Anyone who has done the balance beam experiment with electric current running through parallel bars knows that when the electrons run the same direction the bars come together, and when they run opposite directions the bars spread apart. The explanation for this is a relativistic effect: electrons running the same direction "see" the protons opposite them as moving uniformly, and hence the distance between them is relativistically shortened -- resulting in a "perceived" surplus density of protons. Electrons running in an opposite direction see their counterpart electrons as travelling much faster than the protons, and hence the distance between them is relativistically shortened, and a "negative-negative" repulsion results from the increased density of electrons.
The question that most people never ask is this: "Why don't protons at rest perceive the travelling electrons, i.e. EVERY electron, to be moving and hence the distance between them relativistically shortened? If the distance between electrons is shortened, then would there not be a net attraction between the proton and the "relativistic charge density increase" (my term) that is akin to GRAVITY?"
Once back in college (about twelve years ago) I did the calculations. I figured that a kilogram of water had so many moles of protons. I then figured out how many electrons would have to be present at the center of the earth to attract a kilogram of water with that many protons toward it with the force of 9.8 N. (Remember that for the purposes of gravity and magnetism that the entire locus of a sphere can be simplified to being located at its center). I can't remember much about how I did it now, but I came out with a calculated speed of the orbiting electron being 7*10^7 m/s, and the actual average orbital speed was 3.0 x10^7 m/s -- or vice versa. But it WAS on the same order of magnitude.
I would love for a physicist to show me where I'm wrong. Perhaps the theory has problems explaining ALL of the gravitational attraction, but as the balance beam with current shows, the effect is NOT dismissable. A proton sitting on the earth watching a cloud of electrons moving at a certain speed while other protons sit still WILL experience an increased density of electrons and therefore be attracted. Show me the error of my ways if you can!
Well, at least for me, and my GERD that was secondary to a hiatal hernia. Here's my story:
I began being awakened with acid reflux in the middle of the night several years ago. I had recently gained a bit of weight (an extra thirty pounds), and noticed a lot of strain in my gut when tying my shoes. At first I treated my night reflux with sodium bicarbonate, and later with chewable tablets. I always felt the next day like my stomach had been stomped on, however; though this might have been due to aspirin I was taking daily (my own dumb idea, I later found out). Eventually I got to the point where I was throwing up what looked to be blood ("coffee ground vomitus"). My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) said I should go see a doctor. He asked me some questions and told me I would be taking Prilosec for the rest of my life.
I'm not the kind of guy who wants to pay a tax on living to the drug companies unless I absolutely had to, so after my initial prescription I did a little research. First, I went and had an EGD (EsophagoGastroDuodenoscopy -- where a fiber optic tube looks in your esophagus, stomach and duodenum) and, besides some irritation to the lining of the stomach, the doctor mentioned a hiatal hernia. He didn't seem to have any answers to my problem except for a second prescription of Prilosec.
I then set about trying some treatments for my reflux that I had found on the internet. Solid research suggests that an h. Pylori infection of the stomach lining could cause problems, so I tried mastic gum. No relief.
I then reasoned that a Candida Albicans infection of the lower esophagus might cause my stomach to try to burn it out. I know that's an iffy theory (but one that could possibly explain the sudden willingness of my body to present reflux) so I tried the ginger root juice treatment. No relief.
Finally, when my by-that-time-fiancee was giving me a hard time about not taking my Prilosec, saying, "Well, maybe it's not an infection but something structural," that my light bulb come on. Perhaps the upper sphincter to my stomach was popped up through my diaphragm, and COULD NOT close off the acid reflux. I then set about thinking about how I could get it back down where it belonged, so I wouldn't have to continue taking that medicine. I seem to have hit upon something.
First, I made sure I took the medicine long enough to heal the tissues, so I could be sure I was getting a good seal (okay, so I'm more a mechanic than a doctor). Next, I began breathing with my diaphragm, especially when I would feel some reflux starting, usually when lying down. Quick breaths worked the best. Once or twice I even put a belt around my lower chest to make sure I wasn't breathing with my ribs. One thing I noticed was that I hadn't breathed with my diaphragm for a long time -- perhaps never, and that might have made me more susceptible to the condition. It's been now more than seven months and I've only had to take a pill three times; each time the recovery is quicker (the first time I had a problem it lasted the next two nights; the last time I only felt it for a bit, breathed "right", and it went away), and lasts longer (it's been two or three months since an incident). Definintely, overindulging on food is a trigger, but between the Atkins diet (where I'm no longer as hungry -- the criticism of "there's nothing you want to eat!" is horse manure: ribs, steaks and seafood are ambrosia to me) and the stronger muscles in the region, I don't have the problems. I notice that I can burp out loud now, for the first time in a long time. You have no idea how happy this makes a man.
