Physics with Detective Conan

June 28, 2009

This is the nth edition of *drum rolls* Pop Quizz! A quizz in which the answers are not obvious and if it is obvious, and you get it wrong, you are rebuked at!!!

Occasionally, I will occasionally ask a question, and the reader will answer them! Sometimes, a wrong answer won’t invite rage, some really obvious one will, and you will be called an idiot if you can’t answer the obvious one. ^_^

Today’s problem comes from a really popular anime called Detective Conan (Case Closed in America). These days, I have been watching too much of it. I just watched over 200 episodes, in fact, which explains my absence. ^_^ Basically, it is about a teenage detective who shrinks into a kid after he was given a poison when he was discovered meddling in the affairs of a criminal syndicate. Since no one takes him seriously as a kid, he has to use an incompetent detective to solve various crimes via a sleeping dart and voice changer. Yeah, I know, it is pure fantasy. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sunspot: Digitally Remastered

June 23, 2009

I swear, why don’t I get a hold of these things sooner?

This time, I almost missed a very cool simulation of a sunspot, which is pretty and an amazing accomplishment. According to the badastronomer, it is an amazing accomplishment because magnetic fields are really complex, and so modeling is difficult. Heck, I find electiricity and magnetism of undergrad level complex enough. Some of you ask, what does magnetism have to do with sunspot? Well, tangled magnetic fields from the sun causes sunspot. And it is linked to various violent activities on the sun, like flares and huge outbursts of particles called coronal mass ejection. Anyways, here are the very cool pics:


Plus, there are other pics and videos here.

Err… Another Carnival of Space

June 23, 2009

This time is number 108. How many have I skipped? That just shows how unreliable I am. ^_^ I hope you enjoy the various articles, hosted by a really good blog.

Anyways, this one is solstice edition. For those of you who don’t know, it is the time when the sun is at its highest or lowest point in the sky. In this case, it is the summer solstice, meaning the highest (in the North hemisphere). It happens because Earth is tilted and it means that at some point, one hemisphere will be leaned away from the sun, while another hemisphere will lean towards it.  Meaning, it is the middle of summer, NOT the first day of summer as the rest of US believe it to be. Anyways, it happened at 21 of June, and while it is a bit late… Happy solstice! ^_^

Good Times at Astronomy Club Meeting

June 15, 2009

Update below

Which was 2 weeks ago. Yeah yeah, I have been getting quiet lazy.  Anyways, it was a dinner meeting, which meant eating at a fancy restaurant at Delaware Park. How fancy, you ask? Judge for yourself:

Fancy room, eh?

P5190268 Read the rest of this entry »

Simon Singh V. British Chiropratic Association (BCA)

June 4, 2009

You might be wondering, what is that new banner of “keep libel law out of science”? Well, I will explain. Anyone who have looked at my previous posts knows that I care deeply about reality and science’s position, especially since it can do out lives a whole lot of good (or bad, if in the hands of evil). Well, in this case, Simon Singh has been sued for libel when he criticized the chiropratic association for being a bunch of baloney (well, he didn’t put it this way, but you get the general idea ^_^), which I showed and linked in this multi layered rant. Well, his initial ruling didn’t go well, but he is appealing, plus, he has the support of a whole lot of people.

Also, JREF has this to say:

We at the JREF support Simon in his quest for justice. It’s clear from his writing that his intent was not to claim that the BCA knowingly commits acts of fraud, but that the BCA is nonetheless incorrect in their claims of the efficacy of chiropractic. Simon is, of course, correct. Furthermore, the ruling, as it stands, would produce a chilling effect on the ability of journalists to question the claims of anyone, including pseudoscientists. Whatever path Simon chooses over this issue, the JREF will be there, and to the best of our ability we’ll have his back.

