Wednesday, March 30, 2005

All work and no play..

All work and no play makes asaathi(oh come on you didn't think I'll give my real name right now.. never before the 3rd cyberdate ;-) something something...
All work and no play makes asaathi (oh come on you didn't think I'll give my real name right now.. never before the 3rd cyberdate ;-) something something...
All work and no play makes asaathi(oh come on you didn't think I'll give my real name right now.. never before the 3rd cyberdate ;-) something something...
All work and no play makes asaathi(oh come on you didn't think I'll give my real name right now.. never before the 3rd cyberdate ;-) something something...
All work and no play makes asaathi(oh come on you didn't think I'll give my real name right now.. never before the 3rd cyberdate ;-) something something...

I was thinking of replacing something something by go crazy but that's been overdone, and beside everyone I know probably can tell you (right yofed?) that I don't need work or play to make me go crazy I was born that way... or was I born male and became crazy later... hmm anyway one the one or the other I don't know.

Note: lack of sleep cause weird post on blog. Do not judge people by post on blog, unless they post death threat cause then they'll be commiting a crime you know. And I sure wish they put a spellchecker somewhere on those blog thing mine is positively riddley with error! One last thing (for those secret services type reading): The salamader as left the kitten box. I repeat the salamender as left the kitten box. And no I'm not drunk.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Sleep is for the weak

I know I'm complaining for almost no reason but this is still my blog and if I decide to complain I'll complain. Today I realise I entered a dimension I thought I had left behind with my bacc in physics: the sleepless week. See during an average semester we would get so much homework studying, partying (can't forget the partying we're in college for something you know) that we would end up burn out only standing thanks to cafeine by the middle of the semester. We would have a saying for those time: Sleep is for the weak. Well right now I'm in one of those kind of time, I have to finish 3 telescope time allocation request (to get some time at some of the world big telescope and continu my thesis) by thirsday, I have an homework due tomorrow, today I have a conference from one of canada's Astronaute (Marc Garneau to be precise) I have a class tomorrow morning and to top it all off some of my time allocation request must be read by half the planet (slight exageration) before I can submit them which mean I have until... today to finish them and of course tonight I have a lan party planed with some friend that I can't (won't) postpone. Joy, I'll be sleepless in Quebec this week.

but don't worry to much about me I'll just put a don't disturb sign on my door next week and make sure I get back all the sleep I missed.. twice over.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

National novel writing month

Some may know but November is the national novel writing month a month where everyone that want to try is challenged to write a 50 000 word novel. This year I want to try my luck and write a novel. I can't write anything for the novel but I can set up somethings about the universes I want to write in before hand. Now my big problem is that I am torn between three possible univers to write for.

First, I'd like to write something about a character the player in my DnD game meet and let go... a traveling bard that has lost all of her memory and her quest to find them. It would in a fantasy setting (the one where my DnD game is set up) and would be about self discovery and predestination vs free will.

Second, I've been DMing a Alternity game and the setting of this game really interest me for it's novel writing possibility. This is a hard SF univers where I try to keep things as close to what physically possible with just a touch of fantasy to make thing more interesting. In this univers set 1000 years in the future some 10 years after the secret of FTL where found by human scientist. In those 1000 years human have colonised 61 stars beside earth and have statistically rulled that Alien life form did not existe. The story will focus on the struggle from earth to unite it's colonie followed by a civil war, a intrinseque problem in earth technology and finally something else.. I think that I could do 3 or 4 novel on that idea alone..

Finally, the old X-COM game has inspired me, I'd like to write a novel where an X-COM like forces battle alien invader. It would be focused on a ground troup and there struggle with the new technologie, the metal power of the alien and of the multinational force. However unlike the X-COM universe, the organisation would not be backed by the UN (which the leader of XCOM would not realised at first) but by a shadowy ancient powergroup. The earth would be filled with such powergroup and the squad would learn quickly that even if they are humanity only line of defense, there are traitors and ennemies behind them... It would be a soft SF thing with lots of unphysical things and mystical mumbo jumbo.

