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Old 05-21-2012, 09:43 PM  
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Science is Cool....

This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

This is in support of the Penny 4 NASA project. If you enjoy anything you learned from this thread, consider making a donation and signing the petition.

http://www.penny4nasa.org/

Why should I care?:


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Old 07-16-2012, 01:03 PM   #166
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WHAT MAKES A FART?
By Jonathan Smith

Did you know that no two farts are exactly alike? It’s true. Farts are sort of like snowflakes in that regard. Little, invisible, smelly, snowflakes.

While everybody past the age of 10 is well-versed in the manifold variety of farts and their associated sounds and smells and sensations and sobriquets, precious few of us know anything at all about the sources of their great diversity. Can you, for instance, explain the lingering piquancy of the "hot fart" in any greater scientific detail than "that one was spicy"?I can't. And that's sad. In order to rectify this egregious oversight by the American public school system and get the straight poop on the basics of butt-gas, I had a little sit down with Dr. Lester Gottesman, a proctologist from St. Luke's Roosevelt who bears an uncanny resemblance to Jerry Springer.

Vice: Hi Dr. Gottesman, so we’re here today to talk about farts.
Dr. Gottesman: Yes, I suppose we are.

What’s up with the wide variety of noises farts make? Why do some come out as squeakers and others like a diesel truck going up a mountain?
The kinds of flatulence are directly related to the amount of swallowed air and the ability of the intestine to degrade food stuff to gas. It also has to do with the shape of the sphincter when the gas is released. If the sphincter is tight, it will make a different noise than if it’s more relaxed.

Often times my farts feel physically hot. What causes that sensation?
The sensation of heat is when the internal sphincter opens a little to sample what’s in the rectum. That is a normal response. If there isn’t a great deal of gas, the body will expel it slower, allowing you to feel the fart’s heat. If there is a lot of gas, the gas comes out too quickly for the body to feel the heat.

Is the temperature of the slow, hot farts actually higher than the quick, cool ones?
The temperature should be the same. Again, it is a product of the amount and speed in which one expels gas.

What’s the reason behind the smell?
The smell has to do with the amount of absorbed products like methane, which is made by fermentation of what we eat, and that’s what causes the bad smell, basically. As a baby, when you’re born, passing through the vagina, you’re infected by the bacteria in your mother’s colon, and that’s the bacteria you’re dealt for your lifetime. Also, everybody is different in how they’ll digest wheat products, milk products, whatever. And if they are not digested properly there will be a lot of methane produced and a lot of acid, and that would tend to cause a stinkier bowl movement.

Wait, go back to that thing about the vagina.
A baby is born with a sterile intestinal track. During the delivery, there’s lots of fluid and stool and whatever, and it’s thought that at that exposure the baby’s colon is populated by the mother’s colon bacteria, thereby affecting the smell of the individual's farts for the rest of their lifetime. There’s also other theories claiming the colon is populated during the first few months of exposure to fecal material, but that probably doesn’t affect the smell as much as the initial intake of feces by the baby during delivery.

Wow. It's like original shit sin. Does what your mother ate prior to delivery effect the bacteria you get?

Yes. In fact, they now also think that the appendix keeps an arsenal of bacteria so that if, for whatever reason, the bacteria in your colon gets killed by antibiotics the appendix can repopulate your colon with the bacteria that you’ve had since birth. That’s the new thought as to why the appendix is around.

So the signature smell of your farts wholly depends on how much poop your mom had at the time…
It’s not the amount, just the type of bacteria.

OK, but that's really what determines your fart smell forever?
Well, there are also other components. Farts are made by two things. They are made by one, the amount of air you swallow--so people who drink a lot of soda, chew a lot of gum, suck on candies, they get a lot of air into their colon, and that air comes out in farts. The second component is gas production by the colon. The colon’s job is to break down the nutrients in food products, like proteins and fats and sugars, and in the process of breaking them down they produce either sulfur or methane, neither of which smell great. If, let’s say, the colon has stuff in it like grapes and beans, and if it’s just sitting there for a few days it’s just going to ferment more and more until it becomes very smelly, versus if what you eat goes through quickly--like if you had the same beans, but it came out eight hours later, you’ll tend not to have as much gas from those beans. So it has to do with what your intestinal transit is. For most people, it takes 32 hours from the time they eat something to the time they shit something. That’s the average, so that means there are people who move their bowels every three or four days, and they have more time for the beans to ferment in the colon, thereby producing larger amounts of gas and more frequent, smellier spasms of gas.

