Does the Past Exist Yet? Evidence Suggests Your Past Isn't Set in Stone [via Nina Reznick]
Recent discoveries require us to rethink our understanding of history. "The histories of the universe," said renowned physicist Stephen Hawking "depend on what is being measured, contrary to the usual idea that the universe has an objective observer-independent history."
Is it possible we live and die in a world of illusions? Physics tells us that objects exist in a suspended state until observed, when they collapse in to just one outcome. Paradoxically, whether events happened in the past may not be determined until sometime in your future -- and may even depend on actions that you haven't taken yet.
In 2002, scientists carried out an amazing experiment, which showed that particles of light "photons" knew -- in advance −- what their distant twins would do in the future. They tested the communication between pairs of photons -- whether to be either a wave or a particle. Researchers stretched the distance one of the photons had to take to reach its detector, so that the other photon would hit its own detector first. The photons taking this path already finished their journeys -− they either collapse into a particle or don't before their twin encounters a scrambling device. Somehow, the particles acted on this information before it happened, and across distances instantaneously as if there was no space or time between them. They decided not to become particles before their twin ever encountered the scrambler. It doesn't matter how we set up the experiment. Our mind and its knowledge is the only thing that determines how they behave. Experiments consistently confirm these observer-dependent effects.
More recently (Science 315, 966, 2007), scientists in France shot photons into an apparatus, and showed that what they did could retroactively change something that had already happened. As the photons passed a fork in the apparatus, they had to decide whether to behave like particles or waves when they hit a beam splitter. Later on - well after the photons passed the fork - the experimenter could randomly switch a second beam splitter on and off. It turns out that what the observer decided at that point, determined what the particle actually did at the fork in the past. At that moment, the experimenter chose his history.
Of course, we live in the same world. Particles have a range of possible states, and it's not until observed that they take on properties. So until the present is determined, how can there be a past? According to visionary physicist John Wheeler (who coined the word "black hole"), "The quantum principle shows that there is a sense in which what an observer will do in the future defines what happens in the past." Part of the past is locked in when you observe things and the "probability waves collapse." But there's still uncertainty, for instance, as to what's underneath your feet. If you dig a hole, there's a probability you'll find a boulder. Say you hit a boulder, the glacial movements of the past that account for the rock being in exactly that spot will change as described in the Science experiment.
But what about dinosaur fossils? Fossils are really no different than anything else in nature. For instance, the carbon atoms in your body are "fossils" created in the heart of exploding supernova stars. Bottom line: reality begins and ends with the observer. "We are participators," Wheeler said "in bringing about something of the universe in the distant past." Before his death, he stated that when observing light from a quasar, we set up a quantum observation on an enormously large scale. It means, he said, the measurements made on the light now, determines the path it took billions of years ago.
Like the light from Wheeler's quasar, historical events such as who killed JFK, might also depend on events that haven't occurred yet. There's enough uncertainty that it could be one person in one set of circumstances, or another person in another. Although JFK was assassinated, you only possess fragments of information about the event. But as you investigate, you collapse more and more reality. According to biocentrism, space and time are relative to the individual observer - we each carry them around like turtles with shells.
History is a biological phenomenon − it's the logic of what you, the animal observer experiences. You have multiple possible futures, each with a different history like in the Science experiment. Consider the JFK example: say two gunmen shot at JFK, and there was an equal chance one or the other killed him. This would be a situation much like the famous Schrödinger's cat experiment, in which the cat is both alive and dead − both possibilities exist until you open the box and investigate.
"We must re-think all that we have ever learned about the past, human evolution and the nature of reality, if we are ever to find our true place in the cosmos," says Constance Hilliard, a historian of science at UNT. Choices you haven't made yet might determine which of your childhood friends are still alive, or whether your dog got hit by a car yesterday. In fact, you might even collapse realities that determine whether Noah's Ark sank. "The universe," said John Haldane, "is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose."
Biocentrism (BenBella Books) lays out Lanza's theory of everything.
Earth from Above [via Nina Reznick]
SEE MORE HERE: http://justpaste.it/3ky
LEAPIN’ LIZARDS! [via David Adashek]
What are you doing?'
The koala said, 'Smoking a joint, come up and have some.'
So the little lizard climbed up and sat next to the koala where they enjoyed a few joints.After a while the little lizard said that his mouth was 'dry' and that he was going to get a drink from the river.
The little lizard was so stoned that he leaned over too far and fell into the river.
A crocodile saw this and swam over to the little lizard and helped him to the side. Then he asked the little lizard, 'What's the matter with you?'
