Sunday, October 31, 2010

Belt Tightening: Paul Krugman

``The irony is that in their determination to punish the undeserving, voters are punishing themselves: by rejecting fiscal stimulus and debt relief, they’re perpetuating high unemployment. They are, in effect, cutting off their own jobs to spite their neighbors.

But they don’t know that. And because they don’t, the slump will go on.''

NYT

Political Coexistence

I read José R. Colín's book ¿Hacia Dónde Vamos?, Where are we Heading?, you can have it for 8,13 €.

There is a jewel there:

``En política es como en álgebra: la suma de un término positivo y uno negativo da siempre un nuevo término: negativo.''
...

``Comonfort, apaciguador y conciliador, sufrió la equivocación de muchos otros políticos de todos los tiempos: creer en la posibilidad de fusionar los partidos. Las tendencias políticas son irreductibles. La suma de conservadores y progresistas siempre da ventaja a los conservadores, porque tiende a la inacción, y ésta es el campo de los conservadores: inacción es inmovilidad. El progreso es movimiento, hacia adelante.''

My translation:

In politics like in algebra, the sum of a positive term and a negative one gives a new negative term.
...

Comonfort, a peace maker, suffered the error of many other politicians of all times: to believe in the possibility of fusion with other parties. Political tendencies are irreducible. The sum of conservatives and progressives always gives an advantage to the former, because it tends to inaction and that is the conservative field: inaction is immobility. Progress is movement, going forward.

I find the same idea in Paul Krugman this week:

``So if the elections go as expected next week, here’s my advice: Be afraid. Be very afraid.''

He has been saying the same as Mr. Colín sixty years ago, Obama cannot appease the Tea Party, more likely, if given the chance, that party, will walk all over him.

Barack, you were warned.

Former Guerrilla Leader is President of Brazil


``SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Former guerrilla leader Dilma Rousseff won Brazil's presidential election on Sunday after promising to stick to policies that have lifted millions from poverty and made Brazil one of the world's hottest economies.''

Reuters

Hal Lewis, Your Invention was Badly Used.

Recently I wrote that my professor Harold Lewis resigned from the American Physical Society for their endorsement of the linkage between human activity and Climate Change. Reading about him, I also found out that he felt well about a project he collaborated on during the Vietnam War, through the Jason group he belonged to. He then said that now it was being used against Mexicans trying to move to the US.

The NYT has an editorial today:

``It is past time to pull the plug on the “virtual fence” that the federal government has been trying to erect on the border with Mexico. The Secure Border Initiative Network — a series of towers with radar and cameras that is supposed to spot trespassers along most of the 2,000 miles of border — is a costly failure.''

I guess Hal's work was not applied properly; Oh well.

Plague from China

``The Black Death began in Europe in 1347 and carried off an estimated 30 percent or more of the population of Europe. For centuries the epidemic continued to strike every 10 years or so, its last major outbreak being the Great Plague of London from 1665 to 1666. The disease is spread by rats and transmitted to people by fleas or, in some cases, directly by breathing.''

NYT

And then it came to America. Most Mexicans here died from the now we know, Chinese rats.

KDE Winning!

Some time ago I wrote here.

Months of unsuccessful upgrades above Ubuntu 9.04, and the dreaded day of no longer supported made me take the plunge.

I am happily running 10.04, Kubuntu, no need to run in SafeMode. So far so good. I am liking this jumping icons!

I remember a  Lucent friend, way back then, he was amused by that also. I took time to leave Gnome. Since Miguel de Icaza was influential in that effort, I was partial to the ``other'' desktop.

Miguel isn't even active in Gnome anymore, as far as I can see he joined the dark side and is helping the loosing cause of the Dark Knight of Redmond.

Besides, now I can use several options of desktop, FailSafe Gnome, Gnome, KDE, ...

I am happy.

Only problem is I haven't been able to upgrade to Ubuntu 10.10. I have time though. Ubuntu announced they are dumping Gnome. I don't blame them, so did I.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ubuntu 9.10

I have Ubuntu 9.10, but cannot run it normally. Only as FailSafe Mode. Before I couldn't get sound this way; now I can. I am confused.

I couldn't update to 10.10: Oh, well.

Clinton on Mexico

Beautiful Girl From Colombia

Culture, and Remembering the Dead

Día de los Muertos pictures here.
PORTADA



From La Jornada

Roots

The link above shows my people. I remember them, some are already dead.

The one loss that pains me more is my mother's, the beautiful woman left of Granma Tayde in the picture linked above in the Roots link. I am the teenager with a light jacket on the row just below her.

Next week on Monday and Tuesday, here in Mexico, we remember those just dead (my mom), and the ones that left before. She gave me a lot, I remember her last,   when I left Mexico to go to my family in the US early this year. Her beautiful face looking towards me with so much love, is a gift I'll keep with me till the day I die.

Where does this deep connection to the family that gave us life come from?

Here is my one cent worth of thoughts.

There are three grains I know which originated three ancestral cultures. Rice, Wheat, and Corn: Let us start with Corn.

Nine thousand years ago the people here in the Balsas River domesticated this grain. The culture is the Mesoamerican culture.

Rice. The culture is the Asian culture.

Finally, Wheat: The culture is the European, and Middle Eastern cultures.

Without harvested food there is no culture, period.

In  `` The 10,000 year Explosion,'' Cochran, and Harpending, argue that humanity had a spurt of growth during the Neolithic. By the year 8,000 before the Common Era, agriculture happened in ``chosen'' places of our Earth. Balsas River, Euphrates and Tigris, and somewhere in the Yang Tze, or the Ganges rivers; as far as I know, the jury is still out for the credit for Rice, it could be India, it could be China. For what I have to say here that is irrelevant.

In those three regions, Europe-Middle East, Asia, and Mesoamerica the reverence for the dead is irrefutable.

That proves to me that our Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Yucatán cultures are the equal to any other culture of the same age. The wisdom of poor people in these places is humbling, very humbling.

Several years ago, in November, we took our guests to a small town near Puebla City for the ``Día de Muertos'' celebration. In every house we were welcome and fed!. That is culture, all humans are welcome, whether the people know you personally or not. Everyone is welcome to honor the dead.

Last night I was in my way from Iguala to Chilpancingo, I checked the balance in my University account and happily found that I was finally paid, after almost three months of unpaid work!, full of joy I went out of the ATM booth, to find out a whole Central Plaza, filled with millennial practices  of honoring our dead. Girls were dressed like ``La Catrina'', ``The Elegant Skull.'' Boys dressed like Pancho Villa, and Emiliano Zapata. I was extra happy with the great men these kids chose to remember.

