Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Year Younger

"Dressed in blue jeans and a button-down shirt open at the collar, Gore looks younger than his 61 years:"

Taken from the November 9 Newsweek issue, on the new book by Al Gore:
Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis.

I am 60. I wonder if I look old. There are some things that remind me of my age, but as my mother of 82 says, I do not feel old.

Gore tells the NYT:

"His favorite quote in Our Choice is from the philosopher Theodor Adorno (1903–1969): "The conversion of all questions of truth into questions of power … has attacked the very heart of the distinction between true and false.""

Adorno was 66 when he died, I better get something done.

Powers in Place

This Saturday, President Obama, is calling on small entrepreneurs to come and fix this mess.

I remember working at a small startup company in Elgin, IL. I felt that people with money and power didn't see the point of our efforts. They expect solutions from big players like GE, and Sylvania, not from Lynk Labs. Is there a solution for this?

President Obama's administration should look into small companies like ours. The big guys, have failed us. Isn't that clear?

The Revenge of Gaia

I read this book sometime ago. I was thinking today, that humans may actually blow it. Then instead of going from 6.7 billion to 9.2 billion by 2050, as Tom Friedman writes today in the NYT. we may rather go to 6 or 5 billion, with a lot of grief.

I hope we find the way.

My Beautiful Grand Niece Singing at School/Others Too

New Graduates

My beautiful daughter has a job in Naperville. She went to college. I read Bob Herbert today. A lot of my daughter's generation are not getting jobs.

What is coming?

Here in Mexico it looks gloomier. The obvious idea is self employment, but there is something wrong with this picture. Why are the kids not getting jobs?

One possible culprit are the robots. The problem though is that robots don't buy what they produce. Other candidate are the poorer people. They can do some jobs that used to need a college education. In that case the efficiency may go down.

What I see coming sometime in the near future is rebellion, so products of technology are shared more evenly by everybody. With the free time gained by automation everybody should keep learning; life long learning.

Abigail Won Over Atenas Cárdenas Noverón

Abigail Moyo González

She collected forty seven thousand pesos, and Atenas got forty one thousand pesos.

Abi won!

You can see the winner in:

Galeria de Fotos

My mother also got less money in collections and she lost. My uncle Obdulio Uriza Robles, told me that the mine workers gave most of the money then. The mercury mine won.

Independence Day Beauty Queen Celebration in Huitzuco

Nanche Drink from Vicario in Huitzuco

Yesterday I was in Huitzuco. My mother Emma Uriza Castro lived her younger years there. The Uriza family has lived in that town at least since 1832, when Ignacio Urizar was in the governing council.

I was invited to the High School, CBTis 175 , to give a talk. The Dark Energy of the Universe was the title. I was happy to have my niece Atenas Cárdenas Noverón, present. Atenas is beautiful, like my mother she competed to become the Beauty Queen of Huitzuco. Atenas competed in the Independence Day celebration, and my mother for Carnival. Both lost, but second place is not bad, and besides they had many supporters.

As payment I got a tasty Nanche Drink, from the Vicario family. They also make rompope, and tequila, among other drinks. I am still enjoying my Nanche liqueur. When I was a kid they made very tasty sodas.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Paul Krugman: Today is the Day

History is about to be made — and everyone has to decide which side they’re on.

Paul Krugman, NYT.

This thing is going to work.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

No, really, the title of this note is what Paul Krugman wrote a few days back at the NYT.

He thinks health care Reform is coming. Today I saw a picture of Ms. Nancy Pelosi outside Congress with a bunch of politicians, talking to the hundreds of supporters about their achievement.

I hope they are right. That will mean that Obama is delivering something.

Walmart and Child Care

Today I saw a workmate feeding his baby with a bottle. He also takes care of an older son sometimes. The baby was just born a few weeks ago, but the mother is at work at Walmart.

This doesn't seem like progress to me. Kids nowadays are getting a rotten deal. I hope we figure this out before it is too late.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mind Evolving

A friend of mine made me think. He is a successful scientific leader, he feels that ideas go around his brain all the time. People tell him things and he reads, never stopping thinking.

I am not like that, I do not take financial decisions often, and decide and what is to be done. Nevertheless I feel that I process more information these days than never before in my life.

It is fair to say that a sector of society is going through an accelerated pace of mental activity. Age counts though. When young we build more connections in the brain. As a fraction of our body mass, also the brain is bigger when we are younger. Age brings a more connected concept map; adding to that easier access to Information, and I see an evolution acceleration.

This objective change in our culture and nervous system is being studied now. It is likely that humans have changed more in the past five thousand years, than in equal lenght periods back in our History.

I believe that the more conscious this mind evolution is, the more effective we can be in directing it.

On the other hand, it may be necessary to really speed solutions up, if we want to go through this apparent bottleneck. Like the baby at the end of Kubrick and Clarke's movie: 2001 Space Odyssey. We need to evolve.


Report of the HEPAP Particle Astrophysics Scientific Assessment Group (PASAG)

Recently the separation between Astronomy and High Energy Physics (HEP) has been blurred. After years of dedicated experimental work on accelerators, all we found out was around 4% of what there is. Little bang for our bucks!

On the other hand in 1998 two teams of astronomers found startling results in this realm.

Most of what is; is Dark Energy, over 70%. And we are more or less clueless on what this stuff is.

Now the Department of Energy, which has supported accelerator work, joins forces with NASA to study the stuff. A lot of money for the study of nothing. I hope my readers don't include members of the House or Senate. If by any chance, one happens to read this, please read more. I am writing a first impression from reading the PASAG report. Don't base your funding decisions on this only.

Just to calm down any trigger happy republican representative who may want to kill the study of Dark Energy, I can say that it is plausible that a better understanding of vacuum energy, which is a strong candidate for Dark Energy, may in the future have applications. Casimir effect comes to mind.

From the Report:

"Astrophysical observations strongly imply that most of the matter in the Universe is of a type that is very different from what composes us and everything we see in daily life. At the same time, well-motivated extensions to the Standard Model of particle physics, invented to solve very different sets of problems, also tend to predict the existence of relic particles from the early Universe that are excellent candidates for the mysterious Dark matter. If true, the dark matter isn’t just “out there” but is also passing through us. The opportunity to detect dark matter interactions is both compelling and challenging. Investments from the previous decades have paid off: the capability is now within reach to detect directly the feeble signals of the passage of cosmic dark matter particles in ultra-low-noise underground laboratories, as well as the possibility to isolate for the first time the high-energy particle signals in the cosmos, particularly in gamma rays, that should occur when dark matter particles collide with each other in astronomical systems. In the coming decade, the same type of dark matter particles may be produced anew in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), while relic copies are detected both underground at low energy and from outer space at high energy. Each of these will provide a needed piece of the puzzle. This is a particularly exciting time of convergence of theory and experiment, particle physics and astrophysics."

