Author Archives: kennb

About kennb

We make stuff...... actually, we try to make somthing other than a mess..... there is more than enough of that to go around.

We are Just Sound, We are just Noise: A Day in the Circuit

I am thinking of calling it ‘Alexis’.

This is not love
This is not even worth a point of view
In Echo Park, I Pause for effect and whisper ‘who are you?’

They crawl out of their holes for me
And I die: You die
Hear them laugh, watch them turn on me
And I die: You die
See my scars, they call me such things
Tear me, tear me, tear me

Now I have your names
Screaming ‘you will suffer’ and ‘you’re all too late’
Now I feel young
Does everything stop when the old TAPE fails?

They crawl out of their holes for me
And I die: You die
Hear them laugh, watch them turn on me
And I die: You die
See my scars, they call me such things
Tear me, tear me, tear me

But I’m still frightened by the telephone

Tuesday Sketch – Down in the Park with a friend called ‘5’

Down in the park
where the machmen
meet the machines
and play ‘kill by numbers’
down in the park
with a friend called ‘five’
I was in a car crash
or was it the war
but i’ve never been
quite the same
little white lies
like ‘i was there’
Come to ‘zom zoms
a place to eat
like it was built
in one day
you can watch the humans
trying to run
Oh look
there’s a rape machine
i’d go outside
if he’d look the other way
you wouldn’t believe
the things they do
Down in the park
where the chant is
‘death, death, death’
until the sun cries morning
down in the park
with friends of mine
We are not lovers
we are not romantics
‘we are here to serve you’
a different face
but the words never change

Blueboy ReVisioned – DAW Books

Another blast from the past. Book cover painting for the DAW published Anthology ‘ReVisions’. This book features a few of today’s top science fiction writers exploring the futures that might have been, including original stories from Julie E. Czerneda and other great names in the genre. You can pick up the book over here at Amazon. For commissions and syndications please contact


Le Boson de Higgs – Pour La Science France

The Higgs boson or Higgs particle is an elementary particle initially theorised in 1964, whose discovery was announced at CERN on 4 July 2012. The discovery has been called “monumental” because it appears to confirm the existence of the Higgs field, which is pivotal to the Standard Model and other theories within particle physics. It would explain why some fundamental particles have mass when the symmetries controlling their interactions should require them to be massless, and why the weak force has a much shorter range than the electromagnetic force. The discovery of a Higgs boson should allow physicists to finally validate the last untested area of the Standard Model’s approach to fundamental particles and forces, guide other theories and discoveries in particle physics, and potentially lead to developments in “new” physics. – Pour Le Science France – Focus Magazine Italy. For commissions and syndications please contact

The Diamond Age of Spintronics – Scientific American Magazine

Diamond has a track record of extremes, including ultrahardness, higher thermal conductivity than any other solid material and transparency to ultraviolet light. In addition, diamond has recently become much more attractive for solid-state electronics, with the development of techniques to grow high-purity, single-crystal synthetic diamonds and insert suitable impurities into them (doping). Pure diamond is an electrical insulator, but doped, it can become a semiconductor with exceptional properties. It could be used for detecting ultraviolet light, ultraviolet light-emitting diodes and optics, and high-power microwave electronics. But the application that has many researchers excited is quantum spintronics, which could lead to a practical quantum computer—capable of feats believed impossible for regular computers—and ultra­secure communication.

Back in 2014, Physicists at Ohio State University demonstrated that information can flow through a diamond wire. In the experiment, electrons did not flow through diamond as they do in traditional electronics; rather, they stayed in place and passed along a magnetic effect called “spin” to each other down the wire — like a row of sports spectators doing “the wave.” Spin could one day be used to transmit data in computer circuits — and this new experiment revealed that diamond transmits spin better than most metals in which researchers have previously observed the effect.

In the experiment, electrons did not flow through diamond as they do in traditional electronics; rather, they stayed in place and passed along a magnetic effect called “spin” to each other down the wire — like a row of sports spectators doing “the wave.” Spin could one day be used to transmit data in computer circuits — and this new experiment, done at The Ohio State University, revealed that diamond transmits spin better than most metals in which researchers have previously observed the effect. Researchers worldwide are working to develop so-called “spintronics,” which could make computers simultaneously faster and more powerful. Diamond has a lot going for it when it comes to spintronics, said lead investigator Chris Hammel, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Experimental Physics at Ohio State. It’s hard, transparent, electrically insulating, impervious to environmental contamination, resistant to acids, and doesn’t hold heat as semiconductors do.

“Basically, it’s inert. You can’t do anything to it. To a scientist, diamonds are kind of boring, unless you’re getting engaged,” Hammel said. “But it’s interesting to think about how diamond would work in a computer.”

The price tag for the diamond wire didn’t reach engagement ring proportions, Hammel confirmed. It cost a mere $100, since it was made of synthetic, rather than natural, diamond. The findings here represent the first very small step along a very long road that could one day lead to diamond transistors. But beyond that, this discovery could change the way researchers study spin, Hammel said. The finding appears in the March 23 issue of the journal Nature Nanotechnology. Electrons attain different spin states according to the direction in which they’re spinning — up or down. Hammel’s team placed a tiny diamond wire in a magnetic resonance force microscope and detected that the spin states inside the wire varied according to a pattern.

“If this wire were part of a computer, it would transfer information. There’s no question that you’d be able to tell at the far end of the wire what the spin state of the original particle was at the beginning,” he said.