Mexico is a Great Country, Guerrero is a Great State, all is due to corn, and I am happy to report that kids know that!

I'm Back!

My modem was replaced!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I am Happy

The world is ending; kids outside are doing mind numbing work. The previous link is not for anything kids are doing outside here Downtown Chilpancingo, it is for some wiseass webpage .

I am happy because I am not doing mind-numbing work, and getting ready in my mind to leave this place; which is going to drug dealers anyway.

There is a science fair going on, kids seem to be enjoying it, I'm glad I'm not in charge.

I am happy also because finally I'll get some money owed to a friend of mine.

To tell you the truth, I'm a bit scared also; I'm not getting younger and I do not see where my pension money will be coming from.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Julian Assange (10/23/10)

``He is also being investigated in connection with accusations of rape and molestation involving two Swedish women. Mr. Assange has denied the allegations, saying the relations were consensual. But prosecutors in Sweden have yet to formally approve charges or dismiss the case eight weeks after the complaints against Mr. Assange were filed, damaging his quest for a secure base for himself and WikiLeaks. Though he characterizes the claims as “a smear campaign,” the scandal has compounded the pressures of his cloaked life.''

NYT

Assange does not rest. I admire him.

Jerry Brown, Go!

He signed my PhD Diploma from UCSB.

Go Jerry, go!

Jerry Winning.

Bad Grammar

Principal's bad grammar angers parents

Arithmetic and Grammar are the basis by which parents judge school work. Fair; but in my mind misguided, grammar is just a convention maintained by conservative groups to keep people from minority groups out. In Flemish country if you don't speak Flemish, you are not welcome.

Oh well; good riddance with good grammar.

Downtown Chilpancingo

I have with me a copy of today's Proceso. You can read a worrisome article on the afghanistanization of Mexico in Spanish here.

I have been reading the news since I was thirteen or so. You can call me a news junkie. These things affect me. I've read enough end of the world scenarios so, I believe, I take them with a grain of salt. Nevertheless this particular piece touches my deepest worries.

The author, believes the US may feel like invading, just like in Afghanistan; my son has dual citizenship, in principle he could be called by either party. Not a nice thought.

My modem at school broke, so I haven't been writing and keeping my inbox clean, which is bad since lately I haven't been doing that even with a good Internet connection.

May you live in interesting times was a popular piece I wrote here.

The Autonomous University of Guerrero Rector, recently told the news that he may not have money for bonuses. At this moment I am worried if  he has enough money for now. Workers announced a day long work stoppage for tomorrow. I already told my students we may have to meet in one of this Ciber Cafés, downtown. Music is blaring behind me right now: Kids!

I should leave. I need a job in the US.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We Are the Milk People

Der Spiegel reports on recent research.

How Middle Eastern Milk Drinkers Conquered Europe

``'White Revolution'
Does this explain why the inventors of the sickle and the plow conquered Europe so quickly, leading to the demise of the old hunter-gatherers?
Imagine, if you will, a village of the Linear Pottery culture in the middle of winter. As smoke emerges from the top of a wooden hut, the table inside is surrounded by rosy-cheeked children drinking hot milk with honey, which their mother has just prepared for them. It's an image that could help explain why people adopted a sedentary way of life.
Burger, at any rate, is convinced that milk played a major part in shaping history, just as gunpowder did much later. "There was once a white revolution," he says.
Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan''

Internet Café Without Coffee

My office Internet connection died last night. Today I came downtown to an Internet outlet with good broadband connection, and cheap. No coffee, though, and lots of noise: oh, well.

I am a bit of an anomaly at school, I do not depend on my hard drive to store stuff. I am getting ready for the Cloud Computing World.

Go Google, Go!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Open Source Scholars

Searching for material for my physics class in Chilpancingo, I found a couple from the US that give us the product of their work, Benjamin Crowell from Fullerton College and his wife, Gretchen Angelo, from California State University at Los Angeles.

It made my day: Thanks a lot.

Professor Crowell site at Fullerton College is here. You can find both his Physics books, and the French book by Ms. Angelo.

``A.1.2 Observation culturelle
c / La bise
LA BISE

In many French-speaking countries, people kiss each other on the cheek or shake hands when they meet. In everyday situations, men shake hands, while women more often kiss, and mixed couples will kiss or shake hands depending on their level of acquaintance. The kiss (“le bisou” or “la bise”) begins on the right cheek first, which means you should move your head to your left ; the number of kisses varies from one to four depending on the region or country and on the level of emotion. A kiss or handshake is also given upon leaving, even if the two parties have only been together a few minutes !''

This is fun, right?

New Standard Mass

arXiv

Silicon ball picture taken from Nature.

Wikipedia


From the arXiv article:

``The value obtained, NA = 6.02214084(18) × 1023 mol−1, is the most accurate input datum for a new definition of the kilogram.''



``The project started in 2004 with the isotope enrichment by centrifugation of SiF4 gas undertaken at the Central Design Bureau of Machine Building in St. Petersburg. Subsequently, after conversion of the enriched gas into SiH4, a polycrystal was grown by chemical vapor deposition at the Institute of Chemistry of High- Purity Substances of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Nizhny-Novgorod and, in 2007, the 5 kg 28Si boule shown in Fig. 1 was grown by the Leibniz-Institut f¨ur Kristallz¨uchtung in Berlin [5].''

``Principle of the measurement. Atoms were counted by exploiting their ordered arrangement in the crystal. Provided the crystal and the unit cell volumes are measured and the number of atoms per unit cell is known, the count requires their ratio to be calculated. Hence, $N_A = \frac{nM}{\rho_ 0 a_0^3 }$, where n = 8 is the number of atoms per unit cell, $\frac{M}{\rho_ 0}$ and $a_0^3$ are the molar and unit-cell volumes, M the molar mass and $\rho_0$ the density. The crystal must be free of imperfections, monoisotopic (or the isotopic composition must be determined), and chemically pure. We selected a spherical crystal-shape to trace back the volume determination to diameter measurements and to make possible an accurate geometrical, chemical, and physical characterization of the surface. Hence, two spheres, AVO28-S5 and AVO28-S8, were taken at 229 mm and 367 mm distances, respectively, from the seed crystal position and shaped as quasi-perfect spheres by the Australian Centre for Precision Optics.''

Political Change in Guerrero

Two candidates are running for Governor of the State of Guerrero in the South of Mexico. Today I read that our students in the Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero, are divided.

You can read in Spanish on last night attack on a group by another group, here.

Social Polarization.

