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 Author Thread: slowing light down
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 10 (view)
 
slowing light down
Posted: 2/12/2013 9:13:39 PM
The answer is -
sort of.
If you were to pulse a beam of light through a medium that slows light down to speeds that are observable with the naked eye, and ensured that the medium would diffuse or scatter light (kind of like how you can see a laser beam as it passes through smoke, or why the sky is blue), then you would see something somewhat similar to the star wars laser bolts.

However, keep in mind that it is very difficult to see something traveling even as relatively slowly as a bullet. So, to slow down light (300 000 000 meters per second), your index of refraction would have to be 1 million, just to slow it to 300 meters per second. This type of material does not exist. Yet?

The other way to do it would be to make use of some of the things that scientists call "very big". Light traveling through nebula that are light years across should show some of these effects (they tend to be very diffuse, so their indices of refraction would be extremely close to 1).

The key is that you could not see one electron, traveling. You only "see" when the electron hits your eye. You would have to see the electrons that are scattered away from the main beam.

Neat question, though.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 63 (view)
 
Run any combustable engine on water this includes any car.
Posted: 7/26/2008 4:14:20 PM
I found 2 cents. So, here's my too sense worth. Feel free to send me any change I am due.
My understanding of Hydrogen or oxyhydrogen vehicles is that they run on the burning of hydrogen, either in air or in the presence of oxygen (2 times as much hydrogen - H2O). Under ideal conditions, you would be able to flip back and forth between the oxyhydrogen and water, with no loss in energy. However, there are losses in the cycle, so, in order to keep things going, energy is needed. I believe this is provided with electricity. In many areas, where electricity is provided by hydro, wind, or nuclear power, this basicly contributes no carbon emission, which is, I believe, the overall point of the exercise. However, many other areas are reliant largely on coal-, or natural gas-fired electricity. In these cases, there is a direct link to carbon emissions with this technology. Now, if there is found a way to convert water into oxyhydrogen without using electricity, such as a friendly bacteria, or if there is a catalyst which performs this task using solar energy (for instance) I could see there being incredible potential. As far as my understanding goes, however, I wonder something. Wouldn't it be much more efficient (compare efficiencies of combustion, or heat engines, to those of electrical), to continue to develop the electric car, and run the vehicle directly from the electricity being used to elecrolyze water?

Just sayin.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 3 (view)
 
AN INTERVIEW quite interesting ????
Posted: 4/22/2008 10:49:09 PM
Yeah, I'm afraid a lot of what he said seems pretty unsubstantiated. I didn't get a calculator out and check the numbers, but I think 0.16 microJoules sounds about right. The thing is, that is the amount of energy given to one subatomic particle. If you were to try to raise a massive object, say, a bb, to such a high average kinetic energy level, massive amounts of energy would be required. However, that is not what he was talking about. Next, he mentions that a nuclear blast releases 200 million volts of energy. A volt is not a unit of energy. That is kind of like saying that a lightbulb releases 43 cubic centimeters of light. With such glaring errors, I would be very unlikely to give much benefit of the doubt on the matters he speaks about which I am unfamiliar.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 38 (view)
 
I don't believe the 'big bang' ever happened...
Posted: 4/13/2008 5:14:02 PM

For "basher" and others who try to speak about entropy above, please read up on the principles of Thermodynamics and study a little physics. To say entropy is a "slippery" thing and difficult to define betrays your very weak understanding of the principle and how it applies to physical reality.

Oh, boy! Are you kidding me? I am in the middle of taking courses on thermodynamics and statistical physics, right now. I've been reading so much about entropy, enthalpy, free energy (not the perpetual motion kind, I mean Helmholtz free energy, or Gibbs free energy. Look it up before you post a knee-jerk comment about it), partition functions, expectation values... its coming out my ears. If you can think of a way of defining entropy as something you can measure - as a physically definable quality, I'd love to hear about it. As would Boltzman (his guess at it, being the S=k ln W formula, is probably the closest to making entropy measurable), Einstein (he didn't like Boltzman's formula, but didn't have a better one to replace it), and everyone elso who is doing any significant work in thermodynamics. In macroscopic thermodynamics, in fact, you don't even try to measure entropy. All you can do is calculate the change in entropy. Many people speak of entropy as the level of "disorder" in the universe. Not entirely accurate, but sometimes useful. The Boltzman equation defines entropy as being dependant on the probability of finding a system in the configuration it is in. If you look at the Carnot theorum, he says that, in a reversible process, the infinitesimal change in entropy is equal to the amount of heat added or extracted divided by the temperature. If you can find another property which is as important as entropy, and yet as difficult to nail down, I'd like to hear it.

As for suggesting that a physics major study up on some physics... I'm going to assume that you didn't understand some of the sublety of what I was saying was, and I seemed to be one of the people who watched what the bleep do we know, and read a wrinkle in time and felt qualified to criticize advanced physical theory.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 10 (view)
 
