Sunday, March 30, 2008

Strange Matter Sunday

Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times

Part of a detector to study results of proton collisions by a particle accelerator that a federal lawsuit filed in Hawaii seeks to stop.

Published: March 29, 2008

More fighting in Iraq. Somalia in chaos. People in this country can’t afford their mortgages and in some places now they can’t even afford rice.

None of this nor the rest of the grimness on the front page today will matter a bit, though, if two men pursuing a lawsuit in federal court in Hawaii turn out to be right. They think a giant particle accelerator that will begin smashing protons together outside Geneva this summer might produce a black hole or something else that will spell the end of the Earth — and maybe the universe.

Scientists say that is very unlikely — though they have done some checking just to make sure.

The world’s physicists have spent 14 years and $8 billion building the Large Hadron Collider, in which the colliding protons will recreate energies and conditions last seen a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. Researchers will sift the debris from these primordial recreations for clues to the nature of mass and new forces and symmetries of nature.

But Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho contend that scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, have played down the chances that the collider could produce, among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth. Or it could spit out something called a “strangelet” that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called “strange matter.” Their suit also says CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.



Science gone bad? Black holes? Strange matter? As if we did not enough to think about already. Well I for one am not worried because we are all doomed anyway, might as well learn something before Global Warming suffocates us all eh?

Will this be the weapon eliminating 80% of the worlds population as some have suggested? Or just a benign experiment yielding good results just before we go that explains the secrets of the Universe we have always wondered about.

Seems like a segue into unneeded science to me.

But then I am not a scientist, I have a blog and I bitch about stuff, so there.

See you on the 'dark side'.



Alan said...

from Micki, at the end of yesterday's thread...

Alan, you are generally quite logical. In this case, you're acting as though you are a mind-reader.

Quite funny, actually.

Nawp, just telling it like it is. You asked Dr B about resumè-padding, plain and simple. I just verified that Obama wasn't. No mindreading involved at all.
Now, about you... I was wondering if everything is ok. You also made a claim out of thin air recently about Hillary getting her locations mixed up in regards to a sniping incident. That's not the Micki we know... very aware and informed. You ok?

Hajji said...

Reminds me of reading that some of the physicists who worked on the Manhattan Project were quite concerned about starting a world-killing nuclear chain reaction.

-I am become death, the destroyer of worlds...


Hajji said...

Hey Alan!

I remember a few weeks back, you'd questioned something I mentioned about you being a NASCAR fan.

I'd just remembered that we'd discussed, long time ago, how auto racing was something I liked, but didn't expect everybody to understand...and you liked to catch a race every now and then.

I just got finished doing the brakes on "Baby Blue". Discs up front, dreaded drums in back. Been a long time since I changed shoes. Little springs, tensioners and auto-adjusts are lots of work for my fat, 'lil fingers.

I like to do what automotive work I can, but I'm at a disadvantage when it comes to the "right" tools and a good place to work. Had to do the brakes this weekend since I'll be doing lots of mountain driving in NC and PA over the next few weeks.

Team Obama's ground game is an amazing sight to behold. While TV ads certainly reach a lot of people, there's nothing like real people making phone calls, knocking on doors, arranging rides, refreshments and accomodations for other voters and volunteers.

Today, however, is a personal day off for personal pleasures...grease, dirt, Martinsville demolition derby, and NCAA Hoops...

...a good day!


David B. Benson said...

Has not been verified that there are are black holes, of any size.

There are alternatives to Einstein's General Realativity in which black holes cannot form or exist.

Nuisance suit.

Hajji said...

And to everyone else...

I've been working as much as possible lately, so I'll get more time off for politickin'.

I'm shut out from reading blogs at work, so I stop in sometimes and catch up as I may.

I did want to mention, since there's at least a few Obama fans here, that they've got some very cool ways to help the campaign, especially if you have free long distance and are comfortable talking to people you don't know.


It is one of the ways we find out where the "Get out the Vote" efforts will be most effective. We also find more volunteers and people to host out-of-town campaign workers.

-just sayin'


Alan said...

