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Guitares Cinématiques: Links

MS and Solar Storms

Possible Effects of the Solar and Geomagnetic Activity on Multiple Sclerosis

Article published in Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery · April 2016.

Researchers at two universities in Greece concluded: "the geomagnetic and solar activity may represent an environmental health risk factor for multiple sclerosis..."  At the end of the paper they discuss several possible mechanisms underlying this association.

Researchers from the Department of Neurology, Medical School, University of Patras, Patras, Greece ;  Department of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Mechanics, University of Athens, Athens, Greece ; Department of Theoretical and Mathematical Physics, Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Patras, Patras, Greece ; Department of Neurology, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Geomagnetic disturbances may be environmental risk factor for multiple sclerosis
A very informative article published in the journal BMC Neurology (2012, 12:100). They conclude that GMD (Geo Magnetic Disturbances - induced by Solar Magnetic activity) can be the mysterious environmental risk factor for Multiple Sclerosis.
Multiple Sclerosis' relationship to Solar Storms
Dr Johannes Resch's 1995 paper on the similarity between the geographic distribution of the neurological disease Multiple Sclerosis ("MS") and the incidence of solar particle rays on the Earth
Correlation of MS to Cosmic Rays

1960 Paper by JS Barlow from Harvard Medical School siting the connection between the geographic distribution of MS and cosmic ray intensities

Water on Mars

Solar wind & radiation took away the Martian atmosphere

Press Release, Published on on 3/30/17

Bruce Jakosky, principal investigator for the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN), said latest results reveal that about 65 percent of the argon that was ever in the atmosphere has been lost to space. Jakosky is lead author of a paper on this research to be published in Science on Friday, March 31.

Giant Tsunamis on Mars

Paper published May 19, 2017 in Scientific Reports, a publication of the journal Nature, was authored by Alberto Fairén (Cornell visiting scientist in astronomy and principal investigator at the Center of Astrobiology, Madrid) and Alexis Rodriguez of the Planetary Science Institute and 12 others. 

The paper reported that 2 meteorites had struck Mars millions of years apart . About 3.4 billion years ago, a big meteorite impact triggered the first tsunami wave and it was followed by a second meteorite impact a few million years later.  These two impacts had caused a pair of giant tsunamis waves with a typical onshore height  of ~50 meters and local variations from ~10 meters to as much as ~120 meters struck Mars !

Mars went through frigid climate change, where water turned to ice, Fairén said: “The ocean level receded from its original shoreline to form a secondary shoreline, because the climate had become significantly colder.”

The  paper provides very strong evidence for the existence of very cold oceans on early Mars.

Spectral evidence for hydrated salts in recurring slope lineae on Mars

Article in Sept 28, 2015 issue of Nature Geoscience.

Data from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars instrument onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter taken from four different locations shows evidence for hydrated salts  which suggests that an active source of water exists. 

Martian Water

Article on pp. 60-65 in May 2013 issue of Scientific American describing theories to explain possible causes of the dark lines that appear annually on southern Martian slopes. One possible scenario involves seasonal melting of salty brines: salt crystals absorbing ambient water vapor to form droplets of brine that freeze into ice, then thaw with sunlight.

Dreams of Water on Mars Evaporate

Article in April 12, 2012 issue of the journal Nature. Climate models reveal Mars was mostly cold and dry.

Subsurface water in early Mars

Article in the Nov 2, 2011 online edition of the journal Nature (Nov 3rd in hardcopy).  Recently discovered clay minerals widespread in Mars's Noachian terrains point to long duration interactions between water and rock during Mars early history. However, the article makes the point that since the Noachian rock record is dominated by a history of subsurface waters, Mars was most likely a cold arid planet for the last 4 billion years with short periods of surface water.

Evidence for a deep Martian ocean

Review in the June 13, 2010 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.  Researchers argue that evidence for a large ancient ocean on Mars is substantiated by river deltas that, they say, mark the vast ancient Martian sea level.

