Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dinosaurs! And a bit more on time...

One second used to be defined as 1/86,400 the length of a day. However, Earth’s rotation isn’t perfectly reliable. Tidal friction from the sun and moon slows our planet and increases the length of a day by 3 milli­seconds per century. This means that in the time of the dinosaurs, the day was just 23 hours long.

New bike technology

With the press of a button, the Shimano Di2 derailleur on this $10,000 Merida Scultura 909 road-racer automatically eases you into that next gear. Now shipping on select bicycles, the Di2 system features a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery (lasting 1,000 kilometers or 621 miles) powering an integrated CPU that monitors and adjusts the front and rear derailleurs to keep them perfectly trimmed. The system allows you to shift 30% faster (as fast as you can move your finger) than with mechanical derailleurs -- even under load while cycling out of the saddle

Great for mechanics!

I'm off diet coke and light cheese.

Not that I had them in combination before, but both are being cut out of the diet. Diet coke for the aspartame (2nd) and light cheese for the taste. Now, I may slip back into light cheese for nachos, simply cuz so much cheese is required, but yeah, for around the house, real cheese tastes so good!

Something to try:

Song of the Day: Megan Washington - Clementine

Bathtub IV from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Awesome tilt-shift photography video. Now, fair warning, she is Australian.

Got me thinking of how many songs with Clementine as their title. There are a few, all very different really. Here's a download of some of the other versions here (44mb - Cash, Beiderbecke, Bobby freakin' Darin does a bit of a parody, etc). And yes, I am clearly crazy. Oh, and the Megan Washington Clementine.

Speaking of Higgs Boson..

Discovering the higgs boson through meta-analysis of the available data. As a heads up, this article is a touch heavy on the math.

Sometimes one has to step back and see the grand picture on what this all means... Theoretical physics and physics in general. We and everything we know are made up of these tiny tiny things. Physicists have come up with theories and have made more and more powerful machines to be able to find the answer to what our parameters are; where is the ball park, how big is it, can it be manipulated, can we go out on the field, can we get out of the ballpark, etc.. Such a crazy idea to think how this all formed, and billions are spent each year to come that much closer to the truth. And even crazier, these little particles of truth are not even particles; they're some sort of mix of a tangible particle and a spread of energy and occupies a multiple number of locations depending how and when you look at it - which is even crazier!

For example, this changes the way I think of photosynthesis, light, electrons, quantum physics, and life: Quantum Biology.
GREAT ARTICLE and simple to read. Extolling the virtues of green tea and free-radicals.

Walrus Article on Theoretical Physics in Waterloo

Excellent article and definitely worth the read if you have any interest in theoretical physics...

Turok’s vision, backed by Lazaridis’s millions, offers theoretical physicists a crucial shot of confidence at a time when critics both inside and outside the field are accusing physics of losing its way, with ever more abstruse theories drifting further and further from observed reality.

On the Perimeter Institute website you can watch passed lectures!!!

Also, order tickets for upcoming lectures... I wonder if UofT does something like this.. All I can think of is the once a month lectures and telescope viewings at UofT and York.

Also, I can't remember where I read it, but a really interesting idea was brought up with time as a dimension, malleable and flexible just as any other dimension. Now, I need to read a bit more about this, but, as the theory goes, time is not a constant and also began with the big bang theory. It hasn't been around forever; just as there isn't infinite space (our universe is contained and the space is defined) so is time. It has a beginning and an end, and like space, it bends. Anyway, the argument is that the rapid expansion of the universe (that worries so many re: the eventual end of the universe (zero energy, zero Kelvin, etc...)) is actually a byproduct of time slowing down... Let me rephrase, the accelerating expansion is an illusion produced by the slowing of time. Anyway, cool theory, and I'll try to post it if I find it again...

EDIT: ahh.. here it is:

Irma Thomas

Referenced in the Joel Plaskett song, "ROLLIN’, ROLLIN’, ROLLIN’" Lyrics to Joel's version there. I'll be posting the album soon.


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Great shot:

And today: Fantastic! So fucked up, so weird, but true.