Now, my big problem is that I don't know which one to devellop I can't write 2 novels at once much less 3 so I have to things about them.. just writing the idea gave me more about each.. I seriously hope I can decide and work on the universe before the november 1st deadline where I will have to begin writting my novel. Wish me luck.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

How to infinitely small rules the universe [part 1]

Some day in the near futur I'll have to make a speach to a amateur astronomer club of my region. I could have made one before but I lacked the "vision" and inspiration for a subject to talk about. This week end it hit me: How atomic laws and quantum mecanic are at the sources of just about every large scale thing in the universe (for dummies). This will be the first in a rather long series in the next few days, week months and is part of my blog deployement of weapon of mass education in the blog war (as of yet the UN as not decreated those weapon part of the non proliferation pact so I should be all right... I hope they don't change their mind I couldn't deal with an embargo right now). So without further delay here is the first part:

Small note on scientific notation: 4x10^6 means 4 times 10 to the 6 power or 4 millions

Stars energy source

Stars are powered by nuclear reaction more preciselly fusion reaction in which transform 4 ionised hydrogen atoms (free protons) into an hellium atom and a lot of energy (and a few other things not really relevent for a weapon of mass education). From Enstein famous equation E=mc^2, in each reaction ~4x10^-29 kg of matter is lost... that means that about 4x10^-10 J of energy is produce by each reaction. That is a very small number however the sun lose: 4x10^9 kg/s (that 4x10^38 reactions each second!) or 4 million ton of mass each second (see weight watcher try to match that!). This little parenthesis aside problem arise when you try to approch proton from each other. You may already know by experience that it require some force to push two identical pole of a magnect togeter. Since all proton are positively charge the same thing happen. So for the fusion to happen the proton in the stars must have enough energy to overcome this electrical repulsion. How do they do this? simple my friend heat and speed! The hotter a gas is the faster the particule in hit go and the more kinetic energy they have. At very high temperature the kinetic energy is large enough to beat the coulomb potentiel (the force pushing the proton away from each other). Once this potential as been breach the fusion can take place and produce the energy needed to created light, life and keep the stars from gravitational collaspe. As a star age (or when stars are much bigger then the sun) heavier element can fusion and that is what produce most of what exist here on Earth. So in a resumed manner that was how atomic laws rules stars light and the creation of heavy element in the universe.. Next, how light push things.

Geeky answers(first of maybe many)

Warning: Using any of these answer will make irrevocably a geek. Using more then one might cause permanent domage to social life.

Question: What up?
Geeky answer (1): silence (simply point toward the ceilling or the sky)
GA(2): In euclidiant geometry a direction perpendicular to the plan defined as horizontal.
GA(3): In good society it is generally accepted that up is the direction opposite to the pull of gravity
GA(4): The ceilling, over that the next floor and so on
GA(5): 42

Q: How are you feeling?
GA(1): Good question, biologist are still searching for this answer.
GA(2): Throught pattern reconition of neuron firing into my brain.
GA(3): 42

Q: How did you do that?
GA(1): [explain in painfull and complete details down to the fonctionment of the tool you used]
GA(2): 42

Q: Who do you think will win the next election: [insert name of 1st candidate] or [insert name of 2nd candidate]?
GA(1): Yessss [in Kosh voice]
GA(2): 42

Q: How do you think this movie will end?
GA(1): In fire[again with Kosh voice]
GA(2): [explain the plot in great detail since you have understood it within the fire 2 minutes, watch them be pissed when you're right]
GA(3): 42

Q: 6x9?
GA: 42 (if you don't get it you didn't read the Hitchhicker guide to the galaxy in enough detail)

Cheers, and have fun. I know I'll try to.

