|Comments for Sunday, September 27,
2015, thru Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015:
September 30, 2015 - This morning, someone sent me an email with a link to a blog article titled "Denier vs Skeptic." It mentions the "AP Stylebook," which I'd never heard of before. Apparently it's the Associated Press's recommended usage of certain terms and words. It contains this new entry:
To describe those who don’t accept climate science or dispute the world is warming from man-made forces, use climate change doubters or those who reject mainstream climate science. Avoid use of skeptics or deniers.The blog article says,
One problem for those who lie somewhere on the scientific spectrum is that everyone tends to use themselves for calibration. In other words, most people think that their specific position on any scientific issue is at the golden mean, and anyone who believes more than they do is a true believer and anyone who doubts more than they do is a denier.The author then goes into a lengthy description which basically says there is nothing wrong with being a "skeptic," but being a "denier" is the same as having a closed mind. A "skeptic" is just someone who wants good scientific evidence in support of a scientific matter, instead of only opinions and beliefs. A "denier" wants confirmation of his opinions and beliefs, and accepts nothing less. As of this writing, there are 38 comments after the entry. Some are fairly interesting.
The author addresses a lot of the same issues I've addressed over the years. In addition, his blog also has links to some web sites I've never visited before. The Earth Observatory Image of the Day site is particularly interesting to me, since it contains very large photographs of the earth as taken from space and some very beautiful shots from earthbound photographers. Here's one of the "Mountain Fire" in California (click HERE for the full size picture):
My #1 science interest is still Time Dilation, and I've found some interesting sites where people try to answer the question "What is Time?" I keep wanting to relate Time to Entropy, and a little research finds that many others have also had that idea. Click HERE, HERE and HERE for examples. But, it doesn't make any difference how many other people have previously explored an idea. All that matters is that I get the question and answer clear in my own mind. So, I'll keep exploring the question whenever time permits.
September 28, 2015 - Yesterday, the Blu-Ray version of the movie "Interstellar" went on sale at Best Buy for $9.99. I'd rented "Interstellar" from RedBox and watched it just six months ago, on March 31. But, I wanted to see it again. So, I bought a copy. $9.99 is about double what I normally set as a price limit on movies I buy, but the DVD version of "Interstellar" doesn't have any "extras" and it will probably be a couple years before the Blu-Ray version of "Interstellar," which has over three hours of extras, will be on sale for $5 or less.
Anyway, I bought a copy. Last night, after watching the movie, I watched a 50 minute "extra" titled "The Science of Interstellar" which had CalTech scientist Kip Thorne explaining the science of Time Dilation and his role as science adviser on the film. While it was very interesting, the most interesting part for me was they they made no mention of the fact that cryostasis is routinely used in the movie, but no one explains how cryostasis differs from Time Dilation. The only difference I see is that the astronauts were not conscious when the years pass while they were in cryostasis, but they are fully awake when the years go by in hours while they are experiencing Time Dilation due to gravity and speed. Whether the observer is conscious or not conscious has no effect on the physics of what actually happened.
Yesterday morning, I watched Bill Gaede's talk on "What is Time?" which he gave at the "Rational Physics Conference" in Vienna in 2014. I'd watched it before, but this time I paid closer attention. I kept wondering if I should create a web page where I point out all of his errors and answer all of his questions. The process of pointing out his silly errors and answering his sarcastic questions might help me better understand Time Dilation versus cryostasis and whether or not they are actually the same thing resulting from the same electromagnetic effect.
I don't know if anyone reading this understands what I'm writing about, but it's a puzzle that really bothers me.
I've also started work on a "scientific paper" titled "What is Time?" I keep thinking that understanding how cryostasis is the same as (or different from) Time Dilation will answer that question.
September 27, 2015 - Hmm. I see that Bill Gaede is recruiting presenters for the next "Rational Physics Conference," which is to be held in warm and sunny Acapulco, Mexico in mid-winter. They are in the process of creating a web site to "showcase the agenda." According to Mr. Gaede:
The shindig is going to be on February 22, 2016... if our species doesn't come to an end by then.It took me a few minutes to realize that "BH" is "Black Holes" and "BB" is "Big Bang." So, they'll be talking about how they don't believe in either one.
What interested me most, however, was how a person named "Luis" on one of their blogs is planning to give a talk that isn't really about science:
I will be presenting the political side of Einsteins riseIn a different Facebook post that same "Luis" explains:
The Zionist propaganda continues, with out it there is no Einstein. When we discuss Einsteins bullshit theories we always wonder how his theory succeed and became mainstream? This can only be done thru propaganda on a huge level, which continues to this day!!!!!However, Bill Gaede seems to be wary of what "Luis" is going to present:
Luis, you had better have something to present or we're not letting you into the conf-room!Luis has something to present. He wants to present his anti-Semitic theories and how BH and BB are just part of the vast Zionist conspiracy.
I cannot help but recall how anti-Semites were also anxious to argue their beliefs when I was investigating the anthrax attacks of 2001. It seems if there is any way to believe that something may not be the way it appears, the anti-Semites will find a way to argue that it's all part of The Great Zionist Conspiracy.
So, will Luis be allowed to speak? Or will he be kept out of the conference by the other"rational physicists" who evidently do not believe in any Zionist conspiracy, but who simply believe that Einstein was an idiot, and everyone who believes and accepts Einstein's theories are also idiots?
It could be interesting to see what happens.
