Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Day The World Changed

November 22, 1963 was the day President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dealey Plaza at downtown Dallas, Texas. Today marks the 51st anniversary. There was a time when most Americans knew what happened on the date, but it seems to be slipping into the past and not so many readily recall it anymore. When they do, it brings up scenarios of conspiracies and somehow, a collective guilt that encompassed not only the city of Dallas, but the state of Texas and conservatism in general. JFK was, after all, a democrat. But that was back in the day when democrats were, well, patriotic.

They nabbed a guy named Lee Harvey Oswald for killing the President as well as a cop named Tippit in South Oak Cliff on the same day. Oswald was hiding in a movie theater but someone had seen him enter and called the cops. Oswald said he didn't shoot anybody and claimed he was a patsy. We never got to find out for sure because two days later, while being transferred from police headquarters in downtown Dallas to the county jail, he was shot and mortally wounded by a shady character with mob connections by the name of Jack Ruby in full view of live television cameras.

I was just a kid at the time, but I remember thinking it was a crime committed in order to cover another crime. So Ruby shot and killed Oswald because he was upset about Kennedy being murdered. That's what the media said. Well, okay, sure, that makes sense. I guess.

Despite the Warren Commission's findings in 1964 that Oswald acted alone, the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in 1974 that there had indeed been a conspiracy but nothing ever came of it. Don't believe me? Go read some books.

John Kennedy most likely stirred up the wrong people, powerful people in high places. likely connected to both the criminal world and national security agencies. It was hard to believe then and it's hard to believe now. All the same, Kennedy's brother, Robert, the Attorney General, was murdered five years later as he was campaigning for President.

Oh, what a tangled web. By now (2014), it doesn't take a professional conspiracy analyst to see that Kennedy was murdered by a group of powerful conspirators. The thing is, big things are still going on before our very eyes to the point where the media should be asking the public, "Who are you going to believe, us or your lying eyes?"

In any case, rest easy, John and brother Robert. You boys apparently tangled with the wrong folks.

By the way, I've read mucho plenty books about the assassination and during the course of checking a few facts for this article, I used Wikipedia and discovered what appears to be a striking bias towards the lone gunman theory in all references. That's not only unfair, it is inaccurate, but it goes to show the direction Wikipedia is headed. The internet is slowly going the way of the mainstream media where truth is often distorted and sometimes buried altogether.

Edit: I watched a video series this week entitled "The Men Who Killed Kennedy." I highly recommend it to you truth seekers out there.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Vidkun and Adolf, hanging out.
Quisling is a noun, defined as a person who betrays his or her own country by aiding an invading enemy, often serving later in a puppet government; fifth columnist. The word comes from Vidkun Quisling (1887-1945), who was a pro-Nazi Norwegian leader. Quisling was tried and executed by firing squad after the war. By extension, quisling means "traitor."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Learning About Life Through The Movies

I wish I had seen the American Pie movies when I was growing up. They would have explained a lot. Shoot, they would have explained everything, all the sexual mysteries a blooming teen could imagine. I'm not saying those movies are any great works of art, but I am saying they portray the pursuit of youthful sexual encounters in an entertaining and even educational way. Who says all today's entertainment is meaningless?

Anyway, admittedly, I was in the dark about all that business. I remember being shocked in the ninth grade to learn that babies did not emerge from belly buttons at the end of term. Come to think of it, I wouldn't be terribly surprised now to learn some thirteen year olds back then still believed babies arrived by stork. Not so these days and it's my opinion we have the American Pie movies to thank for it.

I mean, my parents told me next to nothing. I got my fist glimpse at the nude female form from National Geographic and Encyclopedia Brittanica photos of classical artwork. I recall many a pleasant afternoon behind a locked bathroom door perusing articles on the tribes of New Guinea and glancing through biographies of the sculptors of ancient Greece. Some might say it made me a pervert. I say it gave me a lasting interest in classical art and philosophy.