Quebecers are stupid

Yes I am again aware of the irony of calling myself stupid. Just hear me out, here are some proof that the Canadian (and by extention the quebec) government find it's citazen in Quebec dumb as dirt (and not the smart kind of dirt, the dirty stupider then shit kind of dirk). Bellow are exemples of what brought that stupid tag to Quebec.

Apparently, to buy butter Quebecers open every countener in a store that could remotly cointain butter and check if the content is yellow if this simple check is result is true the average quebecer must conclude that the content is butter. Also the average quebecer is analphabete (can't read) cause he surely will mistake a conterer marked Margarine in bold letter for butter if the content is yellow. Now that must sound crazy but you should know that there is a law in Quebec (very much inforced) that state: to prevent consummers confusion between margarine and butter margarine must not be collored yellow and must remain white.

Hightly train paramedic are unnessecary in Quebec BECAUSE WE HAVE A DIFFERENT CULTURE! (a governement official exact words!). In quebec it is currently illegal to give advanced cared trainning to paramedic, it not their job it the job of the nurse and doctor. Never mind that lifes would be saved with that training we certainly don't want to take job from the nurse and doctor. Also in the same line of thought we our paramedic are too dumb to be able to administer medecine more complex than aspirin (one of the 5!!!! medecine that can be given by paramedic in ambulance in Quebec).

Then there is the whole turning right on a red light. Belive it or not this is a recent develloppement in quebec that still isn't fully implemented (about 30% of all intersection outside of Montreal (where you simply can't turn right on a red light) have indication preventing you from turning). The reason: it's evident more accident would happen because Quebecer are far too dumb to look to see if anyone is crossing the road before turning. Nevermind that just about everyone else in the world seem to be doing just fine.

Oh well at least I can amuse myself with that an invent silly and (not so) funny exemple of Quebec owns stupidity. I wonder if we aren't the alabama of Canada sometimes. You know it would kinda fit too.

Québec, français libre! Not for me... at least not until we have intelligent, honest politicien (that aobut about about 50 Gyrs after then heat death of the univers by current estimate)

Friday, March 25, 2005

I can't draw today!

You know I'm not the greatest artist in the world (in fact if there ever was a list of all the artist based on talent I'll probably find myself way down on that list probably just before after a rock or a potted plant) but I do like to draw stuff... However since am not that good I need to pratice and if I don't pratice regulary I end up loosing what little talent I have. So somedays like today I decide to star praticing drawing again by drawing something (usually something I would want to be manga like but that is barely better then stick figures) and well I find that I can't draw anything ressembling well anything.

Anyway just feeling rantish about that and since I'm in an holiday (even if I do work sporadicly today) I thought I would share it. And beside one day I may decide to torture you with my drawing so I had to warn you ;-)

Speedos and elder gods

You know the warning againts speedo is not just for the sanity of those around you and to prevent disgusted sneer all around the world. Speedos where invented by Elder Gods to one day when the critical mass of speedo wearing male is reach open a portal to their own apocalyptic dimention where they will come to destroy the world. that my friends is the true danger of speedos. And yes that does means that the universe prefere barebutness to speedos.

This as been a message from the association for the survival of the universe.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Unicity of opinion

The whole strike against the 103M$ cut in education leads me to another questioning. You see I've seen and heard numerous time since the begining of the problem people for a strike saying that those not of their opinion where not informed (going on to say that they shouldn't be a campus wide vote because too many uninformed people would vote!). From that I'm lead to think that given the same information everyone should arrive to the same conclusion and that if they do not its either because they are fascist or that they still lack information.

