Sunday, July 31, 2016


In the Boston Globe recently, Linda Rodriguez McRobbie tells the story of a British man named Alpha Kabeja, who came out of a coma with clear recollection of memories of things that had never happened.

Kabeja, McRobbie writes, was biking, when he was hit by a van with enough force to knock his brain out of place inside his skull. When he came out of a medically induced coma three weeks later,
McRobbie writes, "doctors told his family he might not remember anything from before the accident, or remember them or who he was, that he might have amnesia." But Kabeja woke up full of memories.

The only problem: None of those things were true!

In the immediate aftermath of the accident, Kabeja clung to his new memories, and his family and friends played along. But there was no pregnancy. There was no private plane. There was no job interview, which Kabeja realized only after he called MI6 and learned their offices had been closed the day of the accident.

But the "memories" weren't totally fantastical — related things had been happening in Kabeja's life before the accident, leading him to believe that his subconscious had twisted real pieces of information into new forms:

In that sense, McRobbie argues, Kabeja's brain was simply going a step further than ours do, every day, when we recall a piece of the past. No autobiographical memory is a fixed, literal record of what really happened; memories are malleable, morphing each time we call them forth, to accommodate new information stored elsewhere in the brain. Sometimes, this means small tweaks; other times, it means we're left with recollections that others might see as outright fabrications. Even people with extraordinary capacities for recall, research has shown, are prone to inadvertently making things up.

Kabeja's false memories then, may have been an attempt to make sense of the long gap when he was unconscious in the hospital — without any real autobiographical memories of that stretch of time, his brain may have simply pulled other memories from elsewhere to fill in the lost weeks. "When you wake up, your brain is trying to reconnect pieces because your brain is trying to recover that sense of you, that sense of memory, that sense of history," Julia Shaw, a memory researcher at London South Bank University, told the Globe. "And in that process of recovery and essentially healing, you can make connections in ways that are fantastical and impossible" — but not so far removed from memory as we might like to think.

If our brain has its own operating program where it writes, stores and re-writes information like a computer hard drive, then any interruption of this normal brain function could lead to dramatic "new false memories" being created to explain one's current situation.

Memories (or in LOST, at times, the loss of the collective memory of the characters) was an ebb and flow in the story lines. Where the flashbacks and backstories really true? Or were they the reconstruction of different bits of information and fantasy caused by brain injuries to the surviving passengers of the plane crash?

Monday, July 25, 2016


Some researchers now see popular ideas like string theory and the multiverse as highly suspect. These physicists feel our study of the cosmos has been taken too far from what data can constrain with the extra "hidden" dimensions of string theory and the unobservable other universes of the multiverse. Of course, there are many scientists who continue to see great promise in string theory and the multiverse. But, as researchers wrote in the New York Times last year, it all adds up to muddied waters and something some researchers see as a "crisis in physics."

Some scientists believe this crisis is real — and it's acute. They pull no punches in their sense that the lack of empirical data has led the field astray. As they put it:
"Science is corrupted when it abandons the discipline of empirical validation or dis-confirmation. It is also weakened when it mistakes its assumptions for facts and its ready-made philosophy for the way things are."
Fraud in academics is not new. One of the reasons that spawns concerns is that huge government education grants target specific research which may bias independent research.

For example, global warming studies have sent billions of research dollars into academia. However, critics view scientists creating their own "computer models" to study the Earth's temperature defy one of science's fundamental processes: observation, recordation, interpretation, and thesis. If you start with a pre-determined scientific thesis, you work backwards in order to create a result.

If the Earth is warming, the vast majority of funded scientists claim it is man made pollution or CO2 emissions (which have to contained, regulated and taxed by the same governments funding the studies). But these studies fail the third grade smell test. Who did not learn in elementary school that the climate of our planet is determine by the solar radiation of the sun, the orbit of the Earth and tilt of its axis? None of those factors are tested in current climate studies.

And the studies send alarm bells to the general public who are not told that the Earth has had cycles of warm periods and cold periods (including ice ages). The dinosaurs that lived in tropical climates that people visit at museums were dug up in currently chilly Montana.

Another example is the daily headline that some study has found something GOOD for your health or something is BAD for your health. You have to look to the fine print to find out who funded the study. If a manufacturing or product lobbying group funded the research with a "pro" conclusion, there may be serious bias built in the result. Or if a study claims "meat" is toxic death but it was funded by a vegan environmental group, you have to take the results with a grain of salt.

Science needs critical thinking in order to make real breakthroughs.

