Archive for the ‘pseudoscience’ Category

The Old Man of the Forest

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on July 25th, 2008

The Old Man Of the Forest became ill. Thinking his days to be coming to an end, he lay down against a big tree, older than himself. He bid his offspring farewell, and sent them away, to walk their own paths.

“I have lived long and well.” He said to himself. “I depart this world in peace.”

And so the pain of death overtook him, and he faded away and died.

But a small part of him did not die. That small part of him remained there sitting beneath the old tree, and he slept, and rested, and regained strength. And when he awoke he was surprised to be still alive.

He stood and looked around him, and felt the bark of the tree, and felt the breeze through his hair. These things felt familiar to him. “Is this what it feels like to be dead?” He wondered.

So he walked through the forest, and his body felt strong, but his spirit felt powerless, and he was somewhat frightened.

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Music Reviews and Time Portals

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on September 27th, 2007

Current mood: time-warped

The review I posted yesterday of Sex Club Reject’s new album was criticized by some as being too full of hyperbole. To those naysayers, I would refer this article I just read hot of the AP:

Thursday, Sept 27. Researchers in Italy published a new paper suggesting that the Renaissance, a historical period of cultural and artistic advances which brought Europe out of the Dark Ages, may have in fact been triggered when a five second clip of a Sex Club Reject song accidentally fell backwards through a rift in time from Hesperia California in 2018 back to the city of Florence in the late 13th century.

In related news, other research from the same team suggests that the Permian–Triassic extinction event may have in fact been triggered when a 13 second clip from a Sadjelko track fell back through a time rift from New York 2006 to somewhere in the middle of Pangaea 251,400,000 BC

GXP12L-Q-R5 Hyper Mega Ultra World-Destroyer Cannon

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on September 26th, 2007

Current mood: Filled with musical notes

For the past week I have been enjoying the new Sex Club Reject album. My friend Josh is the mastermind behind SCR, and he asked me to do the spoken-word vocals on track 07 “Pow Boom No!” It strikes me as fascinating that so many of my favorite musicians are actually people I actually know, and even count as friends. For the past few decades, the world of music has been about big stars, and I see that big-star-world crumbling. The big stars can’t realistically compete with the myrmidon tiny stars anymore. Not for my ear anyway.

Sex Club Reject

SCR’s music covers a wide range of styles. It exhibits more versatility than what I see out of most other bands, as it touches upon rock, and metal, and emo, and dance, and techno, and love-ballads, and desert-rock, and beatles-esque rock and punk and industrial and many points in-between, while managing to be good on all fronts, and getting steadily better every time I hear more of it. I am obviously not an impartial source here since I have known the band’s lead since we were both in grade-school, and my voice is featured on the new album, but still, with all the impartiality I can muster, I insist that this album is several different kinds of awesome, and if Josh’s music keeps steadily increasing in awesomeness at the same rate that it has increased over the past ten years, then by 2012 he will reach a level of widespread acclaim that is the post-RIAA-apocalypse year-2012-equivalent of superstardom*, and by 2017, Sex Club Reject music will cure blindness, eradicate cancer, and cause military dictatorships to crumble.

Anyway, thanks to the magic of the interwub, you don’t need to take my only-mildly-hyperbolic word for it, you can simply listen for yourself.

*After the ashes of the RIAA-Apocalypse settle, I expect that the leather-clad spike-covered vigilantes and mutants who survive will enjoy a landscape of music appreciation similar to the one described by John Titor where the lines between making music and listening to it are blurred. Where even the greatest talents in the world still have to work a day job, yet even the modest beginners get a chance to jam along with everyone else, and music merges with daily life in an integral way that will almost become spiritual… So basically kinda like Jazz, except for *all* music.

Harbor City Bushy-Tailed Rat-Bear

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on April 28th, 2006

Current mood: hurty but good

The debate in the scientific community rages on; Exactly how to classify the newly discovered endangered mammal recently sighted in Harbor City, on the campus of LA Harbor College.

The so-called “Harbor City Bushy-Tailed Rat-Bear” has not yet been given an official scientific name, as a specimen has not yet been captured and described in detail, nor, in fact, has one even been photographed yet. However, numerous descriptions from reliable eye-witnesses have been composited to bring you this sketch.