The American Pie (AP) movies detail the separate paths of a handful of young men in their pursuit of love, friendship, and knowledge of their own mortality (which is what the deeper archetypes of sexual awareness is supposed to be about). In the biological narrative, they're all looking to mate. They want to do it because they've heard it's great, because it gives them status among their peer group, it marks new territory along the timeline of human experience. Among hippies, it's akin to dropping acid for the first time. "Oh man, you haven't dropped acid? You're really in for a mind-blowing trip!" Sex is like that for a first timer. And American Pie is full of first timers.

Additionally, it's not all about the guys. It's for the girls too. Our hero, a nice Jewish boy, finally hooks up with the love of his life and oddly, even strangely, it is she who already knows all the mysteries and is able to introduce him to this new consciousness. Most of the girls in the AP movies seem to already know, whether by intuition or the sheer luck of having a mother who was capable of communicating the old mysteries to the next generation without the accompanying paralysis that comes with the recognition that we've all got this equipment below the belt. Even mom and dad.

The American Pie series deals with both sides of the issue, that is, male and female, and never fails to show that people are as varied and confused and unsure of themselves as a Baptist bull-rider at Billy Bob's. The later American Pie flicks even threw in some gay characters and tried to instruct us to be tolerant of some forms of deviant behavior. There's lots of opportunity to explore what is usually considered to be material that is too dark or too edgy for public consumption. Like the youthful exploration of pornography.

Hey! Internet pornography is big! Like you didn't already know, right? I tried to look up some statistics to put in here, but there was too much variation -- like some sources had a moral ax to grind and others seemed slightly under-whelming in their analysis. In any case, the numbers were big! Billions of dollars spent and millions of people participating. American Pie deals with all that by casting a likeable, moral Jewish boy as the central character and showing us that even he uses pornography as a... what's a polite way to put this? a release?

So, AP goes beyond the mere search for a life mate, the AP movies also delve into associated areas most often deemed too impolite for public discussion. They get away with it because they wrap it all up in humorous situations. And they are humorous because they make me laugh.

The American Pie movies may be classified as sexploitation films; however, I wouldn't agree with that. I would agree that they are great instruction films -- oh, maybe not in a precisely technical way -- but in a manner that practically anybody can watch and relate. I'll bet you this: if you're an average person, like me, there will be at least one situation (probably more) that will present a moment of embarrassment for you. Somewhere in one of those AP movies, you'll think to yourself, wow, I've always thought that too.

I wouldn't necessarily suggest watching these movies with your kids but I would recommend watching them with your significant other (and I hope you two are comfortable enough with one another). Maybe when your kids are old enough and you're too shy to explain the birds and bees, you can give them the video collection for their birthday. I wish my parents had.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Click to enlarge.

Plasma Universe Theory

The Plasma Universe Theory, or Electric Universe Theory, argues that ionized plasma plays a more important role in the universe than is generally accepted. Indeed, as I researched into the ideas behind the theory, I ran across a number of articles claiming to debunk any notion of a cosmology based on the electrical properties of the universe. Upon reading these articles, I failed to see where anything had been debunked at all. The arguments against were mostly written in a condescending tone and failed to clearly address the theory in question. A great many tagged the Electric Universe Theory as pseudoscience but neglected to point out just where the pseudo failed to correlate with the science. I do not endorse the Plasma Cosmology. I don't know. As usual, I bring it up for my readers' interest and edification.

Strictly speaking, there are supposed to be differences between the Plasma Universe Theory and the Electric Universe Theory, but for the life of me, I couldn't see any difference, so I'll refer to them both as the same thing. Those of you who are better versed in the two, please feel free to leave a comment below the article.

The Electric Universe Theory offers explanations of various natural and astrophysical phenomena, some of which it claims are better understood without the need for various ad hoc explanations. As with any theory, the Electric Universe makes predictions that have been tested, and is published in both peer-reviewed papers, and popular books.

The key points in the theory claim that electricity plays a more significant role in the universe than is generally accepted and, furthermore, that the Sun and stars are electrically powered by drift currents (see Electric Sun theory). Because of axial rotation, both solar systems and nebulae can be viewed as giant generators.