If you would like to try this on your own, a few words of advice: try to determine if your condition is a result of a hiatal hernia. You might notice a problem if you lie on your stomach at a downward incline (fixing something on your eaves from the roof, for example) or if you have recently gained weight (though I took it off through the Subway diet one summer, I've kept it off through Atkins). An EGD by a competent doctor can help there, too. Next, before starting, make sure you give your stomach sphincter time to heal; take the purple pill (or any of its kind) for several months to give yourself the best chance at success. And finally, if you try it, let me know how it goes (firstname.lastname@example.org). It isn't a "miracle cure" for all cases of GERD, but it has certainly worked for me and saved my insurance company a ton of money (and Lord knows they could use to save some money on prescription drugs!). And if you're a doctor and would like to see inside my stomach to see what's happened to my hiatal hernia (comparing it to the images I had taken before), then for the price of flying me to the clinic of your choice, I'm all yours!
The same guy that "discovered" that H. Pylori causes most cases of stomach ulcers suspects a variety of Chlamydia attacks blood vessels of the heart. And not just the heart, in fact, witness the recent (September 2004) appearance of drugs targeting Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.). Obviously, the heart is one of the most dangerous places to have these lesions.
It is well known that cholesterol is produced by the body to heal itself. Is treating high cholesterol just treating the symptom and not the cause? Or do some of the proven drugs in this area actually do something to help the body fight this type of infection and/or help heal the injury? Might triglycerides be bad for healing, perhaps irritating the exposed tissues, and speed the onset of the problem?
My cousin used to work outside in the HOT Arizona sun, and none of his co-workers, mostly middle-aged males, ever had heart attacks until after they quit working. He maintained that the heat and the alcohol that they drank so copiously after work -- about a six-pack a night (partly to help anesthetize their bodies to the constant bruising and strains they experienced in their line of work) helped prevent heart attacks.
Laugh if you want, but it has now been shown that being in a sauna actually helps circulation -- and that even in patients with heart failure. My theory: we know what heat does to infections, and so does our body, which is why we get fevers. It has also been shown that alcohol consumption reduces heart attacks. My theory: we know what alcohol does to bacteria.
Another interesting part of the heart-disease by infection theory: Aspirin affects bacteria. Sure, most people say it works by thinning the blood, and that could be ANOTHER reason why an aspirin a day is a good thing. But it also serves as an anti-inflammatory (read: anti-biotic -- at least in my mind), and strengthens the body's immune system.
The phrase for today is "chronic infection". Some scientists are now proposing that many of the diseases which we currently ascribe to a mixture of genetic, environmental and biological causes are actually caused by chronic infection. Cancer, ulcers, acne, heart disease, arthritis -- you name it, if they haven't found the cause of it, they haven't looked closely enough, say some.
Remember when stomach ulcers were caused by coffee, stress, your mother (a source of stress!), genetics, etc. etc? Well, now it's known that over 90% of these ulcers are caused by bacteria.
Another place where this idea is gaining traction is in the treatment of acne. Long considered a "miasma disease, " you cmay remember it was caused by dirty linen (okay, I can see how it wouldn't be helped by that), chocolate, stress (gee, isn't the immune system in general weakened by stress?), genetics (okay, perhaps the bacterium can be transmitted by skin to skin contact), and a whole host of other factors in combination -- well, dermatologists now realize that most of the problem is caused by bacteria (Propionobacterium acnes) that normally live ON the skin get into the pores. This is much like the Helicobacter pylori that usually lives in your intestines making its way into the stomach. Or the Staphylococcus aureus that normally lives on your skin getting into a cut (which, by the way, is why antibacterial soaps are a BAD idea: these bacteria are all around us and it's best they not learn to live around the things we normally poison them with when we need to knock them back).
Some of the problem medical science has is that it can't detect these low levels of microbes. They are in or around the tissues, but without the usual signs of infection: redness, swelling, pus, high fever, they just don't know that they are there. Sometimes traditional methods of culturing won't show their presence. (I think the story is that the guy that discovered the H. phlori had to have a bike accident going to work on a Friday so he could -- quite literally, accidentally! -- give the bacterium the extra time over his recovery weekend it needed to begin growing.) I read a few years back (and I now can't recall where) that some biologists are testing for the presence of certain bacteria in the soil by DNA testing; through the haze of time I can't remember if they used a probe in the field or did it in a lab. It is THIS type of testing that will need to be developed before medical science can make any headway on detecting the low-level presence of bacteria in human tissue.
