tagged w/ Albert Einstein
In their efforts to crack the mysteries of gravity, scientists continue to probe Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. The latest test involved a curious binary star system.
By Pete Spotts, Staff writer / April 25, 2013
The most massive neutron star known and its tightly orbiting companion, a wimp of a white-dwarf, have provided one of the most extreme tests yet of Einstein's theory of general relativity.
The theory has again passed with flying colors – for now.
Although the theory has cleared test after test over the past century, researchers keep trying to find its limits. They don't think it's wrong, just incomplete.
The other basic forces of nature – the strong force, which binds particles in an atom's nucleus, the weak force, which governs radioactive decay, and electromagnetism – have found explanations in quantum physics. Gravity is the only force that so far has resisted assimilation.
Many physicists are convinced that resistance is futile and that at some point gravity will yield to a quantum-physics explanation. But that breakdown may only become apparent under the most extreme conditions – conditions no human technology can establish.
So researchers turn to the cosmos for their extremes. And in the binary pair identified as PSR J0348+0432, they've found perhaps the most extreme conditions yet.
The pair is located some 7,000 light-years from Earth. The neutron star is all that remains of a star at least 10 times more massive than the sun that ended its luminous run in an explosion known as a supernova. Astronomers estimate that the neutron star is about 12 miles across. But it is so dense that a thimble full of the matter the explosion left behind would weigh about 1 billion tons.
Full story at link: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2013/0425/Einstein-s-theory-of-general-relativity-gets-most-extreme-test-yet?nav=87-frontpage-entryNineItemIn their efforts to crack the mysteries of gravity, scientists continue to probe... more
Monday, March 19, 2012
Evolution Under a Temperamental Sun
By Faye Flam
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
You didn’t need to be a solar physicist to be riveted by the “solar storm” that sent a blast of charged particles our way this month. That particular flare-up fizzled, but in the long term, the sun’s temper is worthy of our attention.
Our sun changes, and living things adapt or die.
Our planet circled a very different star when life first emerged on Earth some four billion years ago. The sun was dimmer and cooler, but more violent, sending deadly blasts of X-rays as well as particles that would have lit up the skies with spectacular auroras.
The displays would have been visible worldwide, but probably had no spectators, since life needed to stay deep underwater or buried inside minerals to survive until the sun calmed down.
For most of human history no one realized that the sun was fickle, breaking out in spots, flares, and eruptions, and would eventually kill all life on our planet.
“It was a huge part of Western culture that the heavens were forever and unchanging,” said University of Michigan astronomer Fred Adams, who has written books on the beginning of the universe and the end.
Galileo was the first to see spots on the sun, which did not ingratiate him with the church. Even Einstein was influenced by the cultural bias toward unchanging heavens, Adams said, altering his theory of general relativity to work in a static universe. Soon after he published his theory, Edwin Hubble showed the universe was in fact expanding.
It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that people realized the sun was running on nuclear fusion, and that when its fuel started to run low, the sun would die a violent death, blowing up into an enormous red giant.
For those concerned that the Mayans have forecast the end of the world this year, the astronomers’ threat of more solar storms may seem even more ominous.
It’s true we’re moving into a stormy season that should last into 2013, but this happens every 11 years, said Douglas Duncan, an astronomer at the University of Colorado and director of the Fiske Planetarium. Astronomers still don’t know why solar storms come in cycles or why it takes 11 years, he said. Duncan has catalogued similar cycles on other stars, and learned that sunspots and solar storms come in cycles all over the galaxy.
The cycles vary in length depending on a star’s age — the cycles lengthening as stars get older.
During the peaks, or solar maxima, the spots on the sun increase, and the sun bursts with flares and storms. The sun always sends us a solar wind of protons and electrons, but during a solar storm, these shoot out in gusts. When the particles reach Earth, they light up molecules in our atmosphere as if it were a giant fluorescent bulb.
The effects on Earth are more dramatic if the gusts are released on a direct path to Earth, as scientists thought happened earlier this month. That would be unlikely to affect human health directly, but it could have disabled satellites, particularly ones that channel GPS signals.
When Duncan was comparing sunspot cycles on different stars, he said he got a call from Carl Sagan wanting to know how solar activity might influence the course of life on Earth. That, Duncan said, would take an expert on our planet’s early history.
