Saturday, 28 November 2009

Science and scientists

About 40 years ago the physicist Vera Rubin made a strange discovery: considering the weight (mass) of all stars belonging to the Andromeda Galaxy it turned too fast. In order to be clear, have a look at this merry-go-round. It turns at the right speed. But if it would turn ten times faster, the little chairs with the kids would first be horizontal and some seconds or minutes later the chains would break. Same for the outer stars of Andromeda. At the measured merry go round speed the galaxy should disintegrate!

The center of all those galaxies behaves in accordance with the laws of gravitation, see Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. The problem is thus only with the outer portion who does not fit in.

To make it simple (that's my specialty) there are two solutions: Einstein's law of gravitation has to be modified - because only partially correct - or some extra weight has to be added to those galaxies so as to make them behave as they should.

Thus the theory of the black matter has been invented. And as time goes by, the theory of the black matter turns into a fact. Right now, the black invisible stuff is staple food for 99,9 percent of all astronomers. And it should be said that the black matter has one big advantage: no need to tamper with Albert Einstein's findings. And that's important because he is something like a God of Science.

Cast doubt on Holy Albert's theory? Forget it. Let's better gorge those galaxies with some extra weight - in fact about 95 percent, to be added to the 5 percent of conventional matter we know - and the scientists can avoid to rock the boat, to create fuss, avoid the shit to hit the fan, to be considered a lame brain half-wit.

That is the spiral galaxy M81. I suppose this one, too, turns too fast but what a beauty. And here, last not least, is our advent wreath, made by my wife to hang above the chimney till year's end. A home-made galaxy.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Blogging and living

Already one month since my last post. But there is trouble in the air. It started in early September. At around 5.30 pm the internet disconnects and revival is around 8.30 am next day. Naturally, I complained at the Call Center but these peple don't seem bother, I could have "pissé dans un violon", could have pissed into a violin. They don't care as long as I keep paying my dues.

I might change the internet provider though this means my email address changes, too. The very near future will tell.

Instead of blogging I was working hard to construct a new gate and finally installed the thing. The installation alone took me one day from morning to evening. I am dedicated and enthusiastic but only moderately gifted.

This gate installed and being quite high, it might discourage people to jump over it within the framework of their municipal duties. This happened from time to time with the old gate; like the water metering man. The guy who looks at the water gauge in the garden and writes down how much we consumed during the year and how much we have to pay............

And that's not all. Our garden is gently inclined everywhere. In fact the place constitutes the ultimate proof that planet Earth is not flat but round. Come here and have a look and be convinced. Thus I decided to create at least one flat spot for a pleasant summer breakfast or dinner under three spreading birch trees.

Thus I started a week ago to flatten a circle of about 4 m (15 feet) diameter. Big job, it needed about 3 or 4 cubic meter (about 106 to 143 cubic feet according to Wiki and Google). Then, on top of this, I took grass from other parts of the garden to plant it on this food intake and friendship gathering spot . Thus it will be operational when heavy sunshine is back again, somewhere next year.

There is another project in the making. Have a look at this work bench. I bought the drawings in the USA (the economy is humming again thanks to guys like me) and now I am busy trying to understand the stuff and computing those inches into centimeters and millimeters. The wood is already ordered as well as a planing-surfacing machine and some special router dips. Last not least I bought an INCRA T-rule, from the USA as well (the $ is down, the € is up, thank you). All this will keep me busy during winter when the sun is shining exclusively on the upper side of the clouds.

All this to explain why I was not very assiduous on the blogging front. One post every fortnight, that should be cruise speed. Subject no object. The next post might be about science, astronomy and intellectual honesty. Could be some of my esteemed reader would prefer this to router dips and planing machines. Though, let me insist, there is not very much that gives so much pleasure as the achievement of beautiful precise woodworking. Nobody should miss this.