Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Pactul de craciun

The "Christmas truce" is a term used to describe the brief unofficial cessation of hostilities that occurred between German and British troops stationed on the Western Front of World War I during Christmas 1914. The truce began on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1914, when German troops began decorating the area around their trenches in the region of Ypres, Belgium, for Christmas. They began by placing candles on trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols, most notably Stille Nacht (Silent Night). The British troops in the trenches across from them responded by singing English carols.

The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were calls for visits across the "No Man's Land" where small gifts were exchanged — whisky, jam, cigars, chocolate, and the like. The artillery in the region fell silent that night. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently-fallen soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Proper burials took place as soldiers from both sides mourned the dead together and paid their respects. At one funeral in No Man's Land, soldiers from both sides gathered and read a passage from the 23rd Psalm.
The truce spread to other areas of the lines, and there are many stories of football matches between the opposing forces. The film Joyeux Noël suggests that letters sent home from both British and German soldiers related that the score was 3-2 in favour of the Germans.
In many sectors, the truce lasted through Christmas night, but in some areas, it continued until New Year's Day.
The truce occurred in spite of opposition at higher levels of the military. Earlier in the autumn, a call by Pope Benedict XV for an official truce between the warring governments had been ignored.

British commanders Sir John French and Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien vowed that no such truce would be allowed again. (However, both had left command before Christmas 1915.) In all of the following years of the war, artillery bombardments were ordered on Christmas Eve to ensure that there were no further lulls in the combat. Troops were also rotated through various sectors of the front to prevent them from becoming overly familiar with the enemy. Despite those measures, there were a few friendly encounters between enemy soldiers, but on a much smaller scale than the previous year.

During the first two years after the lines of the Western Front stabilized, other situations of informal armistice (i.e. armistice not imposed by high command), were recognized by both sides. According to anecdotes, inexperienced British commanders were astonished to find British and German forces both exposing themselves above the trench line within clear range of enemy guns. Artillery was often fired at precise points, at precise times, to avoid enemy casualties by both sides. Situations of deliberate damping of hostilities also occurred by some accounts, e.g. a volley of gunfire being exchanged after a misplaced mortar hit the British line, after which a German soldier shouted an apology to British forces, effectively stopping a hostile exchange of gunfire.
The Christmas Truce has often been characterized as the last "twitch" of the nineteenth century: the last moment when, in war, two sides would meet each other in proper and mutual respect; when they would greet each other with kindness to show that — in spite of the horrible turn of events that had unfolded — they were still honorable and respectful soldiers of war.

On 21 November 2005, the last remaining Allied veteran of the truce, Alfred Anderson, died in Newtyle, Scotland at the age of 109.

On November 7 2006, singer Chris de Burgh paid £14,400 at Bonhams auction house for an original 10 page letter from an unknown British soldier that records events and incidents with the Germans on that night describing "the most memorable Christmas I've ever spent".

The letter begins:

This will be the most memorable Christmas I've ever spent or likely to spend: since about tea time yesterday I don't think theres been a shot fired on either side up to now. Last night turned a very clear frost moonlight night, so soon after dusk we had some decent fires going and had a few carols and songs. The Germans commenced by placing lights all along the edge of their trenches and coming over to us — wishing us a Happy Christmas etc. They also gave us a few songs etc. so we had quite a social party. Several of them can speak English very well so we had a few conversations. Some of our chaps went to over to their lines. I think theyve all come back bar one from 'E' Co. They no doubt kept him as a souvenir. In spite of our fires etc. it was terribly cold and a job to sleep between look out duties, which are two hours in every six. First thing this morning it was very foggy. So we stood to arms a little longer than usual. A few of us that were lucky could go to Holy Communion early this morning. It was celebrated in a ruined farm about 500 yds behind us. I unfortunately couldn't go. There must be something in the spirit of Christmas as to day we are all on top of our trenches running about. Whereas other days we have to keep our heads well down. We had breakfast about 8.0 which went down alright especially some cocoa we made. We also had some of the post this morning. I had a parcel from B. G's Lace Dept containing a sweater, smokes, under clothes etc. We also had a card from the Queen, which I am sending back to you to look after please. After breakfast we had a game of football at the back of our trenches! We've had a few Germans over to see us this morning. They also sent a party over to bury a sniper we shot in the week. He was about a 100 yds from our trench. A few of our fellows went out and helped to bury him. About 10.30 we had a short church parade the morning service etc. held in the trench. How we did sing. 'O come all ye faithful. And While shepherds watched their flocks by night' were the hymns we had. At present we are cooking our Christmas Dinner! so will finish this letter later. Dinner is over! and well we enjoyed it. Our dinner party started off with fried bacon and dip-bread: followed by hot Xmas Pudding. I had a mascot in my piece. Next item on the menu was muscatels and almonds, oranges, bananas, chocolate etc followed by cocoa and smokes. You can guess we thought of the dinners at home. Just before dinner I had the pleasure of shaking hands with several Germans: a party of them came 1/2way over to us so several of us went out to them. I exchanged one of my balaclavas for a hat. I've also got a button off one of their tunics. We also exchanged smokes etc. and had a decent chat. They say they won't fire tomorrow if we don't so I suppose we shall get a bit of a holiday — perhaps. After exchanging autographs and them wishing us a Happy New Year we departed and came back and had our dinner. We can hardly believe that we've been firing at them for the last week or two — it all seems so strange. At present its freezing hard and everything is covered with ice…