About Dark Energy, the Report has this to say:

"Astrophysical observations provided another stunning surprise: the expansion rate of the Universe, rather than slowing down due to gravitational attraction, is apparently speeding up. Either three quarters of the energy density of the Universe is of a completely unknown form – dubbed dark energy – or General Relativity breaks down on cosmological scales and must be replaced with a new theory of gravity. Either way, there are profound implications for fundamental physics. The dark energy could be the energy of the vacuum, which is predicted to arise from quantum fluctuations but at a strength that is wrong by more than one hundred orders of magnitude, demanding new particle physics, or something else entirely. By studying the expansion rate history of the Universe with much better precision with several techniques, key questions can be addressed: Is the dark energy density constant over cosmic time, or has it evolved? Are the different manifestations of dark energy consistently described in the framework of General Relativity, or is there something wrong with the framework itself?"

Humbly I can confess that I was wrong when at the young age of 21 I decided to become a Theoretical Particle Physicist. In my mind Astrophysics was not going to get off the ground. It didn't help that my only B in graduate school was in Dr. Morganstern Astrophysics course. Now I know better, I should've been putting more attention on Ralph E. Morganstern's lectures. Professor Morganstern found exact solutions to the Brans-Dicke Theory of Gravity. I wish I had interacted more with Ralph, scalars are back in fashion.

One conclusion of this report is to put money on the study of Dark Energy. I want some of that money.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

U2 in LA

This is the link:

U2 in LA

Bono help us make a new world. This one needs change.

What are We, What is Happening to Us?

I just saw Diablo Kody's, Jennifer's Body.

My children are going through the US educational system. I am worried for all of us.

We are ashes from stars. This Universe of us, compared to anything we can think of, is unique. I sense some tautology in this statement, we know one Universe, we can think of countless alternatives, therefore ours is unique. I hope there is some meaning to my statement.

India just discovered water in the Moon. With the cooperation of the US, of course.

Out of those findings, I believe we can say the following: Water was not created on Earth, it came here from somewhere else in the Solar System. The surface of the Moon serves as some kind of lab table to get protons from the Sun to combine with Oxygen atons there, and make water. That is not a very efficient way to make water. The Earth must have some water made this way. What is more efficient is to put a lot of rocks in the Solar System, each one in parallel makes a tiny bit of water, and then: Hurray we have tons of water!

Delivery system? No problem, just throw rocks at Earth for long enough untill all the water we have got collected, now we can start to build blobs of water called Human Beings, that sometimes even think!

There you have it, that is our origin, that is what we are, blobs of water going around the surface of the Earth, doing all kinds of things.

Jennifer gets involved with the wrong crowd, you could say. Rock Band members whom sold their soul to the devil, to become rich and famous, that line is not new. What is new, is that our kids now are into demonic pursuits. Some have gone as far as killing each other in cult ceremonies. Diablo (Devil in Spanish) Cody (American cowboy?) ( Brook Busey) is a smart young woman. She understands what is going on with us. What is happening to us, Cody's universe is becoming a nightmare. Our beloved children are turning into the evil side. Of course there always was an evil side, and there are no news here. What is new now, is that the Whole Game may be over.

It will be the end of a product of the whole Solar System, our Sun, the whole Milky Way, and very probably the Whole Universe.

This could be a Universal Catastrophe.

There is a line in the movie: I want you scared and hopeless. At the end, the other side of evil, ends this battle on the side of the good(?).

I do have hope, and I invite everybody, to not get scared, and fight for this beautiful Earth, Solar System, and Universe of Us.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Augusto García González

A friend of mine died a few months ago.

Obituary in Spanish


Today I saw the Frontline documentary aired yesterday, and read the NYT article on Executive Compensation.

Are these events synchronized?

I hope not, that would mean that TV executives just follow the Government line.
I do respect Brooksley Born, she showed courage when it counted, not the Frontline producers that need a green light signal from the White House.

I remember the San Juan Chamula people that either all belong to the Catholic Church, or to a Protestant Church that moved in town, but not both at the same time.

Which brings another news item to my mind. The Anglican Church members are invited to the Catholic Church, because they are against gay marriage.

This is pathetic, use your own head!

Anyway, Ann Rand is out, Brooksley Born is in.

The King is dead. Long live the King.

New Heroine

Brooksley Born

I just watched the Frontline program linked in the note below.

She is a great human being!

From Michael Moore

I just got this great link from Moore through Twitter:


Social Media Counter

The number of people using the Internet, and spending money there is increasing exponentially:

Gary Hayes' Social Media Counts


I am not a fan of social networks. I guess I am not a very social person. I send emails to a few friends or authors, sometimes regarding their research.

I have a family, and as many things in my online presence, it has been at their prodding that I have an electronic presence.

I wrote a few notes on the electronic version of La Jornada de Oriente when we started it at Facultad de Ciencias Físico Matemáticas, of Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, around 1995. Unfortunately the hard drive of our server went kaput, and as far as I know those notes evaporated, they may exist in some kind of Internet cemetery somewhere in this Universe.

Now I am betting on Google staying as a robust platform to write my stuff.

Going back to social networks. My son invited me to Facebook, or I sneaked in, I forgot, but the point of this note is that I found my daughter there, rather she found me!

She hasn't been that much into all this Internet stuff.

Welcome Leza!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

US School Catastrophe

Tom Friedman writes today in the NYT:

“Our education failure is the largest contributing factor to the decline of the American worker’s global competitiveness, particularly at the middle and bottom ranges,” argued Martin, a former global executive with PepsiCo and Kraft Europe and now an international investor. “This loss of competitiveness has weakened the American worker’s production of wealth, precisely when technology brought global competition much closer to home. So over a decade, American workers have maintained their standard of living by borrowing and overconsuming vis-à-vis their real income. When the Great Recession wiped out all the credit and asset bubbles that made that overconsumption possible, it left too many American workers not only deeper in debt than ever, but out of a job and lacking the skills to compete globally.”

"Bottom line: We’re not going back to the good old days without fixing our schools as well as our banks."

I taught math and physics in two high schools in Chicago. I am worried too.

Are the Weigers Crazy?

Weigers are people. Some were put in Guantámo as Islamists. I heard in Chicago Public Radio today, that one of them is mentally sick.

An idea came to my mind, what if all those Islamists are not well in their mental capacities. I'm sure it is not as bad as that, but I do feel that extremists are not the same as the rest of the population.

Sometimes excentric people, like myself, find a way to make a living,  but sometimes not. I know one or two cases.

My gut reaction is to give them help not the death penalty. The problem is when whole communities may suffer some kind of mass delusion. There is a small town, Canoa, near Puebla City, more than forty years ago the catholic priest in town was able to produce a collective frenzy state and attacked some librarians from the Autonomous University of Puebla. They almost killed all of them.

I feel that the difference between the "Catholics" in Canoa, and the Taliban in Afghanistan, is the money and resources those people, the Taliban, have now.

War on Drugs

From the NYT:

"Whether the Obama Administration intends it or not, the new policy will be further evidence that a strict federal “War on Drugs” is no longer desirable or viable."

