Tag Archive: CATCH

Antimatter: The Real Giant Leap

One Small Step for Man, one Giant Leap For Mankind

When Armstrong said those words (except I missed out the ‘a’), it looked like men & women would be walking tall on all sorts of astronomical bodies in a continuation of the Apollo programme.  As we no know, things didn’t quite work out like that though, and the Moon is still the only place we’ve been except our dear Earth – although unmanned and earth-based exploration continues in great leaps and bounds.

CERN Makes Antimatter Last

But although announced with a small fanfare, the news that CERN has made antimatter atoms in the form of anti-hydrogen last for getting on for half a second made me blink twice.  See BBC News item here.

It’s my guess that this is the real “small leap for mankind” that will eventually lead to the real “giant leap”.

We are now talking the Star Trek language that everyone understands;  antimatter, containment fields, annihilation.  Soon we’ll have dilithium crystals and the stock market to sell them in!

Consequences of Antimatter Creation

But seriously, it’s one hell of a leap.  The big puzzle is why matter (and thus ourselves because we are made of it), is here.

Why is there any of it, anyway?

… …  because in every experiment that we’ve done, matter and antimatter cancel each other out!    Exactly!

So the physical laws that we’ve invented or discovered, right back to the Big Bang, all say that we should not be here.  Any of us.

Current physics says that our universe  should only contain the energy from the mutual annihilation of matter & antimatter.  But there is also matter, which is tightly rolled up bits of energy….

Self-evidently, we are here, which means that matter had a slight excess over anti-matter just after the Big Bang.

So I think that somewhere within the physics of our creation of antimatter, lies the answer to the matter/antimatter conundrum, of that I’m sure.

We’ve made a few atoms so far and watched them annihilate with matter on contact.  The next steps will be to make and keep zillions indefinitely until they are needed.  What for?

Starships perhaps?

Animality

Now suppose we make these starships.  Our current selves are very destructive, both towards our environment and ourselves.

  • We live on our Earth, us in the West consuming like locusts while those less well off try a rapid catch-up.
  • We have never had a year without a major loss of life through conflict, disease or other disaster.

In short, though we may well have the technology and explorative urge for interstellar travel in the future, our present state of intense animality leaves us unsuited to such endeavours.  It’s unlikely that any expedition would arrive at its destination intact.  They’d self-destruct.  It’s what people do.

We must change ourselves before we can aspire change our location in the universe, or else our present location (the Earth), will be a blackened desert.  Un-departable.

Soka Gakkai

Today is exactly  the 80th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai.

It’s a Buddhist organisation with its philosophy wrapped up in its name of  “Value Creation Society“.

Let us all use three words as tenets, a true mantra for a civilised survival on Earth for generations to come.

When the time arrives for the Earth’s ultimate destruction, if we haven’t made a “Value Creation Society” that would allow our escape, then we are quite simply, stuffed.

So join the millions of Soka Gakkai Buddhists today as they celebrate their inheritance from one man, then another and another.

Makiguchi was his name and he died for his principles in a Japanese gaol in 1944.  He and his disciple Toda were hounded by the animality of the times and only Toda was left at the end of WW2.

From him, and then Ikeda, the Soka Gakkai  owes its existence, and we all need such principles if the magic of antimatter creation and containment is to mean anything in the future.  It’s a truly wonderful thing.

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Bridgwater Kingfisher

Strangely post on November 14th, 2009
Posted in Environment Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve just uploaded this video using different software and process so I don’t know how it’ll appear yet.  However, see if you can spot the kingfisher?

It’s a remarkable bird that I’ve been trying to catch on camera for ages.

  • When they’re stationary in trees they’re almost impossible to see.
  • When they fly, they are like a flash of blood and electricity across the gloaming.
  • When  they fly, they are impossible to track with a hand-held camera!
  • When they are in the trees they are impossible to see in the viewfinder!

Despite all this, my new Panasonic Lumix TZ7 has videoed the thing quite well!  For a few seconds, you actually can see the thing quite clearly – a first for me!  Woo-Hoo!  (You’ll have to double-click to get it full screen (or at least larger) to then see this on YouTube directly.

At 0:30 you’ll see it centre-frame and at ~1:00, just as I’ve got a true beamer on it – it shoots off down and right and then flew up the canal!  It’s what they do – like a woman, they just entice you in and then foom!  They’re gone!  Ha Ha.

(The TZ7 replaces the TZ5 which I carelessly dropped onto the tiled floor  at home)

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Microsoft Performance in the Browser and Search Engine Wars

Introduction & History

Recently, Microsoft has reworked it’s search engine (MSN Live Search) and renamed it Bing.  This was followed even more recently, with a joint venture between itself and former search king Yahoo! into a hazily explained search and advertising combination.

Microsoft is well known for wheeling out the lawyers as backup to it’s long-running scheming that batters any competition into the ground.  I’m thinking particularly about the Netscape battle here…

Netscape, of course, although winning the final battle, lost the war and is no more.  But it’s technical expertise re-surfaced as the Phoenix browser, whose modern name is Firefox.