The letter ends:

There are plenty of huge shell holes in front of our trenches, also pieces of shrapnel to be found. I never expected to shake hands with Germans between the firing lines on Christmas Day and I don't suppose you thought of us doing so. So after a fashion we've enjoyed? our Christmas. Hoping you spend a happy time also George Boy as well. How we thought of England during the day. Kind regards to all the neighbours. With much love from Boy.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Another Year, Another Christmas

1. Pentru cei cuprinsi de febra Craciunului si de cadouri, de goana dupa ele, de magazinele care fac unique individuals look like everyone else, Sarbatori Fericite si cat mai imbelsugate in cadouri.

2. Pentru cei mai spirituali sau mai mushy si emotivi, Sarbatori fericite si pline de iubire, iertare si togetherness and all that yadda yadda.

Pentru mine, this is the best Christmas ever. :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Noi, Martienii

<Sci­en­tists are re­port­ing that the mo­lec­u­lar build­ing blocks of life formed on Mars long ago—find­ings that sug­gest these mo­le­cules could form on any cold, rocky pla­net.

Or­gan­ic molecules, con­tain­ing car­bon and hy­dro­gen, are the ma­jor com­po­nents of all Earthly life. In a new stu­dy, re­search­ers with the Car­ne­gie In­sti­tu­tion in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. an­a­lyzed or­gan­ic com­pounds in a Mar­tian me­te­or­ite. Sci­en­tists had pre­vi­ously spec­u­lat­ed that these might have land­ed on the red plan­et thanks to me­te­or­ite im­pacts there. The new study in­stead con­clud­ed that the ma­te­ri­als probably formed on Mars it­self, pos­sibly as a re­sult of vol­can­ic erup­tions.

The find­ings “show that vol­can­ic ac­ti­vity in a freez­ing cli­mate can pro­duce or­gan­ic com­pounds,” said the in­sti­tu­tion’s Hans Amund­sen, one of the re­search­ers. “This im­plies that build­ing blocks of life can form on cold rocky plan­ets through­out the Un­iverse.”

The in­ves­ti­ga­tors com­pared the me­te­or­ite, called Al­lan Hills 84001, with rocks from Sval­bard, Nor­way. These oc­cur in vol­ca­noes that erupted in a freez­ing Arc­tic cli­mate about a mil­lion years ago, pos­sibly mim­ick­ing con­di­tions on early Mars, the sci­en­tists said.“Or­gan­ic ma­te­ri­al oc­curs with­in ti­ny spheres of car­bonate min­er­als in both the Mar­tian and Earth rocks,” said An­drew Steele, lead au­thor of the stu­dy. The sci­en­tists, he added, found the or­gan­ic ma­te­ri­al in close as­so­ci­a­tion with a min­er­al called mag­netite—“the key to un­der­stand­ing how these com­pounds formed.”

When ma­te­ri­al blast­ed from Sval­bard vol­ca­noes cooled off, mag­net­ite acted as a cat­a­lyst, or chem­i­cal in­stiga­tor, for the forma­t­ion of or­gan­ic com­pounds from flu­ids rich in car­bon di­ox­ide and wa­ter, said the re­search­ers. “The si­m­i­lar as­socia­t­ion of car­bonate, mag­net­ite and or­gan­ic ma­te­ri­al in the Mar­tian me­te­or­ite... is very com­pelling,” they added in an an­nounce­ment of their find­ings Tues­day. “This is the first study to show that Mars is ca­pa­ble of form­ing or­gan­ic com­pounds at all.” The study is pub­lished in the Sep­tem­ber is­sue of the re­search jour­nal Me­te­or­it­ic & Plan­e­tary Sci­ence.
Steele said the work “sets the stage for the Mars Sci­ence Lab­o­r­a­to­ry mis­sion in 2009”—a NASA rov­er de­signed to help as­sess wheth­er Mars ev­er could, or can, sup­port mi­cro­bi­al life. One of its goals is to iden­ti­fy or­gan­ic com­pounds and their sources, said Steele, who i
s part of the mis­sion team. “We know that they are there. We just have to find them.”>

Acest articol, de pe, vine in sustinerea unei teorii din ce in ce mai populare in lumea stiintifica. Unul dintre raspunsurile mai neobisnuite la intrebarea "cum a luat nastere viata pe Pamant?" este cel al panspermiei, care admite ca raspuns faptul ca viata s-a nascut de fapt pe Marte, cand aceasta planeta era mai tanara (acum 3 miliarde de ani), mai calda si cu apa in stare lichida. Dupa aceea, "aschii" din Marte au fost spulberate in spatiu ca urmare a impactului cu meteoriti iar unele dintre aceste aschii, devenite meteoriti, au ajuns in cele din urma pe Pamant, planeta cu conditii extrem de propice dezvoltarii vietii - mult mai bune decat cele de pe un Marte care incepea deja sa se schimbe catre un corp ceresc desertic, extrem de rece si lipsit de apa. Aceasta teorie e argumentata prin lipsa de dovezi solide, in momentul de fata, despre originea vietii pe Pamant, sugerand ca atata timp cat nu am gasit dovezi ce ar indica cum anume s-a nascut viata pe Terra, este rezonabil sa presupunem ca a luat nastere altundeva - iar Marte e un exemplu.
Articolul de fata sustine, oarecum mai modest, ca moleculele organice necesare formarii vietii provin de pe planeta rosie. Cu toate acestea, chiar si dovezile aduse de meteoritul AH80041 sugereaza ca pana la urma, chiar daca Pamantul era ideal pentru dezvolatrea vietii, aceasta s-a dezvoltat aici impulsionata sau chiar creeata de Marte.
Si daca teoria asta are dreptate, inseamna ca suntem cu totii martieni :) .

