Saturday, February 28, 2009

Econo-protests paralyze Mexico City, Juárez-El Paso bridge

Thousands of campesinos from across Mexico blocked central avenues of the capital Jan. 30, many having traveled for days for the protest directed at President Felipe Calderón. Protesters decried that Calderón has instated a freeze on petrol prices, but not diesel—on which tractors and other farm equipment run. They also rejected Calderón's free tra

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Could a Sudden Collapse of Mexico Be Obama’s Surprise ..

Free-trade politics and the drug war created a social crisis in Mexico, and a militarized response to it may push events to an explosion. A year-end report by the Pentagon’s Joint Forces Command names two countries as likely candidates for a “rapid and sudden collapse” — Pakistan and Mexico.The report, named “JOE 2008” (for Joint Operating ..

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Friday, February 27, 2009

The Medium Is the Soup Commercial

Movies are awash with product placements, as are sports games and reality shows. In these financial times, will networks take things to a whole new level?

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Even Worse for Young Workers

Young people who remain unemployed for substantial periods of time will not only find it difficult to make up that ground, but it could leave lasting scars.

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The Clash - Should I stay or should I go

live performance, see paul's dancing befor last chorus!

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The Clash - Tommy Gun


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The Clash - White Riot Live (1978 Victoria Park London)

Taken from the film Rude Boy

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Does Obama Reassure Me?

"The economy is spiraling down at an accelerating pace, threatening to undermine the Obama administration’s spending plans, which anticipate vigorous rates of growth in years to come."

"The fortunes of the American economy have grown so alarming and the pace of the decline so swift that economists are now straining to describe where events are headed, dusting off a word that has not been invoked since the 1940s: depression."

Taken from the NYT (below). 
I have to make my mind, as Joe Strummer asked many years ago: Should I stay or should I go?(above)  Somehow I feel that even if the US goes down, I'll be better off there than here. The Army took Ciudad Juárez this week (below), for goodness sake!

I'll keep you, literally, posted.

Sharper Downturn Clouds Obama Spending Plans

The economy is spiraling down at an accelerating pace, threatening to undermine the Obama administration’s projections of growth in years to come.

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Mexico to send up to 5,000 more troops to Ciudad Juarez

The increase would triple the law enforcement presence in the border city, which has been racked by drug violence. Its police chief quit recently and its mayor has received threats.

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Is There Money Out There?

I tend to exaggerate, a professional trait. As a physicist we are taught to look into extremes. Say you want to design a table. You study the extremes, table with zero legs, and table with infinite legs. No other professional, maybe only a mathematician, will consider these outlandish situations. When dealing with the unknown, common sense goes out the window.

This professional trait makes me imagine that all Americans will not have money to eat tomorrow, or the other extreme, that from now to the end of time, Americans will receive a fat thousand dollar check in the mail, starting from tomorrow. I know that neither scenario has any chance. That is not the point of these kinds of exercises, the point is to gauge the mind to what is likely to happen.

My answer to the question in this is note is: Yes.

The next question is: Will I get any? If I stay in Mexico I guess the chances are less than if I return to the US. Then, did I make a mistake by coming down? I'll rather don't answer that now.

Part of Denver’s Past, The Rocky Says Goodbye

The Rocky Mountain News published its last edition on Friday.

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A Heathen's Day: Living the Good Life - Without Monotheism

"Living life is about examining life through reason, nature's greatest gift to humanity...To be human is to think, appraise, and explore the world, discovering new sources of material and spiritual pleasure." And as they observe, "A properly examined life protects people against living life as spectators."

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Ten Rules

    Examine Life
  1. Worry Only about the Things You Can Control
  2. Treasure Friendship
  3. Experience True Pleasure
  4. Master Yourself
  5. Avoid Excess
  6. Be a Responsible Human Being
  7. Don't Be a Prosperous Fool
  8. Don't Do Evil to Other People
  9. Kindness toward Others Tends to Be Rewarded
  10. Taken from:

It came, it snowed, it made a big mess

MN got its heaviest snowfall of the winter! 9.6 inches in 5 hours, 87 crashes, and 27 injuries. Thank you mother nature!

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How Do We Know We Have to Change Course?

"For all the obvious differences in men and moment, how Richard Nixon dealt with Vietnam leaves haunting questions for the Obama administration as the new president has announced his own exit from Iraq and a policy review in Afghanistan. Are the policy makers of 2009 in the Middle East and South Asia free of the cultural-historical ignorance that haunted their forerunners in Southeast Asia? Is the new presidency free of the old Washington demons at last — the mistaking of national interest, habits of overreaction, the illusions of omnipotence, the cognitive dissonance at evidence of failure or futility, the military’s preference for the military solution, the absence of reflective thought, the failure to reach out beyond the supposed experts of bureaucracy or establishment for another sensibility and perspective?

Exorcised or not, ghosts of Vietnam hover over the Obama foreign policy, not least in key officials like former National Security Adviser James L. Jones Jr. and the special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke — men whose formative career experiences were in Vietnam, and who have not yet told us what they think of the chilling relevance of that history to what they now face.
One parallel is plain as early as the first hundred days. As with Richard Nixon and Vietnam, Barack Obama’s political fate will be inextricably tied to the wars he inherits."
This excerpt was taken from the NYT (below).
I am no President. I have my own decisions to make. I write here some general thoughts, that may help President Obama, and most of all, myself.
The heading of this note guides my thoughts. A simple answer, I've used before is, if you are getting results, stay the course, otherwise start looking for other options.

President Obama already told us what is he going to do. Get out of Irak. I posed a question on this Blog, so far the answer is:


A resounding. Don't Know. One for yes, one for No, and one for Don't Know.

Not statistically significant, but what the heck, we have to function with limited information. I pose that our life is like that. We never know for sure what will happen next, and least of all, what are we going to do next.

“Let me say this as plainly as I can,” the president told thousands of Marines stationed here. “By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.”

That is a quote from Obama's speech at CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. today (below).
I don't think he should've said that. We do not know the future. I understand politics, and the need to reassure those young women and men risking their lives over there. But Obama cannot guarantee that. He can state his intention to leave then, or earlier if possible.

I have to change course, things are not turning up as I expected. I haven't made a decision, but if I see myself in another place one year from now, I won't be surprised.

Obama Plans to End Combat Mission in Iraq by August 2010

The plan President Obama will announce on Friday will leave behind a force after August 2010 of 35,000 to 50,000 troops on “a more limited mission,” the White House said.

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100 Days: How Not to End Another President’s War

Nixon was going to end Vietnam, then decided to win it. Now Obama faces similar decisions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Physics Off Center

Physics is a successful discipline, using mathematics and empirical observation to describe change. Macroscopic bodies change position, and we have Classical Mechanics, for microscopic  ones we have Quantum Mechanics, slow motions lead to Non-relativistic Mechanics, fast ones to Relativistic. By studying  the simplest situations, mathematical abstraction rules. Everybody must study Physics to get a professional degree in mathematical and physical sciences.

This does not always happens.

There are countless professionals that should know better, and sometimes lack basic knowledge in this area of human knowledge.

I write here about Physics outside the cosmopolitan centers of the modern world.

If one goes to Acapulco one is not thinking in the scientific culture of the bar tender. As long as they are courteous, and friendly one is OK. Should the State of Guerrero have a Physics Department?


How do I make it happen?

Don't Know.

Gmail Gets Multi-Attachment Uploading

Gmail users can now select multiple attachments when adding them to an e-mail message. The new system simply opens your operating system's file explorer, and supports selecting of multiple files at once.

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Oil Prices: ‘The Floor Has Been Reached’

Crude oil futures are hopping—prices are up almost 6% to about $45 in New York mid-morning. Since the U.S. recession didn’t end Wednesday night, what red flag is being waved at oil bulls?

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Most dangerous cities for outsourcing

Corporate America's cries for the CIO to get things done "better, faster, cheaper" offshore may begin to be drowned out by the more moderate mantra of today's outsourcing customer: "safer, more stable, more secure."

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Paul Krugman Agrees?

This is scary.

It means that it is as bad as it seems.

Finally a strong position from Obama that Krugman approves of (below). Now let us help Obama push this through the Republican incoherent, egotistical, mumbo jumbo. I hope Ronald Reagan finds out about this in heaven (or hell, or purgatory, who knows where that puppet is).

He won't like it.

President Obama’s Budget: Some Honesty About Taxes

No one who really believes in fiscal responsibility could object to the proposed tax increases.

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Climate of Change

President Obama’s new budget represents a huge break from policy trends. If he can get it through Congress, he will set America on a fundamentally new course.

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Fisk: Obama was unconvinced by Bibi's desire for peace

Barack Obama, they say, did not get on well with Bibi Netanyahu when he met him in Jerusalem before the American elections.

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Dr. James Hansen calls for Civil Disobedience at the Capitol

Today NASA Climatologist Dr. James Hansen released a public service announcement calling on all of us to join the Capitol Climate Action (CCA) on March 2nd. If you haven’t heard, it will be the largest protest on Global Warming in U.S. history.

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Capitol Climate Action, March 2, 2009

Mass civil disobedience at the coal-fired Capitol Power Plant in Washington, DC

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March 2, 2009

Castañeda, Negroponte and Chávez

I was left hanging up dry.

I do not know any of these three gentlemen, I know somebody that knows one of them. But the dyanmics of their interaction might've affected my life.

Castañeda writes in Newsweek (below), that Chávez may stay in power for some time. He doesn't mention though, something that affects me. The OLPC foundation has Jorge Castañeda as a member, and Nicholas Negroponte invited Jorge to help him in Latin America. He did not succeed.

Hugo Chávez made a huge order of a competitor laptop per child, basically taking the rug under the feet of the XO laptop.

I do not care which laptop I promote in Chilpancingo, but I've been slowed down.

Why Chávez May Outlast Us All

He used every instrument of the state and every trick in the book to stack the deck against his opponents.

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$99 iPhone coming after all, claims analyst

News on - $99 iPhone coming after all, claims analyst

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What Does it Mean When Microsoft lets People Go?

I read from Seattle that temps will start loosing money at Micrososft. I am for open source, but this may not mean that all those workers are going to happily going to join the ranks of the open source creators. It has been some time that I have wondered why all that people voluntarily code for the good of all, and maybe fame. I like to code myself, but I need to make a living.

As it often happens at this site, you see more questions than answers.

May you live in interesting times.

Microsoft temps face 10 percent pay cut

The thousands of contractors who work at Microsoft through third-party agencies are facing pay cuts beginning Monday, as Microsoft continues...

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Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles living for the city

tribute to ray charles living for the city

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Kucinich: Massive Stanford Group fraud may be conspiracy

Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio talks with FOX Business about the extent of the fraud perpetrated by the Stanford Group, and the coming revelations about the case that may involve a conspiracy at the highest levels of government!

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$1.75 Trillion Deficit Seen as Obama Unveils Budget Plan

President Obama’s budget proposal for 2010 projects a stunning deficit of $1.75 trillion for the current fiscal year, which began five months ago, reflecting a shortfall of more than $1 trillion as the fiscal year began, plus the costs of bank bailouts, the first wave of spending from the newly enacted stimulus plan and the continuing costs of war.

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Am I getting Money this Year?

"That tax credit will annually provide $400 to low-wage and middle-income workers or $800 to couples; Mr. Obama would like to increase those figures to $500 and $1,000. The credit phases out for those with incomes above $75,000 a year and for couples with incomes of more than $150,000; no benefit would go to individuals with more than $100,000 income and couples with $200,000."

I guess this is not for this year. That excerpt was taken from the NYT (above). But to me it will be a great relief. I do not make that much money, you know? A little here a little there, then it becomes real money.
I am in the LED business also. Maybe our company will take off, once Americans realize that Thomas Alva Edison is so much, last century.

What if Obama Outperforms Clinton?

I remember back in the nineties when Bill Clinton took over. Fleetwood Mac, and all that enthusiasm. Then it happened; a time when I made more money than in the rest of my whole life. Then came my Nemesis: George W. (not Washington) Bush. Spoiled brat that broke the china, and should be put in jail. At least he is my least favorite president ever. I can't believe that bozo was president! Anyway he wrecked my life.