Meanwhile, the other day someone sent me a New York Times article about "How Lee Child, the Author of the Jack Reacher Novels, Spends His Sundays." The article begins with this;
Lee Child, the author of the Jack Reacher crime novels, starts a new book each September and finishes sometime in spring, 20 books in 20 years. The most recent, “Make Me,” just took over the No. 1 spot on the New York Times best-seller list. He spends Sundays the way many writers do, in his own bubble. “It’s hard for others to understand, because you’re living in this made-up zone of fantasy, where that seems real to you, and the real real stuff seems odd,” he said.I don't live in a "made-up zone of fantasy," but I'm definitely in my own "bubble" much of the time.
I wish I could say I was in a "zone of fantasy" where I'm putting together a new novel and figuring out what the fictitious characters will do next, but I'm still suffering from "writers' block," so I tend to just analyze things, instead.
Last week was a week for watching and analyzing new and returning TV shows. I use my DVR to record all the shows that I think might be worth watching, and then I watch them when I have nothing better to do, skipping over all the commercials.
Monday: "Castle" (ABC) is one of my returning favorites. Monday's show was an okay part-1 of a 2-parter. A new show, "Blindspot" (NBC), was extremely far-fetched, but it - and particularly the female lead - were interesting enough for me to plan to watch next Monday's episode.
Tuesday: "NCIS" (CBS) is another returning favorite, but I thought Tuesday's show was terrible. It was part-2 of a 2-parter, and I didn't recall much of what happened in part-1, which made part-2 seem boring and tedious. But, I'll definitely tune in next week, when they'll hopefully have a totally new story. A new show, "Limitless" (CBS), was interesting enough for me to plan to watch next week's episode. It's based on the 2011 movie, which I thought was very good. Another "new" show, "The Muppets" (ABC) was very enjoyable and definitely worth trying again next week.
Wednesday was when I watched all of the five shows described above.
Thursday: I started watching "Heroes Reborn" (NBC), and then remembered how much I disliked the original "Heroes" series. So, I turned it off after about 10 minutes. At that point in time I had recorded about 20 minutes of "The Player" (NBC), which is enough time for me to start watching it while still being certain I can still skip over all the commercials. I watched maybe 15 minutes of it before deciding that the writing was SO BAD and the story was so forced and contrived that I gave up.
Friday: I watched "Minority Report" (NBC) which was executive produced by Steven Spielberg. Seeing that information in the titles probably helped me get through it, and it was also enough for me to at least try watching next week's episode, too. "Rosewood" (NBC) is another "pathologist helping the police" series, and it couldn't hold my interest. I turned it off after about 15 minutes.
I should probably mention that I also recorded all of "The Late Show with Steven Colbert" programs for the past two weeks, watching each them the next evening, usually before watching anything else. They're okay, but I'm not a fan of late night "variety shows," and I really miss "The Colbert Report." I see that "The Daily Show" is returning next week with Trevor Noah as its new host. I'll check it out, but I'm not very hopeful.
Last week was also another of what has become "a typical week" for watching "new" movies. On Tuesday, I rented "Mad Max: Fury Road." It was the only new movie RedBox had that at least seemed it might be worth watching. And RottenTomatoes.com says that 97% of reviewers gave it a positive rating.
I was able to sit through about an hour of it, but then I got fed up. While it was definitely a "spectacular" action film, I agreed with the reviewer who wrote:
If you want to see stuff blowing up for two hours straight and don't care about a story or character development, then this is the movie for you. But I need a lot more out of a film.And that was my TV viewing week. Mostly I watched old movies and old TV shows (like "WKRP in Cincinnati") from DVDs and Blu-Ray disks in my personal collection.
Now I'm wondering how the readers of this site will review today's comment.
|Comments for Sunday, September 20,
2015, thru Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015:
September 26, 2015 - I don't know how many people will "get it," but I found this bumper sticker to be VERY funny:
If you don't get it, it may be time to research blue shifted.
September 25, 2015 - In a really weird coincidence, I watched an episode of "WKRP in Cincinnati" last night that somewhat explained the "stampede" near Mecca a couple days ago. The end of the episode from 1980 was very serious for a comedy show, as the characters reacted to 11 deaths at a rock concert their radio station had been promoting. Titles at the end explained that the episode was based upon a real "stampede" that had happened in Cincinnati in 1979.
The "concert utilized the ticketing process of unreserved so-called festival seating, meant more for open-air and open-field venues. The tickets all cost the same, and fans’ actual seating positions, whether near the stage or otherwise, depended on how fast one could get to the front."
So, all it takes is a lot of eager people wanting to be first into a limited space.
September 24, 2015 - I don't have anything specific to write about, but there are a few things in the news that might be worth mentioning or commenting upon. One of the "things" is Martin Shkreli, who made news the other day when he suddenly raised the price of a critical drug from $13.50 per tablet to $750 per tablet. That's an increase of 5,500%. It wasn't some new drug. It's a drug that has been around for 62 years. The problem is that it is the only drug used to treat certain kinds of serious parasitic infections. Why did Mr. Shkreli suddenly raise the price? Apparently, because he saw it as a good way to make a fast profit.
I would view him as The Ultimate Republican, but it appears that even some Republicans (Donald Trump for example) feel that Mr. Shkreli may have gone a bit too far. Most interesting to me is all the other stuff that is now coming out about Mr. Shkreli. This is from The New York Times:
It's great to see that some guy who thinks he can screw with the lives of other people just to make a fast buck is turned into "the most hated man in America" nearly overnight. Even a record company he was helping to finance has told him they do not want his money. Mr. Shkreli appears to be backing down, but it will be interesting to see what becomes of him after this episode.