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Teorie noua care contesta validitatea legii conservarii

A new paper by a self-described hob­by phys­i­cist chal­leng­es what may be the bed­rock law of na­ture. And while skep­tics are roll­ing their eyes, the study has ap­peared in a pro­fes­sion­al jour­nal with the ap­pa­rent con­sent of lead­ing physi­cists.
A time­line show­ing es­ti­ma­ted cos­mic ex­pan­sion since the Big Bang. Right af­ter that event, a su­per­heated, ac­cel­er­at­ing ex­pan­sion is be­lieved to have tak­en place. It lat­er slowed down. In more re­cent times, the speedup mys­ter­ious­ly re­sumed. The tilted gray disk at ap­prox­i­mate&shyly the mid­dle of the fig­ure rep­re­sents the pre­s­ent. (Cour­te­sy Law­rence Berk­e­ley Na­tio­n­al La­b­o­ra­to­ry).
The principle under dispute, central to physics for at least two cen­tur­ies, is called the law of con­ser­va­tion of en­er­gy. It states that noth­ing can be cre­at­ed or de­s­t­royed: you can’t get some­thing from no­th­ing, or vice-ver­sa, though con­vert­ing sub­s­tan­ces be­tween di­verse forms is very pos­si­ble.
But the pa­per claims new stuff may be formed con­s­tant­ly, in one spe­cial set­ting: with­in black holes or si­m­i­lar ob­jects. The idea, the auth­or adds, is tes­t­a­ble and would re­solve sev­er­al mys­ter­ies, in­c­lud­ing why the uni­verse is ex­pand­ing ev­er faster.
“Not very plau­si­ble,” though not im­pos­si­ble, was how the­o­r­e­t­i­cal phys­i­cist Ga­ry Gib­bons of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cam­b­ridge, U.K., rated the pro­po­sal.
Cos­mol­o­gist An­drei Linde of Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty in Stan­ford, Ca­lif., de­clared the pa­per non­sense nine mi­n­utes af­ter be­ing e­mailed a copy. At “first glance,” he wrote back, it “does not make any sense.”
But asked to spec­i­fy its er­rors, he de­clined. The over­rid­ing prob­lem, he wrote, was not mistakes, but an over­all am­a­teur­ish­ness. “Sorry for be­ing so ne­ga­tive,” but the stu­dy is “not ev­en wrong,” he wrote—quo­t­ing a sting­ing phrase sci­en­t­ists some­times use to dis­miss ab­surd find­ings.
Yet a note pub­lished with the pa­per, in the jour­nal New As­tron­o­my this month, in­di­cat­ed it had suc­cess­ful­ly passed the scru­ti­ny of at least one emi­nent­ly qua­li­fied scho­lar: co-editor Jo­seph Silk, head of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ox­ford, U.K., as­tro­phys­ics de­part­ment. That “does make one won­der more” about the work, vo­lun­teered Saul Perl­mut­ter of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley, one of the ac­k­now­ledged disco­ver­ers of the ac­cel­er­at­ed cos­mic ex­pan­sion. He de­clined to com­ment more on the pa­per, though, say­ing it was­n’t ex­act­ly in his field. Silk al­so de­clined.
As stand­ard prac­tice dic­tates, New As­tron­o­my ac­cept­ed the pa­per on­ly af­ter an ed­i­tor—Silk—re­viewed it in con­sul­ta­tion with an anon­y­mous out­side ex­pert, the au­thor said.
Most sci­en­tists say a stu­dy’s ac­cept­ance for pub­li­ca­tion in a “peer-reviewed” re­search jour­nal, as New As­tron­o­my is, is a mark that it con­sti­tutes se­ri­ous sci­ence. This, of course, does­n’t at all prove a study cor­rect. More­o­ver, not all peer-reviewed jour­nals comma­nd equal re­spect among sci­en­tists, and New As­tron­o­my isn’t con­si­dered the cream of the crop. Thom­son Sci­en­ti­f­ic, a Phi­la­del­phia-based or­gan­i­za­tion, rat­ed it as the 16th most in­flu­en­tial of 43 as­tron­o­my and as­tro­phys­ics jour­nals world­wide pub­lish­ing new re­search last year.
Its ed­i­to­ri­al board in­cludes, along­side Silk, re­search­ers with the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cam­b­ridge, Har­vard Uni­ver­sity and the Harvard-Smithsonian Cen­ter for As­tro­phys­ics.
For the au­thor, Greg­or Bay­er of Ce­dar Hill, Tex­as, the pub­li­ca­tion was a break­through. “It has been a very hard strug­gle for me to get an­ything pub­lished,” he wrote in an e­mail, though he had an­oth­er pa­per in print ear­li­er this year. “For­tu­nately, some good peo­ple are be­gin­ning to take me se­ri­ously.”
Bay­er at­trib­ut­ed his trou­bles to the fact that he doesn’t work for any sci­en­ti­fic in­sti­tu­tion, so oth­er re­search­ers are re­luc­tant to back his the­o­ries. “I have a Ph.D. in phys­ics from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go,” from 1972, he wrote; “but I left the field ma­ny years ago. As a ca­reer, phys­ics is hell: as a hob­by, it is heav­en. Ideas come eas­i­ly to me now.”
Bay­er’s pa­per on energy con­ser­va­tion con­si­ders black holes, stu­pen­dous­ly dense ce­les­tial bo­dies that pack so much weight in­to so lit­tle space that their grav­i­ty over­pow­ers ev­erything near­by, in­clud­ing light rays. Con­di­tions in black holes are thought to mim­ic in some ways those pre­vail­ing at the or­i­gin of the uni­verse. Then, sci­en­tists be­lieve, all mat­ter was packed in­to a point; this then ex­plod­ed in a “Big Bang,” spawn­ing the cos­mos.
If a black hole had an op­po­site, it would be what phys­i­cists call vac­u­um. In plain terms, that means noth­ing­ness, though this word is mis­lead­ing be­cause some min­i­mal lev­el of ac­tiv­i­ty has been found to un­fold even in the emp­tiest space.
Vac­u­um is ubiq­ui­tous. Even in sol­id ob­jects, there is plen­ty of room for vac­u­um, be­tween and in­side the atoms. In a black hole, vac­u­um could al­so con­ceiv­a­bly find lodg­ings. But there, the cramp­ing might be­come sev­ere even for a guest of such mod­est dema­nds—forc­ing the vac­u­um, in Bay­er’s view, to lead a pre­car­i­ous ex­ist­ence.
With­in black holes or si­m­i­lar ob­jects, he ar­gues, ex­treme con­di­tions may in­ject “in­sta­bil­i­ty” in­to the vac­u­um, con­vert­ing parts of it in­to non-vac­u­um, or mat­ter. “Mat­ter cre­a­tion can be said to arise from some new par­ti­cle in­ter­ac­tion which vi­o­lates en­er­gy con­ser­va­tion,” he wrote in an email.
Gib­bons is un­con­vinced. Bay­er fails to clar­i­fy “the dy­nam­ics be­hind” the pro­cess, he wrote, adding that stand­ard par­ti­cle phys­ics al­ready of­fers a well-sup­port­ed ac­count of how mass arises, called the Higgs mech­an­ism.
Bay­er ar­gued that some vague­ness in his ac­count is in­e­vi­ta­ble, be­cause re­search­ers are still “try­ing to fig­ure out what the vac­u­um real­ly is.”
But he claims mat­ter cre­a­tion could ex­plain the ac­cel­er­at­ing ex­pan­sion of the uni­verse, which Perl­mut­ter and oth­ers iden­ti­fied in the late 1990s. Why the speedup oc­curs is one of the most vex­ing scientif­ic mys­ter­ies of the past dec­ade. As­tro­no­mers pro­vi­sion­al­ly at­trib­ute it to a yet-to-be-i­den­ti­fied “dark en­er­gy,” whose na­ture re­mains un­known.
Bay­er’s ex­pla­na­tion of this links mat­ter cre­a­tion to anoth­er con­cept, pres­sure, a meas­ure of how much a giv­en blob of mat­ter is “squeezed” by what’s around it. It’s why your head hurts if you dive deep­ly. Neg­a­tive pres­sure is al­so con­ceiv­able—your head be­ing pulled apart—though we nev­er ex­pe­ri­ence this on Earth.
A sim­pli­fied view is that pos­i­tive pres­sure is an air hose blow­ing out­ward; neg­a­tive pres­sure, a vac­u­um clean­er suck­ing in­ward.
Ein­stein de­ter­mined that an ob­jec­t’s grav­i­ty de­pends not just on its mass, as was known be­fore, but its pres­sure. If an ob­ject has enough neg­a­tive pres­sure, its grav­i­ty can al­so be­come neg­a­tive, and hence re­pul­sive rath­er than at­trac­tive.
Bay­er ar­gued that mat­ter cre­a­tion is as­so­ci­at­ed with re­pul­sive grav­i­ty be­cause it’s al­so linked to neg­a­tive pres­sure. “The flow of en­er­gy in­to the Uni­verse can be de­scribed as be­ing caused by an ex­ter­nal pres­sure from the vac­u­um,” he wrote in an email. “Viewed from in­side the Uni­verse, the pos­i­tive ex­ter­nal pres­sure looks like a neg­a­tive in­ter­nal pres­sure.”
Bring­ing back the air-hose anal­o­gy, im­ag­ine an in­vis­i­ble hose blow­ing air out­ward and in­to the mouth of a sec­ond tube. That sec­ond pipe would ap­pear as though it were suck­ing in air—neg­a­tive pres­sure.
Neg­a­tive pres­sure with­in le­gions of black holes would cre­ate a grav­i­ta­tion­al re­pul­sion that per­me­ates the cos­mos and pushes it out­ward re­lent­less­ly, Bay­er claims. “While mat­ter is be­ing cre­at­ed, there is a grav­i­ta­tion­al re­pul­sion as­so­ci­at­ed with the en­er­gy flow. When the flow stops, on­ly the or­di­nary grav­i­ta­tion­al at­trac­tion of the cre­at­ed mass re­mains.” All new­ly minted mass would re­side perma­nently in its home black hole.
Mat­ter cre­a­tion would equate to en­er­gy cre­a­tion be­cause, as Ein­stein found with the famed equa­tion E=mc2, mat­ter and en­er­gy are two forms of the same thing.
Whatever you call it, Bay­er said the creation pro­cess could ex­p­lain not on­ly the dark en­er­gy puz­zle but an ar­ray of oth­ers: the iden­ti­ty of the “dark mat­ter” that makes up five-sixths of the ma­te­ri­al in the cos­mos, but is un­seen; why cer­tain cos­mic rays hit Earth with oth­erwise in­ex­pli­ca­bly high en­er­gies; and what caused an “in­fla­tion” be­lieved to have made the uni­verse grow stu­pen­dous­ly big with­in a frac­tion of a sec­ond af­ter the Big Bang.
Cos­mol­o­gists be­lieve ac­cel­er­at­ed swell­ing of the cos­mos oc­curred dur­ing two sep­a­rate pe­ri­ods: dur­ing the in­fla­tion ep­och, and more re­cent­ly. Bay­er says that’s be­cause both episodes wit­nessed mat­ter cre­a­tion. The speedup stopped in be­tween, he ar­gues, be­cause in­i­tial for­ma­tion of the uni­verse was over, but black holes weren’t formed yet.
Yet Linde, a found­er of the in­fla­tion the­o­ry, dis­agrees.
Bay­er said his the­o­ry of en­er­gy non-conservation could be tested us­ing par­ti­cle ac­cel­er­a­tors, which bash sub­a­tom­ic par­ti­cles to­ge­ther to help see what they’re made of. Nor­mal­ly, conserva­tion of en­er­gy is used to cal­cu­late prop­er­ties of the par­ti­cles fly­ing out of the bang-up. But the law is as­sumed, rath­er than prov­en, in these ex­per­i­ments, Bay­er ar­gued. “A se­ri­ous test of en­er­gy conserva­tion in high-en­er­gy col­li­sions will re­quire care­ful anal­y­sis of ma­ny com­plex multi-par­ti­cle events,” he wrote in his paper. This would be hard, he ad­ded, but it can be done.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Is Europe a country?

