Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Big Bang

Good Morning, It’s Sunday Morning Links

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* A rare correction: actually your pets will burn in hell. gerrycanavan.wordpress.com regrets the error.

* Watch out, modern-day slaves, the Pope might un-denounce your exploitation next!

* Sad update: Cheryl Abbate has been run out of Marquette.

Adding that to the explicitly military and overseas contingency funding, the real dimensions of the US military-intelligence-police-prison complex begin to come into view: a staggering $830 billion, more than 80 cents out of every dollar in the funding bill, is devoted to killing, spying on, imprisoning or otherwise oppressing the people of the world, including the American people.

* The federal government is using data gimmicks to mask the true scope of homelessness.

* Is It Bad Enough Yet?

* To end police violence, we must end policing as we know it.

* Timelapse video reveals massive size of New York City protests.

Ferguson to Increase Police Ticketing to Close City’s Budget Gap.

* Point/counterpoint: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says torture is totally legit. Ex-NFL punter Chris Kluwe says maybe not.

“I resign. Happy? Goodbye.”

* But what we do know is that the histories of slavery and of capitalism look very different if we understand them in relation to each other. The next time we walk the streets of Lower Manhattan or the grounds of Harvard University, we should think at least in passing of the millions of enslaved workers who helped make some of that grandeur possible, and to the ways that slavery’s legacy persists today.

* U.S. Schools Saying Goodbye to Foreign Languages. Horrible.

* Cruel optimism we can believe in: What if Democrats had their own Tea Party–esque rebellion? Why the Democratic Party could seriously change — for real, this time.

* Ever Say Never Again: On the History and Future of James Bond.

* Scientists think the Big Bang could’ve created a mirror universe where time flows backward.

* What are the bastards ruining now? Buffy.

* Oh, also Blade Runner.

Is Studying Buffy the Vampire Slayer More Important Than Studying Shakespeare? I say teach the controversy.

* I think I would say Freddie is probably the worst possible spokesperson for the conversation the feminist left should be having in the wake of the Rolling Stone UVA scandal. But no one else seems to want to talk about it at all.

* Meanwhile, Matt Fraction walks away from Twitter.

As recruitment dips, TFA leader says New York training site to close.

* The word you’re looking for is “racism.” Just say “racism.”

The Real Story Of Apollo 17… And Why We Never Went Back To The Moon.

* A Tolkien true believer vs. the nerds.

Hear Philip K. Dick Talk About SF And The Mainstream In 1976.

* Playboy ranks every Star Trek episodes. “Mirror, Mirror” at #3 is a deeply weird choice. And “Arena” at #6 is just insane.

They did a TV movie where the McCallisters get divorced? Pretty dark, Home Alone!

* Portuguese Street Artist Creates Stunning 3D Graffiti That Seems To Float In The Air.

* The Hobbit: A Middle-Earth Workplace.

* Now it’s the Kindle version of Green Planets that has inexplicably gone on deep discount for the weekend, if you’re in the market. And don’t forget to pre-order The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction, out in January!

* And they say our society is no longer capable of achieving great things: This scientist solved the mystery of belly button lint.

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Weekend Links

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* By allying us with its protagonist, Gravity universalizes its image of exploited female labor, sells it back to its entire audience, men and women alike. Gravity shows a contemporary ideal of femininity still more sinister than the pinup. It presents woman as an intricate machine, strapped to dozens of wires, working her ass off with the goal of appearing weightless.

* We were born too late: …in the early universe, as Loeb speculates in a paper published in Astrobiology late last year, everything would have been a habitable zone.

* Terry Gilliam thinks he could have screwed up Watchmen waaaaaaay worse than Zack Snyder.

* Another day, another Title IX class action against a major university.

Students Joke About Raping Student Union President, Then Threaten to Sue Her.

Objectification, Humiliation and the Liberal Arts.

* Surprising minimum wage jobs.

Wisconsin income gap widening faster than nation as a whole.

* New Study Confirms It: Breast-Feeding Benefits Have Been Drastically Overstated.

* Man Wakes Up In Body Bag At Funeral Home. Wow.

* Chomsky on academic labor. Life off the tenure track at Boise State.

Polynesian seafarers discovered America long before Europeans, says DNA study.

* Watch Six Colorado Senate Candidates Deny Climate Change Exists In 18 Seconds.

* Inception: The Board Game.

* Man, the rich are different.

“While the entire U.S. population has increased about one-third over the last 30 years, the Federal prison population has increased at a staggering rate of 800 percent, currently totaling nearly 216,000 inmates and currently operates at a 33 percent overcapacity. One-half of those Federal prison populations are drug offenses. While some of them are truly dangerous persons, as Deputy Attorney General Cole said, many of them are first-timers, and by possession only, wound up under Federal laws, the crack cocaine laws, in the Federal system”, she said.

