Thursday, May 29, 2008

Why "One Laptop Per Child's" Founder Left OLPC

“Microsoft stepping in is the symptom, not the disease,” he said in the interview. The issue, in his view, is whether the tools that bring computing to children are “agnostic on learning” or “take a position on learning.” “O.L.P.C. has become implicitly agnostic about learning,” he said.

read more | digg story

Particle physics receives boost from $5 million gift to Univ

University of Chicago press release,May 27, 2008The University of Chicago announced today that it has received a $5 million gift to be directed toward the development of future programs in particle physics.

read more | digg story

The Year That Changed the World By ROGER COHEN

There are many strands to the annus mirabilis of 1968 — the Prague Spring, the Paris barricades, Flower Power — but all involved an uprising against a stifling postwar order. In what the author Paul Berman has called “an incoherent fraternity,” idealism provided what coherence there was.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What Should One Teach in Elementary Mathematics?

The course I am working with the students here in Chilpancingo is Advanced Algebra. This is a first year algebra class. Before solving cubics and quartics at the end of the class in the middle of June, we are studying fractionary roots of complex numbers.

Some of them have trouble visualizing complex numbers and their roots. They tried to calculate:

(-1 + i)-2/5 and (1 -i)-2/5

I want to tell them about Euler´s formula, e = cosθ + isinθ, and how to use it for this calculation.

I am reading a book by Lakoff and Núñez which analyzes the mathematical concepts behind Euler´s formula, in particular, What does it mean e + 1 = 0?

The students used their scientific calculators and a formula they got from previous class notes. Now I want to emphasize this other method.

Euler´s formula has the number e; they don´t know this number, but more importantly, I think, they don´t know the concepts. That is my dilemma. Teach them more powerful concepts, or stick to the calculational methods they already know?

The conflict is that there is at least one online complex number calculator:

Complex Number Calculator.

I feel like emphasizing concepts, and leaving calculational technique to the internet.

Mexicans at CERN and Failed Students

You can read in Spanish below a note by a Mexican TV person about the "other" immigrants. These are good Mexican scientists doing good work abroad.

Unfortunately there is another side to that coin. I was talking to students here in Chilpancingo about the students that do not make it in the University here. Their answer was: They go up north.

I guess you do not have to think very hard to figure out exactly how far north they go.

Mexicanos en CERN


Mayo 22, 2008 por Leonardo Ferrera

Mayo 28, 2008

LOS OTROS MIGRANTES…
Estimados lectores, es un gusto grande para su servidor platicarles otra historia de migrantes que cruzan la frontera, diferente a la que desafortunadamente escuchamos día a día sobre abusos, humillación, explotación laboral, pobreza y muerte…

Esta es la historia de un exitoso grupo de científicos mexicanos en Ginebra, Suiza, donde viajamos recientemente, el cual está colaborando en un importante proyecto de investigación con los mejores físicos del mundo, incluidos varios premios Nóbel a quien tuvimos la oportunidad de entrevistar y cuya opinión sobre el trabajo que realizan nuestros connacionales es muy halagador…

¿Y en que consiste su colaboración?… El Centro Europeo de Investigación Nuclear, similar en importancia a la NASA, está por iniciar un experimento que de acuerdo con los científicos sería el más importante para el mundo en las últimas décadas, similar en grandeza a lo fue el proyecto Apolo 11 que llevó al hombre a la luna…

En este caso no se trata de ir al espacio, sino de recrear en laboratorios bajo tierra, a más de 100 metros de profundidad, una explosión similar a lo que fue el “Big-Bang” que dio origen al universo hace más de 13 mil millones de años. De acuerdo con los especialistas este experimento ayudaría a entender mejor de que está hecho el universo y de que estamos hechos todos los seres vivos, lo que beneficiaría al desarrollo de nuevas tecnologías en favor de la industria, de la salud y del medio ambiente, entre otros…

¿Y sabe que? México está presente en este importante proyecto. Son 40 investigadores, provenientes de la UNAM, del IPN, del CINVESTAV y de la Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, aportando su talento y conocimientos con los más reconocidos científicos del mundo…

Sin exagerar sería como decir que este equipo mexicano esta en las Grandes Ligas, pero de la ciencia, o en la “Champions League”, con científicos que también saben “mover el balón” a la altura de un Ronaldinho, de un Messi o de un Kaka…

¿Usted que opina?

