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Everything posted by Carlos

  1. A chunk from the description of the "endless universe" theory Creating a new property of entropy is the kind of thing that will tend to open up all sorts of new options, but does leave you with quite a burden of proof.
  2. Ah, Ok, you actually mean it as a physical model, as per Le Sage? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Sage's_theory_of_gravitation
  3. Everywhere else of course. Isn't that a "frame of reference" argument? Which would bring us right back to Einstein and particularly SR again......
  4. A couple of simple substitutions followed by "needless to say this means everything moves at the speed of light" does not fill me with much confidence...... The t&c s also suggest he's willing to spend the money to get the publicity.....
  5. No "thing" can travel faster than light, but some things are not "things" http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/482 More exactly, no information can travel faster than light, but things that do not carry any information can do.
  6. That would imply the universe had infinite energy, the same concept you disliked in the first post.......
  7. This one confuses me...... The forces are balanced in those examples. You sit in the chair, gravity is pulling you downwards, balanced by the chair pushing you upwards, and you do not move. If there were unbalanced forces there would be an acceleration. There is a lot more uncertainty on inertia...... why it exists, "what" it is in philosophical-science terms, but it's role on that site seems to be to pull us back into some acceptance of the aether..... Another interesting question in today's science, but mostly because the background radiation is actually not uniform, but does show some sign of structure.... but that leads us on, as ever in science, to try and figure out why. I did read an interesting conjecture that by finding repeating patterns in the microwave background radiation we could determine the shape of the universe manifold..... slightly complicated by the multi-dimensional distortions (including in time) that would make pattern matching a hard job. But anyhow, no end to the questions and no belief that we had better not look as it might go against Einstein.
  8. The idea that a scientist would not want to upset the orthodoxy seems to come from more of a fundamental religious viewpoint than a scientific one..... I would guess that the number of scientists who would say "well, I can prove Einstein was not quite right with GR, but ah.... no..... that would upset the quasi-religious status quo...... so I had better not...." would be quite low GR is straightforward compared with quantum mechanics, but we seem to manage to use both to the limits of our practical understanding...... the writer seems to be complaining that if something is not easily understood by applying common sense, then it is somehow flawed...... but common sense has it's limits like everything else, and sometimes they are pretty low.
  9. Of course the "it's all a simulation" ala The Matrix also has some theoretical backup behind it..... http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html
  10. We're traveling through time backwards...... we can't see what's coming, only what's past.....
  11. Then you get into things like, "it only seems to have had a beginning because you are looking at it from the inside", and your brain starts coming out your ear.....
  12. Every strict test of general relativity has matched Einstein's equations so far, to the available accuracy, which is pretty remarkable. The limits may be being reached with dark matter and dark energy having to be drafted in, with some people to think those may not actually exist, but are just a fudge needed to make GR work on the intergalatic scale, suggesting a deeper layer of equations might be waiting, in the same way GR overlays Newtonian physics under more extreme conditions. There are plenty of ideas, and no firm ways of narrowing them down at the moment, and I think that is where the appearance of mysticism comes from. Infinite energy/density cannot exist as such, although they might appear to be that, from where we are looking, or from our understanding.....
  13. Free is not going to happen, but the amount of wind/wave/tidal energy produced here locally may end up having some effect on how close we are to the national price in the longer term - certainly would be a different position from the current power station only. Hard to say what will happen in 20,30,40 years of course, as I was reminded yesterday googling for long term energy cost predictions.... and finding one with the highest estimate (3 predictions, high/medium/low) for crude oil at $36 a barrel....... for 2020........from an industry prediction made in....... 2003 Gives you some confidence
  14. An interesting range of papers on various subjects around climate change, presented at an insurance conference. http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/sparc/research/projects/extreme_events/munich_workshop/white_papers.pdf
  15. The Antarctic ice is mostly not floating, but resting on bed rock, which is why it would make such a huge difference it it were all to melt, usually quoted as a sea level rise of 70m - yup, it's a big big volume of ice, and the sea level at the moment is about 130m higher than it was at the peak of the ice age. Luckily in the short term, like the next 100 years, there is not predicted to be rapid melting of the majority of the non-floating antarctic ice, so we would - as best as we can tell at the moment - be limited to a rise of about 1m this century. The most recent evidence in Greenland has all been towards faster melting of the ice than expected though, so I would guess it would run like most climate change predictions, where the estimates get revised upwards http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_rise
  16. I think the more likely "worst case" we will have to worry about is more based on fuel prices. I doubt there are many people who do not expect those to keep rising, and the rises are looking pretty steep from where we are now. Given the Gremista power station setup, Shetland's electricity is pretty expensive, and I can see the electricity companies being less and less willing to subsidise that extra cost as the generating costs rise proportionately more here. If we look 10-20 years ahead and think that UK electricity prices may be 3 times or more what they are just now, unsubsidised prices in Shetland could be much higher, other cost of living increases would affect Shetland disproportionately, and it's not hard to imagine the the population falling at a higher rate than is already predicted. At some point the local economics may well end up bad enough that the people left would be glad to go for any windfarm options they could get, at any "cost"..... and the only difference might be the amount of people left here to see them.
