Friday, June 29, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Dynamics of greenhouse effect

Saturated confusion of RealClimate.ORG

Originally posted on 6/27, moved to the top for the discussion to continue
The Gentlemen at RealClimate.ORG have decided that my article about
climate sensitivity
and similar articles by others are too dangerous because they show that every new molecule of CO2 causes smaller greenhouse effect than the previous molecule: the absorption rate gradually approaches saturation. Such a conclusion could diminish the holy power of the enhanced greenhouse effect and undermine the global efforts of scientists of good faith - and their friends, politicians of good faith, lawyers of good faith, singers of good faith, and publishers of good faith - to globally regulate the greenhouse effect.
Update: Why is the warming proportional to the logarithm of the amount of CO2?
They must be applauded for giving others the opportunity to study and discuss this question more carefully because the more people know, the more they will see why the hysteria is unjustifiable. So what do these eleven climate scientists think about the dependence of the strength of the greenhouse effect on the concentration? Well, they live in the state of scientific consensus which means, in this case, that none of them has any idea what the answer could be. So they invited an expert to clarify the situation.

Who is the expert? Well, it is a noted historian of science whose name is
Spencer Weart, a guest blogger at RealClimate.ORG.
Ray Pierrehumbert has helped Weart to reduce excessive hyphenation. Weart is the author of a painful book that celebrates a greedy group of researchers who were dreaming about grants and who finally got them after they constructed the man-made global warming theory.

Weart writes in such a way that the text is well-readable and looks insightful to superficial readers. If you read it carefully, however, you can see that Weart has no idea what he is talking about at the technical level. First of all, the text is completely non-quantitative. All assertions are binary and dogmatic, Yes/No, and no quantitative laws or functional dependences are ever given, not even sketched. His text makes it impossible to decide whether one effect or another effect is important or not, or whether it has already been included or not.

Thursday, June 28, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

TASI 2007: video

Videos from the summer school in Colorado:

Bald eagle no longer endangered

Bald eagle has not only survived hunting and DDT but is thriving and will be removed from the U.S. endangered list today.

Let me admit that with this favorite hat of mine that I bought in the New York City about 4 years ago, it was very easy to feel endangered in the People's Republic of Cambridge, too.

Of course there have been dozens of other threats, too. :-)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Is Witten working on loop quantum gravity?

In this text, I would like to analyze the methods and logic of PW, a well-known critic of string theory, in one particular context.

Relevant sources for this article:

Frame: Monstrous symmetry of black holes
Frame: Witten's paper is out
Wrong: Assorted news
Musings: Report on Witten's talk
Witten: Preprint
Witten: PDF for his talk
This text will be exclusively dedicated to the analysis of the description of Witten's work by PW which I find rather incredible (see "Assorted news"):
  • Witten’s talk is entitled “Three-Dimensional Gravity Revisited” ... So, at least one talk there will be about a non-string theory approach to quantum gravity more along the lines of the LQG program.
Wow. ;-) The picture below is a refined version of a photograph by Chehak and symbolizes how sane, natural, and correct the statement of PW approximately is:

Let us start with a simple question:

Why does PW write such a statement that will be shown to be a flagrant absurdity?

Well, the answer is obvious. If you read his blog or his book, you will learn that he believes that decisions in science do reflect and should reflect the emotional power of authorities. Edward Witten is such an authority, even according to PW, which is why PW thinks that if he manages to convince others about his interesting "story" that Edward Witten has largely switched from string theory to loop quantum gravity, it will have a dramatic impact on the scientific community.

Mitt Romney & new Marshall plan

An occasional reader of this blog who is a Mormon located in Massachusetts liked our musings about a possible new Marshall plan that we proposed in May. Because he just happens to be running for POTUS, he decided to invent a fresh new idea called

a new Marshall plan
or equivalently, "Partnership for Prosperity and Progress", with a special focus on the modern world infrastructure in the Muslim world which is exactly what I had in mind.

Chile: coldest months in 20 years

May and June 2007 have been Chile's coldest months in the last 20 years. Correspondingly, natural gas consumption hit a record, too. You may also read about the brutal cold May 2007 in South America.

During the weekend, parts of Australia have experienced the chilliest June day on record. Last week, record cold temperatures had to be edited in Queensland, too.

Another continent that overlaps with the Southern Hemisphere is Africa. What weather do you associate with Zimbabwe? A few days ago, they recorded -7 Celsius degrees. Several people froze.

Monday, June 25, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Strings 2007: website

Update: Jacques Distler is live-blogging: Monday

The official website of Strings 2007 (Mon-Fri)
Strings 2007 video blogspot site
There are menus under the nine Spanish aristocrats on the painting by Goya. The Reference Frame is the only place in the world where you can learn that the painting is "Blind Man's Buff", 1788. No, it's really not "bluff" as the page indicates.

Because I have learned that not everyone understands the painting, let me tell you that the blindfolded female aristocrat in the middle symbolizes the bulk of M-theory and the similarity with the hexagon drawing is no coincidence. We haven't been told whether the participants will play this M-theoretical game after the talks. :-)

Witten's monstrous paper is out

It has 82 pages. The previous blog text about the topic was

Monstrous symmetry of black holes.
Properties of the CFTs dual to pure AdS3 are considered. The allowed central charges are identified. The discussion of the Chern-Simons description may look a bit overblown given the fact that this description can't be made non-perturbatively exact in any known way.

The monster symmetry of the minimum choices is supported by numerology based on the dimensions of irreps of the monster group and applied to some partition sums - I have almost no doubt that the conclusion of this numerology is correct - but the dimensions of the irreps seem to be the only property of the monster group that is ever used which I find somewhat disappointing: someone else will have to find something more about the importance of the monster group and its rich properties in this gravitational setup later.

And that's the memo.

Graviweak unification

I was also intrigued by two papers by Fabrizio Nesti who is incidentally also the author of the JHEP LaTeX macro. The second of these papers was written with Roberto Percacci. Unfortunately, the excitement lasted for 140 seconds only (and that's more than it would be otherwise because I have looked at it with a 56k modem).

IQ: oldest brothers' 2-point edge

A survey in Norway shows that the oldest brothers' IQ is higher by about two points relatively to their younger brothers. The article proposes some sociological theories based on interactions between the brothers. Your humble correspondent thinks that this theory is mostly bogus.

In fact, it's also known that younger brothers are more likely to be gays. Their brains are correspondingly less male in average. There is a good reason - a likely mechanism - behind these facts: mother's womb gradually develops a certain kind of immunity against the male foreign intruder that acts on the younger brother's foetus.

Note that this action of hormones and the antibodies requires time. That's one of possible explanations why similar considerations can't influence the very sex of the child. Indeed, as far as I know, there exists no indication that younger siblings are more likely to be girls or more likely to be boys. In fact, the data are good enough that it is known that the existence of older sisters doesn't enhance a man's probability of being a gay, unlike the existence of older brothers.

