Tuesday, March 31, 2009

International Year of Astronomy

Here it is almost the end of March, and none of us has blogged about the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

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Kucinich to probe $3.6 billion in bonuses at Merrill Lynch

Even as Merrill Lynch & Co. bled money and warily eyed a merger with Bank of America, company executives were preparing for a windfall. Following the federal government's promise of $10 billion in TARP funds to buoy the ailing firm, Merrill paid out $3.6 billion in bonuses: a package 22 times larger than compensation given by AIG.

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Mexico Peso, Stocks, Bonds Rally as Calderon Seeks IMF Line

Mexico’s peso, stocks and bonds jumped after President Felipe Calderon said he may seek as much as $40 billion in aid from the International Monetary Fund to shore up dwindling foreign reserves.

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A Brave Man Who Stood Alone

I don't know if I met Tom Hurndall. He was one of a bunch of "human shields" who turned up in Baghdad just before the Anglo-American invasion in 2003, the kind of folk we professional reporters make fun of. Tree huggers, that kind of thing. Now I wish I had met him...

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Syria's Assad Emails Seymour Hersh To Describe His Hopes

"President Assad was full of confidence & was impatiently anticipating the new Administration in D.C. when I spoke to him late last year in Damascus. A few days after the Israeli ceasefire in Gaza, Assad said that although Israel was “doing everything possible to undermine the prospects for peace,” he was still very interested in closing the deal."

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Fargo’s Flood

Fighting an epic flood is hard enough. We join the residents of Fargo, N.D., in hoping that the blizzard that moved into the area does not exacerbate conditions.

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Seymour Hersh: Secret US Forces Carried Out Assassinations i

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh created a stir earlier this month when he said the Bush administration ran an “executive assassination ring” that reported directly to Vice President Dick Cheney. “Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or to the CIA station

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Fidel Castro on China

As a Latin American of my generation I pay attention to what Fidel Castro has to say. At some point in my life I even considered going to live in Cuba.

He has stated loud and clear what a bunch of Latin American intellectuals like myself think. China keeps the dream.

The West did not try to build a new society, the old one was good, thank you. Of course some countries were being paid handsomely for their victory in World War II. There have always been war spoils.

It was sad for me to see how the Soviet Union failed.

Cuba has maintained the dream, at the expense of hardships for the Cuban people. As a scientist I prefer facts to dreams. China's success is a fact. I join Fidel Castro in stating it clearly: Chinese communism has worked.

Since my mind works by contrast I want to add a coda.

I admire and enjoy the freedom I have lived in the US. I do hope we find the way out in a Democratic Form of Government. American society is not just a bunch of Bernie Madoffs. There are enlightened people in this country where my children have grown up. This is the Land of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger that made me cry during Obama's inauguration.

I guess I want it all. I am convinced we will need our best survival abilities to go through this bottleneck.

Fidel Castro calls China 'bitter drink' for West

HAVANA (Cuba): Cuban leader Fidel Castro called China's growing economic power in the world a "bitter drink" for the West, ahead of a G20 summit set to tackle the economic crisis later this week.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Bob Dylan - A Pawn in Their Game (Live at Newport '63)

I saw this on PBS recently and was mesmerized... How the hell has music gone from this to the garbage we have now? I hate my generation with a passion... seriously guys and gals, let's do some heroin, drop some LSD in the eyeballs, get out the guitar, shoot the techno dweeb producers and make some real god damned music!

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In Drug War, Mexico Fights Cartel and Itself

Mexico has launched a war against drugs but it cannot rely on the institutions most needed to carry it out.

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Anglo-American Capitalism on Trial

With the G20 summit meeting approaching, a global financial system dating to Bretton Woods is under siege.

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America the Tarnished

These days America is looking like the Bernie Madoff of economies: for many years it was held in respect, even awe, but it turns out to have been a fraud all along.

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The Conference Board(R) Mexico Business Cycle Indicators(SM)

NEW YORK, March 27, 2009 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ ----The Conference Board Leading Economic Index(TM: 63.89, -1.59, -2.43%) (LEI: 0.52, 0.01, 1.96%) for Mexico declined 1.3 percent and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index(TM: 63.89, -1.59, -2.43%) (CEI: undefined, undefined, undefined%) for Mexico decreased 1.7 percent in January.

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US and Iran open Afghanistan peace talks - Historic!!!

Peace talks with US Iran and Afghanistan... Did I read that right ?

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nice Video for Energy Conservation

Great music video (!) on energy efficiency

“This record’s going LEED platinum.”

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Blue Eyed Greed?

With the Obamas in the White House brown eyes may finally — and rightfully — overtake blue as the windows of winners.

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Mother Nature’s Dow

If Mother Nature had a Dow, you could say that it, too, has been breaking into new (scientific) lows.

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Guess

I just found out that Gromov got the Abel Prize. I figure he must know a thing or two. I am just starting to study symplectic geometry. Here there is a guess:

The minus sign in Hamilton´s equations points toward a geometric reason for energy conservation. Something like we live in the universe we do, because three dimensional rotations are non-commutative, and then the universe is stable, i.e., it conserves energy.

Complex numbers don't quite cut the cake, quaternions are there in between, and Gromov saw that something in between in symplectic geometry was the subtle solution to the complex, quaternion, nature of the physical and geometrical space we happen to live in.

I know this is a messy set of ideas. At this stage this is all I can report.

The mystery for me is: What does the minus sign in Hamilton's equations have to do with the orientability of surfaces in our neck of the woods, and vice versa?

I'll like an answer like. Only in three dimensional space and one time there can be a stable Universe.

What about Geometric Anthropic Principle, for a name to this wished for answer?

"Fifth Force" Could Make Detection of Dark Matter Unlikely

No one knows exactly what a “fifth force” might be, but studies have shown that, if a long-range fifth force does exist, it could have surprising effects on the universe’s structure formation. A fifth force could reduce discrepancies between theory and observation in several areas of cosmology.

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Luke Pritchard (The Kooks) - Naive

Live @Soundfix Records (8.26.07, Brooklyn, NY)

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Academic Evolution

The Renaissance followed mercantile successes of European merchants. Bell Lab scientists got Nobel Prizes in pure science while there was a telephone monopoly in the US.

Here in Chilpancingo there is interest in Astronomy but not a single professional telescope to look at the sky.

Since the time I decided to be a theoretical physicist I knew that this was a long shot. Some of my peers have been successful, but I feel that even them have not contributed to human culture as our friends at Princeton or Harvard.

The process is simple to describe, all of us get a fair try at tenure posts in elite research centers, some are chosen and then handsomely supported.

I do not want to complain, just to understand.

What are the chances of a Physics program in the Autonomous University of Guerrero, any time soon?

Realistically, very slim.

Nobody stops me from teaching Physics already, actually there is some kind of benign neglect. I'll keep at it, until I find a better way to spend my time or succeed.

Are There Long Range Correlations Now?

This question is about human events.

Statistical Mechanics teaches us that near a phase transition different parts of a system start to act coherently. When water is about to boil, molecules move so fast that we don't know if they are part of a gas or part of a liquid. What happens in one cubic centimeter affects what happens in one cubic meter. Infinite correlation length is the technical name.