I am completely dumbfounded :|

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Response

Unul dintre raspunsurile mai complexe si mai profunde decat majoritatea, la clipul de mai jos. Amandoua clipurile sunt despre contradictiile institutiei Bisericii.

The Video

O mama catolica foarte suparata si un fiu ateist.

They Know It The Loudest

Imi puneam eu o intrebare, zilele trecute: de ce oamenii care stiu cel mai putin, o stiu in modul cel mai strident? Sper ca cusatura vitala a acestui blog, The Big Point care trebuie sa existe, se distinge cu usurinta ca un apel la mintile si sensibilitatea fiecaruia. The Big Point (c) este ca daca ne straduim mai mult, putem avea o lume mai buna, daca me merg emisferele mai eficient decat doar la ralanti, daca vedem cu adevarat ce inseamna o problema (genuine) si ce inseamna o solutie, nu ne-am detesta atat de des. Pe noi insine, chiar daca mascat prin metafora lume.
Degeaba unii dintre noi se iau prea tare in serios, iar altii prea putin, daca inevitabil toti dau cu mucii in fasole. Si nu vreau sa fiu ambiguu - ma refer la oricine, de la edili pana la umilul pieton. The Big Problem (c) al acestei tari este Prostia. Si, din nefericire, nu este neaparat genetica si netratabila ci acea Prostie nascuta din Lene, Complezenta si alte cateva trademarkuri romanesti. La noi zburda libera zicala "las' ca merge si asa". Si "de ce sa faci azi ce poti face maine, ca poate maine nu mai e nevoie", sau mai ales, toate zicalele care se refera la multa vorba si putine fapte. Cu totii suntem vinovati - si ca sa nu fiu acuzat de gratuitati, mentionez ca ma includ si pe mine.
Ati fost cu totii la McDonalds Romana. Recent. Si ati fost martorii (mai mult sau mai putin stupefiati ca mine..s-ar putea sa fie defect profesional) unei imbecilitati monstruoase. Mandrii entrepreneuri au inlocuit pavajul exterior de dale prefabricate cu gresie. Gresie. Gresie care la primul strop de ploaie, devine dusmanul aderentei si scena Alunecatului (c), mai ales a celui Cu Cracii in Sus. Si nivelul de umezeala atmosferica nu trebuie sa fie tropical - ci minim, poate o usoara ploaie de toamna. Solutia lor? Evident - postarea permanenta a unui semn cu Caution Wet Floor. Normal, ca doar sunt oameni destepti: problema rezolvata. Proabil ca nu au considerat important ca oricum trebuie sa traversezi aceasta pista a hazardelor ca sa poti comanda ceva.
Credeati ca asta e tot? Evident ca nu, doar mucii n-ar nimeri in intregime in fasole fara o complicatie de calibrul renumelui mondial McDonalds. La intrarea principala, pavajul exterior este depresionar, inclinat usor in asa fel incat sa formeze o cavitate - probabil, pentru a facilita scurgerea apei din incinta exterioara a restaurantului. Zic probabil, pentru ca rezultatul acestui element constructiv este o balta considerabila (balta :| ) exact in fata intrarii principale. Balta care e acolo de mult timp, probabil de cand au inceput ploile - un adevarat lac de acumulare in miniatura cu afluenti tributari din toata terasa McDonaldsului. Si probabil va fi acolo de fiecare data cand va stropi putin o ploaie cat de mica, pecetluind soarta oricarei perechi de Converse primavaratici or ai unor Etnies tomnatici - pe scurt, orice incaltamine mai putin cizme si bocanci. Din piele.
Intrebarile ar fi destule. De ce acest nou pavaj, de ce acest design dubios, de ce miros ciorapii daca nu au nas... dar am invatat pe pielea noastra ca aceste intrebari pur si simplu nu-si au rostul, palind in fata atotputernicei Prostii.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Odiseea Imperfectului (4)

