Friday, January 30, 2009

Dark Dogma

Over the past several months I have visited many websites, participated in many discussions, and read many articles. In doing this, I have noticed a trend that frankly makes me sad.

I am a fan of science for several reasons, one of which is what is supposed to be an open minded approach to competing theories, such that those theories carry a certain amount logical gravitas. With that said, I am getting tired of the Dark Matter and Dark Energy dogma that seems more like a religious faith based endeavor than a legitimate speculative theory.

Case in point, article after article on this topic is published, yet you see nothing covering the competing theories. The argument is that the competing theories are "hogwash", and don't deserve face time. As far as I'm concerned, Dark Matter/Energy (DME from now on) is also hogwash, because none of it can be proved.

DME was made up to cover the butts of scientists who developed broken equations. There is a significant flaw in the current gravity based model of the universe. Time after time we observe things in the universe that are "unexpected" or "surprising", and time after time I find that the scientific community is more apt to add another invisible element to the baseline, rather than rethink the baseline itself. There are many articles published weekly showing this occurrence, so if you ever have the inclination, you can find this for yourself.

What's more disturbing are that competing theories are laughed at, or constantly scolded for being radical. Yeah, those round earth people were SO lame. And I'm telling you, the sun revolves around the earth. Er. Wait a minute. Get my point? History is littered with radical ideas that, in time, were found to be true. Since when did Astrophysics become so sacrosanct that this reasoning doesn't apply?

I am fascinated by competing theories, because I believe there are truths to be found in all of them. I don't think any one theory holds everything together, but that through looking at different theories, one can find the whole truth, and not just the part that gets you more funding for meaningless or unprovable research. Examples of this are the Electric Universe Theory, which is principally pushed by Wallace Thornhill & Dr. Anthony Peratt and the Unified Field Theory of Nassim Haramein.

Both of these theories are amazing in their approach, and although I'm not a 100% "band wagoner" for either of them, I do find certain parts of their arguments to be very compelling and logical. Where EU falls short is in the mathematical modeling sector, but since Plasma Physics is a relatively new principle discipline, this somewhat makes sense. What they do provide is a lot of visual evidence to support their theory. In many ways, the universe does behave like that of plasma physics experiments. The UFT model of Haramein is loaded with mathematical calculations and proofs, but they have yet to apply a grand scale prediction using their model.

Here is what I love about just these two theories; EU doesn't believe black holes exist and UFT thinks black holes are everywhere, from the micro to the macro scale. I am open minded enough to see the point of view of both of these. Why can't main stream science be the same?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Voting on Hubble's Next Target

NASA has decided to let the public decide where to point Hubble next. You can go to the NASA website and select one of six options. Okay, so it's not exactly a free-for-all form of suggestions, because some schmuck might say, "Zoom in on the Martian face!" Hubble's a bit near sighted, and last I checked, couldn't focus on anything in our solar system very well to begin with.

So, I can see why they'd offer up some pre-selected options and have the public vote on that. However, I am severely disappointed in the options. Whoopie-fraggin-do! What they've selected is frankly...boring. How about this, focus on Alpha Centauri, our closest star? Talk about being able to get some great resolution shots. Plus, being so relatively close, maybe a planet or two would pop up, or asteroids.

We always focus on objects that are so far away that we'll never reach them in our lifetime, or even a few generations down the line. But AC, Alpha and I are tight like that, AC could be reached if we dedicate some serious thrust into making better thrust. At least it's more reachable, 4.3 ly, than something several hundred million lightyears away.

Mars Rover Spirit Becomes a Teen

Okay, so apparently the Mars Rover Spirit has come of age and started dating and sneaking out of the house. Well, sorta. After several years of being the "good son", it seems the time for lashing out has begun.

According to the report from space.com, "...it has not beamed home a record of its weekend activities and, more puzzling, apparently failed to even record any of its actions on Sunday, mission managers said."

What they don't mention is that MRO has pictures of it drawing the Metallica emblem in the Martian soil. Sounds to me like the teen years have started. Let's just hope we don't get any Martian parents knocking on our door complaining that their daughter has missed her cycle.

Schools Dropping Cursive Writing?

This was apparently a topic on Fox and Friends this morning, which was brought to my attention by a Facebook friend of mine. Here are my thoughts.

Cursive gone? Bye bye. Who cares? Look, writing styles evolve. We no longer write in Old English, with big fancy letters that take 30 minutes to make. Before taking my GRE this past December, I had not written in cursive in over 10 years. Last I checked, Sanskrit and Hieroglyphics aren't exactly used anymore either.

Writing evolves as man does. Now it's about electronic media and typing. Hand writing is seldom done, and if it is, writing in print is perfectly legible. So, should cursive be removed from being taught? Sure, and replace it with lessons on how to properly manage your money in the real world, because right now, that's WAY more important than fancy writing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Power of the PS3

First, I'll credit the source...

