I’ve been staying at our ethanol plant in Moses Lake, and I’ve got a bit of a rodent problem.
The locals tell me that these are “field mice”, and that if you have a place near grain fields these will invade your home. Wikipedia says “field mice” actually are meadow voles. Reading further, one can tell the difference by doing things like counting toes and looking at ear shapes and the like. I’ll more carefully examine the next prisoner and likely extract more information from him.
So far I’ve caught 3 with the Mouse Cube. Walmart sells these for $1.50. They catch the mouse because they can push a door open from the outside, but can’t open it again from the inside. Here’s prisoner #3 checking to see if that door is going to open just one more time:
Saturday, I attended a demonstration of Tameshigiri, the Japanese Art of test cutting, at Bellevue Community College’s annual Aki Matsuri (Japanese festival). The demonstration was put on by Ishi Yama Ryu, a Seattle area martial arts school specializing in the art of cutting.
I didn’t have my camera, but I did pick up the end of one of the grass mats that they cut, around 3.5″ or so in diameter, and perhaps 3 feet long before being cut into pieces:
Professor David W. Talmage (ret) has kindly allowed me to put a copy of his latest physics paper on the web:
Relativity with a Quantum Field
A sharp distinction has been made between the confirmed observations that were predicted and form the essential core of the theory of relativity and the untestable explanations that have become the lore of the theory and its vision of reality. The possibility is explored that it is these explanations, not the observations, that are incompatible with quantum mechanics. The explanation of the gravitational red shift, that photons lose energy as they climb out of a gravitational gradient, is the keystone to this lore. Once this keystone is removed the remaining explanations lose their coherence. Alternate explanations are presented that are not only compatible with quantum mechanics but require the existence of a quantum field.
This is only David’s latest in a fairly long list of papers supporting and exploring Lorentzian Relativity which the excellent Wikipedia article calls “Lorentz Ether Theory” . These were the aether theories that they don’t tell you about in school, the ones that are fully compatible with experiment. For them, the preferred reference frame is undetectable; what Einstein did was remove that reference frame.
The Foundational Questions Institute, FQXi, is running an essay contest, with the subject of the Nature of Time. Up to 21 prizes are to be awarded, with amounts ranging from $1000 to $10,000 per prize. But probably more important are the bragging rights. You have until December 1, 2008 to submit an essay. Your essay, assuming it’s “serious”, will be displayed on their website from soon after you turn it in until the contest concludes in mid December.
Right now, the contributions look fairly weak so who knows, maybe a little typing now will get you a little money, and some bragging rights, in early 2009. Of course I’ve typed up a contribution, and of course it has to do with the nature of time, as is suggested by the density matrix formulation of quantum mechanics.
I included some short comments on the subject of non Hermitian density matrices. These have something to do with raising and lowering operators and it’s worth typing up a quick blog post on the subject. Surely somebody is going to learn something.
A post at physics forums has just pointed out to me a fascinating new article on arXiv that one shows that the radioactive decay rate of certain isotopes depends on what time of year one makes the measurement.
A new article, Evidence for Correlations Between Nuclear Decay Rates and Earth-Sun Distance by Jere H. Jenkins, Ephraim Fischbach, John B. Buncher, John T. Gruenwald, Dennis E. Krause, and Joshua J. Mattes, August 25, 2008, suggests that the different decay rates, which have been observed by laboratories in the US and Germany, on Si-32 and Ra-226, are correlated with the distance to the sun, and therefore, to the flux of neutrinos. However, in both sets of data there is a lag which suggests an effect due to the gravitational potential of the sun (which would be modified by the gravitational potential of the local galaxy stars), or perhaps local motion relative to a preferred reference frame. Either way, this is not good news for Einstein.
Relativity as an Anthropic Theory
As creatures of incredibly complicated biochemistry, which involves very large numbers of very carefully constructed molecules, our lives depend on the laws of physics as much as they depend on the earth not getting too close or too far away from the sun.