We humans couldn’t have tolerated the ultraviolet radiation and X-rays that pummeled our planet during life’s early history. About three billion to four billion years ago, the UV intensity was between 8 and 20 times what we have now, said geochemist Stephen Mojzsis of the Université Claude Bernard in Lyon, France. So for several billion years, life survived protected by water. As the sun cooled down and oxygen began to rise with the advent of blue-green algae, he said, life expanded to fill up the land as soon as it became habitable.
The sun was also cooler and was red rather than yellow, and we may carry an evolutionary fossil of that time in our eyes, he said. On the early Earth, microbes that were just starting to use photosynthesis began manufacturing a pigment called rhodopsin, which is good for absorbing red light. As the sun became yellow, the ability to make rhodopsin persisted, though different organisms used it for other purposes.
We use it in our retinas for night vision.
The sun was also 30 percent dimmer in the distant past, said Mojzsis. If it dimmed that much now, the Earth would freeze solid, but on the early Earth, different configurations of land masses and a different atmospheric chemistry kept the oceans liquid under such a cool sun.
The sun is getting hotter because it’s fusing hydrogen into the heavier element helium. That’s causing the sun to get denser and the nuclear fusion that powers it to become more efficient.
Scientists estimate that in 500 million to 1.5 billion years, the sun will be hot enough to wipe out all life on Earth. Moving to Mars would only postpone the apocalypse.
Our neighbor, Alpha Centauri, shines in a brighter, more bluish light because it’s older and hotter than our sun. If it had any habitable planets, they are now burnt to a crisp, said Mojzsis.
In an additional five billion years, the sun will start to run out of fuel, and before it dies, it will expel its outer layers, becoming a red giant. Astronomers used to assume that the sun would swallow our planet, said Duncan, but more recent calculations show it will expand to just about the size of Earth’s orbit. Either way, it will broil us.
As for those pessimists who worry about the Mayan predictions, Duncan said he’s looked into the matter and the ancient civilization didn’t really predict the world would end this year. Mayans did create an advanced calendar that was so good they extended it many centuries into the future. It just happened to end with 2012.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Evolution Under a... more
Lumber Jack Bob is back with another BOOK NOOK and this time he reviews a book written by ALBERT BROOKS called 2030. It’s about the future and what America will be like in 2030. With two guests, yes, the BOOK NOOK had quests this time; Albert Brooks Einstein and Swammy Davis Jr. join Lumber Jack Bob on WHACKO-TV.Lumber Jack Bob is back with another BOOK NOOK and this time he reviews a book written... more
Epic rap battle with the greatest minds and greatest disses. “Take a seat Steve… Oops I see you've brought your own!”Epic rap battle with the greatest minds and greatest disses. “Take a seat... more
There is a debate in Israel about whether the Zionist state is on the slippery slope to fascism or is already fascist. As far as I am aware the mainstream Western media has not drawn any attention to this.
> It was Albert Einstein, the father of modern physics, who, along with 27 other most
> influential Jews, first warned of the danger of the rise of fascism in Israel. In a letter
> to the Editor of The New York Times published on 4 December 1948, when
> Menachem Begin was soliciting support in America, they said this:
> “Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the
> newly created state of Israel of the “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Haherut), a political party
> closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the
> Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the
> former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.
> “The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is
> obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the
> coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist
> elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have lent their
> names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism
> throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin’s political record and
> perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.
> “Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial contributions, public
> manifestations in Begin’s behalf, and the creation in Palestine of the impression that
> a large segment of America supports Fascist elements in Israel, the American public
> must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement.
> The public avowals of Begin’s party are no guide whatever to its actual character.
> Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until
> recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that
> the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what
> it may be expected to do in the future.”
More than six decades on, under the headline Weimar in Jerusalem: The rise of fascism in Israel, Uri Avnery wrote: “Throughout the years, we were careful not to mention the word fascism in public discourse. It raises memories which are too monstrous. Now this taboo has been broken.”
Avnery recalled that Yitzhak Herzog, the minister of welfare in the Netanyahu government, a member of the Labour party, the grandson of a chief rabbi and the son of a president, had said a few days previously that “fascism is touching the margins of our society”. He was wrong, Avnery declared.