Este blog fue creado el Jueves, 22 de Mayo del 2008 a las 6:55 am y pertenece a la categoría Investigaciones Especiales. Puedes darle seguimiento a los comentario mediante la liga RSS 2.0. Puedes escribir un comentario, o vincular desde tu sitio.

14 Respuestas para “LOS OTROS MIGRANTES…”
Pagina: 1 2 » Mostrar todos los comentarios

Eduardo Dice:

Publicado el 27-05-2008 - 9:07 am

Estimados amigos,
Hay problemas científicos y técnicos que solo se pueden resolver en México. Todavía no pueden las autoridades de Guerrero, donde vivo, comprarse una carretera en Houston y traerla para acá. Sin embargo igualmente hay problemas científicos que solo se pueden resolver fuera de México. El costo de construcción y operación de CERN, es tan grande que ningún país puede pagarlo solo.

Me siento orgulloso de esos jóvenes mexicanos que nos representan allá, tanto o más de lo que me siento de que Hugo Sánchez haya sido tan grande en el Real Madrid, o de lo que pase en el futuro con Giovani dos Santos en el Barcelona.

¡Viva México!

Laura Romo Dice:

Publicado el 26-05-2008 - 3:14 pm

En verdad me da un gusto enorme saber que nuestros connacionales puedan demostrar así mismos y al mundo, que nuestro país a pesar de sus problemas y carencias, a pesar de ser tercer mundo cuenta con la capacidad en su gente para sobresalir y para contribuir a mejorar “algo” en nuestro planeta que tanto hemos deteriorado.

Ojalá que todos no esforzaramos más por aportar algo benefico al mundo en que vivimos!!!!

Saludos!

mugroso Dice:

Publicado el 26-05-2008 - 2:46 pm

Carlos F. Saenz dice:

{…”En lo personal me gustaría saber cómo se solucionará la contaminación de mantos freáticos, la eliminación de plásticos no biodegradables, y tecnologías de educación a distancia efectiva, que saber cómo y cuando hizo “pum” el Big Bang”…}

Usted esta hablando de politicas publicas. Curiosamente y para su informacion, precisamente de los frutos de la ciencia, terminan siendo aplicados en no tan solo la politica publica, pero en el acontecer diario de las personas…como la computadora por la que escribe, o precisamente la misma planta que limpiara la contaminacion de esos mantos freaticos a los que usted se refiere.

mugroso Dice:

Publicado el 26-05-2008 - 2:28 pm

Mario…interesante sus paginas. Ya me di una vueltecita por hay y pues ojala se esclarezcan muchas dudas de si en verdad el Big Bang proviene de un solo atomo o si mas que nada somo parte de una de las 11 dimensiones que menciona la nueva teoria “del todo”, que nos llevaria otra vez a lo mismo: tratar de indagar de donde surgieron dichas dimensiones.
En lo personal, me gustaria que en vez de estar viendo tantas tara-novelas todo el dia y reality shows de Carmen Salinas, que mejor nos habran un canal de ciencias sobre lo que se hace en Mexico y en otros paises. Tratar de generar interes en nuestros ninios y jovenes por la ciencia a temprana edad, traeria consecuencias positivas y a futuro para las siguientes generaciones. Quizas algun dia en vez de adquirir toda la teconologia que se usa en el pais, seamos capacez de inventarla, producirla y venderla nosotros mismos al mundo entero.

…nos estamos quedando atras. Al menos asi se ve desde afuera. Saludos a Usted y todos los que colaboran con usted.

Mario Dice:

Publicado el 25-05-2008 - 9:04 am

Ojo ACLARACIÓN …

Todos los colaboradores (PROFESORES-INVESTIGADORES Y ALUMNOS) de la participación mexicana en ALICE viven y trabajan en México. TODO EL TRABAJO REALIZADO POR LA COLABORACIÓN MEXICANA SE HIZO DESDE MEXICO, TANTO LA ELECTRONICA COMO LOS MODULOS DEL DETECTOR SE DESARROLLARON Y PROBARON EN MEXICO.