Proposal: rename this forum Junk Science/Conspiracy Theories
Posted: 4/12/2008 11:55:25 AM
I think a few words need to be said about the scientific method, here. A lot of people seem to think that because scientists, and their theories have been wrong, sometimes wildly so, that there is a major flaw in the scientific process, and that the best "forward thinking" people are being unjustly persecuted by the scientific community because they challenge the process.
But, first, let me list my paultry credentials. This, I hope, should give an indication of whether you think I have any idea of what I'm talking about. I am a engineering physics student, finishing my second year. I will likely be majoring in nuclear physics. In other words, I am not a scientist. I have published nothing, and have only worn a white lab coat a few times. However, I do have some familiarity with ecology, dendrology, physics, math, and chemistry. You might call me an amateur scientist. You might call me a lot of other things, but I hope you won't post such mean slander.
Where was I? Oh, yeah. In very general terms, sciences build up a body of "scientific knowledge". These are things which are known, have been proven, and, after a time, become known as laws. If you are really lucky, really smart, or sometimes somewhat unscrupulous, you can get your name attached to some of these things which are a part of this body of scientific knowledge. If something is discovered which challenges this body of knowledge, it is necessary to examine it fully. If it is wrong, it will be mercilessly debunked. If it stands up to the scrutiny of the scientific community, it may lead to EVERY BIT OF KNOWLEDGE WHICH IT AFFECTS BEING COMPLETELY REWORKED!! This is a huge deal. Some examples. The barber's paradox. It led to a major addition to logic, otherwise, all number theory, math, etc, would have been based on a flawed system. The Michelson interferometer experiments. They showed that the speed of light wasn't dependant on your speed relative to the light source. This led to relativity. Its a good thing that, out of relativity, we were able to recover Newton's laws when you were at low speeds, or all of that would have been junked, as well. Time after time, when "classical" or accepted science failed to explain phenomena, the phenomena were scrutinized, evaluated, and, when necessary, new theories were developed, examined, and scrutinized. The theories which survive today belong to people of stunning intellect, who had to withstand tremendous pressure (some didn't hold up. Lots of suicides.)
I've said all of this to say that, if the scientific community has declared a theory debunked, this is what has happened. Many scientists, like anyone else, can be bought, but I do not believe that the entire process can be. Scientists who have been, or are suspected of having been, bought, are ostricized and ridiculed as much or more than those who advocate disproven theories, and claim they are being persecuted for it. It does not mean that is right 100% of the time. However, you've got to see that the percentage is a lot closer to 100 than even 90.
So, if you are coming into a "science" forum, and haven't got the background, or knowledge to completely understand the theories you are tearing down, or trying to advocate, I'd suggest coming in with an open mind, and questions. Be prepared to look things up. Be prepared, as every scientist must be, to have your mind changed by facts (follow the evidence, for the CSI fans).
Last, to the few people posting who have the knowledge and credentials to back up their postings, and to actually teach, I'd say to have some patience with us. I've seen examples of patience, and some of blatant rudeness. Keep in mind that if you wandered into a forum on Shakespear, for instance, and started spouting crackpot theories, you'd probably want at least some consideration. Remember, this is a "science" forum, but it is one which is open to everyone. There is no scientific knowledge requirements to post here. That means we will get crackpot theories, but it should also mean a lot of opportunities to teach people things they would not otherwise be exposed to.
Well, that's my pointless ramble. Back to sniping each other...
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 168 (view)
 
Favorite Shirts with Words
Posted: 4/1/2008 10:49:20 PM
WWJD for a Klondike bar

I listen to bands that don't even exist yet

I (picture of bleeding heart) zombies

I'm looking at your girlfriend

F**k you you f**king f**k
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 9 (view)
 
Your Idea of Responsible Energy Use/Creation/Consumption
Posted: 4/1/2008 10:30:41 PM
Have you been tracking your cost/benefits? Having dollar figures available can only help. Last time, I thought I'd say it again. Remember, beaurocrats jobs are for keeping stability, not for moving innovation ahead. Be patient (not passive, keep pushing them, just nicely), and they will join you. Use confrontation only when necessary, and whenever possible, especially in any media attention you get, say as much good about them as you can. You'll get more attention with inflamatory remarks, but less cooperation. Check out the David Suzuki foundation, maybe.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 19 (view)
 
ethanol and e85
Posted: 4/1/2008 4:11:22 PM

I may be an idiot here, but have a question I want to put out there on the global warming issue. Where I live, Upper Michigan, has had two glacier pushes. If there was no global warming before, what made those glaciers pull back. Might it have something to do with cycles that our planet just goes through.

If anything, the fact that you asked the question makes you not an idiot. To respond to the question, yes, the natural cycles are most likely the causes of the glaciation patterns. There was global warming before, just not the man-caused portion, or the anthropomorphic portion, which has us all in a dither. The problem that we have with this is that a massive change of climate on a global scale will not allow the current political, social, and economic systems to last. If we were all nomadic, and not organized into large nations, we'd be fine. (I'm not advocating the dismantling of nations, just pointing out some of the issues involved). The power structure we currently see is at least partly based on the availability of food and other natural resources. What happens if suddenly the United states, most of Europe, and Asia are not able to produce enough food, and are forced to move many of their cities, or set up ridiculously massive dyke systems? Well, they'll just take the resources from the places that have them (Canada, Russia, who knows where else). The wars could get a little inconvenient.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 3 (view)
 
Your Idea of Responsible Energy Use/Creation/Consumption
Posted: 4/1/2008 3:48:52 PM
All I can say is wow!!

That is a lot of innovation you've got going there. I'm going to give you a couple pieces of advice. Obviously, you can take em or leave em. First, it is very important to be well above the board when you are doing things that out of the ordinary. I refer to the permits, inspections, etc...
As for the micro hydro issue, what you need is a way that they can be certain that the water is clean. Honestly, if they decide to trust you, they have to just take the nuclear plant down the road at their word, too. I think you may have to try to have new regulations put in place in terms of the heaters and water issues. Unfortunately, the inspector probably has no jurisdiction to use his judgement, and is given some clear (if outdated) guidelines he needs to follow. As a bit of a trail breaker, you are going to encounter some resistance, but keep in mind that some of the people who are providing this are doing so out of the best motivations and could prove to be big supporters, if you can win them over.
I know of a few people who have a lot of the same type of systems set up, and are off the grid as well, who are alumni of my school (University of Saskatchewan). I don't remember where the information about their set-ups are, but I'll see if I can dig it up. They may have some ideas on how they dealt with their issues.

