone conclusion. (NASA / AFP / Getty Images)

According to our records, the flight plan of Apollo 11 went off without a hitch. Chosen as the mission to fulfill then-President Kennedy’s goal of performing a crewed lunar landing and successful return to Earth, the timeline appeared to go exactly as planned.

  • On July 16, 1969, the Saturn V rocket responsible for propelling Apollo 11 to the Moon successfully launched from Cape Kennedy. (Modern-day Cape Canaveral.)
  • Only July 17, the first thrust maneuver using Apollo’s Service Propulsion System (SPS) was made, course-correcting for the journey to the Moon. The launch and this one corrective burn were so successful that the other three scheduled SPS maneuvers were not even needed.
  • Only July 19, Apollo 11 reached the Moon, flying behind it and entering lunar orbit after a series of thrust maneuvers from SPS.
  • On July 20, the Eagle (lunar module) undocked from the Columbia (command and service module), made a powered descent, and landed on the Moon’s surface.
Astronaut Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module Pilot, stands near a scientific experiment on the lunar surface. Humanity's first landing on the Moon occurred July 20, 1969, as the Lunar Module code-named "Eagle" touched down gently on the Sea of Tranquility on the east side of the Moon. The Lunar Module, completely intact before the ascent stage is launched, can be seen in full beside the planted American flag. (NASA/Newsmakers)

Astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module Pilot, stands near a scientific experiment on the lunar surface. Humanity’s first landing on the Moon occurred July 20, 1969, as the Lunar Module code-named “Eagle” touched down gently on the Sea of Tranquility on the east side of the Moon. The Lunar Module, completely intact before the ascent stage is launched, can be seen in full beside the planted American flag. (NASA/Newsmakers)

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  • After 4 hours setting up, astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin left the lunar module to explore the lunar surface, performing an extra-vehicular activity (EVA) for a total of 2.5 hours, deploying scientific instruments, collecting samples for return, and famously planting an American flag.
  • On July 21, after just 21 hours and 36 minutes on the Moon, the ascent engine fired, bringing the Eagle back to dock with Columbia, and returning astronauts Aldrin and Armstrong to the Command and Service Module with astronaut Collins.
  • On July 21, the SPS thrusters fired, returning the Command and Service Module to Earth, with the lone mid-course correction coming on July 22.
  • And on July 24, re-entry procedures were initiated, returning the Apollo 11 crew to a safe splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
This artist's concept shows the Command Module undergoing re-entry in 5000 °F heat. The Apollo Command/Service Module was used for the Apollo program which landed astronauts on the Moon between 1969 and 1972. An ablative heat shield on the outside of the Command Module protected the capsule from the heat of re-entry (from space into Earth's atmosphere), which is sufficient to melt most metals. During re-entry, the heat shield charred and melted away, absorbing and carrying away the intense heat in the process. (Heritage Space/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

This artist’s concept shows the Command Module undergoing re-entry in 5000 °F heat. The Apollo Command/Service Module was used for the Apollo program which landed astronauts on the Moon between 1969 and 1972. An ablative heat shield on the outside of the Command Module protected the capsule from the heat of re-entry (from space into Earth’s atmosphere), which is sufficient to melt most metals. During re-entry, the heat shield charred and melted away, absorbing and carrying away the intense heat in the process. (Heritage Space/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

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It all sounds so simple and straightforward, which obscures the real truth: for every one of these steps, there were hundreds (or more) potential points of failure that everyone involved needed to guard against. That final step alone, which returned the astronauts from their presence around to Moon — after journeying back to Earth — was one of the most crucial. If it failed, it would lead to certain death, similar to the demise of the Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov.

Successful re-entries after a journey to the Moon had already taken place aboard NASA’s Apollo 8 and Apollo 10 missions, and Apollo 11 was expected to follow the same procedures. At the danger of becoming complacent, this step, in many ways, already seemed like old hat to many of those staffing the Apollo 11 mission.

This schematic drawing shows the stages in the return from a lunar landing mission. The Lunar Module takes off from the Moon and docks with the Command and Service Module. The Command Module then separates from the Service Module, which jettisons its fuel and accelerates away. The Command Module then re-enters the Earth's atmosphere, before finally parachuting down to land in the ocean. (SSPL/Getty Images)

This schematic drawing shows the stages in the return from a lunar landing mission. The Lunar Module takes off from the Moon and docks with the Command and Service Module. The Command Module then separates from the Service Module, which jettisons its fuel and accelerates away. The Command Module then re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere, before finally parachuting down to land in the ocean. (SSPL/Getty Images)

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Re-entry, in principle, ought to be straightforward for the astronauts returning from the Moon. The Command and Service Modules first needed to separate, with the astronauts inside the Command Module and the Service Module being jettisoned. Once safely away, the Command Module would re-orient itself so that the heat shield was in the forward-facing position, prepared to absorb the brunt of the impact of re-entering Earth’s atmosphere while protecting the astronauts inside.