If big pharma companies continue to poor millions in R&D to help symptoms of disease (with numerous side effects), they are not looking for a cure for the underlying disease. There are still only a handful of actual vaccines for known diseases. It is odd that with the advancement in medical technology that more cures have not been found.

Some believe that genetic and DNA manipulation are the keys to finding breakthrough medical treatments. But none of the basic childhood vaccines needed genetic testing in order to be found and manufactured for the masses.

Many of the cures were found by scientists and physicians who were looking for a solution to solve a real life problem in their practices. They were not out to make money but to make a contribution to public health. It may be a sentimental folly to ask that today's researchers shed their green colored visors to look for the greater good when there is so much money to be made in modern medicine.

Friday, July 22, 2016


Another functioning LOST fan site had its review of Wrecked, the TBS parody of LOST. It concluded that the show was awful.

Some commentators remarked that the Wrecked show's monsters were going to be jungle zombies.

Another commentator replied:

I wonder whether the makers of this show are either insiders or figured out "Lost" themselves.
The makers of "Lost" kidded about a season 7 of zombies, and that was actually a funny clue to the plot of "Lost", because it recalls the way zombies are said to be produced: You induce brain damage in someone, then convince hir that s/he's a certain identified person risen from the dead. That's close to what some of the principal characters on "Lost" had undergone. They were knocked out, convinced they'd been in an airline wreck that in reality killed everybody aboard, and made to believe they were particular individuals known to have been on the flight. It helped that they'd been selected for their resemblance to those persons, and in some cases given plastic surgery to improve the resemblance. They were threatened with disillusionment when they found out flight 815 was found on the bottom of the ocean, but the cover story was that that had been a fake wreck populated with dug-up dead bodies. However, planted among these characters were those who knew all along what was going on, or discovered it at some point.

 I had not heard about the potential LOST tangent theory of the characters actually being zombies. But it does contain many of the plot elements of LOST.

LOST was filled with medical experiments and military-industrial complex stations. To hijack a plane or create a plane crash to re-program other individuals into believing that they are someone else falls within the Big Con aspect of the series tangents. There was really never a reason for the castaways to be told that the Flight 815 wreckage that was found was a "fake." (In previous posts on the subject, I found it an unrealistic and unbelievable plot point - - - if wreckage was found, investigators would have retrieved the black boxes and bodies for positive ID. But when the alleged black box showed up on Widmore's freighter, all sense of truth was lost in that story plot.)

Room 23 was used for mental conditioning experiments; brain washing. The Hydra island was used to implant control technology into sharks. There was a scientific foundation to explain was what really happening on the island.

Can you take a bunch of "lost" people from around the world - - - loners, unhappy folks, fugitives and the depressed - - - and crash their lives to the point where they are living the life of another person? Jack was not Jack but someone playing Jack.

Why would this be important? If a person or government could perfect this personality implant in a stranger, that stranger can be weaponized to take the place of generals, presidents or powerful people in the real world. Dopplegangers could be controlled by an elite group, such as Dharma or Widmore or the U.S. military.

The Zombie Theory to LOST seems as plausible as any other fan theory.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Researchers have found a gene mutation which allows some people to sleep as little as four hours a night.

Researchers discovered a tiny mutation in a gene DEC2 that was present in those who were short-sleepers, but not in members of the family who had normal length sleep, nor in 250 unrelated volunteers.

When the team bred mice to express this same mutation, the rodents also slept less but performed just as well as regular mice when given physical and cognitive tasks.

Getting too little sleep normally has a significant impact on health, quality of life and life expectancy. It can cause depression, weight gain and put you at greater risk of stroke and diabetes. “Sleep is so important, if you sleep well you can avoid many diseases, even dementia,” said the lead researcher. “If you deprive someone of just two hours sleep a day, their cognitive functions become significantly impaired almost immediately.”
But why sleep is so important is still a bit of a mystery. The general consensus is that the brain needs sleep to do some housekeeping and general maintenance, since it doesn’t get much downtime during the day. While we sleep, the brain can repair cellular damage, remove toxins that accumulate during the day, boost flagging energy supplies and lay down memories.

People with the DEC2 mutation can do the same cleaning up process in a shorter period of time – they are just more efficient than the rest of us at sleeping.