Water existing as a liquid on Mars below the freezing point
Article (pages 401-404 ) in May 21, 2009 edition of the journal, Nature. Researchers showed that water with solutes Si, Fe, S, Mg, Ca, Cl, Na, K and Al could remain in the liquid state at temperatures well below 273 K..
Mars' past ocean
summary of an article regarding ancient shorelines of Mars
Evidence for water on Mars
The Nasa Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has discovered a new category of minerals spread across large regions of Mars.


Memoriam : Dr. Michael Kasha - Nat'l Academy of Sciences

A tribute to my father at the Nat'l Academy of Sciences where he was a member for many years...

Dr. Michael Kasha - in memoriam

My father, Dr. Michael Kasha, passed away on June 12th, 2013.

Designer of the Kasha guitar.  Founder of the Institute of Molecular Biophysics at Florida State University (which in 2001 was renamed the "Kasha Laboratory" in his honor). He was on the Chemistry faculty of the University since 1951.  He lived to be 92. 

He had a contagious enthusiasm for everything.  He energized his surroundings.  As he gazed at the world he could pinpoint subtleties or incongruities that other people had overlooked. He then focused his attention and uncovered something new under every unturned stone.  He had the ability to dissect something that appeared complex and make it sound simple.

We shared conversations about art, music, science, and anything really.  My father was always reading, always bringing up a new topic.  He loved jokes, was a great storyteller, and was crazy about Calvin and Hobbes comics.

I was able to spend a great deal of time with him over the last two years.  Moments I will cherish forever. Those who came to know him through his work on guitars, violins, cellos, basses, via his academic professional career in biophysics of excited states of molecules, his work on the biophysics of the effects of solar coronal mass ejections, or via his interests in woodworking, electronics, photography, and sailing will always remember him and feel lucky.


Michael Kasha memorial website at FSU

This website (from the Institute of Molecular Biophysics at FSU) is a memorial to my father, the late Dr. Michael Kasha.

Kasha-design guitars, ukeleles, basses

Luthier Kim Hee Hong

Luthier Kim Hee Hong builds an innovative classical guitar model called "Master La Folia" that is based on the Kasha design.  (on his website, click on "Gallery" or "In Stock" in the left-hand navigation to see images)

The soundhole is not circular.  Instead the soundhole is shaped to mimic the asymmetric Kasha bridge and is positioned at the far edge of the soundboard at the bottom fret of the fretboard. The soundhole is thus an open wedge that crosses the entire guitar body and runs parallel to the Kasha bridge. A very unique design.

Jay Hargreaves - master guitar and bass luthier

Website of luthier Jay Hargreaves, builder of the "Mercedes" cutaway guitar used by Guitares Cinematiques.  Jay was a protege of Richard Scheider. He builds Kasha-design classical guitars and acoustic basses, the later having very unusual design of a fishbone-shaped Kasha bridge.

DeVine Guitars and Ukeleles

Website of master luthier Eric DeVine in Hawaii, builder of Kasha-design guitars and ukeleles.  His ukeleles are played by Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) and Kimo Hussey.

Luthier Thomas Ochs

Website of the skilled luthier Thomas Ochs in Germany.  Ochs builds Kasha classical guitar and acoustic basses.

Tom Bills - luthier

Tom Bills is a luthier who builds Kasha-design acoustic steel string and classical guitars

Luthier Ken Miller

Ken Miller is a luthier specializing in Kasha design Acoustic steel guitars and dulcimers. He also builds traditional design classical and flamenco guitars and mandolins.

Luthier Gray Burchette

Gray Burchette builds guitars with a modified Kasha design bridge.

Thomas Beltran guitars

A luthier who builds Kasha classical and jazz cutaway guitars. 

Water on Planets

Water Is Everywhere in the Solar System

Article in page A3 of NY Times on 3/13/2015 discussing the recent developments brought to light in scientific publications Nature and The Journal of Geophysical Research : Space Physics showing water very likely exists on one of Saturn's moon: Enceladus, and on two of Jupiter's moons: Ganymede and Europa.