I'd just remembered that we'd discussed, long time ago, how auto racing was something I liked, but didn't expect everybody to understand...and you liked to catch a race every now and then.

Yeah, I do! I like NASCAR alot more now. I used to be into drag racing more than stock car distance racing. Always liked Dale, so now Jr. is my fav.

We had our conventions for picking state delegates yesterday. There were NINETEEN THOUSAND people at the one I went to!! The Dems are coming out in DROVES, MAN!!
There were roughly twice as many Obama folks as Clinton followers, in that Senate District.

micki said...

Yeah, I'm okay Alan. Just getting under people's skin.

But, as far as the resume inflation thing, you took my inquiry/comment and extrapolated that I buy into the idea that it is a political talking point-- actually, I think it's a bit ridiculous.

Now, I do believe, if someone such as my husband (an ordinary man who does not walk on water) had claimed on his resume (and in a job interview, for example) that he had been a professor, when he was only a lecturer, and had gotten caught, he would have been fired. As he should be.

But, regarding St. Obama -- I do not care that he referred to himself as a "professor of constitutional law" on the campaign trail -- politicians exaggerate all the time. (They lie.) However, if he had made that claim on his CV, and snagged a job based on that claim, it would have been grounds for dismissal in ANY REPUTABLE INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING.

I (among other people) was approached by a person (from Washington State) who is involved in the Clinton campaign about the Obama lecturer/professor crapola. What did I think? I told him I thought it was stooooopid to bring it up. (I was more diplomatic than that.) I said it wouldn't change anyone's opinion of him -- they either like him or don't. Don't go there.

Saladin said...

Yes DEN, We are doomed, but it won't be at the hands of global warming! Economic lunatics are officially in charge of the asylum! You can thank our reps in that cesspool on the Potomac.


Commentary by

It is almost beyond belief that Congress would allow the creators of the source of most of the country's woes to now possess this level of control and power.

The Republic is truly lost...

PPT to come out of the Closet

This is an astonishing read.


WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department will propose on Monday that Congress give the Federal Reserve broad new authority to oversee financial market stability, in effect allowing it to send SWAT teams into any corner of the industry or any institution that might pose a risk to the overall system.


I would like to think that this is some sort of sick April Fools joke, but, alas they are serious! What happened to free markets?? This is the same blue-print as the now failed Bush Administration Preemptive Strike Foreign Policy. The notion that the "financial SWAT team" goons will muscle their way into the private dealings of an institution that THEY think poses a risk to THEIR fraudulent fiat money Ponzi scheme is frightening. Presumably fund managers will be secretly flown to detention centers where "water-boarding" will be allowed to extract critical information like where they are hiding their gold!

What about this little gem…


Under the Treasury proposal, Fed officials would be allowed to examine the practices and even the internal bookkeeping of brokerage firms, hedge funds, commodity-trading exchanges and any other institution that might pose a risk to the overall financial system.


What a peach! The FED SWAT team can raid any institution, hedge fund, exchange, and see what key investment positions are and then pass it along to Goldman Sachs who can then make a fortune trading against them as they did with the position data they had confidential access to during the LTCM bail out!!

If you think I am a little over the top consider this…


While the plan could expose Wall Street investment banks and hedge funds to greater scrutiny, it carefully avoids a call for tighter regulation.


So why would they want to have more scrutiny if they are not going to have tighter rules???? Hey, don’t pay any attention to the guys with the night vision goggles wandering around your office they just want to have a closer look at your financial dealings.

Is this designed to fix any problems for Joe and Jane America? Nope!...


The blueprint also suggests several areas where the S.E.C. should take a lighter approach to its oversight. Among them are allowing stock exchanges greater leeway to regulate themselves and streamlining the approval of new products, even allowing automatic approval of securities products that are being traded in foreign markets.


Oh! You mean like the self regulation of the mortgage industry that allowed mortgages for anyone with a pulse and the self regulation of the rating agencies that allowed a triple A rating for any re-packaged debt originated by someone with a pulse! And the re-packaged garbage instrument can be automatically approved as long as it is for export to some unsuspecting investor with a pulse overseas! That should help.