Sunday, June 24, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

The Huffington Post and DailyKos endorse Václav Klaus

If we exaggerate just a little bit, there exists a universal consensus by now that Czech president Václav Klaus is right about global warming in his Financial Times article. (See also my synopsis of the Q&A session.) The consensus includes the progressive website called

The Huffington Post (thanks, Willie!)
where they have decided that Václav Klaus is one of their two most favorite people in the world: Greg Gutfeld analyzes the influence of terrorism on global warming and challenges Sheryl Crow, Laurie David, and Leo DiCaprio who behaves as an ecowhacko even though he has played your humble correspondent in the String Kings. And the consensus covers even DailyKos:
DailyKos: Václav Klaus is not wrong
Well, it's true that among the commenters, you find a few contrarians or, as Hamas calls them, mutineers. ;-) But if you had doubts that DailyKos as an entity loves Klaus' article, you may see another reaction:
DailyKos: Unbelievable, extremely useful article
Fine. This guy was somewhat less friendly but he was still excited! :-)

Saturday, June 23, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Moving Victorian houses: in progress

Update 06/23

Click the picture to see a slideshow with 53 photographs (MSIE preferred)

Mass Ave - a long road that goes to $+\infty$ (Atlantic ocean) in the East and $-\infty(0.6-0.8i)$ in the West has decided to reduce its carbon footprint. So they have built a Victorian house in the middle of the road. It's actually a great idea. Drivers may get discouraged and take a different route which will lower the CO2 emissions near the Harvard Law School which is a good thing, as consensus of scientists thinks. Amen.

Friday, June 22, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

EU: voting rights & Polish population

Polish prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski - on picture with his brother Lech, the president, both obeying Fermi-Dirac statistics - argued that the number of Poles would be 66 million instead of 38 million today if Germany didn't initiate the Second World War. He suggested that this fact should perhaps be taken into account when the new voting rights of the EU are being calculated. Let me say a few things about it:

Thursday, June 21, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Financial Times: Klaus answers

The Financial Times' climate expert, Prof Václav Klaus, answers some of the questions that followed Klaus' article, "Freedom, not climate, is at risk":

Ask the Expert (Q & A)
If you don't have much time, here's my abstract of all answers where I tried to make them even more insightful and entertaining than they are:
  1. Do you think that the correct economist's approach is to follow hysterical recommendations of IPCC and others who replace cost-benefit analyses by "precautionary principle"?
  2. Imagine that AGW is real anyway, what should we do?
    A detailed analysis shows that the answer is Nothing.
  3. How can one predict climate if it's impossible to predict weather?
    That's my point. After having read hundreds of books and articles, especially the human influence seems uncalculable to me.
  4. Why do you disbelieve the science and why freedom is at risk if the consensus is supported by capitalism-loving governments of EU and U.K.?
    Science is not the same as national scientific establishments. EU and U.K. elites only support market as the #1 force at a different planet. Moreover, market doesn't belong to policymakers.
  5. What the costs of a 50% reduction will be for Czechia?
    I admit I don't know but costs will be not only financial and costs shouldn't be calculated for 2050 because we don't know prices etc.
  6. Environmentalists demand responsibility which should be a conservative value but it's not: what happened?
    They don't have any copyright on responsibility, a standard part of human behavior. They only invented a non-existing "damage" and I won't pay for it. Saying that pro-capitalists want to dump waste is like the commie propaganda.
  7. Czechia is a victim of powers' environmental decisions, what to do?
    Blaming powers is fashionable but incorrect and wrong & environmentalist tendencies exist in countries of all sizes.
  8. Do environmentalist really work on global socialism?
    My experience and oversensitivity says Yes: the arguments seem too similar.
  9. Global warming is like avian flu, driven by trillionaires who want global power, do you agree?
    I don't think environmentalism is driven by power-thirsty trillionaires but rather by incapable people, and they only want a global government, not global constructive activities.
  10. I agree with you but the left vs right flavor is confusing, what to do?
    I don't believe that the left vs right debates are over. Freedom is a right-wing value but environmentalism has unfortunately swallowed some self-described right-wingers, too.
  11. What do organizations and politicians gain if they jump on the bandwagon?
    Power to manipulate, organize, regulate.
  12. Is it still freedom when the powerful of the world impose the new climate on others?
    There's no conspiracy to change the climate and the human-climate link can't be taken for granted.
  13. How can rational libertarians save our culture from environmentalists?
    Classical liberals should stop being a silent majority.
  14. Why do so many people believe in junk science?
    Some people have the same reasons as UFO & witch believers. Others believe in their special abilities to control the rest of us. A third group has a financial interest. My opinions are normal: I don't understand why people think that I am courageous.
  15. Does wasting energy strengthen freedom?
    Be fair: attacking environmentalism is different from attacking Nature. Saving energy is rational and a decision about it is naturally made by free individuals. Your statements about the U.S. encouraging wasteful policies are ludicrous.
  16. Small temperature changes have led to huge problems: how much more do you have to see (numbers)?
    Read Singer & Avery and Michaels' books. Just one number: the very debatable IPCC predicts 14-43 cm for the 21st century sea level rise. Not scary to me.
  17. You criticize Stern for talking about future but you do it, too.
    I criticize Stern for particular errors - choosing a funnily low discount rate - not for aprioristic opinions.
  18. There's huge evidence that Man is ruining the planet. What do you have to see more to lead the counter-attack against Man?
    The problem is that I don't see convincing evidence for the damage caused e.g. by AGW. Skiing and warm evenings are still very pleasant. And environment in Czechia is much better than when collective actions were taken: because of freedom.

And that's the memo.


Eric Gimon and Petr Hořava point out an interesting tension between different notions of extremality bounds for black holes. For charged rotating black holes, supersymmetry implies the BPS bound for the mass $M$, namely

$Q^2 \leq M^2$

in some natural units. It is absolutely impossible to violate this bound. However, general relativity implies a stronger bound that also includes the angular momentum $a$ in addition to the charge $Q$:

$Q^2 + a^2 \leq M^2$

One can also calculate the efficiency of energy transfer from accreting matter to radiation. She gets 6% for the Schwarzschild black hole, 42% for an extremal Kerr black hole, and Gimon & Hořava argue that string theory can get up to the 100% efficiency with configurations that obey the BPS bound but not the stronger black hole bound. These configurations would surpass the general relativistic Kerr limitations. They encourage astronomers to look for such efficient objects and realize a new way to prove string theory.

My personal guess based on our work on the weak gravity conjecture is that the black hole bound is also satisfied in string theory for localized macroscopic objects, up to small corrections. This belief of mine is supported by the observation that Gimon & Hořava don't have any explicit solution for their "superspinar". Of course, superspinars may fail to be associated with a classical solution but I personally find such a belief unnatural: a classical approximation should become valid for any kind of a large enough object.

And that's the memo.

Update: Later I realized that when we relax the black hole condition, we can easily find systems with greater angular momentum than allowed by the mass - for example the Solar System where the distant planets have "J" increasing with the radius "r".

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Tanmay Vachaspati: black stars & there are no black holes

A report on this blog about George Chapline's colloquium remains the #1 hit if you Google seach for black holes don't exist. It is a rather popular albeit untrue sentence that many users want to see. ;-) George is a friend of The Reference Frame but his black hole ideas unfortunately don't make any sense.

In the article under the previous link, we have explained that why the event horizon - a "red" hypersurface in space defined as the boundary separating a causally disconnected region of spacetime (the dark blue triangle, the interior of the black hole) - is created long before the black hole reaches equilibrium and long before it starts to evaporate.

In fact, the place where the horizon appears for the first time (the lower portion of the red line) looks completely ordinary and the people who live there don't have any tools to figure out whether they are already behind the horizon or not: they think that they are inside an ordinary star. If they had such tools, they would be extremely non-local, required superluminal propagation of signals, or a time machine. At that moment - when local physics still looks completely ordinary - it is already decided that the future curvature of spacetime creates a causally disconnected region because the evolution of spacetime according to Einstein's equations will inevitably lead to a spacetime whose causal diagram is depicted above: a spacetime with a causally disconnected black hole interior.

