Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I just love science

The are we alone question might be a step closer to receiving an answer, european astronomer have found a very earth-like planet orbiting Gliesse 581 a star 20.5 ly away from us in the constellation of libra (it is however too faint to be seen without a telescope). It's only 5 time the mass of earth (meaning the gravity is only 60% higher, high but not dramatically so) and might be composed of ice or rock like our earth. It's main attraction however is that this planet reside within a thin strip of space known as the habitable zone, a zone around a star where liquid water is possible. The temperature on the planet should be between 0 and 40 C which is very close to the temperature here on earth. Now we do not know if their is water on this planet but considering what we know about planet formation their should be.

Now if we add the ingrediant togheter and this make this planet quite likely to host life, or to at least be habitable. I hope further research focus on answering the question of water on this planet and on planning an expedition (robotic mission to start) there to be able to check directly for life. And if their is none, or if their is intelligent life we should prepare for a maned mission to this star system. This is really interesting news.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A poison gaz analogy

For my 500th post (finally reached this milestone months after yofed) I'd like to tell a little story. Imagine if you will close to 200 persons in a large room each one having the next to him a large container fill with a volatile poisonous substance. This container is closed with a system that allows the person to release gas at various speeds should they want to. No one knows in the room at which point the quantity of gas will make everyone sick in the room or when (or even if) it will kill then. Also they only know one way to get basic necessity, open the gas release a little. So just to live everyone releases a little gas, to see if it will kill thinking well anyway we are going to die if we don't eat. No one die, in fact no one even get sick. So some start releasing more, other being less hungry release only a little more. After a few months, one person is releasing as much gas as everyone else, he is much fatter but no one is sick yet. Suddenly in one corner a few people realize that even if they are not sick yet they are getting weaker and some of the oldest and youngest seems to be actually a little sick. Around that same moment the people that where releasing just a little gas look at the fat one and his few fatter friend and realize that they have been weakening themselves for nothing really so they start to release more and more gas to get more of the necessity.

Now the people that started noticing the creeping weakness gather everyone and start talking about stopping the release of the poisonous gas, about finding new ways of getting those basic necessities, their must be a way since someone is obviously bringing them in. Immediately the fastest and the thinness oppose the idea calling the people bringing it forward doomsayer and anti-thin. The idea is quickly rejected; those people noticing tried another idea, why don't we reduce our gas release to the level of a few weeks ago. The very fatess oppose they idea instantly but some of the rest seem to agree, they weren't sick before so maybe that the good idea, however the thinness people raise their hand in opposition. It's not fair they say, we were not producing much back then but you were and you were getting fat we deserve the right to get as fat as you are.

People start arguing, all the while always increasing their gas production, finally they come to an agreement just about everyone will reduce slowly their emission. The thinness people will have the right to continue for a few more weeks and then they will have to stop. So when they go around some people refuse to get on this idea, including the one that produced the more and some are indecisive. Still the plan get put into motion, some people make great effort to reduce their gas, while the thinness people increase their production to level close to the fatess country and even trying to surpass them the fatess continue on it's merry ways to destruction and everyone complains about the fatess but doesn't do anything because he is so much bigger then they are. The end result of the production of gas is ever increasing, the healthiest people getting sicker because they are reducing their basic necessity the fatest getting fatter and the former thinness people managing to find itself in the list of greatest producer of gas and fatess. The gas level finally reach deadly level and everyone dies with looking at each other blaming the other for the failure of the plan when the plan itself was so flawed as to be useless.

Now you might have understood that I was using this analogy as a comment on the Kyoto accord. This accord is basically the situation outlined above, it won't buy use more time to find another solution, the emission is still increasing thanks to the country that didn't sign, country that signs but aren't respecting it (Canada for example, particularly under the liberal government who to reduce greenhouse gas did less then the conservative), country that singed but are except from it's restriction. The worse thing is that if EVERY country signed and respected the protocols that green house emission would probably still increase because of devellopement in country such as China and India. For the xth time I will repeat, Kyoto is not the answer to the greenhouse problem.

Beware superman!

Well superman as best beware as once again reality as copied fiction and shown it's true colour: kryptonite does exist! We are now protected from overzealous but very helpfull superpowerfull super heros coming from a destroyed planet. Now the only thing we need is a crystal sustance that remove the power from stupid,dangerous,dictator-like and/or simply bad governement. Apparently such a substance exist on planet utopia which is destined to be blown up by it inhabitant roughtly 50 millions years after Earth.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Might vs Will

Here is the big problem of getting environnemental solution implemented, look at last week and this week-end reports. First the governement publish a report saying that doing what Kyoto ask will cost some billions dollars then to contredict the repport environmentalist publish and answer saying that not doing anything might cost more billion dollars. The problem and why it probably won't make politician moves (and please don't fall under the illusion that Stephen Dion will do it, the liberal plan for Kyoto is not to do anything and buy the right to pollute from other) is that a will is much more actual and factual then a might. To give you an exemple of this if I buy a car I will have a car, if I buy a lotery ticket I might win a car. Which one do you think will make me call my insurance compagny to learn about car insurance quote?