Be warned, people are not molecules, but what the heck lets try the analogy anyway.

I am in Chilpancingo, and I am listening to events in Chicago, and I understand!

This I call infinite correlation length. Of course I am not an average molecule, I mean man. In any case, there are many guerrerenses in Aurora Illinois. We are affected in Chilpancingo by what happens in Wakegan.

I keep looking for signals of a phase transition. Other name I've used for this concept is paradigm shift.

I feel the quiet before the storm.

Ira Glass

Through WBEZ I am listening to Ira Glass. He is talking about the collapse of South Chicago dreams.

I almost worked there!

During my Benedectine University training to become a science high school teacher in the Chicago area, I went to the King College Prep High School. I liked the lake shore, the clean streets, compared to Chilpancingo, that is. I was almost bought into the idea, of ending my life as a science teacher for the kids of the South Side of Chicago.

It pains me to hear what Ira has uncovered in his program "This American Life", this rich people destroying the lives of poor and middle class people, is sickening.

Ruins, and ruins. This is the reality of the AIG guy's video game called "Sub Prime Pyramid". This is not virtual reality, this is grim reality.

What Shape Is Your Galaxy? : Scientific American Podcast

Yale astrophysicist Mark Schawinski talks about Galaxy Zoo, a distributed computing project in which laypeople can help researchers characterize galaxies. And we tour Kroon Hall, the new green home of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Sciences. Plus, we'll test your knowlege of some recent science in the news. Web sites related to this

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Geometer wins maths 'Nobel'

A French-Russian mathematician has won the Abel Prize today for his work on advanced forms of geometry.

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Bargain Hunt: Netbooks

Most netbooks are already fairly cheap machines, but these three deals from MSI, Acer, and Lenovo bring the cost down by 25 percent or more.

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35,000 turn out for wet G20 march

Around 35,000 protesters gathered in the rain in London today for a huge march for “jobs, justice and climate” in the first of a week of demonstrations ahead of the G20 summit.

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Wallace and Gromit Recruited to Teach Science

The world of Wallace and Gromit has been recreated in a £2m exhibition on the second floor of the Science Museum in London, complete with mad machines, giant cabbages, villainous rabbits, and extensive research library on cheese. The exhibition which opens on November 1st is designed to get children thinking about design and invention.

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Frigid Temperature Slows River’s Rise in North Dakota

After days of predicting that the swollen Red River would crest on Saturday, forecasters now say that residents can expect the river to crest sometime on Sunday.

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Obama links Red River flooding to Global Warming

"If you look at the flooding that's going on right now in North Dakota and you say to yourself, 'If you see an increase of 2 degrees, what does that do, in terms of the situation there?' " the president told the reporters. "That indicates the degree to which we have to take this seriously." Current temp in Fargo: 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

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'Planet Earth' + Steven Hawking = 'The Universe'

Hollywood Reporter: Discovery Channel's announced a multi-million-dollar "Planet Earth" followup to explore space with Stephen Hawking using CGI (and somebody else to narrate)

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Education reform: Let's start by burning all the textbooks

Paper textbooks are problematic in two ways: First, they're paper. Second, they're textbooks. Paper textbooks are bland, lifeless, designed-by-committee, politically correct intellectual junk food that cost five times what they should. It's time to go electronic with course materials, and let instructors (and students) choose *real* books online.

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Russian-born mathematician wins math's version of the Nobel:

Geometer Mikhail Gromov has won the 2009 Abel Prize, a sort of math analogue to the Nobel Prizes, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced yesterday. (The Swedes famously do not administer a Nobel in mathematics, so the Norwegians jumped in with the Abel in 2003.) The Russian-born Gromov, 65, of the Institut des Hautes Études Scien..

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A Telescope to the Past as Galileo Visits U.S.

On loan from Florence to Philadelphia, a telescope used by the astronomer gives you an idea of how hard it must have been for Galileo to be Galileo.

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How to Train a Governor

The political free fall of Gov. David Paterson of New York isn’t from any big personal scandal. He has alienated the public just by being terrible at his job.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Highest Energy Cosmic Ray Sources

CERN Courier published some time ago this news item:

Pierre Auger Observatory pinpoints source of mysterious highest-energy cosmic rays

I had already written about this fundamental finding, according to Science Magazine, the third most important discovery in 2006.

Now I want to play with parsecs for the Astronomy class some of us are teaching here in Chilpancingo for the International Year of Astronomy celebrations.

One of those sources is Centaurus A.. Therefore one could say something like this.

4.2 Mpc away a proton comes zipping through intergalactic space, then it hits a gaucho in the head, and makes his country famous!

Homework:

Should he be upset?

No seriously; do you think we have entered a new stage in Astronomy?

In another post I'll argue that we have; after you do your homework.

Hint: The answer has to do with measuring more accurately our Universe in the Mpc scale.

Heartbreaking Triage as Fargo Battles Floods

With the Red River in North Dakota set to reach record levels, volunteers continued to raise dikes Thursday.

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Obama Uses Twitter For First Time Since Inauguration

While Barack Obama has the second-largest following on Twitter, it had been more than two months since his last "tweet." The more than 500,000 Twitter users who "follow" him finally got an update from the White House on March 25th announcing a new question and answer feature for the whitehouse.gov. My question is why has he waited so long?

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Jean Pestieau

I've written before about this scientist. I met him because, as he told us, he rather teaches the children of workers and peasants, than the Cornell rich kids at Ithaca N.Y.

We intellectuals love to tell a romantic story of our lives. I wonder how much Jean believes that now. What I don't have any doubt about, is that he is a landmark for Theoretical Physics in Mexico, from his tenured position at the Catholic University of Lovain, he has done a lot of good.

If you are reading this, I salute you Jean.

LKP

Signals.

I'm looking for signals of a systemic change:

LKP

Stands for Liyannaj Kont Pwofitasyon—United Against the Profiteers

What a great name.

In Mexico we have:

APPO

Stands for Asemblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca Popular-Assembly for the People of Oaxaca.

Because something is happening here,
But you don't know what it is, Do you, Mister Jones?

There Are Still Eagles In Chilpancingo!

I am placidly sitting in my office, with a gorgeous view of a spring morning. I can see some pine trees from the Botanic Garden just behind the next building.

I saw a few seconds ago an eagle flying around in circles. He (she?) is gone now.

This capital city of Guerrero State does not even have half a million people. It is growing fast though. The university campus is closer to the edge of town than to downtown; besides, the mountains don't allow urban sprawl from east to west; it is a rather thin city.

I guess eagles still feel at home around here. I am glad.

People living here for millenia have made eagles, tigers, and other older inhabitants their friends, at least mythologically.

Cuauhtémoc, the last Aztec tlautani (ruler) was born not far away from here. His name means falling eagle.

I salute you Cuauhtémoc, you haven't died, I just saw you!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Market Mystique

The top officials in the Obama administration still believe in the magic of the financial marketplace and in the prowess of the wizards who perform that magic.