We can also prove that no plausible modification of Einstein's equations that keeps them consistent with observations can remove the conclusion about the creation of the event horizon.

CO2 emissions: China has surpassed U.S.

China has become the #1 producer of carbon dioxide already in 2006. Congratulations - because the CO2 emissions may be viewed as a very good measure of the industrial strength.

It shouldn't be shocking for those who knew that China's 2005 production of carbon dioxide was only 2% below the U.S. levels. Why? Well, it's because China's CO2 output grows by about 9 percent a year. It is no coincidence that the number equals the GDP growth. Together with restrictive measures in the developed world, this meant that the U.S. was already 8% below China in 2006.

Russia will cash in on 60 billion USD in 2008 for Kyoto machinations.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Sean Carroll: a guide for crackpots

Even Sean Carroll may be right. He has written his

alternative science checklist.
I must agree with it. However, it seems unlikely that alternative scientists will suddenly follow Sean's recipe.

For example, the first commenter, Peter Fred, ignored the article. Instead, he proposed to replace dark matter by radial spreading of infrared luminosity, following the old-fashioned crackpot algorithms. Mark Trodden joked that Sean Carroll's revolutionary theory how to proceed was being ignored by the crackpot establishment and recommended him two simple steps how to be taken more seriously. ;-)

A few weeks ago, an alternative Iranian physicist came to my office and was explaining me that Dirac's paper on magnetic monopoles was mathematically inconsistent & light bending and general relativity were impossible, too. I was trying both to explain him these particular technical points as well as to give him a general "checklist" but it was probably a failure.

The Earth today stands in imminent peril

Global warming scientists will have to learn quantum gravity by the end of July. Why?

Well, it's because we can see that every day, their predictions get more catastrophic than the previous day by an order of magnitude. Roughly 35 orders of magnitude from the present numbers, you find the Planck scale.

Let me demonstrate this trend on two recent examples. On Saturday, the new boss of the United Nations whose name is Ban even though he is unfortunately not yet banned published an op-ed in the Washington Post that argued that

Global warming has caused the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
That's great and I am sure that many people will admire Ban's new clothes except that scientific papers agree with common sense and imply that there is no link between droughts in Africa on one side and increased CO2 in the atmosphere on the other side.

Rumors about the God particle

Today, the Wired Magazine has joined the discussions about the rumors about the Higgs boson. The same text appears on ABCnews. Recall that the latest rumor talks about a 5-sigma signal around 180 GeV.

I feel that the Wired Magazine article is more reasonable than what we could have read on Slate.

The Slate article was written by an ex-student in a course of mine. No, with all my respect and compassion, I can't say that he was one of the better students and yes, I was always under immense pressure to give better grades than the students deserved. Correspondingly, the article is a typical emotional, Woitian politicization of topics that the writer doesn't understand in which the readers are frantically pushed in directions that have nothing to do with reality.

Monday, June 18, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Cat: testing string theory

Via Mike the Technobuddhist and Andy XL who proposes to treat string theory with the respect it deserves.

Waldemar Matuška: 75 years

On July 2nd, Waldemar Matuška will celebrate his 75th birthday: he was born in Košice, Slovakia - however he is Czech. Congratulations!

Since the 1960s, this bearded mannish tenor has been one of the stars of the Czechoslovak pop music, country music, and folk music. Let me choose his duet with Eva Pilarová, "Oh, This Heavenly Love":

Watch a Waldemar Matuška playlist with 30 songs or so.
Around 1964, these two people together with Karel Gott got drunk in Carlsbad and were probably pissing on a communist delegation from a balcony on the first floor. Matuška was the only one who was punished. He couldn't perform for one year. ;-)

His songs about love and life have always had a patriotic accent in them. That's why it was so shocking when he decided to emigrate to the U.S. in 1986. The official propaganda immediately dismissed him as a traitor and his songs were banned.

Sunday, June 17, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Nuclear explosion in Krkonoše

Those who watched a Czech public TV channel in the morning could have seen a nuclear explosion in the Krkonoše Mountains during an otherwise boring breakfast program that normally shows weather at different places, especially touristic targets in the mountains.

See the video (or YouTube I, II)

Who was behind it? No, it wasn't Putin. It was an artistic group called Ztohoven which means "away out of it" but it also sounds identical to the phrase "one hundred excrements". Most likely, Roman Týc was the main spiritual father. This time, they hacked a web camera. But they have already produced several practical jokes of this kind in the past, usually featuring a question mark that complains about the ability of media and commercials to manipulate people.

For example, ex-president Havel used to place a huge heartsuit at the Prague Castle. While some people thought that the Prague Castle became a whorehouse, Ztohoven hid one-half of it the heartsuit that it was changed into a question mark.

While the Czech TV wants to sue them, I tend to agree with some commenters that similar events are probably necessary to teach people how to doubt and rationally think about the news in the media.

And that's the memo.

Saturday, June 16, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Quantum computer inside a diamond

Mikhail Lukin's group at Harvard, supported by one Texan physicist and one German physicist, has made some progress in a new technological approach to quantum computing. The qubits are nuclear spins of carbon-13 atom inside a diamond. They are manipulated by the spin of a nearby electron controlled by LASERs. The electronic spin is a new degree of freedom that occurs inside a nitrogen vacancy - a place where one nitrogen atom replaces one carbon atom. See

A PhD thesis (focus on chapters 2,3)

This technology offers a remarkably long decoherence time and a possibility of a large number of qubits that can be manipulated with in a correlated fashion. If things go really well, you will be able to buy a diamond on the picture above that can break all codes in the world by Christmas 2007 but Easter 2077 is somewhat more realistic. ;-)

Green and communist propaganda: comparison

Those readers who haven't lived in a totalitarian system may have problems to understand why the rest of us finds the structure of the environmentalist propaganda almost identical to the structure of the communist propaganda. To fix this problem, let me translate the official response to Charter 77, the pro-democracy statement penned by Václav Havel. You can compare it e.g. with DeSmogBlog's new defamatory pages against 61 of the "climate change deniers".

Rudé právo (The Red Law)
the official daily of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, January 12th, 1977: source in Czech

In their gnarly struggle against the progress, the international reaction is trying to create the illusion of a certain broad anti-communist front into which they try to drag not only open traitors but also fluctuating and disoriented individuals or groups, often covering themselves under the mask of the "Left" or "communists". They frequently try to achieve the impossible: to revive the political dead bodies, starting from those among the emigrants from socialist countries to those within the remainder of the class enemies in these countries, renegades, to various criminal and asocial elements. One of the forms of the "impressive" collaboration is the fabrication of diverse pamphlets, letters, protests, and other generic slanders that are presented as the voice of certain "opposition" individuals or tiny groups. With fanfare and in a co-ordinated fashion, these texts are being distributed throughout the capitalist world.

This description also applies to the newest pamphlet, the so-called Charter 77, that was composed by a miniscule group of bankrupted Czechoslovak reactionary burgeoisie as well as bankrupted organizers of the counter-revolution in 1968. Their work has been ordered by the world's anti-communist and Zionist headquarters and it was delivered to certain Western agencies.

Friday, June 15, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Global warming arrives to Sweden

June is the right time for snow in Sweden. Via ClimateAudit.

As highs go, Thursday was a record low in Virginia. Also, Kentucky's and Oklahoma's yields have been reduced by an April freeze.

Disclaimer: this particular weather event implies neither that the whole Earth is cooling down nor that the Earth is warming up. Neither senator James Inhofe nor Michael Crichton or your humble correspondent claim so.