Saludos

ACORDE’S

Mario Dice:

Publicado el 25-05-2008 - 3:58 am

Estimado Mugroso,

Tu comentario sobre el Big-Bang es muy acertado. En el CERN se pretenden reproducir las condiciones en las que se encontraba el Universo unos instantes DESPUES de haberse generado la Gran Explosion que, según la versión más aceptada de la creación del universo, dió origen a todo lo que conocemos hoy en día. Para esto, se ha construido el acelerador de particulas LHC (Gran Colisionador de Hadrones), que empezará a funcionar en este año. Además se han construido 5 detectores de partículas, que nos permitirán observar el resultado de las colisiones de protones y/o iones pesados a las energías de este enorme acelerador. En el momento de la colisión, se tendrá materia altamente enegética, con una altísima densidad. Por supuesto, esta energía será muchos ordenes de magnitud menor que lo ocurrido en la gran explosión.

Si lo deseas, podemos platicarte más sobre las actividades que se realizan acá en el experimento ALICE-CERN. En esta página encontrarás más información sobre ALICE-CERN:

ALICE-CERN

También, sugiero que visites la pagina del CERN: http://www.cern.ch, para más detalles generales sobre el acelerador.

Saludos cordiales

Mario

mugroso Dice:

Publicado el 23-05-2008 - 9:19 pm

No hay que ser tontos ni creernos todo lo que nos dicen…en serio, nomas ponganse a pensar en la magnitud del experimento: recrear el big bang! Para los que no saben que es el big bang, pos hay les va un poquito para que lo entiendan. Se trata nada mas y nada menos de que todo lo que existe en el Universo hoy, meterlo, comprimirlo y apachurrarlo en un espacio tan pequenio como lo es un atomo…..y hacerlo explotar!!!!

Ok…vamos por partes para quienes no entendieron:

Meter, acumular, comprimir, apachurrar…lo que sea pero que quede todo adentro de un espacio tan pequenio como lo es un atomo. Algo que es hasta dificil de mirar con un microscopio.
Que hay que meter en ese espacio tan reducido? Hay les va… la lista es grande:
Nuestro planeta, y todos los del sistema solar incluyendo el sol, todas las estrellas que se ven en el cielo por las noches. Y luego que algunas son tan grandes que su diametro, si la pusieramos en el lugar del sol, pues facilmente se tragaria la tierra. Toditita entera la galaxia y sus mas de 100 billones de ’soles’….aparte los otros 100 billones de galaxias con sus 100 billones de soles cada una. Algunas con mas, otras con menos pero es nomas pa’ darse la idea.

Hasta ahi todo bien y yo no tengo ningun problema. Como dijeron por hay, los mexicanos no somos tontos y de algun modo nos las vamos a arreglar pa’ ver como le hacemos.

En lo que si tengo problema es en lo siguiente: Cuando una estrella tiene la densidad de 25 soles como el nuestro, su misma fuerza gravitacional la hace colapsar en si misma, lo que genera un agujero negro. Y como todos sabemos los agujeros negros todo se tragan y es tan fuerte su fuerza de gravedad que ni la luz se escapa….ora imaginense que los fisicos por andar queriendo recrear el big bang, terminen creando un hoyo negro y nos trague a todos…a quien le van a hechar la culpa???? Pos a los mexicanos como siempre.

Y no solo eso, supongamos que los mexicanos logran recrear el big bang, ya esta toda esa masa ahi dentro y en ese espacio tan pequenio…y ora que? Lo hacemos explotar? A quienes van a acusar de terroristas??? Pos a los mexicanos…o no???

Saludos.

Jose González Dice:

Publicado el 23-05-2008 - 2:14 pm

Tontos no somos. Yo mismo soy un migrante viviendo en San Jose California, en Estados Unidos y me dedico a asesorar a inmigrantes para obtener su residencia legal. Todos los días veo gente muy talentosa y valiosa que por falta de oportunidades, por desigualdad y burocracia, no pueden salir adelante en México y tienen que emigrar. Este tipo de ejemplos, más que orgullo, nos debería poner a reflexionar. Si, esto confirma que tontos no somos. Pero desgraciadamente, pone de manifiesto la terrible desigualdad e injusticia que prevalece en nuestro país.

Ivan Dice:

Publicado el 23-05-2008 - 4:37 am

“La excelencia”

Definitivamente hay fuga de cerebros en nuestro país, la gente inteligente nace en todo el mundo pero detectarlos y desarrollar su potencial para su progreso individual y el de su comunidad es la tarea en la que todos hemos fallado.