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Mexico to Boost Bond Sales After Pension Fund Accord

Mexico plans to boost the amount of fixed-rate bonds and Treasury bills it sells in the second quarter after the nation’s pension funds agreed to invest all new money they receive this year in local assets.

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Download Google Chrome for Ubuntu Linux (Pre-Alpha Chromium)

Google chrome popularity has been increasing day by day even though it is only available for Windows and Users are eagerly waiting for Google chrome to be made available for Mac and Linux. Now here is good news for Linux users

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Fierce Urgency of Peace

Pressure on President Obama to recast the failed American approach to Israel-Palestine is building.

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Everything Bad Is Good Again

There might be only two constants in our ever-changing world — Barack Obama is going to be on television and we always need to have somebody we can be really, really angry at.

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When Laptops Go Light

Netbooks have slow processors, tiny screens and are good at handling e-mail. Why are they so popular?

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As Clinton Visits Mexico, Strains Show in Relations

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will pay a visit Wednesday to an unhappy neighbor that blames America for many of its problems.

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Calderon Looming Defeat May Hurt Mexico, Moody’s Says

Mexico’s credit rating could be hurt by a defeat for President Felipe Calderon []’s National Action Party in mid-term congressional elections, said Mauro Leos [], a sovereign analyst at Moody’s Investors Service.

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Obama’s Next Foreign Crisis Could Be Next Door

Drug violence, the recession and immigration are some of the issues straining United States-Mexican relations.

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Obama Sending More Federal Agents, Money To Mexico Border

War on Drugs: Amy Goodman

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Everyone Gets a Bonus from Obama

Buried deep in President Barack Obama's American Reinvestment and Recovery Act is a line that should bring a smile to your face -- and a scowl to phone and cable industry lobbyists.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Secrets of a Pollster

Stan Greenberg, who polled for Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Ehud Barak and Tony Blair, says that the best leaders learn from their crashes, adjust, persist and succeed.

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Why Bank Rage Is Not Populism | Mother Jones

Does the widespread public fury over AIG bonuses constitute a populist rebellion, and signal a major shift in American political culture? That's what the mainstream media seems to be pondering this week.

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Leonard Cohen, Paul Krugman, and Barack Obama

One is older than me, the other about my age and the third is my kid brother's age.

Do I know more than them?

I had two very interesting polls in this blog recently. The first asked if Obama's decisions could help their job situation, the second, if government decisions affect their life. I was surprised by the first response; most people thought Obama's economic policies were not going to help them, then I decided to ask the second question; maybe people didn't believe governments affected their life. Wrong again, most believe they do.

How do I understand this, and what is the point of bringing age and these smart gentlemen to my reflections?

Here it goes.

People reading my blog are not assured by Obama's economic decisions, they know they will be affected, but believe that not in a good way. If so, are they right?

Here enters Krugman. He agrees; he was interviewed from his house in Princeton by phone by Amy Goodman. He repeated his point expressed in his morning piece in the NYT. He disagrees with Obama's decision on bailing out failing banks, as I understand it, because Onbama is losing a historic opportunity to change the paradigm, as this catastrophic situation requires. I agree.

Now Cohen: This seventy year old man has gone communist. He put his last record online for free through NPR, of all places. I am thoruoghly enjoying it. For free. The best things in the world are free.

I end up with that skinny black guy in the White House.

I love the guy, don't take me wrong, my son is very proud to have such a President.

And still I'm older than him, at least I've had more time to reflect. This is not an unsolicited advise piece to the President of the USA. It is just my effort to make sense of the world, mainly for my own consumption.

Cohen is wiser than me, Krugman about the same, and Obama, the kid all we three very likely want to succeed.

Will he?

This is tough man. I don't envy him.

My kid brother is also brilliantly facing the world and trying to change it. I am proud of him.

What will I tell the generations coming after me?

First I do not want to be meek, I have a responsibility, I'm older, I should tell them what I've seen, without ego trips, just honestly telling them how I see it.

These are hard times, sticking together we may get through, like several times in the past of our common ancestors. At one point they say, we all were only twenty thousand of us, and we made it through that bottle neck. It is almost as when we came through our mothers' birth canals. Since we made it, we are here.

The answer to the mysteries, do dam, dam..Say the guru Leonard.

Obama, have courage to face the wreckers of the past years. The USA needs bold actions. Don't be afraid. Only be afraid of fear.

Listen to Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winner and Princeton Professor.

If you don't, we'll make you!

DO GOVERNMENT DECISIONS AFFECT YOUR LIFE?

Yes 9 (90%)

No 0 (0%)
Don't Know 1 (10%)


Vote on this poll

Votes so far: 10
Minutes left to vote: 15

Exclusive First Listen: Leonard Cohen

Hear the singer's new album. Live in London, in its entirety.

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Obama Sees ‘Signs of Progress’ on the Economy

President Obama tried to rally the nation behind his ambitious agenda at his news conference Tuesday.

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Treasury Chief Is Expected to Ask Congress for New Powers

At Congressional hearings on Tuesday, Timothy F. Geithner will ask for more authority to seize troubled nonbank financial institutions, officials said.

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Room for Debate: Will the Geithner Plan Work?

Paul Krugman, Simon Johnson, Brad DeLong and Mark Thoma on the government plan to buy up bad mortgage assets.

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Water Rights Activists Blast Istanbul World Water Forum as “

Activists from the People’s Water Forum, an alternative formation representing the rural poor, the environment and organized labor, slammed the official event as a non-inclusive, corporate-driven fraud pushing for water privatization and called for a more open, democratic and transparent forum.

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200 years that changed the world [VIDEO]

200 years of history in 4.5 minutes - for the first time, Gapminder can now visualize change in life expectancy and income per person over the last two centuries. In this Gapminder video, Hans Rosling shows you how all the countries of the world have developed since 1809 - 200 years ago.

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Mexico: Failing State?

We hear a lot about the prospect that escalating drug-related violence in Mexico could spill over more to the United States; there are even warnings about a potential collapse of the country's government. In the just-passed omnibus spending bill, Congress included $300 million to fight drug cartels there, and some lawmakers now want to use U.S. ..

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Monday, March 23, 2009

The Mexican Evolution

While we bear responsibility for our problems, the caricature of Mexico being propagated in the United States only increases the despair on both sides of the Rio Grande.

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3/23/09 Geithner plan arithmetic - Paul Krugman Blog

Update: Another way to say this is that by financing a large part of the purchase with a non-recourse loan, the government is in effect giving investors a put option to sweeten the deal.

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Did Lenovo invent Apple's netbook?

A series of reports and rumors predict that Apple will ship a netbook this year. Lenovo suddenly "leaks" a two-year-old prototype with a unique form-factor that would be *perfect* for Apple's netbook. Coincidence?

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Black Holes: Eternal Prisons No More, Stephen Hawking's

Celebrated physicist, Stephen Hawking, delivered an inspiring speech to a full house in Bovard Auditorium on March 10. USC College Dean Howard Gillman kicked off the event by introducing Nick Warner, professor of physics, mathematics and astronomy. Hawking was Warner%u2019s academic adviser while he studied at the University of Cambridge.