Sweet Black Angel

A Tale of Two Angelas

Ángela Gómez Aguilar and Angela Yvonne Davis , share the same name; nevertheless one is in jail, and the other was in jail.

Two different Angelas, some similarities, many differences.

Angela Davis DN!


Wikipedia note on Amy Goodman here.

Today's show with Angela Davis.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Harold Lewis v. James Hansen

I do not know James Hansen personally, I do know Lewis.

I wonder if Hal ever invited other physicists besides High Energy Physicists, say Meteorologists, to join JASON?

Just saying.

I'll really like to see this debate.

One (Hansen) has trespassed, (broken the law) to bring his concerns to the rest of us, the other Hal Lewis has resigned from a club of friends, the American Physical Society (APS), to convince us of his points.

Sorry, Jim and Hal; both of you seem a bit loony to me right now.

I hope we are not in danger. Veracruz is not flooded, Pakistan is hunky dory, and all this is just a weird dream we are having.

In the best light, I can say for Hal, that the debate has to be rational. There are ways. Somehow leaving the APS and breaking the law in West Virginia, do not seem to me like rational steps.

Calm down guys; this is serious.

Harold Lewis

If my memory doesn't fail me, I was his T.A. for a Solid State Physics class. Professor Lewis is a great guy. The Wikipedia note is here. The Oral History Archive transcript is here.

From this interview:

``Well, I have trouble with the chronology of those days, knowing when people appeared. I went to a cocktail party the other day, and said to somebody, "I remember your having arrived fairly recently; how long have you been here?" And he said, "Well, it's not quite 20 years." We did reasonably well reasonably fast, and it builds on itself, of course. In the academic world your reputation out of town never grows as fast as your capability in town, so I think it's really only been in the last five or ten years that people have begun to notice that we're a first rate operation. And of course now, with the Institute for Theoretical Physics — and people going through that who come from all over the world — I think the word has gotten around. Everybody now knows. But that wasn't true ten years ago. ''

Recently Andrew Rivkin wrote a piece on Hal's complaints, read it here. He resigned to the American Physical Society, read his reasons here.

What can I add?

I may not agree with his viewpoints, but I respect his courage in expressing them. I felt proud then, when he took all those trips to Washington to tell the big honchos the truth. I feel even more proud now, to witness his unwavering courage and critical mind.

The Physics Department at UCSB was a great place in the 70s. We didn't know, nor care to know, what place we were in. Now we know, the UCSB Physics Graduate Program is one of the five best such programs in the US.

With people like Hal, there is not much surprise.

Keep the great work guys!

Obama and Science

Apple Up

``“We are blown away,” Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, said in a statement. “IPhone sales of 14.1 million were up 91 percent year-over-year, handily beating the 12.1 million phones RIM sold in their most recent quarter,” Mr. Jobs said. He added, “We still have a few surprises left for the remainder of this calendar year.”''

NYT

At least somebody can report progress.

Ángela Gómez Aguilar in the News

Today I found this blog:

FCPA Blog

Wealthy Mexicans in trouble in Houston.

Is Catastrophe Coming?

Yes

Failed Revolutions Lead to Fascism

Quoted by Zizek:

Google Books.

Slavoj Zizek

DN!

Living in the End Times

Benoit Mandelbrot R.I.P.

NYT

Wikipedia

Friday, October 15, 2010

England's Universities

``He added, “I think they’re cutting the university sector because they can, and I think that’s terribly damaging for the future of the country.”''

NYT

If you see your neighbor's beard burning, then wet your own.

ExamplesOf.com

No bonus in Chilpancingo, cuts in England?

Hey, how much will you pay a Physics professor?

Is the End Near?

``So, she concluded, pointing to that beautiful yard minus its Coco gravestone, “You had better have your vegetable garden.”''

NYT.

That is the Economy Minister of France, Christine Lagarde, after France went almost literally to the dogs.

In French.

In English.

Coco was Marie Antoinette's dog.

Here at the University they are telling us, maybe no bonus this year.

Salvadoran gangs are taking over that country, and here in Mexico some see a Narco-Insurrection.

What gives?

Yes the situation is dire all over, but I have hope in humanity. When the fecal matter hits the fan, people of good will coming together will save the day.

I hope.

Naked Jungle

Lord of the Flies and Mara Salvatrucha

The gang Marabunta Salvadoreña, has gone feral. It is reminiscent of that classic book by William Golding, Lord of the Flies.

This summer they burnt a passenger bus with people inside!

Marabunta is the Spanish name of the American Film, The Naked Jungle. You Tube. This US gang acts like a wild bunch of ants, with no human feelings whatsoever.

What went wrong?

Héctor Vicario Castrejón (HVC)

There was a power shift last night here in Chilpancingo.

The president (HVC) of the governing commission of the local congress, lost control, and left the chamber.

I feel a seismic political shift right this moment here in Guerrero.

I give context here, for all Guerrerenses reading this.

I have written here about my grandma's siblings, Mardonio V. , Rosendo, Abraham, and Fidel Castro Uriza here.

The small town of Huitzuco in the northern part of Guerrero state, was the first to go to war February 28, 1911. Other towns like Iguala, Chilpancingo, Acapulco, and some more, followed suit later. My great uncles were among the organizers of the 1910 Mexican Revolution. Another important family was the Figueroa Mata family, and their cousin Andrés Figueroa Figueroa from the even smaller town of Chaucingo.



Huitzuco is the county capital, Chaucingo is the small town at the right of this map. next to the Amacuzac river, close to Puebla state.

Few of the direct descendants of the Figueroa Mata, and Figueroa Figueroa continued in Government once the war was over. Two of them were Rubén, and Ruffo Figueroa Figueroa. Now Rubén's son Ruben Figueroa Alcocer is the political boss pulling the strings in Guerrero politics. It seems he wants his son to run for Senator and eventually for Governor.

As a member of the family I do not side with this line that seems to have lost power last night in Congress. They are, in the words of a cousin, Nouveau Riche.

HVC is the political operative of Rubén Figueroa Alcocer. He lost control to a defector of his Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), Ángel Aguirre Rivero.

This is reminiscent of Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solorzano, leaving the party his father, Lázaro Cárdemas del Río, founded. In 1988 he run in the opposition, as now Senator Aguirre is doing, then Cuauhtémoc broke the camel's neck; by 2000 PRI lost to Vicent Fox.

I hope Aguirre wins next year here in Guerrero, against the ``cacique'' appointed candidate, the former mayor of Acapulco, Manuel Añorve Baños. 

More on Ángel Aguirre here.

Hermann Scheer (1944-2010)

This German politician, leader of the green movement in Germany has died.

DN!