Since discovering the DEC2 mutation, a lot of people have come forward claiming to only sleep a few hours a day. Most of these had insomnia. “We’re not focusing on those people who have sleeping issues that make them sleep less, we wanted to focus on people who sleep for a few hours and feel great.”
A positive outlook is common among all of the short-sleepers  studied. “Anecdotally,” the report says, “they are all very energetic, very optimistic. It’s very common for them to feel like they want to cram as much into life as they can, but we’re not sure how or whether this is related to their mutations.”

One can assume sleep deprivation can cause lingering mental issues including concentration, nightmares, lack of focus, anxiety, stress, tiredness and physical and mental mistakes. It sounds like much of the early characters coping with the island. In fact, rarely did we see any character sleeping or awaking from a deep slumber. It was non-stop action and reaction.

Is that itself a clue to the dynamics of the story? Were the fact that the LOST characters on edge, seeing smoke monsters, hallucinations and voices really caused by sleep deprivation? And if this was a giant experiment to determine who could function with less REM sleep, did anyone come close to a functioning, normal human being?

Saturday, July 16, 2016


LOST was filled with vague references and illusions to philosophers.

"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains" said philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who was born in Geneva in 1712.

Rousseau left home at 16 and wandered around Europe for the next 14 years. He moved to Paris when he was 30, and took up with a group of philosophers. He also took up with Thérèse Le Vasseur, a semi-literate laundry maid at his hostel; the two began a lifelong relationship that produced five children, according to Rousseau. He placed all of them into orphanages.

Rousseau was well versed in music, and wrote ballets and operas; he could easily have been successful as a composer, but the stage made his Swiss Calvinist sensibilities uneasy.

One day he was walking to visit his friend and fellow philosopher Denis Diderot, who was in jail, and he had an epiphany: modern progress had corrupted rather than improved mankind.

He became famous overnight upon publication of his essay "A Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts" (1750). The essay informed nearly everything else he wrote, and eventually he would turn away completely from music and the theater to focus on literature. In "Discourse on the Origin of Inequality" (1755) he continued to explore the theme that civilization had led to most of what was wrong with people: living in a society led to envy and covetousness; owning property led to social inequality; possessions led to poverty.

Society exists to provide peace and protect those who owned property, and therefore government is unfairly weighted in favor of the rich.

In it, he wrote: "The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this imposter; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody."

His work would prove inspirational to the leaders of the French Revolution, and they adopted the slogan from The Social Contract: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.

He grew increasingly paranoid in his later years, convinced that his friends were plotting against him. He spent some time in England with David Hume, but his persecution complex eventually alienated him from most of his associates.

Rousseau's character in LOST has some vague patterns to the 18th Century philosopher.
Rousseau came to the island as part of an exploration crew. She was pregnant. Her husband was an intellectual, a scientist. Their ship crashed on the island, which could only mean that Jacob brought them to it as candidates in his game with MIB. She is the second known candidate brought to the island as a pregnant woman. Jacob's own mother shipwrecked on the island centuries earlier, but she was killed by the guardian.

On the island, LOST's Rousseau lost her child to Ben's Others. In a sense, Alex was "an orphan" because Rousseau did not come back to get her bad (until it was too late). Instead, Rousseau abandoned society and lived on the island on her own. As a result, she grew increasingly paranoid in her plots to attack and counterattack against the Others. It was only after she failed to kill Sayid after capturing him did she begin to change her attitude toward her plight.

She began to work with the 815 survivors. Rousseau led the group up to the radio tower, and on the way met her daughter, Alex. She communicated with her for the first time, and Alex herself seemed curious about her. The two tied Ben up together, and headed on to the radio tower. Danielle stated earlier to Jack that she would help them find rescue, but would not be leaving herself. She said the Island is the only place she knows, and is her home.

At the native's darkest hour, when Widmore's soldiers were laying siege to the Dharma compound, did Rousseau come to terms with her motherhood. Ben was worried about Alex's safety so he begged Rousseau to take her to the safety of the Temple. On December 27, 2004, while she, Alex, and Karl were traveling from the Barracks to the Temple, they were ambushed by Keamy's mercenaries. Both Rousseau and Karl were shot dead. Alex was taken back as a hostage to be killed when Ben refused to surrender.

Rousseau was betrayed by the imposter, Ben, the faux father of Alex. She let her guard down in order to serve Ben's plan of survival. But in the end, it cost her and her daughter's lives. It was the battle of territory, the island, which philosopher Rousseau condemned as being the source of mankind's evil came to pass as Danielle and Alex's demise.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


Typically, when a person’s heart stops beating, they’re pronounced dead. But don’t tell that to their genes, some of which only come to life two days after they’ve kicked the bucket.