  17. That's the rub...... If the tanks really make it too dangerous for Mareel, then the area needs to be a no go for everybody. An explosion at night with a full Mareel would kill a lot less people than an explosion during the day with the street and all the shops and offices full. Of course that is inconvenient for the SIC< HSE and the Scottish government.....
  18. Another "not a lawyer", but anyhow... When a house site is sold by a land owner on a rented croft, the crofter gets 50% of the sale value of the land. I'm not sure how guaranteed that is, or what it's limits are, but that is the standard procedure. For a while the legal status of hill apportionments was unclear - if you bought the croft, did you actually own the apportionment or not? I understand that the legal weight has now swung behind the "yes you own it" side. These 2 factors together would suggest that selling hill ground would mean the crofters holding shares in that piece of hill getting fairly high percentages of the sale price. But of course, there may be more to it... or some convenient loopholes.....
  19. You have to remember that with any survey, as well as the questions potentially leading us to the "required" answer, the reception that the results get depends on how well they agree with our own views - nothing personal on this one, but there is always a tendency to believe that sensible people would always agree with "my" view if only they had all the information. Opinion surveys give you more information, but it is sometimes hard to tell what the information IS
  20. There's a strong feeling that the existing smaller schools are providing a better education. Would there be support to increase the numbers of schools in Shetland, to cut average pupil numbers for everybody? Should the long term plan be to replace the larger schools with smaller ones?
  21. I got my TV from Ebuyer at the end of last year because of the same thing, Amazon and their shops not wanting to deliver. Panasonic Viera at Ebuyer
  22. I don't think anybody wants to change it, changes are going to be forced on us because we cannot afford to spend as much money as we have been doing. The debate is (hopefully) about how to reduce costs with the minimum overall effect on children's education or other services.
  23. With Ward Hill about 250m high and the turbines 140m to the top of the blade, there would seem to be some scaling problems. The perspective doesn't seem to match up either. For photo-montaging to be accurate you need to match all the virtual and real cameras properties, and it doesn't look like that has been done. The visual impact will be one of the main concerns people have, and it would be better to judge things from solid information.
  24. The predictions I have seen suggest Shetland will not be particularly badly hit by the direct climate changes - a little warmer, a little windier, a little more annual rainfall. Not really an kind of improvement, but maybe no big shock to the system. As I posted above we have already had at least 75 years of increasing rainfall (through whatever cause(s)) so it'll possibly just be more of the same. Increased summer rainfall is also likely, and increased likelihood of severe rainfall also appears in all the predictions I've seen. Not so good there then, and possibly making landslides more likely...... although if we assume the southend slides happened because of heavy rainfall on dried out peat..... well if the peat never dries out.....
  25. I'd agree that education should be a priority, but it's not a zero-sum game. If we spend more on education then there is less to spend on other areas, or more money taken from reserves. When we spend so much more per child than any other area it's reasonable to look for % cuts to be made roughly equally across the education budget as well as the other SIC budgets. How much those cuts end up being, and what the balance is between closures and reduced budgets is a difficult question, but cheers at keeping school open might be short lived if the result is a 20% cut in it's budget as a result. In terms of cutting admin staff wages/jobs, that should be looked at too, but with 90 odd staff of all kinds of descriptions there, you could sack the entire department and likely still only save £2.5m in wages, while the cuts needed to the £35m (ish?) education budget would need to be more like 3 times that to get us anywhere on the "cost per pupil" measure. It's not going to be pretty whichever way it goes.
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