28 February 2010

Counterexamples to Relativity, according to Conservapedia

Taken from Recursivity: It Must be Tough to be a Schlafly

A stupid web site, called "Conservapedia", states:

The theory of relativity is a mathematical system that allows no exceptions. It is heavily promoted by liberals who like its encouragement of relativism and its tendency to mislead people in how they view the world. Here is a list of counterexamples, and if only one of these is true, then the theory fails:
9. The action-at-a-distance by Jesus, described in John 4:46-54.

No, this is not a joke. They actually say that Relativity is wrong because of what Jesus allegedly did! This is ridiculous, to say the least. The moron who started this Conservapedia is a lawer callled Andrew Schlafly, who wanted to write an encyclopedia based on Christian conservative principles. A quick look into this gem of a web site will convince you that the project is nonsense. These kind of people are dangerous. We need to tell them so.

23 February 2010

Optimism à la Camus

In his Nobel prize"Conférence du 14 Décembre 1957", given at the University of Uppsala, Albert Camus, referring to a 19th c. American writer, said:
Tant qu'un homme reste fidèle à lui même, tout abonde dans son sens, gouvernement, société, le soleil même, la lune et les étoiles.
As long as a man even remains sincere to himself, all abounds in his sense, government, society, even the sun, the moon and the stars.
And added that this optimism seems to be dead today.

One wonders why...

18 February 2010

Ridiculous expression

I read that a certain university offered an honorary title to a certain mathematician for his
"outstanding scientific research activity and his achievements in a scientific field of mathematics"
This is a translation from the Greek text (the particular phrase appears in yellow here) which itself contains silly grammatical (circled in red) and syntactical errors.

One wonders therefore: the above implicitly implies that the "fields of mathematics" are classified into "scientific" (for which the award was given) and "non-scientific" (for which, presumably, no award will ever be given).

The question is: What are the non-scientific fields of mathematics?

14 February 2010

From 10-35 to 1027

  1. A very nice zoom-in/zoom-out gadget showing, in a nutshell, what's in the universe at all scales, from the size of the universe itself down to Planck's length. Click here and then on "play" (from 1027 to 10-35).
  2. This one is specific for biological objects (from 10-2 to 10-12).
  3. And here is a zoom-in into Mandelbrot's set 10214 times (this is more exponents than in 1. and 2. above).

(All taken from a Nadder!)

2 February 2010

We pay £20 million for the Pope's visit

The Pope is going to visit the UK and charge us 20 million pounds in order to tell us that
  • the British equality legislation is running contrary to "natural law", and that
  • it creates "unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs".
The National Secular Society is right to not want to welcome the Pope to the UK.

If Mr Ratzinger wanted to act as a Christian, he should, now, cancel his visit to the UK and tell the UK to give the 20 million pounds to the poor. But, surely, he won't: For him, it is more important to promote his organization (as it was for Mother Teresa) than help people.

But, hang on a minute... Remember how, in the summer of 2008, the Pope's visit to Sydney resulted in an increase in business for the city's brothels, strip clubs and prostitutes? Perhaps the UK economy could benefit from the sex drive of the Pope's devotees. Well, it would take an awful lot of visits to London's brothels to make up for the 20 million pounds tax payers will have to pay, but you never know...

1 February 2010

Recursivity: Portrait of a Jihadist

Recursivity: Portrait of a Jihadist

Jeff Shallit points out a very interesting story:

Andrea Elliott in the New York Times has this troubling story about Omar Hammami, a college boy turned Muslim extremist. It's definitely worth reading.
Clearly the path that took Hammami from Alabama, where he was raided, to Somalia, where he leads a rebel movement, is complicated and formed from multiple incidents in his life. But it is interesting to see the role played by religion, and in particular, Christianity. The rest of the post here.

Religious signs on guns

This is hilarious! (Thanks Alex for pointing this out to me!)

A certain US gun manufacturing company, Trijicon, founded by a devout Christian, produces weapons marked with religious markings such as "2COR4:6" and "JN8:12", relating to verses in the books of II Corinthians and John. The rest of the story here.

The company has a morality statement on its website: "We believe that America is great when its people are good. This goodness has been based on biblical standards throughout our history and we will strive to follow those morals."

Oh yes, by the way, the markings are in the gunsights, so that soldiers can look at the Christian messages every time they blow the brains out of someone.

First-class morality!


What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant