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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

And the Answer Is: 42 - Prime Numbers and Quantum Physics

Marcus du Sautoy in "Prime Numbers Get Hitched" at Seed Magazine has a seminal article via digg concerning the seemingly unlikely connection between the prime numbers of mathematics and quantum physics. Du Sautoy compares the recent possible breakthrough to that made by Einstein:

"In 1972, the physicist Freeman Dyson wrote an article called "Missed Opportunities." In it, he describes how relativity could have been discovered many years before Einstein announced his findings if mathematicians in places like Göttingen had spoken to physicists who were poring over Maxwell's equations describing electromagnetism. The ingredients were there in 1865 to make the breakthrough—only announced by Einstein some 40 years later.

It is striking that Dyson should have written about scientific ships passing in the night. Shortly after he published the piece, he was responsible for an abrupt collision between physics and mathematics that produced one of the most remarkable scientific ideas of the last half century: that quantum physics and prime numbers are inextricably linked.

This unexpected connection with physics has given us a glimpse of the mathematics that might, ultimately, reveal the secret of these enigmatic numbers. At first the link seemed rather tenuous. But the important role played by the number 42 has recently persuaded even the deepest skeptics that the subatomic world might hold the key to one of the greatest unsolved problems in mathematics."

Go to Seed Magazine for the rest of the story....

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Einstein as a "Prophet of God"

Recent world events involving caricatures and religiously-motivated attacks on free speech merely validate the ancient wisdom that "the pen is mightier than the sword", any sword. Tyrants and fascist religions and institutions have never understood this wisdom and even in our modern age continue to think that the sword is mightier, even though their own reaction to the power of the pen proves the contrary.

Drawing the Line has an informative posting on political cartoons and relates an interesting story from America in this regard:

"In perhaps the best known example of the force of the political cartoon, Thomas Nast’s images in Harper’s Weekly played an important role in the overthrow of the Tweed Ring in 1870s New York City. An exasperated Boss Tweed is recorded to have demanded of his henchmen, “Stop them damn pictures. I don’t care so much what the papers write about me. My constituents can’t read. But, damn it, they can see pictures.”"

We think that free speech is not limitless and that there should be some limits on caricature (e.g. caricature which functions as libel and defamation), but there is obviously no reason that certain historical figures should be exempted from cartoon portrayal. Indeed, no historical figure is viewed uniformly by all of humanity, and no segment of humanity has the right to instruct other humans as to how to view some personage, even an alleged prophet.

In our view, the most recent "Prophet of God" was Albert Einstein, who showed us how the universe works, and yet, caricatures of Einstein are widespread without in any way detracting from his "message". There is one difference. Einstein's message is true. That is why certain nations, rather than to rely on the antiquated messages of their own alleged prophets, are attempting to gain nuclear weapons, whose construction is based on Einstein's message.

In any case, one of the reasons that blogging has become such an important part of the media scene is precisely because it is an exercise of the "power of the pen".

When just a few cartoons can provoke world-wide reaction far out of proportion to the cost of the ink and the paper used for publication, the power of the pen has been aptly proven.
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Friday, January 13, 2006

Einstein's Alleged Puzzle

Coudal Partners has the folowing puzzle up, attributed to Albert Einstein, who allegedly said that 98% of the people in the world could not figure it out.

Here is the puzzle:

"There are five houses in a row in different colors. In each house lives a person with a different nationality. The five owners drink a different drink, smoke a different brand of cigar and keep a different pet, one of which is a Walleye Pike [a fish].
The question is-- who owns the fish?
Hints:
1. The Brit lives in the red house.
2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
3. The Dane drinks tea.
4. The green house is on the left of the white house.
5. The green house owner drinks coffee.
6. The person who smokes Pall Malls keeps birds.
7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhills.
8. The man living in the house right in the center drinks milk.
9. The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
10. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
11. The man who keeps horses lives next to the one who smokes Dunhills.
12. The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer.
13. The German smokes Princes.
14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
15. The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water
."

The way to solve the puzzle is to put down five squares (as houses) on a piece of paper horizontally next to each other and then - below each house - to enter the information as it is solved below each house, as taken from the above statements. Also make a list of numbers from 1 to 15 and strike a number if you use the information in it. That way, you will have fewer and fewer statements to consider for solution.

The trick to solving the puzzle is at each step, in the course of solving the puzzle, to find the one statement of the 15 statements that allows information to be entered based on that statement and also based on the information already available on the house grid of five houses.

Here is the order of the statements to be followed for solution. They are listed here in backward order (!) and without separating spaces (this will make it difficult to cheat by looking here unless you specifically choose to cheat: 962133121511715414108. The solution is ours and has not been picked up from any other source.

See the final solution at Coudal here.

Via Digital: Ex Post.
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Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1 :
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
,
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2 :
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    ,
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.

    -----

    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically
    in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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