Friday, April 30, 2010

5 de Mayo

In 1974 I was surprised to see how much attention was given to the defeat of the French in Puebla, that day of 1862. I thought then that maybe it was a convenient date when the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) was ending the quarter, and students were in a party mood.

In Mexico we celebrate Independence (September 16,1810) and Revolution (November 20, 1910) with more gusto.

Be it is as it may, next week is May 5.

Go out and protest young Mexicans; only by speaking up, will anybody hear what we need.

¡Viva la Raza de Bronce!


"NEW ORLEANS — Officials in the Obama administration began for the first time Friday to publicly chastise BP America for its handling of the spreading oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, calling the oil company’s current resources inadequate to stop what is unfolding into an environmental catastrophe."

Taken from the NYT.

I do not like to read the word catastrophe so frequently these days. Here in Mexico there is a low intensity war going on, polticians, professionals, and the general public seem to be at the mercy of violent Mexicans.

Accidents happen, I know. Nevertheless if there are more and more people, and less resources, be them water or oil. Why should I expect less problems?

We should look catastrophe in the eye, and fight our way out. This is getting earie.

Luis Gutierrez, Puerto Rico Statehood, and Mexicans

I hope my Puerto Rican readers don't take this the wrong way.

For a long time I have been wondering why Rep. Gutierrez works so much for Mexican rights. Now I see that Puerto Rico wants to become State 51. The plot thickens; so Mexicans are a stepping stone!


JP Morgan Chase Protetesters and Tea Party

Today I saw a protest against this Bank in NY by many African-Americans. Where was the Tea Party? Do we have white populism, and black populism? Few blacks in Tea Party events.

Finally we browns are being tossed around by everybody.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04

I want this new Ubuntu distribution, but my computer has not being able to eat 9.10 with my help. Tonight I am trying again, but somehow I feel that since I never understood why the installation didn't go through before, it won't tonight either.

If it works, then I will try 10.04. Somehow I feel I am kidding myself.

I failed.


At Wrigley Field in Chicago a black man confronted protesters. The issue was the new Law of Arizona, SB 1070. You can read  the NYT. Some of the callers to the C-Span program in the note below, in favor of the law, are also African-American.

Is there some new Tea Party kind of movement brewing in the US against Hispanics?

I hope not.

Arizona and The Law

C-Span invited Rep. John Cavanaugh from Arizona. Callers were divided in those in favor of the new Arizona Law, SB 1070, and those a bit critical. In the few minutes I heard the callers, nobody was against of what this police officer did.

That is fair. Arizonans have all the right to let police officers write State Laws. They can also elect clowns, as far as I am concerned. What I ask, is why do people think a police officer is a State Legislator? I don't think he practiced Law all his life. I guess that is what democracy is about, you choose whoever you want.

The way I see it, policemen fight crimes, they face the criminal element in society. I just do not see how a poor child born from poor Mexican parents in the US qualifies as a criminal. They should elect more enlightened people to write laws.

I guess Arizona lawyers are busy doing something else, and let the police officers write laws.

I hope this cop knows what he is doing. There are soldiers in my family, not law enforcement officers, so I do not really have a feel about this type of person. All I know is that if by any chance I have to answer their questions, I feel uneasy. I am not a criminal, but I do not feel comfortable with cops. If you do, I guess you don't understand my apprehension.

I do not know if I will visit Arizona just to have a cop coming to talk to me because I happen to have brown skin.

Cavanaugh said that situation won't happen under his law, you know what? I am sceptical.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Send the Mexicans to the Lions!

If it wasn't planned, it looks like that.

First  Bush drags his feet, and his buddy, Vicente Fox takes the fall. Hey, he is just a Mexican. Then Obama drags his feet, and a complete unknown, Calderón takes the fall. Hey, he is just a Mexican.

I am back in Chilpancingo, I can report from here, that it doesn't feel well to play the part of the slaves in the Roman Circus.

Oh, well: we are just Mexicans.

Blankfein is Credit Worthy but Not Greece!

Lloyd C. Blankfein defended the propierty of Goldman Brothers actions. Nevertheless rating agencies couldn't say good things about the Government of Greece.

What gives here?

Are we supposed to think that a government failed to keep trustworthiness, and a single company Goldman, was only good intentioned?

Take your pick. To me it looks that Greek lawyers are bad and Goldman's good. Furthermore Goldman has friends in the White House and Greece does not.

Today from the NYT:

"The ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s, downgraded Greece’s long-term and short-term debt to noninvestment status and cautioned that investors who bought Greek bonds faced dwindling chances of getting their money back if Greece defaulted or went through a debt restructuring. Earlier, S.& P. reduced Portugal’s credit rating and warned that more downgrades were possible."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Islam and South Park

I do not believe Catholic Priests love South Park, but please guys, let's have a sense of humor. Jesus, Mohamed, Bahaula, ..., all those great men deserve better than us killing each other because we laugh.

Joyless religion may not remain for long.

I love South Park, I hope I don't get a Fatwa against this post.


Fear can be incapacitating. I just lost my mother, and saw a cousin with speech problems because he fell from a ladder. I feel fine, but have some uneasiness in my gut. Somehow I feel I am not the same person I was two weeks ago.

I do not know much more than I knew before, but nevertheless the presence of death has sobered my attitude.

I saw my little nephew, the youngest son of my little brother, yesterday. He gets so happy when he learns new things that it is a pleasure to see him.  That is the good part, the bad part is to see my mother's urn, and my cousin's face.

Obviously all of us have to find an even path so we can help the little ones go ahead.

I fought with two people today already, the bus attendant that forced me to check in my  bag, instead of letting me take it inside the bus, like I always had done, and the secretary of a friend that was arguing with me about paying a friend's expenses.

I wonder if that was uncalled for. I have to calm down.

Cochabamba to Cancún

Evo Morales and Hugo Chávez invited young people to go to Cancún in December. Mexico organizes the next world meeting for the Earth, after Copenhagen.

Young people are going to protest, the parents are not taking seriously the environmental problem we have.

Go to Cancún Young Men and Women! Your voice is needed.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Nays Have It

The poll is closed; my readers do not believe in saints. I agree; thus I should get things done before my time is up. I cannot come as an angel and fix things up.

The purpose of the poll though, was to think of my mother as an angel. I guess I should use another word; maybe she was not a saint, but definitely everybody loved her, and she was always angelical, she acted like a wise little girl.

Rest in Peace Emma.