En la escuela podemos ver que hay un miedo inherente a la gente lista, nuestra primera reacción es burlarnos de ellos, la siguiente es apartarnos de ellos, y la tercera y mas triste es aislarlos. Eso se repite desde la infancia hasta nuestra edad adulta, los vemos mas como una amenaza que como un un aliado importante.
Estoy seguro que si se afinan los mecanismos para detectar talentos nos vamos a llegar una gran sorpresa, es cuestión de saber buscar, hasta arriba del cerro si es necesario porque los retos que vienen demandan la acción oportuna de la gente mas inteligente y mas preparada.

Algo que ayudaría seria repatriar el talento en la medida de lo posible, es difícil pero factible porque la competencia mundial por los mismos puestos ocasiona una rotación importante de talentos que pudieran estar disponibles.

Que padre que estos mexicanos estén ahí, aunque si algo nos ha enseñado la historia es que esta migración ha sido permanente desde hace mucho tiempo. Un ejemplo ha sido Guillermo González Camarena que tuvo que ir a EU a registrar su invento porque aquí no había las condiciones adecuadas para hacerlo, finalmente hay una estación de televisión XHGC Canal 5 con sus siglas pero tuvo que batallar mucho para encontrar el socio adecuado y el reconocimiento nacional.

Slaudos.

V Canales Dice:

Publicado el 22-05-2008 - 8:29 pm

Para empezar hay que felicitar a estos cientificos por estar a nivel de investigaciones que afectan al mundo entero, no solo a nuestro peque;o pais en crisis, ese tipo de cerebros no pueden desarrollar sus capacidades al maximo en medio de la burocracia mexicana, la falta de apoyo al desarrollo de la ciencia y la corrupcion de la mayoria de las instituciones de Gobierno. Si bien es cierto que la fuga de cerebros es lamentable mas lamentable es que miles de profesionistas inteligentes, preparados, creativos y eticos se ven frustrados por la situacion politica del pais (donde es casi imposible hacer algo sin palancas) y forzados a buscar un mejor nivel de vida y condiciones de trabajo en paises en los que se respetan mejor las leyes y se castiga eficazmente a los que las rompen.


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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gauss´Less Constraint Principle

Carl Friederick Gauss in 1829 established this principle for Classical Mechanics.

"According to the Gauss principle,"the motion of a system of material points, constrained in an arbitrary manner, and subjected to arbitrary forces at any moment of time, takes place in a manner which is as similar as possible to the motion that would be performed by these points if they were free, i.e. with least-possible forcing — the measure of forcing during the time dt being defined as the sum of the products of the mass of each point and the square of the distance of the point from the position which it would occupy if it were free" "

You can read a little more here.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hope in the Unseen

A portrait of hope was on every face during a lottery to choose the first 80 students, drawn from disadvantaged districts, who will attend a new public boarding school.

read more | digg story

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Richard Rodriguez

I just submitted a piece by Richard Rodriguez in Newsweek (below). Here I want to expand on the man .

I feel like him. My father wanted all my siblings to learn English. We were born in Mexico, and most of us have gone abroad in later life. Some of my nephews and nieces have even lived abroad. My first grand nephew was born in Spain! We were not limited by poverty. It might have helped that we did not look as "indio", as Rodriguez; nevertheless my mother was surprised when I told her that in the US I am considered "colored".


It saddens me that if you look "indian", like the Mexican actor Ruben Sosa (below) from Tepito, Europeans do not respect you. I guess I have wished I, or my children, look more European. Maybe, in part, that is why I married a Russian-American Jewish woman. My kids look more European than I do, but I feel proud of my American-Indian genetic endowment.

I am very happy to report that last night I went to a dance for "Student Day" here in Chilpancingo, where many of my students looked more Indian than I do. They are so beautiful!

Richard Rodriguez has done a very good work to "educate" racist Europeans masquerading as Americans. The only Americans are the ones that were here already, when the Europeans arrived in the leap year of 1492. I hope that Rodriguez, and other people with bright minds like him, finally enlighten all of us. Human differences are almost all, only skin deep.