The "War on Drugs", stayed long enough so President Felipe Calderón of México could use it as cover for his attack on the Electric Workers Union (SME).

I wonder, if Obama and Calderón talked about this synchronicity.

September 1994

The NYT is a time machine. It brought back to memory something I had forgotten.

I got to Chicago in September of 1994. I could see in the local papers, news about that terrible murder in the note below. Then they caught the two men, Juan Luna, and James Degorski. The cycle is being closed these days, a new jury may decide to send Degorski to death.

If I remember well, there is a stay on the death penalty, sent by Governor Ryan.

Definitely we live in a different kind of time in the Information Era. I do not have to keep so many things in my mind, more than a time machine, the NYT is a time cocoon. I carry it with me to remind me of, hopefully relevant information.

NYT 1993 Time Machine

Jury Deliberating in Ill. Restaurant Slayings Case

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: October 20, 2009 Filed at 2:32 p.m. ET
CHICAGO (AP) -- Jurors are deciding whether a man convicted of killing seven employees at a suburban Chicago restaurant in 1993 should be sent to death row.
Before the case was turned over to jurors on Tuesday, defense attorney Mark Levitt asked them to spare the life of James Degorski. He says a life sentence for Degorski would be punishment enough.
Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Tom Biesty says Degorski does not deserve the jury's mercy because he didn't show it to those he shot and stabbed at the Brown's Chicken and Pasta restaurant in Palatine.
Degorski's co-defendant, Juan Luna, was convicted of murder in 2007 and sentenced to life in prison after one juror held out and refused to vote in favor of the death penalty.

Mass of the Up Quark

My friend Arnulfo Zepeda published a Physical Review Letters article many years ago:

 Phys. Rev. Lett. 41, 139 - 141 (1978)

Now my friend Robert L. Sugar publishes the latest lattice calculation:

MILC results for light pseudoscalars

After so many years the works of these two friends meet. I just regret not having collaborated with both, to follow my ideas, that so far hadn't produced nothing of value.

So it goes.


Can We Make a Time Machine?

The nays had it.

I had a poll on this issue on this blog. I do not know how to make one, but Aharonov has an interesting idea of what is Quantum Mechancis, which connects with the idea of time.

The only time travel I know is Einstein's. The twin paradox. I guess that doesn't qualify. One wants to mean going to our own past.

Prof. Igor Novikov claims that as long no contradictions are produced, which by the way is what Aharonov uses also, Physics does not ban time travel to the past.

Prof. Gott has written a book on the subject.

Finally there is an article in:

Time Travel

My opinion is that until we have a Quantum Gravity theory we won't know. Even with the theory at hand we may never know.

Not very original, eh?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Debate on Democracy Now!

Finally immigration issues are being debated. This mess has to be fixed.


Pepe Escobar

The emergence of this Brazilian journalist is a signal of the multipolar era we are entering in. BRIC, Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

No more Wolf Blitzer.

I welcome the change.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Something Funny is Going On

The NYT reports:

New Medical Marijuana Policy Issued

This is for Monday 19, 2009

I read Sunday 18, 2009 that Mexican army units were dispatched to Electric Power Stations on the pretention of fighting drug dealers, when in reality they had a plan approved in March of this year, to break down the Electricity Workers Union (SME).

Is this a coincidence? Did Obama consult with Calderón on this?

I hope not. Not after Obama gets a Nobel Peace Prize, and Bono writes an extremely positive piece on him in the NYT.

Is this the Way Out?

Dr. Steve Chu is calling on all of us private entrepreneurs to build the house of the future.

I own stock on a small firm: Lynk Labs. It has been hard, especially convincing my wife that it is worth it. We've lost our shirts, and skirts on this pipe dream. It is hard for me to bring up the issue to her. Being realistic, she is right.

But you know how men are, right? We are stubborn and stupid.

Maybe Dr. Chu will save my life. I take the challange.


There is a Press release:

We can read in the Press release on the Epistar-Lynk Labs equity investment & licensing agreement:

"Terms of the deal were not disclosed."

That sounds good to me.


"In a fascinating discovery that counters a common theory that human evolution has slowed to a crawl or even stopped in modern humans, a study examining data from an international genomics project describes the past 40,000 years as a time of supercharged evolutionary change, driven by exponential population growth and cultural shifts.
The findings may lead to a very broad rethinking of human evolution, especially in the view that modern culture has essentially relaxed the need for physical genetic changes in humans to improve survival."

This is from:

I hope so.

I Just Saw a "Zanate"

Zanate is known to scientists as:

Quiscalus mexicanus

There are plenty of them on campus here in Chilpancingo.

Also my beloved cousins were known with that name around here, because of their dark complexion. Oscar Ezequiel, Jorge, and Salvador.

On Friday I was invited by University of Guerrero students to talk about Astronomy to their peers in "Casa del Estudiante Guerrerense #1", (Guerrero Student House #1), downtown Chilpancingo. Before me, Dr. Gildardo Valencia Miranda talked to them. He knew my aunt Dora Uriza Castro, and her husband Ezequiel Apáez. Dr. Valencia has worked in Guerrero all his life, he even was in the Government on his capacity as a physician. Searching for him on the Internet, I think I found one of his sons, Dr. Gildardo Valencia Salazar, a Mexican scientist that proved, together with other scientists, in 2006 the ill effects of pollution on Mexico City children. In this paper one can read that Nobel Prize winner Frank Sherwood Rowland also studied the air quality of Mexico City in 1995.

The paper by Calderón-Garcidueñas et al. that Dr. Valencia is a co-author of, looked into children from the same neighborhood and age as my dear niece Coral. It pains my heart to think that she was exposed to those levels of pollution. Fortunately for her, her parents travel, and she might have not been affected as much as the girls and boys studied; they stayed around in that area. My own son lived far away from that pollution, he is the same age, but we moved him far away from the noxious environment of South West Mexico City, SWMC as the scientists of that article call that place. My wife, being American, told me in no-uncertain terms when she saw Mexico City for the first time, I don't want to live here. When in Mexico, we lived in the more easy going City of Puebla.

"The frequencies of both hyperinflation and interstitial markings were significantly higher in Mexico City children, indicating an association of hyperinflation and interstitial markings with residence in Mexico City."

"Consequently, any factors that alter airway growth during childhood are likely to affect adult lung function (Stick 2000). Thus, these children exposed to significant concentrations of air pollutants potentially have an altered alveolar development and suffer adverse effects on lung function growth, similar to that experienced by children in Southern California (Gauderman
et al. 2004)."

"We have found an association between chronic exposures to severe urban air pollution and a significant increase in abnormal CXRs and lung CTs, suggestive of a bronchiolar, peribronchiolar, and/or alveolar duct inflammatory process, in clinically healthy children with no risk factors for lung disease."

That is the scientific way the findings are reported in this article.

A similar study was done previously on Mexico City dogs. They did not fare better than our kids.

