Why do we need the scientific method?

In order to appreciate the value of the scientific method we need to first understand how much ambiguity is hidden in plain sight. Ambiguity pervades human life. It is everywhere. Almost all human interactions are affected by it. Imagine two people in an art gallery standing in front of a famous painting. After introspectively looking at it for a while, they have a brief conversation. They find out that they both agree the painting is heartwarming and soul soothing. Some kind of collegial spirit develops and makes them happy with the fact that they agree, before they part ways. One may wonder: Which soul were they talking about? The one jumping from body to body for eternity? The one that after death on earth resides to heaven for ever? Maybe the one that is a “spiritual” manifestation of physical processes in the brain? Does soul even exist? Who knows?

Continue reading Why do we need the scientific method?

Nuclear or radiological emergency reception centre

Nuclear or radiological emergencies (NREs) may result to injury and/or contamination of individuals. In case of NREs, responsible authorities respond by setting up an appropriate emergency reception centre near the scene of the incident.

Continue reading Nuclear or radiological emergency reception centre

A Glimpse of Greece: Tymfi massif

This is the first post of the series: A Glimpse of Greece. In this series I intend to post pictures and videos from my homeland, Epirus, as well as other parts of Greece I have visited.

I had the chance to visit a lot of places and take hundreds of pictures. Most of them with a crappy 4.1 megapixel camera with no optical zoom. Some of them even with a 2 megapixel phone camera which obviously distorts colors in a great way! It would be a pity if these photos stayed forever on my hard disk…

Greece and especially Epirus need all the exposure they can get and even more. I consider myself lucky to come from a place of great natural beauty. Epirus itself lies in the north-west part of Greece. Being on the western, rainy side of the Pindus mountain range, Epirus receives a lot of rain. Its water reserves are vast (compared to other parts of Greece). Rivers and green forests of different kinds populate this relatively obscure and sparsely inhabited part of Greece. Continue reading A Glimpse of Greece: Tymfi massif

“Auto Awesome” is really awesome!

I have been using an android mobile device for a while now. I have tried to configure all Google services in order to enjoy the integral user experience. One of the things I like is that the pictures I take with my phone camera are automatically backed up on the cloud when I connect to a Wi-Fi network. This setting can be changed. If you do not mind mobile internet charges you can set it up to backup all taken pictures regardless of the network connection type. One could also select not to backup the pictures. Continue reading “Auto Awesome” is really awesome!

Modern Academia – or how to become an over-educated secretary

Disclaimer 1: The title of this article is purposefully exaggerated. This article has no intention to even imply that the work of a secretary is somehow inferior to the work of a scientist. It is not! I have done such work and I know that almost no secretary is as appreciated as she/he should be. Being a secretary involves a lot of strenuous work requiring a high degree of concentration and adaptability to keep up with constantly changing demands. I just think that a scientist and a secretary should be two equally valuable but also distinctly different jobs.

Disclaimer 2: The following arguments do not apply to every research group but I think they roughly correspond to the general trends observed in modern Academia. Continue reading Modern Academia – or how to become an over-educated secretary

Perceptual adaptation

I am sure you have heard that the image of an object created on your eye’s retina is inverted (rotated by 180 degrees). The brain however has the ability to processes this information in such a way that makes you see things as they really are. This fact is remarkable and can give us a hint of how complex perception of reality is.

Fig.1. The image of real objects that is formed on our retina is inverted as compared to the original object. This happens due to the existence of the eye lens. However, we still do not perceive our environment as inverted.
Fig.1. The image of real objects that is formed on our retina is inverted as compared to the original object. This happens due to the existence of the eye lens. However, we still do not perceive our environment as inverted.

In the 1890s George M Stratton started out to test the theory of perceptual adaptation. Continue reading Perceptual adaptation

Solving criminal cases through crowd-sourcing

I started writing this post a few days ago after reading this article. It looked extremely interesting. The main idea is that in the Boston marathon there were thousands of mobile phones taking pictures and videos. The total duration and number of all videos and pictures shot could be stunning. This could be equivalent to thousands of witnesses testifying with absolute accuracy what they saw. The author was wondering whether crowd-sourcing could become a tool to crime solving. She probably meant to write modern crowd-sourcing as some forms of crowd-sourcing have been in use since long time ago as we will see further below. Continue reading Solving criminal cases through crowd-sourcing

Calculation of radiation dose to a material by using an ionization chamber

Dose deposition to a medium may only be directly measured by the method of calorimetry. However, this is not what we do in practice. What is usually done is that we use an ionization chamber of some kind to measure exposure and then apply a series of correction factors in order to derive dose values corresponding to the measured exposure. Continue reading Calculation of radiation dose to a material by using an ionization chamber

Siding with reason