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  #201  
Old 23.10.2007, 18:39
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Re: Ask a Scientist

This isn't a scientific answer but I think yes, just based on personal experience. When looking at a rainbow some people can see a very faint violetish color after the purple. Same with gas discharge tubes. If you have a tube filled with say Nitrogen and you run a current through and it at look it through something that allows you to break down its individual color components (line spectrum) link some people can see lines farther in the near IR or near UV than others. However, as I mentioned before this would only be a difference in say a few nanometers outside of the traditional visible spectrum.

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Thanks, Kittster, for an interesting answer, even though it wasn't strictly scientific. What I was getting at was, if some people can actually see colours beyond the spectrum that is generally known to be visible. Can some see some shades of ultraviolet or infra-red that others can't ?




Men like to keep things simple, there's no need to describe things in complicated terms when red , green, blue and yellow are adequate. For compliicated beings like a woman there are probably a thousand shades of mauve, and somehow a man is expected to know exactly the one they like best, or matches their shoes. (sigh)
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  #202  
Old 23.10.2007, 18:47
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Thanks, Kittster, for an interesting answer, even though it wasn't strictly scientific. What I was getting at was, if some people can actually see colours beyond the spectrum that is generally known to be visible. Can some see some shades of ultraviolet or infra-red that others can't
We discussed this in our lecture, for instance, it would be useful for our survival to actually sense radioactivity before we are puking and dying. Alas, evolution takes a bit of time, at least by our standards...

Since colour is seen with little cones at the back of your retina, I guess there is some scope for these to be more or less sensitive, allowing for different colour "skills".

I do know that some people have a more acute sense of smell and taste than most people (I'm one of them), which can be an advantage (I can smell fire before anyone else) but a disadvantage too (one day I shall start handing out pamphlets about how much perfume is acceptable in public transport). Having overly acute senses is hard work for the brain, so there is always a for and against...
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  #203  
Old 23.10.2007, 18:57
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Re: Ask a Scientist

But surely we can use the colour-blindness discussion to hijack it into a discussion about racism ?

dave



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I don't want to be a pissy-pants, I'm trying to keep this thread as sciencey-based as possible and would rather it not turn into downward spiral regarding nuclear warheads and missile attacks.

Sorry.
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  #204  
Old 23.10.2007, 19:34
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Right as I said before not omniscient.

I don't want to be a pissy-pants, I'm trying to keep this thread as sciencey-based as possible and would rather it not turn into downward spiral regarding nuclear warheads and missile attacks.

Sorry.

As far as the allergies and skin problems in the US, I would speculate that it might have something to do with all the high fructose corn syrup that seems to be in everything in the US.
I can taste it in almost everything and hate it. Why is it so bad for you?
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  #205  
Old 23.10.2007, 19:41
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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But surely we can use the colour-blindness discussion to hijack it into a discussion about racism ?

dave
Oh come on, you know I tried reeeeally hard to avoid that one. I sat on my hands to avoid typing. But with the missiles I really want to know if they have extra hard casings or something - I should ask those closest to me, but at times they won't tell me didley squat!
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  #206  
Old 23.10.2007, 22:56
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Oh come on, you know I tried reeeeally hard to avoid that one. I sat on my hands to avoid typing. But with the missiles I really want to know if they have extra hard casings or something - I should ask those closest to me, but at times they won't tell me didley squat!
It's very hard to set off a nuke unless you do it properly. They're designed generally so that you can drop them, burn them, subject them to explosions, etc, and the worst that will happen is that the TNT charge will go off or the fissile material will catch light and create an amount of fallout over a small area. Saying that, one early class of US H-bomb was in fact a bit prone to detonation when dropped, but never to the point where either fission or fusion happened.
It's a bit of different story if the device has actually been armed, but generally, the poo's hit the fan anyway by that point, so what they hey.
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  #207  
Old 24.10.2007, 10:59
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Here's a doom and gloom question- How do the US protect their warhead on the gulf carriers from attack. Is it possible that a missile could hit one and set it off? Or that the carrier gets hit, explodes and that sets it off- is that possible?
i actually thought that was a good question, and im sure that there is some science in there.

thanks to colonel boris for his answer.
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  #208  
Old 24.10.2007, 11:21
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Re: Ask a Scientist

yeah, and I said I didn't know the answer to the question. As mentioned previously, not omniscient. I just wanted to make sure the thread stayed on track.

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i actually thought that was a good question, and im sure that there is some science in there.

thanks to colonel boris for his answer.
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  #209  
Old 24.10.2007, 17:11
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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It's very hard to set off a nuke unless you do it properly. They're designed generally so that you can drop them, burn them, subject them to explosions, etc, and the worst that will happen is that the TNT charge will go off or the fissile material will catch light and create an amount of fallout over a small area. Saying that, one early class of US H-bomb was in fact a bit prone to detonation when dropped, but never to the point where either fission or fusion happened.
It's a bit of different story if the device has actually been armed, but generally, the poo's hit the fan anyway by that point, so what they hey.
Great answer thanks. I later found some incredible stories about the early versions in plane crashes etc. back in the 1950s. a bit like Dr. No!
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  #210  
Old 24.10.2007, 17:21
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Urgent question-if not scientific enough- it's more medical, then please ignore.
There is CA-MRSA in my kid's school and others, but 2 weeks ago it was in the pool that they must compete in today. I am not happy, does anyone know if colloidal silver effective or safe?
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  #211  
Old 24.10.2007, 17:25
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Well, there is another angle you can take on this. One of the great debates in Psychology is whether language influences thinking (linguistic relativity theory) or vice versa.
This is a subject that fascinates me, in turn makes me want to absorb as much of other languages as possible. Why are Italians so Italian, why are Germans so German? Is it purely cultural circumstance, or are our perceptions interpreted by the structure of the language that we speak?

