Friday, June 30, 2006

Universe of Strings

Image from Wikipedia: warning this image may be copyrighted

"The quest for a theory linking all matter and all forces led physicists deep into hyperspace, where they got horribly lost. But suddenly the way ahead has become clear",
-- says superstring theorist.

But what are these extra dimensions? see cosmicvariance:

"Imagine a tightrope stretched between skyscrapers," says JoAnne Hewett from SLAC. "If you are watching an acrobat walk across it - the tightrope looks like a line. But if you are watching an ant walk on the tightrope, you can see that the tightrope is thick and round." - The extra dimensions postulated in string theory are like the tightrope with an ant on it; they are too small to see unless you get really, really close.

For further reading visit:

An ant's perspective
How particles came to be

Plato [Homepage]

Three dimensions are all we see -- how could there be any more? Einstein's general theory of relativity tells us that space can expand, contract, and bend. If one direction were to contract down to an extremely tiny size, much smaller than an atom, it would be hidden from our view. If we could see on small enough scales, that hidden dimension might become visible.

For further reading see Plato on dimensional-referencing

The earlier concept of a universe made of physical particles interacting according to fixed laws is no longer tenable. It is implicit in present findings that action rather than matter is basic ...

This good news, for it is no longer appropriate to think of the universe as a gradually subsiding agitation of billiard balls. The universe far from being a desert of inert particles is a theatre of increasingly complex organization, a stage for developmemt in which man has a definitive place, without an upper limit to his evolution.

Arthur M Young. The Reflexive Universe

For further reading visit: developing character in rhetoric

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Water of life


Scientists theorize that most of the universe's water is produced as a byproduct of star formation.

Gary.Melnick, Center for Astrophysics, explains: "For reasons that aren't entirely understood, when stars are born, their birth is accompanied by a strong outward wind of gas and dust. When this outflowing material eventually impacts the surrounding gas, the shock waves that are created compress and heat the gas. The water we observe is rapidly produced in this warm dense gas."

The coexistence of the solid, liquid, and gaseous phases of water on Earth is vital to existence of life on Earth. However, if the Earth's location in the solar system were even marginally closer or further from the Sun (ie, a million miles or so), the conditions which allow the three forms to be present simultaneously would be far less likely to exist.

Earth's mass allows gravity to hold an atmosphere. Water vapor and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere provide a greenhouse effect which helps maintain a relatively steady surface temperature. If Earth were less massive, a thinner atmosphere would cause temperature extremes preventing the accumulation of water except in polar ice caps (as on Mars).
The distance between Earth and the Sun, the combination of solar radiation received and the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere ensure that Earth's surface is neither too cold nor too hot for liquid water. If Earth were more distant from the Sun, most water would be frozen. If Earth were nearer to the Sun, its higher surface temperature would limit the formation of ice caps, or cause water to exist only as vapor.

It has been proposed that life itself may maintain the conditions that have allowed its continued existence. The surface temperature of Earth has been relatively constant through geologic time despite varying levels of incoming solar radiation (insolation), indicating that a dynamic process governs Earth's temperature via a combination of greenhouse gases and surface or atmospheric albedo. This proposal is known as the Gaia hypothesis.

From the fount of public knowledge
wikipedia : Water Molecular properties

So next time some joker from cosmicvariance wants to tell you you are descended from monkeys, mudskippers or whatever, you might want to explain to him, that he and his p for a brain are more like descended first from water. Heard the one about water on the brain Mark. Just as you can separate water into hydrogen and oxygen, you can separate man into his constituent parts: matter and spirit.

Incidentally No Water, No Guinness
Find out why Guinness bubbles go down



1000 years ago the Maya believed that
Space and Time were the same phenomenon.

"Here Be Dragons" was written on old maps indicating the unknown and dangerous. This photo was taken in Bali and this is a DRAGON. The world we read about in fairy tales really does exist! There are dragons and princesses, heroes and villains, good and evil. All we need do is be brave and look for them.
For further adventures in Space/Time and cosmological observations on singularities, and Saturn's Rings & Moons please visit:
Louise Riofrio @ riofriospacetime

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Hidden Dimensions

Extra dimensions of space may be present in our universe. Their discovery would dramatically change our view of the cosmos and would prompt many questions.
How do they hide? What is their shape? How many are there? How big are they? Do particles and forces feel their presence?

Joanne Hewett
2006 slac lectures

In this Universe, we are still confronted with sometimes conflicting theories pulling in opposing directions, presenting different cosmoligical views or perceptions of the formation and origins or age of the Universe which surrounds us.

The Universe we live in
A constant and constantly evolving Universe.
We have some earth-shaking moments and events coming up at colliders or accelerators, which hope to demonstrate or reveal further evidence of the cosmological past of our universe, prove or disprove a big bang, and reveal the exciting possibility of extra dimensions in the space/time continuum.

An expanding universe, well hmmm... maybe we should use the term continuously evolving otherwise known in the trade as expanding Universe.

Supernova Acceleration Probes video animation SNAP
Supernova Acceleration Probes are to be sent to supernovae searching for evidence of an expanding universe which is flat and accelerating, ...
The discovery by the Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP) and the High-Z Supernova team that the expansion of the universe is accelerating poses an exciting mystery — for if the universe were governed by gravitational attraction, its rate of expansion would be slowing.
Acceleration requires a strange dark energy opposing this gravity. Is this Einstein’s cosmological constant, or more exotic new physics? Whatever the explanation, it will lead to new discoveries in astrophysics, particle physics, and gravitation.

Observations of exploding stars called Type Ia supernovae use them as markers of the expansion, of the growth of the universe as a function of time. Variations in the growth of distances reveal a picture of the cosmic environment, and so the pull of dark energy, in the way that the width of tree ring growth indicates the Earth's climatic environment over time. Combined with other astrophysical measurements, supernovae imply that more than two-thirds of our universe must be this dark energy.

well hmmm... perhaps the word constant for neither expanding or contracting, and not deccelerating would better describe what is meant by accelerating.

Blackholes and 'holes' in the spacetime fabric, are words which have already been used by others, words often with a different meaning. Can be so confusing or misleading.

Blackholes or Stars gone Supernova, where there is no longer a sizeable Sun and orbiting planets, possibly have a 'singularity' with the same gravitational pull as a Sun or Star, which one must skirt around so as not to be sucked into. This is what a blackhole could turn out to be, and which therefore is not a 'hole' but more likely an empty space in Space with a 'centre' which has the same gravitational pull as if a visible Sun or Star were still there.

Except it no longer is a Star or Sun, all that remains in that section/sector of space is possibly a 'singularity' with the mass and compressed density of the previous Sun or Star.
For intergalactic video animation visit: hubblesite blackholes

For update on the Shaw Prize for the accelerating universe
please visit: Saul Perlmutter, Adam Riess, Brian Schmidt ,
and Sean Carroll @ cosmicvariance
For more on extra dimensions and strings
please read
Warped Passages by Lisa Randall

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Galapagos Islands

Darwinian.Evolution or another hidden dimension

The Galápagos Islands iguana is one of the signature animals of the Galápagos islands.


There is something most appealing about Ecuador and the almost constant equanimity between day and night.

Especially where the glow from artificial light doesn't blind us to the 'natural' reflection and light from the moon and stars.
Even the daylight can make us more susceptible to the riot of exotic colours the sheer diversity and beauty of nature in this earthly demi-paradise.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Sonic Booms 2

hmmmm lets try this:

"string" instruments and scales follow mathematical sequences as do "wind" instruments producing sound waves, even electronic instruments, keyboards can be programmed.

So music the playing (art or maths) becomes sound (sience) physics. Not all musicians are physicists or scientists, and there are many many rythms 'styles' and 'tastes' 'flavours' 'colours' 'moods' in (of) music, or creation of sound.

Some strings or chords are dissonant, out of tune or not in harmony.

Ultimately what does the most uptodate Microsoft system do that Apple does not, and viceversa. They may use different codes or gimmicks and particular/specific features, but incrementally they both incorporate each others.

Who is better Airbus or Boeing, do they not by enlarge incorporate the same features, whilst trying to remain individual + identifiable forms of mass transport.