“Fascism is not only touching the margins, it is touching the government in which he is serving, and the Knesset, of which he is a member.” Einstein-like, Avnery warned that “fascism will overwhelm Israel” unless progressive forces “awake from the coma, understand what is happening and where it is leading to.”
On 3 September, under the Ha’aretz headline Fascism is already here, Yossi Sarid wrote that “Israeli democracy is mainly for decoration, like a tree grown for its beauty, not to bear fruit.” Sarid asked what a citizen could do when his or her soul “is fed up with occupation.”
And this was his answer:
> “If he participates in the popular struggle against the separation fence, he will be
> buried outside the fence of the cemetery; if he demonstrates in Sheikh Jarrah, he will
> feel the heavy hand of the police; if he is a university lecturer, they’ll send the
> watchdogs after him in the name of Zionism; if he belongs to a theatre troupe,
> someone who can still see the Green Line in his mind’s eye, they will threaten the
> source of his income; if he is a school principal who tries not just to support
> settlements, they will look for a different institution for him because that is not how we
> do things; if he is a judge who dares deny that security is of the utmost importance,
> they will blame him for bloodshed; if he is a journalist who refuses to join in the
> chorus, there will be cries to boycott his newspaper; if he is a citizen who wishes to
> protect a child being threatened with expulsion from the country, he too will be
> blacklisted as an enemy of the people; and a long list remains.”
In a special investigation for Ynetnews on 21 October, Uri Misgav reported that “experts were divided on whether nationalistic trends in Israel were tantamount to fascism.”
He pointed out that over the years leftist demonstrators had chanted |”Fascism won’t pass!” but the Left, he added, “keeps on declining, while fascism is increasingly gaining a foothold here.
Significant parts of the Jewish public endorse blatant nationalistic and fascist principles, as shown by the Yedioth Ahronoth and Dr. Mina Tzemach poll published last week, including limited freedom of expression and association as well as limiting voting rights to Jews only.” As Misgav noted, there are scholars who are warning against using the term “fascism” too lightly and cheapening it.
Tel Aviv University Professor Yossi Shain was quoted as saying, “The question is whether a threat to democracy exists.” Among those who think there is such a threat were several hundred youth group members who held rallies across Israel to condemn the government’s loyalty oath decision as racist and anti-democratic.
This was after actors and authors had protested in Tel Aviv, read out the Declaration of Independence and published a new document entitled “Declaration of Independence from Fascism.” One of that protest’s initiators, author and journalist Sefi Rachlevsky, said: “This successful and miserable people, which experienced persecution and a holocaust, deserves independence, democracy and a life free of fascism. The real struggle today is not between leftists and rightists, but rather, between democrats and fascists.”
Misgav also noted that some religious figures are losing sleep over the latest trends. He quoted Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman as saying: “We saw the emergence of a new Jew in Israel; this does not include Lieberman alone, but rather, anyone who voted for the loyalty oath law, including religious parties. This Jew is no longer interested in religion or in Jewish values, but rather, uses his Jewishness to produce hatred and nationalism. The discourse around the loyalty oath gives rise to a corrupt situation: Instead of Judaism being used to criticize nationalism… it turns into a means that leads to fascism.”
> As Einstein observed all those years ago, the American public “must” be informed
> about what is really happening in Israel. But there’s no chance that it will be as long
> as the mainstream media is unwilling to give voice to those Israeli Jews who can see
> fascism coming.There is a debate in Israel about whether the Zionist state is on the slippery slope... more
An American physicist is calling for Hollywood producers to tone down the fanciful science in movies - and restrict themselves to just one scientific flaw per film. But which are the worst offenders when it comes to bad science films?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8530405.stmAn American physicist is calling for Hollywood producers to tone down the fanciful... more
The Rotten Tomatoes Show asks... Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
The Rotten Tomatoes Show is a movie review show that airs on Thursday nights at 10:30 e/p on Current TV. From reviews of the newest releases to commentary on cult favorites and movie trends, each episode of The Rotten Tomatoes Show is a fast-paced, comedic journey through the week in cinema.
For more from the Rotten Tomatoes Show: http://rottentomatoesshow.com
For more about movies from Current: http://current.com/moviesThe Rotten Tomatoes Show asks... Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Oscar Wrigley, a two-year-old with the same IQ as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, has become the youngest boy in Britain to be accepted into Mensa.
