Friday, 26 March 2010


Worrying news. Richard over at Falling Through an Endless Summer Sky went into hospital with a heart problem yesterday. He’s back home now and Faceboooking. Please leave a message of encouragement for him.

I was rather amused yesterday to find I’d had a hit on the blog from the Vatican City. I’m probably consigned to the 5th circle of hell now. What with the pope himself being implicated in the abuse row, I guess the Vatican is searching the internet for salacious comment.

Talking of religion, it’s Easter shortly; however, I do hate this Good Friday / Easter Monday thing – you go on holiday and immediately all the shops are shut. I’d much prefer Good Monday and Easter Tuesday, which would enable one to more easily take a full week off and have the preceding weekend to prepare for the dead period.

Osama Bin Laden is meant to have said that if the US executes the 9/11 mastermind, then any US citizen falling into Al Qaeda’s hands will also ‘meet their maker’. Perhaps the Americans should just hand over a few blank US passports to Mossad and have done with Bin Laden.

Dennis Hopper, who has been terminally ill since appearing in Easy Rider in 1969, is terminally ill, according to his publicist cum doctor. His wife, whom Hopper is divorcing, suspects that the terminal nature of his alleged illness is a cynical ploy to prevent a divorce judge questioning him about his assets. Some suspect that his impending death will also probably be a legitimate legal loophole to avoid paying tax. His wife has claimed that Hopper filed for divorce so that he could cut her out of her inheritance. Duh! Isn’t that what usually happens when you divorce?

Cider drinkers angry at the government's decision to raise tax on the drink are petitioning 10 Downing Street for a reversal of the policy. The problem is that they are all too smashed to write anything vaguely coherent and No. 10 can’t make head nor tails of their ramblings.

Here are the answers to yesterday’s conundrums:

  1. Yes, Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity is correct and has been proven experimentally. Unfortunately I don’t have the space (luckily) to show the calculations.
  2. The time taken for a photon to travel from the sun to Earth depends on your frame of reference. If you were travelling with the photon, the time taken would be zero due to the time dilation effect at light-speed. Photons don’t age.
  3. Winifred Atwell’s ‘other piano’ has no rest mass, only invariant mass, as rest mass applies only to individual particles. It was a trick question – as if you didn’t know that.

Here’s an interesting fact. The mass of the plutonium in the Nagasaki bomb was 6.5 kg. About 1 kg of this mass was converted into lighter elements during the fission process. Of this 1 kg, approximately 1 gram was converted into pure energy and was lost from the overall mass. Now if one applies E=Mc2 to one gram of matter, the result is 25 GW.h, or 21.5 kilotons of TNT.

Remember the Mpemba Effect I highlighted some months ago? It’s concerned with the fact that warm water freezes faster than cold water. Seems some bright spark has cracked it.

An vaguely interesting video from a popular, contemporary beat combo.


  1. Thanks CB - I shall be blogging later!

  2. Re. photons, I read somewhere that it may take a single photon hundreds of thousands of years to actually "escape" from surface of the Sun due to convection and collisions.

    I also think there are potential issues with STR and gravity, particularly inflation theory; it might be safer to say it's correct for it's scope but incomplete, relatively...

    Last but not least, good luck and best wishes to Richard!

  3. I do hope Richard feels better.
    I am now really worried about ending up on terrace seven.