Music and Technology

Fishman Triple Play MIDI guitar controller replaces AXON

Guitares Cinématiques has been using the unique neural network technology-based AXON guitar-to-MIDI controller which had been discontinued from production by Terratec (who took it over from the original manufacturer, Blue Chip) a few years ago. 

The good news is that Andras Szalay, the man who invented  the AXON, has created a new generation wireless guitar MIDI device which appears to track with incredible speed (far surpassing the AXON). 

This new product is made by Fishman as their Triple Play MIDI guitar controller. It features lightning fast tracking and wireless connectivity via a USB receiver plugged into a PC.

For now the issues we have with the Triple Play are:

(1) It requires a PC or Mac computer (since the receiver is a USB device) to connect to virtual instruments.

(2) It currently only works as a turnkey device (with pickup connected to a wireless transmitter) suitable for mounting on electric guitars. (Presumably acoustic steel string guitars would also work with it. However, nylon string guitars wouldn't work.)

We are hoping a version will be created in the future to support nylon string guitars which use RMC piezo pickups with a 13-pin hex output.  However, there hasn't yet been any such news as of 3/29/13

Music through gestures

Article on page 472 in June 28, 2012 issue of the journal Nature regarding Tony Mitchells glove technology used by singer Imogen Heap to control her live singing performances.

Solar Corona

Magnetic tornados may heat Solar corona

Article on pages 505-508 in June 28, 2012 edition of the journal Nature suggesting a mechanism whereby the  extremely high temperatures of the solar corona might arise from an energy transfer via a twisted magnetic conduit ,"a magnetic tornado", connecting the Sun's surface to its seething hot corona.  The million degree temperatures of the corona are responsible for the 530.3 nm spectral emmision line (observed back in 1869!) of ionic iron having 13 of its electrons removed.

Alvén waves versus Nanoflares as a possible source of heating for the Sun's corona
Article (pages 19-21) of May 2009 edition of journal Physics Today detailing an NCAR study of Alvén waves analyzing CoMP (Coronal Multi-channel Polarimeter) plots of spatial frequency versus temporal frequency of coronal emissions.


Majorana modes of quasiparticles

Article on pages 195-196 of the June 14, 2012 issue of the journal Nature.  Majorana modes were forms of excitation predicted back in 1937 by Ettore Majorana that could only be available to special quasiparticles.  In a paper by Kitaev (published in 2000) they were shown to exist at the ends of superconducting wires. This research opens up new possibilities for quantum computing.

Locked-In Syndrome

Adrian Owen's brain scans to discover awareness in "Locked-In" patients

Article on pages 179-180 in the June 14, 2012 issue of the journal Nature.  Adrian Owen has devised techniques by which brain activity in response to questioning is measureable in some patients who appear otherwise to be in a vegetative state.

Jean-Dominique Bauby

The editor of the French fashion magazine, Elle,  who at 43 yrs old succumbed to "locked-in" syndrome, unable to move his body. Nonetheless his mind was able to escape his bodily prison, to communicate with the world outside. By blinking his eyes to render each separate letter of the alphabet, Bauby was able to convey words and sentences letter-by-letter to an assistant.  In this way, he dictated his memoirs in the book "The Diving Bell and the ButterFly."

Martian Methane

Ultraviolet-radiation-induced methane emissions on Mars

Article on pages 93-96 in the journal, Nature.  Methane gas should have a short lifetime and degrade quickly in the Martian atmosphere.  The fact that methane is easily detected and is not uniformly distributed on the Martian surface points to some source of methane production.  Previously, some researchers had suggested that methane production in the Martian atmosphere might come from a biological source. However, in this article, researchers show that methane can be produced in large quantities when certain carbonaeous chrondrite meteorites are exposed to ultraviolet radiation.


Does the Space Environment Affect the Ecosphere?