Middle Age (The Reflective Life)

Nobody knows how long life is before it ends. My mother was 84 when she died, my father 63, and my maternal grandmother 92.

In any case I think I am middle age. I still can do what I have been doing most of my adult life. I'm losing hair, and some teeth, but nothing that can be considered a game stopper.

Now what?

I have a bit of money and health to figure out my next step.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


"In [the] miserable huts [of Membrilla] live the poor inhabitants of a poor province; eight thousand people, but the streets are not paved, the town has no newspaper, no cinema, neither a café nor a library.... Food, clothing and tools were distributed equitably to the whole population. Money was abolished, work collectivized, all goods passed to the community, consumption was socialized. It was, however, not a socialization of wealth but of poverty.... The whole population lived as in a large family; functionaries, delegates, the secretary of the syndicates, the members of the municipal council, all elected, acted as heads of a family. But they were controlled, because special privilege or corruption would not be tolerated. Membrilla is perhaps the poorest village of Spain, but it is the most just."

Taken from Truthout.

Jaime Escalalnte Lived in Cochabamba

He was a great man. He recently died at age 79. We read in the NYT:

"In 2001 he retired and returned to Bolivia."

He lived the rest of his life in Cochabamba, and went to die with his family in California.

The Earth is Flat, dixit Tom Friedman.

I think he would have enjoyed the Cochabamba meeting going on this week.

From Copenhagen to Cochabamba

Both words start with C and have ten letters, but the cities that go by those names might as well be in parallel universes of the multiverse.

The meeting in the first city failed, the one in the second succeeded!

A new world is possible. You can follow the work in Democracy Now!

Another world is possible!


Usually you do not have a smart guy scheming, and Eureka! a new way of doing things appears.

It is more like, hey this is going down, look you can pull that lever!

Lessons Learned.

Facebook and Twitter in the New Economy

Today we can read in the NYT:

"With their call centers jammed by customers trying to rebook their flights, some airlines found innovative ways to speed the process, including social media networks. The Dutch carrier KLM advised passengers on its Web site that rebooking could be done via Twitter or on its Facebook page."

I am using Buzz for my Idea Communication Skills class. Build it, and they will come!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Somebody from Cochabamba

I caught a reader from Bolivia reading my blog.


Deconstruction of Society

Mauricio Fernández has opened Pandora's box. Today the NYT reports that he runs a parallel government with mercenaries. Given that his town is already behind walls, all I can tell is that Mexico is going back to feudal times.


Philosophical Realism

This belief posits the existence of the real world. Our ideas have a real existence in our brain, and nervous system, but not in an external place.

When I was younger I identified this with Materialism, as expressed by Karl Marx. This philosophy accepted the class struggle, since I am poor, that concept suited me.

Now I want to reconsider.

The U.S.S.R experiment failed, that in itself does not prove or disprove Marxism, nevertheless in my mind it weakens the belief.

After thinking about Aspect's experiment, and Bell's inequalities, I feel my materialism is naïve. Also 't Hooft's Holographic Principle has made me reconsider.

Non-local phenomena, forces me to think anew.

Russell Pearce

Pearce is a "law maker" from Arizona that does not like Mexicans.

You can read the NYT, about the New Law in Arizona.

In his own words:

"“This law is not about race,” he said. “It’s about what is illegal.”"

US and Mexico

Geography is important, but so is culture.

English and Spanish are Indo-European languages, but they are not the same.

Yesterday I got my Green Card, good until 2020. I had one that expires in June, 2010. I'll be 70 then, I better make sure where should I put more emphasis.

I like to think of our countries as two parts of the same thing, but somehow a lot of Americans won't feel comfortable with a single currency and no border. Have you heard about the Amero?

I don't see it any time soon.

But you know what? We are going to be the biggest majority very soon. I will be waiting to consider  reasonable offers about our relationship going forward.

I may even apply for citizenship.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Plain Spoken Economist

From Paul Krugman today in the NYT:

"For the fact is that much of the financial industry has become a racket — a game in which a handful of people are lavishly paid to mislead and exploit consumers and investors. And if we don’t lower the boom on these practices, the racket will just go on."

Why Can Amy Goodman Go to Bolivia?

Today Goodman transmitted live from Tiquipaya. There is a global meeting going on this week in Cochabamba. If Copenhagen does not work, then the only option left is Cochabamba.

In 1999 a war for water started in Bolivia. El Agua es Nuestra, Carajo! Water is ours, Damn it!

We live in a globalized world. All together now.

The reason Democracy Now! can transmit directly from Bolivia is that the President Hugo Morales, wants her there. Obama cannot oppose, if he does, he risks the loss of support from the American People. More and more Americans understand that the way of Wall Street, is only one possibility, there is also the Way of People Street.

Why?: Because of people like: Che Guevara, and other Latin Americans that died; so Amy Goodman can transmit today live, from Tiquipaya!

Relevant Science and Money

Countries and companies direct their money to advertisement and public works. Sometimes Research and Development (R&D). They reflect the concerns of the average citizen and customer. In the private sector, the famous bottom line, is always present. Profits. Simple people, simple logic.

The new world order, as presented for instance in the new book by Bill McKibben: Eaarth. strongly states that we cannot continue with Business as Usual.

The European Union has lost $2 billion already because of volcanic ashes this week. I am sure that the R&D money going to Vulcanology in the whole world right now, is much less.

Today we read in the NYT:

“The Ash Attack has already affected the travel plans of 8 million passengers in Europe and around the world,” the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation, a consultancy based in Sydney, said Monday on its Web site. “The total cost for the aviation industry (airlines, airports, suppliers, freight operators, handlers, etc.) could be well over $2 billion.”

"The crisis could wipe out weaker air carriers if it continues much longer, analysts say. Airlines have already suffered losses of $50 billion over the last decade after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the SARS epidemics of 2004, the rise in fuel costs in 2008 and the recession. "

"Complicating any decisions is the continued eruption of the volcano, Eyjafjallajokull."

How much longer are the leaders of society going to keep these ignorant financial policies?

Time is up.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Civil War II?

April is Confederacy Month!

I sense code words here, like when Reagan told the same Southern States, that the Government should get off their backs. Now I know that he meant that only over his dead body will whites in the South pay for the welfare of black people.

These GOP politicians are telling the Tea Party members, that No White Man in America will ever pay for the welfare of colored people.

That is how you want it?

I just remind you White Men, a colored person is likely going to take care of you when you are old, because by then, most Americans will be colored.

These are my code words.