An advertising and search war has been extant ever since Google shot to prominence because it… er… gave better search results!  Microsoft has had umpteen attempts at catch up or smash down with the Google behemoth over the past decade.  None have had any real effect.  Likewise, Google has had umpteen attempts at rolling out profitable software to compete with Microsoft’s desktop dominance or Sun’s & HP’s mainframe business.  The only success is their own system of networked mini-computers using open-source software – so this doesn’t count!

Current Statistics

Below you’ll see the statistics globally, and also, as they hit this website, http://strangelyperfect.tv  This is for comparison.

Browsers

Global: (source: w3schools.com)
  • Firefox: 47.9%
  • IE (6 to 8): 39.4%
  • Chrome: 6.5%
  • Opera: 2.1%
StrangelyPerfect.TV (logs for August 2009 so far)
  • Firefox: 34.3%
  • IE (6 to 8): 49.7%
  • Chrome: 3.4%
  • Opera: 1.8%

Search Engine Usage

Global (source: hitslink.com)
  • Google: 78.45%
  • Yahoo!: 7.16%
  • Bing: 3.17%
StrangelyPerfect.TV (logs for August 2009 so far)
  • Google: 76.6%
  • Yahoo!: 4.2%
  • Bing: 15.4%

Conclusion

What’s clear is that the visitors to this website StrangelyPerfect.tv, have clearly different preferences to the global norm.  In fact (much to my chagrin it has to be said), there’s a clear tilt towards Microsoft products compared to global usage ratios.

  • Q.  Why?
  • A.  I don’t know!

Search

What I do know is that the Bing results following search queries that finish at this website are on a par with the Google ones!

From my analysis of my (admittedly small) sample of website hits, I can categorically say that’s there’s now no difference between Google & Bing for general searching.  I’ve proved this to myself with a few searches to corroborate this.

In this respect, Microsoft have done very well.   How they’ve done this, I don’t know.  But the similarities suggest similar logic at work on similar datasets.  Whether industrial espionage is the reason or the more likely cause of parallel evolution, only time will tell.

Browser

Microsoft’s browser has come on leaps and bounds since development stopped at IE5/6 after they’d crushed Netscape out of existence (why develop new software when there is no competition?).  Firefox has been the catalyst.  It’s security, stability and user-friendly features have pushed it’s share right up.  This forced Microsoft to react; first with the dreadfully slow IE7 and later with the much better IE8.

The in-built hysteresis of their desktop user base ensures that IE will be hard to beat.  For myself, Firefox is still streets ahead, primarily because of it’s interface – the key features are sized and placed proportionately to their importance on the screen.

It’s just, right; that’s all.

My gut feeling is that we’ve reached a balance point now that will remain for a couple of years at least.  Because the vast bulk of computer users are only just computer literate and ignorant of any alternatives,  I can’t see any browser pushing past the Microsoft desktop domination to enable the displacement of IE from the 50-50 mark.

Postscript

Weirdly, these are two battles of free against free.  Browsers are free to use – as is internet search.  It’s all about competing for advertising revenue in the end.

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This is the newoooz!

Strangely post on June 4th, 2009
Posted in Freedom Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Day Today

What a precient show that was, The Day Today, well over a dozen years ago now.  Chris Morris spotted the rampant change in the tide of news, both in  presentation and editorial content.  Check nearly every news show now – well, it’s hard to spot any difference from this over-the-top spoof, is there?

Staggeringly, I’ve only just realised only 6 episodes were made…  It seemed like more, such was the variety within.  Fortunately, Chris Morris’s over-the-top characterisations are still to be seen, most recently as the boss in The IT Crowd.  You may catch a bit here: http://www.ifc.com/videos/the-it-crowd-episode-1-clip-1.php

Cracking Shows!

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Terror Police Taking the Piss

Terror

Terror is a state of fear (an overwhelming sense of imminent danger), or the act of imposing fear on (terrorising) people.

Since Bush kicked in with the Patriot Act and the UK followed suite, terror and it’s prevention has been on everyone’s mind – apparently.  This is what is meant by the definition above.  It means that since 2001, every Western person has felt in imminent danger of getting blown up, poisoned, dive bombed or any of a host of other fanciful torments.

This is plainly rubbish.

In the UK, anti-‘terror’ laws have increased in their ferocity, always accompanied by the pat phrases like “proper safeguards are in place” etc etc etc….  zzzz.

Now today, some statistics have come out about stop and searches done by London’s police SERVICE.  These searches can be done by any officer without any reason.  Previously, an officer had to have a ‘reason’ to stop and search you.  A small, easily worked-round point, granted…

Metropolitan Police used section 44 of the Terrorism Act:

  • 2009 – ???????????
  • 2008 – 170,000
  • 2007 –   72,000
  • 2006 –    25,000
  • 2005 –     13,500

So thanks Jacqui Smith, thanks Blunkett.  Thanks Reid & Clarke.  You’ve done a fine job of terrorising me in my own country by people that are supposed to protect me.  You’ve got town hall snoops using spy equipment and the same terror laws to catch dirty dog walkers.  You’ve plans to fingerprint everyone and trap their DNA.  Yet people die on the streets from common assaults.  People ‘opt out’ of leisure to work like bastards.

This is why Americans have a right to bear arms enshrined in their constitution – to protect themselves from the State and those that run it!

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Do I think the next government will be any better? – A.  Do I fuck!

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