See the Brown in Us By Richard Rodriguez

Advice for Obama: Talk to Hispanics as a man who has made his way through black and white America.

read more | digg story

Mexican star of immigrant drama gets border grief at Cannes

CANNES, France (AFP) — The Mexican star of an immigrant drama presented at Cannes got a hard time from disbelieving French airport police after he truthfully told them he was an electrician invited to the glitzy festival, police said Thursday.

read more | digg story

"Che" More Informative Than Inspiring

CANNES (Hollywood Reporter) - The irrepressibly multitasking Steven Soderbergh has now set his roving sights on Latin American revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, with mostly positive results.

read more | digg story

"Tirofijo" is Dead

Manuel Marulanda, founder and chief of "Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia" (FARC) is dead. You can read below about it.

I can´t imagine a forty year old revolutionary war. In Mexico it was half that much, but somehow things got settled. I guess double, is not much in historical terms. But I would´ve hated if something like that would´ve happened in Mexico. I would´ve been born with uncertainty. When I was born at least I had the certainty that if I studied I could do something of my life.

Anyway, I hope the Colombian brothers and sisters find a way out of their terrible fate.

Colombia's Top FARC Commander Is Dead : Government Source

BOGOTA (Reuters) - The top commander and founder of Colombia's FARC rebel force is dead after more than 40 years fighting against the state from jungle and mountain camps, a government source said on Saturday.

read more | digg story

Friday, May 23, 2008

Why did I switch to Firefox?

I let the Microsoft experience ware off. I went to the "Revista Mexicana de Física" web site, and the explorer version 6 did not work. Instead of downloading a more recent version I switched. So far so good.

ScribeFire

My system in Chilpancingo did not have Firefox. I installed version 2, and now I am in the plugins. This is ScribeFire, and here it goes.

New Power Balance in Guerrero?

When I was a kid, every summer I used to go to my mother´s home town. Now I realize we were children of privilege; my grandpa had been a judge and a mayor in the town. My grandma´s siblings fought and WON the revolutionary war of 1910 to 1920. We did not feel that wealthy, but we were not from the laboring class.

Then my uncle´s pawns started to go to the US in search for fortune. Some got wealthy, and the way my uncle put it succinctly is: "now the rich are poor, and the poor are rich".

Now as an older man, back in my mother´s home state, I see the poor vying for power; unfortunately not always in the most peaceful way.

There is a "cold war" going on. Candidates for mayor or judge now; need armed protection. A new power agreement is being foged. Guerrero is producing a new power balance.

America's oil crisis demands a leader like Churchill

Through the 1930s, Winston Churchill was a has-been. He was old; he had been in Britain's Parliament for better than 25 years. He was an outsider, disliked for policy disasters such as his failed campaign to knock Turkey out of World War I at Gallipoli. He was ridiculed as a warmonger, as, from the beginning of Adolf Hitler's rise to power, he ...

read more | digg story

Churchill Needed?

"Our leaders do not tell us that the vast majority of the Earth's reserves are held by nations such as Iran, Russia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states, and several of them are beginning to withhold oil on behalf of their own people. They do not tell us that production of oil in Mexico, one of our prime suppliers, is declining -- precipitously."

You can read an article above with these insights.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Guerrero

Now I live in this state south of Mexico. Acapulco is in this state, and it has many more beautiful places. Unfortunately there are injustices hampering the protection of this land. You can read a short current history of the state in the note below.

I hope I can do good in my mother´s land.

GUERRERO: IMPORTANT DATES

In this timeline, we do not claim to cover the entire history of Guerrero, but instead intend to discuss some key elements that may facilitate a better understanding of recent developments. Since the 1960s, the state of Guerrero has been characterized by high indexes of poverty, social disintegration, organized crime, corruption, repression and ...

read more | digg story

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Robust Process Automation (RPA)

Alcatel-Lucent is a communications company. In the past American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) was founded to provide communication technology to the United States and the world. Alexander Graham Bell, was instrumental in establishing Bell Labs. Claude Shannon invented Information Theory there. This mathematician was given an engineer´s job. How to send a message optimally? There was no figure of merit to provide that characterization. Shannon invented one:

I = -log2(1/p)

He called I the information, and p is the probability of the message. If the Sun does not show up tomorrow, (p almost zero), then we get a big amount of information. The logarithm in the above formula has base 2. We get 1 bit of information if a coin lands heads. This is the most random case, equal probability of heads or tails.

Today I write about Joe Lennert, a Lucent engineer that solved an engineering problem with scientific insight.

He invented a virtual machine that mimics the steps engineers take to do their job. He adds common sensical strategies to take care of failures, and finally writes the whole thing in a script language, k shell (ksh), invented by David Korn,, from AT&T.