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Strange Particle Created; May Rewrite How Matter's Made

An unexpected new subatomic particle has been discovered in Illinois's Fermilab atom smasher, scientists announced this week. The new particle may break all known rules for creating matter, say the researchers who created the oddity.

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Paul Krugman, “The Zombie Ideas Have Won”

On $1 Trillion Geithner Plan, The Obama administration has described the plan as a public-private partnership, but most of the actual money will be put up by the government. We speak with Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman.

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Paul Krugnan Returns

Over the weekend I was wondering if today Paul Krugman would be Treasury Secretary. His column failed to appear in the NYT, I thought he was readying himself for another stage in his life. Again I was wrong, I really don't understand people. I feel like Dr. Manhattan, where is the next Galaxy I can go to?

I just don't understand people.

Here he is talking to Amy Goodman!

Reality is more interesting than fiction!

From the NYT we get:

The presumption, of course, is that the auction will lead to realistic purchase prices.

This is what Professor Krugnan questions: Realistic prices are assumed by the government as higher than now. Krugman begs to disagree.

Treasury Details Plan to Buy Risky Assets

The Obama administration on Monday formally presented its plan to draw private investors into partnership with a new federal entity to buy up $1 trillion in troubled assets.

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Financial Policy Despair

If Barack Obama’s bank rescue plan fails, it is unlikely that Congress will come up with more funds to do what should have done in the first place.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Math Notation

Good notation leads mathematics. MathML has to follow that path. What I write here though, is an idea.

Differential Forms appeared last century, most applied mathematicians and engineers do not use these tools. I know I don't, just recently started to study this.

Professor Jerrold E. Marsden is studying discrete differential forms with colleagues, like Ari Stern.

I started to consider this structure many years ago, but didn't pursue it. My idea is simple, here it is:

When expressed in its simplest form, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, is almost tautological: The sum of the differences is equal to the total difference.

Then I started to think in more dimensions, soon I saw Stokes, Gauss, Green, and some others that had already done this many years ago.

Now I am studying V. I. Arnold's book: Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics. This is amazing; the structures are so natural. I believe that one can do a useful discrete version of all this.

And this leads me to notation and HTML. At least since the nineties there have been efforts to use math html. The thought occurred to me that the problem in rendering math formulas, notation, and the invention of new math are related. For instance:

Think of the wave equation; one can easily convert a second order partial differential operator into the composition of two first order ones. These factors define the best variables to describe a wave, x - ct, and x + ct. Neat. Just by keeping the right variables around one can describe complex physics, I feel that at its core, good notation is good math; and HTML is an important advance in medium agnostic expression of symbols. It is hard not to think of Donald Knuth and TeX.

More later.

Math HTML

∫_a_^b^{f(x)1+x} dx

Something more current:

MathML

More to come.

"Why Socialism?" by Albert Einstein (May 1949)

Presented here is the full text of "Why Socialism?", Einstein's frank and sincere endorsement of democratic socialism.

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Most Recent Picture of the Gamma Ray Sky

You can see below the NASA announcement of this picture.

I have not followed as I should've this effort in high energy physics.

They put Silicon strips in the Sky!

I spent one year in E791 at Fermilab, and then some time in E831. Silicon strips were essential for these fixed target experiments. The collaborations got the biggest charm quark sample at the time. Bread and butter stuff for particle physics.

Astronomy was an afterthought for me. When I walked through the Sloan Digital Sky Survey installations at Fermilab, I just glanced through the glass windows wondering what was going on. I am a curious person, but every time I feel I should've been more curious.

Anyway, no use of crying over spilled milk.

The baby is here and is beautiful!

APOD Fermi's Gamma-Ray Sky

This all-sky map constructed from 3 months of LAT observations represents a deeper, better-resolved view of the gamma-ray sky than any previous space mission.

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Apple's next-gen iPhone has video camera

Apple this year will finally introduce video recording capabilities on at least one of its upcoming iPhone models, AppleInsider has been told.

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WSJ.com -

MEXICO CITY (Dow Jones)--Mexican state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos said Friday it produced 2.68 million barrels a day of crude oil in the first two months of the year, down from 2.92 million barrels a day in the ...

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As the Public Simmers, Obama Lets Off Steam

The tornado of populist fury over executive bonuses forced President Obama to improvise as he worked to catch up with public opinion.

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Smart People Really Do Think Faster

The smarter the person, the faster nerve impulses zip around the brain, a UCLA study of brain scans finds. And this ability to think quickly apparently is inherited.....

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Anger Mismanagement

Congress should let Americans’ anger over A. I. G. bonuses run its course instead of attempting to manipulate it.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

House Passes Expansion of Programs for Service

The House voted to approve the largest expansion of government-sponsored service programs since the Kennedy administration.

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Mandatory Volunteerism Bill Has Been Passed, Ages 17 to 25

House passes National Service program with mandatory participation for everyone between 17 and 25 for no less than nine months and no more than two years except in case of a disaster, despite the fact that mandatory service without pay constitutes involuntary servitude and is in direct violation of the thirteenth amendment.

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The Great Shame

Sexual assault against women is the great shame of the U.S. armed forces, and there is no evidence that this ghastly problem is diminishing.

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Rage Redux: Changing Channels

Is the George W. Bush Presidential Center really the best possible use for excess cash at this particular point in history?

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House Passes Mandatory National Service Bill

The House passed a bill yesterday which includes disturbing language indicating young people will be forced to undertake mandatory national service programs as fears about President Barack Obama’s promised “civilian national security force” intensify.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Wouldn't Want to be a Quant Right Now.

Democrats are upset on "smart" financial geniuses that brought the country down. This debate in C-Span is a paradigm shift. What is next?

I have no idea.

All I see is a country in disarray. These scenes make me uneasy. Otherwise rational men talking non-sense. I don't like this.

Signals

I cannot predict the future; but I can see if the atmospherics are eerie. I hereby state they are.

C-Span

This is great and free!

Charlie Rangel and all the other Populist will never have a chance like this in their lifetime.

Give them bread and circus, and maybe their tax money back. Hey AIG guys give me my money back!

Lynk Labs awarded AC LED technology patent

This first patent of the company's pending portfolio covers a range of AC LED technology including devices, light engines, power supplies and lighting systems.

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Populism's Virtues

Why are the people considered the problem, and not AIG's executives?

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No Return to Normal - James K. Galbraith

Galbraith offers a compelling argument on why the current economic crisis is comparable to the Great Depression, and requires radical governmental intervention of a similar proportion that the Obama administration has not yet confronted. In short, a response that will not be enacted through "bipartisan" support.

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House Passes Heavy Tax on Bonuses for Rescued Firms

Spurred by anger over A.I.G. bonuses, the House voted 328 to 93 to levy a 90 percent tax on any company accepting more than $5 billion in bailout money.

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Congress Has Spoken

I love American Populism. I remember William Jennings Bryan of Wizard of Oz fame (Cowardly Lion, now Barney Frank?).

There is something charming about how the common American man settles difficult problems, but just saying it is so.

Remember Ronald Reagan just say no, anti drug campaign?

Here we go again.