At the proper moment, when the atmospheric density was great enough and the external temperatures and speeds were low enough, the parachute would deploy, leading to a gentle splashdown in the Pacific Ocean approximately 5 minutes later, where the astronauts could then be safely recovered.

Although there are no known photographs of the Apollo 11 Command Module descending towards splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, all of the crewed Apollo missions ended in similar fashion: with the Command Module's heat shield protecting the astronauts during the early stages of re-entry, and a parachute deploying to slow the final stages of descent to a manageable speed. Shown here, Apollo 14 is about to splash down in the oceans, similar to the prior missions such as Apollo 11. (SSPL/Getty Images)

Although there are no known photographs of the Apollo 11 Command Module descending towards splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, all of the crewed Apollo missions ended in similar fashion: with the Command Module’s heat shield protecting the astronauts during the early stages of re-entry, and a parachute deploying to slow the final stages of descent to a manageable speed. Shown here, Apollo 14 is about to splash down in the oceans, similar to the prior missions such as Apollo 11. (SSPL/Getty Images)

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It sounds so routine. But of the innumerable things that could go wrong, one of them was entirely unexpected: the possibility that the Service Module, scheduled to break apart and safely burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, could accidentally have a piece of its debris collide with the Command Module, ruining re-entry and killing the returning astronauts on board.

The plan to avoid it was simple: the Service Module, post-separation, would perform a series of thrust maneuvers to take it safely away from the re-entry path of the Command Module. By shifting the Service Module to a significantly different trajectory, it wouldn’t even re-enter at the same time as the Command Module, but would skip off the atmosphere this time. The re-entry of the Service Module should have only come much later, after performing another orbit (or set of orbits) around Earth.

Both the Command Module and the Service Module from Apollo 11 followed the same re-entry trajectory, which could have proved fatal to the astronauts aboard the Command Module if a collision of any type had occurred. It was only through luck that such a catastrophe was avoided.

Both the Command Module and the Service Module from Apollo 11 followed the same re-entry trajectory, which could have proved fatal to the astronauts aboard the Command Module if a collision of any type had occurred. It was only through luck that such a catastrophe was avoided.

NASA

But that didn’t happen at all. To quote from Nancy Atkinson’s book, pilot Frank A. Brown, flying about 450 miles (725 km) away from the re-entry point, reported the following:

I see the two of them, one above the other. One is the Command Module; the other is the Service Module. . . . I see the trail behind them — what a spectacle! You can see the bits flying off. Notice that the top one is almost unchanged while the bottom one is shattering into pieces. That is the disintegrating Service Module.

Fortunately for everyone, none of the debris resulting from the Service Module’s re-entry impacted the Command Module, and the astronauts all arrived safely back on Earth.

The crew of Apollo 11 — Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin — in the Mobile Quarantine Facility after returning from the surface of the Moon. The U.S.S. Hornet successfully recovered the astronauts from the Command Module after splashdown, where the crew was greeted by President Nixon, among others. (MPI/Getty Images)

The crew of Apollo 11 — Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin — in the Mobile Quarantine Facility after returning from the surface of the Moon. The U.S.S. Hornet successfully recovered the astronauts from the Command Module after splashdown, where the crew was greeted by President Nixon, among others. (MPI/Getty Images)

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How could this have occurred?

There was a fault in how the Service Module was configured to jettison its remaining fuel: a problem that was later discovered to have occurred aboard the prior Apollo 8 and Apollo 10 missions as well. Instead of a series of thrusters firing to move the Service Module away from the Command Module, shifting it to a different trajectory and eliminating the possibility of a collision, the way the thrusters actually fired put the entire mission at risk.

The problem was that there were two types of thrusters on board the Service Module: the Minus X RCS jets and the RCS roll jets. And while the roll jets fired in bursts in an attempt to stabilize the Service Module, the Minus X jets fired continuously.

The Reaction Control System, visible towards the center-left of the image, consists of two types of thrusters that control both acceleration and orientation. With the original flaw, the thrusters fired in a pattern that put the Command Module at risk. Had those two modules collided, the astronauts on board would have had a failed re-entry, killing all three passengers.

The Reaction Control System, visible towards the center-left of the image, consists of two types of thrusters that control both acceleration and orientation. With the original flaw, the thrusters fired in a pattern that put the Command Module at risk. Had those two modules collided, the astronauts on board would have had a failed re-entry, killing all three passengers.

