Cluster Map

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Last blog before Canada! July 6-8, 2010

LAST BLOG FOR A FEW WEEKS:  (I apologize for the crazy fonts, this blogger software has a mind of its own.)

We are going off to Canada on Sunday to spend some time with Hadass, David and kids at Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba

 It should be a nice relaxing experience for all of us and we are looking forward to it.  For ten days we will not see a newspaper with a quote from Lieberman.  If we blog with the Acer, it will be on the YandA  blog and people who are interested will be informed of posting and can log in and be bored.

The world cup is down to the  finals with the Dutch and the Spaniards squaring off on Sunday, while we, alas, fly over the Atlantic.  Maybe Air Canada will show us the match--watch a FIFA slide show.  I agree with Roger Cohen that there is something attractive about the ethnically diverse German team that sent the stars of Latin America packing.  Still, I have some residual sympathy for The Netherlands with memories of visits there when Hadass was a student.   Poor Uruguay carried a heavy burden for a whole continent.but it comes down to Europe this time.  The match between Spain and Germany surprised a bit.  The Germans did not seem to be the same players who trashed England and Argentina.  The Spaniards are the European Champions and showed the quality.
It really comes down to money--you see the best players from all over the world playing in the Premier Leagues of Europe because that is where the money is.  There are European players, such as Beckham, who play in the MLS in the USA  but for them it is mainly a retirement league.

Before we continue with nice things, I would like to share with you an interview with the filmmaker
Michael Moore

He makes a valid point that being a citizen in a democracy automatically involves being an activist.  Without activism, there is no democracy.  Tom Paine had the same idea.  So let us wish a happy birthday to a great activist whom I have long admired, His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Please sign the greeting provided by our friends from AVAAZ.

Two more birthdays fall this week on July 7.  Gustav Mahler age 150  and Ringo Starr age 70.
As we know, Gustav wrote some cool drum music, but he never got the marketing opportunities that Ringo has enjoyed over the years.


I have some interesting links for you for the next few weeks

With the 4th of July just behind us, it is interesting to see what analysis of the
original of the Declaration of Independence can tell us of the mindset of Thomas Jefferson
as he wrote it. 

The Planck Orbiting Observatory has just released its picture of the galaxy-for more details see the Bad Astronomy blog along side.  Planck observes the sky from the far infrared all the way out to near radio frequencies, detecting cold gas and dust, star forming regions, and even the subtle and cooling glow of the background fire from the Big Bang itself. In this image, infrared is blue, and the longer wavelengths (out toward the radio part of the spectrum) are progressively more red. It shows the whole sky, which is why the image is an oval; that keeps the map from getting too distorted (like how maps of the Earth are distorted near the edges).
  Because this picture records only light at long wavelengths (microwaves to the very far infrared), what we actually see are not stars at all.  Rather, what we see is the stuff that goes into making stars - lots of dust and gas.Of particular note are the huge streamers of cold dust that reach thousands of light-years above and below the galactic plane.
"What you see is the structure of our galaxy in gas and dust, which tells us an awful lot about what is going on in the neighborhood of the Sun; and it tells us a lot about the way galaxies form when we compare this to other galaxies," observed Professor Andrew Jaffe, a Planck team member from Imperial College London, UK.
But as beautiful as the Milky Way appears, its emission must be removed if scientists are to get an even better view of its mottled backdrop, colored here in magenta and yellow 
Too wonderful for words.

In the meantime, we still do not know whether the Japanese comet sample return mission was successful--we are eager to see if Hayabusa brought home the goodies. 

From the Big to the small, inside us in fact:  For the past few blogs I have been telling you how physics is being stood on its head.  It now appears that biology and biochemistry will have to revamp their  picture of 
how enzymes function inside a cell.  
As Alice said, everything is getting curiouser and curiouser  It seems that even evolution can happen faster than ever believed
given the right stimulus, such as the need for adaptation of Tibetans to altitude and our tolerance of lactose..
Dreams have long been a mystery.  Freud wrote a book about them as have many others since.  Even in the Bible, Pharaoh's dreams had political results.  Now there is new research about dreams
and their role in problem solving in the waking world. 
Bad news for folks  with blood pressure issues.   
Fructose may be another source of trouble.

Bouncing Feynman around
This is a cool experiment
that Feynman would have liked even if it proved him wrong and here is something close to home
that is of particular interest to us.

Bob Park rants, but he rants on something non-political, so I put him here
to continue to spread the world on cell phones and fairy tales. 

 The rant blog was terrible, as it is every week.  Even   Below the Beltway is 
a bit sad this week as we see another legend of our past get trashed, this time literally.