From today's NYT we read:

"You don’t hear much about companies like this. Our national debate today is dominated by the ignorant ramblings of Sarah Palin, talk-show lunatics, tea parties and politics as sports — not ESPN but PSPN. Fortunately, though, we still have risk-takers who are not paying attention to any of this nonsense, who know what world they’re living in — and are just doing it. Thank goodness!"

Thanks Tom Friedman!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Gatekeepers: Roberto Bolaño in The New Yorker

How come when he was alive they wouldn't give him the time of day, and now, The New Yorker, Harper's, and who knows which other Big Time outlets are printing his stuff?; even a long dead book: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, was resurrected.

I guess mother (the wife) knows best.


Fragility of Complex Things

Some days ago I wrote about a Near Death Experience. I was being facetious, since only my computer and Internet connection died. Nevertheless the point I want to make today is broader.

There is debate about Global Warming, strong economic interests deny it. Their only concern is the famous, bottom line. They do not understand the complexity of the systems they are shepherding very badly. Very likely the U.S. Chamber of Commerce member, Don L. Blankenship, recently in the news because his company is responsible for the death of 29 American miners, doesn't have a clue on the connection between Iceland volcanoes, and airports in Europe. Mr. Blankenship and friends will lose more money by denying Global Warming, than by doing something about it. I do not expect men of action like him, to save us.

From the NYT on Saturday:

"Some travelers took drastic measures to return home. John Cleese, the British comic actor who was part of the Monty Python troupe, found himself stranded in Oslo. He hired a Mercedes taxi to drive more than 900 miles from Oslo to Brussels, where he hoped to get a train to London, said one of his agents, Dean Whitbread. Three drivers took turns at the wheel and the fare came to about $5,000, he said."

Recently my mother died. When I last saw her she was in good spirits. She took care of her diabetes, and had her appointed doctor visits; but last Saturday vital organs malfunctioned, and she was dead at dawn the next day; actually closer to midnight.

We are very complex, the biosphere is very complex, and the only way out of our current state is if we recognize this complexity and act accordingly.

Why Arizonians do not Like Mexicans?

Same reason "Dominicanos", citizens of Dominican Republic, do not like Haitians.

Think about that one.

Technology and Crime

Recently the government of Mexico decided to go after cell phones!


Criminals use them.

Now then, we are all criminals.

Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) governing the country does not have a clue.

Felipe Calderón is "The Wizards apprentice!"

Cause and Effect

Hot North Pole implies volcanoes in Iceland have more steam. Therefore European air traffic disrupted.

Not much debate.

""In terms of closure of airspace, this is worse than after 9/11. The disruption is probably larger than anything we've probably seen.""

"She and Sigmundsson wrote a 2008 paper in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters about possible links between global warming and Icelandic volcanoes."

"He said that melting ice seemed the main way in which climate change, blamed mainly on use of fossil fuels, could have knock-on effects on geology. The U.N. climate panel says that global warming will cause more floods, droughts and rising seas."

Taken from:

Scientific American

Disclaimer: I am not a vulcanologist, nor climatologist, nevertheless, I take,  last week's event as a reminder of the need for better stewardship of the Eaarth.  

Mexicans in Arizona

Amy Goodman from DN! had Isabel Garcia on the program today. Watch it here.

Little Emma

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Nyes Have it.

No life after death. That is the result of this week's poll.

I am a Don't Know.

If I am going to believe Prof. Frampton that we are inside a black hole, then I should be able to believe anything.

Was my Mother a Saint?

I am reading Michael Talbot's "The Hollographic Universe." He mentions David Bohm and Karl Pribram, two individuals I admire. I am agnostic, but the recent death of my mother and this book, are making me think.

I am not about to proposed that my mother be canonized, there are no official miracles I can attach to her; but in recent conversations with my siblings something special is happening. I find it so strange that she was not mean, like a lot of people I know, and on the contrary, one felt well with her; that I am starting to wonder who was she?

Not all the little girls from Huitzuco wanted to go to Iguala and study, even less of those wanted to go to Chilpancingo to study even more; and definitely very few will leave their state to try to live in Mexico City, with a man that was illegally in Mexico. WTF, where did she come from?

She had six children, all of us got a PhD or PhD equivalent level of education, all this without a penny when she moved to the city. Yes, her family helped, but so many relatives with so much economic means than us, did so little enlightenment work, that I keep wondering. Where did she come from?

She was a saint for me.

Daniel Boyanovsky

I met Daniel when we were in graduate school. He came to Santa Barbara from Argentina around the time I was leaving to Mexico. We hardly interacted. Now he is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

He worked with John Cardy, and to this day his work is mentioned by John, whom I also met there at UCSB.

Our lives went in very different directions, I haven't seen him since then. I am glad John and him, are such good scientists.

He came to my mind today because I found a good paper by John online. I remembered that one of the few conversations between Dan and I, was about his father's, then recent death. Since my mother just passed away this weekend I thought of this nice Argentinian young man. Now we are not young.

Environmental Denial

Twenty four hours stranded in Europe because a volcano in Iceland is spewing ashes.

No, it is not happening, as soon as my plane takes off, I would not remember that the ENVIRONMENT did not let me do what I wanted to do.

No problemo!

From the NYT today:

"Matthew Watson, a specialist in the study of volcanic ash clouds from Bristol University in England, said the plume was “likely to end up over Belgium, Germany, the Lowlands — a good portion over Europe,” and was unlikely to disperse for 24 hours, meaning that airports were likely to remain closed longer than initially forecast."

"“volcanic dust cloud from Iceland.”" = ENVIRONMENT
"“We are completely and utterly hostage to weather conditions,”"

That is not a person, so I am not going to do anything; but if you bad mouth Manchester United, you'll know what I am made of, bloke.

I hate Iceland!


Charles Bowden in his book Murder City, and in the interview with Amy Goodman, in Democracy Now! (DN!) yesterday, very clearly states that most of us are just watching terrible events and just hiding to avoid the ricocheting bullets. I agree.

Yesterday in Acapulco, luckily I am in Warrenville, and not in Chilpancingo, a bunch of kids with high caliber weapons fought in the main road of that tourist capital of Mexico. Just like in any action movie or TV program. Do I think that the civil society of Acapulco will stop the bloodshed?


Earth Day

Bill Mckibben was in DN! today. Soon we will have Earth Day. The laws of Chemistry and Physics are the same all over the world, borders are irrelevant.