NASA

In the aftermath of Apollo 11, investigators determined that the proper procedure for avoiding contact would be to properly time the firing of both the roll jets and the Minus X jets, which would lead to a 0% probability of contact between the two spacecrafts. This might seem like an extremely small point — to have the Minus X jets cut out after a certain amount of time firing as well as the roll jets — but you must remember that the spacecraft is full of moving parts.

If, for example, the fuel were to slosh around after the Service Module and the Command Module separated, that could lead to a certain window of uncertainty in the resultant trajectory. Without implementing the correct procedure for firing the various jets implemented, the safe return of the Apollo 11 astronauts would have to come down to luck.

This NASA picture taken on April 17, 1970, shows the Service Module (codenamed "Odyssey") from the Apollo 13 mission. The Service Module was jettisoned from the Command Module early, and the damage is clearly visible on the right side. This was to be the third crewed Apollo mission to land on the Moon, but was aborted due to the onboard explosion. Thankfully, the flaw in the jettison controller had been fixed, and the Service Module posed no risk to the astronaut-carrying Command Module from Apollo 13 onwards. (AFP/Getty Images)

This NASA picture taken on April 17, 1970, shows the Service Module (codenamed “Odyssey”) from the Apollo 13 mission. The Service Module was jettisoned from the Command Module early, and the damage is clearly visible on the right side. This was to be the third crewed Apollo mission to land on the Moon, but was aborted due to the onboard explosion. Thankfully, the flaw in the jettison controller had been fixed, and the Service Module posed no risk to the astronaut-carrying Command Module from Apollo 13 onwards. (AFP/Getty Images)

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Fortunately for everyone, they did get lucky. During the technical debriefing in the aftermath of Apollo 11, the fly-by of the Service Module past the Command Module was noted by Buzz Aldrin, who also reported on the Service Module’s rotation, which was far in excess of the design parameters. Engineer Gary Johnson hand-drew schematics for rewiring the Apollo Service Module’s jettison controller, and the changes were made just after the next flight: Apollo 12.

Those first four crewed trips to the Moon — Apollo 8, 10, 11 and 12 — could have all ended in potential disaster. If the Service Module had collided with the Command Module, a re-entry disaster similar to Space Shuttle Columbia could have occurred just as the USA was taking the conclusive steps of the Space Race.

View of the Apollo 11 capsule floating on the water after splashing down upon its return to Earth on July 24, 1969. If the Command Module and the Service Module had collided or interacted in any sort of substantial, unplanned-for way, the return of the first moonwalkers could have been as disastrous as the Space Shuttle Columbia's final flight. (CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

View of the Apollo 11 capsule floating on the water after splashing down upon its return to Earth on July 24, 1969. If the Command Module and the Service Module had collided or interacted in any sort of substantial, unplanned-for way, the return of the first moonwalkers could have been as disastrous as the Space Shuttle Columbia’s final flight. (CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

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Atkinson’s book, Eight Years to the Moon, comes highly recommended by me if you’re interested in the behind-the-scenes details and rarely-told stories from the Apollo era. Inside, you’ll find many additional details about this event, including interview snippets with Gary Johnson himself.

If Armstrong and Aldrin — the first two moonwalkers — were to perish before returning to Earth, the United States already had a presidential address drafted for such a purpose. We may chalk it up to good fortune that the following words never needed to be spoken:

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at the stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

Ethan Siegel Ethan Siegel Contributor

I am a Ph.D. astrophysicist, author, and science communicator, who professes physics and astronomy at various colleges.

 

Source: Everyone Missed An Apollo 11 Mistake, And It Almost Killed The Astronauts Returning To Earth

The Microseconds That Can Rule Out Relative Time! — Lucid Being

The Microseconds That Can Rule Out Relative Time! According to Albert Einstein’s Theory Of Special Relativity, your time and my time are different, subject to and conditional to the question of your speed of movement and my speed of movement. The speed in which we are moving toward each other or the speed in which […]

via The Microseconds That Can Rule Out Relative Time! — Lucid Being

Immigrants Arrive With Flourishing Gut Microbes Then America’s Diet Trashes Them – Ben Guarino

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An empire of germs dwells inside you, trillions strong. About a half-pound of bacteria plus their genes make up our microbiome. Though each microbe is small, a healthy and diverse microbiome is mighty. Its influence, studies suggest, spans the human condition  from mood swings to weight gain. The microbiome begins as a departing gift from mothers at birth, but many factors alter its composition. Growing evidence shows location has a profound impact on the diversity of microbes, and some places are much less diverse than others. A study published this week in the journal Cell follows multi-generation immigrants from Southeast Asia to the United States……..

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2018/11/02/immigrants-arrive-with-flourishing-gut-microbes-then-americas-diet-trashes-them/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1057c116fcf5

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