In the 1960s, the theory behind plasma cosmology was introduced by Hannes Alfvén, Oskar Klein and Carl-Gunne Fälthammar, and Alfvén's 1966 book Worlds-Antiworlds. Klein in 1971 extended Alfvén's Worlds-Antiworlds proposals and developed the "Alfvén-Klein model" of the universe, or metagalaxy, an earlier term to distinguish between the universe and the Milky Way galaxy. In this Alfvén-Klein cosmology, sometimes called Klein-Alfvén cosmology, the universe is made up of equal amounts of matter and antimatter with the boundaries between the regions of matter and antimatter being delineated by cosmic electromagnetic fields formed by double layers, thin regions comprising two parallel layers with opposite electrical charge. Interaction between these boundary regions would generate radiation, and this would form the plasma. Alfvén introduced the term ambiplasma for a plasma made up of matter and antimatter and the double layers are thus formed of ambiplasma. According to Alfvén, such an ambiplasma would be relatively long-lived as the component particles and antiparticles would be too hot and too low-density to annihilate each other rapidly. The double layers will act to repel clouds of opposite type, but combine clouds of the same type, creating ever-larger regions of matter and antimatter. The idea of ambiplasma was developed further into the forms of heavy ambiplasma (protons-antiprotons) and light ambiplasma (electrons-positrons).

Electric Model.
Alfvén-Klein cosmology was proposed in part to explain the observed baryon asymmetry in the universe, starting from an initial condition of exact symmetry between matter and antimatter. According to Alfvén and Klein, ambiplasma would naturally form pockets of matter and pockets of antimatter that would expand outwards as annihilation between matter and antimatter occurred in the double layer at the boundaries. They concluded that we must just happen to live in one of the pockets that was mostly baryons rather than antibaryons, explaining the baryon asymmetry. The pockets, or bubbles, of matter or antimatter would expand because of annihilations at the boundaries, which Alfvén considered as a possible explanation for the observed expansion of the universe, which would be merely a local phase of a much larger history. Alfvén postulated that the universe has always existed due to causality arguments and the rejection of ex nihilo models, such as the Big Bang, as a stealth form of creationism. The exploding double layer was also suggested by Alfvén as a possible mechanism for the generation of cosmic rays, x-ray bursts and gamma-ray bursts.

In 1993, theoretical cosmologist Jim Peebles criticized Alfvén-Klein cosmology, writing that "there is no way that the results can be consistent with the isotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation and X-ray backgrounds". In his book he also showed that Alfvén's models do not predict Hubble's law, the abundance of light elements, or the existence of the cosmic microwave background. A further difficulty with the ambiplasma model is that matter–antimatter annihilation results in the production of high energy photons, which are not observed in the amounts predicted. While it is possible that the local "matter-dominated" cell is simply larger than the observable universe, this proposition does not lend itself to observational tests.

Alfvén argued that plasma played an important if not dominant role in the universe because electromagnetic forces are far more important than gravity when acting on interplanetary and interstellar charged particles. He further hypothesized that Birkeland currents (here meaning currents in space plasmas which are aligned with magnetic field lines) were responsible for many filamentary structures and that a galactic magnetic field and associated current sheet, with an estimated galactic current of 1017 to 1019 amperes, might promote the contraction of interstellar clouds and may even constitute the main mechanism for contraction, initiating star formation. The current standard view is that magnetic fields can hinder collapse, that large-scale Birkeland currents have not been observed, and that the length scale for charge neutrality is predicted to be far smaller than the relevant cosmological scales.

Fusion Model.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Alfvén and Anthony Peratt, a plasma physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, outlined a program they called the "plasma universe". In plasma universe proposals, various plasma physics phenomena were associated with astrophysical observations and were used to explain extant mysteries and problems outstanding in astrophysics in the 1980s and 1990s. In various venues, Peratt profiled what he characterized as an alternative viewpoint to the mainstream models applied in astrophysics and cosmology.