I think more important and ODD is that both Leonard Susskind & Lee Smolin appear to have accepted the eggtray view of the Megaverse, with multiple pocket universes - edge145 - they only differ in how we travel to these (1) over himalayan ridges, or (2) thru blackholes, in our 'pocket' universe.

Evident differences exist here. I do not agree wholly with either Leonard Russkind or Lee Smolin, or in fact with those things on which they both agree on. Like most people out there I agree on some points and differ on others with both.
I don't view them as other pocket universes at all, and we do not travel to them via blackholes. Blackholes are not holes but possibly craterlike absence of previous Suns or Stars.

Other dimensions in The One Universe.
Some we may be able to travel to physically with science and technology, ie: microscopic, macroscopic or sub-atomic dimensions. Gravitational forces at sub-atomic level and the world of microbiology, disease and nanotechnology.
Some we cannot travel to physically, but beyond physics metaphysically or in the spirit. Take death, no one can physically open the door to the otherside or physically open the door back.

The 4Dimensional space/time co-ordinates are sufficient for global communications purposes, buy are insufficient to configure the Universe, for practical or travel purposes.
These 4Dimensions may (and probably can/do) encapsulate 10Dimensions at subatomic level, as defined by Lisa Randall in her book Warped Passages

We first need to complete a theoretical hypothesis of how the various obstacles, gravitational pull and orbits will affect the routes before we can embark on safe galactic or intergalactic travel in those dimensions.

Photo courtesy of Louise Riofrio @ riofriospacetime

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Star Birth - Galaxy Core

A Bright Ring of Star Birth around Core of Galaxy

Buckingham Palace holds a garden party spectacular for more than 2000 children to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's 80th birthday.
England 1 Ecuador 0 - 2006 World Cup in Stuttgart
Beckham's winning goal takes England to quarter finals.

A.Bright.Ring.of.Star.Birth.Around.Core.of.Galaxy NGC 4314
Bluish-purple clumps of infant stars form a ring around the core of galaxy NGC 4314. It's unusual to find a galaxy with spiral arms full of young stars close to the core. Just outside the star-forming ring are two dark, wispy lanes of dust and an extra pair of blue spiral arms.

Core of galaxy Credits:
G. Fritz Benedict, Andrew Howell, Inger Jorgensen, David Chapell (University of Texas), Jeffery Kenney (Yale University), and Beverly J. Smith (CASA, University of Colorado), and NASA


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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Source of Life

Make yourself right
Meditate in a special place where your voice cannot be heard by others. Cleanse your heart and soul of all other thoughts in the world. Imagine that at this time your soul is separating itself from your body, and that you are leaving the physical world behind so that you enter the future world that is the source of life.
An individual thus ascends with the power of his concentration from one thing to the next, until he reaches the Infinite

myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

The Infinite, not wishing to come down to the extenal senses, sends His own words [logoi] or angels to give assistance to those who love virtue. They attend like physicians to the diseases of the soul, apply themselves to heal them, offer sacred recommendations like sacred laws, and invite humans to practice the duties inculcated by them. Like the trainers and wrestlers, they implant in their pupils strength and power and irresistible vigour
You are one resonant harmonious string.
You are one vibrant pulsating string in (of) the universe.
You are one conscious string/stream of motion & emotion.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006


Quasar9 Perspectives: Atoms, black holes & Time
Joe Fitzimons talks about the greeks and atoms
John Baez gives us length scales in physics, Sean @ cosmic variance gives us a scale model of a proton inside the eleven mile hydrogen atom.
Bad Astronomy and Enceladus show perspectives of what Earth looks like from Mars, a white dot in the sky.

myspace layouts, myspace codes, glitter graphics

Time. Relativity & relative Time
Aaaah, the wanting to do everything and be everywhere that sometimes grips us.

Yep, strange world we live.There really 'are' parallel worlds if not parallel universes.
1) Customer services answer phones
2) Call centres from (in) India
3) Magic bullet pharmacy

and, last but not least

4) Remote, from video link doctors (GPs) appointments, and surgery

Star Trek's next generation holographic doctor, here we come.
Funny how everyone wants to earn as much as a 'doctor' but few people have time to deal with real patients or 'real' problems. I know most of people's problems are in the Mind, but it never ceases to amaze me how technical and electronic or 'physical' problems, like the phone problems, blog glitches or databases, do 'actually' get resolved.

Oh yes I do. People working long hours and overtime against the clock, with hardly any sleep.

One day when I was young, I did my 13 and one half hour shift, rushed round to get my new speedboat, towed it to the harbour, launched it, raced it round to the beach, posed and had a cold drink at the bar with friends, started getting windy so raced back to the harbour, stopped a passenger ferry who seeing me in distress in the brewing storm let me thru', took the boat back to shed. Changed, went for my flying lesson and almost fell asleep at 5,000 feet. Got home and had no time to sleep before going back to work. Lost the job, lost the 4x4, the speedboat, the apartment, and the girlfriend, all in one fell swoop, or overdose of euphoric adrenalin & excitement, turned into one bad hair day. lol!

But hey live and learn. All in a days play or work. You just get up, dust yourself down and try again. So when you work, work hard and rest, and when you play play hard and fast. But warning don't try and do both or ALL at the same time. Lest you end up with time and nothing to do.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

4Qs to Leonard Susskind

2004 Reply from L. Susskind to Lee Smolin. edge145

In a nutshell, here is the view of physics and cosmology:

(1) In the remote past the universe inflated to an enormous size, many orders of magnitude bigger than the observed portion that we can see. Most of the universe is behind the cosmic horizon and cannot be directly detected.
(2) The mechanism of inflation leads to a diverse universe, filled with what Alan Guth calls pocket universes. We live in one such PU. Some people call this super-universe the Multiverse. I like the term Megaverse. This growth and continuous spawning of pocket universes is called, in the trade, eternal inflation.
(3) String theory leads to a stupendously large Landscape of possibilities for the local laws of nature in a given pocket. I'll call these possibilities environments. Most environments are very different from our own, and would not permit life: at least, life as we know it.

Combining 1,2 and 3—the universe is a megaverse filled with a tremendously large number of local environments. Most of the volume of the megaverse is absolutely lethal to life. Some small fraction is more hospitable. We live somewhere in that fraction. That's it.

QUASAR9 questions to Leonard Susskind.

(1) You claim a "Megaverse" with eternal inflation, expanding or evolving in perpetuity, without one iota of proof. Since most of the Universe as you clearly point out is behind or beyond the cosmic horizon and cannot be directly detected. Would it not be more logical, realistic and factual to say that our pocket universe, may or may not have been preceded by a big bang, and this would conform to our present models, explanations and theories of the present day detectable pocket universe, from whence we carry out our observations. And even then with our current limited knowledge of the universe, it would be purely conjectural to claim that it is expanding.

(2) This again an absolutely conjectural statement or premise with no more solid foundation than a claim that the universe beyond the cosmic horizon is green, blue or purple. In fact all you are saying is that forargument sake you will make that statement, which is corroborated by fellows of stature in the field of cosmology, and it cannot be refuted. No more than the existence of a Creator God can be refuted. A Creator God who for all we know may well be planting yet more pocket universes in this 'imaginary' Megaverse, just for something to do, like a landscape gardener doing weekend gardening.

(3) We already know this to be true in the observable universe, no one has encountered any aliens or lifeforms beyond Earth. So the statement per se is most likely true for our pocket universe. But it does not proceed hence that a Maegaverse exists. It simply states your support for string theory as a theory which will or may lead to a stupenduously large landscape of local physical laws in nature or environments. Well these are evident in nature in our very own pocket universe, on our very own planet in our very own bacykard.
You try living in the bottom of the ocean, if you know what I mean.
There is whole Megaverse of lifeforms, and local laws of nature or environments which permit marine life, and lifeforms we have not yet discovered which defy most laws of physics as known.

In a nutshell does a plane fly like a bird?

Therefore combining 1, 2 and 3 have only served to explain the concept of the pocket universe as it is perceived by big bang theorists, without I add one bit of proof, and then applied these same attributes to multiple (infinite?) pocket universes to create your preferred choice or vision of Megaverse. You even go as far as to point out that Lee Smolin does in fact agree with you on these three points.