However, the Prairies will be shown to expect a devastation by the climate change in the future that is more catastrophic than ever anticipated. How much catastrophic? About 250,000 catastrophic. What You See Is What You Get.

D0 discovers "cascade b"

If someone is interested in dirty corners of heavy quark physics, she may want to know that D0-brains at the Tevatron have discovered the "cascade b" particle whose mass is 5.77 GeV, dominated by the bottom-quark.

It is the first baryon that contains quarks of all three generations, namely "dsb". Note that all of them are lower quarks, making the net charge "-1". While the evidence so far has been largely indirect (from LEP), D0-brains have found it as a 5.5 sigma bump via its decay

$\Xi_b^- \to J/ \psi + \Xi^-.$

In other words, the probability that it is background equals 0.033 ppm. Yes, the left hand side is the new particle. See
Space Daily
In the preprint, there is a funny typo in the list of authors. Can you find it?

Gia Dvali: 100 quintillion new particle species

Gia Dvali argues that if you have "N" stable particle species that are conserved because of "N" $Z_2$ symmetries or something similar, they can't be heavier than

$ M \leq M_{Planck} / N^{1/2} $
This statement is supported by
  • a perturbative naturalness argument: having a smaller Planck mass than dictated by the inequality above would be a form of fine-tuning
  • black hole physics: black holes with all the discrete charges must remember them which requires them to be heavier than the bound above
Gia Dvali uses his insight to offer a truly radical solution to the hierarchy problem.

Disclaimer: I discourage all crackpots who routinely read "Not Even Wrong" and who have visited this weblog unintentionally to stop reading because the large numbers below could make them really sick.

Gia argues that if there are $10^{32}$ copies of the Standard Model particle species - which would include $10^{32}$ electron squirrel species -, then the gap between the weak scale and the Planck scale becomes natural because of his N-scaling. ;-) Recall that $10^{30}$ is called a quintillion in the U.K. but nonillion in the U.S.

Gia urges the readers to study the relation between his statements and the weak gravity conjecture. What I find perhaps even more interesting is that Dvali's inequality may be understood as a lower bound on the amount of discrete symmetry in a theory of quantum gravity. If the argument is refined, it could also be used to explain why pure AdS3 gravity has to have the monster group symmetry.

Gr-qc papers on Friday

Let us look at the new gr-qc papers tonight:

Diaz-Polo and Fernandez-Borja solve a well-defined mathematical problem how to extract the precise dependence of entropy on the horizon area of a black hole in loop quantum gravity. Physics-wise, the paper is of course incorrect because the calculation of areas and entropies in loop quantum gravity is known to be physically absurd. Nevertheless, it is a well-defined and potentially interesting mathematical problem.

The spectrum of areas in LQG is semi-discrete but it is not quite equally spaced because the contributions to the areas are of the form $[j(j+1)]^{\frac 12}$ for $j$ being an integer or a half-integer. The resulting dependence of the entropy on the area is something in between a linear function and a stair-like function. The authors study the impact of this semi-discrete spectrum on the Hawking radiation.

Alekseev and Belinski ask whether two charged black holes can be in equilibrium. In Newtonian physics, the answer would be Yes: you just cancel gravity against a repulsive electric force. In general relativity, the answer is also Yes in the case of extremal black holes. That's why BPS objects of the same kind can co-exist more peacefully than Hamas and Fatah.

The authors claim that for non-extremal black holes, the answer is No. The answer would also be No for two naked singularities (super-extremal holes) but it can be Yes for a mixed pair. They get it by a complex analysis of solutions. I don't quite understand what's non-trivial about their result: if the two black holes have the same Q/M ratio, the no-force condition clearly means that they are both extremal. If they have different Q/M ratios, the no-force condition clearly means that one of them must be sub-extremal and the other must be super-extremal, am I wrong? The Q/M ratios must move in the opposite directions, I think.

Hogan proposes a very interesting refinement of the idea that a non-commutative geometry is behind holography in quantum gravity. Take two space-like separated events 1,2 (if I understand well) whose proper distance is $L_{12}$. He argues that the relative separation in two transverse directions $x,y$ satisfies

$[x,y] = -i l_{P} L_{12}$
which implies a new uncertainty principle
$\Delta x \Delta y \geq l_{P} L_{12} / 2.$
Note that the uncertainty grows as you keep on separating the events. The paper is at a comparable level of concreteness as Lenny's or Raphael's holographic papers. It also talks about LIGO and holographic noise implied by this paradigm and I think people should read it.

Brevik, Elizalde, Gorbunova, Timoškin promote a combination of FRW equations with a specific fluid with a certain non-linear equation of state as a useful model for various transitions in cosmology as well as quintessence. They want to explain the CMB anisotropy by considering viscosity in their fluid.

Larena and Perez determine what kind of FRW-like equations of classical general relativity with additional scalars are solvable. The answer depends on rationality of certain exponents while other relevant exponents may be written in terms of square roots.

Nacir and Mazzitelli arguably study Einstein's equations with a scalar field source in the quantum gravity regime. The action for the scalar field contains arbitrarily high derivatives but it also depends on an observer velocity given by a D-vector $u_\mu$ that picks a privileged reference frame. That implies that the dispersion relations also depend on infinitely many coefficients.

While I don't find such general Lorentz-breaking theories well motivated, that's not my worst problem with the paper. What's worse is that they only want to write Einstein's equations for expectation values of the stress energy tensor only but at the same moment, they want to be careful about the renormalization of the stress energy tensor operators. I don't understand the logic and motivation of this approximation.

Thursday, June 14, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Gaza Strip is becoming Hamastan

The real dream of the most progressive and politically correct segment of the Palestinian nation hasn't been a Palestinian state. Instead, it has always been Hamastan, an Islamist country fighting against Israel and all forms of freedom.

The picture above shows representatives of the Green Party of Palestine, also known as Hamas, that also has an official website.

We criticized disengagement as a strategic mistake that would cripple the security of Israel in the medium term. Disengagement was organized professionally and many Israeli citizens surely liked that they would get rid of some problems tightly connected with a part of their country.

However, it should have been clear that such a partial surrender would energize the most radical Arabs in Palestine - a nation that is manifestly unable to establish its own civilized country at this moment - and it would provide them with an opportunity to gain full control over the situation. People who understand politics had to know these things for a long time.

Don Herbert, Mr. Wizard, dies

Back in 1960, well before the second wave of feminism, girls could not only burn a \$500 banknote but they also understood heat conduction. Don Herbert (89) died.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Kilimanjaro ice cap melting: warming not the culprit

Philip Mote (scientist) & Georg Kaser (climber) explain diverse factors that influence the dynamics of the Kilimanjaro glacier in American Scientist. Thanks to Robert Schwartz.

As policies start to be discussed, the carbon divide moves away from the ideological boundary between Democrats and Republicans to the boundary of interests between states that produce fuels and coal and those who don't.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are more coal-friendly and oil-friendly than e.g. John McCain. Obama's idea to transmute coal to liquids has the advantage or disadvantage that it produces twice as much CO2 than traditional petroleum fuels. Do you think that Obama's green friends call it an advantage?

India won't accept the role of a second class global citizen who has a smaller right to emit CO2 per capita.

Communist secret police spied on Klaus

Václav Klaus, the second president of the Czech Republic, used to think that he was a member of the gray zone - a person who doesn't support the communist regime in any way and who never joins their structures but who nevertheless peacefully co-exists with the regime, unlike Václav Havel, his predecessor.