For example, Peratt proposed that the mainstream approach to galactic dynamics which relied on gravitational modeling of stars and gas in galaxies with the addition of dark matter was overlooking a possibly major contribution from plasma physics. He mentions laboratory experiments of Winston H. Bostick in the 1950s that created plasma discharges that looked like galaxies. Perrat conducted computer simulations of colliding plasma clouds that he reported also mimicked the shape of galaxies. Peratt proposed that galaxies formed due to plasma filaments joining in a z-pinch, the filaments starting 300,000 light years apart and carrying Birkeland currents of 1018 Amps. Peratt also reported simulations he did showing emerging jets of material from the central buffer region that he compared to quasars and active galactic nuclei occurring without super-massive black holes. Peratt proposed a sequence for galaxy evolution: "the transition of double radio galaxies to radioquasars to radioquiet QSO's to peculiar and Seyfert galaxies, finally ending in spiral galaxies". He also reported that flat galaxy rotation curves were simulated without dark matter. At the same time Eric Lerner, an independent plasma researcher and supporter of Peratt's ideas, proposed a plasma model for quasars based on a dense plasma focus.

As an IEEE fellow of the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society and guest editor of the journal Transactions on Plasma Science, Peratt supported the publication of a number of special issues dedicated to plasma cosmology, the last one appearing in 2007. Additionally, in 1991, Lerner wrote a popular-level book supporting plasma cosmology titled The Big Bang Never Happened.

Standard astronomical modeling and theories attempt to incorporate all known physics into descriptions and explanations of observed phenomena, with gravity playing a dominant role on the largest scales as well as in celestial mechanics and dynamics. To that end, both Keplerian orbits and Einstein's general theory of relativity are generally used as the underlying frameworks for modeling astrophysical systems and structure formation, while high-energy astronomy and particle physics in cosmology additionally appeal to electromagnetic processes including plasma physics and radiative transfer to explain relatively small scale energetic processes observed in the x-rays and gamma rays. In conventional cosmology, plasma physics is not considered to be the dominant force on most large-scale phenomena, although much of the matter in the universe is thought to be ionized or exist as plasma.

Proponents of plasma cosmology claim electrodynamics is as important as gravity in explaining the structure of the universe, and speculate that it provides an alternative explanation for the evolution of galaxies and the initial collapse of interstellar clouds. In particular plasma cosmology is claimed to provide an alternative explanation for the flat rotation curves of spiral galaxies and to do away with the need for dark matter in galaxies and with the need for super-massive black holes in galaxy centers to power quasars and active galactic nuclei. However, theoretical analysis shows that "many scenarios for the generation of seed magnetic fields, which rely on the survival and sustainability of currents at early times [of the universe are disfavored]", i.e. Birkeland currents of the magnitude needed (1018 amps over scales of megaparsecs) for galaxy formation do not exist. Additionally, many of the issues that were mysterious in the 1980s and 1990s, including discrepancies relating to the cosmic microwave background and the nature of quasars, have been solved with more evidence that, in detail, provides a distance and time scale for the universe. Plasma cosmology supporters therefore dispute the interpretations of evidence for the Big Bang, the time evolution of the cosmos, and even the expanding universe; their proposals are essentially outside anything considered even plausible in mainstream astrophysics and cosmology.

Some of the places where plasma cosmology supporters are most at odds with standard explanations include the need for their models to have light element production without Big Bang nucleosynthesis, which, in the context of Alfvén-Klein cosmology, has been shown to produce excessive x-rays and gamma rays beyond that observed. Plasma cosmology proponents have made further proposals to explain light element abundances, but the attendant issues have not been fully addressed. In 1995 Eric Lerner published his alternative explanation for the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). He argued that his model explained the fidelity of the CMB spectrum to that of a black body and the low level of anisotropies found, even while the level of isotropy at 1:105 is not accounted for to that precision by any alternative models. Additionally, the sensitivity and resolution of the measurement of the CMB anisotropies was greatly advanced by WMAP and the Planck satellite and the statistics of the signal were so in line with the predictions of the Big Bang model, that the CMB has been heralded as a major confirmation of the Big Bang model to the detriment of alternatives. The acoustic peaks in the early universe are fit with high accuracy by the predictions of the Big Bang model, and, to date, there has never been an attempt to explain the detailed spectrum of the anisotropies within the framework of plasma cosmology or any other alternative cosmological model.


