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Archive for October, 2006

(from New Scientist)25751201.jpg

In everyday life, of course, locality is a given. You’re over there, I’m over here; neither of us is anywhere else. Even in Einstein’s theory of relativity, where distances and timescales can change depending on an observer’s reference frame, an object’s location in space-time is precisely defined. What Susskind is saying, however, is that locality in this classical sense is a myth. Nothing is what, or rather, where it seems.

This is more than just a mind-bending curiosity. It tells us something new about the fundamental workings of the universe. Strange as it may sound, the fate of an elephant in a black hole has deep implications for a “theory of everything” called quantum gravity, which strives to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity, the twin pillars of modern physics. Because of their enormous gravity and other unique properties, black holes have been fertile ground for researchers developing these ideas.

 For more reading:

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/fundamentals/mg19225751.200-the-elephant-and-the-event-horizon.html

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A Spaceship made of plastic gets you halfway into Mars. distantshores3_med.jpg

NASA astronauts have been in space, off and on, for 45 years. Except for a few quick trips to the moon, though, they’ve never spent much time far from Earth. Deep space is filled with protons from solar flares, gamma rays from newborn black holes, and cosmic rays from exploding stars. A long voyage to Mars, with no big planet nearby to block or deflect that radiation, is going to be a new adventure!

The greatest threat to astronauts in route to Mars is galactic cosmic rays–or “GCRs” for short. These are particles accelerated to almost light speed by distant supernova explosions. The most dangerous GCRs are heavy ionized nuclei such as Fe+26.  GCRs barrel through the skin of spaceships and people like tiny cannon balls, breaking the strands of DNA molecules, damaging genes and killing cells.

Plastics are rich in hydrogen–an element that does a good job absorbing cosmic rays. Polyethylene is a good shielding material because it has high hydrogen content, and hydrogen atoms are good at absorbing and dispersing radiation. In fact, researchers have been studying the use of polyethylene as a shielding material for some timeA form of reinforced polyethylene developed at the Marshall Space Flight Center is 10 times stronger than aluminum, and lighter, too. This could become a material of choice for the spaceship!

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Louise attaque

Yep, another French group ….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRvp39yYeIE

In a vain attempt to learn french out of music….

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Some music from Dionysos

Song for a Jedi…..

About their video clip…well …..hmmm, what can one say? Alternative?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rDHvbJwytc

Miss Acacia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WixcFmkIqmU

Encore un autre clip bizarre. Mais j’aime bien la music. Amusé vous bien!  (Je pratique mon Français maintenant 🙂 )

 

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It is a dilemma which underlies China’s energy crisis and has wider global implications.

China does not have enough electricity to power its economic boom.  It suffered a record shortage of 30 million kilowatts this year, with many areas facing power cuts.

The International Energy Agency predicts the country will account for more than a fifth of the growth in world energy demand in the next 25 years – and for more than a quarter of the increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Some two-thirds of the country’s power comes from coal and coal products, the cheapest and dirtiest forms of energy.

This exacts a very real human toll – official figures say 400,000 Chinese citizens die a year from diseases related to air pollution, and, according to the World Bank, 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in China.

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(extract from BBC News)

What do you think it will happen when world energy natural resources will reach its deadline? 

Will China and US turn green? Will it outbreak a war ?

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Argentina’s Upsala Glacier : it is disappearing at a rate of 200 metres per year.

Some scientists say an increase in the rate of melting of the world’s glaciers is evidence of global warming. Others say its reduction is due to complicated shifts in glacial dynamics and local geology.

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This is a section of shoreline at Cape Hatteras in North Carolina in the USA.

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Peace Nobel Prize

yunus.jpgSorry fellows this post comes with some days delay as we “tugas” say: “mais vale tarde que nunca”

The Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006, divided into two equal parts, to Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank for their efforts to create economic and social development from below. Lasting peace can not be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty. Micro-credit is one such means.

Herein I  give you some links to some of Yunus great books on micro-credit his autobiography:

Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty 1586481983.gif

Banker to the Poor is an inspiring memoir of the birth of microcredit, written in a conversational tone that makes it both moving and enjoyable to read. The Grameen Bank is now a $2.5 billion banking enterprise in Bangladesh, while the microcredit model has spread to over 50 countries worldwide, from the U.S. to Papua New Guinea, Norway to Nepal. Ever optimistic, Yunus travels the globe spreading the belief that poverty can be eliminated: “…the poor, once economically empowered, are the most determined fighters in the battle to solve the population problem; end illiteracy; and live healthier, better lives. When policy makers finally realize that the poor are their partners, rather than bystanders or enemies, we will progress much faster that we do today.”

ISBN:1891620118

http://www.amazon.fr/Banker-Poor-Micro-Lending-Against-Poverty/dp/1586481983/sr=8-2/qid=1161112837/ref=sr_1_2/171-1473749-1013855?ie=UTF8&s=english-books

Banker to the Poor: The Autobiography of Muhammad Yunus

ISBN: 1854106643

http://www.amazon.fr/Banker-Poor-Autobiography-Muhammad-Grameen/dp/0195795377/sr=1-7/qid=1161113029/ref=sr_1_7/171-1473749-1013855?ie=UTF8&s=english-books

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