David Fogel News

Analysis Suggests the Chicxulub Impactor 66myo Had a 13% Chance of Mass Extinction

Tohoku University researchers have analyzed the composition of the earth at the point of impact of the Chicxulub Impactor, the asteroid that struck the planet 66 million years ago. They found that the soot required to be lifted into the atmosphere this impact so as to cause mass extinction existed in only 13% of the Earth’s surface. (Nov 10, 2017)

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Researchers at Scripps Research Institute Identify Plausible Catalyst for Life

Scripps chemists report in Nature Chemistry that diamidophosphate (DAP) can phosphorylate each of the four nucleoside building blocks of RNA in water. Moreover, with imidazole, a simple organic compound likely present early in the Earth’s history, DAP’s activity “also led to the appearance of short, RNA-like chains of these phosphorylated building blocks.” Furthermore, DAP combined with water and imidazole phosphorylated glycerol and fatty acid (lipid building blocks). (Nov 6, 2017)

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David Fogel Joins the Lifeboat Foundation

I was pleased to be invited to join the Lifeboat Foundation this week. The Lifeboat Foundation is a “nonprofit nongovernmental organization dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements while helping humanity survive existential risks and possible misuse of increasingly powerful technologies, including genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and robotics/AI, as we move towards the Singularity.” I have joined advisory boards in scientific freedom, robotics/AI, and complex systems. (Nov. 4, 2017)

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Path of Totality: Eclipse 2017 Now in Planetariums Internationally

Path of Totality: Eclipse 2017 is the music video I helped put together with Joe Woolbright. Joe took the outstanding time-lapse video and I composed the music. In a short period of time the video now has over 3500 views on YouTube and has been requested by planetariums internationally. Here’s where you can see the video in a local planetarium:

Watson-King Planetarium, Towson, MD;
Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium, Orono, ME;
Traveler’s Science Dome at the Gengras Planetarium,
West Hartford, CT;
McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord, NH;
Gladwin Planetarium, Santa Barbara, CA;
Bassett Planetarium, Amherst, MA;
Fiske Planetarium, Boulder, CO;
Star Theater, Morehead, KY;
University of Michigan Planetarium, Ann Arbor, MI;
Du Pont Planetarium, Aiken, SC;
Chesapeake Planetarium, Chesapeake, VA;
Bendigo Planetarium, Bendigo, VIC, Australia;
Morehead Planetarium, Chapel Hill, NC;
Williamsville Space Lab Planetarium, Williamsville, NY;
Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, Brisbane, Australia.

If you don’t live close to one of these venues and would like to have your local planetarium play the video, send me a message and let me know which planetarium it is. In the meantime, here it is on YouTube:

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27 States of Emotion?

Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, researchers at Berkeley suggest that there are 27 categories of emotion based on analysis of thousands of emotionally charged videos. (Sep 7, 2017) [At EffectCheck.com, we still use 6. :-)]

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Eclipse Music Video on YouTube

With great pleasure, I've written the music for terrific time-lapse imagery of the total solar eclipse from August 21, 2017 taken by Joe Woolbright. We have the video up on YouTube here. (Sep. 2, 2017)

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Hominin Footprints from over 5 Million Years Ago?

In Crete, re-examination of human-like footprints show them to be about 5.7 million years old. That's about the time when human ancestors were in Africa. This find has the potential to engender a significant revision in our understanding human evolution. (Aug. 31, 2017)

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