The other LARGE part of the problem is a willful neglect of this knowledge. Modern medicine scoffs at the idea, but while it scoffs, malady after malady is found to have a bacterial cause, usually by someone outside the medical profession (the H. pylori guy was a microbiologist, I believe). It is not funny that the only reason people who had ulcers ever got better after having large portions of their stomachs removed by surgeons were because of the antibiotics they received AFTER the surgeries. Sounds like a "class action" waiting to happen, especially since doctors in New York in the 1940s knew that antibiotics cured ulcers, but somehow the medical establishment "forgot" for forty years. (Read The Secret Life of Germs: Observations and Lessons from a Microbe Hunter, by Philip M. Tierno Jr., Ph.D for a great introduction to infection and disease; and Plague Time, by Paul W. Ewald for the best book I've found on the subject of "stealth infection" or chronic infection. Both are fairly accessible to the layman.) Some of the willful neglect might stem from the fact that they have been quick to dismiss some of the traditional treatments that yet may prove to have been effective scientifically. Just because you don't know WHY it works doesn't mean it DOES NOT work. Perhaps doctors being so quick to label each other "quacks" has taken some of the creativity and impulse out of the study of medicine.
Just as an example: people were laughing about colloidal silver and then Curad does the research on silver and antibiotic-resistant bacteria (see www.curadusa.com). My own opinion is that veterinarians and people who work with animals are far ahead in acknowledging the role of bacteria and traditional remedies for treatments. Read about colloidal silver and animals; some dog breeders swear by it for a host of bacterial infections -- Google: colloidal silver veterinarian/veterinary.
I believe that doctors need a way of taking an inventory of the microbes present in your body when it is functioning correctly, and comparing that to when it is NOT. My suspicion is that certain families, or genetic types of peoples, have bodies that are more hospitable to certain microbes than others, and hence have a different set of risks to certain diseases.
Consider this: if your body is properly covered with S. aureus it is believed that you will not be as likely to be infected with other diseases and viruses, because all the good nesting places are taken up. So, all you "bacteriophobes" out there, beware! The bacterium you kill today may save your life from nectotizing fasciitis tomorrow! We are just starting to learn that children growing up around barnyards and animals don't have asthma nearly as much as others; is this because they have bacteria in their bodies that help them -- perhaps protecting their tissues from other bacteria, or conferring some sort of immunity, perhaps the way breastmilk gives a newborn a shot of probiotic to populate the intestines and mitigate colic?
Perhaps this is why a properly trained dog can detect skin cancer: most bacteria release a characteristic odor, usually as a byproduct of their action. (Read A Field Guide to Bacteria, by Betsey Dexter Dyer for an appetizing description of why Limburger cheese is sometimes known as the "stinky feet" cheese.) Perhaps this is why my mom swears she can SMELL cancer.
It is pretty simple: the human body developed a way to detect large amounts of carbohydrates (particularly sugars) in the diet so it would know when to pack on weight for the coming winter (don't laugh: in the Falklands war England found just how much more effective its portly reservists were in the cold of the Malvinas when compared to its lean, mean active-duty Rangers!). Peoples whose genetics are most recently benefitted by this trait are the most prone to obesity in our society: Native Americans. One result of this has been the disease of a "burned out" pancreas: diabetes. The good doctor Atkins maintained that people just beginning to have blood sugar problems could be cured by his diet. Surprisingly, the American Diabetic Association has YET to abandon the "food pyramid." Sounds like a budding class action to me!
The diet he advocated also seemed to help a lot of other diseases. On possible reason is that cancer cells and invader organisms use sugar as their energy; so in a body with low sugar (or in ketosis) the cells literally starve. Our bodies can run on ketones; if they couldn't I'd be brain dead (the more skeptical reader of this page will have already come to that conclusion!!).
I have been limiting my carb intake below 30 to 40 grams a day for most days of the year for the past two years. The episodic back pains I used to get are GONE. I now clot better and heal faster (well, I could have been peri-diabetic, for one explanation, but the extra protien and fats probably help, too!). Sure, until I get a heart attack or stroke, it will be tough to tell how the diet has done for my circulatory system, but if the medical community would start doing MRIs of carotid arteries --or any other of the available diagnostic tools for circulatory health, like angiograms -- every ten years or so for patients doing low fat and low carb diets, that might help clear up the issue -- especially if they were to look at genetic factors. (Blood type, perhaps? Read Eat Right 4 Your Type, by Peter J. D'Adamo -- his contention that the effects of certain proteins upon different blood types is observable should be easy enough to prove or disprove by simple observation -- though I doubt most doctors even have, let alone USE, a microscope anymore! And don't laugh at him until you try it: the blood typing test we use is based upon that same clotting, and if you've ever done one the results are pretty dramatic!).