Dezechilibrele sunt stari extrem de trecatoare in Universul nostru; orice deviatie e echilibrata de o "forta" proportionala cu scara acestei dezechilibrari - lucru care se aplica in orice coltisor al universului nostru. Daca mananci prea mult, suferi de boli legate de obezitate; daca mananci prea putin, suferi de boli legate de malnutritie. Somnul insuficient este daunator, dar la fel este si cel indelungat. Problemele climatice cauzate de efectul de sera si de deviatiile ecologice ca urmare a poluarii globale, sunt contrapunctate de dezastre precum tsunami sau tornade. Satelitii (fie ei naturali sau artificiali) isi mentin orbita printr-un delicat joc de forte (centrifuge si centripete) care ii mentine la distanta optima, si care ii deplaseaza cu viteza optima pentru a ramane exact in acea raza: o viteza prea mica inseamna degradarea orbitei si prabusirea satelitului, o viteza prea mare inseamna desatelizarea si deriva in spatiul cosmic.

Echilibrul universal merge pe un principiu similar pendulului: cu cat mai mare sau rapida e inclinarea balantei intr-o parte, cu atat raspunsul va fi mai violent sau mai amplu. Oscilatiile minore sunt tolerate cat de cat, balanta inclinadu-se delicat dintr-o parte in alta, spre deosebire de cele ample care cauzeaza acrobatii ale pendulului. Pur si simplu, reactia la dezechilibru va fi cu atat mai violenta cu cat dezechilibrarea e mai violenta, pentru ca mecanismul universului e de asa natura incat nu tolereaza dezechilibrele.

Principiul conservarii energiei sustine tocmai acest lucru, desi nu pare, la prima vedere. In fizica, legea conservarii energiei stabileste cum cantitatea totala de energie dintr-un sistem inchis ramane constanta si nu poate fi recreata, desi isi poate schimba forma ( de exemplu, frecarea transforma energia cinetica in energie termica).

In termodinamica, prima lege a termodinamicii este o forma a conservarii energiei pentru aceste sisteme si este o versiune mai cuprinzatoare a acestei legi. Pe scurt, legea conservarii energiei stipuleaza ca energia nu poate fi creata sau distrusa, poate fi doar transformata dintr-o forma in alta. Si conform principiului relativitatii, energia poate fi echivalata cu materia, prin formula E=mc2, unde E este energia eliberata sau continuta de masa m, iar c est viteza luminii in vid. Per total deci, universul contine o cantitate fixa de materie-energie care nu dispare sau este recreata, ci doar este intr-o stare de transformare continua.

Ce legatura are acest lucru cu echilibrul in univers? Simplu spus, legea declara ca "you don't get something for nothing", sau "nimic nu se pierde, totul se transforma". Cand universul creeaza energie ( de exemplu, cand Soarele creeaza caldura si lumina, forme de energie) o face cheltuind materie ( in cazul Soarelui, hidrogenul fuzioneaza in heliu si elibereaza energie prin conversia masei redundante), si viceversa, cand creeaza materie cheltuieste energie. Creezi sau primesti un lucru contra altuia, sau cu costul unui lucru. Poti lipsi de la scoala, dar vei avea absente; poti avea un ipod, dar trebuie sa dai bani pentru el. Uraniul poate elibera energie, dar trebuie sa "sacrifice" o fractiune din masa sa. Daca vrei sa mananci 25 de hamburgeri, o faci cu costul nivelului de colesterol si ai altor factori. Poti sa-ti faci o masa frumoasa, dar trebuie taiat un copac pentru asta. De multe ori, fericirea ta inseamna suferinta altuia. Pentru a manca o anume leguma, trebuie sa astepti sa creasca planta si abia dupa aceea sa o recoltezi (dupa ce ai cheltuit si resurse pentru plantare si ingrijire, pe langa timp).
Dar destule exemple - este clar: principiul este ca pentru a avea ceva, trebuie sa nu ai altceva. Asta, in sine, este o forma de echilibru.