What’s the correlation between the increased level of farts and drinking beer or coffee?
Well, beer is carbonated, so that’s why it makes you fart. Coffee causes the sphincter muscles to relax just a little bit, so you tend to have more farts by accident if you’re drinking something with caffeine than if you aren't.
A lot of times when I wake up really early I have worse gas than when I wake up later in the day. Does that happen to a lot of people or just me?
You have worse gas early in the morning?

Yeah, like, if I wake up at six for whatever reason, I’ll be a lot gassier for the first couple of hours I’m awake than if I wake up at nine or so.
When do you move your bowels?

First thing in the morning.
Do you have a lot of gas with the bowel movement?

I do, but what I'm trying to explain is if I wake up at my normal time I don’t have that much gas, but if I wake up really early, whether or not I take a crap, I’ll still have a ton of gas that goes along with it. Well, it's possible the gas is being metabolized more by your the later you sleep. If you get up at six and take a dump at that time, the colon hasn’t had as much time to metabolize, so what’s coming out is incomplete, metabolized gas. That may be your answer, but honestly I've never heard of this before.

Well, that's disconcerting. Now, I imagine that you’re familiar with “oops poops.”
No, what’s that?

It’s when you think you’re going to fart, but then a little bit of poop comes out.
Oh, OK, sure.

What I've noticed is, often when it happens it's not preceded by the urge to shit--it just feels like it's going to be a regular fart. Does that have anything to do with poop speed or it's position in the intestines or anything? No, it has to do with the muscles of the anus. There are two muscles of control. One muscle, the internal muscle which is active all the time, it’s the one that allows you to sit on that chair without shitting on the chair, then you also have the external muscle which is a voluntary muscle like your biceps. And when you need to hold stool in it will contract, and keep the stool on the inside. The passage that you are describing happens for one of several reasons. One is that the internal muscle has become very labile, meaning any little input inside the anus causes it to relax. Sometimes it relaxes too much, and that can cause stool to slip out. The other reason is you could have hemorrhoids--everybody has hemorrhoids, but people with bigger hemorrhoids sometimes experience gas slipping out between the hemorrhoids and taking with it mucus material produced by the hemorrhoids, which can cause staining of your underwear.


That is shockingly gross. How long is gas in our body before it comes out?

About 30 hours. It has to go through five feet of large intestine, and 25 feet of small intestine.


This is an anal probe. The whole black part of the rod goes in.

Where does the differentiation between burps and farts occur? Why does some gas come out of your mouth vs. your ass?
It has to do with the configuration and the tone of muscles in your stomach. If you drink a whole lot of liquid with bubbles quickly, if you take one of these [picks up a can of diet Pepsi] and down it quickly there will be so much gas produced that the gas will need to go someplace, and the best place to go is to come back up. If you’re drinking a small amount, then it has time to work its way through the small intestine and get to the large intestine, at which point the body starts fermenting it.

OK, while I've got you here, what’s the strangest thing that you’ve seen up a butt?
Oh, a little of everything--beer bottles, milk bottles, every can of vegetable known to man.

Have you ever seen a beer bottle that broke up there?
No, they tend to stay together, beer bottles are fairly strong. I’ve also seen balloons, condoms, toys with the batteries still working.

Do those people waddle in?
Well, they usually wait until the middle of the night because they don’t want to be seen, and occasionally we have to operate on them.
Do you see more girls or guys with stuff stuck up there?
More girls than I would have imagined, but mostly guys--mostly gay guys. I’ve also had people who want me to operate on their anuses to make their fart sounds a little more appealing.

Get the **** out of here, what kind of a fart sound are they going for?
Generally they have a higher pitched sound, and they want something with a lower pitch.

Like a baritone versus a squeaker?
Basically. So I had to configure their anus skin so their fart sound would be more to their pleasing.

