Thus, the problem essentially boils down to a measurement of the electron energy. This is done with spectrometers, and a new experiment called KATRIN, with a huge spectrometer of 24 meters in length, is at present under construction in Karlsruhe, Germany.
“The Spies above Your Backyard,” by the Editors [Science Agenda], calls for Congress to proactively protect U.S. citizens from violations of privacy by the use of domestic drones by private citizens and government agencies such as law enforcement.
Your readers' privacy is less threatened by official drones than private ones. Toy stores and e-stores sell toy helicopters with cameras already built in, controlled by a smartphone. They can stream video live from your upstairs bedroom window. I doubt the feds or fuzz would bother peeping, but your neighbor or suspicious spouse might.
Paul J. Madden
In “Proof of Hallucination” [Skeptic], Michael Shermer purports to “prove” that near-death experiences (NDEs) are hallucinations. Unfortunately, his arguments only prove that hallucinations are real for many people, including mental patients. None of his presented data relates to NDEs. Neither can he answer the simple question: “If these near-death experiences are hallucinations, why is it then that all the NDE survivors are having the same hallucination?”
SHERMER REPLIES: Hallucinations are by no means restricted to mental patients, which was the point of my examples from Oliver Sacks and from migraine sufferers who have hallucinations. As I document in my book The Believing Brain, mountain climbers, solo sailors, ultramarathon athletes, long-distance truckers and many others experience hallucinations under a variety of conditions, including oxygen deprivation, physical trauma, brain injury, anesthesia and surgery. The evidence is overwhelming that NDEs are the product of the brain, just like all these other experiences people report having.
So again, what's more likely: That NDEs are the neurological exception that happens to support our Western religious belief in heaven or that, like all other experiences, they are produced by our neurons under certain neurological conditions?
In “Shock to the System” [The Science of Health], Maryn McKenna refers to sepsis as annually killing 260,000 people in the U.S. and as the 10th leading cause of death in the country. The former figure, used by Sepsis Alliance and several researchers, accounts for fatal cases of sepsis arising from any cause, including influenza, pneumonia and septicemia, which specifically denotes the invasion of the bloodstream by microorganisms. The ranking as the 10th leading cause of death refers to septicemia alone and is based on 1999 figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preliminary data from the cdc now ranks septicemia as the 11th leading cause of death in the U.S.
This article was originally published with the title Letters.