[to be continued]

Saturn si al sau hexagon

An odd, six-sided, honeycomb-shaped fea­ture en­cir­cling Sat­urn’s north pole has cap­tured the in­ter­est of sci­en­tists with NASA’s Cas­si­ni space­craft mis­sion. The agency’s Voy­ag­er 1 and 2 space­craft im­aged the hex­a­gon over two dec­ades ago, but its ap­pear­ance in new Cas­si­ni im­ages shows it’s long lived, height­en­ing the rid­dle, sci­en­tists said.
“We’ve nev­er seen an­y­thing like this on any oth­er plan­et,” said Kev­in Baines of the Cas­si­ni team at NASA’s Je­t Pro­pul­sion Lab­o­ra­to­ry in Pas­a­de­na, Ca­lif. In­deed, Sat­urn’s thick at­mos­phere “is per­haps the last place you’d ex­pect to see such a six-sided ge­o­met­ric fig­ure, yet there it is.”
Nor­mal­ly, in the ringed plan­et’s at­mos­phere, cir­cle-shaped waves and for­ma­tions called con­vec­tive cells pre­dom­i­nate, he said. A con­vec­tive cell is a pat­tern cre­at­ed by an up­draft of warmed flu­id and sink­ing of cooled flu­id.
A sec­ond hex­a­gon, sig­nif­i­cantly darker than the brighter his­tor­i­cal fea­ture, is al­so seen in the Cas­si­ni pic­tures.
An in­stru­ment on the craft, called the vis­u­al and in­fra­red map­ping spec­trom­e­ter, is the first to cap­ture the whole hex­a­gon in one im­age, in­ves­ti­ga­tors said. “This is a very strange fea­ture, ly­ing in a pre­cise ge­o­met­ric fash­ion with six near­ly equal­ly straight sides,” said Baines, an at­mos­pher­ic ex­pert who is part of the team man­ning the in­stru­ment.

The hex­a­gon is si­m­i­lar to Earth’s po­lar vor­tex, which has winds blow­ing in a cir­cu­lar pat­tern around the po­lar re­gion, re­search­ers said. But on Sat­urn, the vor­tex is hex­a­gonal rath­er than cir­cu­lar. The hex­a­gon is near­ly 25,000 kilo­me­ters (15,000 miles) across. Near­ly four Earths could fit in­side it.
The new im­ages are tak­en in in­fra­red light, a lower-energy form of light than the vis­i­ble type. These im­ages show the hex­a­gon ex­tends much deeper down in­to the at­mos­phere than pre­vi­ously ex­pected, some 100 kilo­me­ters (60 miles) be­low the cloud tops, ac­cord­ing to sci­en­tists. The hex­a­gon, they added, con­tains clouds that seem to be whip­ping around the hex­a­gon like cars on a race­track.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Jedi Me

What Star Wars Jedi or Sith character is most like your personality?
created with
You scored as Obi-Wan Kenobi (Post Death of Qui-Gon Jinn)

You are most like Obi-Wan Kenobi, after the death of his master. You have a powerful prescence and take the natural role of a leader. You respect the wisdom of those to come before you and are always training for personal growth.

You now train the lightsaber form Soresu, a near completely defensive form, after witnessing what you considered a fatal flaw in your master's technique when he fell to Darth Maul. Your offense is carefully precise.

You devote your life to harmony achieved through The Force and are one of four Jedi to retain identity after death.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Post Death of Qui-Gon Jinn)


Mace Windu


Obi-Wan Kenobi (Pre Death of Qui-Gon Jinn)


Bastila Shan


Qui-Gon Jinn


Darth Revan




Luke Skywalker


Darth Sidious


Exar Kun


Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus


Darth Vader


Anakin Skywalker


Darth Maul


Friday, November 23, 2007

Odiseea Imperfectului (3)