He tells me that his machines keep tugging along doing Lucent´s bidding.

Best High Schools

Newsweek Magazine just published a list of best high schools in the US.

I recently taught at two high schools in Illinois. They are not in the first 300. I did find some schools from IL in that list. They seem to me to be from well to do neighborhoods. One of the schools I taught at is ranked in number 1127, and the other is not even ranked.

Now I am teaching in one of the poorest region of Mexico, which in itself has a much lower income than the US.

What can I conclude?

The obvious implication is that wealth produces good schools, but I am really more concerned with another question, where is there more talent? My guess is that the distribution of this human trait is uniform throughout the world.

That is why the OLPC project is so important. Let us give ALL children a chance.

Willis Lamb Jr., 94, Dies; Won Nobel for Work on Atom

Willis E. Lamb Jr., who shared the 1955 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of a slight and subtle discrepancy in the quantum theory describing how electrons behave in the hydrogen atom, died on Thursday in Tucson. He was 94.

read more | digg story

Monday, May 19, 2008

Shakira-Slim-Buffett



What a Combination!

Shakira, other Latin American stars sing for their cause --

MEXICO CITY -- Not so long ago, Latin American artists who spoke up for social causes often risked prison, exile or far worse.

read more | digg story

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mexico's Battle over Oil by Laura Carlsen | May 15, 2008

On April 8, President Felipe Calderon dropped a political bomb on the Mexican political scene. The Senate received an executive initiative that would fundamentally change the structure and operations of the oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex). Key operations of the state-owned enterprise would pass into private hands.

read more | digg story

Friday, May 16, 2008

Crime in Paradise?

Below you can read a Time Magazine article about Mexico´s violence problem. I am just a math teacher, What do I know? How can one solve these crimes?

I think we live in paradise down here. No air conditioning, or heaters are needed, the place is just gorgeous. So why the crimes?

Don´t expect too much insight from these lines. It is just a simple view of reality from a man that loves abstractions.

As I see it, part of the problem is the European invasion over five hundred years ago. Most of the natives got European diseases and died. No big fight was neccesary. But after so many years, most people are immune to European diseases, and they are ready to fight.

Evo Morales is the first representative of the first Americans to get elected to the presidency of his country, Bolivia. I expect more and more of these real leaders to take over the power they lost so many years ago, and maybe these current crime waves, will be controlled.

When the original rulers come back, we will have Paradise without Crime. Of course those guys practiced human sacrifice, but I don´t think they ever killed a few hundred thousand brothers, and sisters, in a few minutes, like President Truman did in 1945.

I hope you indulge me for having these abstract thoughts.

Can Mexico's Drug Terror Be Stopped?

Mexicans are accustomed to tales of crooked cops abetting drug-related killings. So this week's announcement that a federal officer is among those charged with conspiracy in a drug-mafia hit on the nation's acting police chief Edgar Millan caused little surprise south of the border. Mexican officials say the May 8 assassination was ordered by the..

read more | digg story

$100 laptop' nonprofit now teamed with Microsoft - AP

BOSTON (AP) — The One Laptop Per Child project is about to find out whether Microsoft Corp., a rival the nonprofit group once derided, is the solution to its problems in spreading inexpensive portable computers to schoolchildren.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Black holes not black after all

International scientists have used flowing water to simulate a black hole, testing Stephen Hawking's theory that black holes are not black after all.

read more | digg story

The Post-Bush Climate

John McCain has been engaged in the fight against global warming for years, even at the expense of breaking with Republican orthodoxy and with President Bush on the issue. But it was still an important moment this week when Mr. McCain, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, decided to raise the profile of climate change in the 2008 campaign.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Seaweed Suggests First Humans in America Took the Coastal ..

It is now largely accepted that humans first entered the Americas over what was then a land bridge in the area of the Bering Strait. There is more of a debate about what they did next, whether they spread southward by inland routes or along the Pacific Coast.

read more | digg story

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I Am Liking This

Now that I am back, in more than one way to known territory, I am starting to feel at home. Some dear friends are listening to my ideas; good or bad, with equal attention. Right now I am most impressed by the young ones I am meeting. They listen to me. That is something.