We may not have that much time; shit happens.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Eduardo Guendelman

I don't know this gentleman personally. Recently I was in Taxco, Mexico, and he gave a talk on how to go back to science after a stint in business. A friend had asked me to give a similar talk before, but I didn't.

I read yesterday in Science magazine about this wormhole solution I just posted below.  Guendelman was asked his opinion on the wormhole for the article on Science.

After I read the nice article by Poplawski, from Indiana University, linked below, I see that Guendelman has worked on similar issues.

I guess, there is life after business. I just haven't found my way back yet.

I also see that Guendelman is working in Israel, I guess the position he had in Mexico City was not conducive to deep thinking.


From Poplawski we get:

"As the particle moves from infinity to r = rg /4, θ decreases from 0 to −3/(2rg ). At r = rg /4, θ undergoes a discontinuity, jumping to 3/(2rg ). As the particle moves from r = rg /4 to r = 0, θ decreases back to zero. The discontinuity of the expansion scalar at the event horizon of a wormhole prevents θ from decreasing to −∞, as it occurs inside a Schwarzschild black hole. Therefore this discontinuity guarantees that timelike geodesics in the gravitational field of a wormhole are complete."

This is the mathematics that goes with Frampton's solution to the Dark Energy Problem: There is no Dark Energy, because Gravity is not fundamental, and there is universal acceleration, because we are inside a black hole.

Charles Bowden

I just read the prologue of his book Murder City in Amazon.

Bowden moved my ground.

Juárez disappeared into a black hole. This is a town of no return. He speaks truth, I know.

The death of my mother put me in a weird mood. You may think my posts are hard to follow, there are at least two reasons, English is not my native language, and I think too much.

Bowden way of writing blew me off.

So I am going to tell you about something I have kept silent. Huitzuco, the place where my mother's remains are going as I write this, is slowly being taken by evil.

My beautiful young relatives in high school there, are attracting the attention of boys tempted to go into crime. I am scared.

I almost joined a scientific group in Juárez, but the project, should I say luckily, felt through. We had a war in Mexico that started a hundred years ago, it is called, "La Revolución Mexicana": The Mexican Revolution, we entered another one in 1994, it is called "The War on Drugs". Now this one has achieved national presence, the war is already in Huitzuco, where a few days from now, my mother's remains will stay forever.


"U.S. officials say the Sinaloa cartel has grown to become the most powerful drug trafficking group in the world. Most recently, it is said to have won a two-year battle with the Juarez cartel for control of smuggling routes through Ciudad Juarez, a border city that has become one of the world's deadliest."

Sin City is Murder City

Charles Bowder has a book: Murder City. I saw him today in DN!

I feel like I am making a root system for humanity at the Internet. As long as this contraption can go, and my posts remain, my blogs are communicating vases to our past.

Robert Rodriguez, from El Paso, created with Frank Miller the first Comic Book for the movies: Sin City.

You may not now it, but Ciudad Juarez is the same city on the other side of the Rio Grande, and it is Murder City.

Also Roberto Bolaño was in Mexico, and wrote 2666. I highly recommend this book. He had contact with Mexican journalist, Sergio González Rodríguez. (Thanks Mark Pritchard )


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Mother's Ashes Will be in Huitzuco

We are a special bunch. Clonal Colony comes to mind. This type of life form appears different from different perspectives, but if you look down we all have the same roots. Aspen trees belong to this group.

My father mentioned sometime, many years ago, that he would like to be cremated and taken to his hometown of Quetzaltenango in Guatemala. Sure enough, as soon as he was ready and died a Sunday almost at dawn, my sister went to pick him up in his little grocery store. and somehow we all managed to cremate him and my two kid brothers took him to the river he had told us to. River Xilcaja. in his hometown of Xelajú, as Indians call that place. There is a famous soccer team with that name, from that town also, and they are the leaders in their league.

Some day my mother's ashes will be in San Marino, a small out of the way place near Huitzuco, the town where she lived her childhood. She spent happy times with her parents in San Marino. They took the cows to San Marino to feed during the rainy season in the Summer. My grandpa, Manuel Uriza Marbán, was of good Spanish stock, and made cheese with Central Asian origins. We are the children of milk. Our ancestors developed lactose tolerance, through some genetic change that gave them advantage over other groups that couldn't drink the milk in adult life. We are the Indo Europeans of Huitzuco.

You can listen to Luis Cariño Marbán from Huitzuco singing a corrido to Huitzuco below. I had written a few things about Luis some time ago in this blog. He is an interesting man, half American Indian, half Spanish.

When I go back to Huitzuco, I will look for the place where they put my mother's ashes.

The family decided this when she died at dawn on Sunday, in the Mexico City Military Hospital. BTW, Luis is a veteran parachuter.

The clonal colony reference has to do with the fact that nobody asked me if it was OK to cremate my mother and take it to San Marino, I am not in Mexico at this point, nevertheless I agree, and through e-mail, suggested that her remains should be taken near my grandparents also. They are going to do that.

Luis Cariño Marbán Corrido to Huitzuco

Paul Howard Frampton (1)

Frampton gave a talk as a gift to Murray Gell-Mann. Read it here.

Prof. Frampton solves two hard problems, dark matter and dark energy. I had posted some of his work before, even some rebuttal by Alexei V. Filippenko. I am not for or against Frampton's proposal, but I find them refreshingly simple.

Something you don't see?

Black holes.

Something you don't understand?

There is no dark energy, it just happens that we are inside a black hole.

This reminds me of something I read by Gell-Mann's worst nightmare, Dick Feynam. The Earth is on top of a huge turtle; and where is the turtle standing? It is turtles all the way down!

Beautiful; I think it was some kind of ancient myth, but he had a way with words and ideas. To me, Dick was the Groucho Marx, and Lenny Bruce of physics, all combined in a single package just like one of those Russian Matryoshka dolls.

Frampton writes:

"The creativity of homo sapiens had been underestimated. The Poincaré Conjecture was proved by Perelman, in less than three years. The Dark Energy problem was solved, by myself, in less than ten years."

Perelman = Frampton ?


He goes on to say:

"It would be  wonderful to have lunch, maybe at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Roppongi Hills, with Murray Gell-Mann, Isaac Newton, and Grigori Perelman to compare notes on personal fulfillment. What does Grigori Perelman mean, when he tells journalist, in turning down a million dollars, I have all I want. I’m not interested in money or fame? This seems to baffle some americans, whose idea of happiness, as an inalienable right, is a three-comma net worth. Yet, a two-comma net worth suffices, for all practical purposes. Fame can hardly exceed that of the singer and entertainer, Elvis Presley (1935-1977), whose name, from my non-scientific studies in public transportation, is still recognizable by one billion people. He died, when he was only fourty-two, so his fame was not very useful."