Wikipedia

ThirdAge.com

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Luis Urzúa: Leadership

La Jornada

``Isolated group

The trapped group of miners tried to escape through a ventilation shaft system but the ladders required by mining safety codes were missing and the shaft later became unusable during subsequent geological movements.[20] The company had previously been ordered by supervisory authorities to install ladders as a condition of restarting operations, after an earlier accident had caused authorities to close the historically accident-plagued mine.[12]
The shift supervisor of the trapped miners, Luis Urzúa, recognizing the gravity of the situation and the difficulty of any rescue attempt, if a rescue was even possible, gathered his men in a secure room called a "refuge" and organized the men and meager resources for long-term survival. Experienced miners were sent out to assess the situation, men with important skills were given key roles, and numerous other measures were taken to ensure the survival of the men during a long-term entrapment.[citation needed]''

Wikipedia

John Huchra R.I.P

NYT

Wikipedia

Boston Globe

Clowns Running in California

More on clowns. Last post here.

LATimes

Clarence Page on LATimes

Interesting election in California.

Jerry Brown signed my Ph.D. UCSB Diploma.

Go Jerry, go!

More on Clowns (12/30/2011)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chilean Miners

``SAN JOSÉ MINE, Chile — Two months, nine days, and eight hours after their excruciating ordeal began, the last of the 33 miners trapped a half-mile underground in Chile was delivered safely to the earth’s surface, capping perhaps the most dramatic survival story in mining history.''

NYT

This is good news. Working people usually are worth less than the gold they get out of the ground.

Read Wikipedia.

Salvador Allende tried in the early 70s to give them a really decent life, but was paid by Nixon et al., with a bullet in his body.

What gives?

Maybe a business oriented president helps in the world's public relations game.

I am glad these working men are well.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Etherworld



More here.

Ornamental Etherworld has charted in the top 30 most played albums at several campus station across Canada, and was also named 5th top selling local album shortly following its release at Vancouver record store, Red Cat Records.

I Love Maureen Dowd

This fiery woman does not hesitate to take on spoiled brats that grew up cushioned in power in Washington, even though she herself did not, and does not have armies of body guards to protect her.

Today she reminds us of Bushworld, the book she wrote while that crook was in power.

It saddens, and scares me, that Republicans can buy their way to American Etherworld Heaven. They use enough dough to move public opinion any way they want. Americans are using very heavy soporiferous mind numbing stuff. If polls are right, Americans are the Romans at the end of their Empire.

Read her piece here.

McCain = McLaughlin ?

I highly recommend Senator John McCain go watch Machete.

John McCain: Shame on You.

If you don't come back to your senses and support the DREAM act again, what else can I think? You became McLaughlin: Independent from Cocksucker County.

Brief History... Bartolomé de las Casas

``Title: A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies
Or, a faithful NARRATIVE OF THE Horrid and Unexampled
Massacres, Butcheries, and all manner of Cruelties, that
Hell and Malice could invent, committed by the Popish
_Spanish_ Party on the inhabitants of _West-India_, TOGETHER
With the Devastations of several Kingdoms in _America_ by
Fire and Sword, for the space of Forty and Two Years, from
the time of its first Discovery by them.

Author: Bartolome de las Casas

Release Date: January 9, 2007 [EBook #20321]''

Gutenberg Project.

Eric Carmen

Ward Churchill

``Very high on the list of those expressions of non-indigenous sensibility [that] contribute to the perpetuation of genocidal policies against Indians are the annual Columbus Day celebration, events in which it is baldly asserted that the process, events, and circumstances described above are, at best, either acceptable or unimportant. More often, the sentiments expressed by the participants are, quite frankly, that the fate of Native America embodied in Columbus and the Columbian legacy is a matter to be openly and enthusiastically applauded as an unrivaled "boon to all mankind". Undeniably, the situation of American Indians will not — in fact cannot — change for the better so long as such attitudes are deemed socially acceptable by the mainstream populace. Hence, such celebrations as Columbus Day must be stopped.''

Wikipedia

One of the few sane Spaniards: Fray Bartolomé de las Casas.

Hurricane Paula

BBC reports of  impending danger. Honduras is in the way. If early five hundred and eighteen years, Paula would've wiped out Christopher Columbus.

Were we lucky?

Maurice Allais (1911 - 2010)

NYT Obituary

Nobel Web Site 

Wikipedia 

Maurice Allais

Pertinentes Ciencia

This is how Relevant Science looks through Google Traductor

Extraterrestrials

``“We could try and introduce ourselves to them ..but all they might see is a sparse dusting of energy waves occurring in a vacuum ..with some probability of identity based on their backgrounds ..not ours.”''

From Globalove Think Tank

Progressive Hunter

New World Order and Black Helicopters

DN!

Infowars 

Glenn Beck Quotes 

I've never heard before of ``Progressive Hunter'' .

Día de la Raza

Taken from here.
Google

Monday, October 11, 2010

Keynesians Business Cycles

Wikipedia

Krugman uses this concept in his blog today.

Business Cycles

Did Krugman vote for Diamond?

Reading Krugman's piece (bottom of this blog) today in his blog. I wonder if Krugman had anything to do with choosing Diamond for the prize?

I see a similar world view for both thinkers.

Just saying.

James A. Hummel

James A. Hummel Mathematics Professor 
 
James A. Hummel, 82, a University of Maryland mathematics professor who for years harmonized as a bass in a number of barbershop quartets, died June 23 at the National Lutheran Home hospice in Rockville. He had encephalitis.

Mr. Hummel joined the Maryland faculty in 1957 and retired in 1993 as a professor emeritus.

He joined a barbershop quartet society in 1955 and was a member of various singing groups in the Washington area. He was often a judge for barbershop quartet competitions.

In mathematics, one of Mr. Hummel's early apprentices was a 12-year-old prodigy named Charles Fefferman. In 1978, Fefferman received the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award for achievement in mathematics.

James Alexander Hummel was born to Dutch immigrants in Santa Monica, Calif. He was a 1949 graduate of the California Institute of Technology, where he studied mathematics and astronomy. He served in the Army Signal Corps during the Korean War and received a master's degree in 1953 and a doctorate in 1955 from Rice University in Houston.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Caroline Ludy Hummel of Silver Spring; three sons, Bob Hummel of Great Falls, John Hummel of Jacksonville, Fla., and Albert Hummel of Kensington; and three grandchildren.

From the Washington Post.

John le Carré

DN!

Should I Stay or Should I go?

YouTube

The Clash comes to mind, when I am wondering what to do.

I feel like buying an ASUS with Ubuntu 10.10 and try my luck. Am I really that smart?