Assessors at the Gifted Children's Information Centre in Solihull said Oscar, with an IQ of at least 160, is one of the brightest children they have every come across.
He has been ranked in the 99.99th percentile of the population and has been ranked off the scale as the Stanford-Binet test cannot measure higher than 160.
Oscar's father Joe, 29, an IT specialist from Reading in Berkshire, said: "Oscar was recently telling my wife about the reproductive cycle of penguins.
"He is always asking questions. Every parent likes to think their child was special but we knew there was something particularly remarkable about Oscar.
Dr Peter Congdon, who assessed Oscar, said he was a "child of very superior intelligence".
"His abilities fall well within the range sometimes referred to as intellectually gifted. He demonstrated outstanding ability," he said.
John Stevenage, Mensa's Chief Executive confirmed Oscar had been accepted aged two years, five months and 11 days.Oscar Wrigley, a two-year-old with the same IQ as Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking,... more
Quantum Physicist Approves the Time Traveler's Wife
Tragic love stories may not be your thing, but physicist Dave Goldberg says there's another reason to be excited for the film adaptation of The Time Traveler's Wife: it's the most accurate time travel movie you'll see all year.
Goldberg, a physics professor at Drexel University, and co-author of the upcoming book A User's Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes and Quantum Uncertainty, says that amidst the current glut of more fantastical time travel dramas — in which he includes Lost, Star Trek, and Heroes — The Time Traveler's Wife is a breath of relatively accurate air.
Looking at the theories developed by Albert Einstein, Hugh Everett, Igor Novikov, and Kip Thorne, Goldberg creates a checklist for accurate time travel rules ("You can't visit any time before your time machine was built." "You can't kill your own grandfather."), and explains how well The Time Traveler's Wife fits within those rules. The verdict: the story bends the rules a bit, but in a somewhat justifiable way, and comes out leagues ahead of most popular time travel tales.
One point I wish Goldberg had addressed is whether nudity is a prerequisite for time travel, because personally when they build the time machine, I'd prefer to arrive fully clothed.Quantum Physicist Approves the Time Traveler's Wife
Tragic love stories may... more
Nudists are on the cover of 'Tan' magazine, and that means they're in 'We've Got You Covered,' Conor Knighton's weekly roundup of what's in the glossies. He reads them so you don't have to. Also includes Eminem, Lady GaGa, Conan O'Brien, Oprah Winfrey's crazy talk, business problems in America, the new socialism, Sonia Sotomayor, Albert Einstein, and how to build a time machine.
We've Got You Covered is a recurring segment on Current TV's weekly television show, infoMania. In each episode of We've Got You Covered, Conor Knighton catches you up on everything you need to know about what's in this week's magazines. For more We've Got You Covered visit: http://current.com/topics/88829107_weve-got-you-covered/ and Current TV.
infoMania is a half-hour satirical news show that airs on Current TV. The show puts a comedic spin on the 24-hour chaos and information overload brought about by the constant bombardment of the media. Hosted by Conor Knighton and co-starring Brett Erlich, Sarah Haskins, Ben Hoffman, and Sergio Cilli, the show airs on Thursdays at 10 pm Eastern and Pacific Times and can be found online at http://current.com/infomania/ or on Current TV. And make sure to check out our facebook profile for special features at http://infomaniafacebook.com.Nudists are on the cover of 'Tan' magazine, and that means they're in... more
Does Linda Evangelista look like a fucking velociraptor in the new L'oreal advert?
A robot replica of Albert Einstein has emotional intelligence which can understand human interactions.A robot replica of Albert Einstein has emotional intelligence which can understand... more
4 years ago
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. His definition fits America’s war on drugs, a multi-billion dollar, four-decade exercise in futility.
The war on drugs has helped turn the United States into the country with the world’s largest prison population. (Noteworthy statistic: The U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population and around 25 percent of the world’s prisoners). Keen demand for illicit drugs in America, the world’s biggest market, helped spawn global criminal enterprises that use extreme violence in the pursuit of equally extreme profits.
Over the years, the war on drugs has spurred repeated calls from social scientists and economists (including three Nobel prize winners) to seriously rethink a strategy that ignores the laws of supply and demand.