Give the money back, A.I.G. rascals!

Should we celebrate the 150 anniversary of Bryan's birthday next year? After all this year we are celebrating the 200 anniversary of Darwin's birth, and Bryant chose to fight Evolution in the Scopes Trial; (Inherit the Wind), at least a remake of that movie is in order.

From the NYT:

"But several executives at Wall Street banks said they were being unfairly caught up in a hasty response by Washington that would ultimately deliver a sharper blow to their companies than to A.I.G., which set off the furor. One bank executive said employees were coming into his office in tears."

Weird.

Conversation About Economy Goes Into Late Night

President Obama held his own with Jay Leno, countering Mr. Leno’s thrusts about executive bonuses at A.I.G.

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Review Article

The “holy grail” is the imaging detection, and sub-
sequent spectroscopic study, of a terrestrial planet in
the habitable zone of a nearby star. Space-borne as-
trometry will provide a means of detecting and directly
measuring the masses and orbital configurations of ter-
restrial planets. One such mission on the near horizon
is the Space Interferometry Mission (SIM–Lite), which
will provide an astrometric precision of better than 1 μas
(Shao & Nemati 2008). Once Earth-like planets are iden-
tified, high-contrast imaging using techniques such as
adaptive optics and coronography can be brought to bear
to measure colors, and possibly even spectra, to search
for biosignatures. Ground-based imaging surveys are
making impressive strides, and planet searches are now
beginning with the NICI campaign (Artigau et al. 2008,
; Liu et al. 2009 in press) and in the near future with the
Giant Planet Imager (Macintosh et al. 2008), with the
goal of detecting Jupiters in wide orbits. The technology
developed for and proven by these surveys, and others
like them, will inform future imaging efforts from space,
such as the Terrestrial Planet Finder (Beichman et al.
2004).
In just 14 years conceptions of planets around other
stars have evolved from science fiction to a mature field
of scientific inquiry. The next decade holds much promise
as we progress toward the discoveries of solar systems like
our own around other stars.

John A. Johnson

Guillermo González

This Astronomer discovered the correlation between metallicity and planet formation. Just because the discovery was probably guided by the idea that an intelligent process was involved in the creation of man, he has been victimised by the astronomical community.

Didn't we learn enough from the four hundred years old awful Galileo experience?

Apple Sells 30 Million iPhone / iPod Touch Units Worldwide

Apple sells an astonishing number of iPhone/iPod Touch models since launch, leveraging the unit's abilities as a game platform to be reckoned with

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Wii Shipments tops SNES World Wide.. Wii to beat NES soon?

Wii shipments worldwide stand at roughly 50 million units through March 14, 2008. Nintendo only shipped 49.1 million Super Nintendo consoles in the 1990s.

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TIME Launches First-Ever "Printed RSS Feed" Magazine

Thus far, personalized news has been limited to the Internet, but Time Inc. is bringing it to the printed word with mine, a five-issue, 10-week, experimental magazine that is essentially a printed rss feed.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Congressmen and Congressladies vs. Mr. Liddy

This C-Span show was free!

This guy was bludgered and a bunch of us were watching. This is a modern version of sending a man to the lions for the masses entertainment.

He only gets one dollar a year. What was he thinking when he accepted this job?

He convinced me that those bonuses were well spent, their employees saved the company money even though the whole risk section of the company is kaput.

Nevertheless I do believe the whole A.I.G. mess is going to explode in our faces, and then I do want some of my tax money back from those bonuses.

Hope is that last thing that dies.

The Grievance Committee

Anger is in. Hope’s so January. And saying your mad doesn’t count, President Obama. Nor does constructively channeled anger. It’s like diet pizza.

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In Mexican Drug War, Soccer Remains an Oasis

The harsh environment in Cuidad Juárez has not deterred soccer fans from filling the city’s stadium on game days.

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Lessons Learned

“The most critical of those mistakes was that the company strayed from its core competencies in the insurance business,” Mr. Liddy said. “Those missteps have exacted a very high price, not only for A.I.G. but for America’s taxpayers, the federal government’s finances and the economy as a whole.”

I do tend to get far from my official training as a High Energy Theoretical Physicist. Should I take stock in this lesson from A.I.G.?

Carbon Tax & 100% Dividend vs. Tax & Trade*

Testimony of James E. Hansen4273 Durham Road, Kintnersville, PAto Committee on Ways and MeansUnited States House of Representatives

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IBM to Buy Sun

Some time back I was rooting for Open Source and SUN. I bought shares of that company.

Now I am poor and IBM won.

So it goes.

IBM In Talks To Buy Sun Microsystems

The buyout would bolster IBM's heft on the Internet, in software and in finance and telecommunications markets.

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LATIN AMERICAN MARKETS: Brazilian Equities Log Win; Mexico..

Brazilian stocks led Latin American equity advancers Tuesday, aided by gains in Perdigao SA after a broker hiked its rating on the meatpacker.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Paradigm Shift

The late Thomas Kuhn, popularised the words paradigm shift, to describe how science evolves by almost discontinuous jumps.

Today I apply the idea to the capitalism collapse we are witnessing. AIG internal paradigm just collided with the concept of fairness of the rest of us

It seems that the shit hit the fan.

I'll look for cover, not because I got one of those bonuses, but because I do not know what is happening after Barney Frank is through with those rascals.

Outcry Builds in Washington for Recovery of A.I.G. Bonuses

Outrage over $165 million in bonuses is likely to lead to intense scrutiny on Wednesday morning as Edward Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G, testifies before Congress.

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Competition

There is no Physics School in the whole State of Guerrero, Mexico.

This state has problems and some of them could be solved with some science. Physics first, I say.

No Boiled Carrots

President Obama is still having trouble summoning a suitable flash of Irish temper at the gall of the corrupt money magicians who continue to make our greenbacks disappear into their bottomless well.

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Leonard Susskind

Listening to this Stanford Professor General Relativity lecture I felt odd. People around here hardly knows about Newton's Laws. Susskind is going through four dimensional objects and their meaning, it is all second nature to me, but my neighbors around here have hardly heard about Physics. What pisses me more though, is that my colleagues are more worried about keeping their Mathematics Education program going, than filling this glaring hole in the education of Guerrero students. Am I exaggerating?

I guess.

Obama’s Real Test

The bank bailout plan makes sense and might even make profits for U.S. taxpayers. But in this climate of anger, it will take all of President Obama’s political capital to sell it to Congress and the public.

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Stifling an Opportunity

Chicago’s politics and notorious “pay-to-play” tradition have stood in the way of a proposed airport, which has the potential to unleash thousands of jobs in the city’s South Side.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Benoit Mandelbrot and the wildness of financial markets: Sci

In a lecture at Columbia University this week, famed fractal pioneer Benoit Mandelbrot once again inveighed against traditional economic theories, returning at a time of financial malaise to many of the points he raised in a 1999 Scientific American feature. (In September 2008, as the U.S. economy began to shake, editor Gary Stix provided a brief..

