Reinforcements ordered in the war on brains

August 10, 2010 § 3 Comments

I am not a regular viewer of Rachel Maddow, but thanks to @darwinsbulldog I saw this and had to share it.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Hubble Bubble

August 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

Every where I look I see bubbles. Ok, I know I see them because I am looking for them. I know the psychology. But, it is still fun and fascinating in many cases such as the Hubble Bubble.

“The Copernican principle holds that humans are not privileged observers of the Universe. Copernicus stated that the Earth is not at the center of the solar system or at any particularly special position in the heavens. Modern cosmology has extended this idea to reason that the earth does not occupy any unique position in the Universe. Modern philosophy of science pushes the principle even further to conclude that every observer (even if they be they little green men) should reason as if they were the most standard observer. However, despite all these humble and rational thoughts it is still tempting to explain certain aspects of modern cosmology that seem finely tuned as consequences of observer selection effects. Namely I am speaking of dark energy or the accelerated cosmological expansion which supposedly could be explained if we occupy a privileged position near the center of a large, nonlinear, and nearly spherical void in mass density. The idea that the region of the cosmos around us could be a void is colloquially known in astronomy as the Hubble bubble.” Read full article please

via The Astronomist: Hubble Bubble.

Crisis in the Gulf of Mexico

July 27, 2010 § 4 Comments

Just because BP has capped the well does NOT mean the crisis is over. It is just beginning. This is about all of us, not just the people living the gulf. What happens in the oceans effects every living organism on the planet.

MERI Director Investigates Impacts of BP Disaster on Gulf Sea Life

http://ted.com/talks/view/id/925

MERI Director and marine toxicologist Dr. Susan Shaw just returned from the Gulf of Mexico where, accompanied by a London Times crew, she dove in the oil slick to get a first-hand look at impacts on marine life. She is one of few experts who have actually gone underwater to investigate the spill’s effects.

via Crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.

Schedule for LHC’s next few years revealed

July 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

The race is on, or continuing between the LHC and the Tevatron.  Regular readers know of my passion for particle physics. I find the work they are doing at the accelerators endlessly fascinating. Will they find this Higgs? Personally I don’t think so. Can I back that up with a reasoned argument? Nope. But, there are some very brilliant theoretical physicists who can. My point, I don’t have a horse in this race. I am watching it for the beauty of the game. It is beautiful.

“Steve Myers, CERN’s Director for Accelerators and Technology, presented the LHC schedule for the next 10 years today in the first plenary presentation at the International Conference on High Energy Physics. Myers also presented his predictions for the amount of data that the LHC may collect over the same time period. These predictions over the next few years will be scrutinized closely by scientists at Fermilab’s Tevatron, who have proposed extending the accelerator’s life for a further 3 years.” Read full Story»

via symmetry breaking » Blog Archive » Schedule for LHC’s next few years revealed.

Will the Biological Universe Trump Physics?

July 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

This is a short article that pretty closely says what I have been trying to articulate for so long. I would appreciate any of comments, insight, and re-tweets.

“most of the comprehensive theories universe are no more than stories that fail to take into account one crucial factor: we are creating them. It is the biological creature that makes observations, names what it observes, and creates stories. Science has not succeeded in confronting the element of existence that is at once most familiar and most mysterious—conscious experience.” Please read full article»

via Will the Biological Universe Trump Physics?.

Beginning and End of the Universe

July 26, 2010 § 3 Comments

Universe History

* The diagram below outlines the major Eras of the Universe according to the Big Bang Theory. Click the picture for many more details and a larger image. The one line in the article that caught my attention the most was at the end.

“One important point is that since everything that we learn about the Universe comes from light (photons), if there are no photons there is no information. Thus, before the end of the era of nuclei, we have no information since the photons were trapped. We will never see this era of the Universe with photons, but maybe gravity waves (?).”

That is a point that has been bothering me. Since we can’t “see” most of the Universe why do some (not all) scientists cling so tightly to one theory to the exclusion of all others? Isn’t it possible the standard model is wrong? Or, Isn’t is possible string theory is wrong? or M-theory? or even the Big Bang Theory? People use to think the theory of a geocentric universe was true. We agreed to get over that. Well, most of us did. I am just saying Science is about keeping an open mind about the facts. And the facts are, at the moment, most of the Universe is still invisible.

via Astronomy 309: COSMOLOGY.

Bubbles!

July 19, 2010 § 8 Comments

I am a little obsessed with bubbles. As you may have read on this blog, I had an awakening a couple of years back. It was brought on by many factors including physical and mental trauma. Not the least of which were a couple of mini-strokes that happened while I was “dead” or being revived. The point being that my brain seems to have rewired itself in some strange and wonderful ways. Before this enlightenment, I had almost no knowledge of quantum physics, astrophysics, particle physics, etc. So, When I had this eye-opening experience and all these pieces started falling into place, my mind started racing out of control. It was almost too much to handle. I have never been a very disciplined person. I said “Shit, I need to learn to meditate.” Once I calmed myself down, I started reading as much as I could online and watching every documentary I could find on the evolution of well… everything. I had a picture in my head that I could not articulate because I did not have the language. First, the language center of my brain is a little messed up. Second, I don’t have the education. I took one physics and one trigonometry class in high school. I think I took one advanced algebra class in college but that is it. Of course I knew of the Big Bang theory but could not discuss it in detail. My knowledge of string theory didn’t go beyond my love for the series Quantum Leap.

I knew that what I put together in my mind was important. It was something the world should know. But who the hell was I to tell anyone anything. I felt an urgency to find some word, some image, just someplace to start looking for someone to tell what was in my head. I knew it was that important. Then I saw a documentary on M-Theory. I turned to my husband and said “Everything’s OK now. They’re already working on it.” All the anxiety and urgency melted away. The thirst for knowledge did not. I still read every thing I can. (it takes a long time) And watch every documentary.

Yes I am quite aware of how utterly nuts this all sounds. I am myself a skeptic. If I read this on someones blog I would cry “bullshit”. But I am not trying to convince anyone of anything. I am not trying to sell anything. I don’t care if you believe me or not. For a long time I was convinced I was alone in this experience. Upon further research, it is quite common.

Now for the obsession with bubbles. BUBBLES! Forgive me. Yes, it does have to do with bubble universe theory. It is also a very sweet inside joke with my husband having to do the movie Finding Nemo and of course the character Bubbles. We are now the type of happy couple I use to make fun of back when I was a cynical person.

Parallel Universes is a 2001 documentary produced by the BBC’s Horizon series. The documentary has to do with parallel universes, string theory, M theory, supergravity, and other theoretical physics concepts. Participants include Michio Kaku, Paul Steinhardt, Neil Turok, Burt Ovrut, Alan Guth and other physicists. It is not the documentary I was watching that day, but it is one of our favorites. If you have not seen it please take the time. Even if you have no interest in physics. It will rock your world. If you have seen it. It is worth another viewing. We have watched it several times.

 

Click here to see Parallel Universes

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