"The pathology observed in Mexico City children and dogs is likely related to exposure to O3 and PM, which are known to target respiratory bronchioles."

Dr. Valencia was telling the young people in the audience that the best gift their parents could give them is a university career. He said that they have to study hard to earn the privilege to be a professional in Mexico, otherwise they would have to work hard and get little pay.

Two of my cousins are dead, Oscar, and Jorge. I just went to the cemetery here in Chilpancingo today to pay them a visit, and drop one or two tears.

Only one "zanate" is alive, cousin Chava, he is a Veterinarian working in Guanajuato State, Mexico.

It is interesting to have this series of "accidents" happening to me in just one weekend. Both the completely unexpected encounter with Dr. Valencia, and the zanate walking on the roof of the building in front of my office earlier today, serve as a good preamble of what is in my mind right now.

Both cousins died young. I loved them. They bring memories to my mind. As I walked through town today more thoughts crossed my mind, some related, some not. Here is what I want to write.

We only know of intelligent life on this planet. Nowhere else, where we have looked, is there something like it. That means that every human being is sacred, nevertheless we don't act that way. If the price of gold goes to two thousand dollars an ounce, as some analysts predict. The 340 thousand onces expected for next year in Guerrero state are worth seven billion dollars. Neverhteless this is one of the poorest states of Mexico. How could that be?

The rich people with the gold prospects, don't think every human baby born in the Indian towns of the State of Guerrero, is a sacred gift from the evolution of the Universe. Over thirteen and a half billion years ago, that baby's atoms were created. A long and special process leads to that special baby. Why then, those rich people don't want to invest their gold in him?

One reason I can think of, is ignorance. Those rich gold diggers don't know the story of our Universe, they did not spend their time studying, they have been digging gold for a long time, that is why they are good at it.

Why did President Felipe Calderón left over forty thousand electric workers unemployed?

Why does not President Obama decree an end to the Cuban embargo?

Why don't some of my readers agree with what I write here?

I have plausible answers for these questions, but it is more important to write here, that we are running out of time.

Gabriel García Márquez wrote a masterpiece of the Spanish Language, "One Hundred Years of Solitude", one can read:

  1. As Aureliano reads the words of Melquíades, he finds that the text is at that very moment mirroring his own life, describing his act of reading as he reads. And around him, an apocalyptic wind swirls, ripping the town from its foundations, erasing it from memory.

Taken from:


"Porque las estirpes condenadas a cien años de soledad no tienen una segunda oportunidad sobre la tierra"

". . . for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth."

Taken from:

On Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I have been so obsessed with the Batlle of Mexico, that I missed the points published today by Paul Krugman in the NYT about the health reform bill moving along this week.

He claims the bill is not good, but better than what Ms. Clinton achieved more than ten years ago. She achieved nothing. This bill is something. He thinks a new law on health care is going to be produced.

At least something good.

Slavoj Zizek and Intellectual Freedom

I met this philosopher today in Democracy Now!

I read Wikipedia on him.

I am listening to him in YouTube.

I feel a bit freer. You can think without permission from an intellectual team behind you.

I still don't know how to get enough money to do my thinking, but he gives me hope.

Country South of the Border on Brink of Revolution

I may be paranoic but I see Mexico in the brink of civil disobedience at a huge scale and the NYT decides to publicize the following:

Drop That Taco! Mexico City Puts Cops on Diet

Published: October 15, 2009
Filed at 9:44 p.m. ET

''We can't tell them, 'Don't eat sandwiches and tacos,''' Frias said. ''What we can tell them is if you eat one sandwich today, if you eat three tacos today, then balance it with some vegetables.''

Disgruntled reader. 

NYT is not a Mexico City Daily

 I know NYT is not a Mexico City paper, but give me a break, when in the closest neighbor to the south, there are hundreds of thousands of people protesting outside of the National Palace, it wouldn't hurt to write about it.

Gripes, from an unattended reader.

Local and Global

I checked the New York Times (NYT) before writing this. Nothing.

Then I went to the Mexican paper I read, La Jornada.

As I wrote before, I grew up around the Mexican Electric Workers Union in Mexico City. I read in La Jornada that, right as I write this, the whole area around the neighborhood I grew up in, is full of protesters against the President's decision to end a close to a hundred year old union.

This is an example of how the local and global don't match. I guess it has to do with the Wall Street darlings, doing so well, and Americans not informed on the real global collapse caused by these geniuses. Some of their classmates are in charge in the Mexican Government, and if last year's catastrophe is an indication, I don't expect Mexico's troubles to be as minor as the NYT journalists seem to think.

Do they know, and their bosses want them quiet?


You can check daily at:

We are hovering around one thousand dollars one ounce = oz = 35.274 g

Thirty five grams is tiny. How could that little amount of gold be the same as one thousand dollars?

Somebody I posted in this blog, claims that a year from now it will be two thousand dollars.

I feel this measure, the price of gold, is more relevant for the end of the world as we know it, than any Mayan calendar date (2012).

Is there a way out?

The Mexican President already attacked one of the oldest workers unions of Mexico (SME).

Today I heard Slavoj Zizek in Democracy Now!, saying that we block reality. This is insane, rich people are going to bury us in a mountain of waste, and they don't even know they are doing it. Dr. James Hansen from Columbia University already broke the law in the US.

I feel sorry that these writings do not reach the number of people necessary to cause change at the level necessary.

I hope against all hope, that I am wrong, and next year we won't have 35 grams of anything equivalent, in any way to two thousand dollars.

The very fact that the man, Peter Spina, is counting on that, to become wealthier saddens me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


"It has recently been predicted that certain magnetic materials contain mobile magnetic charges or ‘monopoles’ . Here we address the question of whether these magnetic charges and their associated currents (‘magnetricity’) can be directly measured in experiment, without recourse to any material-specific theory. By mapping the problem onto Onsager’s theory of weak electrolytes, we show that this is possible, and devise an appropriate method. Then, using muon spin rotation as a convenient local probe, we apply the method to a real material: the spin ice Dy2 Ti2 O7 . Our experimental measurements prove that magnetic charges exist in this material, interact via a Coulomb interaction, and have measurable currents. We further characterise deviations from Ohm’s Law, and determine the elementary unit of magnetic charge to be 5 μBA⁻1 , which is equal to that predicted by Castelnovo, Moessner and Sondhi using the microscopic theory of spin ice. Our demonstration of magnetic charge transport has both conceptual and technological implications."

Bramwell et al.

Magnetic Monopole inside matter!

Numeric Bohm-Aharonov

     "As shown in Figure 7, and in the related animation, the wave packet moved between two solenoids along a straight line, dispersing in time in the direction normal to the direction of motion. Since, classically, there was no force acting on the electron, one should have expected a constant velocity of the wave packet along the straight line. This was not the case. The velocity of the wave packet, shown in Figure 8 as a function of the position, increased as the packet approached the solenoids and decreased as the packet left the solenoids. It is somewhat paradoxical that while there was, classically, no force acting on the electron, the electron acceleration, obtained strictly as a solution of the Dirac equation, was not zero. In the next section we will show that this paradox can be resolved."