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Fermilab Provides More Constraints on the Elusive Higgs Boso

The Higgs particle, the last piece of the Standard Model of particle physics menagerie that has yet to be observed, is running out of places to hide—if, that is, it exists at all. Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., today narrowed the range of mass where the Higgs might be found.

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Flying Blind in Chicago

The plans and the funding for a new airport in southern Chicago are ready and waiting to be implemented. But the project can’t get off the ground because of the politics.

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Obama Signals Readiness to Further Militarize Drug War

President Obama is considering deploying National Guard troops along the border with Mexico in response to the escalating drug war. More than 7,000 people have been killed in Mexico in drug-related violence in the last year. Much of the drug-related violence in Mexico has been fueled by the ability of drug cartels to purchase AK-47 assault rifle..

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Scientists:Cut Carbon Emissions or Face a Disaster.

Nicholas Stern is an economist put in charged by UK's Gordon Brown to analyze the impact of climate change.In Copenhagen,he vehemently attacked politicians for failing to act on cutting carbon emissions.Last nights,scientists issued a desperate plea to curb greenhouse gas emission or face an ecological and social disaster....

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Copenhagen summit urges immediate action on climate change

Nature - Climate experts who met this week in Denmark have warned that the overall prognosis on climate change is worse than previous estimates have suggested. "What we are seeing now is that some aspects are worse than expected,". Delegates agreed that more stringent and urgent action is needed in order to avoid 'dangerous change'.

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Rainforest Will Continue to Suffer Catastrophic Damage

Even if the lowest temperature rises occur under Global Warming, the Amazonian rainforest is going to suffer catastrophic damage.

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Cheap Oil: It Can Be Bad for Business, Stability

General Electric boss Jeff Immelt concedes that cheap oil is a “negative” for his clean-energy business. It turns out that cheap oil could hurt the conglomerate’s traditional energy business, too.

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Cramer vs. Stewart

The Opinionator: Fight Night: Cramer vs. Stewart

Reviews of the Jon Stewart-Jim Cramer face-off seem to be unanimous.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Afghanistan, Another Untold Story

Barack Obama is on record as advocating a military escalation in Afghanistan. Before sinking any deeper into that quagmire, we might do well to learn something about recent Afghani history and the role played by the United States.

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Palast on CNN - The Madoff Plea Deal

Palast wroking for BBC on CNN. I am impressed, how Palast got to main media.

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Gary Skoien, Former Cook County GOP Chair, Beaten By Wife

After being discovered by his wife with two women, allegedly prostitutes, in the childrens' playroom, Skoien was beaten by his wife with a toy guitar. Comedians can't write better material.

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Class Struggle?

Mike Parenti writes (below):

About a century ago, US labor leader Eugene Victor Debs was thrown into jail during a strike. Sitting in his cell he could not escape the conclusion that in disputes between two private interests, capital and labor, the state was not a neutral arbiter. The force of the state--with its police, militia, courts, and laws-was unequivocally on the side of the company bosses. From this, Debs concluded that capitalism was not just an economic system but an entire social order, one that rigged the rules of democracy to favor the moneybags.


I hear Marx coming back.

Is That How it Ends?


Finally, the judge said, “Mr. Madoff, tell me what you did.”
Mr. Madoff began: “Your honor, for many years up until my arrest on Dec. 11, 2008, I operated a Ponzi scheme through the investment advisory side of my business, Bernard L. Madoff Securities L.L.C.”
Mr. Madoff’s fraud became a global scheme that ensnared hedge funds, charities and celebrities. He enticed thousands of investors, including figures like Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, the Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax and a charity run byElie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
The fraud’s collapse erased as much as $65 billion that his customers thought they had. It remains unclear how much victims will recover.
A court-appointed trustee liquidating Mr. Madoff’s business has so far been able to identify only about $1 billion in assets to satisfy claims.

Sad Day in America.

Madoff Sent to Jail

Bernard L. Madoff was sent to jail to await sentencing on Thursday after expressing remorse for running a vast Ponzi scheme.

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45 Roles, 628 Performances. Why Stop?

At 68, Plácido Domingo continues to be a powerful presence.

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Capitalism's Self-Inflicted Apocalypse

After the overthrow of communist governments in Eastern Europe, capitalism was paraded as the indomitable system that brings prosperity and democracy, the system that would prevail unto the end of history.

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Analyst: ARM to surpass Atom in 55% of netbooks by 2012

Analyst Robert Castellano from The Information Network believes future netbooks based on the upcoming ARM Cortex-A9 architecture and running Linux could create a market for netbooks at price points Intel and Microsoft simply won't be able to match.

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Unprecedented Mass Climate Action Blockades DC Coal Plant

The call rang out through Washington early on the morning of March 2: the biggest act of civil disobedience against global warming in American history would not, in fact, be snowed out. Over 2,000 demonstrators converged on the Capitol Power Plant in an action planned to take the climate movement to the next level.

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HTTP/TFTP Server Plus USB Mass Storage Host From Freescale

This article describes implementation of a HTTP/TFTP server based on the ColdFire MCF5225x processor with a USB file system where web pages or other files are stored. It details how to integrate a USB stack with a NicheTask and accessing the USB file system through a HTTP/TFTP server.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gordon to the Rescue

Feeling stirred by a passionate speech by Gordan Brown, the Prime Minister of Britain, it became apparent that it’s time President Obama to inspire not lecture.

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Ending the ‘Race to the Bottom’

The stimulus package can jump-start educational reforms the country desperately needs, but Congress must broaden and sustain those reforms in the No Child Left Behind Act.

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Leonard Susskind

The First NetBook with LimeOS Made in China

The LimeBook from Tsinghua Tongfang is an MPC5121e based Netbook. The MPC5121e from Freescale Semiconductor, which is a 32-bit Embedded Processors SoC, has an e300 core built on Power Architecture technology and is ideal for any embedded solution that requires sophisticated displays, graphics acceleration, rich user interfaces..

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Einstein's General Theory of Relativity | Lecture 6

Lecture 6 of Leonard Susskind's Modern Physics concentrating on General Relativity. Recorded October 27, 2008 at Stanford University.This Stanford Continuing Studies course is the fourth of a six-quarter sequence of classes exploring the essential theoretical foundations of modern physics. The topics covered in this course focus on classical ..

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Lecture 7 | Modern Physics: Special Relativity (Stanford)

Lecture 7 of Leonard Susskind's Modern Physics course concentrating on Special Relativity. Recorded May 25, 2008 at Stanford University.This Stanford Continuing Studies course is the first of a six-quarter sequence of classes exploring the essential theoretical foundations of modern physics. The topics covered in this course focus on classic...

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This Is Not a Test. This Is Not a Test.

Economically, this financial crisis is the big one. This is August 1914. This is the morning after Pearl Harbor. This is 9/12. Yet, in too many ways, we seem to be playing politics as usual.

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IMF Warns of Global ''Great Recession''.

By Lesley Wroughton and George Obulutsa DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday that the world economy will likely contract this year in a ''Great Recession'' and African leaders said the financial crisis could undo...

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Simple Thoughts on a Bad Year

Warren Buffett tells us that we have to get ready for a war.