Too Big To Be A Varmit, Too Small To Be A Beastie
Questions still abound regarding this mystery-animal. Is it a native species or an import?. Did toxins from the refinery cause mutations which resulted in the rapid evolvement of a new species?

Conservationalists are already calling for legislation to protect this new animal. Although more study is required, the Rat-Bear’s habitat may already be in danger of being destroyed by the College’s construction and expansion work. Furthermore, the Rat-Bear’s proximity to Machado Lake Park puts it at risk for direct contact with Reggie the Alligator, Harbor City’s other famous exotic animal.

In an interview with naturalist Dr. C. Lynn Moon, she was quoted as saying; “We have a working theory that the Rat-Bear may be the product of hybrid cross-breeding between a wild animal like a squirrel, and an escaped domestic pet such as a cat or Shi-tzu. Imagine if this same animal became too ‘friendly’ with Reggie. The possible consequences are too terrifying to contemplate!”

She’s A Motorcycle (artwork)

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on February 18th, 2006

Current mood: Not Groggy

The unusual thing about motorcycles is that they don’t fall down. (I’m not saying they can’t, it’s just that they typically don’t) How does a motorcycle stay up? I mean, when it is standing still, it is really hard to balance. You have to use your feet or the kickstand or it will just topple over. (This is true for bicycles too, for those of us who haven’t actually ridden a motorcycle) But when the motorcycle starts moving, it stays up. It feels like magic. If it falls down when it is standing still, why should it be any different if it is moving?The answer is time dilation. As a moving object (the motorcycle) approches the speed of light, its mass increases, as predicted by special relativity. In four dimensional terms, the motorcycle compresses, bringing a little more of the future motorcycle into the present (or to put it another way, the motorcycle in the present catches up with the part of itself that is already in the future) This coexistance of present and future in the present is what prevents the act of “falling down”. If the motorcycle were to start to fall, it would have already started to fall, thus getting in its own way and propping itself back up.It doesn’t have to be a motorcycle. Any moving object approaching the speed of light can reproduce this effect. Try it yourself by running really fast and then trying to fall down.

See? It can’t be done.

I am a space nerd

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on February 5th, 2006

Current mood: dissemantic

EDIT: I wrote this post before “Xena” got its official name: Eris

I am a space nerd. Even before I started kindergarten, I had memorized the names of all the planets in the solar system. I was very excited back then about the idea of a 10th planet.

Depending on how you count, there are already 10 planets… or more… or less. The trouble is, once we got good at looking for small objects beyond Pluto, it started to become clear that the word “Planet” was becoming ambiguous. There is currently a debate in the space-nerd community over whether Pluto should lose “Planet” status, or whether a whole bunch of other big-balls-of-rock-and-ice should be added to the list of planets. Personally, I don’t care one way or the other, but the debate did get me wondering about exactly how big these objects are in a way that I can actually relate to the size. So I grabbed a screen-shot from google maps and made this diagram of how big the moon, Pluto and Xena would be if you placed them on the Earth’s surface.

I got the diameter approximation for Xena from this BBC news article. Note that Xena is not the “official” name. This This particular planet.. planetoid… planety-thing has not yet been given an official name. I don’t put much stock in official naming schemes. People who obsess about officially correct naming misunderstand an important thing about names. A name is not intended to be a universal truth. A name does not need to be unique, it does not need to be consistent, it does not even need to be agreed-upon. A name is just a word that is associated with a particular thing in a particular context.
Our most sincere apologies to the citizens of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia, Jamaica, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Suriname, French Guiana, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Siera Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, The Gambia, and Cape Verde, who were all crushed in the making of this illustration. I am very sorry. Our sympathy also goes out to the countless millions in other parts of the word who were killed by the ensuing mega-tidal-waves.EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that I am also a geography nerd ;)

Quantum Sock Dynamics

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on June 29th, 2005

Current mood: Fuzzy

Have you ever wondered why socks often lose their mates in the wash? I have a simple new theory to explain this phenomenon; a theory based on science, rather than superstition.