Yet when we come to point 4, ie black holes or singularities, versus Lee Smolin's preferences for black holes as the gateway to the creation of these new (or other) pocket universes, you are silent. Though from other sections on the paper not in the nutshell above, yet I deduce you are still undecided or very non-descript in giving your own version of possible events in the occurring observable phenomena denominated blackholes or singularities.

(4) what is a blackhole, and what is a "singularity", and what in your opinion is on the other side of a blackhole? supposing the black hole has another side. No I am not asking if there are black holes or singularities or do we need to go look there, the fact that it is there is enough for us to want to go look there and/or know what is there. I am asking you to define whether a black hole is a hole or a "singularity" ie: high density matter a Sun or Star compressed to the size of a marble.

Cambridge Relativity black holes
This evolution doesn't produce a blackhole
This collapse does produce a blackhole (maybe)

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TAIPEI is mnemonic for Technology, Art, Innovation, People, Environment, and Identity.
101 represents the concept of striving for beyond perfection.

Taipei 101, whose pinnacle reached full height on Oct. 9, 2003, is currently the official world's tallest building in the categories of highest structurally, highest roof, and highest occupied floor. With a massive 60-foot spire inspired by Twaiwan's native bamboo plant, Taipei 101 Tower is one of the tallest buildings in the world. At 508 meters (1,667 feet) high, the tower and its spire outrank the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The multi-use structure will house retail facilities on Levels 1-4; a fitness center on Levels 5-6; offices on Levels 7-84; restaurants on Levels 86-88; observation decks on Levels 89, 91, and 101; and communication facilities on Levels 92-100.

There is a station for the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) beneath the building awaiting the eventual construction of the Hsinyi line.

On December 15, 2004, Toshiba installed the world's two fastest elevators. With top speeds of 1010 m/min, observation deck visitors can whiz from Level B1 to 89 in 39 seconds.

A 800-ton tuned mass damper is installed on the 87th floor to counter earthquakes and typhoons. It will be available for public viewing from the restaurant levels and observation deck.
For more visit: skyscraperpage com

The tower's design specifications are based on the number "8", a lucky number in traditional Chinese culture; it features 8 upward-flaring sections, and is supported by 8 supercolumns. The Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai also employs this numerology in its design.

- Most aspects of the design, layout and planning were reviewed and approved by a Feng Shui master.
- The elevators are the fastest in the world, rising at 1008 meters per minute (60.48 km/hour) and descending at 610 m/min (36.6 km/hour). The top speeds are 34 percent faster than the previous world's fastest elevators in Yokohama Landmark Tower.
- This is one of the few buildings in the world equipped with double-deck elevators.
- Each elevator is designed with an aerodynamic body, pressurization and emergency braking systems, and the world's first triple-stage anti-overshooting system. The cost for each elevator is over $US 2 million.
- Exterior construction elevators and the construction elevator shaft were fully disassembled in late February of 2004.

For more visit: emporis com
Image No. 329425 does not belong to Emporis and is therefore not available for licensing. Unfortunately Emporis cannot refer you to its original source. Please choose another image.

Earthquake Safety: Designing a building this large presented unique challenges because Twaiwan is subject to typhoons and earthquakes. To counter movement, a tuned mass damper system has been incorporated into the structure. The 800-metric ton (1,764,000 lbs.), spherical steel mass is located on level 88 and will be visible from the restaurant and observation decks. The system transfers the energy from the building to the swinging sphere, providing a stabilizing force.

Special Design Features: The design of Taipei 101 borrows heavily from Chinese culture. Both the building’s interior and exterior incorporate the Chinese pagoda form and the shape of bamboo flowers. The lucky number eight, which means blooming or success, is represented by the eight clearly delineated exterior sections of the building.

Observation Decks: Located on floors 89 and 91, the observation decks include the highest restaurant in Taiwan. Two high-speed elevators reach a maximum speed of 1,010 meters/minute (55 ft./second) when traveling to the 89th floor.

Is Taipei Tower the World's Tallest Building?: Yes, if you include the spire. However, organizations that compile skyscraper statistics often do not count spires, flagpoles, antennas, or decorative features. To compare the Taipei Tower with other tall buildings,

see our FAQ page: architecture about com worldstallest

Kingdom of the Dragon

No Nation should rest on past laurels, or others will reach higher.

Photo courtesy of Louise Riofrio @ riofriospacetime

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


The Ancient & Modern Chinese not only recognise the need to be in harmony with the forces of nature, but the ancient chinese even maintained a 'living' link with the spirits of their ancestors.

The human quest for perfection & truth.
In Greek times it is said that people still lived in touch with the (heavens) above, here on this its imperfect mirror image on earth.

Plato said:"Look to the perfection of the heavens for truth", while Aristotle said: "look around you at what is, if you would know the truth"

Aristotle thus separates heaven & earth, making only what you see, the visible, real or truth.
Aristotle sets out the nature of man through the ages, to the present day. Now one could argue the above or heaven does not EXIST, therefore only the earth & matter is reality. For even when we look at the skies at night we are looking at matter for truth, not at Plato's above.

Increasingly it seems the hindu concept of "Maya" or the illusion of reality, matter and our lower self has imposed itself as the only probable (proveable?) fact or truth, over and 'above' the underlying reality or that which really moves us, Spirit and our higher selves.

Motion is the interaction between Spirit & Matter. Human emotion and the living experience, its "animate" manifestation.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Space the great Ocean
Interest in the possibilty of space travel has been reawakened by Martin Rees and Stephen Hawking.
Under the augury or auspicious heading: "space exploration and space travel are essential for the survival of the species", Hawking has some unrealistic expectations in the time scale of such achievements.

The reality is that even if the US, Russia, China, India, Japan and the EU, were to switch resources from the aircraft and tourism industry, and dedicate all their industrial capacity to creating space craft, you would still only be able to 'save' a small proportion of humanity from any cataclysmic disaster on Earth.

Furthermore space is a very hostile frontier, not rich in resources and enticing like America was to European settlers. The spacecraft would have to be the size of our largest ocean liners (cruisers). And most of the people who can afford to travel on world cruises by sea are not the type of people who would survive well in a Lunar base, Artic or Antartic bases. The destination supposing one could build a lunar base in 20 years, would be austere, and need to be self-sufficient and sel-contained because of the lack of atmosphere, with the capacity to generate its own power, water and food.

Any spacecraft for interplanetary travel would have to be the size of oil tankers, to be able to produce water and food for any significant number of passengers. We are a long way from Star Trek replicators creating the food of your choice on call, and the prospect of living on vitamin pills is one that people need to be trained in. For most people eating or drinking on demand has become a habit hard to break, and food shortages could have disastrous effects on any journey. The men on Columbus' journey to America, almost turned back on several occasions, and they had all the fish they could catch, it was the absence of fresh water & wine, and the 'doldrums' which almost led them to mutiny, and to head back home.

Myths, Legends, Poems

Only a few years ago, the Chinese discovered some sanskrit documents in Lhasa, Tibet and sent them to the University of Chandrigarh to be translated. Dr. Ruth Reyna of the University said recently that the documents contain directions for building interstellar spaceships! Their method of propulsion, she said, was "anti- gravitational" and was based upon a system analogous to that of "laghima" the unknown power of the ego existing in man's physiological makeup, "a centrifugal force strong enough to counteract all gravitational pull."

Dr. Reyna said that on board these machines, which were called "Astras" by the text, the ancient Indians could have sent a detachment of men onto any planet, according to the document, which is thought to be thousands of years old. The manuscripts were also said to reveal the secret of "antima" the cap of invisibility, and "garima" how to become as heavy as a mountain of lead.

The Chinese announced that they were including certain parts of the data for study in their space program! This was one of the first instances of a government admitting to be researching anti-gravity.

There seem to be indications that Vimanas were powered by some sort of "anti-gravity." Vimanas took off vertically, and were capable of hovering in the sky, were kept in a Vimana Griha, a kind of hangar, and were said to be propelled by a yellowish-white liquid, and sometimes by some sort of mercury or "mercurial" compound, though writers seem confused on this matter. It is most likely that the later writers on Vimanas, wrote as observers and from earlier texts, and were unable to understand vlearly the principle of their propulsion.

