Yes, that’s what I’ve been thinking. Seems like Nietzsche had it figured out, too. Maybe Carl Sagan.
Though it may be presumptuous to think that aliens use radio signals. I’d try neutrinos.
I have a follow-up question: Is there more coming?
Maybe whatever catapulted this object toward our sun, flung other objects our way, as well.
Are we looking for more objects coming from the same direction?
And, I hate to bring this up, but wasn’t there a doomsday prediction recently that some planet was going to pop out of nowhere and hit Earth? Quite a coincidence, I’d say.
In one part of Death Valley, it has been a mystery for some time as to how heavy boulders move across the desert, leaving a trail in the desert floor behind them.
That mystery has now been solved. It turns out that thin ponds of ice water forms to allow the rocks to slide across ice when blown by the wind.
The reason I’m posting this is that I found one part of the story rather humorous. The researchers installed a weather station and put GPS equipment on rocks. They brought in their own rocks because:
(The National Park Service would not let them use native rocks, so they brought in similar rocks from an outside source.)
Yes, we wouldn’t to interfere with the native rocks! Credit to researchers for believing that similar rocks would do the trick.
Here’s a great post from Matt Ridley on the conventional, but wrong, wisdom of low-fat diets. He writes:
There is a strong possibility that the “diabesity” epidemic has been caused largely by the diet police themselves.
The chief source of the anti-saturated-fat message was a politically astute scientist named Ancel Keys. In 1961 he persuaded the American Heart Association to issue guidelines on saturated fat intake. The main evidence came from his study of heart disease in six countries in Europe plus Japan, from which he concluded that low-fat diets led to less heart disease.
…the fat effect was weak: an order of magnitude less than the effect of cigarettes on cancer, for example.
Ridley’s writing here is based on the work of Nina Tiecholz, which I wrote about here and appears to be nearly identical to the work that Gary Taubes did in his books, who I’ve written about before, as well.
This from Ridley’s post is also interesting:
In the past ten years, study after rigorous study has found that animal fat per se is not harmful, does not cause obesity, does not raise the kinds of cholesterol that predict heart attacks, does not increase death rate and is healthier than carbohydrates. For instance, one two-year trial in Israel found that a fat-and-meat “Atkins” diet lowered weight more than either a low-fat or a Mediterranean diet. As Teicholz puts it in her book: “Every plank in the case against saturated fat has, upon rigorous examination, crumbled away.”
Such findings remain too heretical for most diet experts. Those who make them struggle for years to get published and have to couch their findings in cautious language. Those such as Teicholz and Gary Taubes who write books pointing out that this fat emperor had no clothes are treated as pariahs. If anything, the official committees of the diet police are doubling down, demanding that we eat ever less saturated fat.
If you are at all interested in losing weight, Gary Taubes’ books are worth a read.
Mark Perry links to three examples of how the market is the best regulator and our best friend (though, admittedly, the kind of friend many people like to dump on).
Chris Berg explains why Capitalism is Awesome (HT: EconLog‘s Alberto Mingardi). Worth a read. It’s not the necessarily the Facebooks and the Apples, but the guys trying to make a better shelf.
A short video of Jim Buchanan on the illusion of the public interest (HT: Cafe Hayek‘s Don Boudreaux):
I yawned when I read this. Did you?
I’ve asked several times on this blog why light has a speed. Here’s one example.
I’ve also wondered if the speed of light might have changed over time.
This science article discusses two studies that say maybe to the second question. One of those studies appears to have a similar view as mine as to why there is a speed of light. I found this interesting:
The second paper proposes a different mechanism but comes to the same conclusion that light speed changes. In that case, Gerd Leuchs and Luis Sánchez-Soto, from the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Light in Erlangen, Germany, say that the number of species of elementary particle that exist in the universe may be what makes the speed of light what it is.
Leuchs and Sanchez-Soto say that there should be, by their calculations, on the order of 100 “species” of particle that have charges. The current law governing particle physics, the Standard Model, identifies nine: the electron, muon, tauon, the six kinds of quark, photons and the W-boson.
We know that the speed of light changes in different mediums. For example, it slows down when it travels through water or air vs. a vacuum, which is what gives us refraction. I’m not sure we know why this happens either.
I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I think the speed of light could be the fastest rate at which the fabric of this reality* can change states. In a vacuum, that’s pretty fast. When matter is around, that’s slower.
Matter and a vacuum is made of the same stuff, just in different states. When that stuff is in the state that produces matter (which I think may just be several pieces of the fabric interacting, which also affects other pieces of it –warping space-time — producing gravity), the rate at which the fabric can change states slows down. That may also be why matter can’t travel at the speed of light. Since the fabric has a slower change rate with matter than with no matter, there’s no way that the matter itself could go at the fastest rate of change of no matter.
I think it’s possible that light isn’t traveling at all. Rather, it’s just an energy state that is propagated through the fabric. Think of the energy waves that propagate out in the water from a rock being tossed in a pond. The water doesn’t flow away from the rock. The water is just the fabric that propagates the energy. The water in one spot of the pond is the same water as it was before and after the wave comes through, it just changed states for moment.
I know…sounds crazy. Notice, I use ‘could’ or ‘maybe’ a lot. But, given that nobody else has explained why light has a speed, I thought I’d give it a shot.
I know this will sound crazier, but this rate of change of the fabric reality is time. Without there being some impedance to that rate of change, there would be no time.
*I don’t know what the fabric of this reality is. Einstein called it space-time. I tend to think of it like string theorists — little bands of energy (or particles) that interact with one another and can change states. It seems they could be interacting with one another in the dimensions we can perceive and in dimensions that we cannot.
Think of an image on the TV (which, btw, the pixels in the TV have a max refresh rate that could be similar to the max state change rate). If the objects on the TV were self-aware, they may be able to sense their own 2D fabric, but not the third dimension from which the signal travels that tells each piece of the 2D fabric which state to be.
From this article about co-habitating black holes:
“If there really are tons of black holes in there, then my old theory is completely toast,” says astrophysicist Steinn Sigurdsson of Pennsylvania State University. “This is a really nice piece of work.”
…someone who seems delighted with prospect of being wrong.