So, to your actual question: is all of the Go-Green propaganda simply propaganda? Unfortunately, a lot of it is. There are a lot of people who are in it simply because it is a new industry, and provides opportunities for relatively large profits. However, I think a large part (the majority, actually) of the people involved really just want to clean things up, and prevent all of the problems they sincerely see coming (global warming, energy crisis, animal extinction, etc...).

good luck
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 17 (view)
 
ethanol and e85
Posted: 4/1/2008 5:53:33 AM
check out ptrc.ca. That's the company working on the project.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 16 (view)
 
ethanol and e85
Posted: 3/31/2008 8:16:40 PM

The question is how to keep CO2 out of the atmoshere. It's an equilibrium. Two factors are how much you put in and how much you take out. Recognized in the forum is the ideal that biofuel production removes as much CO2 as burning them produces. However, I was suggesting that increasing the planet biomass by growing more organic life sequesters CO2 as effectively as coal or oil. Therefore adding biomass reduces atmospheric CO2. Is there a problem with that?


Just a thought. I have heard that there is some work being done where, at high temperatures, wood fibre and some vinyl-type polymers are being converted to carbon fibre. This is extremely stable, strong, and industrially quite useful. It might be a good way to sequester CO2. Here in Saskatchewan, there is a lot of work being done to pump CO2 into stable geological formations. Or if what you want is stable carbon, removed from the atmosphere, keep makin plastic. So don't even think about recycling your six-pack holders, Smuggler. Just toss 'em overboard. C'mon, man, do your part!
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 7 (view)
 
I don't believe the 'big bang' ever happened...
Posted: 3/31/2008 1:46:34 PM

That sort of entropy?

Almost, but not quite. Entrophy has a subtle meaning. Since it is such a slippery thing to define, and even harder to measure, physicists tend to deal with changes in entropy. Every step of the cycle which the granite goes through increases the entropy of the system of the granite and the rest of the universe. This means that, it order to return the granite to its original state, you must move something else from ITS original state, and there is a net increase in entropy. The most simplistic definition of entropy I've heard is that it measure the amount of disorder. This always increases, on a large enough scale. Entropy, it has been said, gives a "forward" direction for time.

In a brief history of time, I believe that Hawkings posed the ideas of a variably expanding/contracting universe. I'm not sure whether he still considers it viable, as he rarely calls anymore. But, I believe he mentioned that, if the universe began to contract, it could cause time to reverse on itself. Imagine if the entire universe were oscillating like this, and we were doomed to eternally repeat all our mistakes, victories etc for all time. (Time? that doesn't make sense.) God, how many times have I written this post? How many times have I done it backwards? Argggh! My brain just broke.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 146 (view)
 
Greatest threat to mankind?
Posted: 3/31/2008 1:14:01 PM
I think Stephen Colbert summed it up best. Number one threat to mankind:
BEARS
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 5 (view)
 
I don't believe the 'big bang' ever happened...
Posted: 3/31/2008 12:37:58 PM
To the OP:
Don't worry, you are not alone. Not all scientists believe there was a big bang. However, the evidence supporting it is a little stronger than you give it credit for. First, the evidence we are receiving now is actually coming from a much larger segment of time than simply the history of man. Some light is reaching us which seems to have been travelling for billions of years. Since the evidence coming in from that far away seems to jive with the evidence from much closer (in time and space), it seems reasonable to extrapolate this to a singularity. I haven't had time to look at it for more than a quick read of some exerpts from a book, but null physics seems to build a case against the big bang.
I believe string theory, and some of the newer theories of gravitation and dark matter and energy touch on some of these matters as well.

Lastly, as a kind of "devil's advocate" question - what evidence would be required for you to believe in the big bang?

PS. Not everything is a cycle. Entropy is not. Can anyone else list off some things which are not cyclical?
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 59 (view)
 
perpetual energy and other promising inventions
Posted: 3/31/2008 12:05:48 PM

You make some relevent coments but your assertion about cold fusion
is not accurate.
Cold has been demonstrated a number times especially since the Fleishman and Ponds
outcry.

Nope, it turns out it wasn't very accurate, was it. I've some researching on the topic, and come across some material supporting cold fusion, some trying to refute it. What seems to be consistent is the inconsistency of the success of the process. There also seems to be a lack of a solid theory of how atoms are put close enough together to fuse. The amounts of helium generated, furthermore, aren't significant compared to the experimental uncertainty, so it has been very difficult to say with certainty whether it is taking place.
Here's a website in support of LENR (low-energy nuclear reactions)
http://www.newenergytimes.com/Library/2006Storms-CFForDummies.htm#phonons
It does seem, however, that the results generated do warrant serious study. It may turn out that this area of research could involve something other than fusion (in which case it could be an entirely different way of obtaining energy), or it could be fusion, which may be harnessed as an energy source. I saw information about a company in California called Clean Energy Technology (CETI), which, at one time sold a unit to researchers which, it was claimed, reproduced the "cold-fusion" results. It, however, was inconsistent, and they apparently no longer sell them. They did, however, manage to obtain patents. I would be very interested in seeing any information about this Japanese company, if they are indeed selling, or proposing to sell, cold fusion generators.
Side note: I am attending a symposium on alternative energy sources next week. If I learn anything pertinent, I'll try to post it.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 5 (view)
 
Difference between theory and facts
Posted: 3/31/2008 3:43:29 AM

I think your problem is you're using the word hypothesis instead of theory. Theories are constructs which take facts and evidence into account. Hypothesis are guesses which you attempt to confirm or deny through experimentation and observation.

wow. Nicely done. I think you nailed it on the head. What I intended to discuss was not the validity of a theory, but the usage of hypotheses of theories as facts. After all the validity of any theory is subject to the accuracy of its hypotheses. Thanks.

