Tuesday, 23 October 2007

North American Union - Part II

North American Union, the price of everything in London, winter is coming, but I don't care. I'm happy, amazed, wondering, wandering through this melting pot of a city, laughing quietly at the loyal Indians that, despite the chilly evening, stroll around in sandals and thin saris. Yeah man. They really stick to it. No "life is a river" kind of babble for them.

I think this mood I'm in is partly because I don't read the papers anymore. Ordered The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards and Java for Dummies and now I wake up and rush to the front door to see if I can soon start being a drawing geek. I'm gonna draw and program until the S.W.A.T. storm in through the window (cool!) requesting an accurate list of previous residencies. I can't remember!! For fuck sake!

They will go through my stuff for evidence to find a pile of weird shit, and amongst it all, my most recent favourite: Why Cats Paint: A Theory of Feline Aesthetics. They will yell "weirdo!" and I'll yell "sheep!" and they will jump out of the window into a wicked army green helicopter and fly away. I'll stare at their bums and think "nice outfit".

If that's not the sort of thing you add after "North American Union", I would say you're heading the wrong way.

Let us make them obsolete.

North American Union???

Friday, 5 October 2007

Speed of light barrier broken - Arrive before you leave

If zooming beyond the local speed limit is punishable by law, then some scientists may have a gargantuan speeding ticket to pay.

In a controversial experiment reported in this weeks journal Nature, scientists at the NEC Research Institute in Princeton, New Jersey claim to have broken the ultimate speed limit -- the speed of light. Though hotly contested, some say this achievement could dramatically increase the speeds at which we can send and receive information.

Taught in physics classes the world over, Albert Einsteins theory of special relativity holds that no object or information can move faster than the speed of light in a vacuum, or 186,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) per second. But NECs Lijun Wang says he created an experiment in which a light beam raced through a gas-filled chamber so quickly, it exceeded the speed of light by a factor of 300. Whats more, the light pulse appears to have left the confines of the chamber before it even entered a seemingly impossible occurrence according to theories of causality, which predict that causes must always precede their effects.

"It sounds crazy, but this can actually occur," said Raymond Chiao, a physicist at the University of California at Berkeley. Chiao, one of a group of researchers who have been working to break the speed-of-light limit, explained that although a common object such as a baseball could never be flung faster than the speed of light, pulses of energy with certain complex properties have been known to bend the rules.

[...]most scientists agree that even if such a beam can be proved speedier than light, it would probably not be able to carry any information. Such a feat could conceivably allow data to be sent back in time, thus violating laws of causality and sending quantum physics into disrepair.

More on http://www.space.com

Or BBC News Sci/Tech

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

8 for eternity

If you went outside at exactly the same time every day and took a picture that included the Sun, how would the Sun appear to move? With great planning and effort, such a series of images can be taken. The figure-8 path the Sun follows over the course of a year is called an analemma. With even greater planning and effort, the series can include a total eclipse of the Sun as one of the images. Pictured is such a total solar eclipse analemma or Tutulemma - a term coined by the photographers based on the Turkish word for eclipse. The composite image sequence was recorded from Turkey starting in 2005. The base image for the sequence is from the total phase of a solar eclipse as viewed from Side, Turkey on 2006 March 29. Venus was also visible during totality, toward the lower right.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Some people hang out on the Beach in Turkey recording analemmas. Lovely.