"My result calls into question, almost all of the work done on quantum gravity, since the discovery of quantum mechanics. For gravity, there is no longer necessity for a graviton. In the case of string theory, the principal motivation17,18 for the profound, and historical, suggestion, by Scherk and Schwarz, that string theory be reinterpreted, not as a theory of the strong interaction, but instead as a theory of the gravitational interaction, came from the natural appearance, of a massless graviton, in the closed string sector. I am not saying that string theory is dead. What I am saying is, that string theory cannot be a theory of the fundamental gravitational interaction, since there is no fundamental gravitational interaction."

If you read the paper you can see how bloated their egos are.

Am I envious?

I guess, if they would have invited me to the party, I would have been less so.

Monday, April 12, 2010

How Does it Feel not to Have a Mother?

Without a mother: There is no place I can go to now, and feel that I will have a friend to talk to, that will fix me food, and a place to sleep; that will tell me what is wrong with me, knowing perfectly well who I am.

It feels like emptiness, like missing something inside.

Did they do everything possible? Would've I figured out something they missed. In one day she was gone.

Dear mother I will always love you.

Daniel Ellsberg

I finished reading Ellsberg autobiography, Secrets. He was not after Nixon, he was after Nuclear Bombs. We owe our lives to that sane man, if it wasn't for him, we could be closer to the moment when some dimwitted "head of state" pushes the red button.

Do not talk about, talking to god, please, when I heard George W. Bush telling us that non-sense, fear went up my spine.

We need heads of state that know that we are six billion people and growing and that now we have the means to destroy most life on Earth. Irrationality at those high levels of decision is hazardous to our health.

From the NYT today:

"“The Indian relationship is a very important one,” said Mr. Nunn, who influenced Mr. Obama’s decision to endorse a goal of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. But he said that during the Bush years, “I would have insisted that we negotiate to stop their production of weapons fuel. Sometimes in Washington, we have a hard time distinguishing between the important and the vital.”"

Nuclear Safety in Mexico

There is none.

How do I know this?

My government spent over twelve thousand dollars on me to get a PhD in Theoretical High Energy Physics in California.

I was not supported to do the research I was supposed to do. What a waste. This is a share responsibility issue, but still. I do not see a Nuclear Energy Plan in Mexico. Given that Mexico has Uranium underground, it is a dangerous situation, much more so, than all the weed some second rate thieves make billions of dollars on.

After General Lazaro Cardenas, Mexican Presidents have been intellectual dwarfs.

Great Season for Speech

The Chicago Tribune staff is rightly proud of the performance of our kids, read on:

Trib Local Palos Park


My mother passed away at dawn yesterday

So it goes.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

She is Dead

I have my children.


My mother is sick.

We don't know how she is going to be tomorrow.

Today I took my son to the movies.

Passing the torch.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Paul Howard Frampton

No Dark Energy.

Read his article:

Solution to the Dark Energy Problem.

The acceleration of the Universe, discovered first by High-z, and confirmed by SCP, can be explained without dark energy, says Frampton.

"I present a simple, and hopefully convincing, discussion of a solution to the dark energy problem, which arises because the visible universe is well approximated by a black hole."

P.H. Frampton

Calm Down

"Astronomers think supernova explosions closer than 100 light years from Earth would be catastrophic, but the effects of events further away are unclear and would depend on how powerful the supernova is. The research team postulate it could be close enough and powerful enough to damage Earth, possibly severely, although other researchers, such as Professor Fillipenko of the Berkeley Astronomy Department, disagree with the calculations and believe the supernova, if it occurred, would be unlikely to damage the planet."

Taken from:

The Daily Galaxy

Four Thousand and Counting

I have written four thousand notes on this blog with this one. Of course many of them look more like Twitter posts. This is so because Twitter did not exist back then. The purpose of the posts were to get high school students interested in Science and Physics. I veered off that purpose many times, and even had polls asking readers if that was OK, I got an affirmative answer, so I keep doing it.

This special note is about my son. I am happy to report that he reads the blog, that is more than many parents can claim, even the young'uns want to hear you!

He told me that I am overdoing the use of the refrain: "So it goes". Vonnegut used it for more serious situations, by overusing it, it may lose its meaning.

My wife and I put a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders, he usually performs well, but when the computer and the Internet were having a problem, even though he tried to solve the problem, there was only so much he could do. I ended up calling my wife to contact our cable service provider. After a few back and forths, we ended up arranging a service visit.

The connection and the computer, miraculously fixed themselves up, with not very much human intervention, that I can see, but then all of a sudden a contractor for Comcast showed up in our door. He said that the Internet connection is like that, unpredictable. He did other repairs, like installing a newer splitter, and taking off a filter that was degrading some TV channels. Since we do not subscribe to TV through cable, we never noticed. He felt though, that it was better to take the filter off. He mentioned something about the company wanting all service through their boxes though. Nevertheless when he left I tried to connect the TV, directly to cable, no luck.

Coming back to my son. Last weekend we went to the local BestBuy store to try the iPad. I was very happy to see how his deft fingers had no trouble using the touch screen with the Pages program already installed in the tablet. I feel well that we succeeded in producing a Digital Native. He is a 21st century ready citizen.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Ayes Have it

All the people that took the poll think that Gravity is an emergent property.

Me too!

Near Death Experience

Yesterday the Comcast modem died. The regular telephone repairs didn't work, so I scheduled a service visit today at 1 pm. I turned off my iMac G5 PowerMac 8.2 with PowerPC G5 processor, all night. This morning the damn thing wouldn't turn on. Either power supply or battery, or both. I kept insisting with the same start and stop routine, and after four or five tries it came up. I guess this four year old clunker is not well, I'll have to take it to the Apple Store in Naperville. When I have money, that is. Also my Volvo needs a new battery, $1,900.

At 12:30 PM everything was up again, the modem was working, the AirPort, and the Computer!

Near Death Experience.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

$100,00 for Dr. Hansen!

Very rarely we get courage and brains.

Scientific American

Jim Hansen needs all the help we can give him. Our life depends on it!


"On Oct. 28, so and so was found guilty of no valid driver’s license— never issued and fined $600, and $285 with supervision for failure to secure child in a safety belt. Charges stemmed from June 9 by Warrenville police."

This was taken from Warrenville Sentinel.