 As you can see, this is very important. If this ruling passes, then a precedent would be created in which any criticism in the media can be taken as libel, including criticism on bad medicine, which makes this a science issue. Taking a position in an issue in medicine should be based on hard science, based on evidence and tough peer reviewed standards in scientific journals, not the guts and feelings of some random people claiming to be doctors, or in this case, dumb court decisions. I mean really, what is this “energy” that some of those bogus doctors claim? It seems like it has no specific property except  that it permeates everywhere and it keeps your body going. Physics defines it as something that allows objects to move, but to them, it is something that can excuse their brand of idea that they want it to be true. Usually, you can tell something is bogus by the way they just come up with some phenomena that is not specific in its effect and seems unprovable. Even if they genuinely believe it, it doesn’t mean it isn’t made up, because it is.

In the end, if you can’t give evidence for the efficacy of some treatment, then too bad. That is reality, and don’t go around touting it off as if it were an actual treatment.

A Triple Dose of Oprah Woo, Warning: It Might Destroy Brain Cells

June 3, 2009

I don’t like Oprah. And if you looked at a previous post of mine, I think she has no redeeming quality. Sure, she helped out a few people. But when she endorsed Jenny McCarthy, leading antivax celebrity figure, which I am holding her partly responsible for the partial resurgence of some diseases that were supposed to be long gone. Unfortunately, the mainstream media hadn’t made this easy at all. Not only is Oprah one of the queen hive overlord of the media, no one else dared to question her particular brand of idiocy. The credulous media and general population just sat there like a bunch of drones sucking up to her. Well, in the case of general population, it depends on the group of people, of course. But in the case of the media, well, it did not stay quiet anymore. Finally, there is one that is willing to look at Oprah in a magnifying glass, burning away her layer of popularity and examine what she is claiming. Newsweek, you just gained my admiration. And trust me, that is not something I really have said ever before, except once or twice or thrice in my life. Indeed, when I read about this, I thought I was dreaming a place where all of my hopes and aspirations came true, where everything was flowers and butterflies, and that there were unlimited supplies of chocolate, apple pies, and cheesecakes. Either that, or the apocalypse had come. Now, if the rest of the credulous media followed… But if they would have, the Death Star would have destroyed the Earth, leaving only Earth dust behind.

In the end, there is one message, from Newsweek that I would like to leave behind:

At some point, it would seem, people will stop looking to Oprah for this kind of guidance. This will never happen. Oprah’s audience admires her as much for her failings as her successes. In real life, she has almost nothing in common with most of her viewers. She is an unapproachable billionaire with a private jet and homes around the country who hangs out with movie stars. She is not married and has no children. But television Oprah is a different person. She somehow manages to make herself believable as a down-to-earth everywoman. She is your girlfriend who struggles to control her weight and balance her work and personal life, just like you. When she recently related the story of how humiliated she felt when she arrived for a photo shoot to find that she couldn’t fit into the clothes she was supposed to wear, she knew she had every member of the audience in her hand. Oprah’s show is all about second and third and fourth chances to fix your life, and the promise that the next new thing to come along will be the one that finally works.

Hat tip: respectful insolence

E3 Game Convention: Lots of New Stuffs!

June 3, 2009

Wow, lots of gaming news this week! It is E3, which means the game companies will be displaying their next products. A lot of stuffs came out with the conference, including XBox’s interactive new camera, PlayStation’s camera/wand, and a show of Wii’s motion +.  Plus, they announced tons of new games. Too bad my Wii got stolen… Must… Kill… That… Person… *Drool* Anyways,  they showed things like Peter Molyneux’s interactive person using the XBox interactive camera, displayed new games like Mario Galaxy 2 and a new Metroid, and etc etc etc. Also, Miyamoto gives away a lliiiittttllleee sneak peek on the next Zelda, and they also announced Golden Sun, one of my favorite RPGs!

In celebration, here is my favorite Golden Sun soundtrack:

For this week, I am a happy gamer, until reality sets over me that someone stole my Wii and I go sulking again.