Here is the real killer quote from general Paulson


"I am not suggesting that more regulation is the answer, or even that more effective regulation can prevent the periods of financial market stress that seem to occur every 5 to 10 years," Mr. Paulson will say in a speech on Monday, according to a draft of the speech. "I am suggesting that we should and can have a structure that is designed for the world we live in, one that is more flexible."


A system that is flexible enough to allow the elite white collar thugs to break the law with impunity and the little guy to go to prison if he does the same thing is what Herr Uberfuhrer Paulson really means.

What better time could there be for GATA’s conference in Washington?

micki said...

A look back in time...Alan you'll remember this...

Back in the 1990s when Texas was on a Democratic Party bender, there was a rising star named Lena Guerrero -- she was ambitious and a demographically attractive figure, who was elected to the state legislature when she was only 25. 

At the urging of Governor Ann Richards whose 1990 victory Guerrero helped engineer, Lena was tapped to speak in prime time at the 1992 Democratic convention. USA Today even listed Guerrero as a possible female presidential candidate of the future.

In 1990, Guerrero was running to retain a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission -- a powerful body that regulates oil and gas interests in the state, and historically has served as a springboard to higher political office.

The Texas Republican party made it a top priority to halt Guerrero's rise. They obtained a copy of her college transcript that showed she had lied about her academic resume --she hadn't graduated college hadn't received a Phi Beta Kappa key, and she failed classes some classes.

Then, according to Lou Dubose, Jan Reid, and Carl Cannon's book Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Brains Behind the Remarkable Political Triumph of George W. Bush: 

Rove waited. He waited until after the Democratic primary, when Guerrero was the only viable Democratic candidate. He waited until after Guerrero delivered the commencement speech at Texas A&M University...He waited until after the Democratic convention, when Guerrero's profile was higher than it had ever been. And he waited until after his own candidate for the Railroad Commission, Barry Williamson, gave his midday speech to the Republican National Convention.....

"Karl had Lena's transcript," said an Austin political consultant. "But he held it until the right moment. The perfect moment. Then he screwed her."

She lied and she paid for it.

The Repugs bagged Henry Cisneros, too, on his mistress crapola. He was looked on as a rising star -- presidential stuff.

Hajji said...


Is there a Proctologist/Entomologist in the house?

{ò,ó}arol said...

I feel 100% today and after being up and about still feel like that. I guess I'm cured. Thank goodness.

Then, last night while lying on the couch, watching a movie with Bob, I had my thumb nail in my mouth because it had a chip on it. While I bit down to get it off rather than wait to get the clippers something broke. IT WASN'T MY NAIL, IT WAS ONE OF MY FOUR FRONT TEETH! *scream* I jumped up, ran into the bathroom and I had a whole tooth in my hand and an ugly gap in my pretty smile! HOLY SHIT!

Oh, my god! I'm in the process of having a crown put on one of my back teeth, gave the dentist $760 for that one on Wednesday. What will a front one cost? Can Doc even crown something that broke off at the gum line, and if not, then what? I guess my days of being a yakker and smiler with everyone I meet are over!!!

I'll be calling the dentist Tuesday for another appointment before I ever go back to have the other crown seated. This is awful. AND THE MONEY!!!!

Our health care money woes are suddenly multiplying at an alarming rate. Put out almost a thousand just this week for health related things. Bob will be talking to his boss tomorrow to see if he straightened out the evil insurance yet, but I'm sure he hasn't, in the meantime all his employees are suffering with between-insurance-policy woes.

Well, cheery-o and carry on. I'll try to cheer up.

DEN said...

Carol, If it makes you feel any better I got a crown over 4 teeth on the side and it cost $3600 which I had to pay.

Financial buzzards have 'Care Credit' from the GE money store, no interest for one year then if not paid off jumps to over 27% interest(robbers).

Sal, fox guarding the henhouse there for sure, the Fed and their funny money BS, I guess wiretapping did not get them what they wanted which was more control.

Hajji, working on cars is no sweat here, except joint pain, been doing it since 68, cheaper than paying someone to do the work and bringing it back 3 times to get it fixed right. You are only as good as your shop manual and toolbox.