An informative article in the Sept 6, 2011 edition of the journal EOS transactions of the American Geophysical Union.  The sun is known to create dangerous CME's of it's own. However, it also creates a protective "bubble" (the heliosphere) by way of radiation pressure of the solar wind.  We rely on this protective bubble to shield us against the even more deadly GCRs (galactic cosmic rays) which can be of extremely high (billions of electron-volts) energy. The solar wind pressure has been declining and this allows for greater potential penetration of GCRs into the Earth's atmosphere. The article goes on to say the geological records of the radioisotope beryllium-10 taken from polar ice core samples has shown that the GCR intensities in Earth's history have been exceedingly variable.  The conjecture is that the past increases in GCRs reaching the Earth may in fact have aided in stimulating evolution by increasing the rate of cell mutation!

Solar Coronal Mass Ejections

Info on CMEs (NASA)
A description of Coronal Mass Ejections
Space Weather prediction center (NASA)
Up-to-date data on the current space weather conditions surrounding our planet
Early Detection of Emerging Sunspots

Article in August 19th, 2011 edition of the journal Science describing a new helioseismic technique that can detect deep subsurface magnetic activity within the Sun allowing detection of large sunspot regions up to 2 days before they appear at the Sun's surface.  This is an immensely powerful new tool in space weather forecasting.

Effects of Solar Storms on Earth

Predicting Radiation Dose on Aircraft from SEPs

Article in Vol 8, Issue 3, 2011 (p 8) of Space Weather, a quaterly journal of the American Geophysical Union describing a recent half-day session held during the Japan Geoscience Union 2011 International Symposium on May 24th, 2011.  A future early warning system for aircraft was proposed. It was tentatively called the Warning System of Aviation Exposure to SEP (WASAVIES):  It's purpose would be to automatically calculate radiation dosages along an aviation route for any flight operated during a particular prediction interval. This is particularly useful for transpolar flights such as between Tokyo and New York or between San Francisco and Paris.

Characteristics of Solar Proton Events (SPEs) with Ground Level Enhancements (GLEs)

Journal of Geophysical Research, VOL. 115, A10107,Oct 15, 2010.  An article describing a potentially faster method providing early warning of proton storms based upon detection of neutrons. According to the authors, this system could provide a warning 30 minutes ahead of the earliest proton alert currently issued by the Space Weather Prediction center.

Deleterious Effects of Space Storms on Earth
Article by Michael Brooks in March 21, 2009 edition of New Scientist magazine warning of a complete shutdown of all electrically reliant technology due to a massive DC current overloading of the power grid if ever a major solar storm (but only a storm possessing a southward pointing magnetic field whose magnetic field lines could reconnect with the Earth's) would someday make a direct hit on the Earth.
Holes in Earth's Magnetic Field
NASA's five THEMIS spacecraft have discovered a breach in Earth's magnetic field ten times larger than anything previously thought to exist.
The impact of solar flares and magnetic storms on humans
An article reviewing the hazards to biological systems posed by photon radiation from solar flares, SEPs (solar energetic particles), and inhomogeneities in the solar wind that drive magnetic storms, was published in journal Earth in Space (ISSN 1040-3124), vol. 4, no. 7, March 1992, p. 11-14.
Solar storm impinging on earth

Reuters news article 8/6/11 regarding a effects of a large magnetic storm due to hit Earth in the next few days.

Space Flight Technology News

Ion engines for space travel
An article in the July 24th, 2009 edition of New Scientist magazine. Ion engines, are less powerful for liftoff but can continue to generate power for long lengths of time. As such, a rocket could potentially reach a higher max speed than with a conventional chemical engine.
Shortage of Plutonium-238 for NASA's missions

An interesting article in Jan 2011 issue of Physics Today magazine summaries of the issues surrounding powering NASA's planetary science missiion. The current supply of Pu-238 is falling behind NASA's needs to supply power to spacecraft in distant missions where the sunlight is too dim. There is only enough left to power two of the four NASA planetary misssionss due for launch by 2020.  The current technology, Pu-238-powered radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) have no moving parts. They convert heat generated by the decay of Pu-238 directly into electricity but with only a 6% efficiency.  However, newer techology Advanced Sterling Radioisotope Generators (ASRGs) have moving parts operate with 29% efficiency and thus require far less Plutonium to accomplish the same task.