Oh shit, you actually did it? Someone paid you to make their farts sound better.
Well they tried to put it through with their insurance.

Which insurance company is willing to pay for that?
None, so far all the companies have denied it. But the people try and then they end up having to pay for it.

Any other weird stuff going on?
A lot of the gay guys I see do things like fisting and double fisting--you name it they do it. So you always have to be on your toes as to what they’ve potentially done to end up in the situation they’re in. I’ve had a patient, he was on crack, of course, but he put a pogo stick on the steps, and he shot it straight up his ass and messed up his colon and prostate.

Oh dear god please tell me you're joking.
Nope. Another case that comes to mind is a woman who took an egg whisk and put it up her husband’s butt, and that made a bad mess. Usually, for the majority of these accidents, people are on crack or coke.

When I eat a burrito, I shit that burrito out 2 hrs later....I don't care what science says.
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:12 PM   #167
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When I eat a burrito, I shit that burrito out 2 hrs later....I don't care what science says.
Sounds like a perfect opportunity for an experiment!!

Next time, add a bottle of green food coloring to your burrito. Verify when the Hulk turd makes an exit....

Post results.
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Old 07-24-2012, 03:01 PM   #168
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Whooooah.....

Artificial jellyfish engineered out of rat heart muscles



Scientists have made an artificial jellyfish out of rat heart muscles and rubbery silicon. When given an electric shock, it swims just like the real thing.

Future versions should be able to swim and feed by themselves.

“That then allows us to extend their lifetime,” John Dabiri, a professor of aeronautics and bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology, told me.

The breakthrough is a big step toward the development of an artificial human heart with living cells. It also opens a window to a future where humans could loosen the constraints of evolution.

“The design of the heart that we have today is by no means the best physically possible design,” Dabiri said. “It is the one that evolution stumbled onto over the course of millions of years of random searching.”

It’s possible, perhaps probable, that there’s a better design out there for humans to discover. An artificial heart, for example, could be engineered to steer clear of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Building a better pump

To get there, though, scientists must first understand how biology assembles its building blocks into a pump, Dabiri noted.

“We know pretty well how to build engineered pumps, things that are built out of steel and aluminum and so on,” he said. “We don’t have as good a handle right now in biology on how nature builds things out of muscle tissues.”

To start, they looked to the jellyfish, an example of a simple biological pump, and tried to build it in the lab from scratch.

Jellyfish essentially have two parts: muscle cells that squeeze down on the body, pushing out water and jetting the animal the opposite way, and elastic stretchy tissue (the jelly) that gently recovers to its relaxed shape after each pump.

“In our engineered system, we needed to have these two components,” Dabiri explained.

The team could have used jellyfish tissue and jellyfish muscle, but “it so happens that the building blocks we are more familiar with in tissue engineering come from the heart cells of rats,” he said.

The technique was pioneered by Kevin Kit Parker, a bioengineer at Harvard and co-author of a paper describing the artificial jellyfish published today in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

It allows researchers to take rat heart cells and pattern them in different shapes and sizes that act as actuators – “things that can move, they can pump, they can flap,” Dabiri said.

For the jelly part, the team used a thin layer of silicone rubber.

Putting together the pieces

The next step was to put the two pieces together in the best possible way to get a functioning jellyfish. Instead of simply copying nature, the team tried out all kinds of muscle patterns, looking for the best.

“As engineers in this process of building artificial jellyfish, we simply don’t have the same constraints that evolution does,” Dabiri said.

“These organisms, as they evolve, have to worry about fending off predators, catching their prey, reproducing. All we have to do is show up in a lab and try to be creative.”

“So, it is a very different set of constraints that we have in terms of developing this, and so it is not surprising that we might find solutions that are different from what might have come through evolution.”

In the end, the team settled on a muscle arrangement that is similar to that of the jellyfish, but “not a carbon copy,” Dabiri said.



When the team put the engineered jellyfish into a pool of ionized water and sent an electric signal through the water, the fish swam like a real jellyfish.

“We haven’t yet developed an internal pacemaking system within these artificial jellyfish, so the way that we control the functioning is, we shock them,” Dabiri explained.