Can I dream now? Can I imagine that a new Era is Coming?

Technology has evolved despite the Bush administration mismanagement of reason in the US. Maybe we can pull through together out of the mess the Republicans left us in. Good riddance American reactionaries; you almost killed all of us, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

James Watson disses today's high school teachers: Scientific

Last night in a room with a double helix woven in the carpet, the cantankerous geneticist James Watson, Nobel-Prize winner and provocateur – made clear his opinion of today's high school teachers: they're not too bright.

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Top 10 Weirdest Things In the Universe

From Dark Energy to the Cosmic Microwave Background, space is, well, weird.

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Tunnel with 40,000 LEDs Is the Closest

I've never traveled through space at light speed, but I imagine that standing in this LED tunnel is pretty close to the dizzying experience. The video is just plain awesome.

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The Sword of Damocles by James F. Hansen

Over a year ago I wrote to Prime Minister Brown asking him to place a moratorium onnew coal-fired power plants in Britain. I have asked the same of Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, Kevin Rudd and other world leaders. The reason is this – coal is the single greatest threat to civilization and all life on our planet.

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This Monday 1 O'Clock Join James Hansen! in Washington D.C.

Obama needs proding to sign the necessary treaties to save the Earth. Join the courageous scientist James Hansen from Columbia University in New York, this coming Monday.

James Hansen

The above is one of his thoughtful essays. He will participate in civil disobedience acts  next Monday. I wish him the best from Chilpancingo.

I found out about these activities by watching Democracy Now today. Thanks Juan González and Amy Goodman.

Our children need the Earth, they deserve the same Earth we received from our parents.

My son's birthday is next Tuesday. I wish I were there.

The Caucus: Wonder Honored at the White House

The Obamas officiate at an award ceremony for Stevie Wonder, held at the White House.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Inner Life

Perhaps the Age of Excess had to end before we could all turn inward just enough to rediscover the gold standard of the perfectly formed phrase, and make connections again.

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The Dead Tree Theory

The stimulus money will be channeled through so many hands, it is inevitable there will be waste — like planting a dead tree. At which point, the Republicans will wave their withered branches.

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U.S. Is a Vast Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels

The case against the owner of a Phoenix gun store offers a glimpse of how weapons delivered to American gun dealers are being moved into Mexico and wielded in horrific crimes.

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When the Next Wave Wipes Out

A Los Angeles neighborhood that once attracted baby boutiques, lattes and foot traffic is hit by the recession.

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I Ponied Up for Sheryl Crow?

Northern Trust of Chicago, if you’re not solvent, why are you using my tax dollars to party at a golf tournament?

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Safari dominates browser benchmarks

By Nate Lanxon CNET UK Crave Proving itself a staggering 42 times faster at rendering JavaScript than IE 7, our benchmarks confirm Apple's Safari 4 browser, released in beta Tuesday, is the fastest browser on the planet.

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Full text of Obama's speech to Congress and the nation

Here is the text of President Obama's first address to a joint session of Congress, as released by the White House moments ago:

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Paging Uncle Sam: The U.S. is Still the World's Superpower

At no time in the last 50 years has America ever felt weaker, and at no time in the last 50 years has the world ever seen America as more important.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why netbooks are killing Microsoft

When Microsoft laid off 5,000 people in January, analysts pointed to plenty of reasons for the first major layoffs in the company’s history. Obvious culprits included the overall economic meltdown, Apple’s continued success and Wall Street’s desire to see a leaner Microsoft. But the real cause of the layoffs can be summed up in one word: netbooks.

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Quark Star May Hold Secret to Early Universe

A NEW kind of star may be lurking in the debris from a nearby supernova explosion. If confirmed, the "quark star" could offer fresh insights into the earliest moments of the universe. When supernovae explode, they leave behind either a black hole or a dense remnant called a neutron star.....

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Dark Matter Filament Detected Near the Milky Way

Theoretical calculations done by astrophysicists at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem led by Professor Avishai Dekel, show that low mass galaxies can form when intergalactic gas streams into dark matter haloes and not by intergalactic gas heated by a virial shock to millions of degrees.

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Dark Energy to Erase Big Bang's Fading Signal

When astronomers in the distant future cast their eyes around the cosmos, they will come to the conclusion that our galaxy is alone in the universe.

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Dome Big Dome: Giant Observatories Augur New Era of Cosmolog

Four centuries ago Galileo pointed his spyglass toward the heavens and astronomy changed forever. As the world celebrates the 400th anniversary of the telescope, another cosmological revolution is coming: The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) and European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT)—all expected to see first light..

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Scientists discover gene that can grow TEETH

Researchers have pinpointed the gene that governs the production of tooth enamel, raising the tantalising possibility of people one day growing extra teeth when needed.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Politics in the Guise of Pure Science

Why, since President Obama promised to “restore science to its rightful place” in Washington, do some things feel not quite right?

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That Can’t-Do Spirit

There is something weirdly self-defeating about needing to move beyond a deteriorating physical plant, and being unable to do it because of the outmoded way of doing politics.

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Los Angeles Getting 140,000 New LED Streetlights : Red, Gree

Finally :D

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Ms. Jackson Makes a Change

Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has brought a new sense of urgency to global warming.

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I just sent official information of my Mexican income. I am an American resident. My tax agent is going to file my income tax papers in the US.

This sounds boring, but I am finding it exciting!

More or less by the implications.

Does it really mean I can live wherever I want and file tax forms in other place?

Of course I pay Mexican taxes also. Those were taken away already. When I retire in Mexico, I may get some or less back. But I find the idea intriguing. Living here and paying taxes there. Richard C. Clarke, comes to mind, he lived in Sri Lanka and published in New York, through the satellite communication that he was one of the first to conceptualize.

Are we in a globalized society already?

Senator Graham: We May Have to Nationalize the Banks

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on ABC's This Week, February 15, 2009

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Is Obama Handling his Job Well?

The conlusion was:

Yes                  7
No                    4
Don't Know  5

This worries me. This small sample shows indecision in the public about President Obama. 

