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Education Science

'Floating Bridge' Property of Water Found 191

eldavojohn writes "When exposed to high voltage, water does some interesting things. From the article, 'water in two beakers climbs out of the beakers and crosses empty space to meet, forming the water bridge. The liquid bridge, hovering in space, appears to the human eye to defy gravity. Upon investigating the phenomenon, the scientists found that water was being transported from one beaker to another, usually from the anode beaker to the cathode beaker. The cylindrical water bridge, with a diameter of 1-3 mm, could remain intact when the beakers were pulled apart at a distance of up to 25 mm.'"
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'Floating Bridge' Property of Water Found

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  • by taustin ( 171655 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @11:32AM (#20793627) Homepage Journal
    I predict we'll be seeing homeopathic "medicine" made out of this magick water within a few weeks.
  • by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @11:52AM (#20793769)

    I predict we'll be seeing homeopathic "medicine" made out of this magick water within a few weeks.

    Correction - that would be homeopathic "medicine" that doesn't contain a single molecule of this magick water...

    However, this is basically another way of making that amaxing wonder-drug called "placebo" which is so effective that it is the standard against which all other drugs are tested. And if the homeopath also sits you down, remembers your name from last time, gives you a nice cup of jasmine tea and has a nice sympathetic chat about your condition, how much stress you are under at work and whether you're eating properly... well, you probably stand a better-than-average chance of getting better.

  • by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @12:07PM (#20793873) Homepage
    You do hit on an important point - people want to be treated by people who actually seem to care about the fact that they're suffering.

    Too many doctors just poke, prod, wrap it up in 3 minutes, and generally act like you're a nuiscience that they have to endure to collect their paycheck.

    I know somebody who had to wait a long time to visit a specialist, and took time to write up a brief one-page history of her condition and the various treatments to date and how they generally worked out. She also wrote up a list of medications (current, ones successfully used in the past, allergies, and unsuccessful medications). She also had a log of daily diagnostic tests as well.

    The doctor couldn't really be bothered to read any of it and frequently asked questions that would have been covered in the history. The answers to those questions weren't nearly as complete as what would have been found in the history as well. The doctor would suggest stuff contradicted by stuff tried in the past, which would get pointed out. Despite going around in circles a few time he still didn't bother to read the history. In the end he ordered some tests and sent her home (where she'll no doubt need to bug him to follow up).

    Would it have really hurt the doctor to spend all of 3 minutes reading the one page piece of paper which was obviously extremely important to his patient? Sure, he might notice a few mistakes in reasoning, and might be skeptical about some of the patient's conclusions, but perhaps it would at least reassure the patient if it seemed like the doctor even remotely cared about whether the patient actually recovered? And maybe the doctor would improve his success rate by at least considering all the information available - maybe it would contain some clue that would shape his reasoning?

    I work in IT and am often confronted with customers who have misdiagnosed the source of their technical problems. I just patiently listen to them, gather additional information, and then explain what my thoughts are and why I think they are correct. If you take the time to treat your customers as if they have a brain they will generally respect your opinions (they're coming to you for help, after all). If on the other hand you just brush them off without explaining yourself then you'll find yourself with few customers. And the medical profession is in for one heck of a shock when the voters are done with them at the rate they're currently going...
  • by Chmcginn ( 201645 ) * on Saturday September 29, 2007 @12:47PM (#20794181) Journal
    The static electricity in the clouds would certain be high enough voltage to do this, but I don't think it would be close enough together. In the experiment, the 'water bridge' was only able to be formed within a few mm of the anode & cathode. In the case of thunderclouds, the anode and cathode would be hundreds of meters apart.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29, 2007 @12:57PM (#20794277)
    So, you tell this long story about your friend's semi-self-diagnosis of her problem, then you conclude with a statement along the lines of "Working in IT, I realize that most people don't know what they're talking about." If your friend didn't like the way that doctor treated her, she should find someone else. And I'll reiterate what the poster above me said, it sounds like she's a hypochondriac.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29, 2007 @02:02PM (#20794715)
    Your friend clearly knew enough about her medical history to have an intellegent and informed conversation with her doctor to make important treatment decisions. Whats more, she did have a paper reference, a huge plus when patients are taking 15 drugs and can't remembere their names and dosages, or even all the physicians they've seen. She didn't want that, she wanted the physican to validate her ideas about her illness by wasting their prescious few minutes together reading her musings about her medical history. This isn't how w productive doctor-patient relationship is going to work.

    //Begin Rant//

    Dude, you work in IT, you have the luxury of seeing your clients as slowly or as you like. On the other hand, doctors have HUGE employment and financial pressures to keep patient visits to less than 10 minutes. Often because there are at least 30 more of them to be seen that day. Don't forget they also have to write a summary of everything they did, saw, and heard with every patient so that any other doctor could take over for them if they got hit by a bus.