Some will answer that climate change is not a might situation but a will situation, however that is partly false, we know that climate change will change things and will cost something but how much and how far in the future the bill will come is a very uncertain thing. It once again outline one problem of our democratic system transitivity of action. Politician prefere to spend money on short term solution then on long term one, simply because long term solution will probably serve to increase someone else popularity and the spending at the moment can even be used to defeat them by saying they are grasping at straw.

Oh and one last thing: please stop getting hard on over the Kyoto protocoles. They are bullshit, as long as the US doesn't sign a protocol for the environnement it probably won't be usefull. Any protocole that give the right to pollute to some country will not work, in fact it will probably make the situation worse. To work any attempt at reducting greenhouse effect will need to be global, include replacement technology and penalty for violating the accord enforced by every country. Oh and don't go and saying that Kyoto is a first step, it is as much a first step as taking a glass out of the ocean is the first step to empying it. We have to realise that the goal of Kyoto is to reduce the level to pre 1991 level, which were already way too high and causing greenhouse effect.

What needs to be done is not Kyoto (it's not the Harper governement plan either) it is in search for new way of doing thing that would allow us to reduce the greenhouse gaz production bellow 1700 level, then sell/give those technology to other country and then make global accord to use and improve those technology. Oh and one last thing: returning to old production methode will make thing far wrose for the environnement, remember then the smoke from house heating made a permenant toxic fog in some cities in the 1600s and 1700s and that burning wood produce a lot of greenhouse gaz.

In short we have to work to make the environnement better not by trying to force emission reduction on people and industries but by encouraging the develloppement of new ways of doing thing with less pollution. Any other way will probably fail until the environnemental collapse force us to find new way and when that happen we will be too busy trying to survive to actually do anything.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Nice night

I just went out for a small walk tonight and I must say it is on night like this that I really regret being single at the moment. It's a perfect night for a long romantic walk in the night, the temperature is perfect and the night sky is beautifull. Oh well that just my thoughts for the night, it really nice I'd love to be in the country to see the milky way.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

What is that yellow stuff in the sky?

Yesterday for the first time in recorded memory something strange happened in the sky of Quebec city, well in fact two strange thing. First the sky shed it's usual grey colour to take on a strange blue tin that even us scientist where at loss to explain, the current theory claiming that copper oxides and nitrate reached critical density but event this theory is considered preliminary. The other phenomenon is utterly unexplainable: part of the sky, in fact a circular part of the sky as taken on a bright yellow colour, so bright in fact that it as been observed to cause blindness. This yellow ball also emit impressive quantities of heat and as ben blamed for an increase in temperature all over then city, even the province if preliminary report can be trusted. Scientist warn that if this yellow ball stay in our sky the temperature might raise to an unlivable 30 degree Celcius and that the governement should take step to preserve the ice that will be sure to melt.

Well all that to say that we had two amazing days in a row here in Quebec giving us our first taste of spring (and summer) bringing out the miniskirt and navel barring t-shirt. All in all a great time to be a guy and walk in the city.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Shield technology?

An old war horse of space science fiction seems to be becoming an attractive real world idea: the Shield. As you can read in this article from the BBC scientist are thinking of "shield" like technology to protect space craft and spaceborn installation from the deadly solar radition. The idea is based on the magnetic field protecting the earth but as it has been shown long ago a magnetic field won't protect a spacecraft from the deadly radiation of space, the trick here is adding an "atmosphere" of plasma to reduce the energy of the incoming radiation. A very interesting trick I would say, and if it can increase the protection afforted to spaceship it would be a great boon for space exploration. Reducting the planning needed for long range mission, protecting the astronaut in case of a problem and being a all around interesting technology think of it: SHIELD!!! next step: warp drive (we already have PHASER and are working on teleporter)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Space the finale frontier...

Well apparently it's gonna be conquered by the cyberspace. Yep the "evil" Us departement of defense has announced founding for a project to extend the internet communication protocoles to space. What does that means exactly? Well frankly its probably too early to say and it might never really materialise. However if it works it could mean extended internet coverage (thanks to satellite no area of the world would be inaccessible to the internet), reduced satelite communication cost (as more and more bandwidth would have to be transported into space), increased develloppement of space based communication and reasearch, and of course satellite to satelite communication.