Peter A. Diamond

Economics Nobel Prize earned by him.

Freakonomics

Paul Krugman

Saving Social Security

Nobel Foundation

Washington Post

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Injustice

Recently I reported on a collapsed structure.

Today I walked by my ex kindergarten. I read the following:

To all parents, next Monday take your children to Culture House a few blocks away from here. No recess will be provided, sent your children after a good breakfast.

A mother was there, I asked her about it, she said that since September 15, the children have not had classes. On the same door this school note was posted, a private school nearby offered its services, with a discount.


The Sol de Mexico, newspaper, -- obviously the responsible party here, because their heavy machinery next door undermined the structural stability of the apartment building, which tenants, by the way are sleeping in tents right in the street,  this instability now is deemed dangerous for the children that go to school in the next building, and have been doing so at least since I went there in 1955 -- has NOT ACCEPTED ANY responsibility over this neighborhood catastrophe.

Shame on you Sol de Mexico, which means Mexican Sun, more than the Sun of Mexico they are a Mexican nightmare!

HIJOS

This international organization marched today in Mexico City. Read about them here.

There is a special event organized by the leftist government of Mexico City. The children of political disappeared marched to remind City residents that we owe them something, we owe them justice.

The event is not for them though, it is a sports event for the people of this huge city.

No more political killings anywhere in Latin America and the World!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

New Hit

Physics Nobel Prize is winning over Assange liaisons this week.

 Also for the month, the ``Pencil and Scotch ...'' is inching its way up.

Cold Fusion Anybody?

I think the scientific community was too harsh in punishing Pons and Fleischmann, in the late eighties.

Today's Chemistry Prize rings to Palladium induced Cold Fusion to me. Maybe low energy nuclear reactions are possible after all.

Just saying.

Physics and Chemistry of Carbon

Today and yesterday we learned more on Carbon. At least I did.

We are mainly Carbon compounds. Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen: We memorize that in Mexico as CHON. Concepción, can be a man's name, for short Chon. If a woman, then Chona.

If water is magical, Carbon also is. Both of them have peculiar chemistry and physics, and are at the core of life.

I write here some thoughts on Carbon:

Benzene is in the shape of an hexagon. The electrons move from carbon atom, to carbon atom, in an eternal dance. Benzene posed a conundrum to Kekulé, who discovered the current chemical formula and explanation.

How could the four valence electrons, couple to a Hydrogen, and a Carbon atom besides?

The solution came to him in a dream. The Carbons Resonantly Share one Electron!

In the picture from Wikipedia above, lines between carbons 1 and 2, sometimes are two as on the left, and sometimes there is only one, as on the right drawing.

This is only the beginning of the magic.

Carbon sits on a Palladium catalytic ``table'', where its electrons are affected in such a way that it bonds to another carbon atom, thus lowering the energy that would have been necessary for such binding without the catalyst. The three chemists rewarded today, studied different aspects of  this Palladium Catalyzed Coupling.

These chemists discovered one way to cheat nature, now long chains can be obtained without high energy, nor complex biochemical reactions in living matter. All that is needed is human ingenuity and a good model of how these tiny balls of matter and energy move and combine.

Yesterday I learned, that layers of graphene, are so loosely coupled in graphite, that of all things, Scotch tape! can dislodge them until one gets an atom thick magic cloak!

We are in our way towards the Technological Singularity.

Halogenoarene is a common name for things that do this.

Wikipedia.

These types of reactions are behind the work rewarded today.

Today is official, chemists can add Palladium to their tool kit:

``“They say that even 25 percent of all medicines that are synthesized today are made by one of these reactions, so it’s a huge impact on the pharmaceutical industry,” Lars Thelander, chairman of the chemistry prize committee. “Palladium has this magic property that it can bind two different carbons make them come very close together and then they react under very mild conditions.” ''

Halogenoarenes

These compounds are part and parcel of most of the palladium catalyzed coupling reactions.

Britannica v. Wikipedia

I advise ALL my students to consult Wikipedia. I do not even know where the Britannica site is. There is no way the Britannica model can even try to compete for being timely. All three Wikipedia articles for the Chemistry Nobel Prize winners are ALREADY updated for today's announcement!

Akira Suzuki

Japanese Nobel Prize winning Chemist.

Ei-ichi Negishi

Japanese Nobel Prize winning Chemist.

Richard F. Heck

Nobel Prize winning American Chemist.

Palladium Catalyzed Coupling (Chemistry Nobel Prize 2010)

Wikipedia

NYT

Nobel 

From Sciam:

``Negishi, along with Richard Heck of the University of Delaware and Akira Suzuki of Hokkaido University in Japan, share the Nobel for developing chemical reactions that the scientists arrived at independently and that enable the building of complex organic compounds with wide application in medicine, industry and agriculture. The key to all three slightly different reactions is the element palladium, a relatively rare silvery-white metal that provides a setting that allows carbon atoms or compounds with carbon in them to bond to each other. In fact, the palladium bonds with the carbon atoms, drawing them together like a matchmaker. Once close enough, the carbons form their own attachment and drop the palladium, enabling the catalyst to produce more such pairings.''

Taking Stock

I feel well with most of the people I work with. Right now I have a little money, and I feel like staying here working.

Nevertheless it seems to me that this won't last.

For now; I am happily working.

Arrested While Muslim!

Anjali Kamat
DN! has a special on Muslim harassment.


This has to stop.

We are all Indo-European, we are the children of milk, cream, and cheese.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Solar White House

No on Proposition 23 in California

California Governor Schwarzenegger is for Proposition 32, and against Proposition 23. I endorse the Governator against Big Oil.

Get informed here.

Read Tom Friedman today in the NYT.

Just remember: A.B. 32, good; Prop 23, bad.

``Dan Becker, a veteran environmental lobbyist, echoes that view: “Now that industry and their friends in Congress have blocked progress there, the hope for action moves to the states” and the Environmental Protection Agency. “Unfortunately,” he added, “polluter lobbyists are tight on our heels. They’ve offered Senate amendments to block the E.P.A. from using the Clean Air Act to cut power plant pollution. Since that failed, they are trying to block California from moving forward. ... If the people of California see through the misrepresentations of the oil industry, it throws climate denialism off the tracks and opens the door for a return to a science-based approach to the climate. It would be a triumph for the National Academy of Sciences over the National Academy of Fraud.”

The real joke is thinking that if California suspends its climate laws that Mother Nature will also take a timeout. “We can wait to solve this problem as long as we want,” says Nate Lewis, an energy chemist at the California Institute of Technology: “But Nature is balancing its books every day. It was a record 113 degrees in Los Angeles the other day. There are laws of politics and laws of physics. Only the latter can’t be repealed.” ''

Paul Richard Halmos

Taken from Google Books.