Restated: I feel that often, especially in the science/philosophy threads you find people who state hypothesis which have not, or can not be proven. In the interests of intellectual integrity, I think it is important to make a distinction between the two. Discuss.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 4 (view)
 
Difference between theory and facts
Posted: 3/30/2008 10:41:56 PM
How did this become a thread on evolution?

I don't dispute evolution. Even if I really wanted to, I lack the background in any sciences to do so properly. However, the intent of this discussion was to comment on the way people misrepresent theories as facts. A pertinent example would be someone stating, as a fact, some of the theories of the young earth crowd, or the creationist scientists. These theories tend to include a lot of unproven, unproveable theories which make no real predictions which can be tested. Then, when they are disproven, ten new ones spring up.

So, frogeyes, seriously, I'm not trying to dispute evolution even a tiny bit. Maybe try the decaf
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 2 (view)
 
Difference between theory and facts
Posted: 3/30/2008 5:18:59 PM
My original post was not intended at all intended to be directed specifically at evolution, or any theory. However, I would say that evolution is actually many different theories. Here, I am using the term evolution to specifically mean the development of all life on earth from simple inorganic matter over vast expanses of time, as opposed to your usage of it. There are as many theories about how changes to species, genuses (what's the proper plural?), families, etc... ocurred as there are scientists studying evolution. There are also different theories about where mankind emerged, and whether this happened in multiple places.
That said, great comment about how the word theory has very different usage for scientists than for many of the general population. The usage I had mind was the one which scientists would use. So, to stay with the example you brought up, to say that humans evolved from chimpanzees, and to state it as fact would not be correct. Many scientists believe that chimpanzees and humans evolved at the same time from a common ancestor. In this case, in the interests of accuracy, the theories should be stated explicitly. I doubt anyone would require you to state explicitly any assumptions in what you wrote. I think they are pretty well understood.
Thanks for your comments.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 1 (view)
 
Difference between theory and facts
Posted: 3/30/2008 12:36:44 PM
In looking through many of the threads on science/philosophy, I've noticed a common thread. There seems to be a subtle misuse of theories as facts. In many instances (where the theories have been backed up by experimental data, as with many of the predictions of quantum theory), you are able to state the theories as facts with a much greater certainty. A very simple example would be like this. If I have one apple, and someone gives me another apple (please, can we agree to not get into semantics about how an apple exists as a separate entity), it is somewhat unneccessary to say that, according to number theory, I now have 2 apples. It would, however, be neccessary to state the assumptions and theories used if I inferred that, if someone gave me infinity apples, and someone else took away infinity apples, I'd be left with, oh, say, 42. (42 apples? Not necessarily. Lets just say I'm left with 42. The concept. In liquid form. For the sake of argument).
So, back to my original point. I feel that it is important to state how certain we are of the assertions we are making. This, as opposed to stating predictions of theories as facts. Comments?
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 13 (view)
 
Do numbers exist?
Posted: 3/29/2008 8:05:59 PM
It's a little bit interesting to me that the existence of numbers can be discussed without mentioning the Peanno (pronounced piano) postulates. He was able to define numbers, beginning with the concept of zero (this was a significant beginning, and he really was standing on the shoulders of giants when he did so). Then, "1" was defined as being the "successor" of "0". By then assigning a "number" to each successor, every possible natural number is defined. From these, and by defining a few simple concepts, all of number theory was developed. This is the reason why math works, and has no internal inconsistencies.

Note, however, that this system was set up to describe the world. The fact of the existance and plurality of something exists. Being able to describe it... Priceless. Oh, wait, I'm not in a commercial. Being able to discuss in more accurate terms than "there is no..." or "there is some..." or "there is more..." is why we use numbers. Numbers are a description of somthing physical (sometimes only imagined).
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 24 (view)
 
two ideas i had
Posted: 3/29/2008 7:42:39 PM

2) mental experiment to prove light is not the quickest thing in the universe

I'm sat in space with a torch and a very long stick , 1000 light years away is my friend

who is sitting at the end of my very long stick ( I did say it was long !) I flash my torch and prod the stick at the same time , he is poked by my stick right away ,1000yrs later he sees the flash from the torch .

First off, the fact that these ideas are essentially incorrect in no way takes away from the fact that they are good questions. Asking questions like this is the basis of science as we know it.

As for this particular question, what is important to note is that, as has been mentioned, no matter can be considered completely rigid. Everything has a speed limit, based on its "density" and its tendancy to return to its position of lowest potential. Ok, so that jargon probably didn't clear anything up. In the case of the ruler, any force acting on the ruler will have the effect of compressing or stretching a portion of it. The amount of stretch or compression is dependant on something called its Young's modulus. To illustrate this, replace the ruler with a very long slinky. In this case, your friend would grow old waiting for the wave to arrive. With a ruler, however, the speed of transmission of this wave would be much higher. However, it is still significantly lower than the speed of light. I believe it would be the same as the speed of sound in wood (or steel, or slinky). This is a lot higher than the speed of sound in air.
Like I said, though, excellent question. The only problem with your reasoning is assuming that the ruler is rigid. For all practical uses, it is rigid, so it is a fairly reasonable assumption to make. It just doesn't fit with experimental fact.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 23 (view)
 
Quantum Entanglement - One God Particle
Posted: 3/29/2008 6:51:12 PM

although the whole cold fusion thing makes me think , be careful of jumping to conclusions from a experiment that could just be producing false results.