European Super Grid for Tranporting Wind Generated Electricity

Articles in Nov 10, 2010 edition of the journal Nature. A consortium of European countries are in the planning stages of creating an enormous undersea dc electrical grid in the North Atlantic to transport energy captured by offshore wind farms to continental Europe.  A similar project, Desertec, is being planned for wind farms in the Sahara desert.  Obstacles of high setup cost and major technical difficulties of dealing with large amounts of dc power. 

Kontiki - Polynesian Theory

Thor Heyerdahl's legacy
A BBC summary of Thor Heyerdahl's Koniki expedition and contribution to his theory of the Peruvian origins of the Polynesians.
Did Polynesians sail to S. America or vice versa?

An extremely informative article in the June 11, 2010 edition of the journal Science (pp 1344-1347).  Researchers have clues (skulls similar to polynesians found in S. Am and sweet potatoes found in Polynesia, tools similar to those in Polynesia found in S. America) but can't yet prove which direction the migrations may have gone (east-to-west, or west-to-east).

The Heliosphere

NASA's IBEX Reveals: A Ribbon of Energetic Neutral Atoms (ENAs)
5 papers in the Nov 13th, 2009 issue of the journal Science detail NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer's (IBEX) discovery of a unexpected and highly intense concentrated "ribbon" of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) (with energies ranging from 0.2 to 6 KeV) existing at the boundary between the heliosphere and the interstellar medium.

Visual Sound

A lecture on visualization of sounds by Evan Grant presented on

Electro-Magnetic surprises

The Aharonov-Bohm effects: Variations on a subtle theme
In the September 2009 issue of the journal Physics Today, an article on the AB effects. These effects fell out implicitly from the 1926 Schröedinger equation. They are that electrons can be affected by EM potentials without even coming in contact with actual force fields.

Guest Artists

Shanna Gilfix, vocalist
My favorite of Shanna's videos on youtube. Shanna sings on songs:"Natukashii", "Kontiki", "So Easy", "Hi L'eau", and ALH840001" on the Penguins on Mars CD.
Steve Stanley, trumpet & flugelhorn
Steve Stanley plays flugelhorn on the piece "Hi L'eau" and trumpet on the piece "So Easy" on the Penguins On Mars CD. Steve's bio is listed on this webpage for the group Aja Vu

Auroras (northern & southern lights)

Asymmetric aurora displays between the North and South Poles
Article in the July 23, 2009 edition of Nature presenting observational research supporting theoretical studies that conductivity differences may be the cause of inter-hemispheric currents which induce differences in displayed auroral intensity.
auroral videos
Really nice videos of auroral light displays!

Magnetic Reconnection

Magnetotail Reconnection Triggering Substorm Onset
Angelopoulous et al report in Science (Aug 15, 2008, Vol 321, No 5891, pp931-935) that results demonstrate that magnetospheric substorms are likely initiated by magnetotail reconnection.
Comment on "Tail Reconnection Triggering Substorm Onset"
A rebuttal to the the previous artible in Science by Angelopoulos et al (Science, Aug 15, 2008), that magnetic reconnection in the Earth's magnetotail is causally responsible for triggering the onset of a magnetospheric substorm.
Response to Comment on "Tail Reconnection Triggering Substorm Onset"
A rebutal to the responsed by Lui that magnetic reconnection was not responsible for triggering the onset of a magnetospheric substorm.

Solar Cycle 24

Sunspots are currently missing
An article about the current lull in sunspot activity in the July 21st, 2009 edition of the NY Times
Solar cycle 24
Article May 8, 2009 in online version of the journal Science concerning the unusually low activity in the current solar cycle

Astrobiology of Early Solar System

Survival potential of microbial activity of the early Earth
Article (pages 419-422 ) in May 21, 2009 edition of the journal, Nature. Researchers claim that the Earth could not have been completely sterilized even by the tremendous onslaught of asteroids during the period of known as the "late heavy bombardment." They conclude that hyperthermophilic microbes could have survived the intense heat and be the ancestors of any present day life on Earth and elsewhere.

