Friday, October 30, 2009

Awesome website

For more on the Large Hadron Collider, I was sent this pretty awesome website by Cate.

The website, as simple as it is, amuses me greatly. Mainly because it will never change. Other similar websites, like, answer the question of if it is currently Christmas. But these websites change - on Christmas, the no will become a yes, if only for a day.

However, with, the "nope" will never become a yes. I mean, I'm just assuming that if it does destroy the world, the person who controls the website won't be able to change it. But I guess that raises a philosophical question: If a webpage is updated, and no one is there to view it, does it really change?

In the bummer of the day, it appears has changed to some sports betting site. This is terrible news. Now how will I know if it is Tuesday? it is a good thing I don't have anything on Tuesdays, or my world would be in turmoil.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sabotaged from the Future

It's been a while, my apologies for the delay. Busy times mean less blawegsome. Anyway, here we are.

In Switzerland, a group called CERN has built a massive particle accelerator. It's called the Large Hadron Collider, it's an 18 MILE long particle accelerator built underground designed to smash photons into each other at 99% the speed of light. The purpose of the collider is to find the Higgs boson particle, also called the "God Particle," which is believed to give all matter it's mass. Finding the particle could shed light on the origin of the universe. This is as real as it gets.

Unfortunately, the project hasn't exactly run smoothly. In October 2005, a technician was killed in the tunnel when a crane load was dropped on him. In March 2007, a magnet broke during a test. Turns out the insulation wasn't thick enough to deal with the forces of the magnets used. It's computer network was hacked in August 2008. In September of 2008, there was a rupture of some helium tanks during powering tests. Then, in July 2009, two vacuum leaks were found when they tried to fire it up.

To the normal observer, it may seem like these are a string of unforeseeable and unrelated coincidences. Perhaps. But consider the view of Danish physicist Dr Holger Bech Nielsen and Dr Masao Ninomiya from Japan. These guys say that the project is being sabotaged...FROM THE FUTURE. Specifically, the forces of nature will ripple back through time to stop the particle from being discovered.

Now, these guys aren't saying that the particle is eventually found and goes back in time to destroy itself. That's the time travel paradox - if you go back in time to stop yourself from existing in the first place, you could not do that because you never would have existed. So while you can't go back in time and kill your grandfather, you COULD go back in time to keep him from being hit by a bus. These scientists say that's what is going on here - If CERN finds the particle, it would destroy the Universe, and something is going back in time to keep the Universe from getting hit by a bus.

I admire these scientists for working the system. Cause here's what they've done: they're saying that the CERN project, one of the most complex and advanced scientific projects ever, will continue to experience problems. Yes, I believe that juggler with 24 balls in the air will drop one every once in a while. And their justification for their theory? It's happening from the future! Perfect - because you cannot prove them wrong. At least not yet...

Personally though, I am going to side with the the scientists' future-saboteur theory here. When time travel becomes available, of course people are going to want to go into the past and mess with stuff. That's just human nature. But let's just assume these guys are right for a second. If finding the particle would indeed destroy the universe, then there would be nothing or no one TO come back and keep the particle from being discovered.

Consider the 2007 incident. Fermilab director Pier Oddone stated "In this case we are dumbfounded that we missed some very simple balance of forces"
From where I'm sitting there are only two possible explanations:

1) A group of the smartest physicists in the entire world "missed some very simple balance of forces," and all these other accidents are pure coincidences, OR

2) The project is being sabotaged from the future.

I'm going with 2. Of course, this means that time travel is created without the finding of the God particle. Which means I still have time!

Admittedly, my support of this theory is not without my own personal gain. The idea adds a whole new element to "Wasted Planet," my screenplay about the battle for Earth between the TrashBerg Monster and Aliens. Let's just say a new player has emerged...the FUTURE.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Flying Squirrels

Baseball. America's national pastime. A sport filled with tradition like no other. When it comes to team names, several come to mind.
-There are the names like the Yankees that you can't really say much about
-There are teams that have a fearsome mascot (Pirates and Diamondbacks)
-There are teams that would not do well together in a Washer with hot water (White Sox and Red Sox)
-There are teams whose full grown version of their mascot WOULD be fearsome, but instead chose the adorable baby version for alliteration purposes (Cubs)
-There are cute little birds (Orioles, Blue Jays, Cardinals)
-There are teams that try to outnumber you (Twins)
-And there are teams that state the obvious (Athletics)

But today we enter a different category - teams named after old cartoons with moose sidekicks. The new Richmond baseball team has been named The Flying Squirrels. Personally, I am super excited about this. For those who don't know, I have a special connection to small woodland creatures. In high school, my nickname was Chipee, because I both looked and sounded like a squirrel. True story.

While I have somewhat outgrown those (not completely, but hey, what can ya do?) I still love squirrels. I am convinced William and Mary has the highest squirrel-student ratio of anny college campus in the US. Those little guys are EVERYWHERE. My freshman year we tried to catch one to release on one of the girls halls. We were unsuccessful.

In this economy, no one is laughing more than squirrels. Squirrels INVENTED the concept of saving. They don't go out and splurge on some tail highlights of a $25 acorn that doesn't taste much different than a $2 acorn to impress their school friends. No, squirrels gather their nuts, they put em away for when they need em, and they spend the rest of their time either (a) chasing other squirrels, or (b) luring humans into chasing them.

Squirrels work hard and play hard, and nothing else. I am convinced that they don't sleep. One day I will find out. Somehow...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Local News at its Finest

My friend Rudy sent me this video a while back. It came back into my life recently, and I thought is worth sharing.

Note: This is a legit news report. If you can't watch it, it's a video of a reporter covering a news story about how a bear had been spotted around the area.