Note that plasma fusion is a separate entity from cold fusion. Plasma fusion involves breaking heavy water (with deuterium and tritium, forms of hydrogen) into plasma, which is simply nucleii stripped of their electrons. Then, at least with the tokomak reactors, huge pulses of current through a toroid (a doughnut shape) are used in the same way a transformer changes the voltage and current for our power line, to create currents in the plasma itself which are high enough to constrict the protons closely enough for the strong molecular forces to overcome the repulsive electrical forces between the nucleii.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 12 (view)
 
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/29/2008 1:15:10 PM
This thread really reminds me of the story of the three blind men describing an elephant. (if you aren't familiar with it, just google it. I don't say it to imply anything negative about any people's views, as I include myself)

I only mention this to indicate that philosophy is very big, seems to have very different aspects, and a range of importance from none at all to the foundation of everything. Just as the idea of an elephant encompasses all of the descriptions of the blind men, I kind of wonder whether there is a full description of philosophy which encompasses even all of the descriptions given in this post.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 3 (view)
 
Funny Bumber Stickers I've Seen
Posted: 3/26/2008 3:54:37 PM
earth first... Then we log the other planets
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 150 (view)
 
Top 10 Things Not to Say While Arguing with a Woman
Posted: 3/26/2008 3:48:20 PM
In the course of a regular argument, start singing your lines.

Sing along with hers.

Stage a violent and messy fake suicide.

If that doesn't work, try the real thing.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 149 (view)
 
Top 10 Things Not to Say While Arguing with a Woman
Posted: 3/26/2008 2:39:54 PM
first, say something really mean, to make her cry. Then, say,"Awwww, honey, don't cry... it makes you look fat."

Don't stay around to find out how it turns out. Run, man, run. You should already have a plane ticket and a new identity ready.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 26 (view)
 
Sarcasm red flag or not?
Posted: 3/25/2008 8:22:19 PM

The man I am thinking of was doing standup a while back and still does but every joke he says he never shows any emotion with it and he always makes u ponder the response.Steven something I think but he had an afro like but he was caucasion.

Was it Stephen Wright? He once said he was walking down the street, and the prescription on his glasses ran out.

Word of advice. Be careful with sarcasm. Unless you are a better communicator than 99% of the world, people will misinterpret it. In fact, some of that mystery of whether you are being sarcastic or not is where sarcasm can be funny. Beware, though, because you could end up hurting someone you really don't want to, and sometimes, the effects don't go away...
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 6 (view)
 
Dark Matter and Mathematics ..
Posted: 3/25/2008 8:13:11 PM
I'll take a crack at it...
I've done a little reading on this, and one of my professors has published quite a bit on the subject. One of the interesting things in this area is some of the names given to the theoretical particles. There are WIMPS, MACHOS, and WIMPZILLAS to name a few. Awesome.
So, people first started theorizing about dark matter when we started getting good estimates of the amount of luminous matter in distant galaxies. What people found is that they couldn't find anything close to the mass which should be there to cause the galaxies to behave the way they seemed to. It has been estimated that up to 90% of matter would have to be dark matter. There are a lot of theories about what dark matter is, but what I've seen seems to indicate that dark matter is not only not visible, but does not collide with visible matter, or dark matter. It does, however tend to clump in "halos". One area which has contributed to the study of dark matter is the study of ultra high energy cosmic rays (UHECR), which, it is believed, are caused by the annihilation of WIMPZILLAS (I can't remember what it stands for - weakly interacting massive particles sumthin sumthin). There is a major project - I believe in Argentina - which should provide quite a lot of data, which could mean you'll be hearing more about dark matter, or maybe the downfall of the theory of dark matter, soon.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 91 (view)
 
Hmm... global warming by co2?
Posted: 3/25/2008 7:36:39 PM

Now I'm just talking about simple things like an engineers drawing so please don't tell me that all the estimated 5 millions variables that make up our climate have been fully understood by climate scientists to the point where they can say it's definately CO2.

This is an excellent point. I hope I haven't come across like I am absolutely sure that one point of view is correct. What I hoped to say is that my understanding of the evidence which is currently available leads me to this interpretation of the facts. It should be very clear that I do not have access to all of the facts, and so I do not consider my view at all to be infallible. Actually, for quite some time, I held that global warming was a hoax, but was swayed (I believe) by the evidence I have seen.
So, is it definitely CO2? Not definite, but, in my opinion, the most likely culprit, as it has seen the largest increase (soon, we may be talking about methane, instead).
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 89 (view)
 
Hmm... global warming by co2?
Posted: 3/25/2008 12:01:20 PM

they've made a semi-permable membrane that only allows co2 through, as of jan 28 i think it was?

being that co2 is plant food we need to set up some hydroponic towers and crank out some mad hemp plants(food) and that would help to solve world hunger, but what do i know i'm just a stoner that realizes it's not bad, it's an incredibly robust plant, the seeds have every nutrient the body needs to be healthy, perhaps that's why it's illegal(they don't want you or those starving in africa to be healthy)

just a thought.

or if we really want to get this show on the road since according to the georgia guidestones we are severly overpopulated we collect the co2 and send it to the moon with a magnetosphere generator which will protect the moon from solarwinds(might also change it's orbit? which would of course be bad) and have hydroponics there and start to terraform it so we can live on it!

And an interesting thought it is. Here are a couple reasons why these things aren't being done, and what areas to focus on to make it a reality.
First off, keep in mind the huge amount of energy and raw material needed to produce hydroponic towers. If you are able to convert the energy requirements into carbon costs, taking into account the continued maintenance costs, you currently get little to no net loss of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. So, you need to find a way to make the process carbon-negative. In the end, wouldn't it be better to just plant a lot of trees and plants? (and chop down the rest of the old-growth forests? Look it up, they are net CO2 producers! But still, let's maybe not chop them all down, I was just kidding) Unfortunately, the same thing applies the space idea. It could conceiveable become feasable, but, if you look at simply the energy costs of collecting, and storing (even if you find a way to reuse containers) enough CO2 to produce an atmosphere on the moon, would there be a net gain for the earth? (Also, does the moon have enough gravity to maintain an atmosphere? I honestly don't know)
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 88 (view)
 
Hmm... global warming by co2?
Posted: 3/25/2008 11:47:24 AM

Check your figures mate. I think you'll find that CO2 content is 330ppm or 0.003%

Such a tiny amount having such a detrimental affect......Ahem!! I don't think so.

