Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The end of the galaxy as we know it.

I've long suspected that physics is a dark art, evil magic if you will, and that physicists are blackhearted necromancers. Now I have proof.
Apparently they've known for decades that in a mere 2 billion years the Milky Way, the galaxy that we call home, will collide with the Andromeda spiral galaxy and they never tell anyone about it, nor do they seem to doing anything to prevent this cataclysmic event. The gets.

Now they've used their demonic ways to calculate that during the event our humble solar system will be cast out of the party zones of the galaxy, and dumped unceremoniously in the outer reaches of the new one [1].
Apparently, the consequence of this is that we are royally fucked as a planet. And I don't even know if that new planet what they found will be ok. It's almost enough to put you off you tea...

The Collision Between The Milky Way And Andromeda.
T.J. Cox, Abraham Loeb . May 2007. e-Print: arXiv:0705.1170 [astro-ph]

Monday, May 14, 2007

How a beetle made an idiot of a hamster

Richard Hammond, aka, "The Hamster", is an idiot. This, I feel, in not really news, but I figure it needs reiterating, especially as he's just written a column in the Mirror stating how may-bugs (cockchafers) are proof that evolution is bollocks.

His main point seems to be that may-bugs are rubbish, and the spend all their time flying into houses that they must never get chance to reproduce. How does he think they do reproduce? Spontaneous generation?

He has taken the intellectually easy option of discounting evolution based on limited personal observations. He's obviously got thinking about it, and rather than perusing the thought through, and finding out about cockchafer life cycles and how they may work in the ecological niche to which they've adapted, he's made made assumptions based on a poor understanding of darwinian thought, an afternoon in the garden and five minutes on Wikipedia. Knob.

EDIT: Title spelling changed. Originally spelt Beatle, as in the pop combo.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Protein Synthesis! Hippies! Dancing!

This might be one of my favourite things ever.

Although some of the words, including the final line "all mimsy was mRNA, and Protein chain outgrabe" just before the wigout at the end, do leave me somewhat confused. But I think that's becuase I'm a straight, not a wild crazy hep cat.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I heart Seed Magazine: Byrne and Levitin

How great is Seed Magazine?
The answer is 12. 12 great.

Great "Seed Session", with David Byrne (a musical genius, up there with Stevie in the hero rankings) and Prof. Daniel Levitin (used to be a session musician and sound engineer, but now is James McGill professor of behavioral neuroscience and music at McGill University) having a good old natter about the neuroscience of music and all dat wicked shit man...

DB: So when you watch a performance, sports for example, you're not only watching somebody else do it. In a neurological kind of way, you're experiencing it.

DL:Yeah, exactly. And when you see a musician, especially if you're a musician yourself--

DB: —air guitar.

DL: Air guitar, right! And you can't turn it off—it's without your conscious awareness. So mirror neurons seem to have played a very important role in the evolution of the species because we can learn by watching, rather than having to actually figure it out step-by-step.