Most reporters would go to the scenes where the bear had been seen and report from there. They would probably interview witnesses as well. But my hat goes off to WJW Fox 8 Reporter Todd Meany. He wanted to give the viewers the real experience. So he got a cardboard cut out of a bear and placed in the camera shot. "This is what the bear probably looked like...only real..."

But that wasn't enough. Oh, no. To illustrate the bear escaping, he crouched behind the cardboard bear and made it hop across the woods to show what it would have looked like running away. Classic. He also recreates the bear climbing up a tree. And perhaps the best part of the whole report - in order to assure pet owners that their beloved pets will be safe, he films a 2-second close up of a man in a rabbit costume saying he's not scared because he's faster than a bear.

You know, you just can't teach this level of commitment and dedication to journalism, nay, to America. Anyone can stand on a highway and say "some joggers spotted a bear here." But what is the point? There's no difference between that and a RADIO report. Instead, Todd took full advantage of his medium. To SHOW, really show the viewers what the bear would have looked like running away, he did the next best thing to chasing an actual bear.

I must say I was enriched by the report. While others may mock Mr. Meany for his tactics, I admire him for his commitment. When I think of reporters going the extra mile, I think of weathermen reporting in 90 mph winds, war correspondents in the middle east. And now...I will also think of Todd Meany. Crouching behind that cardboard bear. Prancing it into the woods. Sir, I salute you.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cheese or Font? PLUS a Disturbing Trend

Occam's Razor: All other things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually better. Sometimes simple things can be super awesome. I was sent the following website by my friend Megan today:

It's called Cheese or Font. It gives you a word, and that word is either the name of a cheese, or the name of a font. You have to guess which. Simple, but AWESOME! Especially for a cheese nut like myself. But it's things like this that are just so cool. Fonts have weird names. Everyone knows this. Cheeses have weird names. Most people know this too. But I have never thought of those two things in the same thought. I really would have loved to have been there when this idea was thought up.

Just thought I would share that one. Thanks for the good find Megan.

My real concern tonight is about the increasing spread of another facebook epidemic, this one only amongst law students. Readers may remember one of my first posts was a harsh critique of the "25 Things" facebook trend. Recently, an abundance of people take faceook quizzes. Things like "Which Harry Potter character are you???" When you take the quiz it posts a link on your wall. I'm fine with most of these quizzes, but there is one in particular I've got to shake my head at.

I speak, of course, of the "Which Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Are You?" Quiz.
Really??? Has it really come to this. C'mon law students. Don't people hate us enough already because we can't stop talking about law school outside of law school. This can only lead to bad things. I don't want to be out at a bar and hear "Dude, I was totally Rule 61 too! Harmless Error Right On!" Should that ever happen, their decision to say that will be Harmful Error, because they will get punched in the face.

All I'm saying is that incorporating law school nerdiness into social networking things like Facebook and YouTube has a time and a place. An acceptable example: The CivPro rap of YouTube fame. It's ok because it's educational! Never again will I forget that Rule 19 is required, and 20 is permissive (if you've heard the rap you know why). The FRCP quiz serves no value, other than displaying prominently on your wall that you are even more of a huge law school nerd. If that's how you wanna play it, I guess just go right ahead, but I'll pass on this new fad myself.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Glee brings back Sue!

This time of year brings several things. Months that take longer to spell (writing "September" makes me miss "May" and "June"). Colder temperatures. Longer nights of studying. But one undeniable relief from that last one is the new fall TV lineup. New shows hit the air. Some will flop, others will flourish. Tonight I take a moment to praise one that I believe is on a path to greatness. I speak, of course, of Glee.

Glee is Fox's new Wednesday night powerhouse. If you haven't seen it, the show is about a high school glee club, and the characters have overly dramatic problems that you would expect some people around the country to have, but usually not all in one small group. The show seamlessly integrates first class singing numbers with plot and character development.

Tonight;s episode was awesome, and at the very end, well, it got even awesomer. It seems we are going to be seeing more and more of my favorite character - Sue Silvester. Sue is the cheerleading coach, and is a politically incorrect nutjob out to destroy Glee Club. Her utter disdain for Mr. Schuster and the club is awesome, and her quotes are instant 1-liners (While yelling at her cheerleading squad: "You think this is hard? Try living with Hepatitis, that's HARD!)

Sue has been noticeably and inexplicably absent the last two episode, but in tonight's show she was made co-director of the club, and next weeks preview featured her predominantly. Of all the amazing one-liners, my favorite Sue moment is actually not a short quote at all. It is her advice on her TV segment used to wrap up episode 3 (I think it was episode 3) These are words to live by. I have them printed and posted on my wall for inspiration. Check it out:

"You know there’s a question I get asked a lot - whether I’m accepting an honorary doctorate or performing a citizen’s arrest, people ask me, “Sue, what’s your secret?” Well I’ll tell you my secret western Ohio - Sue Silvester’s not afraid to shake things up. You know I’m tired of hearing people complain “I’m riddled with this disease” or “I was in that tsunami”. To them I say - shake it up a bit! Get out of your box! Even if that box happens to be where you’re living. I’ll often yell at homeless people - “Hey! How’s that homelessness working out for ya! Give not being homeless a try, huh?”

You know something Ohio? It’s not easy to break out of your comfort zone. People will tear you down, tell you you shouldn’t have bothered in the first place, but let me tell you something - there’s not much of a difference between a stadium full of cheering fans and an angry crowd screaming abuse at you. They’re both just making a lot of noise. How you take it is up to you. Convince yourself they’re cheering for you, you do that and someday - they will! And that’s how Sue Sees It."