In Mexico the only consequence I can see of WWII, is that my father went to work to the States to allow the American Boys to go fight. He was coming from Guatemala to Mexico, and then he went to California. Thank goodness I didn't get a basket case father with battle fatigue. We were a very happy lot, we were, as we grew up in Mexico away from the war.

What I am supposed to make of Buffett's call to arms?

I am not allowed to fight in the Mexican Army, I am over forty years of age. What does he mean?

This year I came to Mexico in search of an opportunity to provide for my children that stayed in the US. This has been rough, financially I mean. I am not sure I can stay here yet.

So this was a bad year, now what?

Things seem to be moving along around here. My High Energy Physics friends seem to be busy, and not that worried about the end of the world fears I have coming from the US to Mexico.  Am I hallucinating?

Time will tell. They seem to be oblivious. They are worried about Mexican lawlessness, to be sure,  but they just keep prodding along. I guess I'll just follow along.

Mr. Buffett didn't reassure me with his war talk, though. I wonder what he means, I guess some kind of social corps of good deed doers or something, when the shit hits the fan.

Number of Mexicans Requesting Political Asylum In US Growing

As Mexico's drug war grinds on, the number of Mexicans fleeing to the United States is growing. And the number requesting asylum in the U-S has more than doubled. Political asylum is usually reserved for refugees claiming religious or political persecution, or fear of torture. But in a test case, a Mexican journalist has asked for asylum because...

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Mark Morford on the California drought, etc.

How can this be? How is it that tens of thousands of gallons of fresh water are pouring through the city streets right now, but we are only able to capture and use but a fraction? Why do we not have better systems in place? Why is this not more imperative?

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Warren Buffett - The economy has run off a cliff

Has the economy run off a cliff?

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Rare Single Top Quark Discovered In Collider Experiments

Scientists of the CDF and DZero collaborations at the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have observed particle collisions that produce single top quarks.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Chinese Astronauts Get Parade; Capsule Shipped to Beijing

Nation's first spacewalker, colleagues get gala parade; re-entry capsule sent to space agency.

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Reviving the Dream

With the economy in free fall, Americans have an opportunity to reshape the society, and then to move it in a fairer and ultimately more productive direction.

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WATCHMEN Breaks R-Rated Record,To Play In Most Theaters EVER

'Watchmen' is showing some very positive vital signs. The superhero actioner sure will be playing wide: Its 3,611 playdates will be the most ever for an R-rated film.

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How (Scientifically) Accurate Is Watchmen? [Sci Am]

Die-hard fans of the original publication may fret over its faithfulness to the series, but studio execs also worried about their movie's faithfulness to science. To set their minds at ease, they placed a call to Jim Kakalios, a physics professor at the University of Minnesota, who began advising the film's makers in the summer of 2007.

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U.S. Energy Secretary pledges to fight global warming: Scien

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Thursday pledged to work with Congress to pass legislation that would impose a cap-and-trade system to curb greenhouse gas emissions and fight global warming.

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The Science of The Watchmen

James Kakalios was a consultant on Watchmen (film), and here, he walks us through the physics of Dr. Manhattan. Summarized, he's "not strictly correct from a physics point of view, but very cool nonetheless."

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WATCHMEN is a hit!

$25 Million on first day...

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I’m sorry but Dreamweaver is dying

The real problem for Dreamweaver and for its users is that the nature of the web is changing dramatically. Dynamically-generated web applications, from Amazon right down to the humble blog, all offer much more – in-built commenting, voting, RSS feeds, etc - than the best sites built on static HTML can ever hope to provide.

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U.S. Withdrawing 12,000 Troops From Iraq

In a statement, the U.S. military said that two brigade combat teams who were scheduled to redeploy in the next six months along with enabling forces such as logistics, engineers and intelligence, will not be replaced.

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The Making of Watchmen's Dr. Manhattan

Hollywood once said that a film based on the graphic novel Watchmen could never be made—in large part because the technology to create Dr. Manhattan, the blue, glowing, matter-manipulating superhero, simply didn't exist. The hotly anticipated film, directed by Zach Snyder, hit theaters yesterday, glowing blue man and all.

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A shattering moment in America’s fall from power

Outside the US, most people have long accepted that the development of new economies that goes with globalisation will undermine America’s central position in the world. They imagined that this would be a change in America’s comparative standing, taking place incrementally over several decades or generations. Today, that looks an rather unrealistic

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Notes From the Recession: California's Inland Empire

Hard times hit, and we slowly disappear. Whole communities are being dismantled by the current recession and may never return.

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'Watchmen' Dominates with $55 Million Opening Weekend

Superhero blockbuster "Watchmen" dominated the weekend box office by grossing an estimated $55.7 million, scoring the biggest opening of any film this year. The much-anticipated adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel of the same name cements the draw of director Zack Snyder, who also directed the hit "300."

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Wolfram Alpha Computes Answers To Factual Questions.

In a nutshell, Wolfram and his team have built what he calls a “computational knowledge engine” for the Web. OK, so what does that really mean? Basically it means that you can ask it factual questions and it computes answers for you.

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The Nature of Time by Julian Barbour

A review of some basic facts of classical dynamics shows that time, or precisely duration, is redundant as a fundamental concept. Duration and the behaviour of clocks emerge from a timeless law that governs change.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Watchmen

Unlike the epic 300 Director Zach Snyder helmed before, Watchmen will be anything but a blue screen, chroma key movie. The set for Watchmen is meticulously detailed down to engravings on the brick walls and various “Easter Eggs” hidden about.

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U.S. Unemployment Rate Jumps To 8.1 Percent

The unemployment rate rose to 8.1 percent in February — the highest since 1983 — as payrolls plummeted by 651,000, the Labor Department said Friday. The rate was up from January's 7.6 percent.

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Kepler takes to the heavens to look for other Earths

NASA's Kepler Mission launched Friday night to embark on a mission of discovery. It will scan a single region of the nights sky to look for evidence that other stars are hosts to habitable planets similar to Earth.

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Philips'Master LED Bulb: Enlightened When On or Off

This July, Philips will release an LED bulb that's ready for mainstream consumption, the Maser LED.

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The Inflection Is Near?

What if the crisis of 2008 represents something more fundamental than a recession, and 2008 was when we hit the wall — when Mother Nature and the market both said: “No more.”

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Physicists

First Robert Oppenheimer proclaims that physicists have sinned; and now Emanuel Derman (below) tells us that we (physicists) messed up Wall Street.

At this rate all the images of mad scientists people have, from Arquimedes, to Edward Teller, passing through Frankenstein, will be vindicated.

I just saw The Watchmen, guess what the smartest man on Earth comes up with ,to save humanity?

I won't ruin your movie experience, but don't expect any Dr. Manhattan Fan Club, anytime soon. Maybe some will like his "Giant Blue Wiener"; but that does not save our reputation, I don't think. Or does it? See the movie, anyway.

They Tried to Outsmart Wall Street

“Quants” try to use physics to untangle the messiest of human activities — making money.

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Michael Moore on his being the antithesis of Limbaugh

This is one liberal Democrat who appreciates everything Michael Moore has done for the citizens of this country. I'm not always thrilled with some of the tactics he uses, but the message is consistently about fairness and equality. Michael Moore writes in HuffPo about why the attacks against Rush have no bearing on the attacks against him.