Perhaps the reason everything is both good and bad for everyone at the same time is that modern medicine assumes EVERY BODY is the same. It's more of the same medical orthodoxy that prevents a more detailed examination of most of the pressing problems humans face. Certainly, Egyptians and Mediterranean people that were sensitive to the high concentrations of sugars in breads and grains died off many centuries ago, but in Native Americans, whose richest sources of sugars may have been wild grasses and cactus roots until the last century, we are getting to watch the natural selection in action again! Some people will be able to eat lots of carbohydrates and live a long life, others will burn out their pancreas and die. It's that simple.
Carbon dioxide is plant food! Why would a "green" want to starve the plants? More carbon dioxide means more plant life; more plant life means more water in the atmosphere; more atmospheric water means more energy for rain-bringing storms, which feed the plants and make more water available. What is so wrong with this picture?
Look, somehow the carbon that covered the planet with life many millions of years ago got locked up beneath it. Let's release it and get the life party started AGAIN!! Sure, this could lead to HUGE animals, like dinosaurs, again because the concentration of life would again be MUCH higher, but I think humans could come out on top!
It sounds flip, but it's not. High concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes plants to grow bigger, stronger and faster. In the marginal areas near deserts, this factor might be the difference between storing atmospheric humidity to mitigate the effects of high sunlight, or not. It might be enough to trap enough moisture to "prime to pump" for a storm that could bring in sufficient moisture for climate change.
The biggest weakness of the "global climate change" crowd's argument is just what a small fraction of "greenhouse gas" carbon dioxide is: less than one percent to twenty percent, depending on whose figures you use. Then when you figure that more heat means more moisture and more storms and rain, then all of a sudden the doomsday prediction isn't such a bad thing.
Perhaps the least understood natural phenomenon in the world today is the storm. It was only until I studied physics in college and understood the venturi effect, then later read about chinook and Santa Ana winds in geography, that I finally realized that storms are a related phenomenon. I guess a storm could be called a "vertical Santa Ana", or a "vertical chinook". When moist air is accelerated up (by rising heat, for example) the water vapor condenses, forming clouds and creating further heating the air. This rising heat continues to pull up air below it; and if that air is very moist, there will be a lot more clouds and heat, and eventually, precipitation. This is why when cold air from the upper atmosphere is falling, there are very few storms: rising air would have to overcome this force. Jet streams (now commonly called "storm tracks") contribute to the upper level venturi effect and "suck up" the underlying air. (Jet streams make sense once you understand about the difference in speed of air at the equator and air at 30 degrees north, and how all that rising air coming off the equator is going to "fit" at the decreased circumference of the earth at 30 degrees north -- though I've never heard anyone truly explain them with that amount of logic before; am I the first to figure it out?) But I digress....
Farming across the southwest US is in decline, and cities are taking over. However, the plants that used to be there (mainly cotton, but other plants before as Native Americans farmed the Gila River Valley) provided atmospheric water vapor that could prime the atmosphere for storms. With todays explosion of xeriscaped cities, it is little wonder that the Southwest is experiencing drought conditions. This might apply to other desert regions: are the wind currents deterministic, or are they influenced by the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere?
Perhaps deserts are where they are because there is not enough plants to provide the water vapor through transpiration to start a storm when air rises; and the only way to start storms is to have nearby plants to release this vapor (or at least slow down what rain falls by absorption and maintain it near the surface of the earth), which would release its heat when it rises and begin to pull in air from more distant humid regions. Deserts may be created when plants in an area are cut down: witness the desertification in Africa to the south of the Sahara. By a concentrated planting effort along a desert and providing a deliberate surplus of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to feed these plants, life might once again dominate these areas.
It may be that in a world such as the one where deserts do not exist, pre-existing weather patterns are broken by chaos. Storms could happen anywhere and anytime, though anyplace that became hotter would be more likely to receive rain. What a wonderful way to maintain a balance!
Some experimentation could be done: perhaps on a hot August day in Phoenix everyone could go out at two o'clock in the afternoon and spray a light layer of water over their entire yard. Of course, the monsoonal humidity would have to be nearby; but perhaps with enough moisture around from plants and other sources (soil moisture, surface water), there would always be a possibility of a storm. A thunderhead would indicate that the process has started; only the presence of a large amount of atmospheric humidity in the updraft could ensure the process reaches the self-sustainablity of a storm.
Free the carbon, and let's get the life party started!