A couple other things in the news also caught my attention. The first was an article in Newsweek titled "The Ganges River Is Dying Under the Weight of Modern India." Reading it, I could only say "Wow. I'm glad I live next to Lake Michigan and no one considers Lake Michigan to be sacred." The second was the news about the human stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia that killed at least 717 and injured over 850. According to one source,
The deadly stampede at the Haj in Mina on Thursday has become the second worst in a number of tragedies to strike the pilgrimage, surpassed only by a tunnel stampede 25 years ago.What was the cause of the latest deaths? Everyone seems to be calling it a "stampede," but according to the New York Times:
Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry says the crush of Muslim pilgrims that killed more than 700 people outside Mecca appears to have been caused by two waves of pilgrims meeting at an intersection.So, it wasn't really a "stampede." It seems it was more like two stampedes which came from different directions and collided in a confined area where there was no room for one group to pass the other, and the people in back just started pushing. My comment is similar to my previous one: "Wow. I'm glad I didn't need to be there."
September 22, 2015 - In addition to the 2,532 color slides I converted to digital format a few years ago, I converted 2,438 photographs at the same time. A large portion of the photographs were in black & white, and converting from a black & white negative to a black & white digital photo resulted in no problems. But, converting color negatives to digital format resulted in some photos that clearly (or not so clearly) seemed faded - although not as obviously faded as the color slides I mentioned in yesterday's comment.
This morning, I created a blog page (HERE) about fixing the photographs, but, since I don't have anything else to write about, I might as well provide an example here. Below is a photograph I took of the Opera House in Monaco:
The negative not only has a bad scratch in the lower left corner, but it also has a lot of dust spots in the sky area (which appear white, since they are black on the negative). Below is the result after automatically correcting or adjusting the color using paint.net, and also fixing the big scratch and removing the tiny dust spots:
It was mid-day when I drove down to Monaco from Nice sometime in the 1980s. The casino didn't open until around 7 or 8 p.m., so I never got to see the inside. I recalled that the building in the picture was the Grand Casino, which was called "Casino Royale" in the James Bond movie. But, when I searched the Internet for pictures of how the building currently looks, I found that the casino entrance is on the other side of the building. This side (the side facing the Mediterranean Sea) is the Opera House entrance. Live and learn.
September 21, 2015 - I'm still wasting time instead of working on my book. A couple weeks ago I downloaded a free copy of paint.net, which has more features than Microsoft paint. Yesterday, I discovered it has a feature that allows you to bring back the colors on faded color slides. For example, here's a slide I took of the New York City skyline in the late 1950s showing how the colors have faded:
I put a longer description of the process, along with full size versions of the photos, plus a second example, on my interactive blog (HERE). I also included a photo I found on the internet which shows what the above scene looks like today:
With just two clicks of my mouse, I was able to bring back the colors. Then I used the "Clone Stamp" function in paint.net to get rid of all the tiny bits of dust and dirt which are mostly visible in the sky area. The end result looks like this:
I have over 2,500 slides that I've taken over about 5 decades. Probably half of them need some kind of correcting. But, for now I'm satisfied just knowing I can fix things using my laptop - if I want to do so.
September 20, 2015 - This is another one of those Sunday mornings when I have absolutely nothing ready to use as my "Sunday comment." So, whatever I write this morning will be totally from scratch.
I keep thinking I should "standardize" these comments in some way. What I seem to be doing with this web site is writing an on-line diary. That certainly wasn't the plan when I started. However, looking back at my first comments on this site, which started on January 1, 2015, it seems I didn't really have any clear plans - other than to stop writing about the anthrax attacks of 2001.
In my January 1, 2015 comment, I made some New Year's resolutions. The first resolution was to complete the 3rd novel in my sci-fi trilogy by the end of the first quarter. I'm now about to enter the fourth quarter, and I haven't yet finished the book's first chapter. On the positive side, I did accomplish my 2nd and 3rd resolutions. I stopped buying so many DVDs, and I solved the problem with the touch-pad on my computer "by myself" (by using a mouse instead).
The reason I stopped buying so many DVDs seems to be because it's becoming harder and harder for me to find a new movie I enjoy. So far in September, I've rented only 5 movies from RedBox, and there wasn't a single one of them that I would want to watch again. During August I rented only 3 movies, none of which I wanted to see again. For January through July, there were 9 movies I would like to see again out of 61 movies I rented. Compare that to January of 2010, when I recorded having watched 14 movies and noted that I wanted to watch 9 of them again. The list of movies I look for when I sort through the $5 or less racks at WalMart, Best Buy and Big Lots is now less than 1 page. There are only 46 movies on it. A couple years ago, the list was 2 full pages.
When I began this web site, it wasn't my plan to write about movies, either. I wanted to write something with humor in it. I was tired of writing about the anthrax attacks of 2001 for 13 years, and wanted to do something more up-beat. Instead I got into arguments with Science Truthers and, while they certainly provided material for a lot of pretty funny cartoons, it was still downbeat. It was arguing with a different kind of "conspiracy theorist."
I keep thinking of creating some kind of fictional characters who comment on the news a few times a week. Maybe I should try that, just to see how it works. The problem is that I just keep getting distracted.
For example, last week I finally tried converting some of my 200 jazz tape cassettes into MP3 files. That's about 300 hours of music. It appears that you have to create WAV files first, and then convert the WAV files into MP3 files. I downloaded the Audacity software and converted just three songs into WAV files before pausing to think things over. WAV files are "better audio quality" than MP3 files, but they are also vastly larger files. And, I need to decide if I should use the WAV files to create CDs instead of MP3 files. Whatever I do, it's going to take a long time, and I may not be able to use my computer for anything else while converting files. So, I'm going to ponder the situation for awhile.
Secondly, I spent a lot of time last week planning a trip for next month. I think it will be my first airplane trip since I went to the Austin Film Festival in October, 2001. It is certainly the first time I bought airline tickets on-line. Finding the right flights on the right days at the right times at the right price was certainly an interesting process, but not something to write about today.