The last one probably offert the most opportunity for astrophysics, it could allow for autonomous space observatory. The kind of which could point multiple space telescope to a target that demonstrate peculiar behavior or interesting emission in a wavelenght range. It could also be used to build space interferometers and get more detailed information about an object.

all in all I think it is a great idea the only problem I can see might be the space clutter this could create but I'm sure we can find a way around that.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Reaping: asaathi movie review.

Well today i went to see the Reaping with a friend, if you've seen the preview you know it is a movie about a town experiencing what looks like biblical plague and a "scientific" trying to understand what "really" caused them. I'm guesing that by now you have figured that I did not like the movie, I found it pathetic, a good -2 out of 10.

Don't read on if you do not wish to read spoilers

first off the "scientific miracle debunker" former priest doesn't notice the many problem with the "plagues": river of blood... well check except for: the "lab report" was given to her by the same people that want the river to be real, this "human" blood doesn't have a pH (no not like have a pH of zero but more in the kind of being impossible to measure) which should make it just like that unhuman blood, the rain of frog... only happened in a very localised tree covered area known for it's climbing frog and so on.

Then their is of course the scientific reconversion to faith in god, well it would have been slightly belivable if it had happened after then plagues endent without explanation... not before the 7th just because her friend told her the devil could do it also. Next the reversal of the "Evil" of the movie is so cliche I predicted it when we first HEARD of the river of blood.

Not to mention that the thread left open for the sequel just made me sick and not in the good horror movie kind of way but more of like the that so crazy I've got to puke to hopefully forget it kinda way.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Replacing the Leopard

I read today that Canada might be thinking of replacing it's aging leopard tanks, well that might be a good idea considering that those tanks are quite old and their deployement in Afghanistan showed one flaw in their design... no climate control and it's apprently a problem for the soldier as on a sunny day the temperature inside the tank can raise as high as 50 celcius. To get an idea of how old the Leopard C2 used by the candian force is well, they were bought in 1978-1979 based on a tank chasis that was develloped in the 1960s. Now the former Liberal governement had planed to scrap the tank and replaced them with mobile gun, basically a lightly armored moving gun. This probably wouldn't be a bad idea for peacekeeping mission but the Afghanistan mission is basically a war mission were the ennemies are not trying not to shoot at you but are actually to shoot through you with the meanest weapon they can find. In this kind of mission heavilly armored tanks might be a good idea and a good way to lower canadian fatalities.

My problem is with what they plan on replacing them with, Leopard 2 tanks... second hand from the Netherlands and while waiting for those tanks to be canadianised we will be renting German Leopard 2 tank. I personnaly think it is an odd idea, we are finding that our tank are out of date and instead of replacing them with the next generation of tanks to make them most of our investissement. Right now the situation is that we are buying a current generation tanks which means his replacement are already in the work AND that it's operational life is already fading away.

Another thing we need to recall is Canada bad experience with second hand military hardware... you know submarines from the British. We don't want to have a big military but can we at least make sure we have the best hardware possible as to have the best bang for our buck so to speak.

Monday, April 09, 2007

I've been thinking...

I've been thinking, well I do that a lot but this time I've been thinking about something specific concerning the dating world. Yes there is such a thing as a dating world very different from the in couple world so please just hear me out. Woman seems to be partly an incarnation of Murphy's law at least for good guy or maybe not so bad guy (cause I'm starting to hesitate calling myself a good guy), see most if not all woman in the dating world will claim that they wish to meet a friend that will later become a lover or more honestly someone they will pursue relationship with (cause frankly from the stats I heard loving isn't something you get from relationship). However any good guy, hell even most guy will tell you that their is nothing that kills a potential relationship faster then falling in the dreaded friend zone. You know that strange place where as a guy you aren't regarded as a potential boyfriend (or lover) but only as a "friend" and where most of your hope about a future relationship with the miss is crushed beyond hope of salvation.

So in a way girls are asking guy to be their friend to form a relationship so that in being their friend they can forget any chance of ever coming close to forming a relationship with them... see Murphy's law rearing it's ugly nose yet? Oh well that probably just one of my many random strange though about relationship that do not mean anything beside the fact that I'm not in one. My mind must really be twisted to allow this to follow a post about Elder God in France.. hmm french Elder God that might make a good movie.

France is doing the bidding of the Elder god!

