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Bill Angel

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Everything posted by Bill Angel

  1. I'm currently reading ‘Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War’ by Robert M. Gates who served as Secretary of Defense for Bush and Obama. The author provides a very frank assessment of what he thinks of Congress, of which he has a very low opinion. He also has a low opinion of Joe Biden, but a high opinion of Hillary Clinton.
  2. Since this is the speculations forum, and as there is currently another active thread on the use of art to convey topics in science, here is an image I created that could be interpreted as depicting spontaneous human combustion. I've seen pictures made during the testing of atomic bombs that show models meant to represent people very close to the blast site suddenly bursting into flames.
  3. I'm having a problem associating that particular image with an article online. However, I found this online article that contains a conceptually equivalent image The link is: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=185901 And the image is:
  4. One area of science that has yet to be mentioned in the thread is the medical sciences. For example here is an example of art being used to illustrate the concept of clinical depression:
  5. My greatest admiration is for the founders of Quantum Theory: Bohr, Planck, Schroedinger (and others)
  6. I don't think that is certain. My understanding is that a lot of the hostility of the Russian speaking residents of the Crimea is related to the contoversy connected to the use of Russian as an official language. See http://rt.com/news/minority-language-law-ukraine-035/ If their right to use Russian as an official language in the Crimea is affirmed, then perhaps the pressure there to secede from the Ukraine will diminish.
  7. The problem is actually better phrased the other way around , i.e. why is the curvature of our universe so close to 1?A good attempt at explaining this issue is contained in the article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatness_problem The curvature of the universe is not a fixed physical constant, as is the value of the gravitational constant, and it is believed that the curvature is slowly increasing with time. The blue line in this image ( which comes from the wiki article) depicts the time dependent curvature of our universe, with the current value of the curvature denoted by the value at the right edge of the graph.
  8. Crimea is supposed to hold a referendum soon on whether or not to become part of Russia. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/crimea-sets-referendum-on-joining-russia/2014/03/06/d06d8a46-a520-11e3-a5fa-55f0c77bf39c_story.html There is still military conscription in Russia. If the Crimea became part of the Russian Federation, its young people would be subject to conscription into the Russian army. That to me sounds like a good enough reason for a Crimean to reject annexation by Russia in the upcoming referendum.
  9. Two books that I enjoyed reading and got a lot out of are Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku and The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene. Both books are well written and are aimed at general audiences with little use of mathematical equations. They both contain material that is highly speculative about the existence of a multiverse reality, material that no scientist would accept as well established or validated. But both books are worth quoting to help enliven discussions in cosmology.
  10. "Also, what happens when a particle is observed multiple times?" Consider the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: If multiple measurements of a particle's momentum could reduce the uncertainty in that quantity to a very small amount, then knowledge of that particle's position would become more uncertain.
  11. I think that Steven Weinberg displays something of a myopic perspective when he makes statements like this one. I'm currently reading "Inferno, The World at War 1939-1945" by Max Hastings. In this book the author details all manner of atrocities and mass killings that took place in all the theatres of that war whose motivating factors were in no way related to religious beliefs, but to more basic motivations like ethnic animosities, a desire for revenge, indifference to civilian causalities, etc.
  12. I assume that they will still be selling electronic cigarettes, which are just tobaccoless nicotine dispensing devices.
  13. Good point. Another Catholic scientist worthy of interest and respect is George Lemaitre, who died in 1966. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lema%C3%AEtre The Catholic church has certainly come a long way from the days when it persecuted Galileo and burned Giordano Bruno at the stake.
  14. Your theorizing on the strategies that ants might employ brought to mind a classic work of fiction, titled Leniningen Versus the Ants http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leiningen_Versus_the_Ants The thrust of the story is that the activity of the ants, which you describe as as "chaotic melee" can still be very effectively destructive.
  15. Can one make an objective assessment of one's significance? Two weeks ago I was summoned for jury duty, and sat as a juror in a minor criminal case. Jury verdicts need to be unanimous, and we. voted to acquit the defendant on all charges. But if any of us had chosen to do so, and there were 12 people on the jury, he or she could have deadlocked the jury and nullified the value of the trial proceedings. So for several hours, until the trial proceedings were concluded, my participation in society (along with that of the other jurors) was significant.
  16. Three is no centralized authority in an ant colony. The queen does not issue orders. She is just an egg laying machine. When the colony produces additional queens and males, these insects have to leave the colony to find mates. If one of these queens does mate, she then starts her own colony. Now if ants from two of these colonies meet, there can be a big battle over territory. I captured some video of two such ant colonies fighting it out on a sidewalk.
  17. That's a good point and it's likely related as to why companies sometimes use polygraph (i.e lie detector) machines to evaluate candidates for security clearances. If you're like most people, giving deceptive answers increases your stress levels, reflecting your fear of being found out.
  18. Interesting Article: Learning drugs reawaken grown-up brain's inner child See http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24831-learning-drugs-reawaken-grownup-brains-inner-child.html It would be great if the creativity and perspective of a child could be restored to older people. Seeing the world through the eyes of a child could be beneficial in helping one to realize their artistic aspirations. And I wonder if such "learning drugs" might also help one in other fields, like doing mathematics.
  19. This collection of images might give you some ideas http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=ceramic+masks
  20. That's a good quote for illustrating why some physicists dislike the anthropic principle and the idea that our universe is part of a multi verse. If as some cosmologists speculate there are 10^500 universes, each with slightly different physical laws, and we occupy the universe that has that set of physical laws compatible with the development of life, it's like saying that the multiverse is an album containing 10^500 postage stamps, each with a slightly different design. Then all physics is doing is determining the design of the postage stamp that we happen to live on (or in).
  21. There is plenty of room on the oceans for floating cities. I bet such a floating city could be made economically self sufficient as well as supplying its own food and energy. What advantages would it have over a regular city? No homeless or panhandlers, for one.
  22. Interesting. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are often associated with masculinity , aggression and machismo. And those qualities were strongly present in the original Star Trek series. The same point could be made about the popular classic Hollywood westerns, which I still enjoy watching.
  23. It was also the premise for the sci fi book titled Eater by Gregory Benford.
  24. Perhaps aliens will come here for reasons similar to why missionaries came to the Americas, to spread their religious views. There is no reason to presume that invaders from outer space would be atheists. Or perhaps they will come like an invading army of Muslims, on a jihad to convert all the planets in the galaxy supporting sentient life.
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