I just bought ``Measure Theory,'' by this great American mathematician. The above is the beginning of his classic ``Finite dimensional vector spaces.''

Novoselov and Geim Get Nobel Prize.

Nobel Foundation

Eduardo Vieira de Castro

Novoselov and Geim Collaborator.

Taken from Centro de Física do Porto

Who Wants Gold?

``Near-term gold futures in New York surged $23.50, or 1.8%, to an all-time high of $1,338.90 an ounce. Gold’s gain for the year so far: 22%.''

Lots in Mexico.

Taken from LATimes

Pencil and Scotch Tape Gets you a Nobel Prize!

These Russian scientists working at the University of Manchester took graphite from a pencil, then slowly, but surely peeled off, thinner and thinner layers with Scotch Tape, and voilá; A Nobel Prize!

Actually it is more complicated, but that is the essence of what they did, and led them to a great finding: Graphene!

A friend of mine, made a pencil drawn circuit that actually conducted electricity, he did not pursue that observation though, and did not get a Nobel; next time Jim!

Statistical Mechanics Paper

In Charge of Ciudad Juárez?

La Jornada

Role of Historians

A Wesleyan University Historian discovered what journalist of the time decided to hide. The search for truth has to trump bigotry and current and local interests.

Well done Dr. Reverby. Watch her in DN!

Rahm Cannot Run, Neither can I

Neither of us satisfy residency requirements.

:(

Nobel for Graphene

Graphene

Nobel

Monday, October 04, 2010

Pensive Mood

Roger Cohen wonders if we managed alright, before these presingularity times?

His answer is yes, we managed.

Even though we are the same age, I do feel excited to get into the Technological Singularity.

Tighten your seat belts. There is not much time left.

Does it Look like Somebody you'll Like to Hang up With?

Read about him/her here.

Grisha Perelman

Historic entry at the arXiv

Mexico Doing Well Amidst the Violence

``From Bloomberg:
The North American Free Trade Agreement that took effect in 1994 continues to lure investors even as Mexico confronts its worst-ever drug violence. The treaty  signed with the U.S. and Canada caused overseas sales to quadruple. In the first seven months of this year, Mexico’s share of U.S. exports rose while China’s fell, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Gross domestic product expanded 7.6% in the second quarter, the most since 1998, boosted by U.S. demand for everything from refrigerators to cars.

“Since 1995, the advantage that Mexico has as a partner with the U.S. in Nafta has been growing,” said Sergio Luna, the head economist at Citigroup Inc.’s Banamex unit in Mexico City.

 “Drug-related violence in Mexico has increased, and even spilled over to areas in the country previously thought to be immune,” said Stefan Hofer, an emerging-markets equity strategist at Bank Julius Baer & Co. in Zurich, which oversees about $160 billion worldwide. “While the security situation is an important issue to watch, and has many tragic dimensions, international investors have not been dissuaded from investing in Mexico.”''

 From LATimes. 

Now I know why my pesos are worth more dollars:

``With most Latin American currencies rising against the dollar over the last nine months, U.S. investors in the region also are reaping the benefit of currency gains. The dollar now is worth 12.6 Mexican pesos, down from 13.1 pesos at the start of the year. That means Mexican stocks are worth more when translated into dollars.''

Plan 9 and NELL

Plan 9 is not an Ed Wood fifties' cult film, and NELL is not the son of HAL, from the famed Kubrick film. One is a deceased Bell Lab project, and the other is a Carnegie Mellon University project.

Why computers don't think yet?

I tend to be a singularitarian, but not quite.

The NYT has a piece on NELL.

At least since the time of Thomas Hobbes, people have been trying to think of society as an assortment of coordinating units serving a higher purpose like in the Leviathan. A computer is an assortment of a different kind of parts. Those things, the assorted electronic circuits, are not there yet, they are not intelligent; what gives me hope is that humans are not that smart either; just look at what passes for news at Fox. The Turing test is not that hard either, when one listens to what passes as ``intelligent conversation'' in a bus, or a plane.


As Sejnowski proposes in his book ``Liars, Lovers, and Heroes'' consciousness is a social construct in more than one way. Without the others we are not aware of ourselves. From the Times article linked above one can read:

``His ideal, Dr. Mitchell said, was a computer system that could learn continuously with no need for human assistance. “We’re not there yet,” he said. “But you and I don’t learn in isolation either.”''

 My conclusion is that computers will be more and more in our lives, and maybe sometimes we will feel the company of another complex thing next to us, which will bring us joy.

Is that much to ask?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hobbes on Murdoch

``Right Reason Where


And as in Arithmetique, unpractised men must, and Professors themselves may often erre, and cast up false; so also in any other subject of Reasoning, the ablest, most attentive, and most practised men, may deceive themselves, and inferre false Conclusions; Not but that Reason it selfe is always Right Reason, as well as Arithmetique is a certain and infallible art: But no one mans Reason, nor the Reason of any one number of men, makes the certaintie; no more than an account is therefore well cast up, because a great many men have unanimously approved it. And therfore, as when there is a controversy in an account, the parties must by their own accord, set up for right Reason, the Reason of some Arbitrator, or Judge, to whose sentence they will both stand, or their controversie must either come to blowes, or be undecided, for want of a right Reason constituted by Nature; so is it also in all debates of what kind soever: And when men that think themselves wiser than all others, clamor and demand right Reason for judge; yet seek no more, but that things should be determined, by no other mens reason but their own, it is as intolerable in the society of men, as it is in play after trump is turned, to use for trump on every occasion, that suite whereof they have most in their hand. For they do nothing els, that will have every of their passions, as it comes to bear sway in them, to be taken for right Reason, and that in their own controversies: bewraying their want of right Reason, by the claym they lay to it.''

Leviathan

The Man who Calls a Spade a Spade

Give another Noble Prize to Paul Krugman!