But can you really peacefully co-exist with the communist regime if you're organizing enthusiastic seminars about Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Adam Smith? Are they happy if you're planning to create a "Czechoslovak model of economy" using these ideas? It turns out that the answer is "not quite". :-)

Newly found documents of StB, the Czechoslovak communist secret police, show that Klaus and his wife have been carefully watched for 2 years. All of his correspondence and telephone calls were monitored and his office was checked during a night of September 1984: the Orwellian year is not quite a coincidence. ;-)

These events were called "Akce Kluk" which means something like "Operation Boy". StB has figured out that Klaus spreads non-Marxist, right-wing ideas. One of the informers has made the following entertaining testimony for the secret police:

  • Concerning the person Klaus, our Source said that his behavior makes it clear that he feels like an unrecognized genius. He doesn't hide that whoever disagrees with his visions and ideas is simply an "unable moron".
Well, it took a couple of years for Klaus to be recognized, after all. And people similar to the informer above - unable morons who are always looking for ways to hurt others - are still living almost everywhere around us. They no longer have a fully official place for their games - StB - but the left-wing blogosphere is unfortunately even more effective in some respects.

And that's the memo.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Britain: secondary school physics replaced by stupidity

Wellington Grey, a teacher of physics, wants his subject back. According to a new curriculum, teenagers are learning something very different than the quantitative and precise science that physics used to be. The new subject has four main parts:

  1. The Vague
  2. The Stupid
  3. The Political
  4. The Non-Scientific

In the vague segment of the new "physics", teachers are only instructed to "discuss advantages and disadvantages of everything" but it is not specified what kind of advantages and disadvantages they mean. Suddenly, an exam question asks why blacks have a lower risk of skin cancer from getting a suntan. It is very unlikely that according to the vague prescriptions, the teacher would teach the kids what they need to answer this question.

In the stupid part of the exam, we see many questions like the following:

  • Why would radio stations broadcast digital signals rather than analogue signals?

You can check whether you would pass the exam. The correct answer is

  • Can be processed by computer / ipod.

It is important that it is an ipod and not a Zune, for example :-), and that you spell it with a lowercase "p". How many people got the right answer?

Another exam question contains a page from newspapers that says "children under the age of nine shouldn't use cell phones". The question is: "Below which age it is recommended for children not to use cell phones?" :-) No, it is not a reading comprehension question from a primary school English lesson. It is a "physics" question at the secondary school.

Is cosmology behind the second law?

Previous articles about the same topic:

Boltzmann's brains
Predicting the past
A newer article that will be written in the future:
Myths about the arrow of time
Sean Carroll gave a talk in Santa Cruz promoting the idea that cosmology is the cause of the second law of thermodynamics. I happen to fully agree with one of the commentators who happens to be more senior than UCSC graduate students:
Finally, the magnitude of the entropy of the universe as a function of time is a very interesting problem for cosmology, but to suggest that a law of physics depends on it is sheer nonsense. Carroll’s statement that the second law owes its existence to cosmology is one of the [dumbest] remarks I heard in any of our physics colloquia, apart from [Rosenblum & Kuttner]’s earlier remarks about consciousness in quantum mechanics. I am astounded that physicists in the audience always listen politely to such nonsense. Afterwards, I had dinner with some graduate students who readily understood my objections, but Carroll remained adamant.
Why do I agree? Well, indeed, it is interesting to study what entropy is doing during the cosmological evolution. But the second law of thermodynamics is a local law that applies to any macroscopic process even if it takes a very short time in any small but macroscopic region of space. The law shows its muscles instantly. The slow cosmological evolution has virtually no detectable influence on such local processes.

Monday, June 11, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Safari for Windows

Now you can freely download Apple Safari 3 for Windows XP or Vista. The authors claim that it is twice as fast as Internet Explorer and 1.5 times faster than Firefox. The program offers popup blocker, tabs, SnapBack (accurate bookmarks), private browsing (history is not saved anywhere).

If you have downloaded it, let us know what you think.

Ancient Rome as it looked liked in AD 320 when the population was 1 million people is re-born in the digital form. You may look how advanced the civilization was before it was destroyed by the politically correct barbarians.

Dirty snow behind 20% of warming

According to an American team of climate modelers and their peer-reviewed article in Journal of Geophysical Research, about 0.1-0.15 Celsius degrees of warming in the last two centuries is due to

which is up to 19% of the "global" warming. The effect is strongest in the Arctic. They argue that 0.5C out of 1.6C warming in the Arctic (one third) should be attributed to dirty snow i.e. snow polluted by even small amounts of black carbon: 80% of this black carbon comes from human activity. In the Arctic region itself, dirty snow would thus have the same impact as the enhanced greenhouse effect (click the picture below).

I can't check the numbers but you can see how "settled" this science is. Within a few days, 20% of the warming is attributed to a previously unknown effect even though this effect intuitively seems much more important than e.g. the greenhouse effect. According to these and other current "official" numbers, dirty snow has contributed more to the warming than e.g. enhanced greenhouse effect from the whole global transportation or than enhanced greenhouse effect from the whole global energy production. Be sure that dirty snow is not the last contribution that is going to be found.

Puppets made out of dirty snow

The U.S. scientists also act as activists and urge Canada to lead the cleanup efforts and to be careful with the Northern Passage.

Postmodernism 2007

Sean Carroll has decided to compete with the postmodernism generator. In his essay remembering Richard Rorty, an eclectic philosopher who just passed away, Carroll proposes some kind of unification of science and postmodernism. His ambitious unification project is somewhat analogous to Brian Josephson's Mind-Matter Unification Project.

In Sean's utopia, scientists should accept the wisdom of postmodernism saying that the truth can't be found, it is socially constructed, and our language is always inappropriate. On the other hand, postmodernists would also pay their price because they would have to accept the existence of Nature. That's what I call a great and balanced compromise, especially for the postmodernists. ;-)

Richard Rorty has argued that every person should try to be an ironist. How can you become an ironist? The original explanation isn't terribly comprehensible but as far as I understand, an ironist must be

  • female
  • confused
  • postmodernist
  • dissatisfied with her situation
  • thinking that all other cultures and languages are better than hers.

It's very nice but not too much. ;-) If a sane physicist arrived at this idea, she would probably instinctively use her garbage bin. However, philosophers haven't yet invented this gadget. Moreover, ironism is not the only notion that Rorty has invented.

He has also invented the concept of a final vocabulary. A final vocabulary is defined as something that upsets an ironist's stomach. Why does it happen to her? It's because a final vocabulary is a set of "communicative beliefs" whose "contingency is mostly ignored by the bearer". This fancy language reminds me of the essay that Feynman decided to crack during an interdisciplinary conference:

"The individual member of the social community often receives his information via visual, symbolic channels."

Do you know what it means? "People read." Recall that the essay continued: "Sometimes people read, sometimes they listen to radio."

If I understand the definitions well, then the terms "ironist" and "final vocabulary" themselves belong to the final vocabulary. More precisely, they belong to the garbage bin of confused, incoherent ideas.

More generally, I always wondered how it happens that a particular person who invents this kind of verbal nonsense becomes famous even though millions of village philosophers are doing pretty much the same thing.

My conjectured answer is that the success in philosophy is a social construct - it is a result of the person's charm, his or her good luck, and his or her ability to appear at the right places in the right times. Pomo philosophers realize that this is how results are created in their field. But they haven't yet realized that this fact demonstrates a huge problem with their discipline, not a virtue, and that there can exist other disciplines that are based on merit.

And that's the memo.