Captain Kirk and Spock talk about parsecs all the time. So, what is a parsec anyway? A parsec (pc) is an astronomical unit of length used to measure distances to objects outside the Solar System. One parsec is the distance at which one astronomical unit (one AU = distance from the earth to the sun) subtends an angle of one arcsecond. About 3.26 light-years (31 trillion kilometres or 19 trillion miles) in length, the parsec is shorter than the distance from our solar system to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, which is 1.3 parsecs from the Sun.

Most of the stars visible to the unaided eye in the nighttime sky are within 500 parsecs of the Sun.

The parsec was likely first suggested in 1913 by British astronomer Herbert Hall Turner. Named from an abbreviation of the parallax of one arcsecond, it was defined so as to make calculations of astronomical distances quick and easy for astronomers from only their raw observational data. Partly for this reason, it is still the unit preferred in astronomy and astrophysics, though the light year remains prominent in popular science texts and more everyday usage. Although parsecs are used for the shorter distances within the Milky Way, multiples of parsecs are required for the larger scales in the universe, including kiloparsecs for the more distant objects within and around the Milky Way, megaparsecs for the nearer of other galaxies, and gigaparsecs for many quasars and the most distant galaxies.

In the diagram, S represents the Sun, and E the Earth at some point in its orbit. Thus the distance ES is one astronomical unit (AU). The angle SDE is one arcsecond (1⁄3600 of a degree) so by definition D is a point in space at a distance of one parsec from the Sun. By trigonometry, the distance SD is

Using the small-angle approximation, by which the sine (and, hence, the tangent) of an extremely small angle is essentially equal to the angle itself (in radians),

Because the astronomical unit is defined to be 149597870700 metres, the following can be calculated.

1 parsec ≈ 206264.81 astronomical units
              ≈ 3.0856776×1016 meters
              ≈ 19.173512 trillion miles
              ≈ 3.2615638 light years

A corollary is that 1 parsec is also the distance from which a disc with a diameter of 1 AU must be viewed for it to have an angular diameter of 1 arcsecond (by placing the observer at D and a diameter of the disc on ES).

Distances expressed in fractions of a parsec usually involve objects within a single star system. So, one astronomical unit (au), the distance from the Sun to the Earth, is just under 5×10−6 parsecs. The most distant space probe, Voyager 1, was 0.0006 parsecs from Earth as of May 2013. It took Voyager 35 years to cover that distance. The Oort cloud is estimated to be approximately 0.6 parsecs in diameter

The jet erupting from the active galactic nucleus of M87 is thought to be 1.5 kiloparsecs (4890 light-years) long.

Distances expressed in parsecs (pc) include distances between nearby stars, such as those in the same spiral arm or globular cluster. A distance of 1000 parsecs (3262 light-years) is commonly denoted by the kiloparsec (kpc). Astronomers typically use kiloparsecs to express distances between parts of a galaxy, or within groups of galaxies. So, for example:

-- One parsec is approximately 3.26 light-years.
-- The nearest known star to the Earth, other than the Sun, Proxima Centauri, is 1.30 parsecs (4.24 light-years) away, by direct parallax measurement.
-- The distance to the open cluster Pleiades is 130 ± 10 pc (420 ± 32.6 light-years) from us, per Hipparcos parallax measurement.
-- The centre of the Milky Way is more than 8 kiloparsecs (26000 ly) from the Earth, and the Milky Way is roughly 34 kpc (110000 ly) across.
-- The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is ~780 kpc (~2.5 million light-years) away from the Earth.