Researchers Find CTE In A Soccer Player For The First Time.

This Is What Discrimination Against Pregnant Workers Looks Like.

When May I Shoot a Student?

Twelve Fixed, Eternal Commandments for Academic Job Candidates.

* The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from: Wachowskis prepping new Matrix prequel trilogy.

* And I think we should all just agree this is the true ending to Harry Potter now.

Wednesday Night’s All Right for Procrastinating

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* How to Be an Academic Failure: An Introduction for Beginners.

* Rape culture: In 31 states, rapists have paternal rights, and can even sue for custody.

* Laurie Penny: Rapists are evil people. They’re not nice blokes who everybody respects who simply happen to think it’s ok to stick your dick in a teenager who’s sleeping in the same bed as you, without a condom. This guy seemed, if anything, confused as to why I was scrabbling for my things and bolting out the door. He even sent me an email a few days later, chiding me for being rude.

* A new scientific theory suggests that Big Bang was actually a phase shift: a Big Freeze.

* Terrors of a True Believer: MOOCs and the Precarity Problem.

Despite our gut-level hunch about the direction of the language; despite the fact that 70-cent, three-minute, off-peak, coast-to-coast long-distance calls that cost four inflation-adjusted dollars in 1970 are now free; despite cheap travel, YouTube, and the globalization of film and television, American dialects are actually diverging.

There are multiple examples of such divergence. But none is as dramatic, as baffling to linguists, and as mysteriously under the collective radar as what’s happening in the cities that ring the Great Lakes. From Syracuse, N.Y., in the east to Milwaukee in the west, 34 million Americans are revolutionizing the sound of English.

Now, as the “Freedom Tower” reaches its full height, the inside story of boondoggles, self-dealing, common corruption, and why it’s all taken so long.

“I know that we have members of the media here right now, so I’m not going to go through that in great detail.” Not to make a whole thing out of it, but it’s amazing he’s able to get away with this.

* And David Cross teases even more Arrested Development than you’d dared to hope.

Before the Beginning

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Roger Penrose thinks he’s discovered proof of what existed before the Big Bang.

The Big Bang model holds that everything that now comprises the universe was once concentrated in a single point of near-infinite density. Before this singularity exploded and the universe began, there was absolutely nothing – indeed, it’s not clear whether one can even use the term “before” in reference to a pre-Big-Bang cosmos, as time itself may not have existed yet. In the current model, the universe began with the Big Bang, underwent cosmic inflation for a fraction of a second, then settled into the much more gradual expansion that is still going on, and likely will end with the universe as an infinitely expanded, featureless cosmos.

Sir Roger Penrose, one of the most renowned physicists of the last fifty years, takes issue with this view. He points out that the universe was apparently born in a very low state of entropy, meaning a very high degree of order initially existed, and this is what made the complex matter we see all around us (and are composed of) possible in the first place. His objection is that the Big Bang model can’t explain why such a low entropy state existed, and he believes he has a solution – that the universe is just one of many in a cyclical chain, with each Big Bang starting up a new universe in place of the one before.

How does this help? Well, Penrose posits the end of each universe will involve a return to low entropy. This is because black holes suck in all the matter, energy, and information they encounter, which works to remove entropy from our universe. (Where that entropy might go is another question entirely.) The universe’s continued expansion into eventual nothingness causes the black holes themselves to evaporate, which ultimately leaves the universe in a highly ordered state once again, ready to contract into another singularity and set off the next Big Bang.

As alternative theories go, it’s not without its merits, but there’s no evidence to support it…until now. He says he’s found evidence for his ideas in the cosmic microwave background, the microwave radiation that permeates the universe and was thought to have formed 300,000 years after the Big Bang, providing a record of the universe at that far distant time. Penrose and his colleague Vahe Gurzadyan have discovered clear concentric circles within the data, which suggests regions of the radiation have much smaller temperature ranges than elsewhere.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 19, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Wednesday Morning Papers Didn’t Come

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* And now they’ve taken away the Big Bang, too.

* The Internets have gone crazy with the happy news that Prop 8 has been overturned. Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gays and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.

* The president would have you believe that today is his birthday. Don’t be fooled! Wake up, sheeple!

* Arrested Development movie “half-done.” I half-believe it!

* Wyclef Jean to run for president of Haiti.

* A Very Harold and Kumar Inception.

* And Edge of the American West has your tragic political dare of the day:

Modern Republicans can’t possibly oppose both the Dred Scott decision and the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment, which reverses it.

[quiet weeping]