Under the headline “The Failed War on Drugs,” Washington’s respected, middle-of-the-road Brookings Institution said in a November report that drug use had not declined significantly over the years and that “falling retail drug prices reflect the failure of efforts to reduce the supply of drugs.”
Cocaine production in South America stands at historic highs, the report noted.
Like other think tanks, Brookings stopped short of recommending a radical departure from past policies with a proven track record of failure such as spending billions on crop eradication in Latin America and Asia while allotting paltry sums in comparison to rehabilitating addicts.
Enter Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), an organization started in 2002 by police officers, judges, narcotics agents, prison wardens and others with first-hand experience of implementing policies that echo the prohibition of alcohol. Prohibition, now widely regarded a dismal and costly failure of social engineering, came to an end 75 years ago this week.
As LEAP sees it, the best way to fight drug crime and violence is to legalize drugs and regulate them the same way alcohol and tobacco is now regulated. “We repealed prohibition once and we can do it again,” one of the group’s co-founders, Terry Nelson, told a Washington news conference on December 2. “We cannot arrest our way out of this problem.”
FROM AL CAPONE TO DRUG CARTELS
(the rest at URL)Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting... more
Looking for a solid investment in this difficult financial market? Try celebrity body parts. The current owner of Napoleon Bonaparte's penis, Evan Lattimer of Englewood, N.J., recently turned down an offer of $100,000 for the fabled organ. Not bad for a relic purchased in 1977 by her father, the famous Columbia University urologist Dr. John Kingsley Lattimer, for a mere $3,000--about $10,000 in today's money.
Napoleon should be proud, given that his manhood was often the butt of cruel jokes while he was alive. (The item is not exactly imposing today: Dried out like a piece of beef jerky, the mummified organ is only about an inch and a half long, laid on a wad of cotton wool, although the antique leather presentation case in which it is preserved is very tasteful, embossed with a gold crown and the letter "N").
Le Petit Corporal isn't the only deceased militant bringing in the bucks. A lock of Che Guevara's hair sold for $100,000 last year in Dallas. (It had been cut from his corpse by CIA operatives after he was killed in Bolivia.)
But not every body part hits the jackpot. Take Albert Einstein's eyeballs, which the scientist's former ophthalmologist, Henry Abrams, reportedly still keeps in a safety deposit box. Abrams, who is now 96, tried to sell the items in the early 1990s. The figure of $5 million was bandied about, and rumors spread that Michael Jackson was interested--who else?--but then Abrams got cold feet and the whole sale collapsed.
Still, the investment potential is huge. And luckily, there are enough celebrity body parts available to make up a luminary Frankenstein.
Abraham Lincoln's skull fragments are on display in Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C., at the National Museum of Health and Medicine. They have never been up for sale, but the president's blood-stained shirt collar will go under the hammer on Nov. 20, touted in the auction catalog as "the finest single 'blood relic' that exists" from the assassination night at Ford's Theater.
Galileo's withered finger can be seen in a museum in Florence, Italy, where it is kept in an egg-shaped glass resembling a football trophy. Bits of President Grover Cleveland's jaw are on display in the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. Beethoven's ear bones were removed during autopsy and passed around by collectors for years. They were lost in the later 19th century but may yet resurface on the market--after all, parts of his skull turned up in California in 2005.
Given the recent collapse of the global equities markets, maybe investors should give up trading stocks and begin haunting the world's top celebrity cemeteries, like Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles, where Marilyn Monroe is buried, or the Père Lachaise in Paris, home to luminaries ranging from Oscar Wilde to Jim Morrison. Admittedly, you really have to have the stomach for this sort of memorabilia trading. When push comes to shove, many financial dilettantes may baulk at the prospect of having pieces of Napoleon or Beethoven lying around the house. It might all seem a little, well, creepy.
On the other hand, perhaps our interest in celebrity body parts isn't entirely morbid. There's something very human about this fascination, as if we must convince ourselves that these astonishing historical figures were once actual living beings, not demigods who sprang from the heavens. They had awkward adolescences, suffered dental problems, fell in and out of love. Our interest springs from the same source as our passion for lurid celebrity gossip that dominates tabloids. Buying Einstein's eyeballs is only a step away from the trade in Madonna's bras or George Clooney's cuff links.Looking for a solid investment in this difficult financial market? Try celebrity body... more