Normally, diamond couldn’t carry spin at all, because its carbon atoms are locked together, with each electron firmly attached to a neighboring electron. The researchers had to seed the wire with nitrogen atoms in order for there to be unpaired electrons that could spin. The wire contained just one nitrogen atom for every three million diamond atoms, but that was enough to enable the wire to carry spin. The experiment worked because the Ohio State physicists were able to observe electron spin on a smaller scale than ever before. They focused the magnetic field in their microscope on individual portions of the wire, and found that they could detect when spin passed through those portions. The wire measured only four micrometers long and 200 nanometers wide. In order to see inside it, they set the magnetic coil in the microscope to switch on and off over tiny fractions of a second, generating pulses that created 15-nanometer (about 50-atoms) wide snapshots of electron behavior. They knew that spin was flowing through the diamond when a magnet on a delicate cantilever moved minute amounts as it was alternatively attracted or repelled by the atoms in the wire, depending on their spin states. Even more surprising was that the spin states lasted twice as long near the end of the wire than in the middle. Based on ordinary experiments, the physicists would expect spin states to last for the same length of time, regardless of where the measurement was made. In this case, spin states inside the wire lasted for about 15 milliseconds, and near the end they lasted for 30 milliseconds. Hammel’s team suspects that they were able to witness this new effect in part because of how closely they were able to zoom in on the wire. As they focused their tiny window of observation on the tip of the wire, they witnessed spin flowing in the only direction it could flow: into the wire. When they panned along the wire to observe the middle, the “window” emptied of spin twice as fast, because the spin states could flow in both directions — into and out of the wire.

“It’s a dramatically huge effect that we were not anticipating,” Hammel said.

The discovery challenges the way researchers have studied spin for the last 70 years, Hammel explained.

“The fact that spins can move like this means that the conventional way that the world measures spin dynamics on the macroscopic level has to be reconsidered — it’s actually not valid,” he added.

Conventional experiments don’t have the fine resolution to look inside objects as small as the wire used in this study, and so can only look at such objects as a whole. Under those circumstances, researchers can only detect the average spin state: how many electrons in the sample are pointing up, and how many are pointing down. Researchers wouldn’t know the difference if a few electrons in one part of the sample flipped from down to up, and another part flipped from up to down, because the average number of spins would remain the same.

“It’s not the average we want,” Hammel said. “We want to know how much the spins vary, and what is the lifetime of any particular spin state.”

It’s the difference between knowing that an average of one quarter of all spectators in a stadium are standing at any one time, and knowing that individual people are standing and sitting in a pattern timed to form “the wave.”

Nobody could see the spins in diamond before, but this experiment proved that diamond can transport spin in an organized way, preserving spin state — and, thus, preserving information.The physicists had to chill the wire to 4.2 Kelvin (about -452 degrees Fahrenheit or -269 degrees Celsius) to slow down the spins and to quiet their sensitive detector enough to make these few spins detectable. Many advances would have to be made before the effect could be exploited at room temperature.  **ScienceDaily

Darwin and God – Scientific American Magazine

Excerpted from “Darwin’s Dice: The Idea of Chance in the Thought of Charles Darwin”

Charles Darwin’s “big idea” is generally thought to be his discovery of the mechanism of natural selection in evolution. That discovery was without question a big idea. But, as Darwin himself often confessed, natural selection cannot work without prior variations in the organisms that will be selected or not for survival. Whence the variations, or at least what did Darwin believe about this? That is the question I examine in what follows. Darwin thought “variations” are in many or most cases “just by chance.” I hope to show what he meant by this expression and what he believed the implications are if one accepts it. “Chance variation” may have been an even bigger idea for Darwin than natural selection, or so I shall attempt to show.

Thus, whatever “Darwinism” is, this is not a book about Darwinism. Nor is it a book about contemporary evolutionary theory or the “new synthesis” or the “extended synthesis.” It is rather a book about “chance” in Darwin’s writing. To that extent it must confront “Darwinism” more broadly, even in its recent and contemporary incarnations, if only to situate the problems it deals with in a proper context. Head over to for the rest of this story.

Illustration originally commissioned by Scientific American Magazine. For syndications, commissions or to be added to our monthly mailing list, please contact

Planet 09 – National Geographic Kids Magazine

Planet Nine is a hypothetical planet in the outer region of the Solar System. Its gravitational influence could explain a statistical anomaly in the distribution of orbits for a group of distant trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) found mostly beyond the Kuiper belt in the scattered disc region.[1][4][5] This undiscovered super-Earth-sized planet would have an estimated mass of ten Earths, a diameter two to four times that of Earth, and an elongated orbit lasting approximately 15,000 years.[6][7] To date, efforts have failed to directly observe Planet Nine.[8][9]

Speculation about the possible existence of a ninth planet began in 2014. Astronomers Chad Trujillo and Scott S. Sheppard noted the similarities in the orbits of Sedna and 2012 VP113 and several other objects.[4] In early 2016, Konstantin Batyginand Michael E. Brown described how the similar orbits of six TNOs could be explained by Planet Nine and proposed a possible orbit for the planet.[1] This hypothesis could also explain TNOs with orbits perpendicular to the inner planets[1] and others with extreme inclinations,[10] as well as the tilt of the Sun’s axis.[11]

Batygin and Brown suggest that Planet Nine could be the core of a primordial giant planet that was ejected from its original orbit by Jupiter during the genesis of the Solar System.[12][13] Others have proposed that the planet was captured from another star,[14] is a captured rogue planet,[15] or that it formed on a distant orbit and was scattered onto an eccentric orbit by a passing star.[1][16][17]  *Wiki