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Everything posted by EdEarl

  1. Duh! I knew that, LOL. I was reaching back into my memory to the time before EPROM, EEPROM and flash memory.
  2. Can you make any progress on this problem, and if you have, tell me about it. I'll try to help by telling you whether you are on the right path or not, and maybe give hints.
  3. A ball can float in the stream of air coming from the blowing end of a vacuum cleaner. The ball as no engine, it floats due to the energy contained in the stream of air. These engineless craft float because 30,000 volts of electricity provides enough energy to lift the craft, aparently on a stream of air propelled by ionization from 30KV instead of a vacuum cleaner.
  4. The blue, green, and red lines on the graph must not correspond to blue, green and red light, because blue light wavelengths are around 475 nm, green around 510 nm, and red around 650 nm. The lines represent the intensity of light emitted at variouis wavelengths (colors) when the black body is 5000K (blue line), 4000K (green line), and 3000K (red line). Light intensity is related to the number of photons being emitted. And, the energy per photon is higher for shorter wavelengths of light.
  5. Perhaps, but that center of rotation (if it exists) may be beyond the event horizion that limits our view of the universe. Moreover, it seems illogical that the Universe rotates around a point on the surface of a 4D balloon. Of course, I cannot imagine a 4D balloon. Thus, digress to a 3D balloon. If a 2D universe on the surface of a universe sized 3D balloon is rotating about a point, then galaxies further from the point of rotation would be moving faster than ones near the point of rotation. At some distance from this point of rotation, galaxy movement would become relativistic, and far enough away their movement would need to be faster than the speed of light. If you counter by saying it is space-time that is rotating, then that seems contrary to the BBT. An explosion does not cause rotation of stuff it hurls outward. Of course, the BB is not characterized as an explosion, rather as an expansion, and that may make a difference. The idea peaks my curiosity, and is an interesting speculation.
  6. Forgive me. I doubt that I can help you. I might solve the problem for you, but do not know how to teach you how to solve word problems. The reason I am responding is that I read your post, but the forum did not increment the number of views. Thus, you may think no one is reading it. I am confused about what the number of views means, and hope a moderator will explain. NVM moderator, view finally updated.
  7. Making laws that precede events, including scientific discoveries, is problematic. Some things we can predict with good accuracy, for example the growth of computer power and cost reduction. But, some things are complete surprises, for example the accelerated expansion of the Universe. Most things fall between good accuracy and complete surprise, which often means some people predict a thing will occur but fail to grasp when the discovery will occur and its consequences. A discovery may lead to development of many things. For example, the integrated circuit revolutionized electronics and gives us things like the cell phone (similar to Dick Tracy's wrist watch communicator), plus GPS and WWW that no one predicted very far in advance of their development. Moreover, laws are subject to political infighting that may go on for decades (abortion in the USA), are sometimes irrational (not allowing women and blacks the right to vote), change over time (allowing women and blacks to vote), and often are the result of court cases (case law). We appear to be in an era when the law cannot keep pace with changes in science, technology, economics, society, and ecology. I cannot predict what this means.
  8. Perhaps the Universe is rotating about a point, Mike. I can neither verify nor disprove that speculation, and I doubt it affects anyone whether it rotates or not, except via curiosity.
  9. Each of us has an intuitive feel for how macro, non-relativistic physics works, which is necessary for us to live in our environment. I believe that hearing about oddball things that quantum mechanics, relativity, string-theory, etc. predict makes us question those theories, even if we do the math, because they feel wrong. When we follow the scientific reasoning, we may be able to ignore our feelings, but those who do not know the math and do not follow the reasoning cannot ignore their feelings...they are stuck wanting an intuitive answer. They latch onto some non-scientific answer, sometimes a myth. For example, many Buddhists believe in the ancient Buddhist myths about the universe; even though, the 14th Dali Lama has said, “If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.” Myths are merely incorrect speculations by someone in the past that are remembered until today, whether Greek, Roman, Egyptian, etc. I am seriously concerned about people who believe non-scientific things. First, it is personal because my family is fundamentalist Christian who do not believe in evolution or the age of the universe being GYrs. Such people are leading a political fight to introduce their non-scientific beliefs into the USA education system. Second, I believe that eliminating science from education is a really bad idea. Thus, I may become a bit frustrated whenever someone proposes some pseudo-science idea and will not relent. When I am frustrated I sometimes say things I regret, but I find it hard to bite my tongue because bad ideas can lead to pogroms, inquisitions, and crimes against humanity. Of course, a person who preaches truth and science can also do bad things. We do need to keep our temperament in the Buddhist tradition, non-violent and loving of all. I believe truth and science will ultimately prevail, but not without struggle and setbacks. For example, most people now believe the Earth is round instead of flat, and that it is not the center of the Universe.