The little lizard explained to the crocodile that he had been sitting with the koala in the tree, smoking a joint, but got too stoned and fell into the river while taking a drink..
The crocodile said that he had to check this out and walked into the rain forest, found the tree where the koala was sitting finishing a joint. The crocodile looked up and said,'Hey you!'
So the koala looked down at him and said,
'Fuuuuuuck, dude... How much water did you drink!?!
STORY MERCHANT CLIENT RON WEAVER STAR-STUDDED SIGNING AT THE GROVE
LAUNCH PARTY & BOOK SIGNING
When: Thursday, September 16th, 7 pm
Where: Barnes & Noble
189 Grove Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Featuring Readings By
There will be press coverage.
Obama could kill fossil fuels overnight with a nuclear dash for thorium [via Nina Reznick]
Published: 6:55PM BST 29 Aug 2010
We could then stop arguing about wind mills, deepwater drilling, IPCC hockey sticks, or strategic reliance on the Kremlin. History will move on fast.
Muddling on with the status quo is not a grown-up policy. The International Energy Agency says the world must invest $26 trillion (£16.7 trillion) over the next 20 years to avert an energy shock. The scramble for scarce fuel is already leading to friction between China, India, and the West.
There is no certain bet in nuclear physics but work by Nobel laureate Carlo Rubbia at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) on the use of thorium as a cheap, clean and safe alternative to uranium in reactors may be the magic bullet we have all been hoping for, though we have barely begun to crack the potential of solar power.
Dr Rubbia says a tonne of the silvery metal – named after the Norse god of thunder, who also gave us Thor’s day or Thursday - produces as much energy as 200 tonnes of uranium, or 3,500,000 tonnes of coal. A mere fistful would light London for a week.
Thorium eats its own hazardous waste. It can even scavenge the plutonium left by uranium reactors, acting as an eco-cleaner. "It’s the Big One," said Kirk Sorensen, a former NASA rocket engineer and now chief nuclear technologist at Teledyne Brown Engineering.
"Once you start looking more closely, it blows your mind away. You can run civilisation on thorium for hundreds of thousands of years, and it’s essentially free. You don’t have to deal with uranium cartels," he said.
Thorium is so common that miners treat it as a nuisance, a radioactive by-product if they try to dig up rare earth metals. The US and Australia are full of the stuff. So are the granite rocks of Cornwall. You do not need much: all is potentially usable as fuel, compared to just 0.7pc for uranium.
After the Manhattan Project, US physicists in the late 1940s were tempted by thorium for use in civil reactors. It has a higher neutron yield per neutron absorbed. It does not require isotope separation, a big cost saving. But by then America needed the plutonium residue from uranium to build bombs.
"They were really going after the weapons," said Professor Egil Lillestol, a world authority on the thorium fuel-cycle at CERN. "It is almost impossible make nuclear weapons out of thorium because it is too difficult to handle. It wouldn’t be worth trying." It emits too many high gamma rays.
You might have thought that thorium reactors were the answer to every dream but when CERN went to the European Commission for development funds in 1999-2000, they were rebuffed.
Brussels turned to its technical experts, who happened to be French because the French dominate the EU’s nuclear industry. "They didn’t want competition because they had made a huge investment in the old technology," he said.
Another decade was lost. It was a sad triumph of vested interests over scientific progress. "We have very little time to waste because the world is running out of fossil fuels. Renewables can’t replace them. Nuclear fusion is not going work for a century, if ever," he said.
The Norwegian group Aker Solutions has bought Dr Rubbia’s patent for the thorium fuel-cycle, and is working on his design for a proton accelerator at its UK operation.
Victoria Ashley, the project manager, said it could lead to a network of pint-sized 600MW reactors that are lodged underground, can supply small grids, and do not require a safety citadel. It will take £2bn to build the first one, and Aker needs £100mn for the next test phase.
The UK has shown little appetite for what it regards as a "huge paradigm shift to a new technology". Too much work and sunk cost has already gone into the next generation of reactors, which have another 60 years of life.
So Aker is looking for tie-ups with the US, Russia, or China. The Indians have their own projects - none yet built - dating from days when they switched to thorium because their weapons programme prompted a uranium ban.
America should have fewer inhibitions than Europe in creating a leapfrog technology. The US allowed its nuclear industry to stagnate after Three Mile Island in 1979.
Anti-nuclear neorosis is at last ebbing. The White House has approved $8bn in loan guarantees for new reactors, yet America has been strangely passive. Where is the superb confidence that put a man on the moon?