Today, I've reached my 11 a.m. deadline, so I'll just stop writing and upload what I've got. I'll try to do better next time.
|Comments for Sunday, September 13,
2015, thru Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015:
September 17, 2015 - Each morning for the past 13 years or so, I've been doing a Google news search for the words "2001" and "anthrax." This morning, an interesting article appeared at the top of the list. The headline is "9/11 Truth Movement Proposes Honoring Victims By Questioning Official Narrative." The word "anthrax" is only used once in the article, when it describes a symposium held last weekend, on Saturday Sept. 12:
It was a 1-day event held in a church in New York City. One of the speakers spoke about the anthrax attacks:
Panel 1 – The Anthrax Attacks: Golden Door to 9/11 Accountability
Speaker: Barbara Honegger, journalist/authorResearching Barbara Honegger, I found that I'd written about her twice on my old web site. And I also found that I wrote this a year ago:
It appears that the beliefs of all the 9/11 conspiracy theorists and the anthrax conspiracy theorists can be summarized as follows:
The idea that there's going to be a new investigation to find new evidence is absurd.When you look at the "evidence" the conspiracy theorists have, it's all just beliefs and opinions, plus an overriding inability to accept what all the existing facts and evidence say. So, they want the government to search for new facts and evidence that they can accept.
More and more I think they should be referred to as "Cannot Believers." What they believe may be absurd, but it's what they cannot believe that drives them. They cannot believe the existing facts and evidence, and they would not be able to believe any additional facts and evidence that just supports what has already been determined to be true. So, unless the government finds some new facts and evidence that prove something they can believe, they'll be preaching their beliefs and holding annual meetings until they gradually fade away. Only Time can bring an end to their inability to believe the existing facts and evidence.
September 16, 2015 - Yesterday, I received 5 emails from an Anthrax Truther I hadn't heard from in about 9 years. She lives in California, and she believes that a computer industry executive was behind the anthrax attacks of 2001. She also believes that the computer executive was leaving clues written on sidewalks. In 2006 she sent me pictures she took of some of the "evidence." Some examples:
I was just one person addressed on yesterday's emails. Others were Interpol, the National Security Agency (NSA), the San Francisco office of the FBI, the police department in Pacifica, CA., the police department of Belmont, CA, Jerry Brown at JerryBrown.org, San Francisco State University, the Palo Alto Daily Post, The Washington Post, Sumner Redstone at Viacom, News Corp, a bunch of lawyer web sites, a bunch of addresses on Yahoo, etc., etc. I was the last name on the mailing list. The first name on the list was for someone at U-Haul.
Apparently she's having some kind of problem with a storage locker at U-Haul, and also having a problem with an email account. She blames it all on that same computer company executive. The emails have attached copies of other emails going back to early May of this year. I have no idea why I was included in the address list for those five emails, but, if she is aware of it, I suspect she will suspect it was the fault of that computer industry executive.
September 14, 2015 - Hmm. Of all the dumb things I did today, what is the dumbest? Ah! I know. I put a clock in my refrigerator.
I woke up this morning thinking about how temperature might cause Time Dilation for the same reason as Time Dilation is caused by gravity and by speed. I'm not sure exactly what that reason is, but it could be the same.
Then I wondered what would happen if I put a wind-up clock in a refrigerator. I fully realized it had nothing to do with Time Dilation, but it seemed to be a valid scientific question. Would the clock slow down because any lubricants would thicken or would it speed up because the spring would become more stiff? Inquiring minds want to know.
So, before breakfast I hunted through closets and drawers looking for wind-up clocks. All the clocks I routinely use these days are electrical, but I knew I had some old wind-up clocks around somewhere. I found three of them - one regular alarm clock and two travel alarm clocks. Only one of the travel alarms still worked. I wound it up, set it to the correct time, 8 o'clock, and just let it rest on a dresser for an hour. When I checked it at 9 o'clock, it was still running and showing the correct time.
So, I put it in the refrigerator. After puttering around on my computer for about an hour and a half, I opened the refrigerator and checked the clock. It was still showing the correct time: 10:33.
I had looked around on the Internet for information on how temperature affects clocks. There's a lot of information on how pendulum clocks are affected. Warm temperatures cause the pendulum arm to lengthen slightly, enough to create the same slowing down error that would occur if the adjustable weight was lowered deliberately. I also found a lot of information about how people think that you should never hang a wall clock on an "outside wall" (i.e., a wall that separates the inside from the outdoors). If the wall is poorly insulated, moisture and cold coming through from the outside can affect the clock.
When it was time for lunch before going to the gym, I checked the clock again. It still showed 10:33. The clock had stopped. I pulled it out of the refrigerator and put it on the kitchen counter. The glass fogged up. Moisture and cold had almost certainly caused it to stop. Since it seemingly stopped at the moment I had last checked it, opening and closing the refrigerator door probably affected something - like causing a drop of water to form and drop somewhere.
So, what did I prove? I proved that you shouldn't put a clock in the refrigerator. There's a very good scientific reason for not doing that. It can damage the clock. Plus, it is just plain dumb. And it's certainly nothing worth writing a scientific paper about.
After leaving the clock set for about an hour at room temperature, it still showed the same time: 10:33. I gave it a jiggle and it started ticking. It's still ticking at 4 p.m. as I write this.
During my research, I also found this interesting observation by Science Truther Dr. Srinivasa Rao Gonuguntla:
Nope. I didn't think that "Time" stopped in my refrigerator. I just thought it was a dumb experiment. I should have thought about it more before doing it.