`` So think of those paychecks to Sarah Palin and others as smart investments. After all, if you’re a media mogul, it’s always good to have friends in high places. And the most reliable friends are the ones who know they owe it all to you. ''

Reason

``Reason What It Is
  
When a man Reasoneth, hee does nothing els but conceive a summe totall,  from Addition of parcels; or conceive a Remainder, from Substraction of  one summe from another: which (if it be done by Words,) is conceiving of  the consequence of the names of all the parts, to the name of the whole;  or from the names of the whole and one part, to the name of the other  part. And though in some things, (as in numbers,) besides Adding and  Substracting, men name other operations, as Multiplying and Dividing;  yet they are the same; for Multiplication, is but Addition together of  things equall; and Division, but Substracting of one thing, as often as  we can. These operations are not incident to Numbers onely, but to  all manner of things that can be added together, and taken one out of  another. For as Arithmeticians teach to adde and substract in Numbers;  so the Geometricians teach the same in Lines, Figures (solid and  superficiall,) Angles, Proportions, Times, degrees of Swiftnesse, Force,  Power, and the like; The Logicians teach the same in Consequences  Of Words; adding together Two Names, to make an Affirmation; and Two Affirmations, to make a syllogisme; and Many syllogismes to make a Demonstration; and from the Summe, or Conclusion of a syllogisme, they  substract one Proposition, to finde the other. Writers of Politiques,  adde together Pactions, to find mens Duties; and Lawyers, Lawes and  Facts, to find what is Right and Wrong in the actions of private men.  In summe, in what matter soever there is place for Addition and  Substraction, there also is place for Reason; and where these have no  place, there Reason has nothing at all to do. ''

Leviathan

1666 and 2666

Bolaño does not mention 2666 in the book by that name. That number appears in other books of his.

Here I propose a hypothesis:

1666 was the year of the Great London Plague, Leviathan was published in 1651. This was a time of great turmoil. Maybe Bolaño is acting like a prophet. If the world does not end in 2012, maybe 2666 will be the right year.

Just saying.

Authority of Past Men

``By this it appears how necessary it is for any man that aspires to true Knowledge, to examine the Definitions of former Authors; and either  to correct them, where they are negligently set down; or to make them  himselfe. For the errours of Definitions multiply themselves, according  as the reckoning proceeds; and lead men into absurdities, which at last  they see, but cannot avoyd, without reckoning anew from the beginning;  in which lyes the foundation of their errours. From whence it happens,  that they which trust to books, do as they that cast up many little  summs into a greater, without considering whether those little summes were rightly cast up or not; and at last finding the errour visible,  and not mistrusting their first grounds, know not which way to cleere  themselves; but spend time in fluttering over their bookes; as birds  that entring by the chimney, and finding themselves inclosed in a  chamber, flitter at the false light of a glasse window, for want of wit  to consider which way they came in. So that in the right Definition  of Names, lyes the first use of Speech; which is the Acquisition of  Science: And in wrong, or no Definitions' lyes the first abuse; from  which proceed all false and senslesse Tenets; which make those men that  take their instruction from the authority of books, and not from their  own meditation, to be as much below the condition of ignorant men, as  men endued with true Science are above it. For between true Science,  and erroneous Doctrines, Ignorance is in the middle. Naturall sense and imagination, are not subject to absurdity. Nature it selfe cannot erre:  and as men abound in copiousnesse of language; so they become more wise,  or more mad than ordinary. Nor is it possible without Letters for any  man to become either excellently wise, or (unless his memory be hurt by  disease, or ill constitution of organs) excellently foolish. For words  are wise mens counters, they do but reckon by them: but they are the  mony of fooles, that value them by the authority of an Aristotle, a  Cicero, or a Thomas, or any other Doctor whatsoever, if but a man. ''

Leviathan

Language and Counting

``But the use of words in registring our thoughts, is in nothing so  evident as in Numbering. A naturall foole that could never learn by  heart the order of numerall words, as One, Two, and Three, may observe  every stroak of the Clock, and nod to it, or say one, one, one; but can  never know what houre it strikes. And it seems, there was a time when  those names of number were not in use; and men were fayn to apply their  fingers of one or both hands, to those things they desired to keep  account of; and that thence it proceeded, that now our numerall words  are but ten, in any Nation, and in some but five, and then they begin  again. And he that can tell ten, if he recite them out of order, will  lose himselfe, and not know when he has done: Much lesse will he be  able to add, and substract, and performe all other operations of  Arithmetique. So that without words, there is no possibility of  reckoning of Numbers; much lesse of Magnitudes, of Swiftnesse, of Force,  and other things, the reckonings whereof are necessary to the being, or  well-being of man-kind. ''

Leviathan

Infinite

``Whatsoever we imagine, is Finite. Therefore there is no Idea, or  conception of anything we call Infinite. No man can have in his mind an  Image of infinite magnitude; nor conceive the ends, and bounds of  the thing named; having no Conception of the thing, but of our own  inability. And therefore the Name of GOD is used, not to make us  conceive him; (for he is Incomprehensible; and his greatnesse, and power  are unconceivable;) but that we may honour him. Also because whatsoever  (as I said before,) we conceive, has been perceived first by sense,  either all at once, or by parts; a man can have no thought, representing  any thing, not subject to sense. No man therefore can conceive any  thing, but he must conceive it in some place; and indued with some  determinate magnitude; and which may be divided into parts; nor that any  thing is all in this place, and all in another place at the same time;  nor that two, or more things can be in one, and the same place at once:  for none of these things ever have, or can be incident to Sense; but are  absurd speeches, taken upon credit (without any signification at all,)  from deceived Philosophers, and deceived, or deceiving Schoolemen.''

Leviathan

Hobess' Theory of Knowledge

``Understanding

The Imagination that is raysed in man (or any other creature indued with the faculty of imagining) by words, or other voluntary signes, is that we generally call Understanding; and is common to Man and Beast. For a dogge by custome will understand the call, or the rating of his Master; and so will many other Beasts. That Understanding which is peculiar to man, is the Understanding not onely his will; but his conceptions and thoughts, by the sequell and contexture of the names of things into Affirmations, Negations, and other formes of Speech: And of this kinde of Understanding I shall speak hereafter.''

Leviathan

Intellectual Revolution of Europe in the XVII Century

Galileo Galilei led the way into the true way of knowledge. ``Experimental Science,'' thus freeing Europeans of superstitions and a broken Roman Church. Reformation in Germany, and the Anglican Church in England, are thus causes of the current Enlightenment in Europe, that nowadays is challenged by fundamentalist Islamic groups.

May the Light Be With You!

From Leviathan:

``But the Philosophy-schooles, through all the Universities of Christendome, grounded upon certain Texts of Aristotle, teach another doctrine; and say, For the cause of Vision, that the thing seen, sendeth forth on every side a Visible Species(in English) a Visible Shew, Apparition, or Aspect, or a Being Seen; the receiving whereof into the Eye, is Seeing. And for the cause of Hearing, that the thing heard, sendeth forth an Audible Species, that is, an Audible Aspect, or Audible Being Seen; which entring at the Eare, maketh Hearing. Nay for the cause of Understanding also, they say the thing Understood sendeth forth Intelligible Species, that is, an Intelligible Being Seen; which comming into the Understanding, makes us Understand. I say not this, as disapproving the use of Universities: but because I am to speak hereafter of their office in a Common-wealth, I must let you see on all occasions by the way, what things would be amended in them; amongst which the frequency of insignificant Speech is one.''