Playstation 3 Consoles Tackle Black Hole Vibrations

By Tariq Malik
Senior Editor
posted: 28 January 2009
9:00 am ET

This article is very interesting, not because of the scientific simulation, because I'm not very interested in simulations of things we cannot gather real data on to prove. Simulations follow the GIGO principle to me. We have yet to record gravity waves, but it seems to be the mantra that we conduct all experiments and simulations based on this theory.

What IS fascinating about this article is the method by which they ran the simulation. A PS3 cluster. That's a great idea! Look at the money they'll save once they start running more simulations on that system. It'll basically pay for itself after just the 2nd run.

Necessity is the mother of invention. In today's economic climate, it will be interesting to see how people "invent" ways to get the jobs done, especially in the scientific community. A fellow member of the space.com forum made an astute observation, "I can see this leading to a situation where scientific laypeople like myself can lend their PS3, via the internet, to generate new knowledge. I'm game."

If that is possible, imagine 5,000 people "loaning" their PS3's to perform scientific calculations. Sweet.

This is a Must Watch

Nothing does my heart better (for space) than the X-Prize Foundation. Aside from the fact that I've have met and partied with Peter Diamandis (yes, name dropping, but cool), I find that what the X-Prize Foundation does is essential to the advancement of the human species in space exploration. This video represents this organization well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K4zosGUMBw

The Almighty and Space Science

I find it very interesting that religion comes up frequently in the space.com article forums I participate in. Granted, most of the time it's Trolls stirring up the pot for their own personal amusement, but in some cases the argument is valid based on the topic.

Example: Every time an article comes up with respect to the origin of the universe, typically a Big Bang theory article, someone pops off that God is the answer and that we should either give up the search or accept our ignorance and just move on to other things. Of course, I have a huge issue with this.

First, I don't believe in God, so that argument is hogwash. I can hear the gasps now. The funny thing is, my lack of belief doesn't make me a bad person. Just ask the people that know me. I'm quite personable, fun loving and fun to be around. My lack of belief in an established God or religion does not affect my moral compass. I know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil, just and unjust. But for some, the notion of no God is internally destructive, so their belief grounds them to morality. This is the awesomeness of tolerance and acceptance, for I can totally understand that and I have no issues there. Just don't force your God on me.

With that said, the notion that God would create this grand universe and then NOT want us to explore and learn it is ridiculous. One would think, logically, that if God was pulling the strings and He wanted us to stay put, he would have directly prevented us from becoming the inquisitive, intelligent, problem solving kind of species we are. The best way to keep a species from getting too far away from the nest is to keep them too stupid and limited to do anything about it. Humans are not limited that way.

We are a curious bunch. We thrive on discovery, enlightenment and mental advancement. We yearn to learn. These are facts, not opinions, so it's built into our DNA that we strive to learn these complex universal lessons. We'll settle the moon because we must. We'll settle Mars because we must. We'll learn the secrets of the universe because we must. Anything less is devolution, and I for one don't feel like reverting back to an amoeba.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NASA and the Obama Administration

I am very curious to see what direction NASA will take with the new Obama Administration. It is obvious that America is in an awful situation. However, I DO NOT think we're even close to the Great Depression. America is far too diverse and advanced to fall into the pit that the Great Depression caused.

Although, I'm not very happy about the direction our government is going with respect to bailouts and basically printing money. We're damn near becoming a Star Trek society, not out of a humanitarian effort to abolish money and support each other as humans, but because the value of the dollar is going to become such that it's basically worthless. But that's a different topic.

NASA's job, as I see it, is to be the Lewis and Clark of space exploration. Government does the crazy, radical exploration & development by cutting down the wild brush and the private sector (SpaceX, Bigelow, Armadillo, etc) come afterwards and trample down the path for all of us to walk on. With this in mind adequate funding should be provided to advance technology, and I don't mean the ass backwards Orion Project, where we've reverted to a capsule from a shuttle, but enabling NASA to go to the moon not for a PR stunt, but to go there with the intent of building a large infrastructure for permanent settlement. Apollo revisited is NOT the right path.

It is also time for our government to support the private space industry as it has never done before. Tax incentives for the technological advancements and research they provide, which also include the hiring of people to accomplish those tasks. Job building. These technologies can also be used for Earth bound applications such as environmental, energy, etc.

Although I don't believe this to be the Great Depression, one parallel can be drawn. From the Great Depression we emerged as an industrial and automotive powerhouse, using those industries to refortify our nation. From today's crisis we should emerge as a technological and space faring powerhouse, using private space exploration and development to refortify our nation. The next evolution of man will be brought forth by the ingenuity, imagination and constructive capability of the United States of America...as it should be.

The Beginning

From this day forward, if it's on my mind, it will be said on here. I might even post several things a day, but in the end, it is my hope that this Blog will serve as a voice of reason, a lean towards common sense, and occasionally be humorous regarding the world of science, technology, politics and world events.

Regards