A few US pioneers are exploring a truly radical shift to a liquid fuel based on molten-fluoride salts, an idea once pursued by US physicist Alvin Weinberg at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee in the 1960s. The original documents were retrieved by Mr Sorensen.
Moving away from solid fuel may overcome some of thorium’s "idiosyncracies". "You have to use the right machine. You don’t use diesel in a petrol car: you build a diesel engine," said Mr Sorensen.
Thorium-fluoride reactors can operate at atmospheric temperature. "The plants would be much smaller and less expensive. You wouldn’t need those huge containment domes because there’s no pressurized water in the reactor. It’s close-fitting," he said.
Nuclear power could become routine and unthreatening. But first there is the barrier of establishment prejudice.
When Hungarian scientists led by Leo Szilard tried to alert Washington in late 1939 that the Nazis were working on an atomic bomb, they were brushed off with disbelief. Albert Einstein interceded through the Belgian queen mother, eventually getting a personal envoy into the Oval Office.
Roosevelt initially fobbed him off. He listened more closely at a second meeting over breakfast the next day, then made up his mind within minutes. "This needs action," he told his military aide. It was the birth of the Manhattan Project. As a result, the US had an atomic weapon early enough to deter Stalin from going too far in Europe.
The global energy crunch needs equal "action". If it works, Manhattan II could restore American optimism and strategic leadership at a stroke: if not, it is a boost for US science and surely a more fruitful way to pull the US out of perma-slump than scattershot stimulus.
Even better, team up with China and do it together, for all our sakes.
Night Travelers and Other Waking Dreams on Exhibit at the Fresno Art Museum September 10, 2010 to January 7, 2011
Opening Night Reception September 10 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
(LOS ANGELES) August 27, 2010 – The Fresno Art Museum Council of 100 Distinguished Women Artists has chosen painter and photographer Kathryn Jacobi as the Distinguished Woman Artist of 2010. The museum will celebrate Jacobi’s career with an extensive exhibition of her work entitled “Night Travelers and Other Waking Dreams,” which explores the imaginative forces of dreaming in a collection of more than 30 works in oil on paper, wood panel and canvas. Jacobi’s paintings will display in the Fig Garden Gallery.
“The Council of 100 has persistently chosen women artists of great distinction – it has been patient in waiting for Kathryn Jacobi to come of age, that is, to celebrate her 60th birthday. Unanimously elected as the 22nd Distinguished Woman Artist by the Fresno Art Museum’s Council of 100, Jacobi joins the prestigious company of the twenty-one California women previously honored by this annual award including June Wayne, Helen Lundeberg, Ruth Weisberg, Viola Frey, Nancy Genn, Olga Seem, Junko Chodos, and Joan Tanner,” explained curator Jacquelin Pilar. “Long awaited, this exhibition covers the 40 years of Jacobi’s life spent as a professional artist.”
The exhibit, Jacobi’s fourth at the museum and fifth in Fresno, will open the evening of Friday, September 10, 2010 with a special event from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Admission to the opening reception is free for museum members and the artist’s guests; other patrons will be charged a $10 entrance fee.
In addition, the Council of 100 will host an invitation-only luncheon on Saturday, September 11, 2010, after which Jacobi will present a slideshow lecture, open to the public, at 1:00 p.m. in the museum’s Bonner Auditorium.
“The Fresno Art Museum has long been a haven for California's artists,” said Kathryn Jacobi. “I am delighted to have been selected for this honor and look forward to sharing my work with the museum’s patrons.”
About the Exhibit
Assembled by veteran curator Jacquelin Pilar, this unusual exhibit promises to open a door into the viewers’ personal unknowns, freeing both their angels and their demons. Most of the exhibit comprises paintings completed from the mid 1990s through 2008.
The centerpiece of the show is a group of 12 paintings, collectively called “Night Travelers,” which has never before been exhibited together. Its subject matter is raw and uncensored. Moving quickly through emotional states— from gentle and humorous circus imagery to the brutality of “The Burning Hand,” the stuff of nightmares—Jacobi explores what it means to be fully human and vulnerable in a very dangerous world. Better known for her realist paintings and portraits, Jacobi has rarely shown pieces from this challenging and thought-provoking body of work.
“The Night Travelers” is complemented by an exhibition of related works.
Six smaller paintings and one large panel, collectively called “The Minor Pantheon,” explore the life stages of birth, youth, adulthood and death and are dedicated to the memory of Jacobi’s friend, writer and musician Barbara Karp.
