Monday, April 13, 2009

"Science" Quickie #2 "Aliens... Illegal?"

I don't know that the border fence is enough to keep them out... Perhaps some nifty signs...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Post #4 "Forever Pondering the Infinite"

I started thinking the other day about infinity... Not the lazy eight symbol, but what it actually stands for. Eventually my brain started to hurt, but prior to the Advil these are the questions I pondered... Probably not a lot of comedy in this post... next week.

If something can be Infinitely large, can something be infinitely small? (insert dick joke here..)

If time stretches before us into infinity, wouldn't it also stretch behind us into infinity?

The questions aren't what made my melon hurt, but the possible answers did.

Question number 1: If something can be Infinitely large, can something also be infinitely small?

Try a little home experiment. Stand on one side of a room and look at the wall on the other side. Now walk halfway toward the opposite wall. You should now be in the center of the room. Now, from the center of the room, walk halfway toward the wall again. Repeat this experiment over and over moving halfway to the wall from the spot you end up in. This should take you... well... forever.

Realistically, you are maintaining forward momentum, but mathematically speaking, you should never reach the other wall. You should only continue moving in ever decreasing fractions toward the wall without ever touching it. Makes sense... doesn't it?

We can step out our front doors at night and look up into the night sky. What we see are the stars, planets and the dark places between them. The dark places between are what we call empty space, and it goes on for... well, forever.

If you think about the big bang theory. Space was there. A forever dark nothingness, a dark vacuum. Then, "BANG" an explosion of energy and matter that began a rapid expansion into the void, creating suns, planets, galaxies, a whole expanding universe... This has to assume there was a something to begin with. What we think of as nothingness, a vast empty void could not actually be so. Where's the cause and effect? A reaction is defined by an action. For one there must be another, and for a reaction to occur there must be a catalyst... Anyway, I digress, that's a post for another day.

Back on track, space is defined as being infinite. You could travel to any point in space and still from the point you arrive at be able to move to another further point... You could do this forever... So now look inward. If something can be infinitely large, can it also be infinitely small?

If you pick any object... Say a coffee cup. It's smaller than you. Then there's the dried spot of coffee on the outside of the cup ("I'll do the dishes later, get off my back"). Within the dried spot are the various chemicals which make up the coffee spot. Those chemicals are made up of the molecules which define the composition of the various chemicals. The molecules are are made up of atoms of different size that define them. The atoms are, in-turn, made up of Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons, which are in turn made up of quarks, gluons, photons, bosons etc... According to our current scientific knowledge, these are the smallest particles. They are "elementary particles." Pretty much pure energy.

All particles are made up of this energy, which means the coffee spot's elementary make-up is no different than what makes up you... but that again is a post for another day.

So our current scientific knowledge states that we do indeed have a starting point. Everything has a starting point with their own elementary particles. I guess that means that you can define infinity if you start with the elemental particles within all existing matter. Wait a minute... Infinity has a starting point (or rather, many starting points depending on the elemental particle in the matter you're starting with)...? How can that be the case? (popping Advil number 1) If this is true then it is not Infinite, but semi-finite, because it starts somewhere (many somewheres).

We know from our experiment above that we can step forward toward a wall in ever decreasing fractions, at least mathematically. This is because Math is infinite and the experiment is logical. If that is indeed the case, then it would be the same when looking at ever decreasing levels of size? Mathematics should tell us that we should be able to ever decrease the fraction of size infinitely... right? This is where math fails us. Yes mathematically we should be able to do this, but if there are an infinite number of even smaller particles we run into a problem of volume. Ever heard the old saying "ten pounds of crap in a five pound bag"? Infinite smallness would result in infinite largeness and create a kind of matter paradox.

My answer to question number one: You cannot have infinite smallness, and space is semi-finite. OR, you could say that if we're talking about infinite largeness, space does not count, because it is, in fact, nothingness. And that neither infinite smallness and largeness exist. The largest any matter can be is defined by the largest body of matter in the universe. The smallest is defined by elementary particles.

Question number two:If time stretches before us into infinity, wouldn't it also stretch behind us into infinity?

This is one of those questions that has actually kept me up at night. I guess that makes me kind of a strange cat, but whatever... I don't judge you.

Here's my problem with that definition of time. It's easy to imagine that time from this particular point will march on into infinity. But what about the time before this point. It marched in from infinity... right? Wrong! Or rather, impossible.

Bear with me here. The reason it is easier to conceptualize time from this point on as being infinite is because you have a starting point from which to start your measurement. BUT, time has no beginning point... right? If that is the case than we could never have reached this particular point in time, or any measurable point in time. Now could not have happened, because it would have taken forever to get here....

So how does time work? I still have no clue... (taking second Advil now).

Next week will be fun...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

"Science" Quickie #1 "Shrinkage!!!!"

That's Right, Jupiter's Red Spot Is Getting Smaller!
Cold Space = Shrinkage?

Elaine "What do you mean; like laundry?"
Jerry "No, like when a man goes swimming... afterwards."
Elaine "It shrinks?"
George "Like a frightened turtle!"
Elaine "Why does it shrink?"
George "It just does."
Elaine "I don't know how you guys walk around with those things."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Post #3 "Solar System Downsizing"

"It is with great regret that we announce a change in the number of planets that will be orbiting the sun known as Sol AKA Helios. Yes, the universe is still going through an expansion period, however our solar system feels that downsizing is the right thing to do at this time. So it is with great sadness that we are letting Pluto go.

Our decision was made based on a history of e
rratic orbits, it's small size and the fact that it, despite repeated requests, has yet to clear it's own orbital path of debris. Simply put, Pluto has not lived up to the obligations each planet must meet to maintain the minimum requirements of planethood. Given its cold demeanor (-390 c) we don't feel it will be missed much.

Making this brutal decision even more difficult is the fact that Pluto has a moon to support. While we will be offering no severance package, we shall all feel very bad (the appropriate amount of time being just long enough so we do not appear to look like a collection of douche-bags, or until we can joke about it without recieving uncomfortable looks from other people on the elevator).
Uranus you're on notice... hahahahahahaha "UrANUS" hahahahaha... ahem, sorry."

This was the announcement made on August 24, 2006 (I paraphrased a bit). You would have thought that Pluto would have gotten the message and yet there it still is... hanging around... not going anywhere. It's pretty uncomfortable for the eight remaining planets.

There was the time Pluto tried to start up that conversation with Neptune and Neptune had to say to Saturn, "Hey Saturn, do you hear something, cuz' I could have sworn I heard something?" and Saturn said "No dude, must have been the solar wind, cuz I didn't hear any of the OTHER PLANETS say anything." Even though it was perfectly clear that they both heard Pluto.

In order to avoid any future incidents we are asking that all celestial bodies not encourage this "hanging around" with offers of loose change, or food. Furthermore any response to Pluto or it's "moon" Charon should be made by simply holding up one hand while stating "Talk to the hand, cuz the ears ain't listening."