The Sun's Shadow

Stumbling to find a light switch in the dark

World Not Wiped Out of Existence

The Large Hadron Colliderhas been fired up and the planet still exists! They have not started smashing particles yet but even then the planet will still exist. The collider has been designed in the hope of capturing the after image of the Higgs Boson. Which would be a major discovery for the standard model of physics…the scientists involved in the project project having the results once they begin the collisions in 2009.
What I find really interesting is that Stephen Hawking is betting against finding the Higgs boson

“The LHC will increase the energy at which we can study particle interactions by a factor of four. According to present thinking, this should be enough to discover the Higgs particle,” Hawking told BBC radio.

“I think it will be much more exciting if we don’t find the Higgs. That will show something is wrong, and we need to think again. I have a bet of 100 dollars that we won’t find the Higgs,” added Hawking, whose books including “A Brief History of Time” have sought to popularise study of stellar physics.

I think it will be exciting either way… we either learn something fundamental about the universe or we get to go back to the drawing board and come up with new hypothesises to build in to new theories… in either case it is likely that our under standing of the universe and its origins will grow. We are now on the edge of science looking as far in to the past as we can and hoping it will give us a better understanding of today going in to tomorrow.

September 10, 2008 Posted by | Academic, Astronomy, History, Opinion, Science | , , , | Leave a comment

What Do You Mean We’re Not #1

Denmark is the happiest country in the world according to a study from the University of Michigan. What?! How is that possible, everyday I am sold a bill of goods on the United States; its the best, it’s the tops, it’s # 1… we kick ass and take names… but then comes a poll that asks people how happy they are and we don’t even crack the top 10? The good ole USA is number 16 on the list… how does Puerto Rico rate higher on this list, why is it even on the list… it part of the USA.

This should be a top campaign issue for both candidates what are they going to do bring the USA back to leading the world in happiness? Where are the press conferences and the plans being laid out? There is something interesting to note

“There is also a correlation between democracy and peace. Democracies are less likely to fight each other than non-democracies.”

Almost all the countries at the bottom of the list struggle with legacies of authoritarian rule and widespread poverty

Well considering many people to this day claim President Bush stole the election and we are engaged in two wars it easy to now see why we slipped in this rankings. We need to return to peace and restore our faith in democracy. Part of the problem is Americans feel cheated if things don’t go their way… we had it too good for too long to many things going our way… oh wait no we didn’t… but we have had periods of peace and economic prosperity.

There is good news a silver lining in the study, overall people are getting happier and that’s really good for all people the trend is toward greater happiness for more people. Growth can be a painful process but we need to continue to advance our ideals and help all people by working toward peace and understanding.

 

July 2, 2008 Posted by | Academic, United States | , | Leave a comment

Buffy the Philosophy Slayer

I freely and happily admit that during its seven year run I was an avid Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. I found the show well written and a great example of an escapist fantasy television show, where the characters and stories were developed and engrossing enough to suspend disbelief in things like vampires and magic, which are central elements to the show. The show however was more than that it was also about philosophy of our times to such an extent that there is an academic conference being held this week in Little Rock AR.

“It has staying power,” Durand said. “It’s like I tell my students in philosophy a lot of times: We’re not so much about necessarily finding all the answers as wanting to ask better questions. `Buffy,’ I think, does that. `Buffy’ never really leaves you with nice, pat answers. You have even more questions than when you started.”

Durand said more than 90 academic papers will be discussed at the conference. He expects about 150 people to attend and discuss the vampire slayer and Whedon’sother works, including the television series “Firefly” and “Angel.” Another point of discussion will be a lesser-known part of Whedon’swork — his screenplay for the hit animated film “Toy Story.”

Among the papers: “Buffy and Feminism,” “Buffy and Identity,”

The show certainly asks a lot of questions through its coming of age characters in a difficult world, I relate to this in the sense that I came of age along with the show and it was and is certainly apart of the zeitgeist of the times we live in. I recall back in 2004 I picked up a Buffy Philosophy Book Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale it was a fun read that covered a diverse set of philosophical topics and I recommendit to any fan of the show or philosophy and can easily see how this academic courses have arisen out of a pop-culture phenomenon.
This show I think still holds up and continues to be one of my favorites and I am happy to see that its impact continues to live on.

In to every generation a Slayer is born …. 🙂

June 6, 2008 Posted by | Academic, Entertainment, TV | , | 2 Comments