Why the people with less money are fined?

It is like this, it has always being like this, and it always will be like this.

So it goes.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Flash Mob?

Today in the NYT.

Were these kids there through social network tools?

Will I get Bailed Out?

I have a huge credit card debt, therefore I keep receiving these letters from some outfit in Washington D.C.. My wife says that is junk, just throw it out.

Today I got another invitation to open a new Credit Card Account. Congress and Senate already bailed out people with a lot of lobbyists. Will they feel my pain?

Wife doesn't think so.

I am reading Secrets by Daniel Ellsbeg, he writes that he figured out that the rich were hurting the poor in Vietnam, so he ruined his career and disclosed these "Secrets".

I am a poor kid from Mexico City. I know very well how it works, sometimes Americans amuse me with their naivete.

I do not have to read secret Pentagon Papers, to know that a few crooks killed John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy.

In the novel 2666, you can find a worldview closer to mine. Roberto Bolaño was a poor boy from Chile, then Mexico, and Europe. They didn't pull one on him. He got away making it public because he is dead, otherwise the big honchos of Juárez would've been after him, just like he describes in The Savage Detectives.

Earthquakes in Sumatra and Chile Today

magnitude | time | location
7.7 | Tue, Apr 6, 2010
05:15 pm CDT
(1.5 hours ago) | 81 mi NW of Gunung Stoli, Sumatera Utara, Indonesia
5.1 | Tue, Apr 6, 2010
05:54 pm CDT
(53 minutes ago) | 77 mi NW of Gunung Stoli, Sumatera Utara, Indonesia
5.1 | Tue, Apr 6, 2010
08:04 am CDT
(10.7 hours ago) | 27 mi NW of Constitucion, Maule, Chile
Taken from:
Wolfram Alpha 


It arrived!

Net Neutrality

A District of Columbia Court did not give the Government the right to regulate Comcast. Too much BitTorrent says Comcast; you are free to charge whatever you want, says the Court.

Freedom is a neutral concept. It can mean anything you want.

Yi-Fu Cai, Jie Liu, and Hong Li

These three Chinese Physicists working from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, just posted in the arXive the paper, "Entropic cosmology: a unified model of inflation and late-time acceleration." They are connected intellectually with the whole world; full participants in a common quest for truth.

I can't help to think of Mao Zedong, sixty years ago he took his people off dope and put everybody to learn how to read and write.

As Cai et al. state:

"In this scenario, however, there exists a key controversial issue whether gravity is fundamental or emergent."

They also write:

"The frontier of modern physics suddenly goes back to pre-Einstein time one hundred years ago."

I guess for a thousand year old culture, that is yesterday.

I have a poll this week. So far the opinion that gravity is emergent is winning.

Paulette Gebara Farah

This little girl died a few days ago in Mexico. I usually do not follow the crime section of the news. I know there is crime, but the way it is reported I do not understand much. I do not understand this either, but so many links come towards this poor girl's death, that I feel like writing this.

The mother Lisette Farah has a Facebook account. Lisette Farah. That is not the account, somebody else started that section I do not know why. This woman is now all over the news.  I guess she will be the first Mexican celebrity/crime through the Internet.  I did receive some invitations through the social sites I belong to, to get involved, first to find the little Paulette and then to follow the leads. I did not pay any attention. Finally today I took a look.

In La Jornada today, the Mexican paper I follow; I finally read a little bit. Even the presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, in his role as the State of Mexico Governor, had this to say:

"Más tarde, en Toluca, el gobernador Enrique Peña Nieto avaló el desempeño de la PGJEM, que ha sido muy clara en este caso y lo resolverá con apego a derecho, con justicia y verdad."

My translation:

Later, in Toluca, governor Enrique Peña Nieto supported the good work of the Attorney General of the State of Mexico, which has been "very clear" in this case and will solve it within the law, with "justice and truth".

Toluca is the state capital of this state next to Mexico City. This man seems to like publicity, his wife is dead under suspicious circumstances, and now he is romantically involved with a Mexican soap opera celebrity. The TV station Televisa, where she is a star, is campaigning for him for the presidential election of 2012.

I guess with this involvement in a case that electrified the Mexican Nation, his chances of getting elected increase.

The article ends like this:

"Mientras, en el municipio de Huixquilucan policías de la Agencia de Seguridad Estatal siguen vigilando el edificio donde habitaba la familia Gebara Farah."

Meanwhile, in  Huixquilucan county, police agents from the State Security Agency keep their watch on the building where the Gebara Farah family used to live.

I have a dear high school friend whom used to come from that town in the South West, all the way to the North of a huge Mexico City, when we were students in the late 60s.


"For, as Ecclesiastes has it, “Under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.""

Taken from NYT.

Roger Cohen ends thus:

"“Roxana,” her father says, “just remember: they can never hurt your soul.” Truth, in other words, is impregnable."


Monday, April 05, 2010

Attack against US in Pakistan

The NYT reports an attack on the US consulate in Peshawar. That is near where the Obama drones are causing havoc to the Islamists. At the time when I am reading Daniel Ellsberg, Secrets book, it is eerie to read the first page of the NYT.

I know that Afghanistan has never been conquered, as far as I know. This time, though: There are Arabs there. So I do not know if my guess is valid.

Will Obama win?

I hope so.

Drones for War

The NYT reports today that remote control weapons are helping the US government fight US enemies. Obama's war is a video game war now. He is one of those kids that grew up with digital toys. Even though he is a digital immigrant, he is young enough to be the Commander in Chief of the native kids. For the soldier of the 21st century digital tools are second nature.

Will he win the war?

I hope so.

My Business (2)

A friend of mine just made me aware of Wolfram Alpha as a journalistic tool. The site has cured a huge amount of quantitative data. In this case to the query about the Mexicali earthquake it had data already that would've required a news organization time and money to collect, then we can have a timely and authoritative report.

Wolfram Journalism has been born!

Earthquake in Mexico Through Wolfram Alpha

My friend Enrique Zeleny just made me aware of a new way to report the News:

Wolfram Alpha on the Mexicali Earthquake.

Thanks Enrique!

My Business (1)

This morning when I was taking my son to school, I heard on NPR that some people cannot let go of their worthless possessions, even though some times they are a fire hazard in their homes. I knew about the syndrome and I do collect books from library sales. So I felt reflected by the radio comments.