Why is that? why can't the same information be interpreted in two or three or a million different way? True, scientifically there are probably only one "right" way to interprete a set of data, however most (and it should be all) scientific data are collected using controled experiment (or at least controled observation). This control limits the influence of "unwanted" variable in the experiment. In real life not only are the experiment not controled (or the observation) but the information are from 95% to 100% of the time bias toward one side or the other, if they are not simply disinformation. Then there are the interpreters, each and everyone of us as different (something not by much but I don't belive there is anywhere in the world two sets of people with exactly the same) values, all information and all conclusion are influenced by these value. Given the almost infinite variation of background, social interaction, parent influence, conscious decision how can we honestly expect a single opinion to be shared between everyone? Shouldn't we at least ask if a single opinion is safe to have? You know by cutting all opinion except our own aren't we just closing ourself up to change and life?

Vacuum density...

No I'm not referearing to the average number of vacuum per sqr km in Canada but instead to that little strange and interesting we weird astronomy people call dark energy. This post mark a new escalation in the blog war... the use of mass weapon of mass education, something my archnemesis can not compete against! (Beside ain't the best blog suppposed to be funny, edgy, ranty, smart, sexy, AND educational?)

For those not following scientific news (and frankly who out of the scientific communauty does that?) dark energy is a strange force which seems to be pushing everything in the unverse away from everybody else (kinda like what fast food does to one's waist...). It is called dark energy to "mirror" dark matter (if you're really out of it dark matter is the matter that existe but that for some reason we can't see) simply it not dark or evil or event shadowy it was simply unknow for a long time and it is hard to find (heince it fits with the "dark" background of space). Now you're probably all wondering what it is... well so are we (by we I mean astrophysicist). We know how it works in comological equations (it fits with Einstein so-calledgreatest mistack the cosmological constant Lambda) but it's nature as a sort of anti-gravity is puzzeling to say the least.

For the more scientificly minded here is how we found evidance of it existance. First you have to know that the universe is expanding. According to cosmological theorie in the absence of dark energy the universe can at most accelerate at a constant rate (if there is less matter and dark matter then the critical density) while if there are dark energy it is possible to have an universe that would forever accelerate (event in the presense of critical density of matter and dark matter). Now one has to measure the acceleration of the universe, not a small feat you can guess. So we know that all type I supernova (explaination in a later educational post) have the same base luminosity and we can measure there distance from their spectral redshift (something simillar to the doppler effect of receiding galaxies). Next from the luminosity observed and the base fixed luminosity we can determine the distance. Recently measurement have shown that far away supernovae speed away from us faster then they should according to models without dark energy... we must then conclude that the universe is expanding and accelerating which mean dark energy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

What I am

Just a random though to bolster my self-estime and sound like a arrogant bastard (with some redemption at the end ;-)

I'm brainy, I'm intelligent, I'm geeky, I'm hot, I'm the best, I'm an astrophysicist.

Brainy is sexy, Intelligence is sexy, geek are sexy, hot is well hot, the best is modest...

Astrophysics... well that just weird dude!

Peace and remember. Laught about yourself don't take life seriously, and for the love of God don't wear speedos!

The gauntlet has been thrown

Here we go, one of my friend started her own blog just to prove she could do one better then mine! I will not stand for it! So from now on I will only post quality rant, rambling and other crazy idea (as opposed to what I was posting before... well not really opposed it will be exactly the same thing but it will be quality trust me!)

Get ready to rumble!!!!! and don't forget never wear orange to a duck party. This was a message from the weirdness generator.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Another Oxymoron...

Tax for Canadian for dummies... well the dummies is certainly redundant.. no?

Also I'm aware of the irony of saying canadian are dummies when I'm Canadian but I found that reflexion intersting... well funny in fact. Anyway if you don't approve that not my problem.