September 13, 2015 - Friday was the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks upon the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The 14th anniversary of the anthrax attacks of 2001 is coming up soon. No one has yet fixed an exact date to use as an anniversary date for the anthrax attacks, but it would probably be September 18, which is the day that the first anthrax letters were postmarked, or October 5, which is the day the first victim died after having contracted anthrax -- or somewhere in between.
Not surprisingly, the 9/11 conspiracy theorists are still active, and there's no evidence that a single one of them has changed his or her mind about anything. The same with the anthrax "Truthers" and conspiracy theorists. They are still arguing their beliefs while ignoring all the facts and evidence.
The image above could also apply to "Science Truthers," like those who follow the so-called "Rational Scientific Method." Or those who argue that the recent photos of Pluto are faked. They all argue the same thing: The official version is wrong, and I personally know 'The Truth'. Believe ME, don't believe anyone else, because the only thing even the people who seem to agree with me are right about is that the official version is wrong. Only I know 'The REAL Truth'."
It can be fascinating at times. But, it's also endless. There's no way to change their minds, so, unless you are a psychologist or psychiatrist who has a "Truther" as a patient, it's probably best to just view all the various "Truther" movements as an interesting social phenomenon that experts can study.
Facts, evidence and science, however, are things that interest me. On Saturday morning I awoke viewing Time and Time Dilation from a very different angle. Unlike the "Truthers," I don't know if I've discovered any kind of "truth." I only know that I can't recall ever reading anything about how Time Dilation is caused by temperature in addition to speed, gravity and acceleration. The subject has come up in discussions I've had, but I was the one who brought it up.
In the 1973 movie "Sleeper," Woody Allen's character "Miles Monroe" is cryogenically frozen and bought back to life 200 years in the future. So, Miles Monroe experienced a form of "Time Dilation." Time slowed down for him, while Time for everyone else continued on at its normal rate, just like the astronaut twin and the earthbound twin in "The Twin Paradox." Yes, it's just a movie, but bacteria will survive being frozen. Time will slow down for them. Bacteria are living creatures. Unlike Miles Monroe, a bacterium doesn't have memories or a brain, but Time (and natural processes) still stopped or slowed down for the frozen bacteria. Keeping a human being alive in cryostasis may be science fiction today, but freezing embryos is not.
At the atomic level, what's the difference between speed-controlled Time Dilation, gravity-controlled Time Dilation, acceleration-controlled Time Dilation, and temperature-controlled Time Dilation? If they are all caused by the same natural atomic or sub-atomic effects, then there is no difference.
Researching "absolute zero," it appears that Time would stop for an object that reaches a temperature of absolute zero, just as it would stop if you traveled at the speed of light.
If the passage of Time is affected by speed, gravity, acceleration and temperature, then Time is NOT a concept. It is a natural PROCESS. And Time is different for everyone. But the differences are so small they are not noticeable, and we ignore the differences by measuring "the passage of Time" in a common way. We measure time by adjusting the clocks and watches we own to make them agree with the current time as measured by clocks controlled by other people who in turn make certain their clocks agree with a "world wide standard."
Browsing the Internet while writing this comment this morning, I found a web page titled "What Is Time and What Causes Time?" It poses a lot of interesting questions. I sometimes feel I have the answers, but I just haven't done enough research to confirm the answers, and I haven't found the right words to express the answers.
Another problem is that it all seems so simple that I cannot believe thousands of others haven't already been down this path. I can find articles which seem to have parts of what I'm looking for. Click HERE for an example. But maybe Groucho Marx expressed it best when he said:
"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."The Rational Semantic Methodists may want all scientists to use unambiguous definitions for words, but nearly all scientists probably realize there is no such thing as unambiguous definitions for words.
Can I find a true, unambiguous definition of Time? Do I just need more time to find the definition? Is this the right place to be writing all this down? Should I be saving it for a "scientific paper"? Does anyone care? I find thinking about all this to be very interesting, but I suspect no one reading this comment does.
Sorry about that. When I start writing down my thoughts, I have no idea where the ""writing while thinking" process will lead me.
|Comments for Sunday, September 6,
2015, thru Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015:
September 10, 2015 - During breakfast this morning, I finished reading my Kindle copy of "Albert Einstein and Relativity for Kids" by Jerome Pohlen." While I skipped over all the "activities and thought experiments" designed to teach kids about science, I enjoyed it as a well-written, short biography of Albert Einstein. Coincidentally (or maybe not), I have a hardback copy of the 1971 book "Einstein: The Life and Times" by Ronald W. Clark in my private library. There are several bookmarks at critical places, which indicate that I once looked at those parts of the book, but there are no highlighted passages. So, I probably never actually started reading it from cover to cover. It's a 718 page book I picked up at a book sale somewhere many years ago.
It also doesn't look like a book I can read in 10 or 15 minute sessions during breakfast and lunch, so, later this morning, I browsed through the books I have in my Kindle and came across "The Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100" by Michio Kaku. I sped read through the "Introduction" and found the sections titled "Why Predictions Sometimes Don't Come True" and "The Cave Man Principle" to be particularly interesting. So, it looks like it will be what I'll be reading during breakfast and lunch for the next several weeks (it's 480 pages in paperback).
I enjoy reading and learning about science, but I keep remembering this passage from a description of "The Rational Scientific Method" (which is not rational, nor scientific, nor a method):
Belief, truth, evidence, and proof are not part of the [rational] scientific method. The [R] SM is observer-independent. Experiments, and observation are extra-scientific.Evidence, experiments and observation are meaningless to the Rational Scientific Method because it is a philosophy. But what good is it? What purpose does the RSM philosophy serve? Is it just a reason for sitting around and dreaming up explanations for things? Why bother, if the explanations cannot be verified?
Here are a couple passages I highlighted in the book by Jerome Pohlen:
In December 1938, German scientists in Berlin achieved something that even Einstein had long thought impossible: they had split an atom.