I believe the problems need radical solutions, and so far President Obama has not taken Radical Steps. I'll feel better with Paul Krugman (below) doing what apparently Larry Summers is not willing, or able to do.

Banking on the Brink

Why not just go ahead and nationalize? Remember, the longer we live with zombie banks, the harder it will be to end the economic crisis.

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What Iran’s Jews Say -

The Iranian- Jew community lives in peace in Iran and Iranian tolerance towards the community reveals a lot on “its sophistication and culture”.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

The Invisible War

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the brutal raping of women by soldiers and militias has pulled apart the entire society. And the world, for the most part, has remained indifferent.

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Finance for Our Times

The government is just going to be a kind of helper, bringing the toxic asset buyers and sellers together, maybe creating some incentives to make the deals happen.

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I Pledge!

New Poll: America's #1 Hero Is Barack Obama - Not Jesus

In a stunning new Harris poll, President Barack Obama has beaten Jesus Christ to be American’s new number one hero. When a similar Harris Poll was conducted in 2001, Jesus was in the top spot, but now apparently America likes Obama more than it likes Jesus.

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Most Popular People in the US

1. Barack Obama
2. Jesus Christ
3. Martin Luther King
4. Ronald Reagan
5. George W. Bush
6. Abraham Lincoln
7. John McCain
8. John F. Kennedy
9. Chesley Sullenberger (the man who landed US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River)
10. Mother Teresa

They are not barbaric


That is greek for barbaric. It is onomatopeic for bar bar, i.e, some sound one does not understand. The other, the alien.

President Obama is bombing Pakistanis (below). Here is Mexico the Army is fighting Indians that do not speak Spanish. 

I believe it is time to start talking without prejudice against poor people. Because poor people now can buy powerful weapons and kill us.

Chrome v.s. Explorer

The equations in Symplectic Geometry  are readable in Chrome, but not in Explorer. I believe that the software engineers at the Redmond company broke the rules, and those at Mountain View respect the W3 conventions more. Either incompetence or greed ruined my page in Explorer. Whoever wants to read my equations, not very many, I suspect, should switch to Chrome!

Obama Widens Missile Strikes Inside Pakistan

The missile strikes on training camps run by the militant Baitullah Mehsud represent a broadening of the American campaign inside Pakistan.

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The Milky Way (360 Degree View)

The Milky Way galaxy, as viewed from Earth, itself situated on one of the spiral arms of the galaxy, appears as a hazy band of white light in the night sky arching across the entire celestial sphere and originating from stars and other material that lie within the galactic plane.

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Cosmic Accelerators?

The physicists from the Astronomy Decal Survey (Ice Cube and Anita) write:

"Observations of the UHECR spectrum above the ankle ( 3 × 1018 eV) from AGASA, HiRes and Auger show both a dip caused by e+ e− pair production [17, 18] and a bump consistent with a GZK accumulation clearly visible. In particular, hybrid energy measurements from Auger have reconciled the discrepancy between the HiRes and AGASA energy scales, favoring the HiRes claim of the observation of the GZK cutoff. This evidence supports a simple ansatz where UHECR are accelerated in extragalactic sources [11] and reaches us over a long baseline, favoring the bottom-up scenario [19]."

This means that dark matter particles do not seem to be very active producing clues for us to find them. They are more than 20% of all that there is in the universe, and do not show up in a top-down manner.

This is a good news bad news story. The good news is that all we were thinking of to explain the highest energy cosmic rays reaching earth are likely true. The bad news is that we are not going to find exotics this way.

Using the good news part of the story, all we need now is some good accelerator designs to imagine how are, the particles we know, elevated to such heights in the energy ladder.

My pet theory is that in the center of galaxies, the Active Galactic Nuclei, either produce or are fueled by Hawking Primordial Blach Holes.

Wouldn't that be neat? Giving a Nobel Prize to Stephen Hawking at the same time that Jim Cronin gets his second prize, now for telling all those cosmic ray physicists how an accelerator physicist does his thing.

Monument to Economic collapse, Sinking in Inland Empire, CA

Now parts are a living foreclosure museum, with subdivisions tracing the staggering arc of boom and bust. Some still gleam. Others lie stained and rotting in the desert sun. And some are frozen, half-built: accidental monuments to mass delusion. In 2004, 2047 Cherrytree sold for $247,500. A year 1/2 later, it went for $325,000. Today - $98,000

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

No Lunch Left Behind

The National School Lunch Program, costing around $9 billion a year, has turned out to be a poor investment. It should be redesigned to make our children healthier.

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Latest Minutes from the Federal Reserve

 “All participants anticipated that unemployment would remain substantially above its longer-run sustainable rate at the end of 2011, even absent further economic shocks; a few indicated that more than five to six years would be needed for the economy to converge to a longer-run path characterized by sustainable rates of output growth and unemployment and by an appropriate rate of inflation.”

Prof. Krugman (below) writes that this preliminary assessment should worry us. I understand that it is official, we are for a long period of financial distress. I was already in distress. This is not reassuring. 

Who’ll Stop the Pain?

The Obama administration’s policy initiatives will help in this difficult period — but it’s trying to mitigate the slump, not end it. No doubt this recession will pass — but how, and when?

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Earth facing critical climate decline

A U.S. scientist says Earth's atmospheric greenhouse gases are increasing more rapidly than expected, resulting in worsening global warming predictions.

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Morales and Sarkozy agree to invest in hydrocarbons and lith

PARIS, February 17, (ABI) .-The presidents of Bolivia and France agreed on Tuesday in Paris a program of investment to develop the Bolivian industries of hydrocarbons and lithium.

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Symplectic Numerical Integration

Some time back I read a paper by Carl Bender on numerical approximation using the structure of Mechanics. Now I find out that Celestial Mechanics is using the so-called symplectic structure of classical mechanics, to improve numerical calculations.

Both findings sound true to me. There are several ways to discretize a continuous problem. One may expect that it helps to impose extra conditions in the discrete version. Conservation laws come to mind, and as I write in this note, also the geometric structure of phase space.