MS Research

MS therapy via stem cells

Reported in BBC News online January 18, 2016:

UK doctors in Sheffield, England reported that patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are showing "remarkable" improvements after receiving a treatment usually used for cancer.

About 20 patients have received bone marrow transplants using their own stem cells. Some patients who were paralysed have been able to walk again

Positive Results of Ocrelizumab in Treating Primary Progressive MS

Ocrelizumab is an investigational, humanized monoclonal antibody designed to selectively target CD20-positive B cells. Genentech announced today that ocrelizumab, has also shown positive study results in their Phase III ORATORIO study with primary-progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). This is the first medication to show positive effects on disability with this form of the disease, which affects approximately 10 percent of the MS population.  Genentech notes that these are a specific type of immune cell thought to be a key contributor to myelin and axonal damage, which can result in disability in people with MS. Based on preclinical studies, ocrelizumab binds to CD20 cell surface proteins expressed on certain B cells, but not on stem cells or plasma cells, and therefore important functions of the immune system may be preserved.

Hope for MS patients via a new drug

In the Oct 27, 2011 edition (p.432) of the journal Nature it was reported that the drug Alemtuzumab showed promise with improving MS treatment. The study found that 78% of patients remained from from relapse after 2 years. More info is a given in the Oct 24th article on Nature's online website at the link provided.

Nerve cell research

keys to triggering myelination of axons
An article in the Sept 11, 2009 edition of the journal Nature. They propose that G protein-coupled receptor Gpr126 causes the differentiation of promylenating Schwann cells by raising the levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and in doing so trigger the expression of the transcription factor Oct6 which in turn causes myelination.

Martian dynamo

Theories of how the Martian dynamo died
4/30/09 Article in AAAS Science onine mag ScienceNow. Research suggested that impacts from large asteroids during the period of heavy bombardment 3.9 billion years ago may have upset the convective flow and turned off the Martian dynamo.
Martian dynamo & atmospheric research
This article from the Feb 2009 issue of the journal, Astrobiology, outlines a future research mission to Mars named "Mars Environmental and Magnetic Orbiter" (MEMO)

Magnetic Field Reversals

true polar wander
an interesting article regarding magnetic anomalies in the Svalbard ocean sediments point to the Earth's ability to shift it's spin axis in response to a lop-sided build-up of continental mass
Solar magnetic field reversals
Info on magnetic field flips of the Sun (NASA)
Earth's changing magnetic field
Info on Earth's variable magnetic field (NASA)

Hazards of Space Travel

Sociological problems of long duration space missions
A Russian simulation of a Mars mission to detemine the ability of astronauts(cosmonauts) to coexist peacefully during long periods of isolation away from the Earth. It appears this is not humans have a propensity to not get along with each other when trapped together for long periods of time!
Abstract regarding Hazards of space travel
Neurobiological problems in long-term deep space flights.
The effects of proton exposure on neurochemistry and behavior
Dosage effects of proton bombardment from Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs)
Emerging Radiation Health-Risk Mitigation Technologies
An abtract from a paper discussing the triage of factors for risk mitigation to space flight outside of the Earth's protective magnetic field

Magnetic Shields

Magnetic Shields for Space Travel
New research on portable magnetic plasma shields to protect against Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs)

Martian Meteorites

Landmark article on Martian Meteorite ALH840001
This was the famous paper written by David Mc Kay and others at NASA (published in the August 1996 issue of the journal, Science) that led to the search for life on Mars based on the premise that possible evidence of life had been found in a Martian meteorite named "ALH840001" that was discovered in Antartica.
Article "Magnetotactic Bacteria on Mars." A discussion on whether the magnetite crystals in the Martian meteorite named ALH840001 found in Antarctica were of biological or non-biological origin.