Sunday, June 10, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Lidice atrocity: 65 years later

Exactly 65 years ago, the village called Lidice in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (five miles from the Prague Airport) was completely destroyed. Nazis retaliated for the assassination of the protector, Reinhard Heydrich, and murdered all 192 men, deported the rest of the population, demolished all houses, and cut all the trees. Heydrich's funeral took place one day earlier. See a German video.

Children of Lidice, a memorial. The sculptor, Ms Marie Chytilová-Kučerová, was also the author of the most well-known Czechoslovak one-crown coin

The massacre occurred during the most optimistic times of the Third Reich. They thought that the last pieces of self-confidence of Czechs would be undermined. The village was expected to disappear from the maps forever - much like another village, Ležáky, two weeks later. Unlike other atrocities, the destruction of Lidice was openly publicized by the German propaganda machine.

Bush ends his visit of Europe as a hero

People in the streets scream "Bushie, Bushie" and celebrate the leader of the free world. The U.S. is extremely popular in the country and Bush enjoys a 99% approval rate or so. Postage stamps with the Statue of Liberty and with George W. Bush himself are issued.

A street in front of the national Parliament is renamed to Bush Street. Citizens reach out and embrace Bush, grab at his arms, shoulders, and head, mussing his hair. The lawmakers say: "Please occupy us."

Is it a fairy-tale? No, this is how George W. Bush was treated in the last country of his European trip. See NPR.

Now, I don't say that the Albanian opinions are identical to mine but they're undoubtedly much closer to mine than the attitudes of the obnoxious, anti-Bush, anti-capitalist, anti-American sourballs that seem to be everywhere in the rich countries.

Even though they are poor, I feel somewhat jealous because they still believe in the ideals of freedom. They surely don't have to think about the fact that freedom is also freedom for the politically correct and other freedom-haters.

The people in Albania also use cutting-edge technology, e.g. the laptop above, to worship George Bush.

Václav Klaus: three questions for G8 politicians

Seemingly courageous and certainly likable (for those who don't think about the consequences) was the "decision" of top politicians of G8 to reduce emissions of the so-called greenhouse gases by 50% in comparison with the current rates before the year 2050. It is necessary to ask them the following three simple questions:

Synthetic life forms

Craig Venter, a big shot in genetics who led the private team to sequence the human genome, has finally applied for a new patent which is nothing less than

Mycoplasma genitalium (*) has 482 genes - probably the minimal number which is why it may become the H-bomb of biology, as explained by Mohammed AlQuraishi - and 101 of them may be removed so that it can still reproduce itself.

The resulting minimal, 381-gene organism, Motlplasma Minimalium, can be extended to create specialized microorganisms that can either eat carbon dioxide, create biofuels, compute spinfoam amplitudes, or write rants against string theory.

Environmental organizations are angry. Venter's activities really look like those described in Michael Crichton's latest novel, Next. Did you know that NEXTgencode has sued Crichton and Wally Gilbert's BioGen? ;-) Click at "ads" on their website and choose, for example, Perma Puppies.

Saturday, June 09, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Space Shuttle Atlantis: smooth

A few minutes ago, Atlantis successfully reached the orbit. It will arrive to the International Space Station.

The launch wasn't interrupted by any of the diverse believers who would like to transform NASA into a tool to worship their religious systems - neither Islamists nor global warmers. Congratulations. ;-)

Friday, June 08, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

May 2007 was 0.35 C cooler than January 2007

UAH data show that May 2007 was 0.35 Celsius degrees cooler than January 2007. This temperature difference equals to the hypothetical global warming trend predicted for two or three decades. Nature is nevertheless able to make such a change within four months. Have you noticed that the Earth was 0.35 C cooler than in January? I have not. Moreover, I can show you that you couldn't have either. May 2007 was also cooler than September 1980 and many other months when you were much younger.

The picture above doesn't describe the current state but the state of Earth in a few thousand years. We are approaching the end of an interglacial. Click to see more comments on ice ages.

The Northern Hemisphere reveals an even more impressive recent cooling trend. May 2007 was 0.47 Celsius degrees cooler than February 2007; it was the coolest month since the beginning of 2005. Also, May 2007 was 0.84 Celsius degrees cooler than April 1998. The same magnitude of warming as the cooling that occurred on the Northern Hemisphere within 3 months is predicted for the future period of 30-50 years. Analogously, the cooling since April 1998 equals the predicted artificial warming for most of the 21st century and some people, including many people who don't yet live in asylum, are ready to sacrifice trillions of dollars (from the pockets of other people, of course) to avoid this "catastrophic" hypothetical prediction. The world is just mad, isn't it?

Bill Gates: commencement speech

Bill Gates has finally completed a Harvard degree. Congratulations! In his commencement speech that has been positively received by all people whom I have talked to, he spoke about his Radcliffe experience and the fight against poverty and inequity.

Lee Smolin vs Thibault Damour

Le Monde informs about another battle in the neverending War on Crackpotism.

Thibault Damour faced no one else than Lee Smolin. Le Monde first summarizes how string theory solves the schizophrenia of the 20th century physics and talks about unification and dimensions.

Lee Smolin urges everyone to study any alternatives, whether they're garbage or just junk, and dares to talk about "tragic consequences" for "suicidal young physicists" who would like to work on these alternatives. (Similarity of his language with global warming is not a coincidence.)

All readers who understand anything about reality know that the situation is just the opposite than what Smolin says - namely bad consequences are more likely to meet those who publicly disagree with politically correct fashionable crackpots like himself. But "catastrophic" language and victimism is exactly the weapon used by those who already have about 500 times higher influence than they would deserve. (Similarity with crying feminists who already control the Ivy League is not a coincidence either.)

Damour has argued that not even Smolin can be so limited that he would actually believe the naive Popperian dogmas. Well, I am afraid that Smolin is much more stupid than Damour can even imagine. Accepting statements of philosophers as dogmas, blowing them out of proportion, applying them behind the range of their validity regardless of physical arguments, and using them to organize witch hunts is something that Lee Smolin is very good at.

Damour has also sketched the unprecedented conceptual richness of string theory as well as some experimental tests of string theory and its features by the LHC and other experiments. Damour also mentioned his work about the runaway dilaton that would generate a fifth force that would violate the equivalence principle. If the scenario in this paper were confirmed, it would prove their particular low-energy model that at some level naturally fits into string theory. I think that the runaway dilaton is unlikely but it could be experimentally proved if it is right and it would violate the usual consequences of the equivalence principle.

Thursday, June 07, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Clifford Johnson and Big Brother

I was kind of stunned when I read what Clifford Johnson thinks about the ways how the society should work. His comments in the article

summarize the scary, Orwellian proportions of the influence of political correctness and certain idiotic ideologies on the functioning of diverse institutions in the current world.

First, he celebrates that moderate coward Griffin was forced to make some kind of apology for expressing his mind - and for raising opinions that are obviously both true as well as important. More importantly, Clifford also reveals what kind of logic hides behind his approach. It is a logic taken directly from George Orwell's famous novel. See:
  • ... I think that when you are the head of a huge organization with a budget that size, and essentially in control (symbolically or otherwise) of the fortunes of very many research programs and the scientists concerned... it is important to watch what you say about what you are doing with the resources, why you are doing what you are doing, and so forth. And it is important to watch what such people are saying, since it can be early warnings of what’s actually going on behind the scenes as opposed to what they might wish you to believe is going on.
  • ... The blame lies firmly in the most obvious place... the head of NASA said stupid, ill-informed, and downright strange things. He was called on it, and that is the way it should be. He even had the decency to apologize (kind of). That is good too.
Wow. Clifford even believes that the media insufficiently "inform" the public about the "threats of global warming"! That proves the multiverse theory because Clifford must clearly live in a different Universe than your humble correspondent.