``When a Body is once in motion, it moveth (unless something els hinder it) eternally; and whatsoever hindreth it, cannot in an instant, but in time, and by degrees quite extinguish it: And as wee see in the water, though the wind cease, the waves give not over rowling for a long time after; so also it happeneth in that motion, which is made in the internall parts of a man, then, when he Sees, Dreams, &c. For after the object is removed, or the eye shut, wee still retain an image of the thing seen, though more obscure than when we see it. And this is it, that Latines call Imagination, from the image made in seeing; and apply the same, though improperly, to all the other senses. But the Greeks call it Fancy; which signifies Apparence, and is as proper to one sense, as to another. Imagination therefore is nothing but Decaying Sense; and is found in men, and many other living Creatures, as well sleeping, as waking.''

Amen!

Hobbes and Newton

Chappel in his book Cartesian Philosphers, relates these two thinkers. From the little I've read of Hobbes, I can see that the XVII Century had a definite effect on those thinkers.

I only bring one point here. Civil War and The Great Plague of London, marked these men's lives.

The world was coming to an end, not unlike what is happening right now. Great men were able to learn from hardship, I hope we do so now.

Institutions

Keys to the building allow me to use an Internet connection so I can write this. Nowadays, talk of online education have brought thoughts on Institutions.

If the granting institution confers degrees and offers online support, there is no problem. Covenants of common good give academic authorities the keys to titles. Here in Mexico we have a kind of academic warlord, ``cacique.'' By crook of by hook he gets the keys, the rest of us have to obey to receive salaries and other goodies. The problem lies in the qualifications of the warlord, if he himself is a scholar, there is no problem, but unfortunately it is not always so.

There is another problem, though. Scholars may be in charge but rules come above them. These may not always be logical or just; then one must change or bend the rules, starting a way down through a slippery slope.

Online, self taught, or autodidact individuals, need the support of Institutions nonetheless.

We go back to Hobbes. No way out.

Long Live Leviathan!

Thomas Hobbes

I bought Leviathan on sale many years ago. Now I have the Gutenberg project copy. I'll report later on my readings.
From Wikipedia

``Bellum omnium contra omnes''

This is what we have right now in Mexico.

All against all.

Archimboldi and Arcimboldi?

A novelist and a painter?

I wouldn't put it past Roberto Bolaño. He had a great culture. Nevertheless at this point of my knowledge, I do not know what these two characters have in common.

 ``the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short''

that seems to be the way we are devolving in Mexico.

Yesterday in Chilpancingo we talked about the axiomatization of the Laws of Motion, by that great English thinker, Isaac Newton, around the same time as Hobbes axiomatized the laws of human nature.

It is almost eerie to read today from Wikipedia:

``Hobbes finds three basic causes of the conflict in this state of nature: competition, diffidence and glory. The first maketh men invade for gain; the second, for safety; and the third, for reputation. His first law of nature is that that every man ought to endeavour peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining it; and when he cannot obtain it, that he may seek and use all helps and advantages of war.[2] In the state of nature, every man has a right to every thing, even to one another's body[3] but the second law is that, in order to secure the advantages of peace, that a man be willing, when others are so too… to lay down this right to all things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men as he would allow other men against himself.[4] This is the beginning of contracts/covenants; performing of which is the third law of nature. Injustice, therefore, is failure to perform in a covenant; all else is just. However, Hobbes also posits a primitive form of the inalienable rights—which would later be restated by John Locke--implying that some covenants may be derived axiomatically, and consequently held to be universally true.''

I am liking this man already. Hobbes was under the power of the King, but his thoughts very likely were some of the first in England that come from practicing the adage ``to live a life of reflection.'' Hobbes was a philosopher. To live ``The Reflective Life.''

Highly Customizable XEmacs


Having fun opening all the gzip files in this humongous  tool. I'm sure there is a smarter way, but remember: I AM NOT A HACKER, I don't want those spy types breathing down my neck.

I finished. Now I have Japanese, Chinese, .. you name it!

US and EU: A Tale of Two Countries


Recently I've written on the decline of the west, and even predicted that Brazil will take over.

Obviously I am not a foreign policy expert. Brazil, does not even officially have nuclear bombs, and the European Union is not dead yet. Red Ed (pictured above) is not about to let England go the kookoo way of the Tea Party across the Atlantic, in what I consider the same Anglo Saxon country that spans both oceans. Culturally the identification is so deep that British lads were willing to give their blood for the ill-conceived attack to the Arab World, by W.

May you Live in Interesting Times.

From the Wikipedia note on Miliband:

``Harvard

On 25 July 2002 it was announced that Miliband would take a 12-month unpaid sabbatical from the Treasury to be a visiting scholar at the Centre for European Studies of Harvard University for two semesters.[7] He spent his time at Harvard teaching economics,[8] and stayed there after September 2003 teaching a course titled "What's Left? The Politics of Social Justice".[9] He was granted access to Senator John Kerry and reported back to Brown on the Presidential hopeful's progress.[10] In January 2004 he was appointed chairman of HM Treasury's Council of Economic Advisers, directing the UK's long-term economic planning.[11]''

More on Red Ed by Roger Cohen.

From the Wikipedia entry on him:

I am liking this guy. He is also the first non-believer to lead the Labor Party:

``After previously commenting that his religious views were a private matter, in an interview with Radio 5 Live in reply to a question from Nicky Campbell he was quoted as saying, "I don't believe in God personally, but I have great respect for those people who do."[32]''

Taken from Wikipedia.

Why the title?

I believe the US rules North America, and the UK the European Union.

Is the Left Taking Over England?

``LONDON — Out of power for barely five months, Britain’s Labour Party set an ambitious goal as it concluded its annual conference last week: fulfilling the pledge of Ed Miliband, the party’s new, 40-year-old leader, an intellectual leftist strongly favored by Britain’s powerful labor unions, to make the governing coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats led by Prime Minister David Cameron “a one-term government.”

NYT

From Wikipedia:

``He is the son of Marxist theorist Ralph Miliband and the younger brother of David Miliband, himself a leading Labour politician who also contested and was narrowly defeated for the Labour Leadership by his brother. Together the two were the first siblings to sit simultaneously in the British Cabinet since Edward, Lord Stanley and his brother Oliver in 1938.''

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