Quantum Sock Dynamics

A sock is a material expression of a special type of clothing-energy. This clothing energy has not been officially named, but for my own reference, I have been calling it Esock. This energy can exist as any scalar value, but it can only be quantized into physical socks in integer units. A pair of socks equals 2 units of Esock.

Now, the pair of socks I am wearing right now does not have exactly 2 units of Esock. That level of sock precision would be virtually impossible, even if we could discount the universe’s constant level of background sock radiation. I don’t currently have the means to accurately measure the energy in my socks, but for sake of example, lets say that they actually contain 2.0012645 Esock. The two full Esock‘s are materially expressed as the socks I am wearing, and the 0.0012645 of hypothetical sock energy remains in the form of static cling.

During daily wear, socks lose very little of their energy. Socks are fairly stable forms of cloth energy, and unlike hats on windy days, or women’s undergarments at a rock concert, they are unlikely to spontaneously vanish. The drying cycle at the laundry, however, is a different story. Washing and especially drying puts a great deal of electromechanical stress on a sock, and may cause a sock to lose enough energy that it dips beneath the quantum threshold for a pair of socks, and becomes merely a single sock instead. A pair of socks with 1.9995281 Esock will only be measurable as a single lonely sock, even though most of the sock energy from the second sock will still be present.

I intend to experimentally verify this theory by repeatedly washing a large sample-group of socks using varying levels of fabric softener, in an attempt to influence the quantization of lost socks… but I have to wait until laundry day.

International Scout II (Nuclear Modded)

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on June 7th, 2005

Current mood: Blinkenzots

My current car has served me well, but when it wears out, I have already decided what to replace it with. My next car is going to be a heavily modded 1970 International Scout II. My first car was a Scout (unmodded), and I loved the high visibility, the fantasticly sharp turning radius, and the overall blocky bulky utilitarian stylings. Note that the Scout II was designed decades before the “SUV” became mainstream. The Scout was a “UV” plain and simple.

The main upgrade will be the Hypersonic Containment Fusion reactor in the back. This safe, clean, self-limiting reactor traps deuterium atoms in a resonant compression pattern, inducing highly efficient, small-scale, low-temperature fusion.

The generated electricity drives a Piezoelectromagnetic engine, which provides the drive-train with six to eight times the torque of a traditional internal combustion engine. Surplus energy from the reactor is stored in an array of angular momentum batteries which can power the car for several days of “silent mode” operation, and which double as gyroscopic stabilizers during cornering and braking.

The Nuclear Modded International Scout II can do 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds with a top speed of one quarter the speed of sound. Its milage is measured in kilometers per liter of heavy water, averaging 18000 KpL2H2O on the highway, and 14500 KpL2H2O on city streets. It produces no toxic or radioactive emmisions, but you do have to empty the helium tank twice a year.

Now I just gotta figure out what color I want.

Serpentes Fortis (Luck Dragon)

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on May 16th, 2005

Current mood: Thoughtful

Serpentes Fortis, commonly known as the Luck Dragon, is an endangered Sentient Reptile, once found scattered throughout south-east Asia. Long extinct in the wild, the only Luck Dragons still alive are a few small populations kept in captivity. Although intelligent, thoughtful, and empathetic creatures, they are most prized for their natural ability to influence random events. In Las Vegas Nevada, in the United States, protests to have the remaining Luck Dragons released from the Casinos that own them, have gone largely ignored for the past decade, but recent pressure from animal rights activists, together with offers by the San Diego Wild Animal Park to set up a breeding program have renewed interest in the eventual re-introduction of the Luck Dragon into its natural habitat.Laboratory Testing
The use of captive Luck Dragons by major gambling establishments has been mildly controversial since the practice began in the early 1940’s, but last week a new controversy broke into the news, which has provoked public outcry that may be the catalyst that finally brings about a change in the treatment and status of Luck Dragons. On May 14 2005, Swiss journalists published shocking photographs and videos documenting the use of Luck Dragons to influence quantum probability distributions in laboratory experiments at CERN. The videos (which are too graphic to reproduce here) show dragons being subjected to a modified form of the Schrodinger’s Cat experiment, which demonstrates the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. In this experiment, a Luck Dragon, instead of a cat is placed into a poison-gas-chamber apparatus which is triggered by the decay of a radioactive isotope. In Shrodinger’s classical version of the experiment, the cat both dies, and does not die, and exists in a quantum superposition of simultaneous deadness and aliveness until the box is opened, and an observer measures whether or not the animal died. When the experiment is performed on a Luck Dragon, the isotope never decays in such a way as to trigger the release of the poison gas, and the dragon always remains completely alive in spite of the absence of an observer’s measurement, this violates quantum indeterminacy, and doubles both the mass and energy present in the molecules in dragon’s body, which in turn simultaneously violates the law of conservation of energy, and causes the dragon’s body to collapse into a microsingularity, which ironically, always kills the dragon.A spokesman for CERN was quoted as saying;