In fact, hundreds of genes suddenly started churning out messenger RNA, which sends a signal to various cellular machines to start making the stuff of life, such as proteins. Peter Noble and Alex Pozhitkov, both at the University of Washington, discovered this life-after-death scenario in mice and zebrafish. They released their results recently on the BioRxiv, a prepublication server.

Some of our genes don't peak in activity until after we die (though not in these people—they're taking part in a disaster response simulation).
Anna Williams, reporting for New Scientist:
Hundreds of genes with different functions “woke up” immediately after death. These included fetal development genes that usually turn off after birth, as well as genes that have previously been associated with cancer. Their activity peaked about 24 hours after death.
For most genes, overall mRNA levels should decrease over time after death. However, in 548 zebrafish genes and 515 mouse genes, mRNA levels peaked after death. This meant that the decaying bodies had enough excess energy for these genes to switch on and continue functioning long after the animal died.

The big question following these findings is why these specific genes turn on after the heart has stopped beating. One hypothesis, Noble and Pozhitkov said, is that the body using the last of its energy to heal itself, similar to what happens while someone is alive.

The second hypothesis researchers have for why this may be happening has to do with how DNA unravels following death.

It takes time for the DNA to be unraveled by proteins called histones, according to Noble. As it unravels, genes that were previously silent, such as those involved in embryological development, may become active again as the genes that are used to suppress them break down.

“You’d think that when something dies, that everything would be turned off and everything would be silent, but that’s not the case,” Noble told NOVA Next. “In complex organisms, when we suddenly die, it takes awhile for the [DNA] complexes to break down, and they reach many barriers.”

Though the study focused on mice and zebrafish, the two organisms are commonly used in genetic studies as models for humans.

These findings could change the way that organ transplants are handled.

For example, liver transplant patients tend to have much higher rates of cancer, and up until now this was thought to be an immune response.

“Our results suggest it may not be [an immune response],” Noble said. “It may be just the fact that cancer genes are turned on at death as a natural phenomenon.”

With this knowledge, scientists could test an organ for active cancer genes before transplant occurs, drastically reducing the chances of cancer in the new recipient.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


When one connects the cross Numbers on a clock face, you get the following result:

8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18.

These numbers could be important because they form the basis of the formative years of a person's personal growth.

At common law, the age of 7 was deemed the age of reason. A person was expected to know the difference between right and wrong.

The age of 18 confirms adulthood. A person is emancipated from their parent's guardianship. They can join the military, make contracts, get married, etc.

How one what acts and behaves during the time between age 8 and 18 is important. What were the parental guidance? What were the environmental factors? What were the support mechanisms? Did the person learn values, goals and ethics? Did he or she fall in the wrong crowd?

Look at the people devoid of parental love and attention: 

Sawyer (after his parents were killed).

Look at people who only had the attention of one parent:


Look at people who had a "normal" upbringing:


In the "normal" group, Jack had the upper middle class upbringing which led him to become a highly respected surgeon. He was smart, encouraged, had the means and opportunity to get a large slice of the American Dream. But in the end, was he a happy person?

Sun came from a very wealthy family. She was repressed by class status and her Korean culture. The only way she could get attention and feel independent was to rebel against her father in the worst possible way: by marrying a poor man. But even that goal did not make her a happy person.

Sayid grew up in a tight family setting in Iraq. His household was ruled by a strict father and a demanding culture. Sayid did what he had to do - - - such as butchering an animal his older brother could not do - - - which gave himself value to the group. And that need to be valuable in a group was the anchor that dragged his personal ambition and happiness down.

In many ways, the characters brought up by one parent have two common traits: loneliness and selfishness. Hurley was raised by his strict mother after his father left. She was religious and pushy, especially about his social life. That caused Hurley to eat to repress his social life. As a result, his mother enabled him to become a shy, quiet, dependent child who would never want to leave the artificial womb of her home. It is selfish to stay with a parent when, with any personal drive, you should be on your own. Claire had a similar relationship with her mother. Her mother wanted her to settle on a normal path, but Claire had a wild streak. They would fight over trivial matters. The last argument led to her mother's severe and fatal injuries.

You can add bitterness to characters like Kate and Walt. They were given a relatively carefree life, their needs being met by their mothers, but they were not very grateful. Each would act up in a controlled tantrum for attention. Then they were upset when things did not go their way, not understanding that it is the effort you have to put in yourself to get the result you want.