ACORDE

The Mexican High Energy Physics Group, from Puebla; presented and got approval for a cosmic ray detector on the ALICE detector of LHC at CERN, for triggering purposes. Stage 1 is supported and on track. Further stages are being considered.
You can read some of their documents here.

Proculo´s Fart and New Price of Oil

Yesterday my students at Autonomous University of Guerrero, told us a story. I want to connect that story with the recent developments in the oil industry.
There is this rich guy, Proculo, in a town in Guerrero, that is kind of fat and is sitting in a chair as a dance is going on. All of a sudden and without any way for him to control this event, he lets gas out, causing a very clear and distinctively characteristic sound. Everybody in town talks about Proculo´s unfortunate event for days.
In a small town it is difficult to escape such estigma, and Proculo decides to leave town and try his luck in the United States.
Twenty years later Proculo is not happy in his new chosen country and decides to go back, even richer than before. He gets back in town and meets a very pretty girl that catches his eye. They start to talk and he asks her: How old are you? She says, I do not remember very well, but my mother told me that I was three the day of Proculo´s fart.
I am back in Mexico now, when I left, twelve years ago, there was a big crisis, December´s mistake, was called. Now that I decided to come back, I find Mexico in better shape than then. The price of Mexico´s Oil is in an all time high, over a hundred dollars a barrel, with predictions that the most expensive West Texas oil could reach two hundred dollars a barrel, during the coming year.
Unlike the unfortunate Proculo, I did not leave a smelly odor behind, I hope that this time around I may benefit from the wealth of this beautiful country, with the equally beautiful people that live here.

Oil prices soar on latest forecast

Oil futures blasted to a new record near $123 a barrel Tuesday, gaining momentum as investors bought on a forecast of much higher prices and on any news hinting at supply shortages. Retail gas prices edged lower, but appear poised to rise to new records of their own in coming weeks.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Mathematics Education

Now that I am about to start a new career in research, I feel the need to ascertain the usefulness of this work.
Are students now learning differntly after this research?
This question in itself requires research, I am sure that some scientists have addressed this question and there are answers. Nevertheless in my heart of hearts I feel that the question and the discipline, are of a different class of things than the questions I am used to in Physics. Putting aside the question about the scientific character of Education Sciences in general, I venture a guess. If I think carefully before I speak to students, they have more of a chance of knowing What do I mean?
For now I will leave it there.

The Road to Reality

I have been reading Roger Penrose's book on and off for several years now. I hope that finally I will finish it. For today I quote a beautiful line by Penrose:
"Yet I am an optimist in matters of conveying understanding. Perhaps I am an incurable optimist".

Mathematics

I was just asked to read the syllabi for math students at my University. As a physicist my first reaction was that without elementary physics classes, any program for a mathematician is badly founded; under a little more thought I realized that many professionals in the hard sciences, get along well without physics. The very fact that only recently have the professors at my University considered the possiblity to study Physics, makes me aware that there is at least a two-pronged issue. A general view of a university, and the particular state of mine.
General
Any university must have a Physics Department, in that vein my efforts should be directed as much as possible to the estabilshment of such an institution.
Particular
This University has a story, where Physics is just entering right now. This is where I should concentrate my efforts.

How Does Mexico Look After 10 Years?

I just got back to my country. I left following goals that I could not achieve. Maybe I should have made a better plan, in any case I am back.
I will just describe first impressions coming back.
Today Mexico Oil´s price was over 100 dollars for a little while to settle around 100. This has consequences in the Mexico I found.
Besides the price of gasoline, which is close to that in the US, the government cannot claim lack of funds for academic projects. When I left, we presented some projects that were approved by experts, but due to lack of funds were not supported. I expect that to end now.
I am in a bigger office than when I left, with a better computer. There are plenty of opportunities to develop Mexico and I am now older, and I expect wiser.

The Democratic Recession

There are two important recessions going on in the world today. One has gotten enormous attention... But it will eventually pass, and the world will not be much worse for the wear. The other has gotten no attention. It’s called “the democratic recession,” and if it isn’t reversed, it will change the world for a long time.

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

16 Are Killed as Gunmen Seek Rancher in Mexico

MEXICO CITY — Gunmen killed 17 people over the weekend in the southern coastal state of Guerrero in a wild hunt for the head of the state cattlemen’s association, who has gone into hiding, the authorities said Monday.

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Chilpancingo

Whoever is following this blog. Now I reside in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico.

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