Are the very thoughts compiled as images going through our heads interpreted by the range of meaning of the words and the complexity of the associated grammar of the language we think in?
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  #212  
Old 24.10.2007, 17:43
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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This is a subject that fascinates me, in turn makes me want to absorb as much of other languages as possible. Why are Italians so Italian, why are Germans so German? Is it purely cultural circumstance, or are our perceptions interpreted by the structure of the language that we speak?

Are the very thoughts compiled as images going through our heads interpreted by the range of meaning of the words and the complexity of the associated grammar of the language we think in?
Maybe someone should start a language thread, Al though to be honest EFL/ESL grammar questions bore me. Language itself fascinates me, especially Vygotsky's work. I argue quite well on literacies both vertical and horizontal. The language- imagery angle is quite a hot topic at present, because of the increase in imagery especially with web-based communication. Like on this forum- we use icons, videos etc.
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  #213  
Old 24.10.2007, 17:49
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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yeah, and I said I didn't know the answer to the question. As mentioned previously, not omniscient. I just wanted to make sure the thread stayed on track.
i think i assumed that this thread would also be open for other people with knowledge of scientific fields other than your own, to provide input for science questions.
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  #214  
Old 24.10.2007, 17:56
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I'm sorry but I would appreciate it if you actually read what I wrote.

Allow me to quote myself:

"I don't want to be a pissy-pants, I'm trying to keep this thread as sciencey-based as possible and would rather it not turn into downward spiral regarding nuclear warheads and missile attacks."

1) I said I didn't know the answer to the question, which meant I hoped someone else could answer it.

2) I only asked that it not turn into a dicussion about possible missile attacks.

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i think i assumed that this thread would also be open for other people with knowledge of scientific fields other than your own, to provide input for science questions.
That had nothing whatsoever to do with my not wanting to talk about other aspects of science. Did I say anything when we veered to color perception or language?

Uh, no.
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  #215  
Old 24.10.2007, 18:21
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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i think i assumed that this thread would also be open for other people with knowledge of scientific fields other than your own, to provide input for science questions.
Yes, but what where is the evidence for that assumption? Remember Scientifically speaking every hypothesis must be backed with evidence. Then again it is the questions that are more important than the answers- Hm! Remember the name, Chemgoddess, she is going to be a moderator soon so prepare to prostrate! At present I'm more under threat of a staph attack than nuclure and she might be able to help so I'd better shut up!
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  #216  
Old 25.10.2007, 09:03
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Re: Ask a Scientist

i wasnt trying to be confrontational, and im not trying now either. Sorry that you got riled up about nothing.



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I'm sorry but I would appreciate it if you actually read what I wrote.

Allow me to quote myself:

"I don't want to be a pissy-pants, I'm trying to keep this thread as sciencey-based as possible and would rather it not turn into downward spiral regarding nuclear warheads and missile attacks."

1) I said I didn't know the answer to the question, which meant I hoped someone else could answer it.

2) I only asked that it not turn into a dicussion about possible missile attacks.



That had nothing whatsoever to do with my not wanting to talk about other aspects of science. Did I say anything when we veered to color perception or language?

Uh, no.
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  #217  
Old 25.10.2007, 09:49
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Ummm. . . sorry. Not riled. You might have overestimated the importance a thread on an online forum plays in my life.

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i wasnt trying to be confrontational, and im not trying now either. Sorry that you got riled up about nothing.
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  #218  
Old 25.10.2007, 10:07
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Re: Ask a Scientist

no worries chemgoddess. thats probably what i did, you are right...
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  #219  
Old 25.10.2007, 11:05
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Re: Ask a Scientist

There's a pretty good Wikipedia article on Wikipedia reference-linkColor_vision. It discusses the sensitivity of the three different types of cones in our retinas, and how this varies between people, and how the way this is encoded in our genes explains the gender differences. The article focuses on the perceptual, genetic, and neuronal level, and unfortunately ignores the cognitive and linguistic components. I actually did a research project on color cognition as an undergrad', in which I touched on the interesting relationship between perception, cognition, and language. If folks are interested, I could try to drag some of that knowledge out of the back of my brain for you.
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  #220  
Old 25.10.2007, 14:06
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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There's a pretty good Wikipedia article on Wikipedia reference-linkColor_vision. It discusses the sensitivity of the three different types of cones in our retinas, and how this varies between people, and how the way this is encoded in our genes explains the gender differences. The article focuses on the perceptual, genetic, and neuronal level, and unfortunately ignores the cognitive and linguistic components. I actually did a research project on color cognition as an undergrad', in which I touched on the interesting relationship between perception, cognition, and language. If folks are interested, I could try to drag some of that knowledge out of the back of my brain for you.
Eye eye, I'm all ears ( yes please). I heard of a weird experiment on mice about visual and auditory pathways. this may be it investigating plasticity.
http://web.mit.edu/msur/www/Newton_etal_2004.pdf
Basically, they cut the auditory pathway (which travels through the amygdala and so evokes a fear response) the brain rewired so that the visual pathway makes use of the unused auditory pathwa. However this means that it hs to travel thrught the amygdala so that when mice see a sudden bright light it woyd evoke a fear response and they would freeze. Also they questioned if cutting the visual pathway caused the auditory to take up that space and some how produce a visual replacement.- weird.
Also lots of unethical experiments on primates....
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