The "yellowish-white liquid" to observers/translators from the 20thC sounds like gasoline, and perhaps Vimanas had a number of different propulsion sources, including combustion engines and even "pulse-jet" engines, similar to the USAF Aurora project said to reach speeds of Mach 6 and over.

Vimana Wars
Unfortunately, Vimanas, like most scientific discoveries, were ultimately used for war. Atlanteans used "Vailixi" flying machines, a similar type of aircraft, to literally try and subjugate the world, it would seem, if Indian texts are to be believed. The Atlanteans, known as "Asvins" in the Indian writings, were apparently even more advanced technologically than the Indians, and their flying machines or Vailixi, similar, if not identical to Vimanas, had the capability of manuvering underwater as well as in the atmosphere or even outer space. No Ancient texts are known to exist of Vailixis.

According to Eklal Kueshana, author of "The Ultimate Frontier," in an article he wrote in 1966, Vailixi were first developed in Atlantis 20,000 years ago, and the most common ones are saucershaped of generally trapezoidal cross-section with three hemispherical engine pods on the underside. They use a mechanical antigravity device driven by engines developing approximately 80,000 horse power." - But then again, this is in 1966 with the hindsight of what modern aircraft industry & areospace was capable of, and aspired to.

Separating fact from fiction. Time frame.
Are the above just translations of ancient epic poems that have been given the flavour of modern times. Was it any less possible that civilization in ancient times could have developed to a more advanced state to where we stand today, only to destroy each other in world wars.

Perhaps not so difficult for us in Europe to imagine after two World Wars, in the first half of the 20thC and the awesome powers of destruction developed during the Cold War.

Or, were these no more than the writings and epic poems of the science fiction writers of their day, after all hollywood has already taken us several thousand years into the future with films like Star Trek, Space Odyssey, Star Wars, Stargate, Next Generation, Andromeda, ...

Are we reaching a confluence in time, a time ripple where what IS (was) 10 or 20,000 years ago, becomes apparent evident again now, 10 or 20,000 years later.

Are we simply reaching the conclusion of another cycle, where the potential of man is shown at its maximum, only to find it is turned to self-destruction and a return to the dark ages. I'd like to think that if they are cycles, ie: we have been here before ... then this time we do get it right.
Listed below latest related science from: physics web org

Repulsion binds atoms 15 Jun
Dry ice forms ultrahard glass 14 Jun
How to make an object invisible 26 May
Heavy ions feel the squeeze 25 May
Silver clusters go magnetic 23 May
Change of focus for liquid crystals 19 May
Magnetic fields go to the maximum 18 May

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Sunday, June 18, 2006


Double Paradox - Several thousand years ago in a language long dead and forgotten, no one can remember how it was spoken, or even what it may have looked like in written form, someone wrote:

"In the beginning God created the sky (Spirit) and the earth (matter). The earth was empty and had no form. Darkness covered the ocean (Space), and God's Spirit was moving over the water.

Then God said: "Let there be light."

Several years ago some physicists attempt to recreate this moment, inside an 'existing' Universe: The First Few Microseconds, by Michael Riordan and Willaim A. Zajc

The second paradox: if when we look at space we are looking at the past, yet we can/do intend to travel thru it, in (into) the future?

The third paradox: our future is the past to a distant (future) observer, our present is the future to some distant (past) observer.

Remove Time (time frame) and all the observes are in the same 'place' - some looking at the present, some the past, some the future.

The fourth Paradox: Travelling distance thru Time at the speed of light in Time , and Time travel (as in travel outside time) are not the same.

The answer to the language you know.
Translations thru time into greek, into latin, into now just about every modern language, or even computer languages/code, and some older languages (tongues) which had no written language a few centuries ago, ie: euskara, etc...
It'd be interesting to know the language of heaven. No, not english as those who created the British Empire thought (and may still do). I'm guessing as with the first apostles one would understand any language spoken to one, and whatever one 'spoke' would be understood by all observers (hearers) regardless of their native tongue, and without the need of any electronic voice box or translator. But that would deny so many 'translators' + programmers a purpose in life (as we know it).

Einstein said: "Since there exist in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent "now" objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence." as we know it.

Searching or looking for another dimension to Open.
Not more dimensions in addition to 3D+Time, which some theoretical physicists are looking at (for), but removing time. Yep that is right, as particle physicists try to discover the peculiarities which differentiate gravitational and magnetic fields in nature from those at subatomic levels, and some hope with the results from colliders they shall be able to further theorise or prove that there are gaps in our knowledge, the existence of other dimensions in the cosmos, otherwise unknown (or hidden) to the naked eye and current technology or 'knowledge', could open dimensions in which the physical laws are different to the laws of physics as known in the One Universe, it is only logical to deduce or conclude that a dimension outside Time itself does exist, where the laws of ageing or decay say, do NOT exist. But you still have Motion & emotion.

Not even out on the periphery
like some of the folk at cosmic variance claim to be, but outside or beyond the 'constraints' of the periphery altogether. The periphery being the presumed limits of the Universe which sets the constraints.

Looking at reality, as if it were on tv, where the 3D film narrates the 'entire' life of a character (actor/actress), whereas in Real Time the film only lasts 2 hours. Except it doesn't last any time at all - outside Real Time.

Not wanting to be godlike,
but rather to explain how a God can be everywhere, omnipresent. A concept some people have dismissed, and often argued against, because they cannot grasp the concept that because 'we' are in time, caught up in time, and cannot think outside the physical box, the 3D + Time Box.

And yet Time is relative not 'concrete'. Some days six hours can seem an eternity, yet other days we look back and wonder where the last six or even sixty years have gone.

Thanks Plato for your Time, and I do delve further into the blog, and deeper into the posts. "Illuminating!"

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Saturday, June 17, 2006



Unconditional Gift "Kindness" (Photo courtesy of NASA)

In the quest to create a gentler, more loving world, kindness is the easiest tool we can use.

Though it is easy to overlook opportunities to be kind, our lives are replete with situations in which we can be helpful, considerate, thoughtful, and friendly to loved ones and associates, as well as strangers.

The touching, selfless acts of kindness that have the most profoundly uplifting effects are often the simplest: a word of praise, a gentle touch, a helping hand, a gesture of courtesy, or a smile. Such small kindnesses represent an unconditional, unrestricted form of love that we are free to give or withhold at will.

When you give the gift of kindness, whether in the form of assistance, concern, or friendliness, your actions create a beacon of happiness and hope that warms people's hearts. The components of kindness are compassion, respect, and generosity.

Put simply, kindness is the conscious act of engaging others in a positive way without asking whether those individuals deserve to be treated kindly.

All living beings thrive on kindness.
A single, sincere compliment can turn a person's entire world around. Holding a door or thanking someone who has held a door for you can inspire others to practice politeness and make already kind individuals feel good about their efforts. Smiling at people you meet-even those who make you feel like frowning-can turn a dreary encounter into a delightful one, for both of you.

Every kind act has a positive influence on the individual who has performed said act as well as on the recipient, regardless of whether the act is acknowledged. Kindness brings about more kindness and slowly but surely takes a positive toll on humanity.

Weaving the thread of kindness into your everyday life can be as easy as choosing to offer a hearty "Good morning" and "Good night" to your coworkers or neighbors, a stranger on the street, or the grocery store clerk.

When you commit a kind act, you are momentarily disconnected from your ego and bonded with the individual who has benefited from your kindness.

Being fully present in each moment of your life facilitates kindness as it increases your awareness of the people around you. You'll discover that each act of kindness you engage in makes the world, in some small way, a better place.

The text for Unconditional Gift - "Kindness"
selected by Sherry Pasquarello @
afterthebridge blogspot
The "Diamond of Rings" otherwise known as the Sombrero

selected as one of her favourite pics by JoAnne Hewett @ cosmic variance

Hat(s) off!
May sunlight fill all your days. Have a nice weekend!

For other credits and copyright visit:

Friday, June 16, 2006


Are we really no more than ants on this planet, to be washed away by the next storm, hurricane, typhoon, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption?