Bill Clinton is 99.9 percent the same as Rush Limbaugh

Bill Clinton's annual class day speech at Harvard was mostly about the fact that 99.9 percent of the genome sequence is shared by all humans.

Clinton is so impressed by this number that when he found Rush Limbaugh in the same New York restaurant, he almost ruined Limbaugh's dessert by telling him that the two Gentlemen were 99.9 percent identical, too. Finally, he only shaked his hand and said "Hi". That was a good choice because otherwise, Limbaugh could think that Clinton had accused him of havind done 99.9 percent of Bill's things in the Oval Office, among other things.

Microsoft Surface & surface computing

A year ago, everyone would think that the ultimate übergadget in the future would look like a cell phone.

But you might ask: why is it exactly this particular invention of Alexander Graham Bell that should swallow all other useful electronic gadgets? Why is it a telephone? Why it's not a hair-dryer, a washing machine, a lamp, a tricycle, the New York Times, or a coffee table?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Elizabeth Okazaki & Stanford

A story about

is both serious, touching, and entertaining. She has lived in Stanford's Varian Hall for about four years. In order to cover her plan to get free housing plus some food, she was dreaming about writing papers with Leonard Susskind and about dating Lukasz Fidkowski. But other physicists work on the theory that she only wanted to marry a future physics professor to become a housewife of a person who knows how to fix washing machines.

Landscape 2007

A notorious critic of physics wrote the following:

There seems to be a peculiar trend going on in the particle theory community. Just about all theorists I talk to, correspond with, argue with on blogs, etc. claim to be quite unhappy with the Landscape, and insist that most of their colleagues share this view. On the other hand, all evidence is that Landscape research is becoming increasingly influential at the highest levels of the string theory community.
A long list of talks about the landscape and hints that some people find it important follows.

Well, indeed, most high-energy theorists dislike the anthropic principle. A poll at a previous Strings conference revealed that about 80% of the folks oppose notion that the anthropic selection will be an essential feature of the right solution to the vacuum selection problem. There is obviously no consensus and the majority dislikes the anthropic setup.

But what is equally important to realize is that the landscape is, at present, the only concrete solution to the vacuum selection problem that can be combined with the cutting edge understanding of particle physics as well as gravity into a coherent whole that has also the ability to produce the right value of the cosmological constant problem. Whoever denies the statement of the previous sentence because of some preconceptions is a bigot and a denier. ;-)

The absence of a concrete alternative is why there can't obviously be too many serious papers that would approach these important questions - and the vacuum selection problem is even more important today than it was in the past - from a different perspective than the anthropic one. Such a perspective is simply not yet available. This fact makes it unsurprising that the relative representation of the anthropic principle in literature and at the conferences and summer schools keeps on growing.

Is the actual probability that the anthropic principle is correct increasing, too? Or is the effect in the previous paragraph just an irrational artifact of sociology?

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this question. How does it really work? Those who think that the right answer to the vacuum selection problem is not anthropic - like myself - spend a part of their time by thinking about conceivable alternatives, for example attempts to refine the Hartle-Hawking wavefunction within string theory. We believe in the assumption that it was only due to a lack of imagination that people have only found the anthropic answer so far; more creative people will find a better solution in the future. However, no one has so far found such a concrete enough alternative which makes our belief system somewhat vague.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Bush liked the dumplings

"Vojáci, nazdár," greeted Bush the soldiers in very good Czech.

During his speech / full, Bush said that Russia under Vladimir which is how he proudly calls Putin was derailed from democratic reform tracks and that Russia has nothing to be afraid of. Countries like Czechia no longer have to choose who is their friend because both America and Russia may be friends, he said. Bush encouraged China to open its politics as much as it opened its economy.

The Czech defense minister gave him her new CD, "Good Morning Mr Radar, we couldn't wait", a parody of a 1961 song celebrating Gagarin. :-) I can't almost hear her singing in it. She is much more quiet than Jan Vyčítal.

There's a lot of criticism of this new song because the lyrics is too simple (it was completed in 10 minutes) and because it is a propaganda song backwards (the Gagarin song wasn't propaganda but rather an authentic expression of global excitement but there have been a lot of propaganda songs in the socialist bloc, of course). The only difference between propaganda and propaganda upside-down is that propaganda is wrong & ordered and rewarded by a powerful political clique while propaganda upside-down is correct & not ordered by anyone and its authors become a general target of virtually everyone else.

Lunch (photos). Bush was chewing a chewing gum for hours. When he saw some faces that looked surprised, he probably swallowed the chewing gum :-) because no one noticed that he would throw it away. The appetizer was a cheese roll with a honey-cognac sauce. Bush's eyes started to shine when he saw the duck with Czech dumplings and cabbage and he liked the lunch prepared by 30 cooks. Bush tried to smile at everyone and speak to everyone. For example, he praised the green tie of the environment minister, Martin Bursík, the chief of the Green Party. Well, this is somewhat characteristic about Bush's recent positions. :-/

In the afternoon's talk, freedom was Bush's most favorite word. Its attractivity is the most powerful weapon against terrorism. Freedom was given to us by the Creator, Bush said, and it is the only arrangement that leads to justice and human rights. The event "Thank you America" was attended by few hundred people. The anti-American rallies were comparable although they were much more heavily promoted in the media.

CNN reported that Bush has met its counterpart, the prime minister Klaus Topolánek. The photograph above suggests that Klaus Topolánek are two people, not one. Click the photograph to get 94 more.

Angelina Jolie decided to adopt a Czech boy.

Heterotic landscape: gauge coupling unification statistics

Raby and Wingerter have performed an interesting poll of heterotic orbifold vacua. 12% of their vacua have $\sin^2 \theta_W = \frac 38$ while none of them exceeds this value. $\frac 38$ is an upper bound! Among those that saturate the bound, 89% embed the hypercharge within an SU(5) group and can thus be interpreted as SU(5) GUT models.

I personally don't think that vacua that belong to a certain minority are excluded. On the other hand, if there were a plausible argument - supported by some experimental data - that some numbers always satisfy some inequality, like that $\frac 38$ is the maximum value of $\sin^2 \theta_W$, then it could be viewed as an insight.

Helmut Schmidt on global warming

Around 1981, my uncle who has lived in Australia since 1969 visited Europe. He invited me and my mother to West Germany. The communists didn't allow me to go but my mother did go. She brought some luxurious stuff as well as a booklet called "This is how we live in the Federal Republic of Germany."

It explained how rich and free the Germans were. And the social-democratic chancellor Helmut Schmidt was featured in the booklet, too. In 1980 I was a red kid and no one could have said anything wrong about the Soviet Union. At least this is how my grandfather used to remember me. Around 1981, I became a pro-capitalist person and it stuck. ;-)

Nevertheless, Schmidt was replaced by Helmut Kohl in 1982 and I didn't hear about him for 25 years. However, now the 88-year old Gentleman made an interesting interview (part 1, part 2) for Der Bild. I don't speak German but because the interview is interesting, let me translate it anyway. ;-)

The G8 summit is just a theater
Dear Mr Chancellor, Germany hosts the G8 summit in Heiligendamm (Holy Dam) in East Germany. If you imagine that you are again a young man who attends a rally 70 years ago, what would you demand from the world leaders?

70 years ago, I was a young person who was against the Nazis. I wouldn't stand at the fence and demonstrate. But if I had been demonstrating against them, the Nazis would have put me into jail.