These are real mysteries clarified by Prof. Simicevic with his numerical results.

Stephen King vs. Neven Simicevic

I just read a beautiful article by Professor Simicevic of Center for Applied Physics Studies, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272, USA

He gave his work for free, you can find it in:

Finite Difference-Time Domain solution of the Dirac equation and the dynamics of the Aharonov-Bohm effect

It has animation and teaches us about electron motion in strong magnetic fields.

On the other hand I read in the NYT that Stephen King's publisher is worried about the income this great writer will get if e-books become popular.

This is obscene. King does not need more money for writing the same book, over and over again.

I'm sorry if I insulted King's fans. I don't think this is fair.

Fiber Optics

"En tribuna Ramos Ramírez sostuvo “que el decreto presidencial no tiene sustento constitucional válido”, porque la invocación del artículo 89 de la Constitución nacional “no es congruente con el objeto del acto que se pretende fundamentar”.Consideró que la situación de insuficiencia técnica y económica que alega el mandatario que prevalece en Luz y Fuerza no es de ninguna forma “una situación extraña ni novedosa” sobre todo porque en la misma condición se encuentran todas las empresas y organismos del sector público, como ejemplo más claro, PEMEX.
Acusó que la realidad de esta acción del gobierno federal “está la intención de desbaratar la oposición del SME a que los más de mil kilómetros de fibra óptica con que cuenta la paraestatal sean concesionados por 30 años a una compañía de origen español –la empresa WL Comunicaciones SA de CV– cuyos socios mayoritarios, se afirma, son los ex secretarios de Energía, Fernado Canales Clarión y Ernesto Martens."

My translation:

In Congress, Ramos Ramírez stated that "the Presidential decree does not have valid basis on the Constitution", because article 89 "is not relevant to the objective stated".
He considers that the situation of technical and economical insufficiency the President claims for the Light and Force company is not "a strange or new situation" above all because all public sector enterprises and organisms, like PEMEX (oil company), are in the same condition.
He accused that the reality of this federal government action  "is the intention to break the opposition of SME (Electric Workers Union) to the rent of more than a thousand kilometers of fiber optics for 30 years to the Spanish Company - WL Communications SA de CV - which major investors are, it is said, Fernando Canales Clarión and Ernesto Martens, ex Energy Secretaries.

Now we know the names of Felipe Calderón's future Carlos Slims, Fernando Canales Clarión, and Ernesto Martens.

If you see their names in future Forbes lists of  the richest Latin American men, don't be surprised.

Fiber Optics gives more than Physics Nobel Prizes, in Mexico it also gives riches to the European colonizers of New Spain, sorry, Mexico.


"Peter Spina: There's a lot of confusion out there now, but the bull market in gold is not about jewelry demand; it's about money. As gold keeps reaching new record highs, it's becoming more apparent what's driving it. The true issue at hand is trust (or lack of it) in the value of paper money—specifically the U.S. dollar. What's really made this country so strong has been the value of its currency.

We're seeing a shift away from U.S. dollar reserve assets. The value of the dollar had been primarily driven by demand in its global use, including trade in dollars, specifically, the oil trade. There are growing rumors about shifting some of that oil trade away from the dollar, and at the same time, central banks around the world are diversifying away from it. Combine that with other factors we're experiencing—trade deficits, internal deficits, the incredible amount of printing of dollars to bail out banks and provide stimulus and so on. It can't go on.

The U.S. internal deficit is nearing $2 trillion a year and growing, especially in the last year. Now they're talking about projections from the recent financial bailouts total obligations exceeding $20 trillion. That doesn't take into account future banking and derivative issues, which are upcoming. Already, we do not have the ability to finance our debt. It requires about 80% of the world's savings to support our debt habits, and we're just increasing our debt load so quickly—our appetite for a debt is increasing.

How do we continue to finance this kind of system? This has to play itself out at some point and I believe inflation will be the outcome from all this paper printing via growing monetization of U.S. debt. It will cheapen the debt load, but there will be some severe consequences to pay. The price we'll pay will be reflected in devaluation of the U.S. dollar along with a degree of influence such power provides. Gold will benefit from this process. As people look for sound money and a safe-haven asset, gold will be the obvious choice."

"And then, of course, the property. You want to look at various criteria in that respect including geography. I prefer locations in Mexico, Canada and Nevada for mining companies. Grades, environmental location, etc. are all very key investment decision makers."

"TGR: Who else is on your radar?

PS: Another would be Gold Resource Corp. (OTCBB:GORO, FSE:GIH), which has several properties in Oaxaca in southern Mexico. They have under 50 million shares, no debt. They have several large shareholders, including management. One of the largest investors is Hochschild Mining (HOC: LSE) and the Tocqueville Gold Fund. Gold Resource Corp. is expected to produce 70,000 ounces of gold in the first year at $100 an ounce production cost at its El Aguila property. That's very high-grading gold. They're going to increase that to 110,000-plus ounces in years two,177,000 gold equivalent ounces in year three and onwards. As they encounter more base metals, those will be used as credits against production, so their production costs will go to zero or even go to a negative cost.

A lot more exploration work is needed to define the size of this project because of the significant upside their property remains huge. Right now they have several years of production reserves, and we'll see how that exploration work pans out"

"TGR: How close are they to production?

PS: They're actually mining the open pit ore right now. They have all permits in hand. From what they've said in the recent past, the mill should be completed within a matter of days, weeks. I would expect some sort of initial production to begin this month or next.

TGR: So they meet your criteria of being able to essentially live on their own cash flow, not needing to go to the capital markets.

PS: Exactly. They're going to be producing an incredible amount of cash flow. If you're looking at 70,000 ounces with a net $100 an ounce margin in the first year alone, that's up to $1.50 a share right now in free cash flow. Gold Resource also plans to pay out about a third of their cash in the form of a dividend payment, which could be quite the dividend going forward. That's definitely a company to consider."

"TGR: Any others?

PS: Timmins Gold Corp. (TSX.V:TMM) is another one in Northern Mexico. They're just starting production in an old open pit gold heap leach operation in Sonora. I believe this class of gold producers will soon see additional attention from investors and larger gold miners looking to grow their reserves and production levels therefore providing more upside. With just over 100 million shares, it's not as attractive of a share structure, but Timmins is now fully financed and soon producing cash flow with their first gold pour expected in January. They're looking at 80,000 ounces a year, $400 or so an ounce production cost, and they're trading around 70 cents a share. They have other prospective projects and some strong investor backing. That looks like a pretty good value to me. "

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You know how I feel about this. We cannot eat the shiny pieces.

View from the Wall Street Journal: Good News?


Mexico’s government will start this week to liquidate the nation’s second-largest power supplier Luz y Fuerza del Centro after Calderon said yesterday its finances were “unsustainable” amid mounting losses.