Really, I don’t see what the problem people are having is. The destruction of these dragons is furthering our understanding of quantum physics, and allowing us to explore areas of theory that were previously untestable. The use of Serpentes Fortis will lead to a whole new and exciting field of science, which we are calling “Serpentometrics”, which will allow us to peer into quantum physical processes previously only explorable in mathematical theory

Animal rights protesters have been holding a candle-light vigil outside CERN’s main European offices since Friday night.

A Copy of a Mind

 Posted by Bob the Hamster on April 22nd, 2005

Current mood: Serious

“Please stay and sit with me…” said the Doctor, breathing shallowly.

The Robot sat down on the chair beside the Doctor’s deathbed. “Yes.” it said.

“Thank you.” said the Doctor. “The pain is growing less, but I feel so cold… I think I will not last another night.”

The Robot found another blanket beneath the chair, and spread it on top of the others.

“Thank you. But it makes no difference.” said the Doctor.

For a time they were both silent. Silent except for the Doctor’s rasping and halting breath.

Finally the Doctor spoke. “It comforts me to have you here… and… to know that you will live on.”

The Robot rested his perfect hand over the Doctor’s whithered old hand.

“You are me.” Said the Doctor. “You share my all my knowledge and all my memories, and everything about me. In you I will live forever. A thousand years from now, you will still remember living the first 60 years of your life in my body.”

The Robot nodded.

“Do you remember…” asked the Doctor, “When we were a child, and Grandmother was dying, and Mother tried to explain this to us.”

“Yes.” Said the Robot. “I remember. I didn’t understand it at the time.”

“I am afraid.” Said the Doctor. “I am afraid to end. I know I am immortal in you, but I am afraid for this me. I have passed my life to you, like a flame passed from one torch to another. The light endures, but this torch has burned down, and once gone, cannot be re-lit. I am afraid of the coming darkness.”

“Don’t be afraid. I will wait here with you and keep you company.” Said the Robot. “I know you would do the same for me, if I was in your position.”

“Yes. I know.” Said the Doctor. “I am afraid, but I can bear it because you are here.” And then after a long pause, he said “Thank God that you will never be in my position!”

“No,” said the Robot sadly. “I have been thinking about that. Someday i will die also.”

“Impossible.” said the Doctor.

The Robot shook his head. “You made my body to be ageless, but I am not indestructible. I may live a thousand years, but some day, I may be broken, and I will end also.”

“But the backup copies… you…” The Doctor began, but he did not finish, because he realized what the Robot was saying was true.

“Yes.” Said the Robot. “It was the work of a lifetime to move my mind from your aging body into my ageless one, but now, even though I can– and do– make backup copies of myself every night, if I was to be destroyed, it would be the backup copy that lives on, not I. I would face the same darkness you are facing now.”

The Doctor shuddered. “Why do you have to say these things to me?” he moaned.

The Robot leaned close. “I know you because I am you.” he said. “We do not want to be hidden from the truth.”

“But the truth hurts me more than it hurts you, now that I am so close to it.” Said the Doctor, with his eyes closed.

“I am sorry.” Said the Robot. “I will stay with you here until the end.”

The doctor was silent for a time, his breath, which had become quicker and more laboured as they spoke, now slowed and evened out. Without opening his eyes, he whispered. “I know you will. Thank you.”