Oxymoron.. weird things those words are.. think about it two words that are opposite used togheter to define a new thing often with no relation with both. I've decided that because this is my blog and that I can do and say just about whatever I want that I would list some... just for quicks:

Military intelligence... now how did spying get called intelligence and associate with the organisation promoting the removal of all intelligence I'll never guess.
Friendly fire... I guess that when you're dead or wounded you know who you're real friend are.
Honest politician... haven't found one yet... must be something mythical.
Peacekeeping force... let make sure no one fight be having more gun then all of them together sound to me to be a good receipe for resentment and violence.
Smart computing... a computer is not smart, in fact it is dumb as a brick, the only thing that makes them look smart is when the person in front is dumber (also know as the code 18 phenomena).
Liberal conservative... that I just don't get are you trying to keep things the way they are or change them?
Virtual reality... of course what's real isn't that makes senses!
Religous tolerance... our god(s) is(are) better then all the others but that all right you're can exist too.. except not.
Creationist science... hmm let see no proof no way of proving, no way of doing an experiment that prove the thing. That a science all right.
Canadian Military... no need to comment.
Microsoft work... that as been proven wrong so many times it's not even remotely funny now.

While writing these I've been thinking that most of those are cultural... and well I'm no anthropologist, but I'm betting that a futur civilisation would find the study of oxymoron of our time to be very telling of our values.

Murphy's law

I've been thinking about Murphy's law (if anyone does not know it, it goes something like: "If anything can go wrong it will. If nothing can go wrong you obviously don't understand the problem well enought") lately for no particular reason. Mainly I've been thinking of the quantised version of Murphy's law (everything go wrong all the time) and I come to the conclusion that this violate the uncertainty principle. So I've thought about proposing the following version of Murphy's law: In any experiment where statistic are involved the result less likely to be of any interest will be the most likely to happen. Isn't this more "physical"? An a lot more annoying? Which make me thing isn't Murphy's law just the law of ever increasing annoyance? Kinda like entropy but system capable of localy reversing entropy?

More weirdness to follow these messages.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Student vs the Government

Some may know other may not but there is a large student strike in Quebec right now. The catalyst for this strike was that the government decide to transfer 103 M$ from grant to student loans. Understandably this is a stupid move, I belive that there are very few situations where cutting from education can be justified (but all involve the country be bankrupt for all intend and purpose) and that is not one of them. Also this move only penalise the poorest student (since they receive more grant then the other student) which aside from being bad press is morally questionable (to say the least).

However, I do not approve of the student strike movement either. Firstly I think that (at least in Quebec) strike have been overdone and only look like whinning to those not involved in the problem. Then there is the fact that for a strike to be effective the person you strike again must stand to lose at least as much as you do by striking. Frankly that is not the case when student strike unless things take forever to be solved the governement lose only it face (and those following Quebec politics know that the current government has lost that two days after it got into power) while student stand to lose time for the moment and if the strike last for more then 2 month there credits and session starting there chosen profession at least 3 month late (and in the case of Science and Engineering graduate our founding from the teachers, which in my case means no money). Finaly, I think that the student need to use what they learn and try to propose alternative solution to the government. Mainly we could do more than just ask for the 103M$ back we should try to tell them where the 103M$ should come from and maybe even propose a solution to bring event more money in eduction.

It all starts now...

Before the begining there was nothing, no life, no time, no space, no mind and no politics. Kinda like eden but without the god stuff. Then, there was the begining some call it the big bang, other call it Genesis and still most of you don't care. As a graduate student in astrophysics (well I HAD to talk about myself it my first blog post you know and it wouldn't be good to break traditions.) i prefere to think of it as the big bang, it simplify the equations (God equations are night impossible to solve and the don't care equation are too trivial to be of interest).

As the description hint English is not my native language, so I ask you to forgive my many gramatical and spelling error and concentrate on the messages (if there are ever any and of course if anyone read this one day). I'm kinda of geek so expect to see some few things about SF, Fantasy, Computers and other generally geeky stuff. Some of my friend describ me as a mad scientist kind of guy that means that not all that will be posted will make senses in the physical kind of way. But I assure you it just my imagination.

Another thing we might see here are long post and rant. I like to rant mainly about the strange (and sad in my humble opinion) state of freedom and politics in Canada (but mainly Quebec). Well that all for this first post, lets hope there be many more.