Ants labour all day, in some pre-determined or perceived pursuit of 'relative' progress, and yet all their labours can be, and do get, washed away by the next downpour. Is man's continued striving for survival, greatness or economic success, anymore than a futile justification for purpose or existence. Vanity, vanity, it is all vanity. And does it all matter anyway.

Previous world wars have been justified by some darwinian philosophers as the necessary 'human sacrifice' or natural selection to reduce the prolific growth of the human population. Is it possible the current natural disasters, are warnings that man's relentless demand on nature and nature's resources, is more than nature is willing to provide, or rather, than a perceived darwinian superior race, or thirstier economy might be willing to share.

Are the famines, earthquakes & tsunamis that have wiped away hundreds of thousands any less man made than the politico-economic man made disasters that have swept through Africa and elsewhere in the past, and still do today.

Is it all some mysterious force or 'hidden hand' -
that can casually wipe away so many people. And without being morbid, let us not forget that no one single act, whether invasion of Iraq, nor the south east asian tsunami, nor the kashmir earthquake, approximate to the real numbers of people who die every day from natural causes or other. No, you may not want to think about it, but if you were to die today, you would not be alone. You would only be one among three hundred thousand humans that will die in the next 24 hour period, or 100 million that will die next year.

Yes, the cold hard reality is 30 to 50 million americans in the US will die in the next decade, without the need for any major 'natural' or 'man made' disasters, and wars.

So, is it all random chaos -
is it all the cycle of life, is it a matter of survival of the fittest? No, not as in the most physically fit, but as in the most economically advanced economies. For graphs on life expectancy in the first or developed world, and the life expentancy in Africa. see google's gapminder

Should we all just plough through, or plough on, regardless, thankful that we are the ones to wake up tomorrow - or as the saying goes: "eat, drink, for tomorrow we die"

Is life, and reality, really only what you see -
you only get one life, so don't think about it, don't waste it, seize the moment, just live it, and DIE. Or are we being led by the 'nose' like the blind led by the proverbial blind "off the edge of the cliff". Should, we in fact be dedicating much more time considering what comes after life, for after all as another saying goes: "you are going to be dead a long time"

Or is it really only a question of survival -
that despite the chaos which exists on planet Earth, random earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, typhoons, hurricanes, the human spirit will overcome whatever nature throws at it. Whether it be extreme weather: snow covered and freezing winters in New York, followed by blistering hot summers, man will seek out or provide the answers. That is the nature of 'man'.

Flood defences in Shanghai, flood defences in London, flood defences in Holland, flood defences in New Orleans, are these simply the activities of man ants, waiting for the next disaster or wave to overpower, are they the reason for man's living, existence & economic purpose.

Is man as in quantum physics, the observer who 'determines' or 'perceives' whether it be waves or matter hits the second wall? - is man determining events that occur by simply observing?.

We all know it is relative which events we watch, no one can watch all known channels or psicho-babble in the tower of bable known as tv. No man or woman can watch all the up & coming sporting events, no man can attend all the summer events & concerts. And yet clearly each one of these is pertinent, relevant or even the reason of living or life absorbing (consuming) according to the preferences of each. Make your preference what you will.

If home is where the heart is,
then let your heart & home be in eternity.

And if you know this is directed to you, maybe we shall share some time, and even reach the same destination you + I, and all those others who in the past shared the same interest, and those who share the same ultimate interest today, and those who shall share the same interest in the future, we shall find, also there at the ultimate destination or event. For human life is a journey on the space ship called Planet Earth, until other forms of space travel are devised.

Peace be with you!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Science is a Religion
Many Sciences
Many Religions One Truth

Very much enjoyed reading the dialogue!

The human mind and its commentary on the Divine!

I am a physicist and also what most of this crowd would probably call a fundamentalist Christian by which I mean that I believe the Bible … i.e. that its logical interpretation is the truth always. What is so interesting to me in reading these type of conversations is that the same science which will cause me to be completely overwhelmed with awe for the brilliance of my God, will cause others to confirm their faith in His inexistence.

Have any of you experienced this same quandry?

I don’t believe that (in all but arguably an infinitesimal sampling of cases) scientific arguments found, form, or motivate our beliefs about God or lack thereof. I don’t think I could prove that to an athiest but let me share my perspective. In my experience, the value of the most brilliant human argument or achievement (scientific or otherwise) that I have ever in my life comprehended … seems a mere speck of dust in comparison to the moment that the God of the Universe touches you and you see even merely a hint of a glimpse of a small fraction of the shadow of the God who created us all.

Then at that moment, all you can do is fall on your face
and say: “Holy is the Lord God Almighty”.

And then you’ve seen Him… and you know Him…. and argument in comparison seems foolishness. This is certainly not the kind of argument a scientist wants to hear… but I hope it will happen for you one day. And I thought in any case it might be interesting to hear this perspective.

Now, would I believe God if I found Him to be contradictory to the observable and repeatable laws and logic of science? Obviously I believe in the value of science and spend my every work day in that pursuit, so I see pure science as truth as well.

Honestly I don’t find myself facing a quandry there very often (where God and science collide). If you believe in a God who spoke the universe into existence, it is a small leap of faith to believe in occasional miracles here on this planet as recorded in the Bible. Many scientists claim religion is ludicrous, this I don’t find and sometimes fall back on the argument of the many brilliant scientists who have believed in God. It’s not the best argument, but after having these debates over and over with people on scientific issues, I find that even if I win the logical debate, it does not alter the person’s perspective. And so I come back to my original statement that science does not found, form, or motivate our beliefs about God…

This was comment 36 @ cosmic variance post here

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Nuclear scientist Joseph Rotblat campaigned against the atom bomb he had helped unleash. In the Rotblat Memorial Lecture, delivered recently at the Hay Literary Festival, Lord (Martin) Rees wonders whether it's time for today's cyber scientists to heed Rotblat's legacy


(MARTIN REES:) Scientists have had a bad literary press: Dr Frankenstein, Dr Moreau, and especially Dr Strangelove. This lecture commemorates a man who was the utter antithesis of Strangelove.

Jo Rotblat was a nuclear scientist. He helped to make the first atomic bomb. But for decades thereafter, he campaigned to control the powers he'd helped unleash. Until last few months of his long life, he pursued this aim with the dynamism of a man half his age, inspiring others to join the cause. Today, I want to talk about the threats and challenges of science in the 21st century and what younger scientists can learn from Jo's example.

A year ago, Robert McNamara, age 88, spoke here in this tent — his confessional movie 'Fog of War' had just appeared. Jo Rotblat, age 96, was due to be on the platform with him. This might have seemed an incongruous pairing. Back in the 1960s, McNamara was American Secretary of Defense — in charge of the nuclear arsenal. And Rotblat was an antinuclear campaigner. But in old age they converged — McNamara himself came to espouse the aim of eliminating nuclear weapons completely.

Sadly, Jo Rotblat wasn't well enough to come here last Summer He died later that year — after a long life scarred by the turmoils of the last century. Jo was born in Poland in 1908. His family suffered great hardship in World War 1. He was exceptionally intelligent and determined, and managed to become a nuclear physicist. After the invasion of Poland, he came as as a refugee to England to work with James Chadwick at Liverpool University — his wife became a victim of the Nazis.

He then went to Los Alamos as part of the British contingent involved in the Manhattan project to make the first atom bomb.

In his mind there was only one justification for the bomb project: to ensure that Hitler didn't get one first and hold us to ransom. As soon as this ceased to be a credible risk, Jo left Los Alamos — the only scientist to do so. Indeed, he recalls having been disillusioned by hearing General Groves, head of the project, saying as early as March 1944 that the main purpose of the bomb was "to subdue the Russians".

He returned to England; became a professor of medical physics, an expert on the effects of radiation; and a compelling and outspoken campaigner. In 1955, Jo met Bertrand Russell, and encouraged him to prepare a manifesto stressing the extreme gravity of the nuclear peril. Jo got Einstein to sign too — it was Einstein's last public act, he died a week later. This 'Einstein Russell manifesto' was then signed by ten other eminent scientists — all Nobel Prize winners. (Jo was diffident about signing, but Russell urged he should as he might one day earn one himself.) The authors claimed to be "speaking on this occasion not as members of this or that nation, continent or creed, but as human beings, members of the species Man, whose continued existence is in doubt". This manifesto led to the initiation of the Pugwash Conferences — so called after the village in Nova Scotia where the inaugural conference was held; in the decades since, there have been 300 meetings; Jo attended almost all of them.