Niels Bohr was still living in Denmark when he learned through a chain of colleagues that Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, working at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, had split uranium atoms. They had done this by firing neutrons at the atoms. In the process a large amount of energy had been released, confirming Einstein’s energy-to-mass conversion formula, E = mc2.Here's a passage I highlighted in the Introduction to Michio Kaku's book:
In 1920, the [New York] Times criticized rocket scientist Robert Goddard, declaring his work nonsense because rockets cannot move in a vacuum. Forty-nine years later, when Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the moon, the Times, to its credit, ran the retraction: “It is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum. The Times regrets the error.”)Evidence, experiments and proof serve a definite purpose in real science. They help determine what is possible and what is not, and why it is either possible or not possible, while also helping us to understand the universe around us. I find it totally fascinating. But I still wonder what RSMists get out of sitting around and arguing over the definitions of words. And what good is an "hypothesis" that cannot be verified or disproved by experiment? I still wish I could have gotten some RSMist to explain that to me. But, I long ago learned that their response would be that, like Einstein and Hawking and Feynman and Bohr, I'm just too stupid to understand.
September 8, 2015 - A couple days ago I encountered another one of Life's little mysteries. I looked at my web site statistics for September 5 and found that I'd had 47,127 "hits" on that day. A normal day involves less than 300 "hits." The chart below shows how it affected my total "hits" for the month of September.
So, I started an analysis.
I quickly found that 46,856 of those "hits" came from the graniteautogrooming dot com web site in Culver City, California. I also found that all the "hits" were actually failed attempts to POST a log-in file to my site. Here's what the log for a single "hit" looked like (code 404 means it was not allowed):
188.8.131.52 - - [05/Sep/2015:13:54:27 -0500] "POST /wp-login.php HTTP/1.0" 404 - "-" "-"The "attack" began at 13:48:25 (1:48 p.m., EDT) in the afternoon and lasted until 14:10:57 (2:10 p.m.), and during those 22 minutes they attempted about 35 posts per second.
I could find nothing that indicated that graniteautogrooming dot com was some kind of spam site or hacker site. I suppose it's possible that someone just used their wi-fi "hot spot" for a few minutes. The only other thing of interest I found in my logs for that day was that someone in China (IP address: 184.108.40.206) attempted to hack into my site at 11 p.m. that evening, attempting GETs on about 200 different system entry points.
I have no reason to believe they were after me personally. It was almost certainly a computer program someone had written to go through a long list of web sites to try to find a way to hack into the sites. Presumably, they were looking to get some personal information that could be used to gain access to bank accounts or credit cards. I'd encountered such things on my old web site many times over the years. But, this was the first truly noticeable attack on my new site. If you operate a web site, it's one of the things you know is always happening. It isn't just the Pentagon or CIA headquarters that they're trying to hack. They're trying to hack everybody. I imagine it's like fishing. And I'm a fish. The trick is to stay away from dark places and anything that even remotely looks like a hook.
September 7, 2015 - I heard a man and woman screaming for help outside my apartment building at about 9:30 last night.
I was watching a movie I have on DVD, "10,000 BC," which wasn't very good, but it was still watchable. It was a warm night, the balcony door was open, and I heard this screaming from outside. So, I put the movie on pause and went to the balcony door to listen more carefully. Sure enough, some guy was screaming for someone to call 911 and a woman was screaming for help. However, I couldn't see anything because there was a large evergreen tree between me and the voices.
For some reason, all I could think of was an incident from about 30 or 40 years ago when some woman ran screaming onto the porch of my brother's house and began pounding on the door. Her husband needed help. So, my brother and I rushed out to help. Her husband's legs were caught between the bumpers of two cars in their driveway. He'd apparently been standing there when their young son had pushed the gear shift lever out of park and into neutral. The car had rolled forward, pinning the father's legs against the other car.
My brother and I tried to push the car back, but we couldn't get much movement. Meanwhile, the father was screaming about how he was going to lose his legs. Then the wife climbed into the car, started the engine and backed the car away from the other car. End of crisis. No one seriously hurt.
I was thinking of that incident as I put on my shoes, grabbed up my cell phone and keys, locked the door to my apartment, and headed for the downstairs door. As I went out the door and headed across the lawn toward the street, I looked around for some kind of automobile accident. I couldn't see anything. The screaming continued as I hastily crossed the street and walked onto the lawn of the condominium complex on the other side. There was a car parked in the parking lot, but there didn't seem to be anyone in it. The voices were coming from beyond the car. So, I walked on further in search of the screaming voices.
If I had been thinking clearly, I probably would have called 911 as I was walking, but I wanted to know what the problem was. I knew that would be the first thing the 911 operator would ask me.
When I could see around the car, I saw a woman trying to get through the door of one of the condos, and a man seemed to be trying to keep her out. She had her arm and leg through the opening, so he couldn't close the door all the way. The guy was still screaming for someone to call 911, and the woman was screaming for help. To me, it looked like the guy was the one who needed help.
But, I realized it was also time to call 911. So, I opened my cell phone and waited for the device to become active. It seemed to take forever. Meanwhile, I was listening to the screaming. The guy was screaming at the woman because she had thrown paint on his carpet and on the sidewalk outside. And the woman was screaming that she wanted her clothes. The guy was screaming that he owned the "building" and that someone should call 911. The woman was screaming for help.
Finally, the cell phone was operational. I punched 911. I described the situation to the operator and answered her questions. No, there were no guns involved. The people were white. I described how the woman was dressed. And I tried as best I could to describe where the place was located. It was only the second call I had ever made on my cell phone, and I was having a hard time hearing the 911 operator because I kept holding the cell phone like it was a regular phone. On a cell phone that puts my ear against the display screen instead of by the speaker hole. Then, to my surprise, the 911 operator said I could hang up and that I should call again if there was anything else to report.