“That will definitely create a positive environment,” Delgado said. The government is “realizing the risks of maintaining these types of entities, there will be more scrutiny about these public enterprises.”

The peso was the biggest gainer against the dollar today among the 6 Latin American currencies tracked by Bloomberg. It has gained 0.7 percent in the past month, the second-worst performance after the Chilean peso.

“The significant weakening that we had seen in the Mexican peso was perhaps unwarranted, so we’re seeing it recover,” Bennenbroek said. “I don’t think there was any significant negative news that should have affected the peso as negatively as it did.”

Mexico’s industrial production fell 7.3 percent in August from a year earlier, the national statistics institute said. The decline was greater than the 6.3 percent drop forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 15 economists.

Yields on Mexico’s 10 percent bond due December 2024 fell five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 8.01 percent, according to Banco Santander SA. The price rose 0.45 centavo to 117.38 centavos per peso."

Why  doesn't surprise me, that good news for the Wall Street Journal, are bad news for me?

CFE and Telmex

I think there is more than meets the eye in the recent Mexican Government action on the electric industry.

Several years ago, when neo-liberalism enter the country; President Carlos Salinas de Gortarí de-nationalized the telephone company, Telmex. I believe that the current owner, Carlos Slim Helú, had an agreement with the other Carlos.

Carlos Salinas had to leave Mexico. He stayed in Ireland for several years, now he is back in Mexico, and as far as I know is in good terms with the telephone company Carlos.

Anybody that has followed, even superficially, the communications industry evolution, knows that electric installations are good for communications.

By December, President Felipe Calderón, wants all Mexican hospitals and universities connected through the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), the Federal Electricity Commission. This is a big deal!

I think that this President must have some "friendly" buyer, just like Carlos Salinas, had Carlos Slim, waiting for the business of the century: High Speed Internet.

Just saying.

Language Barrier

I am looking for news in English, that explain the mess caused by President Calderón's decision to terminate the National Electric Company that supplies electricity to a huge number of people living near Mexico City.

I guess my search tools are bad, or I don't know how to look, but if you read Spanish, go to:

La Jornada

to get the latest of this very important political fight between Neo Liberal politicians, and the Mexican people.

This news outlet gives the version of the people, not the Wall Street Journal. Wall Street folk, brought to you the financial catastrophe that is undermining the US ability to stay as the great power it has been since the end of WWII.

You choose your source of news, of course.

Discovering Hot Water

"MEXICO CITY -- President Felipe Calderón sent more than 1,000 riot police to take over operations of an important but inefficient and financially strapped power-distribution company late Saturday, setting the stage for a showdown with a powerful electricians' union and its political and labor allies."

By José de Córdoba

It took three days for this analyst to discover this. They should hire me. I wrote it here as soon as it happened, as you can read in this blog.

I believe that this journalist knows what is happening, as much as I do, or more; but he chooses to disclose these discoveries as it suits him, or suits his employer.

I guess my readers may say that I am discovering hot water myself.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Reading my 1968 edition of A History of Mathematics by Carl B. Boyer, I came across this jewel:

"Bhaskara died toward the end of the twelfth century, and for several hundred years there were few mathematicians in India of comparable stature. It is of interest to note, nevertheless, that Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920), the twentieth-century Hindu genius, had the same uncanny manipulative ability in arithmetic and algebra that is found in Bhaskara. ...In Ramanujan's work we notice also the disorganized character, the strength of intuitive reasoning, and the disregard for geometry that stood out so clearly in his predecessors."

I do not know about you, but after having read Dick Teresi's Lost Discoveries, I feel a condescending attitude from Western to Indian mathematicians.

In any case these Indian geniuses are doing very well in the software industry, thank you.

Some Srinivasa Ragavan, has just been hired by Intel to develop their new netbook Moblin platform. Elegance, or whatever high quality Western mathematicians require, to belong to the math hall of fame, mean squat in the real world, where Indian, Chinese, and Russian mathematicians are performing well.

I couldn't put it simpler

"When completed, the machine will heat and compress hydrogen isotopes until they fuse into helium, releasing energy."

From Nature News

Why the delay then?

Algerian Particle Physicist: Suspect

Adlène Hicheur has been fingered by European law enforcement agencies as an Al Qaeda collaborator.

The article in the NYT goes as far as analyzing the possibility of a anti-matter bomb!

This is preposterous. Either the journalist, or the anti-terror personnel are clueless.

When India exploded a nuclear bomb some years ago, Indian scientists at Fermilab, in Batavia, Illinois, were asked to leave the lab.

The level of ignorance of government agencies is appalling. If these persons meant what they said, they know nothing; which leads me to believe that they have hidden agendas, because government agencies are quite able to hire knowledgeable people.

All I can think about Dr. Hicheur, is that he has unsavory friends from his Algerian past.

But I do not see how one could make an anti-matter bomb, certainly not by joining an international open collaboration, like the ones responsible for experiments at CERN.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Paul Krugman's Hand?

There is a Nobel Prize Committee formed by previous winners. I wonder if the Chicago School (fresh water economics) is out of fashion. Of course Ms. Ostrom works at Indiana University, close to the fresh water reservoirs, but she definitely qualifies for a liberal, as opposed to the monetarist Chicago crowd led by Milton Friedman.

In any case, well deserved designation.

AMLO together with SME

The 2012 Mexican War started today.

Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas (SME), Electrical Workers Union, and Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) movement are already working together.

The revolution will not be televised. Yesterday I posted in the NYT version of this epochal Mexican movement.

Mr. Marc Lacey in a detached (objective?) way writes:

"Mexico Says It Is Closing a Provider of Electricity"

It sounds as if somebody didn't pay their electric bill, or something as innocuous as that. When in reality this may be the most important political movement coming out of Mexico, since Gral. Lázaro Cárdenas' son Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, who actually was born in the Mexican White House, broke away from the party his father helped create, and obviously had failed Mexicans by 1988.

That year the corrupt politicians that broke the party of the Mexican Revolution, were able to steal the election away from Cárdenas Jr.

In 2006, the present President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, stole the election from AMLO.

Funny, isn't it? Marc doesn't know any of this.

One would expect, after a few months in Mexico City, one would learn something on SME, and AMLO.

Maybe I shouldn't be that harsh, I grew up two blocks away of SME; I used to go watch free movies thanks to the organized electric workers that I so much admire. They are not goofus that should be fired. I am mad as hell.

Marc is just another gringo having a good time in Mexico as a "journalist" for the NYT.

Sorry, if I insulted somebody. Just check my facts.

I see a train wreck coming to Mexico in 2012.

Mayan Apocalypse?

Digital Natives?

Today's NYT Science section has the following:

"Parents are digital immigrants, Dr. Christakis said; children are digital natives. “In the 20th century, you worried about a digital divide separating rich from poor,” he said. “That’s narrowed, and the one that’s emerging is separating parents from their children. We’re fairly clueless about the digital world they inhabit.”"

I'm working on it.

UC Again

Professor Williamson Congratulations!