Micki, thinking like a repug? What are you afraid of if Obama wins? Hillary cannot even pay her bills and McPain is solid war freak disguised as an empty shill for the same people running the mess right now, you think rover will take BIG O down?

Alan, I cannot handle NASCAR and doofus rednecks it brings with it, sports car and motorcycle racing are a bit more sophisticated and bring in a bunch of awesome looking babes, oh yea.

With that all said I'm going for a ride. VROOM VROOM!

micki said...

Micki, thinking like a repug? What are you afraid of if Obama wins?

Nope, not thinking like a repug....just remembering (and reminding) that they haven't pulled out their dirty tricks yet. Geez, Den....get real. If you think Hillary is a nasty bitch, just wait 'til the repugs get their knives out in the general election. The 527 groups on the right are going to have a field day with the Dem candidate.

And the 527 groups on the left will continue to screw up everything in sight, as they usually do.

What am I afraid of if Obama wins? Not a damned thing. I'm not even afraid if McCain wins. No sense in being "afraid." I have little "hope" in the system improving in my lifetime, but I will do my part at the local, county, and state level to help in implementing change. I do not believe that a "charismatic" speaker can lead a country to "change" -- it has to come from the people.

micki said...

Is there a Proctologist/Entomologist in the house?

This is what a love about Obama supporters.

micki said...

Glad to see you're feeling better, Carol, but gee whiz -- I'd think your dentist would have noticed that your front tooth was "iffy" when he told you that your back tooth needed a crown.

If you knew what shape it was in, you probably would have spring for fixing the front tooth first.

micki said...


micki said...

Charles Lipson is a professor of international politics at the University of Chicago. He has two books coming out next month:

Succeeding as an International Student in the United States and Canada, and Doing Honest Work in College, 2nd edition.

He has an interesting article circulating....

Hajji said...

Al Gore on "60 Minutes" tonight.

Warm, engaging, passionate and funny (closed captioned for the humor impaired) he talks about the launch of a new ad campaign in his role as "PR person for the Planet".

Tomorrow is his 60th birthday!

...on a personal note,

Katie has accepted a position with "Habitat for Humanity" in Baton Rouge and New Orleans!


She'll be coordinating volunteers in the south-central region. (not sure yet what her title will be but it most assuredly won't be "Perfesser"!)

We are, to say the least, prouder'n shit of her and happy that she continues, like most everyone in this family, to find a way to make a living by being involved in the service of humanity.

(ok, we're also damn glad we can stop proof-reading resumes and cover-letters for a while!)

I can't wait to get down there and visit the Habitat "musician's village" in NOLA!

I saw some of it featured on "This Old House". At least SOME of the old neighborhoods won't be grabbed up by developers in the Disneyfication of America's musical Heart.


DEN said...

The chimp just got a big round of boos as he threw out the first pitch at the Nationals/Braves baseball season opener.


DEN said...

Baseball players are the spitting-est bunch I have ever seen, all spitters all game, watch where you step~~~~~~~!

Think I might slip and fall off to bed. zzzzzZZZZZZZ

Hajji said...


Spittin' & Scratchin', scratchin' & spittin'...what else is there to baseball?

Tonight on SCETV, Sisters of Selma.

Story about one of the brighter, heroic moments in American Catholic History.

I'm out...


carol said...

I had my teeth cleaned last month and if Donna didn't notice anything wrong with the tooth I don't see how my dentist could have noticed anything. It snapped off when I bit on something hard.

Alan said...

Baseball players are the spitting-est bunch I have ever seen, all spitters all game, watch where you step~~~~~~~!

Are you sure they were spitting? I mean, when chewing tobacco was the 'thing', yeah, but most now are spitting out the hulls of sunflower seeds. They make a total MESS of the dugouts.

Alan said...

Glad you're ok Micki.

Alan said...

Carol, I had a front tooth broken off close to the gum line. I'm not sure if they can crown that or not, but where I was they didn't bother even trying. They went in and pulled what was left. Years later I got a cantilever bridge to fill the gap.

Man I hate going to the dentist!