I do feel like my behavior is eccentric. This blog for instance; it is not paid for. Since I posted my first note in an online newspaper in Puebla, Mexico; La Jornada de Oriente, that I myself and a group of friends, were hosting at the Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, I have not been able to stop this vice. Aurelio Fernández Fuentes, a friend of mine and director of the paper never paid for that work. I did not request any pay for myself. He is also in charge of the Puebla University Disaster Center, as you can read from the previous link.

I am an entrepreneur, I have to give others something to do. It is difficult for me to just do somebody's bidding. I am stuck.

The problem, as I see it, is not to act like everybody else, but to make a living doing what you feel like doing, and not going to the far side.

More to come.

Gates vs. Jobs

I am a fan of Steve Jobs. In Mexico we have the Chivas vs. America feud. Yesterday the soccer team Chivas won 1 - 0, against America, another Mexican  team. As a kid the reason for this preference was that only Mexicans played in Chivas. Now that reason seems outdated, there is actually a son of an America player from Brazil, that belongs to the Mexican team that will play in South Africa this summer.

I also have reasons for the Microsoft - Apple rivalry, I prefer the second. Today I saw a picture of Steve Jobs in Palo Alto. You can see him relaxed walking outside his store there. I believe the iPad just released, will affect society. That product starts a process of cloud computing with thin clients. More people around the world will be able now to take advantage of the power of technology as prices go down.

One reason for not liking Microsoft that much, is that they seemed less idealistic. Gates was not a technical whiz kid that invented a new business,  as Jobs seemed to me. He seemed more of a businessman that found a way to charge for software. You know what? I see now that Jobs is more of a businessman. He will get money for a lot of applications that only run in the platform he controls from chip to screen. That is a new hardware-software monopoly. If I write an app for the iPad, I have to pay the boss.

The Pusenjacks from Croatia are frantically testing their game Doodle Jump to be part of the American dream, and get a lot of dollars, as you can read today in the NYT. Here in Mexico we have a mathematician from  ex-Yugoslavia; Micho Durdevich, he is now a Mexican citizen and is working hard like the kid I mentioned before, Giovani dos Santos, to make Mexico great, Micho in Mathematics and Open Source, and Giovanni in soccer.

From the NYT article:

".... Although as of Sunday evening Apple had not released sales figures for the weekend, some analysts were saying that the iPad’s debut was stronger than they had expected."

Maybe this choice is as silly as my decision many years ago to be a Chivas fan. I guess all of us have the right to choose our teams.

Go Apple, go!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Smoot's Conjecture

All of the possible histories of the universe, past and future, are encoded on the apparent horizon of the universe.

This is how George F. Smoot understands the Verlinde Revolution. It sounds like the Tollaksen-Aharonov idea. Past and Future affect the Present. Also it encodes Leonard Susskind and Gerard 't Hooft idea that Information is conserved. The Apparent Horizon of Smoot is a surface with an entropy constant flux.

Since nobody knows my proposal it is not there. That is good.

Here I go. If the 1D-Cellular Automaton Rule 110 has anything to do with the ultimate law of Quantum Gravity, then another possibility is that in the past the rule is precisely given but nobody can know the answer until it finishes. Which is never, because we have a Universal Computer, and therefore an NP problem.

One has to at least comment, that the rule may be given in the past of the apparent horizon one happens to choose; but not very differently than what Hawking had in mind: Not only does God play dice, he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen. We cannot see, not because they are not there, but because we do not have an answer to a question that keeps surprising us forever.

As Freeman Dyson says: The Universe is as interesting as it can be.

My Business

I already work for LynkLabs. I never resigned my post as Chief Scientist there, even though you cannot see my name in the company's web site. I keep in touch with my friends there. I learned from them how to have the courage to go on your own.

I am ambitious though, maybe unwarrantably so. Nevertheless I believe I can have ideas for new businesses. I keep getting inspired by Tom Friedman. Today he writes that the US needs people like me.

Lucent went down while I was there; now Carly Fiorina is trying to lead us in politics, I don't know how will she accomplish that, given that she was unable to warranty my job at Lucent. I do not trust her. Many of us lost our jobs there. Many of the ones Friedman refers to; entrepreneurial technical foreigners.

Friedman writes:

"We need health care, financial reform and education reform. But we also need to be thinking just as seriously and urgently about what are the ingredients that foster entrepreneurship — how new businesses are catalyzed, inspired and enabled and how we enlist more people to do that — so no one ever says about America what that officer says to Tom Cruise in “Top Gun”: “Son, your ego’s writing checks your body can’t cash.”"

Obama is Black

It is interesting how I missed that point when I recently wrote that Alberto Gonzalez and John Yoo, were minorities that came after Daniel Ellsberg. My implication was that whites left the door open to Uncle Toms.

Not for a moment did I think that Obama is black.

Today reading Frank Rich's piece in the NYT, I realized that at least I should mention that he is the Commander in Chief of all of us, the minorities.

Hail to the Chief. At your orders commander!

The Warriors, Philadelphia, Juárez, and Detroit

There is a movie based on a communist writer's book: The Warriors. A citywide convention unifies the gangs and threatens to take the city. Flash mobs in Philadelphia are the social network equivalent of our days. I heard yesterday, through National Public Radio, that the police is calling parents to control their children there. Gang activity was also reported in those flash mobs. In Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, gangs have also taken control of the city. Mexican President, Felipe Calderón had to face an upset mother recently because he blamed  high school kids, instead of the real criminals running the city. You can read in Roberto Bolaños's book, 2666, a fictional representation of  social ills there. This border town, is next to El Paso, Texas.

Now comes Detroit: This year's  US Social Forum,  from June 22 - 26, is going to be held there.

Young people own the future; my generation will be gone when the world will be coming down on their heads. A young 17 year old girl in Russia, took bombs with her, and killed herself in Moscow together with innocent bystanders.

The main point, is that all people now have access to powerful tools.

An American soldier costs one million dollars to send to fight in the Middle East, it costs a fraction of that to kill him or her. This is proof that Another World is Possible, and Necessary.

Finally several tens of billions of dollars have been offered to the millions of Haitians left homeless after the earthquake. Each one, will be getting tens of thousands of dollars, according to my back of the envelop calculations.

Instead of giving this task to Presidents Clinton and Bush, that have proven themselves incapable of solving the problems of the US, let alone the World; I think it will be wiser to give it to Muhammad Yunus, who invented a solution and got a Nobel Prize for it.

Ralph Nader is pursuing a different approach, he is asking wealthy individuals to pitch in. If he doesn't hurry up; grass roots movements will take over.

Are you reading this, Mr. Soros?