Economics Nobel Prize

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Well Said, Man!

"But that was then. The rise of American education was, overwhelmingly, the rise of public education — and for the past 30 years our political scene has been dominated by the view that any and all government spending is a waste of taxpayer dollars. Education, as one of the largest components of public spending, has inevitably suffered."

Paul Krugman, 2008 Nobel Prize Winner.

He has this to say about California:

"For example, the Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported on the plight of California’s community college students. For generations, talented students from less affluent families have used those colleges as a stepping stone to the state’s public universities. But in the face of the state’s budget crisis those universities have been forced to slam the door on this year’s potential transfer students. One result, almost surely, will be lifetime damage to many students’ prospects — and a large, gratuitous waste of human potential."

2012 Battle Coming to Mexico

I do not know if Mayans knew beforehand what was going to happen three years from now. What I know is that the 2012 presidential election campaign in Mexico started yesterday.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) won in 2006 and Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa stole the presidential election.

The real battle is coming in 2012.

Yesterday Calderón gave AMLO thousands of active and retired electric workers. They already marched yesterday starting a big working class movement, like I haven't seen during my 60 years of life in this country.

The lines in the sand are drawn. Get ready for the Big Mexican Battle of 2012.

What if the Mayans were right? Will this be the end of a Mexican Era?

Dark Energy Song

Extinction of Central Light and Force

Felipe Calderón ended yesterday the Mexican Electric Company, "Luz y Fuerza del Centro", after fifteen years of existence. Mexican presidents before him established the National Electric Company. A few years after the Mexican Revolution ended, in 1937, General Lázaro Cárdenas, established the Mexican Electric Industry, in 1960 President Adolfo López Mateos, nationalized it, and now, it seems to me, Calderón is in the process of de-nationalizing it.

Maybe readers of this note do not know the differences implied by the current Mexican President's actions.

First of all, thousands of Mexican workers will lose their jobs, or pensions; and second, a new wave of wealthy people, like the richest man of Latin America, Carlos Slim Helú, will become even richer.

As far as I am concerned, this is the end of a Mexican Era, Yesterday 10/10/2009, two days before we celebrate the five hundred and seventeenth anniversary of the discovery of America. Mexico has fully entered in a Neo Liberal Era; when the rest of Latin America is veering left.

We are in the middle of a long weekend, three days off. Everybody is celebrating our team's victory against El Salvador, and consequent chance to become the next champion of the soccer world in South Africa.

Bread and Circus, the old Roman method of crowd control, still works after so many centuries.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Three Bombs

“We’re driving in a car with bad brakes in a fog and heading for a cliff. We know for sure that cliff is out there. We just don’t know exactly where it is. Prudence would suggest that we should start putting on the brakes.”

Thomas L. Friedman NYT.

Nuclear, environment, and economic bomb.

Which one will go first?

I say the last one. Humans are unpredictable and the economy is closer to our stupid hands.

Right now one ounce of gold is around one thousand dollars. All the stupid humans will run to get gold pieces and hide them away.

When they come out of their houses they will see that those shiny blocks cannot be eaten.

What a way to go!

Euro, yen, and yuan

"The dollar, which has been drifting lower for most of this year against other major currencies, took another hit today after Britain's Independent newspaper said secret talks were taking place among Arab states, China, Russia and other countries to stop pricing oil in dollars, and shift instead to a basket of currencies including the euro, the yen and the Chinese yuan."

From LATimes

Not only Portuguese, Hindi, and Japenese, also get used to 'other' currencies.

Wake up, US, there is still time.

Kao, Boyle and Smith

This is not a rock band, nor a Law firm. These are the names of three unknown heroes; unknown no more. They got the Physics Nobel Prize.

Fiber optics and CCDs, ring more of a bell. CCDs were invented at the bankrupt Lucent Technologies, known before as Bell Labs, and now as Alcatel-Lucent.

I do not want to sound pessimistic, but if the American people do not understand what is happening in the rest of the World, yesterday's and today's prizes will be the last Nobels, US citizens get; in a long, long time.

Yesterday I was writing about learning Mandarin; now I want to write that some Portuguese (Brazil), Hindi (India), and Japanese, will come in handy.

We are entering a new Era on Earth. Multipolar, not bipolar.

I am bad at predicting the future, I hope I am wrong, and Alcatel-Lucent gets it, and hires me back. But you know what? I am not counting on it.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Should the Big States Secede?

Conservatives live in huge unproductive states where nobody in their right mind would live. Put Idaho, Montana, and so on, here.

If they don't want to play ball, and pay the price for belonging to a Great Nation. Let'em go.

I don't Know How to put this Nicely.

Yesterday I was at the bus station to go to Puebla from Chilpancingo. I chat with a Mixtec Indian going to see his kids and wife in the Mixtec Country of Guerrero.

Honest, he was carrying a big box that looked like a big TV. He works picking berries in California; he showed me the scars in his arms that prove it.

One of his kids was born in the States, but is learning Mixtec with his people near Tlapa de Comonfort. He'd stayed like a year in California, and now he was happily traveling with gifts to see his family.

With my PhD I cannot afford that.

What is wrong with this picture?

Over One Hundred Readers!

I have avoided all those smooth operators that promise to increase your blog throughput.

Tonight I had over one hundred readers with no sleaze.

I posted a letter the UC Board of Regents sent to all alumni.

I am so glad that over one hundred people have read that now.

Fight for Public Education!

Chinese officials do not charge a cent to their young people to study. If the US doesn't fix this nonsense, you better start learning Mandarin!

Go Gauchos!

UCSB Alumna Carol W. Greider Shares Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Good work University of California.

Pelé Unites Brazil

"In Lapa, the fashionable centre of Rio de Janeiro nightlife, the partying was long and memorable. On Copacabana beach, the sand was packed with revellers. Pelé cried, and his compatriots celebrated the latest evidence that for one of the world's most glamorous, charismatic countries the good times are starting to roll. So often described as belonging to a "country of the future", Brazilians found themselves living in the present this weekend."

This is from the Guardian newspaper in England.

I'll love it, if Americans were as united behind President Obama, as Brazilians are behind this great black man.

Going back to Rio.

In the words of the President of the Country:

"We have left behind being a second-rate country to become a first-rate one. Respect is good and we are happy to receive it," he added."

Mathematics and Medicine

Physiology or Medicine Prize in, I'm waiting for the Physics one tonight. My candidates: Ketterle et al for the macroscopic quantum state with spin, Reiss et al. for discovery of Universe acceleration, and some unknown applied physics work I am unaware of.

What I am thinking of is: What about math?

I know the line that Nobel lost a dear woman to a mathematician, but give me a break, those northern people are quite civilized, I am sure the committee can figure a way out.

In any case my worry is that we cannot go ahead with Biology as usual, those guys, and gals should realize that their subject became hard, with Watson and Crick's seminal discovery more than fifty years ago.

What about a Physiology or Medicine or Mathematics Nobel Prize?

Berkeley, Nobel Prizes and Proposition 13

This title dates me.