    I work in IT and am often confronted with customers who have misdiagnosed the source of their technical problems. I just patiently listen to them, gather additional information, and then explain what my thoughts are and why I think they are correct.

    Bravo, now what if your customer, complaining of a sticky keyboard secondary to a soda spill brings you in a list of all the names and CD-Keys of all the programs stored on their computer. Then they also have the make, model, and serial number of every piece of hardware in the machine. Now also bear in mind that these lists (and this often happens) are out of date by 5 years, so really they don't even have any bearing on the computer at hand at all. Do you really want to spend 5 minutes of your client's valuable time going through this irrelivant list? Yes, it might matter that its a USB keyboard, and that would have been in there, but it would have been so much simpler to ask.

    The final point is that your can't trust paper. A doctor HAS to ask all the questions that the paper would have answered because the paper might be wrong. (paper: "allergic to eggs only", patient: "I just found out last month I'm allergic to drug X" which I was just about to prescribe) (paper: takes drugs X,Y,Z, patient: I take A,B,C, X, and W) You get the picture. Making a bad call because of reading a paper and not asking the patient is indefesnable in court or to a medical review board.

    The doctor should have made an effort to acknowledge the paper, but unless this illness is a huge medical mystery and this is the 12th specialist the patient has seen, decyphering the patients own thoughts about their problem from medical fact can take quite a bit of time and lead to many many dead ends, costing way more time than the simple time to read.

    Yes our patients have brains, and they know their own bodies way better than their doctor does, but expecting your doctor to care about the 4 different creams you've put on the wart on your toe when she or he is trying to determine why you can't feel your hand anymore is really going a bit too far. Thats why doctors will ask Trained, Relivant questions, because they are looking for specific answers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29, 2007 @02:24PM (#20794859)
    That "salt water burns" article was one of the worst examples of scientific journalism on the planet in at least a month or two. Of course a high enough powered RF will split the bonds of water, but the laws of thermodynamics will never permit this to be used as a source of power. It burns and goes right back to water, and thus will always take more power to split the bonds than one gets out of burning the hydrogen.
  • by Endymion ( 12816 ) <slashdot,org&thoughtnoise,net> on Saturday September 29, 2007 @02:53PM (#20795059) Homepage Journal
    As opposed to asking the patient about the same information?

    I would trust a written history before an oral one any time - at least they may have had a chance to edit out errors in the written version.

    The huge ego of doctors gets in the way here...
  • by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @02:55PM (#20795081) Homepage
    Yes, but this wouldn't be the 4 creams she put on her foot.

    This would be multiple hopitalizations (including cardiothoracic surgery in one case, minor surgey (with significant risk of complications) in another case, and intensive-care in all cases), and history with about a dozen different doctors for several different problems over the last 24 months or so. This particular specialist was a bit more tangential to her acute problems, but very relevant to her chronic problems.

    And the medication history would be about 20 different prescription medications prescribed by a variety of specialists over the last few years.

    And on a side note, I might prefer not to listen to somebody try to sound intelligent for 10 minutes who doesn't know what they're talking about in my line of work, but sometimes you just need to take time to gain a client's respect. There are ways of dealing with customers who repeatedly badger you, but we're talking about 5 minutes - not 45 minutes here.

    In any case, when I see professionals scratch their head about why people go to chiropractors for anything other than temporary relief of acute back pains I realize that they're missing the one thing that the alternative medicine practicioners provide - the personal touch. Granted, good doctors are also probably missing the willingness to promise success with no risk of side effect - and that is a real problem with the alternative medicine crowd. However, doctors would do well to work on the personal touch and educate their patients in the benefits of science-based medicine - rather than just having an attitude that they know what is better for the patient than the patient does (which might be factually true, but the attitude really puts people off).
  • by rossifer ( 581396 ) on Saturday September 29, 2007 @04:51PM (#20795831) Journal

    If she's ill, how can the Doctor trust the information she's provided to be accurate ?
    Sounds an awful lot like: If she's mentally ill, how can she be trusted with any responsibilities? Which is a common first step in claiming that the mentally ill are not qualified to have legal agency (be granted human rights). That just happens to be one of my personal areas of interest in the intersection between medicine and law (though I am neither a doctor nor a lawyer).

    Just because she's sick or depressed or manic or suffering from any of a number of other conditions does not mean that she is no longer intelligent, is unable to accurately recall observations, and no is longer the best judge of many changes to her body. If she's delusional or suffering from dementia or one of a short list of similar mental problems, then and only then is it appropriate to suspect the accuracy of her observations.

    Even if her conclusions are wrong, her pharmacological history and observations are asserted facts, and for the doctor to not even bother to read that data indicates that (s)he's a piss-poor doctor.

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