I am just coming to grips with the concepts of geometry of phase-space. In real space a riemannian metric may be enough, but when the equations of motion have an intrinsic sign difference between the two sets of equations that describe the mechanical system, one should expect more goodies.

I am looking for some of those, and it  seems that celestial mechanicists already found some.

In another interesting paper, Carl Bender writes:

"The purpose of a transform is to convert an apparently complicated problem into one that is obviously simple. In order to be useful a transform must have an inverse. One applies the transform to a difficult-looking problem, solves the resulting easy problem, and applies the inverse transform to obtain the solution to the original problem."


Late-Day Drop Sends Dow Below 7,500 Threshold

While stocks have been trading in a broad range over the last three months, analysts said that the indexes may be carving out a new, deeper trench.

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Cuba Declares War on Windows

In an effort to rid every computer in the country of the American-designed Windows OS, the Cuban government has banned the software and created its own Linux-based operating system

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Stars of Cosmology, Part 1: Scientific American Podcast

In part 1 of this podcast, cosmologists Alan Guth from M.I.T., Arizona State University's Lawrence Krauss, John Carlstrom from the University of Chicago, and Fermilab's Scott Dodelson discuss the state of cosmology--and the universe's possible dismal future--at a press conference at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancem..

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Stars of Cosmology, Part 2: Scientific American Podcast

In part 2 of this podcast, cosmologists Alan Guth from M.I.T., Arizona State University's Lawrence Krauss, John Carlstrom from the University of Chicago, and Fermilab's Scott Dodelson take reporters' questions at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago on February 16th

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The Oil Glut of 2009…and Why it Won't Last

A rude bet on crude prices - $100 before $20,Western oil majors feel the political pinch,A non-cow dung alternative fuel and plenty more...

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Attorney General Eric Holder: America Is A Nation Of Cowards

Holder described the United States Wednesday as a nation of cowards on matters of race. Remember Holder was the man with the courage to stand up for principle when Bill Clinton wanted to pardon fugitive financier Marc Rich for big money and murderous Puerto Rican separatist terrorists to garner political support for Hillary's Senate run. Oh, wait..

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Mexico’s First Black President

Barak Obama admires Abraham Lincoln. Vicente Guerrero, Mexico’s first black president, was his nation’s Lincoln. In 1829 he issued Mexico’s slavery abolition decree (which led a few years later to Texas slave holders taking Texas out of Mexico).

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The Devil Made Me Do It

Lately I am beginning to wonder if, in our current troubled times, being in a Senate — any Senate — actually is hell.

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Reading Khamenei in Tehran

The central Iranian political fact of recent years has been the reinforcement of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. How to engage with Iran begins and ends with him.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No Way, No How, Not Here

The defiance of Islamist terrorists by Indian Muslims stands out against a dismal landscape of Sunni Muslim suicide murderers who have been treated by Arab media as “martyrs.”

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Obama Unveils $75 Billion Plan to Fight Home Foreclosures

The plan, more ambitious than many housing analysts had expected, is intended to help up to 9 million Americans stay in their homes.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Queen Noor in a Romantic Relationship With Carlos Slim of Me

I am not one that likes to gossip, but I couldn't let this one go by. According to this Mexican Daily newspaper, Queen Noor and Carlos-deep-pockets-Slim have been courting since last summer.

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What Happens to the World When the US goes Down?

My first answer is that we all go down. Nevertheless I cannot escape the thought that if one looses, other wins. Zero sum.

The second answer also is naïve. We have a non-linear system. Nevertheless energy is still conserved and definitely, electric charge is conserved. What I mean is that even in the arcane lore of Economics  there must be some term for invariants, conserved quantities.

Carlos Slim Helú, the richest Mexican, and sometimes the richest man on Earth is marrying Queen Noor ; a wealthy woman in the Middle East.

He thinks Mexico is for a bad ride. Somehow I feel he  may come up on top.

Dow Nears Lowest Level in a Decade

Investors expressed more doubts about the banking system and the fate of struggling American automakers.

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Symplectic Geometry

 i⋅ i = -1

There is geometry behind that little snipet of code. What appears like an invention to solve quadratic equations turns into a geometric metaphor, for 90o rotation on a two dimensional euclidean plane.

Now we have:

 i⋅ i = -1 ,  j⋅ j = -1,  k⋅ k = -1

Together with:

 1⋅ 1 = 1, and  i⋅ j = k,  j⋅ k = i,  k⋅ i = j,  j⋅ i = -k,  k⋅ j =-i,   i⋅ k = -j.

We get rotations in four dimensional space. 

These are nice constructs. It happens that:

\dot p = -\frac{\partial \mathcal{H}}{\partial q}
\dot q =~~\frac{\partial \mathcal{H}}{\partial p}
We have here another code. This is the Symplectic code. This code has a sign change also, but more. It is a direction in a so-called Phase Space. The geometry of this space is the Symplectic geometry. Derivative means change in a certain direction. Two dimensional phase-space for one dimensional motion already has directions, and a sign change. It is the purpose of Hamiltonian Dynamics to understand the geometric consequences of this code.

I start reflexions on these issues with this note.

Nuclear subs 'collide in ocean'

A Royal Navy nuclear submarine was involved in a collision with a French nuclear submarine in the middle of the Atlantic, it has been reported.

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The Dark Sector @ Google

Last November I gave a talk at the Google outpost in Santa Monica, on dark matter and dark energy. I covered a lot of ground pretty quickly, introducing the Standard Model and the basics of the Big Bang as well as some ideas about the dark sector.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Hollywood star could restart damaged particle accelerator

Actor Tom Hanks has agreed to turn on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) once it has been fixed.

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Francis Everitt

This physicist has been working for 46 years to prove Einstein wrong.

Gravity Probe B

is getting close to a verdict.

I bet Einstein is right.

To do this Everitt and his team made the roundest spheres ever made. The question is: Does the Earth drag its frames?

This sounds like gibberish. It does mean something. The issue is the nature of rotational motion.

Since Newton's time it was clear that if a bucket with water spins around its axes the water's surface is not flat. The farther away from flat, the faster it rotates. So in a way, straight line motion at constant speed is indistinguishable from rest, but rotational motion is absolute.