Um, oops! That's pretty embarassing. I thought my numbers looked at bit off, but DIDN'T check them first. The main point I was trying to make was the percent increase. Either way, pretty brutal mistake.

However, that said, let's define terms a little more. Is that a tiny amount? Try that amount of potassium cyanide. Actually don't. The LD50 for potassium cyanide is 5-10 mg/kg (5-10 ppm). No, I'm not saying CO2 is toxic, just that affects are dependent on more than quantity. There is a qualitative aspect, as well. Next, detrimental. These effects aren't necessarity detrimental. Plants love it. Their carbon source has increased by about half! In examining the anthropomorphic portion of global climate change, what many scientists agree on is that we have had, and are able to have, very little impact on the dynamics of the sun and ocean currents, which means that we look at what we have control over, which is emissions of CO2, methane, and some other greenhouse gases. If, as a lot of scientists believe, the shift in global climate is caused by changes in the dynamics of things outside our control (sun, ocean, "dark matter", other dimensions) then any change we make in carbon emission, or anything else, would be swallowed up by the changes caused by these major contributors.
However, I am not aware of evidence of a shift in the amount of solar radiation reaching the earth, nor of major changes in the amount of water in the atmosphere, so I would tend to support the hypothesis that the global increase of greenhouse gases has caused a significant increase (by significant, I mean a large portion in the actual change of global mean temperature) on the temperature of the planet. This would mean that the best way to counter this is to try to remove these gases from the atmosphere.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 11 (view)
 
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/23/2008 11:40:16 AM

basher2, you are intellectualizing, brother.
dannydaniels

I'm sure trying to, double dan
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 86 (view)
 
Hmm... global warming by co2?
Posted: 3/22/2008 9:59:56 PM
I hope this information may prove to be somewhat useful

When looking at global warming, I think everyone can agree that it is the reverse of the process which occurred when the earth came out of the ice age. Now I will be very careful in defining the term natural. By natural, I simply refer to the fact that, given enough time, the earth would simply make the changes on its own. The major area of concern, however is the consequences of this change. Knowing that the change which is occurring is natural is of little help to a coastal city in danger of being swallowed by the ocean. So, our main area of concern is the political, social and economic effects of such climate change.

First off, let's deal with CO2. It make up about 3.3% of the atmosphere (33000 ppm). This is up from pre-industrial levels of about 25000 ppm. Because of its structure, it, like water vapor, is able to absorb, and reimit ir radiation. The upper atmosphere is the only part which actually emits net radiation into space. That is because the radiation goes in all directions, including back to the earch, and emissions from lower in the atmosphere are absorbed and re-emitted by upper atmosphere. So, as you see, the more "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere, the lower the amount of heat is radiated into space. (Wikipedia has a decent article on it) It is expected that methane will outstrip carbon dioxide as top contributor toward global warming.

So, how is carbon "added" to the system. Hint: its' not. All of the carbon being "added" into the system was actually taken out of the system by some presumably catastrophic event. It managed somehow, to bury massive amounts of plant matter, and did not allow it to decompose properly. The result - fossil fuels. As we reintroduce this massive amount of carbon to the atmosphere, we will presumably return the earth to the climate it would have had previous to the formation of fossil fuels. Note: I find it interesting to see that, in order to return carbon dioxide levels to pre-industrial levels, you would have to find a way of safely and securely storing all of the additional carbon that is in the amosphere. The most successful way we have had of doing this has been the wanton littering of plastics. Think - if we somehow found a way to biodegrade all of the millions of tonnes of plastic which is making large areas of the planet look like a garbage dump, all of that carbon (plastic is just a polymer of carbon-based molocules) would end up in the atmosphere, increasing the global warming effect!! So, paper or plastic? Plastic. And maybe you better double wrap it...
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 53 (view)
 
perpetual energy and other promising inventions
Posted: 3/22/2008 9:21:49 PM

I'm not as optimistic as you are about fusion energy etherealone. Serious research has been going on for many years but major technological walls exist that may require another Einstein to break down. The potential of fusion energy has remained a dream to scientists for a century or so now. We have not been able to adequately contain "hot" fusion reactions, even though the hydrogen bomb (the first human fusion reaction) was developed many years ago. We don't have the luxury of using gravity for containment as the universe's stars do. Cold fusion has been contreversial as to whether it has ever been achieved. The method you described has not been proven to actually work. For now, humanity will have to make do with the energy sources provided by the sun's fusion (almost every source of energy we have), the heat within our planet, and nuclear fission.

Wow, fusion! If anyone has questions about what it is, and how can it be used to produce energy, take a look at this website.
http://www.iter.org/
They are building a fusion reactor in Europe. I believe they expect to begin construction within 10 years. Fusion has been proven to work. It is being done in the basement of the physics building at my university right now. They are using a TOKOMAK plasma fusion reactor. It still remains to be demonstrated that it can be done in a self-sustaining way. What I mean is that all plasma fusion reactors, at present, are not able to handle enough plasma to maintain a reaction. Also, the amount of current needed in order to contain the matter (magnetically) in close enough proximity to achieve fusion causes some major difficulty.

So, as for perpetual motion, and the laws of thermodynamics, I'm afraid, that a perpetual motion machine completely breaks the second law. This law is spoken about a lot, often without any definition, so I'll try to provide one. It may not seem directly relavent, but please bear with me.
"It is impossible to produce mechanical work from a heat engine with a heat source, and sink, at the same temperature." What does this have to do with perpetual motion? Well, with a lot of clever manipulation, it introduces to us the idea of entropy, which provides a forward direction for time, and introduces the idea of irreversibility. This along with the first law, which tells us that the heat added to a system must either go to producing mechanical work, or increasing the internal energy of the system, leaves us with the inescapable fact that in order to produce mechanical work, some form of energy must be added to a system. What you are left with is finding better sources of energy, and better efficiencies.

