# Scientist Says Yoda Could Be Our Best Bet As An Energy Source

## Scientifically Accurate Jedi Master

Mr. Monroe did some rather thourough scientific calculations on Yoda’s strength – and it took wits to accomplish it.

He discovered that Yoda’s greatest power is telekinesis, and he demonstrated it at the highest level when he lifted Luke’s X-Wing from a swamp. After several dozen re-watching sessions, Randall managed to figure out the approximate mass of the X-Wing (5,600 kg), the speed this vessel was rising at (0.39 m/s) and the gravity on Dagobah (which is 0.9 g). Finding the power of the force after that was easy – he simply multiplied mass, speed and gravity, and here comes the knowledge: the great Jedi Master’s maximum power output is 19.2kW.

## Not So Cheap – Multiple Ways of Use

Not impressed? But you should be! According to Monroe’s research, this amount of power is enough for a block of suburban houses. No one can say that Force cannot be measured now. In fact, there are many ways to measure it: 19.2kW equals to 25 horsepower. So, now we know that it would take one Yoda to run the motor of the electric-model Smart Car and 49,76 Yodas to power one of the fastest cars in the world – Hennessey Venom GT.

Spider-Man might have only gotten the half of it – with great power comes… great price. Considering current electricity prices, Yoda’s Force would cost about \$2/hour.

## Yoda and Alternative Sources of the Force

However, you may ask – what about alternative sources of energy? Yoda was not the only one with the Force, after all. Palpatine surely was crafty when it came to use of lightning, and though we cannot be sure about its nature, we could assume it was similar to the lightning Tesla coils produced – and it draw almost 10 kilowatts.

Does that make the Emperor a weaker energy source than Yoda? Unlikely, because Tesla coils worked in many short pulses – and Palpatine (judging by the last movie of the original trilogy) could sustain a continuous arc of energy, which means that his power could be measured in megawatts. However, it doesn’t mean he would be a better alternative than Yoda – he uses the dark side of the Force, remember? Not going to be of any use to us, simple humans.

What about Yoda’s apprentice Luke? He is no alternative, unfortunately. His highest output of power was estimated as 400W. That’s pretty low in comparison with his teacher, so Luke is no more acceptable as energy source than the Emperor (though for entirely different reason).

## How Many Yodas Does It Take to Spread Light in the World?

So it looks like Randall Monroe was right after all: Yoda does sound like our best bet as an energy source – choosing from all the alternative carriers of the Force. Still, with the current level of world electricity consumption that reached 2 terawatts, we would need a hundred million Yodas to satisfy our demands. So, even if Yoda would like to lend us a hand with power production, it would be most wise to decline his kind offer. His padawans need him more than world energy systems do.

Featured photo credit: Yoda in the Woods/ Reiterlied via flickr.com

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# Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

We thought that the expression ‘broken heart’ was just a metaphor, but science is telling us that it is not: breakups and rejections do cause physical pain. When a group of psychologists asked research participants to look at images of their ex-partners who broke up with them, researchers found that the same brain areas that are activated by physical pain are also activated by looking at images of ex-partners. Looking at images of our ex is a painful experience, literally.[1].

Given that the effect of rejections and breakups is the same as the effect of physical pain, scientists have speculated on whether the practices that reduce physical pain could be used to reduce the emotional pain that follows from breakups and rejections. In a study on whether painkillers reduce the emotional pain caused by a breakup, researchers found that painkillers did help. Individuals who took painkillers were better able to deal with their breakup. Tamar Cohen wrote that “A simple dose of paracetamol could help ease the pain of a broken heart.”[2]

Just like painkillers can be used to ease the pain of a broken heart, other practices that ease physical pain can also be used to ease the pain of rejections and breakups. Three of these scientifically validated practices are presented in this article.

## Looking at images of loved ones

While images of ex-partners stimulate the pain neuro-circuitry in our brain, images of loved ones activate a different circuitry. Looking at images of people who care about us increases the release of oxytocin in our body. Oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” is the hormone that our body relies on to induce in us a soothing feeling of tranquility, even when we are under high stress and pain.

In fact, oxytocin was found to have a crucial role as a mother is giving birth to her baby. Despite the extreme pain that a mother has to endure during delivery, the high level of oxytocin secreted by her body transforms pain into pleasure. Mariem Melainine notes that, “Oxytocin levels are usually at their peak during delivery, which promotes a sense of euphoria in the mother and helps her develop a stronger bond with her baby.”[3]

Whenever you feel tempted to look at images of your ex-partner, log into your Facebook page and start browsing images of your loved ones. As Eva Ritvo, M.D. notes, “Facebook fools our brain into believing that loved ones surround us, which historically was essential to our survival. The human brain, because it evolved thousands of years before photography, fails on many levels to recognize the difference between pictures and people”[4]

## Exercise

Endorphins are neurotransmitters that reduce our perception of pain. When our body is high on endorphins, painful sensations are kept outside of conscious awareness. It was found that exercise causes endorphins to be secreted in the brain and as a result produce a feeling of power, as psychologist Alex Korb noted in his book: “Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that act on your neurons like opiates (such as morphine or Vicodin) by sending a neural signal to reduce pain and provide anxiety relief.”[5] By inhibiting pain from being transmitted to our brain, exercise acts as a powerful antidote to the pain caused by rejections and breakups.

## Meditation

Jon Kabat Zinn, a doctor who pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation therapy for patients with chronic pain, has argued that it is not pain itself that is harmful to our mental health, rather, it is the way we react to pain. When we react to pain with irritation, frustration, and self-pity, more pain is generated, and we enter a never ending spiral of painful thoughts and sensations.

In order to disrupt the domino effect caused by reacting to pain with pain, Kabat Zinn and other proponents of mindfulness meditation therapy have suggested reacting to pain through nonjudgmental contemplation and acceptance. By practicing meditation on a daily basis and getting used to the habit of paying attention to the sensations generated by our body (including the painful ones and by observing these sensations nonjudgmentally and with compassion) our brain develops the habit of reacting to pain with grace and patience.

When you find yourself thinking about a recent breakup or a recent rejection, close your eyes and pay attention to the sensations produced by your body. Take deep breaths and as you are feeling the sensations produced by your body, distance yourself from them, and observe them without judgment and with compassion. If your brain starts wandering and gets distracted, gently bring back your compassionate nonjudgmental attention to your body. Try to do this exercise for one minute and gradually increase its duration.

With consistent practice, nonjudgmental acceptance will become our default reaction to breakups, rejections, and other disappointments that we experience in life. Every rejection and every breakup teaches us great lessons about relationships and about ourselves.

Featured photo credit: condesign via pixabay.com

## Reference

 [1] ^ US National Library of Medicine: Social rejection shares somatosensory representations with physical pain [2] ^ Daily Mail: Nursing a broken heart? How taking a paracetamol could dull the pain of rejection [3] ^ Mother For Life: Oxytocin’s Role [4] ^ Psychology Today: Facebook and Your Brain [5] ^ Alex Korb: The Upward Spiral