The characters who lost their parents early in the childhood, Ben, Locke and Sawyer, all had one driving trait: criminality. Their moral compasses did not have the bearings that parents instill in their children. Ben was beaten down daily by his alcoholic father who blamed Ben for his own shortcomings and lousy life. Locke's known abandonment was reinforced like a knife blade in his back each day he was in a foster home. Sawyer could only think of revenge after his father committed murder-suicide because of a con-man's trick on the family. Each would cross paths in the criminal world and go with its flow, including Locke - - - in seeking a "family" would have been fine living in a drug selling commune if they would accept him.

They say there is good and bad in everyone. What dominates a person's adulthood comes from what happens when a child is 8 to 18 years old. Each of LOST's main characters personalities were crystallized by events that happened in their childhoods.

Monday, July 4, 2016


For the second time this year, scientists have found evidence of gravitational waves.

Gravitational waves are ripples in the curvature of spacetime  that propagate as waves. generated in certain gravitational interactions and traveling outward from their source. The possibility of gravitational waves was discussed in 1893 by Heaviside  using the analogy between the inverse-square law in gravitation and electricity.

Albert Einstein based  his theory of general relativity on gravitational waves transporting energy as gravitational radiation. In  his theory , gravity is treated as a phenomenon resulting from the curvature of spacetime. This curvature is caused by the presence of  mass.  Generally, the more mass that is contained within a given volume of space, the greater the curvature of spacetime will be at the boundary of its volume. As objects with mass move around in spacetime, the curvature changes to reflect the changed locations of those objects. In certain circumstances, accelerating objects generate changes in this curvature, which propagate outwards at the speed of light in a wave-like manner. These propagating phenomena are known as gravitational waves.

Gravitational waves cannot exist in the Newtonian theory of gravitation since Newtonian theory postulates that physical interactions propagate at infinite speed.

Astronomers which aims to use gravitational waves to collect observational data about objects such as neutron stars and black holes to supernova events to help explain the universe and the Big Bang Theory. 

Understanding these concepts is important in figuring out if humans can leave Earth to make deep space explorations. In science fiction writings, the universe is so large it is impossible to travel long distances during a normal human life time. By bending the known rules, writers have given the prospect of space travel by bending time and space ("warp drive") to bounce around the vastness of space like driving cross country with an Interstate Highway map.

This adds to the discussion of whether time itself is linear. We currently perceive time as linear because our calendars and clocks march forward along a single line of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. But ancient people did not see time as linear, but as a cycle of spring, summer, fall and winter as based upon the rotation of objects in the sky.

For a space traveler, the concept of time and distance is important. The universe is expanding which means there are great forces pushing everything outward. It is up to us to figure out how to tap this unseen and unknown force to break the known boundaries of physics.

In physics, Acceleration  is the rate of change of velocity of an object. An object's acceleration is the net result of any and all forces  acting on the object, as described by Newton's Second Law.  The second law states that the rate of change of momentum of a body, is directly proportional to the force applied and this change in momentum takes place in the direction of the applied force.

If gravitational waves are forces that ripple across the universe, those forces can be used to help propel objects in space. For example, if one is in the ocean, waves created by the force of currents, push any surface objects toward the shoreline at variable speeds depending upon atmospheric conditions (such as wind velocity). A surfer rides the wave at the same speed of the wave. But if the surfer adds to his own speed (such as adding a wind sail or a power prop to the board), he could go faster than the actual wave he is riding.

In theory, if one can ride a gravitational wave in space, you can use it to propel your rocket faster because you are adding more applied force than the rocket produces on its own. And if gravitational waves are moving at light speed, then adding any additional force to it could mean you can propel an object at greater than light speed (the key to interstellar travel).

Scientists wonder if black holes, star degradation or supernova events that expel mass into the universe have some corresponding effect on gravity and other unknown elements in space (such as dark matter or dark energy).

When Daniel arrived on the island, he noticed that the light acted differently and time did not sync with the freighter several miles off shore. The light may have had a ripple effect such as to disclose that the island was riding a gravitational wave away from the ship. This anomaly in nature could have been a great power source or portal across the spacetime universe. And that was the reason why Widmore and Linus were fighting for its control.

What was under the Hatch could have been a complex tied to the island's electromagnetic energy that could have created gravitational waves since the island itself was accelerating away from known objects in the same ocean space. The ripple in spacetime by using gravitational waves would phase the island out-of-sync with normal objects - - - in a way to make the island disappear because its gravity and mass would be different than Earth's. If true, the ramifications would have changed how man would fight future wars or explore space.