When the achievements of these Conferences were recognised by the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize, half the award went to the Pugwash organisation, and half to Rotblat personally—as their 'prime mover' and untiring inspiration. Particularly during the 1960s, the Pugwash Conferences offered crucial 'back door' contact between scientists from the US and the Soviet Union when there were few formal channels — these contacts eased the path for the partial test ban treaty of 1963, and the later ABM treaty.

In the two World Wars and their aftermath, 187 million perished by war, massacre, persecution or policy-induced famine. But during the Cold War we were at still greater hazard: a nuclear war between the superpowers could have killed a billion people, and devastated the fabric of civilisation. The superpowers could have stumbled towards armageddon through muddle and miscalculation.

We're now very risk-averse. We fret about statistically tiny risks — carcinogens in food, one in a million chance of being killed in train crashes, and so forth. It's hard to contemplate just how great the risks of nuclear catastrophe once were. The Cuban Missile stand-off in 1962 was the most dangerous moment in history. and McNamara was then the US Secretary of Defense. He later wrote that " we came within a hairbreadth of nuclear war without realising it. It's no credit to us that we escaped — Khrushchev and Kennedy were lucky as well as wise." The prevailing nuclear doctrine was deterrence via the threat of 'mutual assured destruction' (with the eponymous acronym MAD). Each side put the 'worst case' construction on whatever the other did, overestimated the threat, and over-reacted. The net result was an arms race that made both sides less secure.

It wasn't until he'd long retired that McNamara spoke frankly about the events in which he'd been so deeply implicated. He noted that "virtually every technical innovation in the arms race came from the US. But it was always quickly matched by the other side". The decisions that ratcheted the arms race were political, but scientists who develop new weapons must themselves share the blame.

Another who spoke out after retirement was Solly Zuckerman, the UK government's longtime chief scientific advisor. He said "ideas for new weapon systems derived in the first place, not from the military, but from scientists and technologists merely doing what they saw to be their job.... the momentum of the arms race is fueled by technicians in governmental laboratories and in the armaments industries".

Anyone in weapons labs whose skills rose above routine competence, or who displayed any originality, added their iota to this menacing trend. In Zuckerman's view the weapons scientists were "the alchemists of our times, working in secret ... , casting spells which embrace us all".

The great physicist Hans Bethe also came round to this view. He was the chief theorist at Los Alamos. and worked on the H-bomb, but by 1995 his aversion to military research had hardened, and he urged scientists to " desist from work creating, developing, improving and manufacturing nuclear weapons and other weapons of potential mass destruction" Some of Bethe's concerned colleagues started a journal called the The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. The 'logo' on its cover is a clock, the closeness of whose hands to midnight indicate the Editor's judgment on how precarious the world situation is. Every few year the minute hand is shifted, either forwards or backwards.

When the cold war ended, the nuclear threat plainly eased; the Bulletin's clock was put back to 17 minutes to midnight. There was thereafter far less chance of ten thousand bombs devastating our civilisation. But this catastrophic threat could be merely in temporary abeyance. In the last century the Soviet Union rose and fell, there were two world wars. In the next hundred years, geopolitical realignments could be just as drastic, leading to a nuclear standoff between new superpowers., which might be handled less well than the Cuba crisis was. I think you'd have be optimistic to rate the probability as much below 50 percent But there's now more chance then ever of a few nuclear weapon going off in a localised conflict. We are confronted by proliferation of nuclear weapons (in North Korea and Iran for instance). Al Queda-style terrorists might some day acquire a nuclear weapon. If they did, they would willingly detonate it in a city centre, killing tens of thousands along with themselves; and millions around the world would acclaim them as heroes. I've focused so far on the nuclear threat . It's still with us — it always will be. But it's based on basic science that dates from the 1930s, when Jo Rotblat was a young researcher.

But let's now look forward. What are the promises and threats from 21st century science? My main message is that science offers immense hope, and exciting prospects. But it may have a downside. It may not threaten a sudden world-wide catastrophe — the doomsday clock is not such a good metaphor — but the threats are, in aggregate, as worrying and challenging. But there's a real upside too: indeed there are grounds for being a techno-optimist.

The technologies that fuel economic growth today — IT, miniaturisation and biotech —- are environmentally and socially benign. They're sparing of energy, and of raw materials. They boost quality of life in the developing as well as the developed world, and have much further to go. That's good news. Not only is science advancing faster than ever, it's causing new dimension of change. Whatever else may have changed over preceding centuries, humans haven't — not for thousands of years. But in this century targeted drugs to enhance memory or change mood, genetic modification, and perhaps silicon implants into the brain, may alter human beings themselves — their minds and attitudes, even their physique That's something qualitatively new in our history. It means that our species could be transformed, not on the millions of years of Darwinian selection, but within a few centuries. And it raises all kinds of ethical conundrums. And the work of Ray Kurzweil and others like him reminds us that we should keep our minds open, or at least ajar, to things that today seem beyond the fringe of science fiction.

But we can plausibly predict some disquieting trends. Some are environmental: rising populations, especially in the megacities of the developing world, increasing energy consumption, etc. Indeed, collective human actions are transforming, even ravaging, the entire biosphere — perhaps irreversibly — through global warming and loss of biodiversity. We've entered the new geological era, the anthropocene. We don't fully understand the consequences of our many-faceted assault on the interwoven fabric of atmosphere, water, land and life. We are collectively endangering our planet.

But there's a growing danger from individuals too. Technology empowers each of us ever more and interconnects us more closely. So even a single person will have the capability to cause massive disruption through error or terror.

An organised network would not be required: just a fanatic, or a weirdo with the mindset of those who now design computer viruses — the mindset of an arsonist. There are such people, and some will be scientifically proficient. We're kidding ourselves if we think that technical education leads necessarily to balanced rationality. It can be combined with fanaticism —not just traditional fundamentalism — Christian in the US, Muslim in the East — but new age irrationalities. The Raelians and Heavens Gate cult are disquieting portents: their adherents claim to be 'scientific' but have a precarious foothold in reality. The techniques and expertise for bio or cyber attacks will be accessible to millions — they doesn't require large special purpose facilities like nuclear weapons. It would be hard to eliminate the risk, even with very intrusive surveillance.

The impact of even a local incident — "bio" or "cyber"— would be hyped and globalised by the media, causing wide disruption — psychic and economic. Everyone would be mindful that the same thing could happen again, anywhere, anytime.

There will always be disaffected loners in every country, and the 'leverage' each can exert is ever-growing. The global village will have its global village idiots.

[I recall a talk here by Francis Fukuyama, about his book Our Posthuman Future. He argued that habitual use of mood-altering medications would narrow the range of humanity. He cites the use of prozac to counter depression, and of ritalin to damp down hyperactivity in high-spirited but otherwise healthy children. He feared that drugs will become universally used to tone down extremes of behaviour and mood and that our species would degenerate into pallid acquiescent zombies.

But my worry is the opposite of Fukuyama's. 'Human nature' encompasses a rich variety of personality types, but these include those who are drawn towards the disaffected fringe. The destabilizing and destructive influence of just a few such people will be ever more devastating as their technical powers and expertise grow, and as the world we share becomes more interconnected.

Can civilisation be safeguarded, without humanity having to sacrifice its diversity and individualism? This is a stark questions, but I think it's a serious one.]

Some commentators on biotech, robotics and nanotech worry that when the genie is out of the bottle, the outcome may be impossible to control. They urge caution in 'pushing the envelope' in some areas of science — that we should guard against such nightmares by putting the brakes on the science they're based on.

But that's naive. We can't reap the benefits of science without accepting some risks — the best we can do is minimise the risks. The typical scientific discovery has many applications — some benign, others less so. Even nuclear physics has its upside — its medical uses have saved more people than nuclear weapons actually killed.