A Friend of mine is currently traped in what the German have been trying to annex every 50 years or so, the country called France. In this post he confrimed what I had always suspected: that the French are working to bring about the doom of the human race by secretly working for the Elder God. If you do not understand how his post would confirm that I will be refering you to one of my very very old post where I explain the link between Elder God and speedo. I wonder if they are any other country where public pools required us to involuntarilly do the soul destroying work of things beyond time? And more importantly how close are we to the critical speedo mass that will bring about the apocaliptic demise of the Human race?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Vimy and Canada in World War I

After reading that the french translation at the Canadian war memorial at Vimy Ridge in France was poorer then my own french writing, I decided to read a little about this Vimy ridge, what was it and why did Canada had a war memorial there. Well, what I found kinda made me ashamed of not knowing, you see Vimy Ridge is the first time the Canadian army fought as an unit (all four of it's division toghether for one objective), it was also the first allied victory in world war I in more then a year. Not to mention that the French and british troops had been trying to take back that ridge for close to two years. In many way it secured Canada's identity as a country to the eyes of the world giving it the right to symbolically add it's signature to the Treaty of Versaille which ended World War I. The land of Vimy Ridge, around 91 hectars, was given to Canada by the French in memory of the Canadian soldier that died in WWI.

But aside from that, reading about Vimy Ridge has shown me just how little I knew about WWI, and particullary the action of Canada in the Great War. Reading more about other battles our troops fought in I discovered for one that Canadian troop where considered to be amongts the very best of the Commonwealth and even of the whole Allied forces, so good that the rumors says that a french solider declared upon hearing that Vimy Ridge had been taken: "Its impossible." When they told this french solider that Canadians were responsible for the action he answered: "Ah the Canadians, it's possible!" I also read that the 4 divisions ( roughtly 100 000 thousand men) of the Canadian army defeated in the last 100 days of the war 47 german division... while the 1.2M american soliders only defeated 46... So with that ratio we can conclude that 1 canadian is worth more then 10 americans.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Munchkin Cthulhu!

After the great jewels of game Munchkin,Munchkin bite, Space Munchkin, Munchkin fu, Super Munchkin and Munchkin impossible we now have Munchkin Cthulhu. After fighting monsters in dungeons, monsters in space station, monsters in hong kong, super monsters and impossible monster we can now fight the great horror from beyond time themself! Now what fun will it be! Now if someone could only buy me a copy so that I can play...

Friday, April 06, 2007

Sleepless in Quebec

Well it seems insomania is the flavor of the day, been laying in bed for an hour now and I'm guessing i could lay there for a few hour more before I got any sleep. My problem it seems is that I think too much, about nothing and anything, you know not stressfull though but thoughts none the less that keep my brain from goining into relaxing sleep mode. So well I'll be trying to make the most of this awake time and see if I can't find a new idea for my campaign, or write more stories in french (been neglecting my story blog for a long while now) or maybe I'm gonna draw something to hopefully get good enought at this activity. If I had a girlfriend at the moment I'd keep her awake the annoyance this would cause would probably be enought to tire me. Nah I'm just keeping I'd probably just try to relax and stuff like that.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Posting about something else

So I've got a problem, yeah a simple but annoying problem I want to blog about something else then the sorry state of Quebec politic and/or health care system but there are so many thing to say that I have trouble finding something else to blog about. Beside I am guessing some of you are tired of hearing me comment on Quebec's political life particullary when I'm not such a good analyst of it.

In an effort to distance myself from the political landscape I'll talk about Stargate and most sci-fi unverse. One thing that is commun in Sci-Fi (and perhaps even more so in the Stargate franchise) is the existance of working state of the art hyper advanced technological wonder from hyper advanced civilisation from time past. Most of these artifacts are military related remainant from previous wars and some such... well I've got a question for you, as anyone ever found a 1800's battleship anywhere in the world in working condition? Millitary assets are seldom abandonned in working condition during a war and are seldom build to last centuries unattended. Also do you really think that anyone from our century would be capable of successfully operating a complex piece of military hardware from the past or the future? And what up with leaving only weapons and military hardware behind, were not most of those advanced civilisation peacefull and enlightened?

Oh well it's Sci-fi it doesn't have to be logical but still.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Something I bet you didn't expect to read

So in the category not politic and something you've never expected to read on my more then wonderfull blog (ok ok not so good blog) here is a new announcement about myself. I'll probably be starting to take dance leason in a few days. yeah I know you expected something more in the line of I've got a girlfriend but no their isn't even a shadow of one on the horizon.

But anyway here is the story of the dance leason: for a while now (8 weeks to be exact) two of my friends have been taking cuban salsa dance leasons and trying to recruit me and some other friend to the dance leason. After a while they told us they were free try out and succeded in convincing us to try. So tonight I went to try and actually had a lot of fun, a great lot of fun in fact. I'm thinking about getting registered for a class and learning to Salsa.

And beside someone tell me that most girl love a guy that know how to dance.. and it is a great exercice.