Then came Mach, a physicist from the early twentieth century. He said that if the whole Universe rotated the other way, and the bucket staid at rest, one could also see the bent water surface. Problem is, as Feynman used to say, one cannot turn the whole Universe around. So this is not an experimental question.

Einstein's theory though, has a way to look into these issues. If geometry and gravity are as linked as his theory demands, then there must be some effect on space time just because a big object is rotating. The biggest object we can set our "hands" on, is the whole Earth. Then the problem is to put a little sphere near the Earth, and make the little guy turn around. If it moves around differently from a little ball away from any big chunk of matter, then we can start to do experiments, instead of just imagining that we are playing with the Universe as if it was a huge top.

Let us wait for the patient Dr. Everitt to find out the answer.


I won the bet.

The sky is falling, but it doesn't seem to be satellite debr

When people in northern Texas saw debris burning up the sky yesterday, some quite understandably thought it might be shrapnel from last week's unfortunate game of chicken in space between U.S. and Russian satellites.

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Perseverence Is Paying Off for a Test of Relativity in Space

The Gravity Probe B spacecraft has sought to prove two tenets of Einstein’s theory of general relativity and the data is promising.

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Chávez Looks Beyond 2013 as He Faces Serious Challenges

Major obstacles to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s revolutionary dream lie ahead, in the form of sagging oil prices and a sizable opposition.

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Officials Set Timetable for Getting Particle Collider Back o

CERN has announced a new schedule for starting up the Hadron Colider next September and keeping it going for a full year.

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Obama Riding the Wave

But beyond his specific policies, Mr. Obama is emerging as the very model of the type of person one would want in high public office.

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California Gas Prices Still High even as Crude Oil near Lows

Crude oil is selling for the low price of under $35 a barrel. The precious black commodity is awash at storage tanks across the country. But the price of gas is going up and up and up — to $2.29 a gallon in California on Saturday, 25 cents higher than a month ago and 49 cents more than before Christmas.

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Latin America warms up to nuclear expansion | Viewpoints, Ou

New Era?

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Mozilla Bespin tries taking coding to the cloud

Cloud computing gets another twist from the organization behind Firefox: the browser-based Bespin programming environment.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson: The world will NOT end in 2012

The center of the galaxy - the sun and Earth - will be in perfect alignment on Dec 21, 2012. But Neil explains why this isn't really such a big deal...

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Black Hole Confirmed in Milky Way

There is a giant black hole at the centre of our galaxy, a 16-year study by German astronomers has confirmed.

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Global Warming Seen Worse than Predicted.

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - The climate is heating up far faster than scientists had predicted, spurred by sharp increases in greenhouse gas emissions from developing countries like China and India, a top climate scientist said on...

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'100 billion trillion' planets where alien life could exist

There could be one hundred billion trillion Earth-like planets in space, making it "inevitable" that extraterrestrial life exists, according to a leading astronomer.

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Darwin and Lincoln at 200: Happy Birthday Mister Precedent:

February 12, 2009, marked the 200th birthday of two giants of the 19th century: Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. But the two great men are linked by something other than the simultaneity of their births.By Steve Mirsky in 60-Second Science Blog

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Do We Need a New Internet? -

Security and privacy have become so compromised that many experts believe it is time to start over.

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BREAKING: Daylight fireball over Texas!

A meteor bright enough to be seen in broad daylight has been spotted over Texas between San Antonio and Austin. It was seen just before 11:00 a.m. local time on Saturday, February 15. If you saw it, read the linked article and leave a comment there.

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Wins Removal of Term Limits

Fourteen months after his first attempt failed, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez won a referendum Sunday to eliminate term limits, paving the way for him to rule far into the 21st century to carry out his socialist transformation of this oil-rich country. The measure won 54.3% of the vote.

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The Magic Mountain

For young Iranians, the Alborz mountains are a physical escape from the city where jobs are elusive, but also a mental one, freedom from censorship.

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Decade at Bernie’s

Like the duped investors who believed in Bernard Madoff’s scheme, America has thought it was rich in the first decade of the 21st century.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

How to Stock a Cabinet

Senator Judd Gregg has dropped out from becoming secretary of commerce. Why not try filling the Obama administration’s cabinet via TV games?

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Being Honest About Abe

The Southern Avenger looks at the dark side of Lincoln and his legacy - the centralized all-powerful Federal state.

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Are We Moving?

"“We have yet to pass the 30th day of this administration,” the House majority leader,Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, said. “And we have passed historic legislation.”"

This form a NYT article I posted here some hours ago.

It sounds like Obama is moving ahead, but Paul Krugman says is too little for the task ahead, and most Republicans voted against it.

I think that during these serious hours radical measures have to be taken. I am still almost bankrupt. Even worse I do not see any way to stop carbon from going up in smoke. Every "accident" reminds me of the weird weather we are experiencing. I am still looking for signs of the big catastrophe I am waiting for.

Carlos Slim, sometimes the richest man on Earth, told Mexicans this week the tsunami is real. Our President Felipe Calderón said, it isn't so.

I am still uneasy.

Being First

Who was the second person to write down E=mc2?

Nobody knows.

It is sadder though, the situation of a person that said something before everybody else and nobody listened.

Remember the Viagra joke?

I was the first to post it online in digg just check the time. But somehow I don't sell myself well , I got three diggs, and this gal  got 121 diggs.

Is this fair?

British Airways makes an emergency landing

BA makes an emergency landing at London City airport just hours after a Dash 8Q400 crashed in Buffalo, New York...

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Stimulus Bill Passes in the House With No G.O.P. Support

The vote was 246 to 183, reflecting the Democrats’ considerable majority and the Republicans’ deep dissatisfaction with the $787 billion package.

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My Kid Brother

I am proud of my brother. I am working right now to help him and his school of thought to move forward a group of ideas in Mathematics Education.

I want to believe that I inspired him in his aspirations, and ambition to produce something useful for our fellow men and women. I will do all in my power to help all of us to learn and teach math better.

He understood my passion for math; and now I owe it to him, and to all,  to work together with him to increase the number of people that use and produce math with conviction.