The uses of academic research generally can't be foreseen: Rutherford famously said, in the mid-thirties, that nuclear energy was 'moonshine'; the inventors of lasers didn't foresee that an early application of their work would be to eye surgery; the discoverer of x-rays was not searching for ways to see through flesh.

21st century science will present new threats more diverse and more intractable than nuclear weapons did. They'll pose ethical dilemmas. There surely will be more and more 'doors that we could open but which are best left closed' — for ethical or prudential reasons.

A blanket prohibition on all risky experiments and innovations would paralysed science and deny us all its benefits. In the early days of steam, hundreds of people died horribly when poorly designed boilers exploded. Most surgical procedures, even if now routine, were risky and often fatal when they were being pioneered.

But we do need to be more cautious today. The worst conceivable consequences of a boiler explosion are limited and localised. In contrast, some 21st century innovations or experiments, if they went wrong, could have global effects — we confront what some people call 'existential risks'.

Scientists sometimes abide by self-imposed moratoria on specific lines of research. A precedent for this was the so called "Asilomar declaration" in 1975 whereby prominent molecular biologists refrained from some experiments involving the then-new technique of gene-splicing. There are now even more reasons for exercising restraint — ethics, risk of epidemics, and the 'yuk' factor — Just this week there have been moves, again in California, to control the still more powerful techniques of 'synthetic biology'.

But a voluntary moratorium will be harder to achieve today: the academic community is far larger, and competition (enhanced by commercial pressures) is more intense. To be effective, the consensus must be worldwide. If one country alone imposed regulations, the most dynamic researchers and enterprising companies would migrate to another that was more sympathetic or permissive. This is happening already in stem cell research.

How can we prioritise and regulate, to maximise the chance that applications are benign, and restrain their 'dark side'? How can the best science be fed in to the political process?

We can't do everything in science. There's an ever-widening gap between what can be done and what can be afforded.

At the moment, scientific effort is deployed sub optimally. This seems so whether we judge in purely intellectual terms, or take account of likely benefit to human welfare. Some subjects have had the 'inside track' and gained disproportionate resources. Others, such as environmental researches, renewable energy sources, biodiversity studies and so forth, deserve more effort. Within medical research the focus is disproportionately on cancer and cardiovascular studies, the ailments that loom largest in prosperous countries, rather than on the infections endemic in the tropics. Choices on how science is applied shouldn't be made just by scientists. That's why everyone needs a 'feel' for science and a realistic attitude to risk — otherwise public debate won't get beyond sloganising. Jo Rotblat favoured a 'Hippocratic' Oath' whereby scientists would pledge themselves to use their talents to human benefit. Whether or not such an oath would have substance, scientists surely have a special responsibility. It's their ideas that form the basis of new technology.

We feel there is something lacking in parents who don't care what happens to their children in adulthood, even though it's generally beyond their control. Likewise, scientists shouldn't be indifferent to the fruits of their ideas — their intellectual creations. They should plainly forgo experiments that are themselves risky or unethical. More than that, they should try to foster benign spin-offs, but resist, so far as they can, dangerous or threatening applications. They should raise public consciousness of hazards to environment or to health.

The decisions that we make, individually and collectively, will determine whether the outcomes of 21st century sciences are benign or devastating. Some will throw up their hands and say that anything that is scientifically and technically possible will be done — somewhere, sometime — despite ethical and prudential objections, and whatever the laws say — that science is advancing so fast, and is so much influenced by commercial and political pressures, that nothing we can do makes any difference. Whether this idea is true or false, it's an exceedingly dangerous one, because it's engenders despairing pessimism, and demotivates efforts to secure a safer and fairer world. The future will best be safeguarded — and science has the best chance of being applied optimally — through the efforts of people who are less fatalistic. And here I am optimistic. The burgeoning technologies of IT, miniaturisation and biotech are environmentally and socially benign. The challenge of global warming should stimulate a whole raft of manifestly benign innovations — for conserving energy, and generating it by novel 'clean' means (biofuels, innovative renewables, carbon sequestration, and nuclear fusion). Other global challenges include controlling infectious diseases; and preserving biodiversity.

These challenging scientific goals should appeal to the idealistic young. They deserve a priority and commitment from governments, akin to that accorded to the Manhattan project or the Apollo moon landing.

I've spoken as a scientist. But my special subject is cosmology — the study of our environment in the widest conceivable sense. I can assure you, from having observed my colleagues, that a preoccupation with near-infinite spaces doesn't make cosmologists specially 'philosophical' in coping with everyday life. They're not detached from the problems confronting us on the ground, today and tomorrow. For me, a 'cosmic perspective' actually strengthens my concerns about what happens here and now: I'll conclude by explaining why. The stupendous timespans of the evolutionary past are now part of common culture. We and the biosphere are the outcome of more than four billion years of evolution,but most people still somehow think we humans are necessarily the culmination of the evolutionary tree. That's not so. Our Sun is less than half way through its life. We're maybe only the half way stage. Any creatures witnessing the Sun's demise 6 billion years hence won't be human — they'll be as different from us as we are from bacteria.

But, even in this 'hyper-extended' timeline — extending billions of years into the future, as well as into the past — this century may be a defining moment. The 21st-century is the first in our planet's history where one species has Earth's future in its hands, and could jeopardise life's immense potential. I'll leave you with a cosmic vignette. We're all familiar with pictures of the Earth seen from space — its fragile biosphere contrasting with the sterile moonscape where the astronauts left their footprints. Suppose some aliens had been watching our planet for its entire history, what would they have seen? Over nearly all that immense time, 4.5 billion years, Earth's appearance would have altered very gradually. The continents drifted; the ice cover waxed and waned; successive species emerged, evolved and became extinct.

But in just a tiny sliver of the Earth's history — the last one millionth part, a few thousand years — the patterns of vegetation altered much faster than before. This signaled the start of agriculture. The pace of change accelerated as human populations rose.

But then there were other changes, even more abrupt. Within fifty years — little more than one hundredth of a millionth of the Earth's age, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere began to rise anomalously fast. The planet became an intense emitter of radio waves (the total output from all TV, cellphone, and radar transmissions.)

And something else unprecedented happened: small projectiles lifted from the planet's surface and escaped the biosphere completely. Some were propelled into orbits around the Earth; some journeyed to the Moon and planets.

If they understood astrophysics, the aliens could confidently predict that the biosphere would face doom in a few billion years when the Sun flares up and dies. But could they have predicted this unprecedented spike less than half way through the Earth's life — these human-induced alterations occupying, overall, less than a millionth of the elapsed lifetime and seemingly occurring with runaway speed?

If they continued to keep watch, what might these hypothetical aliens witness in the next hundred years? Will a final spasm be followed by silence? Or will the planet itself stabilise? And will some of the objects launched from the Earth spawn new oases of life elsewhere?

The answer depends on us. The challenges of the 21st century are more complex and intractable than those of the nuclear age. Wise choices will require idealistic and effective campaigners — not just physicists, but biologists, computer experts, and environmentalists as well: latter-day counterparts of Jo Rotblat , inspired by his vision and building on his legacy.

[An abbreviated version of this lecture was published by The Guardian, Saturday June 10, 2006]
LORD (MARTIN) REES, widely acknowledged as one of the world's leading astronomers and cosmologists, is President of the Royal Society, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge; Royal Society Professor at Cambridge University; the UK Astronomer Royal. He is the author of several books, including Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind's Future in this Century—on Earth and Beyond (published in the UK as Our Final Century: The 50/50 Threat to Humanity's Survival).


Sunday, June 11, 2006


I still know, that any experiment inside the existing universe, can only attempt to replicate what 'may' have happened, not what DID happen. No different from using film, graphics, animation or drawings to describe an idea (theory) or concept.

Since Einstein, and long before, we have taken for granted that we live in a 4 dimensional world, the 3 dimensions (coordinates) plus Time.

On old film or digital film nowdays, we replicate 3D + Time on 2D + Time, albeit we are progressing with 3D simulations & holographics . But we cannot separate Time, though of course film freezes 'time' and simulations can be replayed in time.

Is yesterday frozen in Time? can it be replayed?
Is tomorrow already to be in Time?