  10. Quantum efficiency is the ratio of electrons produced per photon. The 98% figure is possible, in fact it can be higher than 100% when the photon energy is high enough to create two electrons. Air absorbs some photons, which results in ionization of air molecules. Such ionization reduces transmission efficiency and might start a fire. Sunlight falling on a square meter is about 1 horsepower; thus, to run a < 25 HP car would require light about 25 times as intense as sunlight. Such a high intensity light beam seems rather dangerous to me. It may be possible, but mag lev seems more practical.
  11. All these things are three dimensional. However, the universe is 3D plus time (space-time). For there to be a center of the universe, one would have to know the center of time, which makes no sense to me. If you say, the universe would spin around the point at time zero, then we get to the balloon analogy. At t=0, the balloon is a point with the universe being the three dimensional surface of the balloon. As time passes, the balloon expands, but no point on its surface is the center.
  12. I suspect the water would diffuse throughout much, perhaps all, of the monolith and evaporate from its surface.
  13. If one believes the prediction of Marshall T. Savage in his book The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps, we will have already explored much of the Milky Way by the time of Milkydromeda. If we survive that long, perhaps another 100 life times will be enough to colonize Milkydromeda. However, the search for extra terrestrial intelligence (SETI) has not succeeded (Fermi paradox). If we will inhabit the galaxy, why not an extra terrestrial intelligence? I hope we make it, even if no one else has.
  14. Stanford University has recorded Leonard Susskind lessons and put them on youtube. I believe the series of lectures on String Theory and M-Theory adress the shape of the Universe. Knowing some calculus does help. Another resource that may help is
  15. A great place to learn math (also free) is www.khanacademy.org. Lessons vary from 1+1 to calculus.
  16. Perhaps you are looking for the inverse of entropy. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy#Order_and_disorder
  17. Not silly, see: http://www.nyx.net/~gthompso/quine.htm for a few programs that can write or print themselves.
  18. It has been a long time since I studied an Intel BIOS. As I recall, it used very few interrupts, reboot being one of them, but it did not use any for I/O, as I recall. The bios is really simple, it initializes the hardware if necessary, and starts a program (e.g., DOS, Windows, Linux, or perhaps your program. BIOS device drivers are quite simple and do not provide drivers for all devices. For example, the Intel BIOS circa DOS had drivers for only two serial ports although microprocessors and some motherboards had four serial ports. The BIOS is in ROM and cannot be changed. However, mostly you can circumvent using it by making your own hardware drivers. Although, some devices have internal ROM that the BIOS or another program may call. Since BIOS are in ROM, it would be fairly expensive to make a BIOS, because you have to have hardware to write into the ROM, and once written you have to throw them away if you have a coding error. I don't know if that ROM is now internal to the microprocessor chip or external. If internal, you might have to work with Intel to program a BIOS. If external, they are likely soldered to the motherboard and difficult or impossible to replace. Good luck.
  19. A calculator shows its results in its accumulator, and its machine language is the buttons on the calculator. A calculator that can be programmed converts each key into a code that it stores in memory, for example the 1 key may be stored as an ASCII character 1, 2 as ASCII 2, + as an ASCII +, etc. (Refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ASCII). In other words, each key press generates a number (e.g., ASCII) that is stored in memory to represent the key press. The numbers may or may not be ASCII, in general computers do no use ASCII, and their machine languages are much more complex than a calculator. Moreover, many machine languages are obtuse and difficult to learn. The ones for modern microprocessors are not only difficult to learn, they are nearly impossible to use to produce very efficient code. Languages such as C produce better code than almost any programmer, and they are much easier to use. Learning assembly language gives great insight into the inner workings of a computer, but I recommend you learn a simple one such as the 8080, Z80 or 6800. I learned on real machines about 25 years ago, so I have not use any of the emulators you can find when you google "Emulator 8080," "Emulator Z80," or "Emulator 6800." You may need to try a few to find one you like. Add 1 to the value in accumulator A is 01001100 means 01001100+1. You should be able to do the arithmetic. Good luck.
  20. I believe the Sun will become a red giant in 4-5 Billion years and consume the Earth, a little after the Milky Way and Andromeda become Milkydromeda. The two events are otherwise unrelated, as far as I know.
  21. IMO it is relevant that global warming is real, regardless of cause, that it may be disastrous as ice caps melt and glaciers disappear, and that humanity is releasing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Alan Savory in his TED Talk, “How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change,” shows land he says was reclaimed by new cattle-land management practices. Additionally, he says that colleagues have calculated that enough land may be reclaimed to reduce atmospheric CO2 to preindustrial levels. See: Given his claims are valid, it seems that cattle men would adopt them, because the want to improve their grazing land. Such a CO2 reduction would give the human race more time to reduce fossil fuel use to ecologically sound levels. That is, more time to build green power plants, clean energy cars, sustainable buildings, etc. IMO this news is exciting, but I haven't seen any chatter on the internet about it. Am I missing something?
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