What do you think about the anti-G8 demonstration?

Not much. No 18-year-old person can know how the world works. Our law says that the federal presidents must be at least 40 years old. It is a reasonable regulation. Only exceptions may sensibly judge the world's economy if they are younger than 40 years. However, even young people are capable to participate in peaceful rallies. That's not so difficult: even small babies know how to cry!

Monday, June 04, 2007 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Frostbite stops another woman

Even women who are not fanatical global warming evangelists can find the weather near the North Pole tougher than expected.

Rosie Stancer had to cancel her attempt to become the first solo woman on North Pole because of frostbite, zero visibility, and other problems.

At any rate, these people are brave and strong - including the pair of global warming zealots we discussed previously.

LHC: multi-month delay

It's because the LHC is in the tunnel of LEP which stands for a Lot of Extra Problems. ;-)

Marijuana creates holes in lungs

Some friends of mine have been saying that marijuana is very healthy, unlike cigarettes. I was always skeptical about these statements.

What they meant is that it doesn't cause lung cancer. In fact, marijuana can slow down the growth of tumors and you should recommend it if your friends have cancer. But cancer is surprisingly not the only disease in the world.

BBC reports that young people who are strong marijuana smokers have lungs similar to old tobacco smokers. Emphysema may be caused by marijuana. Holes in your lungs are getting bigger as the lungs lose their elasticity.

Bush in Prague: rockets not radars

The missile defense system will be one of the main topics of George W. Bush's visit of Czechia that starts tonight. What do Czechs think about it?

According to polls, a majority (around 60+ percent) opposes the radar base. But it's not necessarily the sensible part of the Czech population. The demonstrations against the base are usually organized by communists, Islamists, and "peaceful feminists" (which is fortunately not a numerous group). One of the rallies had to be moved to a less prestigious place. Thanks God.

On the other hand, the icon on the left belongs to the movement called "We don't want radars, we want rockets!". I sympathize with the movement. Reuters has released a report called "Prague has Cold War edge before Bush visit". They compare the current plans with a long history of powers occupying Czechia in the past and ask whether the citizens think that it's the same thing today.

The picture above shows Fidel Castro who has become one of the Czech advocates of the U.S. umbrella. The pro-American demonstration took place at the Prague Castle.

The Czech prime minister will assure Bush that Czechia is an ally but one that can't be directly controlled by a superpower. He will make it clear that the U.S. will have to pay the expenses connected with the radar otherwise the project is dead.

Ms Vlasta Parkanová, the Czech minister of defense, is a former jazz singer. She had a great idea to compensate the negative campaign against the radar organized by various kinds of commies. She asked Mr Jan Vyčítal, a songmaker who is also well-known for the most famous song of the first celebrations of liberation of Pilsen by the U.S. army that were held in 1990, for collaboration, and they created a brand new old song.

A highly unofficial videoclip of the new song. In the happy end, U.S., Russian, and Osama's nuclear bombs meet in the Czech Brdy Hills. ;-)

He used the melody of "Good morning Major Gagarin" (MP3) and both of them have recorded Czech as well as English version of the new song. Vyčítal only needed 10 minutes to create new lyrics - well, it's almost identical to the old lyrics about Gagarin. :-) I only see Czech lyrics so here's my translation:
The whole world heard the news from the free press,
the whole world suspended all its chats.
And I welcome you [Bush] by shaking you hand
and we turn all our eyes to the skies.

Good morning, the banner with stars and stripes,
you have already unrolled above [us].
Good morning, the banner of our friends
with their jeeps who have come to save us.

Good morning, the radar, simply welcome,
we couldn't wait but now it is here.
Good morning, the radar, I applaud you
and our pals were waving with their hats.

Tell the guys who live on the stars,
tell the guys who live in outer space.
Tell them that we want to live in peace
but we prefer clothes from Uncle Sam.

Good morning, the radar, simply welcome... hats.

Tell the guys we know who has freed us.
Back then in May nineteen fourty-five.
And where Masaryk with Woodrow Wilson
helped our whole nation.

Good morning, the banner with stars and stripes...

I hope the actual English lyrics is better than mine. Bush will receive a CD of this authentic and moderate Czech socialist propaganda, with music stolen from the U.S., copied to modern conditions. :-)

Freeman Dyson on global warming: video

In this 10-minute-long video (two parts), a prominent scientist who's followed the science of global warming from the beginning, Freeman Dyson explains why climate models have no scientific merit, why average global ground temperature is a great fiction, and what he believes the real dangers of increased CO2 in the atmosphere are. He suggests that the relatively simple solution of land use management could potentially give us the ability to control the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere at any level we'd like, and there's no need to stop burning coal and oil. In the second part he talks about stratospheric cooling.

Thanks to aktivní blb.


I have tried many implementations of TeX that were compatible with but neither of them seemed sufficiently convenient and good-looking. Let me try LaTeXMathML.js. In articles and slow comments, \$...\$ should typeset mathematics. On the other hand, you need to put a backslash before \$ if you want to see the dollar sign.

RAS wants Griffin to retract his heretical idea

Scientists rally around Griffin...

Meanwhile, Prof. Michael Rowan-Robinson, the president of the Royal Astronomical Society, has a different opinion. For the sake of clarity, I have replaced some modern jargon in his statement by the conventional, old-fashioned vocabulary that has been established during Galileo's life and that more accurately describes Rowan-Robinson's mode of thinking:

In Exodus 30 God the Lord commanded Moses make a holy anointing oil out of the best spices of myrrh, cinnamon, and cassia, along with the low-carbon oil from the olive tree. With this mixture, all the tent of the covenant with its accessories, as well as Aaron and all his sons, were to be anointed and dedicated...

That's why I was so disturbed to read the comments by the Head of NASA, Father Michael Griffin, on global warming and climate change. While accepting the first seven commandments that a trend of global warming exists, he dares to question whether this ‘is a problem we must wrestle with’ as summarized in the remaining three commandments.

This is counter to the strong advice of the world's priests, expressed through the Fourth Lateran Council (AR4) and the enlightened wisdom of the Holy Inquisition, who have urged the world's spiritual leaders to act swiftly to limit the rise in warming to no more than 2.000 degrees Centigrade. It is also counter to the stern report by Pope Paul V (PBUH & SAW), which demonstrated that limiting global warming is both do-able and affordable.

Europe's Jesuits, space scientists, astronomers, commissioners known as the Qualifiers, and Solar System scientists, especially those who believe the greatness of Scripture, will be dismayed by Michael Griffin’s position and it will undermine their confidence in his leadership of NASA, an organization with which the both UK and the Church has a strong shared purpose.

I call on Michael Griffin to recant his godless idea and to do penance. The idea about the inability of Man to stop climate change is absurd in philosophy and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of the IPCC Holy Scripture while the free mobility of the future temperature is, in regard to theological truth, at least erroneous in faith.

Also, his comments about the arrogance are a very dangerous thing, not only by irritating all the policymakers and climate scientists, but also by injuring our holy faith and rendering whole chapters of the IPCC report, obtained by the scientific method, false. Publication of further opinions of Michael Griffin shall be forbidden and Atlantis shall be renamed to Hansen the Space Shuttle. Should Griffin resist the decree, stronger action would be taken.

You have heard the holy word of consensus of 3000 people in RAS who support all of our commandments unanimously and wholeheartedly, except those 53 percent of heretics whose life won't be long and rich unless they turn their hearts back to God and His fine struggle against the greenhouse effect. Amen.