Sierpinski Valentine [XKCD]

Fractal Love

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Sen. Patrick Leahy: Investigate Bush-Cheney Abuses

Proposing the idea of a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate abuses during the Bush-Cheney administration, which may include the use of torture, warrantless wiretapping, extraordinary rendition, and executive override of laws. 

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Should I Buy Dollars?

I have a friend here that bets against the Mexican Soccer Team. Everybody hates him for that, but he won two days ago when we lost against the US.

He is is just objective, not unpatriotic.

Which way is the peso going?

I think down.

Make your own conclusions.

Small Town USA hit by Climate Change

"Ms. Baker described the town as “small-town U.S.A,” a place that will reel from what she was sure would be the biggest tragedy the town has ever seen."

This paragraph is taken from the NYT below.

I believe many unprecedented accidents are in the way. Now we have a series of "accidents" all the way from New Orleans Louisiana to Williamsville, New York.

When will we see the light, and get behind President Obama as our leader. 

Madoff's economy should end!

Get the Republicans out of Small Town and Big City alike. 

Analysis: Mexico's peso to keep slipping despite interventio

MEXICO CITY — A landmark intervention by the Mexican central bank to defend the battered peso is slowing its decline, but the currency is seen weakening further as Mexico slides into recession.

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Conntinentail 3407 crash on Clarence center, Buffalo, NY

A Continental Connection Dash 8-400 crashed in Clarence Center, Buffalo, New York... Sad day for the passagers and the residents.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Why Such Clear Advice from a Smart Guy is not Followed?

"For while Mr. Obama got more or less what he asked for, he almost certainly didn’t ask for enough. We’re probably facing the worst slump since the Great Depression. The Congressional Budget Office, not usually given to hyperbole, predicts that over the next three years there will be a $2.9 trillion gap between what the economy could produce and what it will actually produce. And $800 billion, while it sounds like a lot of money, isn’t nearly enough to bridge that chasm."

Paul Krugman

I guess the Republicans don't care about brains, only about their own gains.

Tight your belts, we are getting into  a long and scary ride!

Put those rascals in jail; not listen to them. 

I'm sorry I am mad at Madoff's Republicans. 

Don't Americans have any fear. Here in Mexico I am worried, very worried.

Failure to Rise

It's early days yet, but we're falling behind the curve. America just isn't rising to the challenge of the greatest economic crisis in 70 years.

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The Origin of Darwin

A look back at the life of Charles Darwin, who was born 200 years ago today. His work transformed our understanding of the planet and of ourselves.

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Laid-Off Foreigners Flee as Dubai Spirals Down

With Dubai's economy in free fall, debt-ridden foreign workers are fleeing, leaving parts of the once booming city looking like a ghost town. Rather than facing "Debtors Prison" foreigners are abandoning cars and other property as they dash madly for the airport.

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I'm Moving to Mexico City!

Below you can read Marcelo Ebrard´s latest initiative to become the Legitimate President of Mexico in 2012.

At 59, going to 60; I may qualify for free Viagra!

Mayor Aims to Add Spark to Flagging Sex Lives

With elections looming, Mexico City’s mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, is giving Viagra away to poor, older men.

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Twitter? It’s What You Make It

Just another Internet time drain, or better than e-mail and phone calls combined?

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Disruption and Death Accompany High Winds

Winds that gusted up to 60 miles an hour killed three people, injured others and caused travel delays and power failures in homes and businesses around New York.

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Move Over Joe the Plumber: Meet "Julio The Fry-Guy" Osegueda

Joe the Plumber became a media sensation for asking President Obama about taxes. Now, it's Julio "the Fry-Guy" Osegueda's turn. The young man works at McDonalds and goes to school part time. And while Joe might represent what America once was, Julio represents everything it should be.

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Physics at UCSB

Thinking about college?

Go to UCSB

I went there from 1973 to 1979. It is the most beautiful place I've ever been in my whole life. I was 23 when I got there, it was Paradise.

Of course you have to factor the fact that I was coming from Mexico City, not the most livable place in the world, (it is better now, though).

Besides that definite plus, there were the most beautiful people there; I married one.

Most important though, was the class of people in the Physics Department. First rate people, and first rate scientists. The "gang of four" (in reference to Mao Tse Tung's widow and her gang), Dr. Douglas Scalapino, Dr. James Hartle, Dr. Raymond Sawyer, and Dr. Robert Sugar (my advisor), won a competition by the National Science Foundation to establish a Theoretical Physics Institute. Five million dollars over five years. As they say, the rest is history.

When I left campus in 1979, the first high caliber recruits were coming in, Prof. Robert Schriefer of Superconductivity fame. I talked with him once in the elevator when I went back in the early eighties, also Professor Walter Kohn , got there around that time. I could go on and on and on.

Just a last comment about my ending up at UCSB. Professor Richard Blankenbecler went to CINVESTAV-IPN in Mexico City to teach a summer school course. I was finishing my studies for the M.Sc. degree in physics there. I wanted a recommendation letter to go to Stanford University; by the time I talked with him though, I had received a letter from Stanford telling me to get the Engineering Degree I was about to get at ESIME-IPN. I was young and in a hurry, so when Prof. Blankenbecler told me that it was not too late to apply to two very good physics departments, that were not very famous, the first at the University of Washington at Seattle, and the second at the University of California at Santa Barbara, I seized the opportunity.

Back then UCSB was known as a beach party school, which was not bad, but would have not drawn my attention really. I took the advice, it was very prescient of him to know that those two physics departments were going to be as good as they became.

Now it is not that hard to choose UCSB for an undergraduate or graduate education in Physics. I just want to put my little five cents worth piece of advice. Go to UCSB! Go Gauchos!

BTW. Professor Alexei Vladimir Filippenko  got his B.Sc., and  Alan Boss, got his Ph.D. degree in Physics there.

Happy 200th Birthday, Charles Darwin: In-Depth Reports

The evolution of the most powerful idea in science, originated by a man who was born in Shrewsbury, England, on February 12, 1809. Here's how Darwin's theory survives, thrives and reshapes the world.Happy Darwin Day everyone!!