Future of jellyfish and hearts
An internal pacemaker mechanism and chemical receptors that act as a nose to sniff out food are additions planned for future versions of the jellyfish, called Medusoid, to give it greater autonomy.

This might raise science-fiction fears of giant artificial jellyfish roaming the waters – note that there’s another group working on robotic jellyfish that will never run out of energy. But in reality, the main application for the technology would be in biomedicine. Even in its current form, Medusoid could be used to test the effect drugs have on the pumping mechanism of a heart, for example.

In the future, the research may lead to an artificial heart. One, perhaps, that is better than a healthy human heart. And if we can engineer better hearts, will we stop there? Does this open the door to a completely rebuilt – and improved – human?

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Old 07-31-2012, 08:09 AM   #169
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One week from today.... Curiosity and the 7 Minutes of Terror!!! Sounds like an awesome band name. But nope, it's the latest Mars Science Laboratory that is approaching the atmosphere of Mars right now.

This will mark our civilization's most ambitious, most daring, and most complicated space mission ever. It just blows my mind that we are able to attempt this feat well over 100 million miles from Earth.

Watch, and be amazed...



Explanation: Next week at this time, there may be an amazing new robotic explorer on Mars. Or there may be a new pile of junk. It all likely depends on many things going correctly in the minutes after the Mars Science Laboratory mission arrives at Mars and attempts to deploy the Curiosity rover from orbit. Arguably the most sophisticated landing yet attempted on the red planet, consecutive precision events will involve a heat shield, a parachute, several rocket maneuvers, and the automatic operation of an unusual device called a Sky Crane. These "Seven Minutes of Terror" -- depicted in the above dramatic video -- will begin on Monday, August 6 at about 5:24 am Universal time, which occurs on Sunday night, August 5 for western North Americans. If successful, the car-sized Curiosity rover will rest on the surface of Mars, soon to begin exploring Gale Crater to better determine the habitability of this seemingly barren world to life -- past, present, and future. Although multiple media outlets may cover this event, one way to watch these landing events unfold is on the NASA channel live on the web.

Watch the NASA channel here: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:24 PM   #170
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Interesting, but not a suprise.

When astronauts first touched down on the moon in 1969 as part of NASA's Apollo 11 mission — and for every Apollo mission that followed — they left behind evidence that they'd been there, some intentional and some necessary. The most iconic of these were six American flags, all of which were thought to have been destroyed by the harsh conditions on the lunar service or at least knocked over by now. As it turns out, all but one are still standing.

Photographs taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) satellite show that five of the flags are right where we left them. The first one, by Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, was blown down by the lift-off thrust from their lunar lander as it left the moon's surface to reunite with the orbiting command module. The LRO images also show objects such as the lunar rovers used by some Apollo missions, and even the tire tracks they left behind.

One of the most intriguing aspects of these photos is the fact that the remaining U.S. flags have all turned white. This happened due to bleaching by sunlight, which hits the flags for as long as 14 days at a time without any sort of atmosphere to filter its rays. Manufactured from nylon without any thought as to retaining their looks over the decades of lunar exposure — they weren't even expected to be standing for long — the flags cost only $5.50 in the 1960s. We're guessing that the flags eventually carried to Mars by Earth's astronauts will probably be made to last longer — and cost a pretty penny more.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:49 PM   #171
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One of the most intriguing aspects of these photos is the fact that the remaining U.S. flags have all turned white. This happened due to bleaching by sunlight, which hits the flags for as long as 14 days at a time without any sort of atmosphere to filter its rays.
So the US is showing the white flag to the invading aliens. DAMN YOU OBAMA!
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:14 PM   #172
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Uh huh huh.. Trouser snake...

The “trouser snake”
Note: not a trouser, and not a snake. Or a penis for that matter.

This bizarre amphibian was recently discovered in Brazil. Last year the Madeira River was drained to make way for a new dam. At the bottom, they found six of these strange creatures wriggling about in the mud. Around 30 inches long, they look bizarrely like huge grey penises - or perhaps that's just my dirty mind?
After study zoologists have confirmed that these are a new species of caecilian (a type of legless amphibian). Named Atretochoana eiselti, biologists are currently not aware of any living populations.