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Friday, April 02, 2010

Bob Herbert, Amy Goodman, and Tavis Smiley

Today Herbert writes in the NYT. The journalists named above all reminded us of Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech at Riverside Church in NYC on April 4, 1967. Goodman had Tavis in her program this week, and Smiley produced a PBS special for the occasion.

I can't help reproducing here the words of Dr. King:

From Wikipedia:

"The US is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today"

Militias or Terrorists?

Caught while black and you are a terrorist, if white you are a militia.

End of the Modern World?

Ever since some friends of mine told me we had to go live in a commune in Baja California in the late 60s, I have been wondering, do they know something I don't?

Then came the collapse of the Soviet Union, and now the demolition of Detroit. Were they right after all? I was let go from Lucent after the Islamists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City. Militias in Michigan, and Imams organizing blacks in the US.

Hey; this is looking weird.

Demolition of Detroit

All the US has changed from one economic model to another. No more car building in this country. A few years back it was paper, steel mills.

We are in the middle of a whole scale restructuring.

First Detroit then what?

Port au Prince, Mumbai, Mexico City?

What is coming instead?

Minorities in America

I am a member of a minority, so this note is against me also.

Alberto Gonzalez and John Yoo had positions of power. In my humble opinion, they misused that power. It seems to me that they got there because they were so eager for recognition, that they were willing to do anything to please the white men that hired them. In the US there were house slaves. They wanted to be in good terms with the master, so they betrayed their own people.

I am reading Daniel Ellsberg book: "Secrets". He was white and he chose to betray the president and side with the people of the US. Reading his book I thought how that could have opened the doors to people of less moral standing. The ones that will do anything for the boss. Maybe if he would have found a better way to direct policy, instead of blowing his cover; we would never have had the "Torture Memos".

So it goes.

Black Holes as Dark Matter

In my note on Filippenko and Smoot I wrote that I did not explain myself well to Alex. Here is what Alex understood.

"In Mexico, when you mentioned that intermediate-mass black holes might produce the acceleration, I was skeptical. I still am, after looking up some references. Black holes are gravitationally attractive, not repulsive. Their entropy is *not* the entropy associated with some putative holographic membrane at the boundary of our observable universe, or anything like that. Moreover, large numbers of intermediate-black holes have *not* been found. Such black holes, even if they exist, could *not* be extremely numerous if they formed from stars or normal matter, because quite independent arguments (based on primordial nucleosynthesis, and independently the CMB fluctuation power spectrum) suggest that the amount of *baryonic* dark matter in the Universe is only about 4% of the total matter/energy content of the Universe. Thus, Frampton has to postulate that such black holes formed in the first few moments after the birth of the Universe... but this can probably happen only if there are two episodes of early inflation, not one. This is quite unlikely, making the existence of such black holes improbable. For a much earlier suggestion of this sort, see P. Ivanov et al. "Inflation and primordial black holes as dark matter" Phys. Rev. D 50, 7173–7178 (1994). "

I should have been more clear.

At that time I hadn't sudied Frampton's proposal, I had read only one of his papers. When I followed the Entropic paradigm, I saw that he had something to say: you can read his two papers with Easson and Smoot.

I still do not know if he is right, but I do not believe that black holes explain the acceleration, as Alex points out in his e-mail, they only attract. The proposal now is, that we may not need dark energy if some of this hullabaloo about entropy is correct.

I checked Prof. Smoot paper today. It is still there; so it was not an April Fool's joke, as I was starting to think.

We are closer to a Quantum Theory of Gravity now. Many names will be in the credits. Maybe the oldest reference for this excitement is Ted Jacobson, it seems that he started the whole thing; people that know him tell me he is smart.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Did I Make a Fool of Myself?

When I commented on Smoot's essay I had not read it careful. I just did. For a Nobel Prize Winner and written for an Essay competition, it is badly written.

The Physics ideas are nice, simple, so much so that even I can understand them. Given that today is April's fool day, I am having second thoughts about endorsing it.

I didn't go for that Topeka name change of Google Inc., but I guess either Prof. Smoot, or whoever posted that piece online pulled one on me.

George F. Smoot vs. Alexei V. Filippenko

Today you can read Smoot's essay on General relativity. Yesterday I watched Alexei V. Filippenko "Black Holes Explained" in the Great Courses series of the Teaching Company. If you go to their site you can see that Alex is a best seller of that company's products. "Understanding the Universe" is on sale, $570 off. I know comparisons are awful, Alex himself felt uncomfortable when I wrote in this blog sometime ago that he should get the Nobel Prize, the candidates for that prize seem to be Saul Perlmuter and Adam Riess. Nevertheless I can't help to write about the comparison between Smoot and Filippenko.

Both are distinguished professors at the best public institution of higher learning in the US and maybe of the world: the University of California Berkeley. We owe immensely to both men for our knowledge of space; but I think Prof. Smoot has gone farther.

This judgment is a bit unfair because I am using material published today, with something done last year by Alex. Fortunately I am in no committee at Berkeley to decide on the merits of these giants. I do have the right though, to write what I please in my blog; not completely, my wife already scolded me for some language used here. Nobody is an island. Here I go again, putting my foot in my mouth.

Smoot took off from where Verlinde left the gravitational community last December. Gravity is an emergent property of the Universe. Together with Easson and Frampton, he posted a great paper on the Los Alamos electronic archive: Entropic Inflation. On the other hand when I started to tell Alex about Frampton's idea that intermediate mass black holes may solve some of the riddles that he himself had discovered, he didn't seem to want to know. Maybe I did not express myself well, but he rejected Frampton's proposal. He didn't even know about Frampton and the entropic budget argument he has used to explain the acceleration of the Universe. By this I do not mean that black holes accelerate the Universe. Only that they point out to Frampton what is the importance of entropy considerations. Filippenko's discovery allows us now, to consider more seriously the old idea of Andrei Sakharov and others, that Gravity is an Emergent not a Fundamental Field.

In any case, today Smoot publishes an essay that validates the claim that maybe there is no Dark Energy, as Carlos Frenk assumes; all you need to know is that gravity is not a fundamental field of Nature.

The Kings are dead, long live the King.

Newton and Einstein are wrong, Verlinde is right!

Alex gives some exposure to Craig Hogan from Fermilab and GEO 600. Fermilab is a mile or so away from where I am writing this today, maybe Hogan will be right and Verlinde wrong, or maybe both are wrong; at this point any combination is possible, but scientists are betting all the time. My bet is for Verlinde.

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