A quick comment about alternate energy sources. First off, I am a supporter of their development. Here is an example, however, of what some drawbacks to certain ideas are, and an obstacle which needs to be overcome in order to see these ideas realized.

In order to produce a large-scale wind electric turbine, with, for the sake of this example, an expected life of 50 years, there is a huge output of energy required. Steel needs to be made, and formed (or carbon fibre) huge amounts of energy are used to assemble the windmill, the electrical generator, and to connect it to the power grid. It has been calculated that it takes up to 30 years for the windmill to have produced more energy than was required to make it! So, do you give up? No, but it shows that, with all of these alternate energy sources, we need to look at costs as well (by the way, I didn't mention all of the carbon emission caused in order to produce the windmill). The worst offender here is solar radiation, as much more energy is required than is currently expected to be generated. This is why tide-based energy generation is still far-off, wind energy is uncommon, and hydrogen is not a common form of vehicular fuel (here, the intricate design required to store hydrogen gas is the major drawback)

For the record, cold fusion has never been demonstrated. Several groups have thought they did, but it hasn't been done, yet.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 10 (view)
 
Is philosophy an art or a science, and what is its importance?
Posted: 3/22/2008 8:38:42 PM
So, to weigh in on an already contentious topic, here goes.
(First off, I'm not too sure what endo-consistency, and exo-consistency mean. I assume something like internal consistency, and a consistency with somethings surrounding, but I suspect there is much more to these concepts, and I wouldn't want to trivialize them by not understanding them. Taichi guy, could you maybe provide a brief explanation of them. You seemed to explain everything else quite succinctly, but I don't understand those concepts)

So, is philosophy an art or a science? Quite rightly, it has been pointed out that these are not strictly defined terms. Is something a science only if it can be quantified? Much of quantum physics, especially at its inception, involved purely thought experiments. Schoedinger's Cat was not an actual experiment, it was simply a hypothesis. Did quantum physics only become a science once the theories could be quantified? What about art? How do you define what an art is? Is war an art? Is tai chi an art? Is writing an art? All of these things can be considered art, yet they can be quantified, so it leaves the original question undefined. So, what I will address my post to is the question "what is philosophy?"

As has been stated, logic is not philosophy. However, logic is the language of philosophy, just as math is the language of physics. Any philosophy must meet the rigorous demands of logic (note, please, that I mean the formal definition of a consistently defined logic, not the informal definition where, "yeah, that makes sense. It's logical"), or it completely falls apart. ONE area which philosophers have concerned themselves with is the definition of things, entities and relationships. Without these building blocks, no "science" could exist. This is the basis of all science. You must define the things you are dealing with, their relationships, behavior, and what governs all of those things. In the same way that a profound understanding of physics is necessary to predict where a spinning baseball will land when given an initial velocity, in a gusting wind and rain, yet a person with little knowledge of the science of physics can catch a fly ball; much of science is done without intrinsicly using the philosophy which is at its root. However, philosophy is not limited to this. So, I've gotten absolutely nowhere in defining philosophy, except to say that it is at the root of science.

A similar argument applies to arts.
So, I'm going to go out on a limb here. Philosophy is neither art nor science. It provides a basis for both in the same way that logic provides a basis for philosophy. It provides the basis for determining whether an art or science is consistent.

So, what is its importance? If philosophy is LIKE a language, you need to know enough to express what you want to. If you need to express very complex, elegant theories, you need higher level language skills than if you do not. What I mean is, philosophy's importance to a person is a matter of personal choice, whereas the importance of philosophy to arts and sciences in general is similar to the importance of oxygen.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 30 (view)
 
Is the speed of thought finite?
Posted: 3/22/2008 7:57:11 PM

Ah, that's why I missed the point. I always assume there are physical explanation for everything - even if the explanation isn't yet know. It seems to me, if there is a "Soul," even the soul would be bound by some, as to be yet understood, constraints of physics.

Ah, touche. I should have defined my usage of terms, or at least stuck to conventions. The definition of "physical" I was intending was anything whose behavior obeys known, whether quantitatively or qualitatively, laws of physics. Not only that, but I started to wander into the dreaded realm of speculation, in stating that, if there is a non-coporeal entity which is responsible for directing the thinking mechanism, it might not be subject to the known laws of physics. Just as easily, this entity might be subject to the same laws. What is missing is quantitative measure of how the soul interacts with the laws of physics.
Hopefully my intentionally vague definition of "physical" gets aroung some of the problems. It still obviously leaves the fact that much of what I would consider to be "physical" is not understood completely, which, by the literal definition I have used, would render it unphysical, ethereal, or, even worse, meta-physical. Sorry, quarks, gluons, and strong forces.

Last definition- entirely separate. Definitely the wrong word to use. Rather than separate, what I should have said is that this "soul" could be anywhere from completely independent of the known laws of physics (this would imply that it is "normal to reality", and therefore not affected by reality. This is pseudo-science at its worst. I hope my profs never see this), to being completely governed by known laws of physic, but in an unknown way (the gravitational pull of a soul?). This would be somewhat analogous to complex numbers
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 28 (view)
 
Is the speed of thought finite?
Posted: 3/22/2008 4:44:38 PM

This entire thread is speculation. Perhaps I miss the OP's intent; but, the question, as I simplified it from the original post is: Does a thought occur instantly or is there some travel time involved. My thinking was: where in the brain do you store all the little bits of information you've collected over the years to form a complete thought? A bit of searching on the Internet turned up nothing (at least I couldn't find anything; if you have the answer, let me know). So I'm left with speculation. I speculate that if everything you know resides within the connections between neurons, then the brain would have instantaneous access to it. The "bits of information" would not have to travel along the neural connections because that is where it already is. It would still take your brain some time to sort it into a complete "thought," however.