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Old 08-05-2012, 04:50 PM   #173
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I cannot wait until the rover landing. NASA's future rides on this. Sure hope it works out.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:41 PM   #174
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NASA's future rides on this.
Grossly overstated. However, I'm staying up late to see how it turns out.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:40 PM   #175
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Is it possible to find or manufacture an Earth like substance that essentially ignores our gravity? We need to get off the surface of this planet and build our civilization higher up. Closer to the sun's rays yes, but we can worry about that later.
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:29 PM   #176
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Is it possible to find or manufacture an Earth like substance that essentially ignores our gravity? We need to get off the surface of this planet and build our civilization higher up. Closer to the sun's rays yes, but we can worry about that later.
WTF? Tell me you are drunk posting.
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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:01 PM   #177
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Is it possible to find or manufacture an Earth like substance that essentially ignores our gravity? We need to get off the surface of this planet and build our civilization higher up. Closer to the sun's rays yes, but we can worry about that later.
No Gravity doesn't belong to us. It's not an Earth based force. Gravity affects every body in the universe the same way. It is created by large bodies like planets and stars, which have huge amounts of mass. The greater the mass, the more gravity the body will exert on everything around it. There's no substance that can ignore the basic fundamental forces present in the universe.

There are 4 basic fundamental forces at work in our universe, that we're aware of. Strong force, weak force, electromagnetic force, and gravitational force. Everything we know says these forces are at work everywhere in the universe. These are essentially "laws" of the universe. Everything must obey.....
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:08 PM   #178
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Is it possible to find or manufacture an Earth like substance that essentially ignores our gravity? We need to get off the surface of this planet and build our civilization higher up. Closer to the sun's rays yes, but we can worry about that later.
Building in trees would also accomplish this. I think a civilization built in trees would be really cool. Plus, it would be good for the environment.
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Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.Rain Man is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:25 PM   #179
Setsuna Setsuna is offline
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WTF? Tell me you are drunk posting.
I'm dead serious. You always see "the future" as floating platforms and junk. Is that really possible? Can we somehow do it?

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Originally Posted by KC Fish View Post
No Gravity doesn't belong to us. It's not an Earth based force. Gravity affects every body in the universe the same way. It is created by large bodies like planets and stars, which have huge amounts of mass. The greater the mass, the more gravity the body will exert on everything around it. There's no substance that can ignore the basic fundamental forces present in the universe.

There are 4 basic fundamental forces at work in our universe, that we're aware of. Strong force, weak force, electromagnetic force, and gravitational force. Everything we know says these forces are at work everywhere in the universe. These are essentially "laws" of the universe. Everything must obey.....
I see. That's a bummer. Do we just build really high?

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Building in trees would also accomplish this. I think a civilization built in trees would be really cool. Plus, it would be good for the environment.
Sarcasm?
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Setsuna is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.Setsuna is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.Setsuna is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.Setsuna is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.Setsuna is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.Setsuna is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.Setsuna is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.Setsuna is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.Setsuna is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.Setsuna is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.Setsuna is blessed with 50/50 Hindsight.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:47 AM   #180
loochy loochy is offline
That's what she said.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC Fish View Post
No Gravity doesn't belong to us. It's not an Earth based force. Gravity affects every body in the universe the same way. It is created by large bodies like planets and stars, which have huge amounts of mass. The greater the mass, the more gravity the body will exert on everything around it. There's no substance that can ignore the basic fundamental forces present in the universe.

There are 4 basic fundamental forces at work in our universe, that we're aware of. Strong force, weak force, electromagnetic force, and gravitational force. Everything we know says these forces are at work everywhere in the universe. These are essentially "laws" of the universe. Everything must obey.....
strong force and weak force? aren't those just degrees of force?
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yeah i may be a retard but I'll be the one banging your girlfriend when you're out with your friends.
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loochy is obviously part of the inner Circle.loochy is obviously part of the inner Circle.loochy is obviously part of the inner Circle.loochy is obviously part of the inner Circle.loochy is obviously part of the inner Circle.loochy is obviously part of the inner Circle.loochy is obviously part of the inner Circle.loochy is obviously part of the inner Circle.loochy is obviously part of the inner Circle.loochy is obviously part of the inner Circle.loochy is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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