Tag Archives: physics

Fractured Fairytales

Kudos to Joe Carter for doing his part to spread the truth about the “Galileo

This is a story about Galileo Galilei. It’s not the story about an enlightened scientist being persecuted by a narrow-minded Catholic Church because that story is (mostly) a myth. It’s not a story about a great scientific genius either, though he was that (mainly). It’s also not a story about someone being reincarnated with the soul of the old astronomer like the song by the Indigo Girls that, for a few weeks in ’92, I thought was (almost) profound. (And I should point out that it not an original story but one that cribbed together from other sources.)

But like all good stories this one provides a (mostly) valuable lesson.

Science (and Budget) Fiction

In yet another feeble attempt to copy Reagan’s policies (like trickle-down economics),
Bush is trying to create his own version of the Star Wars (SDI) program. The first
one was science fiction created to scare the Soviet Union into spending itself to
death. This one might spend us to death.

Current Status
of Missile Defense Program, May 2004

Author: John Isaacs

Administration’s latest budget request

The request for fiscal 2005 is $10.2 billion, the largest single Pentagon weapons program and a 13% increase over the fiscal 2004 program. About $3.2 billion of that would go to the ground-based mid-course system (GMD) that is slated to be deployed later this year. If the Space Based Infra-Red System-High (SBIRS-high) is included, the total request for missile defense for the next year is $10.7 billion.

Go to National Priorities and check out the budget trade-offs related to SDI.

I Don’t Know That!…Aaaaaaaaaaaah….

“Too much time on my hands” – Styx

Estimating the Airspeed
Velocity of an Unladen Swallow

Hashing out the classic question with Strouhal numbers and simplified flight waveforms.
by Jonathan Corum

“After spending some time last month trying to develop alternate graphic presentations
for kinematic ratios in winged flight, I decided to try to answer one of the timeless
questions of science: just what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?”

Road to Dystopia

Utopia theory

“From theories of pedestrian movement and traffic flow to voting processes, economic
markets and war, researchers are striving towards a physics of society”

“‘It may be’, said US sociologist George Lundberg in 1939, ‘that
the next great developments in the social sciences will come not from professed
social scientists, but from people trained in other fields.’ Take a look at
any issue of a physical-sciences journal in the past five years and you will see
one such field staking its claim vigorously. Physics is muscling its way into social
science. Not content with explaining the behaviour of atoms and electrons, semiconductors,
sand and space-time, physicists are now setting out to understand the behaviour
of people.”

It seems to me that the surest way to invite dystopia is to seek utopia. Witness
communism, eugenics, and other vain efforts to make the world perfect through logic
and reason.


It gives "Nasa 33% of its results for less than 2% of its budget." Of course it’ll be retired. We can’t have cost-effective equipment operated by the government. People might start expecting it all the time.

Eyeing a post-Hubble Universe
By Rachel Clarke

"Not since Galileo turned his telescope towards the heavens in 1610 has any event so changed our understanding of the Universe as the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope."