You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2010.

update Dec 30: apologies, my dates were off — a day behind. NASA pages.

This year’s winter solstice on Monday/Tuesday coincided with a Full.Lunar.Eclipse, which astronomers announced hadn’t happened for 372 years. I was sound asleep during the crucial 72min (starting at 2:41am on Dec 21, Tues, Toronto time) + more time of lunar beauty before and after, and am soooo happy to attribute to the fact astrological significance — many more sleepful nights, for as many years as I have.

HOWEVER, on my way back from campus, I took a few photos of the luminary huddled between Toronto’s downtown buildings. From a streetcar, puzzling my fellow streetcar riders. I’ve inserted a pointer in the photo, because without it one would be wondering which of the light globes illuminating the urboscape might be the pre-eclipse Moon. Enjoy:


For lovers of space views, a multitude of links to (NASA) photos here, not necessarily of lunar eclipses.

a powerpointful of winter beauty, with text

winter beauty, and just that

in silence

David Gray – Sail Away (Live Jools Holland 2007), posted by LiveSessions on March 03, 2010

From the yearnings above, on to the “Xmas side of things”, an Internet search on “walk in beauty” yielded a quote to ponder from a Christian devotional address:
There is a poetic phrase in Navajo folklore that goes something like this: “May I walk in beauty–beauty behind me, beauty in front of me, beauty above and beneath me, and beauty all around me.” To a Navajo, to “walk in beauty” simply means to be happy and to have peace of mind and peace with oneself; to be happy and at peace with others; to be happy and at peace with the environment and the world; and to be happy and at peace with the Great Spirit.
and the conclusion–a Navajo-Christian fusion:
My brothers and sisters, may our Heavenly Father’s divine care and inspiration always attend you. May you think in beauty, may you talk in beauty, may you live in beauty–beauty before you, beauty behind you, beauty above and beneath you, beauty all around you in all of your days here on earth and into the eternities–I humbly pray…
delivered by George P Lee at Brigham Young University on 13 February 1979

1) Principles of Planetary Climate (Cambridge University Press–January 31, 2011)
Description: “Provides a unified treatment of the basic physical principles of planetary climate phenomena on the present and past Earth and other planets. An invaluable textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and a reference text for researchers. Lavishly supported by hundreds of creative and stimulating exercises, software, datasets and algorithms.”

2) co-edited with David Archer The Warming Papers (Wiley-Blackwell–January 25, 2011)
From the Amazon product description: “The Warming Papers is a compendium of the classic scientific papers that constitute the foundation of the global warming forecast.  The paper trail ranges from Fourier and Arrhenius in the 19th Century to Manabe and Hansen in modern times. Archer and Pierrehumbert provide introductions and commentary which places the papers in their context and provide students with tools to develop and extend their understanding of the subject.”

Press Release (11/29/10)

BlackLight Power, Inc. Announces Production of Electricity from a New Form of Hydrogen

BUT can we get away from electricity? Before science gets us to worry about its interference with biomagnetic fields, in an irreversible way?

a lead regarding possible answers to some of my queries re entanglement:

Nasdeau, Robert and Menas Kafatos (2001) The Non-local Universe. The New Physics and Matters of the Mind. Oxford University Press.
(Robert Nasdeau is a historian of sci, and Menas Kafatos is a physicist, both from George Mason University)

All particles in the history of the cosmos have interacted with other particles in the manner revealed by the Aspect experiments [referred to as proof of the quantum mechanic nature f reality]. Virtually everything in our immediate physical environment is made up of quanta that have been interacting with other quanta in this manner form the big bang to the present….
Also consider…that quantum entanglement grows exponentially with the number of particles involved in the original quantum state and that there is not theoretical limit on the number of these entangled particles. If this is the case, the universe on a very basic level could be a vast web of particles, which remain in contact with one another over any distance in “no time” in the absence of transfer of energy or information. This suggests, however strange or bizarre it might seem, that all of physical reality is a single quantum system that responds together to further interactions. (p.82)

We can no longer rationalize [quantum] strangeness away by presuming that it applies only to the quantum world. Bohr was correct in his assumption that we live in a quantum mechanical universe and that classical physics represents a higher-level approximation of the dynamics of this universe. If this is so, then the epistemological situation in the quantum realm should be extended to apply to all physics. (p.100)

Coming back from a doctor’s office, this time with Christmas decorations. Makes a difference, wouldn’t you say :)?


December 2010


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