I think this part of the post is starting to touch on issues of whether a person's thoughts are completely contained within the physical matter of their neurological system, or whether they are some sort of device for expressing the thoughts of an entity (soul? pneuma? chi?) which is entirely separate from the physical. If this is the case, thought might not be subject to the physical laws since it is not the property of a physical entity. However, the expression of thought, and well as the ability of this external entity to access information is limited by the physical properties of the neurological system.

A comment on some of the "counting" examples used. Counting to 1 million might take no time at all. Try counting to 1 million by steps of 1 million (how about 10 million). If you agree to consider the sequence of 1 to 1 million by steps of 1 as a set of numbers, and call it M, you can effectively deal with all the numbers at once in many ways. Counting has more to do with a process of a certain number of steps. You are limited more by the time required between steps. If there isn't a limit to the speed with which you can access information, your counting speed is limited to your ability to process information, which could be distantly related to intelligence.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 153 (view)
 
To love, honor, and... OBEY?!?
Posted: 3/22/2008 1:40:42 PM
Here another 2 cents worth...
(all "quotes" are approximations of what I can remember from the NIV translation. Its been quite a while since I've read any of it...)
The "obey" portion of the ceremony does come from the bible, which is the main source of the marriage traditions most prevalent in Western society (Note: "main" is subject to a lot of variability. In some places, it is the only source, in many other places, the traditions from other sources play a major role. I will withhold comment on these other traditions, as I know very little about them). It actually comes from the New Testament, not the Old (the old says that disobedient children should be stoned (as in executed), though). In Second Corinthians, Paul (who never married, it should be noted) commands wives to obey their husbands, as the church obeys Jesus (does that ever actually happen?) He then goes on to say that husbands MUST love their wives as Jesus loves the church, and bought it with his own life. Basically, the husband makes decisions, but every decision must be made based on this self-sacrifice. I think it is similar to what my mom used to do with me and my brothers when it came time to split a piece of cake. She'd say "YOU cut, and you choose." So, at any rate, I've seen marriages which are attempting to follow this. Some are amazing successes, some are miserable failures. The same with marriages which follow a more egaletarian structure.

In the end, what I think will make the difference is whether, in a marriage, you can consistently put the needs of your partner above your own. Set up the power structure however you want, and adjust as needed, but it will all come down to your ability to take the back seat.

Bob Dylan said it pretty clearly (substitute obey for serve, and its still true)
You're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody.
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 25 (view)
 
Is the speed of thought finite?
Posted: 3/21/2008 11:38:59 PM
Just a thought, but I think what the original question may have been about (correct me if I'm wrong) is speed of awareness. In one of Kurt Vonnegut's books (definitely NOT a scientist, but interesting), a character talks about greatly exceding the speed of light with his awareness. Here is how he does this:

Pick a star in the sky, and focus on it. Now, quickly change your focus to one that is a few degrees away. In this way, your "awareness" has travelled many times the speed of light, from one star to another. Some of the more obvious flaws include the fact that you are "aware" of a star that hasn't been where you are seeing it for perhaps millions of years. But, if you could, based on your knowledge of the universe, be aware of exactly where it was, and then move your "awareness" to a distant star, would this involve travelling above the speed of light?

I think that the answer to this has to do with information. In order to have a real awareness of the state of anything, time is required for it to reach you. And, as has been elegantly stated earlier, information cannot exceed the speed of light. In the case of the stars, there is no way of being sure if those stars even exist. If you can somehow be aware of things or people that are far away, how quickly can that information reach you? Is that the type of question this is?

If so, then the questions more worthwhile to examine would be like these:
Is there "psychic energy"?
Can it be transmitted?
If so, can it be converted to other forms of energy? (and therefore measured)
What is it transmitted through?
That is what you need in order to determine if there is a speed which "thought" cannot exceed.
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 237 (view)
 
Ever Wonder Why Single Men Do Not like Single mothers?
Posted: 3/21/2008 10:37:37 PM

I dont waste my time wondering why some men dont like single mothers...I prefer to focus on more positive things that arent a waste of my time and energy. Why does it really matter?I could go on and on about all of the wonderful qualities I possess,but if a man chooses to disregard all of my positive attributes and consider me undatable simply because I have a child,its their personal choice ...and I respect that..When it comes to the "dating pool",I prefer to stay away from the shallow end :)Kat


Awesome attitude.
That was about the best post I read
 basher2
Joined: 12/11/2007
Msg: 236 (view)
 
Ever Wonder Why Single Men Do Not like Single mothers?
Posted: 3/21/2008 10:27:59 PM
With a truckload of respect, I'd like to respond to your comment.

First off, I agree with you. None of what you mentioned is a compromise at all. What is a compromise is that there is an additional level of EMOTIONAL commitment and pressure placed on someone who would move into at the very least a role-model position. Even if, as it seems to be in your case, the single mother has no want of financial help with raising her children, there is some additional commitment required (at least if you have any affection for the kids, or the mom). In addition, there is also the potential issue of the potential issue of the man in question. What I mean is, as a single mother, would you want to have more kids? There is a level of commitment involved in deciding to help raise (you don't need it, I know, but if I'm there, I'll try) another man's child. Especially if you end up giving up a shot at your own. (You know, when male lions move in with single mothers, they eat the babies. Do I have a point? No, but, interesting fact )

I haven't seen this posted anywhere, so I could be off base, but I doubt it. For the record, however, I have been in this situation, and decided that the commitment was something I was very willing to make (didn't work out, though)
 
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