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Middle East Reality Check

Hamas and Hezbollah are now seen throughout the Arab world as legitimate resistance movements without whose involvement regional peace is impossible.

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Behind the Curve

The Obama administration’s economic policy is already falling behind the curve, and there’s a real, growing danger that it will never catch up.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Deep Astronomy in Mexico

There is a school of thought, Deep Mexico, by Guillermo Bonfil Batalla: "Mexico Profundo" is a book where he presents his ideas. As I see this work, I think of different scales of time connected all together. In Mexico we have had continuous human habitation for more than five thousand years. We live inside various worlds without being aware ourselves. You look right, there is aMcDonald joint, you look left and an Indian Shaman is walking by unnoticed, I guess he likes it that way. I feel like Pedro Páramo's son, Juan, walking the streets of Comala among the dead. In this masterpiece by one of the greatest Mexican writers, Juan Rulfo, one feels this multilayered time experience we have here.

These past days I was in Taxco, Mexico. At the first Congress of the "Red de Física de Altas Energías" financed by the Mexican agency, "Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología", that holds the purse strings for the treasure directed towards science, and to a lesser extent technology. I witnessed two events that belong, I believe, in Deep Astronomy in Mexico.

The first was a conversation by the greatest theoretical physicist in high energy physics in Mexico, Prof. Arnulfo Zepeda Domínguez, and Engineer and inventor Horacio Lobo Zertuche: they were sipping coffee, Prof. Zepeda matter of factly ordered a set of several thousand plastic tanks to hold water without freezing in the winters of the State of Colorado in the United States. Ing. Lobo took the order in stride also, and I am almost sure the Auger North site had settled an important aspect of its design. The South version of this Pierre Auger Observatory in Malargüe Argentina already made history, by announcing at the end of 2007, the first strong evidence that the highest energy cosmic rays come form specific directions in the sky. Now Ing. Lobo is hard at work to solve the specific problems of the water tanks in the frigid temperatures of Colorado.

I felt I was in the presence of two Mexican shamans.

The second deep astronomy event in Mexico I was fortunate enough to witness, was the operation of a wireless channel between a muon detector and a cheap laptop at distances of more than thirty feet. We were walking through the halls of the hotel where we stayed, singing a Posadas song. It is not Christmas yet, but I couldn't resist expressing in some kind of ritual way, the very important event I saw. Now Mexico has the possibility to connect a bunch of those plastic tanks, Ing. Lobo invented, at the top of the Sierra Negra observatory in Mexico, not that far  from where María Sabina became famous. The modern Shaman in charge of this ritual was Dr. Luis Manuel Villaseñor Cendejas. His collaborator was Dr. Humberto Salazar Ibargüen.

I felt I was in the presence of two Mexican shamans.

This is fun. I just did a google search; deep astronomy in mexico; and number one was this note! Today is Monday March 9, 2009, it is 9:45 hrs. here in Chilpancingo.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Astronomers spot two black holes in an orbital dance: Scient

Black holes, as frighteningly extreme as they may be, are relatively commonplace across the universe. Like most large galaxies, our own Milky Way packs a supermassive black hole at its core, a lurking monster some four million times as massive as the sun.

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Zack de la Rocha Leads an Army Against Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Led by Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha, as well Phoenix civil rights activist Salvador Reza, and Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, protesters demanded an end to the federal 287(g) program, and specifically an end to the terror Arpaio's 160-man 287(g) force has instilled in immigrant communities in Maricopa County.

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Tom Friedman

After the World is Flat; Tom is telling us to look up for the big wave coming our way. Read his "Obama´s Ball and Chain" below.

Crude oil prices tumble

Mexico City, March 2nd.- Crude oil prices plunged on both sides of the Atlantic Monday, again weakened by global economic woes that have increased expectations world demand for the black gold will continue to decrease.

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Glacier National Park to go glacier-free a decade early

As noted in my November post Himalayan glaciers “decapitated,” glaciers all over the world are melting faster than previously expected,

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Amid a Lackluster Review of His First Year, Cuba’s Lea

As he ended his first year as president, Raúl Castro ousted several of the government’s most familiar officials, including the foreign minister.

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Stage of Fools

This is the first pork-filled federal budget from a new president who promised to go through the budget “line by line” and cut pork.

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Obama’s Ball and Chain

I fear that President Obama’s first term could be eaten by Citigroup, A.I.G., Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and the whole housing/subprime credit bubble.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Cassini spacecraft spots a new moonlet in Saturn's rings: Sc

Saturn's G ring, a faint band of material near the outer bounds of the planet's famed ring system, hosts a bright arc about 90,000 miles (150,000 kilometers) long. The arc, or partial ring, which stretches through about a sixth of the G ring's length, is believed to provide the rest of the ring with dust and ice, but its evolution has remained a my

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Taking The Job: The Country Finally Has a President

The New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg whole-heartedly endorses President Obama's breathtaking budget. For evidence of its demonstration of leadership, he quotes Paul Krugman, the far-left economist of the The New York Times.

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Are We Alone?

"The need, indeed even the possibility, of a planetary census is a recent development in cosmic history. It was only in 1995 that the first planet was detected orbiting another Sun-like star, by Michel Mayor and his colleagues at Geneva Observatory. In the years since then there has been a torrent of discoveries, 340 and counting, that has bewildered astronomers and captured the popular imagination."


This is taken from the NYT Science Section (below). There are three books written by one of the principals in this search for planetary systems like ours. 


Books by Alan Boss 



Ancient Language of Universal Symbols Discovered

Over the last several years, similar petroglyphs have been identified on as many as five continents. They all date from roughly the same time-period. In the late 20th century, archaeologists discovered a collection of symbols carved in stone as petroglyphs in the Negev desert of Israel that appeared to be writing.

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Black Holes First, Galaxies Second

Astronomers have their own version of the classic chicken-or-egg question. Over the past decade, they have found that supermassive black holes lurk in the centers of practically every large galaxy. Even more surprising, the black holes somehow “know” about their host galaxies. Whatever the black hole's mass, the galaxy's surrounding bulge of

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3/3/09: Math fans to celebrate Square Root Day

Dust off the slide rules and recharge the calculators. Square Root Day is upon us.

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Why the Japanese Hate the iPhone

Apple's iPhone has wowed most of the globe — but not Japan, where the handset is selling so poorly it's being offered for free.

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In a Lonely Cosmos, a Hunt for Worlds Like Ours

A new spacecraft is about to embark on a mission to find other planets like Earth.

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Wars, Endless Wars

The nation as we’ve known it is fading before our very eyes, but we’re still pouring billions of dollars into wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with missions we are still unable to define.

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Mexican peso dives again, falls past 15.4 to the dollar

The Mexican peso has plunged to new lows against the dollar today as global investors again rush for safety -- which still means the greenback, despite our own horrid economy.

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U.S. ready to aid Mexico drug fight

Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said the US wants to increase the military assistance it provides Mexico for its fight against drugs trafficking.

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