Well, evidently it is on 2D. On film we can replay recordings of Einstein or Feynman.People are making videos, and blogs of their life and thoughts. We can revisit these images + thoughts.
Of course we are alone or in limited numbers at these events, and we cannot alter the events, as we do by replay a video game - even then you are only altering the outcome to the possibilities even if randomised, held by the computer. Of course one can go back and alter the text in yesterday's blog today. see next>>>

Therefore, I would propose that multiverses do exist. These multiverses though called parallel world would not be (are not) 'parallel' in the sense of the word as we know it or use it, since they would be in a different Time Frame. But they are not alternative lives of ourselves, but past lives, to which if we could travel through some time machine or video game, we would 'simply' relive the moment. The old 'Deja Vu' symptom or principle. The feeling of having been somewhere or done something before as in Groundhog Day, as opposed to 'flashback' we might have of what we did yesterday but still in Real Time or today.

I know this is at a different 'level' to what Sean at Cosmic Variance and the Peripheral Institute talks are discussing: trying to argue re Natural (or single) Universe, versus string theory and multiverse. But it is also what some are trying to prove or disprove at subatomic level.

Again I return to the Paradox, we are looking at the past in Space the Space at night, yet we are revolving into the future, and yet can 'allegedly' remain in contact with someone or something which or who is travelling into the past, whilst we continue to revolve into the future on Earth? - Only following the premise below, that what we are in contact with is in the same Time Frame, even if in yet more disparate Time Zones.

The premise of communication on Earth is that we are revolving or moving thru space + time, in the same Time Frame, even if in (from) different Time Zones.

This of course, irrelevant to the beauty and magic of Auroras, Solar Rays, and other phenomena which we can 'behold' with our eyes, and film or replicate on film, and in labs.

Sorry, having the program about German Scientists & Roswell in the background trying to explore inconclusively whether the USAF had achieved interstellar speeds (joke) or whether interstellar visitors were interacting with earth (joke) doesn't quite allow me to distinguish whether I've made myself clear above. Nor does the fact that the USAF "Aurora Project" may or may not have created propulsion engines which can reach speeds of Mach 6 and over.

The film Triangle the other night, did try to deal with the concept of Time Ripples and the Bermuda triangle, (phenomena?) albeit on a very low budget.

And finally a multiverse Universe, where there are parallel universes where we are someone or something other than 'ourselves' or who we are today, would simply prove the concept of reincarnation as in the hindu sacred texts, and the concept of soul migration as in the context of native american shamanism. For if parallel universes do exist, it is only logical to think that some have acquired the skill or ability (non-physical science) to transcend these barriers with the Mind.

Whether Physics and the transporter from the star trek series and star trek movies or the gateway in SGI allow us to move our 'corporeal' bodies and matter thru these time portals, is still science fiction - but would not be taking us to 'parallel' worlds, but to 'other' worlds, Like a plane at an airport takes you to another destination, a lift takes you to the hundredth & twenty second floor on a skyscraper, or a taxi takes you to whatever concert, event or date. Honey, I hope to be there soon, traffic allowing.

It does not negate and clearly cannot and does not deny the possibility or concept of Mind travel or soul migration, without the transportation or teletransportation of body or matter.

In point of fact it ratifies the possibility, since one can always do with the Mind things long before one can get the Body to follow. Ask any wind surfer, skate boarder, snow boarder, gymnast or circus trapeze artist. And indeed Lisa it makes a wonderful world of bunny holes "Alice in Wonderland" faeries, unicorns, and little elves possible not just in the 'realm' of the imagination and on film but in the 'physical world' in other dimensions.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Lubos Motl & GOD

This is why theoretical high-energy physicists - as well as some other highly theoretical fields - must clearly and honestly say that their results are not critical for our survival.

More generally, they are unlikely to have any practical applications in foreseeable future. We are only doing it because we want to find the truth - and this desire is what distinguishes us from the monkeys.

What does God think about the multiverse?

An important dividing question of the current theoretical physics is the anthropic principle. God has been used as a positive argument on both sides of the dispute, and He has also been used as an insult on both sides. Let me enumerate all four possibilities.

First: God is perfect and the world He created must be the most perfect conceivable world, as Leibniz has argued. The solution of the maximization problem must be unique and must be described by beautiful mathematics. Galileo argued that mathematics was the language in which God wrote the world. Einstein's viewpoint was similar when he was asking whether God had a choice how to create the Universe. Except for some technical issues associated with quantum mechanics and other tools, Einstein's viewpoint was always accepted by string theory understood as a theory to calculate the parameters in the effective field theories.

The people who think that the accuracy and mathematical rigidity and beauty of our previous theories has been just a consequence of good luck, and that the Universe actually follows very dirty, chaotic, and flexible laws at the fundamental level would surely say that the previous paragraph describes wishful thinking and religious preconceptions. If you repeat the previous paragraph and add a disclaimer to each sentence saying that the people mentioned in the previous paragraph are morons, you will obtain the second interpretation of the relation between God and the question of the vacuum selection.

The third interpretation is that the anthropic principle relies on the existence of the people - intelligent and conscious beings - which have also become the punch line of God's creation. The fact that the Universe has to contain humans is an important principle of the Universe. Why is it so? It is either because the key role of humans is described in Genesis, or because our existence is necessary for any physics or science to exist. Note that there exists no doable experiment that could tell you which of these explanations of the necessity of human beings is correct. What may be testable are the consequences of this assumption - but the consequences are nearly equivalent in both approaches, the religious approach and the materialistic anthropic approach.

The above are some of the arguments made by Lubos
on Money, Science & Religion, and funding by
The Templeton Foundation April 2006.

You can find the actual post here on the Reference Frame.

Monday, June 05, 2006



Some Scientists do Science with 'brutal' disregard & contempt for Nature, and our surrounding environment.
Some Scientists do Science to preserve the beauty & life that is in Nature, and our surrounding environment.

Human activity affects our environment.

That human activity affects our immediate environment, is not only recorded and well catalogued, but is evident wherever we go.

Whether it be the simple collection of litter & rubbish to keep our immediate surrounds clean & healthy, which has led local councils, County councils and even governments to join the 'green' revolution and tug at the strings of the individual and the collective conscious, regarding more recycling of household waste, to better waste management & reductions in landfill sites.

To the Exxon Valdez disaster but to name one, which hit the world press and media, and self-evident to anyone who has seen the impact of oil spills on our beaches & ocean or sea life. They are evident to anyone who has seen the impact on our rivers & waters.

In those places where the 'green' revolution has tugged the strings of the individual & collective conscious, we have seen how with time and subsidies from the Federal Governments, or in the case of the EU countries from EU funds, we have brought back to life stagnant rivers, polluted with heavy industrial waste & waste from intensive farming. We have seen the efforts of conservationists and environmentalists, restore deltas and river mouths again to their natural state with teeming wildlife: fauna & flora, fish & fowl.

Human activity may be contributing to climate change.

Skeptics at first responded by claiming that climate change did occur in geological time frame, ie: over long periods of time, but was not related to human activity.

As evidence grows that human activity may indeed be a contributing factor to climate change in a shorter time frame, that is in our lifetime, the only counter-argument now left to the remaining skeptics appears to be, that any change is only evidence that climate change does occur in geological time, ie: over long periods in time scale and therefore not related to human activity, and that any evident changes are simply 'coincidental' in the shorter time frame.

Whether coincidental or not, the concensus is mounting, that we need to look at the impact human activity may have not only on our local environment, but also our global environment, and that measures need to be taken wherever possible not to aggravate or have a negative impact on cyclical climate trends, tilting the balance to evermore chaotic climate extremes, increasing the intensity & frequency of hurricanes, and the ensuing catastrophic results to plant and animal habitats. Human habitats not being exempt from the damage & havoc the forces of nature can and do cause.

BBC Climate Chaos Season
Even David Attenborough in the BBC Climate Chaos Season, agrees that the more evident effects of human activity: CO2 emissions & greenhouse gases may be seriously contributing to climate change in a much shorter Time Frame, ie: in Our World Planet Earth in Our Lifetime.
For Climate Change videos visit: BBC shorts

For more news on how serious Climate Scientists are monitoring and keeping an ever 'watchful' eye on receeding glaciers across the globe and the melting icecaps in the Artic and Antartica visit : Real Climate