Take a look at the opening paragraph of this great AFP article:
It’s taken more than a century, but Einstein’s celebrated formula e=mc2 has finally been corroborated, thanks to a heroic computational effort by French, German and Hungarian physicists.
I’m sorry, did I say great? I meant awful. That particular equation of Einstein’s was demonstrated rather convincingly in a lot of boring experiments starting almost as soon as he wrote it down. A few years later it was demonstrated rather convincingly in a particularly dramatic fashion. The particular work referenced in the article has squat to do with confirming Einstein; it’s just an exploration of how mass happens to be packed in certain baryons.
From the indispensable Swans on Tea, more relativity. Specifically, Buckminster Fuller explaining relativity in a telegram. It reminds me of Time Cube (warning: crazy and offensive), with the terse syntax and the all caps. Fuller was kind of an odd bird, which certainly makes it an interesting thing to read.
Here’s another news article: Physicists Find Dark Matter? Hmm. Maybe. I’d take it with a grain of salt. It would be nice if it turns out to be true. Dark matter has been a pretty embarrassing gap in physics for a long time.
Here’s a 256 GB solid state drive. We’re really getting to the point where physically spinning hard discs might be going the way of the dinosaur. Notice the throwaway bit toward the bottom about encryption; it’s proprietary, which is usually a cryptographic synonym for “worthless”. Oh well, simply as a storage medium it’s a good device nonetheless.
Some political news. Feel free to skip:
Forget, if possible, your opinion of Sarah Palin and contemplate this headline from MSNBC: “GOV. PALIN APPARENTLY OBLIVIOUS TO TURKEY CARNAGE OVER HER SHOULDER”. Well, let’s see. The interview was taking place at a traditional “turkey pardon” at a slaughterhouse. What the #$%! do you think happens in slaughterhouses? Reality is reality, ladies and gentlemen, and if you can’t bear the concept of a slaughtered turkey then maybe you ought not be eating them. Further documentation of this whole preposterous mess here. And that is why I avoid network news .
There’s a push in some parts of the political blog circuit to declare today Victory in Iraq Day. It’s a silly idea, but why not? The war is over. Mission (really) accomplished. Combat deaths are down to nearly the background levels the military sustains from car wrecks and other accidental causes. Iraqi deaths from bombings and sectarian violence have dwindled to levels that were inconceivable two years ago. Game, set, and match David H. Petraeus.
Which of course says nothing about the merit of the war itself. Successfully putting out a kitchen fire wouldn’t absolve you from setting the place on fire in the first place. The wisdom and morality of the war itself will remain under hot debate for decades, I imagine. Assuming President Obama winds things down at a careful and measured pace, the war will stay won, the US will be out of Iraq, and that will be that. Good news regardless of anyone’s politics.
Speaking of, you may notice I haven’t scored and posted the winners from the election prediction post. That’s because there’s two senate races still up in the air, and part of the scoring is the senate spread. I promise I’ll get the entries scored once the results are known. Which won’t be until the December runoff in Georgia, at least.
Have a great weekend, everyone!