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Kip Thorne on Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking is coming to town - to Pasadena, that is.

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Orion's Belt Continued


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VIDEO: 49 Aztec Warriors in Mass Grave

Archaeologists in Mexico City have discovered a mass grave of what may have been the last warriors to resist conquistador Hernán Cortés, who took the Aztec capital in 1521.

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Michelle Obama, the second First Lady to appear on Vogue

It's official: Michelle Obama is the first lady of American fashion, appearing on the cover of the March issue of Vogue.

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Karl Marx

"In every stockjobbing swindle every one knows that some time or other the crash must come, but every one hopes that it may fall on the head of his neighbour, after he himself has caught the shower of gold and placed it in safety. Après moi le déluge! is the watchword of every capitalist and of every capitalist nation. Hence Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the laborer, unless under compulsion from society."

Jaguar photographed in central Mexico, first since 1900

The largest cat in the Americas is alive and well in the heart of Mexico, scientists say. Three photographs of a male jaguar and exactly 132 poop samples are the first known evidence of the predator since the early 1900s.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Stump Theory

A 10-year-old Sussex spaniel named Stump won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club. Yet another sign of the emerging trend of 2009: Old is in.

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Iran’s Inner America

In Iran, people under 30 thirst for contact with the outside world and, above all, an America that looms with all the power of myth.

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The Vatican Declares That Charles Darwin Was Right After All

Roman Catholicism has officially embraced Darwinism. Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture openly declared yesterday that Darwin’s theory of evolution was not only "compatible" with Catholicism, but could even be traced to St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas.

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Space crash: Commercial and Russian satellites collide

Two satellites collide over Siberia

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Darwin Speaks: "How faithlessness stalked me"

Mr. Darwin, there is hardly any other book that has polarized society to such an extent as your On the Origin of Species. Do you think you have been given a fair treatment in the public debate?

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Slim’s Economic Forecasts Are Alarmist, Lozano Says

Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s economic forecasts are alarmist, may discourage consumers and scare away investment as the country grapples with a global downturn, Labor Minister Javier Lozano said.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Trillion Dollar Baby

Despite the touting, the Treasury chief unveiled a plan short on illumination, recrimination, fine points and foreclosure closure.

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The Open-Door Bailout

The centerpiece of our stimulus should be to stimulate everything that makes us smarter and attracts smart people to our shores.

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Citing ‘Lost Faith’ in Banks, Geithner to Push B

After prevailing in a White House debate on the shape of the bailout, the Treasury secretary plans a speech meant to overcome doubts about his approach.

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I don't Like 1930s References

You can read above:
"WASHINGTON — The White House plan to rescue the nation’s financial system, announced on Tuesday by Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, is far bigger than anyone predicted and envisions a far greater government role in markets and banks than at any time since the 1930s."

This NYT article beginning makes me nervous.

Darwin the Comedian. Now That’s Entertainment!

Richard Milner, a science historian, finds the funny side of Charles Darwin, evolutionary giant.

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Rafael Núñez

This Chilean Professor at the University of California, San Diego, together with George Lakoff from the Berkeley campus of the same University; have looked into the metaphorical character of concepts. Here are two jewels of their thinking:

Time Events are Things in Unidimensional Space.

Time Passing is Motion of an Object.

Núñez  helps me understand what do I do when I teach Mathematics, because he answers the question: What Mathematics Is?

Like Darwin and Galileo before, these Cognitive Scientists are trying to clean all the cobwebs that clutter our minds.

The following are the axioms of the real numbers.
  1.  Commutative laws for addition and multiplication.
  2. Associative laws for addition and multiplication.
  3. The distributive law.
  4. The existence of identity elements for both addition and multiplication.
  5. The existence of additive inverses (i.e., negatives).
  6. The existence of multiplicative inverses (i.e. reciprocals)
  7. Total ordering
  8. If x and y are positive, so is x + y.
  9. If x and y are positive, so is x ⋅ y
  10. The Least Upper Bound axiom: every nonempty set that has an upper bound has a least upper bound.
The first 6 axioms provide the structure of what is called a field for a set of numbers and two binary operations. Axioms 7 through 9, assure ordering constraints. The first 9 axioms fully characterize ordered fields, such as the rational numbers with  the operations of addition and multiplication. Up to here we already have a lot of structure and complexity. For instance we can characterize and prove theorems about all possible numbers that can be expressed as the division of two whole numbers (i.e., rational numbers). Along a line we can also locate (according to their magnitude) any two different rational numbers and be sure (via proof) that there will always be (infinitely many) more rational numbers between them (a property referred to as density). With the rational numbers we can describe with any given (finite) degree of precision the proportion given by the perimeter of a circle and its diameter (e.g., 3.14;3.1415; etc.). With the rational numbers, however we can not "complete" the points on the line, and we can not express with infinite exactitude the magnitude of the proportion mentioned above (π = 3.14159...). For this we need the full extension of the real numbers. In axiomatic terms, this is accomplished by the tenth axiom: the least upper bound axiom. All ten axioms characterize a complete ordered field.

The concept of motion is in the tenth axiom.

Upper Bound
b is an upper bound for S if
x ≤ b, for every x in S.
Least Upper Bound
bis a least upper bound for S if

  • bo is an upper bound for S, and
  • b ≤ b for every upper bound b of S.
What Nuñez is after in this study is the concept of time. 

Continuity, traced by motion, takes place over time.

The trace of the motion is a static holistic line with no jumps.

These are deep thoughts we should grasp to better teach, and maybe to produce a new paradigm for Physics. Embodied Physics?

Nuñez says:

I believe that mathematics education would benefit tremendously by building on these kinds of findings and by acknowledging, in a deep way, that mathematics is indeed the product of human imagination.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Recession offers potential bargains for spring break travele

Looking to get away this spring break? You may be in for a deal.

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El Fisk

When I was in Aurora I met an artist at East Aurora High School. He wasn't that interested in math, but he was definitely interested in art.

You can see his creations in:


When I look at Grafitti, all over the place, I try to understand what the children are trying to tell us. I feel like Mr. Jones must've felt:

Bob Dylan

Artists have always confounded us.

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