Category Archives: Physics

I dabble in the softer side of science.

Smile for the cellphone camera and say “Bees!”.

Can you fathom life before cellphones? Certainly, anyone born before the 90’s has a good idea, yet more likely than not it is a distant memory. While we survived before them, life is enriched to the point where many of us might get a sinking feeling when faced with the possibility of having our phones yanked permanently from our hands before they are cold and dead.

Technology is pervasive and has a knack for influencing us in irrevocable fashion. Society shapes and molds itself around what technology has to offer. Removing that foundation leaves an amorphous mass of helplessness. I can’t live without my iPhone! Its fallibility does test our will on occasion. However, we can bite our nails knowing that it will be only a temporary setback; all the fun but useless apps will be available again in short order.

While I don’t consider myself a Luddite, as I do embrace a lot of what the digital age has to offer, a recent study has scored a point in my quiet pursuit to vilify the advancement of technology. Why? Because, it has a way of stinging us in the ass.

I am talking about bees, and they really don’t care whether the world much outside of their hive is round or flat. They just want to cross-pollinate, produce their own food, make baby bees, and attack anyone who threatens their existence. Yet, one of their more sinister enemies may be immune to their primary weapon. It turns out that everything they do to survive is impeded while in the presence of cellphone frequency. They become confused and unable to go about their business. Yay, we might have found their Achilles heel. But what can we do about it? Like the Kryptonians, they may need to colonize elsewhere.

The precipitous drop in the bee population has been a major cause of concern. While the jury is still out on determining all the causes for this dilemma, the consequences are unsettling to contemplate. It is easy to stroll down the primrose path and wonder where the honey for our morning tea will come from. That should be the least of our worries (although, I do get peckish without my raw honey and Greek yogurt). It is the knack for cross-pollination that bees have that makes them so invaluable to our “green” planet. Meaning, they are vital to sustaining our vegetation—one of our primary food sources.  

I suppose we could compensate by developing technology to pollinate in their stead and/or find alternate ways to preserve plant life, thus blowing a hole in my argument. If technology fails, create something bigger, stronger, and faster to pick up the slack. It is like the pharmaceutical industry’s pesky little habit of solving the problems with side-effects from drugs by creating more drugs to mask them. Sadly, it is a superficial approach under the guise of a multi-layered solution.

Lest we are incapacited along with the bees in an amber cocoon as fate banishes us back to landlines, the brainiacs charged to improve upon this technological wonder must step up their game. Basically, technology needs to be tweaked so that the bees aren’t disrupted by our indulgences. Sounds easy, right? Perhaps not.

So, what is the frequency, Kenneth? What if there is no alternative way to have our cake and eat it too? Then what? We could continue down another primrose path and wish the problem away. That would work for a spell, maybe even for the next few generations. But, I’m afraid that Mr. Hobson isn’t that generous. If we wait too long, we may not have a choice.

Meh, cellphones may be scrambling our brains, as well. So it’s all good. At least this technology doesn’t playing favorites.

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I really hope time is linear

Imagine that if time travel became a reality what some people might do with that new toy.

If I had a time machine, I would go back to the point before life started.  Upon my arrival, there would be no hesitation on my part after a few photo ops (I just hope the flash works and lights the place up sufficiently). I would gather all the primordial soup, consume it (yum!), and not excrete it until I got back to the present day. I’d be giddy with the power I possessed to create such a messed up paradox.

No, I wouldn’t. It sounded pretty cool, though. Really, I would probably go back to 15th Century Italy and watch rivals Michelangelo and da Vinci in action. I might show my partiality towards the latter artist just to incense the other to make a fracas for entertainment purposes. I can’t fathom that doing any appreciable harm. There might be some collateral damage, but no big whoop. The toe of David was broken at one point, but can anyone tell? I think not.   

Einstein just retooled his famous formula from the grave. E=MC2: Egomania equals Mass Destruction squared. I know I took license with that. Seriously though, how does ‘C’stand for velocity of light? Huh? Answer me, dammit! Besides, there was no good synonym for destruction that started with that letter (carnage didn’t flow off the tongue for me).