I wondered if someone else had called. Or maybe they thought I was a crank. I was using an untraceable "burner" phone. I was the only one outside watching the situation. And I'd come from nearly a half-block away. It was a condominium complex across the street from an apartment complex on a quiet Sunday night. But I saw no one else around. I also didn't see any police cars.
So, I walked back across the grass to the street and waited. A Domino's pizza car drove past. I waited some more. Finally, what looked like a patrol car turned the corner onto the street where I was waiting. No lights flashing. No sirens. I waved the car down, and when it came into the light I could verify that it was indeed a patrol car. I pointed at the door where the domestic dispute was taking place. A small black officer climbed out of the car and ran toward the fighting couple, all of his leather-wrapped equipment creaking and flapping as he ran. I think he was also describing the situation to his headquarters, using a radio attached somewhere near his left shoulder.
As I headed back to my apartment, I could hear the condo owner loudly telling the officer that he didn't want to press any charges.
I think the whole affair had taken only about 15 minutes - certainly less than 20. I returned to watching my movie. After all that real excitement, the movie seemed even less interesting. When I went to bed about an hour later, the cop car was still there on the street. A second patrol car may have been there, too. I couldn't be certain because of the evergreen that blocked my view.
Lessons learned: (1) Call 911 before you go to investigate. (2) Remember to hold the phone so that your ear is next to the tiny hole containing the speaker instead of against the display screen. (3) Do not expect that anyone else is going to call 911 or come to help. And (4) try to figure out in advance the best way for the police to find your location and the location of the problem. (The entrance to the condo parking lot was on the next street, a block from where I live, and everything was taking place on side streets off any major street.)
Before going to bed, I took a half-dose of Nyquil to help me sleep. With all that excitement going on just before bed time, it would have been really difficult to stop thinking about it and to fall asleep. I slept the sleep of the innocent.
September 6, 2015 - While I haven't been doing any arguing with Rationalized Semantic Methodists ("RSMists") for well over a week, I did notice that their main Facebook group has switched from an Public Group to a Closed Group. Now only members can see what is being discussed in the group. Hmm. A sign of paranoia, perhaps?
Meanwhile, during breakfast and lunch for the past week I've been reading "Albert Einstein and Relativity for Kids" by Jerome Pohlen." Although it's a "kid's" book, it's very well written, and I thought it might give me some good arguments to use against RSMists, if we ever get into arguing again.
Instead, it contained something that caused me to have to argue with myself and question my own understanding. I found this passage:
The Twin Paradox Returns. Do YOU remember the Twin Paradox thought experiment (page 42) in the chapter on the Special Theory of Relativity? In it, one identical twin rides off to a distant planet and returns at nearly the speed of light, while the other twin stays on Earth. The question was, when they got back together, which twin is older? Your first reaction would be to say neither. The twin on Earth, when viewed by the twin on the spacecraft, raced away just as fast … when viewed by the twin in the spacecraft. Why should either reference frame be special? According to Einstein’s General Theory, the twin in the spacecraft was special because he had to accelerate to get up to the speed of light. Remember the accelerating elevator and the Principle of Equivalence? Acceleration is the same thing as gravity, so when the spacecraft raced off, the astronaut twin experienced a strong acceleration to get up to light speed. It would be the same as being in a strong gravitational field … where time moves slower. So, at last, the Twin Paradox has an answer: the twin on Earth would be older. His clock moved faster.Huh? Acceleration caused Time Dilation in the "Twin Paradox"? The formula for calculating Time Dilation doesn't involve or include acceleration. It involves a fixed rate of speed for a period of time. Furthermore, Einstein's description doesn't mention anything about acceleration (or deceleration):
If at the points A and B of K there are stationary clocks which, viewed in the stationary system, are synchronous; and if the clock at A is moved with the velocity v along the line AB to B, then on its arrival at B the two clocks no longer synchronize, but the clock moved from A to B lags behind the other which has remained at BIt is speed that causes Time Dilation in Einstein's 1905 paper about his Special Theory of Relativity. The word "gravity" isn't used anywhere in that paper. And it was called the "SPECIAL Theory of Relativity" because it was all about uniform motion, i.e., a constant speed without any acceleration or deceleration.
But what about acceleration and deceleration? And gravity? As Jerome Pohlen, the author of the kid's book says, gravity and acceleration are part of the General Theory of Relativity. And, while it seems clear that acceleration did NOT cause one twin to age more than the other twin in the "Twin Paradox," acceleration is the way to determine WHO was moving when two objects appear to move away from each other. We know that when the traveling twin got into his space ship, his space ship did not cause the earth to move away at high speeds, because acceleration was only felt by the traveling twin. The earth-bound twin felt no acceleration. So, we know the traveling twin was the one who was moving.
Furthermore, the Time Dilation experienced by the traveling twin did not only exist during acceleration. We know the Time Dilation effect exists for satellites in orbit, where there is no acceleration, only a constant speed. However, we know that gravity also causes Time Dilation. And, according to Einstein, gravity and acceleration are equivalent. Therefore, acceleration should also cause Time Dilation. That would seem to mean that during the period of time that the traveling twin was accelerating to reach cruising speed, he was getting a "double dose" of Time Dilation.