I was in California when Ronald Reagan led the anti-tax movement, at least I felt that way. I cannot prove it in a court of law. We can read in Wikipedia:

"Passage of the initiative presaged a "taxpayer revolt" throughout the country that is sometimes thought to have contributed to the election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency in 1980. However, of 30 anti-tax ballot measures that year, only 13 passed.[2]"

As far as I'm concerned, the anti-tax movement that man spearheaded, is killing public education in California and nationwide.

Today I read, that work done at Berkeley, is recognized for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

If I get cancer sometime in the future, I'll remember Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak, not the Californian taxpayers that do not want to pay for higher education.

I am not Getting the Nobel Prize this Year

We are at that time of year again. Every year I check:

I am not there.

The Physiology or Medicine prizes were already announced. Three Americans.

I do not even qualify for the Ig nobel prizes.

I do not give up, though. At least I am still alive, I know very intelligent friends that are dead already. I have a chance.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Pelé Cried

This African-Brazilian won over an African-American for the Olympic Games site. In 2016 it will be Rio de Janeiro, not Chicago.

The President  Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Edison Arantes do Nascimento better known as Pelé openly cried in front of the whole world.

I think that is why they won. They care.

I don't mean to say that Barack and Michelle Obama don't care. They do, more than past first families of the US. But Brazilians care more than Americans. Fox channel castigated Obama for going there, and now they do because he lost.

Americans are mixed up, and that is why they are losing the leadership in the world. As Fidel Castro said, this is a victory of the Third World.

We are hungry down here, more than just for food. We want recognition for our efforts. This human energy is very important. Maybe the International Olympic Committee felt the same way.

Congratulations Brazil!

Mexican Singer Gets a Medal

Last Night I Saw a Drunk Man

Today I read in the Chilpancingo newspaper, that the students stole food from the 7-11 like store nearby, it is called Oxxo.

I read in the same article, that a drunk man was trying to start a fight with the students, and that he finally entered the government building. Literally it says: "Su periplo terminó en Palacio de Gobierno." Something like his drunken walk ended in the Government Palace.

I usually buy something at Oxxo before going to sleep around midnight. Last night I saw a drunk man buying whiskey. He had some people with him, they didn't seem drunk.

I wonder: Was he the same man?

UCSB Daily Nexus

"Along with yesterday’s efforts, faculty members of Option 4 have organized a UCSB Teach-In for Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 3 p.m. until midnight in Campbell Hall and various other locations on campus."

This coming week a teach-in from 3 p.m. until midnight!


Brings memories, I was at UCSB from 1973 to 1979. They had burned the Bank of America branch, in 1970.

Is protest coming back?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Unemployment and Fight for Jobs

September was not the best month for Americans seeking employment. There are millions of unemployed Americans.

Here in Mexico there are not that many jobs either. I can see already some of my colleagues fist fighting to secure some University position. There is a new Science School, and yesterday they had a confrontation of sorts.

I'm looking for signs that inform me about what to expect. Besides the Mayan prediction that an important cycle closes in 2012, we have more cosmic rays coming our way, because the Sun's magnetic field is acting anomalously.

Astronauts are inside more radiation right now, than in previous times. Even communication equipment, and others like the Kepler satellite, are having glitches.

Could it be that we are reaching a special point in our evolution when we could find out about habitable planets in our Galaxy, and our "neighbors" are trying to elbow us out?

I guess that is a good argument for a short story, but in any case, I don't like the economic indicators coming out of the US government agencies.

To top it all, with Fox news, and all the American extremists taking over the media, I feel uncomfortable.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

P.J.E. Peebles

3   Lessons

What are the lessons to be drawn from these examples of research in Windows on the Universe?

Here are my choices.

    1. We are seeking reality. Natural science operates on the hypothesis that nature operates by rules that can be discovered, in successive approximations, by the interplay of theory and observation. This is a social construction. There are far better examples than cosmology of how spectacularly productive the program has been, but still I am deeply impressed that in the decade since ΛCDM became predictive it has passed increasingly demanding tests of what has happened on length scales more than ten orders of magnitude larger than the Solar System.

    2. We won’t complete the search. I admire Weinberg’s book,¹⁰ Dreams of a Final Theory (by which is meant basic physics as opposed to its expression in complicated situations) but I suspect science will become final in the sense that we are unable to do better. Cosmology at redshift z > 10¹⁰ may end as a theory that is consistent internally and with all we know, adjustable to fit measurements as they come in, but not testable.

    3. We are still making progress, but it’s exceedingly uneven. A half century ago the search for measures of the large-scale structure of the universe seemed exceedingly ambitious, but technology has led to a convincingly established cosmology. The search for life in other worlds has a much longer history, but the window hasn’t opened yet. The physics of the dark sector of ΛCDM predicts that dark matter just piles up in halos while dark energy is constant or close to it. Physics in the visible sector is simple too, but capable of spectacularly complicated expression. Is the extreme simplicity of the dark sector only the easiest approximation we can get away with in a sector that has been only schematically explored? Returning to point 2, we may note that if ΛCDM physics differs from reality enough to matter it means it will be discovered, maybe in the laboratory, maybe in the astronomy.

    4. Our progress is socially-shaped. I risk reopening the science wars by offering a reminder of what I expect we’ve all experienced, that social forces help shape directions of research in the natural sciences. I mentioned examples in the search for life. I include examples in pure theory, as the anthropic argument. I include the influence of fashion, as in the relative attention paid to dark energy missions and our extragalactic neighborhood. This is an operating condition, and it can be productive, leading to motion toward point 1.

    5. Our results are durable but not to be trusted. Einstein wrote down general relativity theory nearly a century ago. His best test was the orbit of the planet Mercury. Now this theory passes demanding tests on the scale of the Hubble length, some 10¹⁵ times Mercury’s distance from the Sun. This is spectacular durability. But a half century ago thoughtful physicists, including Einstein, presented good arguments against the cosmological constant. Now we learn we almost certainly have to live with it. The dark sector of ΛCDM passes searching tests. It is properly used as the basis for large-scale numerical simulations of structure formation, and for designs of observational programs and analyses of the results. But the dark sector physics is not to be trusted; it certainly could be found to be more interesting than ΛCDM.

Taken from:

Lessons from Windows on the Universe

Gore Vidal

This thinker says:

"As for health-care reform, he says Obama "fucked it up. I don't know how because the country wanted it. We'll never see it happen."

I stated my disapproval on Obama's handling of the Health bill in less acerbic terms (read below), but I agree with Mr. Vidal.  

He ends the interview with these morsels of wisdom:

"The U.S., he says, is "rotting away at a funereal pace. We'll have a military dictatorship fairly soon, on the basis that nobody else can hold everything together.

"Obama would have been better off focusing on educating the American people. His problem is being over-educated. He doesn't realize how dim-witted and ignorant his audience is. Benjamin Franklin said that the system would fail because of the corruption of the people and that happened under Bush.""

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