“Sleepwalking Through the Apocalypse,” a series of paintings that Jacobi has been very intentionally planning and executing these past ten years, is her response to the terrorist attacks on New York City’s Twin Towers.
The final collection in this show is a series called “Headshots,” which the artist considers to be alternatives to traditional portraits. In these works, Jacobi “mines the image” to explores up to ten variations of a single visage.
Three additional paintings, “Boneyard,” “Twins,” and “Woman Turning Into a Tree,” round out the exhibition.
“When I begin a painting, it is an instinctive act. The paintings in this show emerged without my understanding their meaning. Analysis comes later, usually when I am far into a series. Other people’s projections onto my paintings often lead them to draw entirely different interpretations—all valid in their own right, as would be true of any interpretation of dreams,” explained Jacobi. “It is my goal that this exhibit will deliver both a left hook and a caress.”
About the Artist
Born in New York, Kathryn Jacobi has spent most of her life in California. Classically trained, she counts the early Northern European Renaissance painters Durer, Hans Holbein the Younger and Roger Van der Weyden among her greatest influences. Jacobi studied painting, drawing, graphics and photography at California State University, Northridge where she earned a B.A. in 1978 and an M.A. in 1980.
A prolific artist in many mediums including etching, printmaking, drawing and watercolor painting, Jacobi has focused her most recent efforts in oil painting and digital photography. She has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and in Canada, Germany, Denmark, the former Czechoslovakia and Spain. Jacobi’s works of art belong to the public collections of the Centrum Judaicum (Stiftung Neue Synogogue) in Berlin, Germany, the San Francisco Cultural and Civic Center, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Cornell University, the New York Public Library, the Fresno Art Museum, California State University, Northridge, the National Watercolor Society and the Skirball Museum among many other cultural institutions.
Jacobi has published illustrations in the London Times Literary Supplement, Westways Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review, among other publications. Through her own small publishing company, Waxwing Editions, Jacobi has released two books: “The Bride’s Chamber,” a recently discovered story by Charles Dickens, and “The Popsicle Moon” by Sean Stratton, both of which are accompanied by her original illustrations.
AEI Client Dennis Palumbo Hosting Free Mystery-writing Workshop
Saturday, Sept. 11, at The Mystery Bookstore in Westwood. The workshop starts at 3 PM.
After which, he'll be signing copies of his new crime novel, Mirror Image.
The Mystery Bookstore LA
CONTACT: 310-209-0415 or 800-821-9017
"Writing is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as the headlights, but you make the whole trip that way."
E.L. Doctorow via Michael A. Simpson
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Interesting Geography [via David Angsten]
In the Sahara Desert , there is a town named Tidikelt , Algeria , which did not receive a drop of rain for ten years.
Technically though, the driest place on Earth is in the valleys of the Antarctic near Ross Island .. There has been no rainfall there for two million years.
Spain literally means 'the land of rabbits.'
St. Paul , Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota , was originally called Pig's Eye after a man named Pierre 'Pig's Eye' Parrant who set up the first business there.
Chances that a road is unpaved in the U.S.A : 1%, in Canada : 75%
For our Beverly Hills Friends
Day and Zip. Never happen again.
Transformers 3 - Sneak Peek - Lakeshore East , Chicago
Movie producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura said the last day of shooting is now expected to be Sept. 1, though that could still change.
"It's funny, we keep extending it here because we're having such a good time, to tell you the truth," Di Bonaventura said. "We were supposed to leave a few days ago, actually, and we kept extending it. Right now, around Sept. 1, but if we have any say in it, we'll keep staying here."
While Love was running lenses, batteries and other equipment back and forth so camera operators could get perfect shots of star Shia LaBeouf and other actors duking it out with imaginary evil robots, the cast and crew were busy falling in love with Chicago, Di Bonaventura said.
"Last night, I tried to think to myself, 'How many cities have I shot in in the last seven or eight years,' and I got up to about 118," Di Bonaventura said. "The reason I thought about it was because all of us have felt this was the best city we've ever shot in."
That's OK with Daley, given the $20 million the "Transformers" production is said to have spent while in Chicago and all the publicity he said the movie will bring the city.
"You'll see the great beauty of Chicago, that's one thing you'll see, and let's be realistic, film does that to cities, gives them new identities continually, the film industry does," the mayor said.
Daley said he's not troubled by his lack of a cameo in the film, but added that if a Mayor Daley character were part of the script, there's only one person capable of pulling off the role.
"They would have to select me, and there's no way," Daley said.