My head hurts! How come no one in any book I've read has ever mentioned the "double dose" of Time Dilation a space traveler would experience during the time his space ship is accelerating up to cruising speed? Is it because I'm misunderstanding something? One thing is certain: I'm way outside of my "comfort zone" on this. Is there such a thing as a "double dose" of Time Dilation? I don't even know how to find the answer to that. I know there are two Time Dilation factors at work on satellites, speed is slowing down clocks (compared to earth) and gravity is speeding up clocks (compared to earth). But this would be a situation where speed would be slowing down clocks on the space ship while acceleration would also be slowing down clocks on the space ship. I can see that you cannot have too much acceleration without crushing the astronaut. So, only the slow down due to acceleration would not be significant. Whatever the combined effect, it would almost certainly be in the form of a mathematical equation I wouldn't understand unless someone explained it to me.
And, I'm really supposed to be working on my new sci-fi novel.
Writer's Block is a pain in the ass!!
Hmm. I just discovered there's a free graphics software package available called "Paint.net." It has a lot of features that aren't available with Microsoft Paint. And there seem to be dozens of instruction videos on YouTube. I wonder if I can use it instead of having to always go to my old computer to use Photopaint and Corel Draw whenever I want to create a cartoon or an illustration. Hmm.
|Comments for Tuesday, September 1,
2015, thru Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015:
September 4, 2015 - According to The New York Times, French investigators have confirmed "with certainty" that the piece of wing found on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean back in July came from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Unfortunately, the finding doesn't do anything to help pinpoint exactly where Flight MH370 went down.
An Associated Press report from August indicates that a better type of sonar will be used when the search resumes in October. It's currently mid-winter in the search area. The comments following the AP article show that conspiracy theorists are still active on this mystery.
Wing parts with holes does not float 500+ days and 4000++ km ....unless politicians want me to believe aircraft aluminum floats without air.Note that - as it typical with conspiracy theorists - this one believes he knows all there is to know about airplane parts. And if a wing part has a hole or multiple holes in it, then it cannot float. But, as soon as the flaperon was found, people started asking how it could float. And answers appeared on the Internet HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. But, of course, anyone who argues that the flaperon could float could also be part of the massive criminal conspiracy.
September 3, 2015 - Once again, I was finished with all of my on-line chores at about 9 a.m. this morning. So, I studied Albert Einstein's 1905 paper for a bit, just to see if there was anything in it that would be in disagreement with my paper on Time Dilation Revisited. There isn't -- as far as I can tell. Then I laid down on my living room couch and tried to figure out if I should write another "scientific" paper on Time and Time Dilation. I came to the conclusion that the paper I've already written has all that I have to say on the subject, particularly when combined with a lengthy explanation of Time that one character gives to another in the first novel in my 3-book sci-fi series. I can't see turning that explanation into a "scientific paper." It's just a way of visualizing what Time is and how Time works. And, I think it's best that that explanation should first appear in my novel. If I feel it could make an interesting "scientific paper," I'll do it after the first book in the sci-fi series is published -- or self-published.
And that - hopefully - means that maybe I can now focus on developing a story for the 3rd book in the series. Hopefully.
September 2, 2015 - I finished all my on-line chores at about 9 a.m. this morning, so I turned off my computer and laid down on my living room couch to try to come up with a story line for my sci-fi novel. Instead, I started wondering about Einstein's theory of relativity. While I was on-line, I had noticed that the copy of my "scientific paper "Time Dilation Re-visualized" on Academia.edu has been getting a few new readers almost every day recently, while the copy on viXra.org hasn't had any new readers in about a week. Somehow, that caused me to wonder if my explanation for Time Dilation was different from Einstein's explanation. It wasn't intended to be different. I was just using a different kind of "clock" to measure Time. And, incidentally, I provided my understanding of what actually causes Time Dilation without fully understanding Einstein's explanation. I made it clear in the paper that it was just my understanding.
As I lay on my couch, I started wondering about Einstein's understanding. Did our understandings agree or disagree? So, I got off the couch, returned to my office/library, and I took a another, more focused look at Einstein's 1905 paper. The paper is titled "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies." That was good. My re-visualization involved electrodynamics, not gravity or spacetime.
Einstein's paper, however, is mostly about simultaneity and how it is very difficult (or impossible) to be certain that two clocks in two different places in the universe are showing the exact same time, since there is no stationary, fixed measuring point (or medium) to use as a "standard." I dug through the paper for an hour or so but couldn't find anything to compare to my "re-visualization" of the cause of Time Dilation There is no disagreement that I can find. It's just a very different view of things. This is probably going to be a very bad simile, but it's like reading a zoologist's view of a cow versus reading a butcher's view of a cow. Except for general size and appearance, there are probably no meaningful points for comparison.
Nuts! Now I'm going to be thinking of that instead of my new book. How does my view of the cause of Time Dilation fit with a cosmologist's view? I've never seen nor heard any cosmologist explain things the way I explained them. Whenever they talk about it, they seem to go off into some incoherent ramble about relativity - as if it is something they've memorized but cannot explain. We do not seem to be in disagreement, but where are we in agreement? Hmm.
September 1, 2015 - I actually awoke this morning trying to come up with a story line for my sci-fi novel. I didn't come up with anything solid, but the process of knocking around ideas may have helped me sort some things out. The biggest problem I have is that the situation doesn't lend itself well to introducing new characters. So, even though the situation doesn't involve a laboratory or any microscopes, it is still somewhat like having two or three people spending long days and nights in a lab looking into microscopes as they try to solve a major mystery. And it's all ultra-top-secret, so they cannot easily talk with other people about what they're doing. It seemed to work okay in the first two books, but I want to find a way to get more characters into the third book.
The question is: Will a good story idea come to me while I'm sitting here at my computer writing about the problem? Or should I turn off my computer and go in the other room and stare at the walls? Or should I read a novel? Or should I go for a walk? I'm getting a headache. Maybe a couple aspirins will help.