Intr-adevar, e tentant sa presupui ca odata atins perfectul, nu exista nevoia unei evolutii ulterioare. Si cu toate acestea...
Am pornit cu ipoteza ca imperfectiunile genereaza evolutia, imbunatatirea, ca suferinta da nastere nevoii de schimbare a acestei stari, ca neajunsurile duc la tentative de a le ameliora. In exemplul dat, am descris lapidar contextul catorva revolutii sociale, generate in fiecare caz de perceptia unei imperfectiuni ce se cerea corectata.
Mentin, de asemenea, ca starea naturala a universului este echilibrul. Si ca orice sistem - natural, biologic, economic, social, fizic etc - tinde catre acest echilibru, chiar daca acest fapt nu este imediat vizibl.
Consider de asemenea ca perfectul, starea de perfect mai precis, este o abstractiune umana. Ea este o idee, in sens logic, un concept utopic care nu se regaseste in natura ci doar in ecuatiile matematice si filosofice ale omului. Nu exista si nu va exista societatea perfecta, cum nu va exista soferul perfect, muntele perfect, steaua perfecta sau un fenomen fizic perfect. Despre unele lucruri, desigur, putem spune ca sunt perfecte - putem spune ca un ecosistem e perfect. Insa sa nu facem o confuzie: perfect, in acest caz, inseamna potrivit, echilibrat, la fel cum poti spune ca "aceasta cafea este perfecta" (pentru mine) sau "acest formular este perfect". Toate aceste expresii sunt de fapt relativizari, abuzuri ale termenului in sine pentru a exprima o concordanta de fenomene, o potrivire foarte buna, un rezultat cautat, nicidecum un atribut fundamental. Este perfectul relativ, fata de perfectul absolut.
In lumina acestor lucruri, pot considera starea de evolutie constanta (cu exemplul concret al revolutiilor franceze si din 1989) un astfel de echilibru: intr-adevar, pe de o parte avem imperfectiunea, neajunsul, pe de alta parte avem masurile luate pentru a le corecta. Iar ca orice echilibru natural, tinde sa se perpetueze - gandeste-te doar ca orice revolutie creeaza probleme noi care vor fi corectate la timpul lor, si ciclul se reia.
Dar sa iau si alt exemplu pentru a-mi ilustra acest concept de echilibru prin imperfectiune vs ameliorare, si pentru a explica de ce consider acest echilibru perfect (atentie, in sens relativ). Sa ne gandim la evolutia biologica si la principiile selectiei naturale. Luam animalul de prada A si prada acestuia, specia B. Animalul de prada A este insuficient camuflat pentru mediul acestuia in schimbare, si anume trecerea de la padure la savana. De asemenea, B este o turma de animale rosii, complet evidente pe fundalul savanei aurii. Asta inseamna ca B il poate vedea pe A cand incearca sa se furiseze, dar si A poate vedea foarte bine fiecare individ din turma de B. Insa specia A are cativa membri care sunt usor mai galbui la culoare, abia sesizabil, iar B au si ei cativa indivizi usor mai aurii si cu urme de dungi, asemanatoare cu designul ierbii din savana. Animalele tip A care vor fi mai evidente, vor gasi ca le e mai dificil sa vaneze decat celorlalti A care sunt usor mai bine camuflati; drept urmare, multi dintre acesti A mai neadaptati vor muri de foame, ramanand in mare parte A mai bine colorati. Insa e valabil si invers: B mai evidenti vor fi mai usor de vazut si deci de vanat, iar treptat in turma de B vor ramane mai multi dintre cei colorati mai adecvat. Atat A cat si B se vor inmulti intre ei, cei ramasi, iar generatia urmatoare de A si B vor cumula coloritul parintilor si indivzii ambelor specii vor fi putin mai bine adaptati decat generatia trecuta. Procesul se va repeta: tot vor mai fi membri din A si B care vor fi mai prost colorati decat altii; si acestia vor muri de foame, respectiv vor fi mancati. Generatia a 3a va fi formata din indivizi si mai bine adaptati coloristic, la mediu - insa se va repeta procesul din nou, si iarasi vor muri (de foame sau mancati) cei neadaptati. Procesul se perpetueaza la nesfarsit, ambele specii adaptandu-se neincetat ca intr-o cursa constanta de perfectionare sau una de inarmare. Insa imperfectiunea aceasta perpetua este cea care indeamna evolutia la randul ei perpetua, si astfel se creeaza un echilibru constant care se conserva. Iata deci cum intr-un sistem biologic/ecologic, imperfectiunea genereaza impulsul de a se corecta - echilibrul atat de prezent, in opinia mea.
Cred ca acest echilibru este perfect - repet, in sensul de relativ. Este un sistem auto-suficient, starea naturala a universului, starea zero, universal valabila. Pana si extremele periodice tot se anuleaza si se echilibreaza: epocile glaciare sunt urmate sau precedate de opusuri climatice, vara e echilibrata de iarna, satietatea de foame, fericirea de tristete, ziua de noapte etc. Echilibrul e inerent universului, fie ca este echilibru prin centru sau prin extreme care se anuleaza.
Fizica teoretica are in momentul de fata un numar destul de mare de teorii referitoare la geneza si forma universului; o intrebare pusa de una dintre aceste teorii se refera la un numar cunoscut ca si Constanta Gravitationala (si alte cateva numere). In esenta, aceasta este pozitiva (cu valoarea +1) daca universul este curbat si deschis sau -1 daca este curbat si inchis (finit, sau ciclic temporal). O a treia valoare este zero sau ceva apropiat, indicand un univers cat de cat plat si intr-o stare particulara de infinitate. Ultimele cercetari sugereaza ca valoarea acestui raport este apropiata de zero, indicand un univers usor neregulat insa plat si neted, per ansamblu. Ce inseamna asta? Inseamna o valoare de mijloc - de echilibru, inseamna ca starea fizica (spatio-temporala, sa zicem) nativa a universului este centrul, echilibrul.
Aceste echilibru universal - natural, sociologic, biologic - este caracteristica inerenta a lumii noastre, a universului fizic. Dezechilibrele sunt rare, in natura (si temporare) - iar cele adevarate sunt strict umane. In esenta, dezechilibrele naturale sunt aberatii, imposibilitati practice - chiar daca poti considera, sa zice, o epoca de gheata un dezechilibru, ea este de fapt o reactie la o stare anterioara, si este echilibrata in acelasi fel de o stare climatica ulterioara.

[to be continued]

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sorry, i was taking life seriously

Exista o traditie la noi, romanii, sa facem totul pe jumatate sau deloc, o cultura a descurcatului absolut imbecila, nascuta din lene, lipsa de educatie, sau, cine stie, prostie genetica.

Prea putine lucruri in aceasta tara se fac conform regulilor. In speta, ma refer la acele reguli care sunt mai degraba contracte sociale si se refera la o conduita nascuta din intelegerea ca unele lucruri merg mai bine asa si nu asa. Drept exemplu, metroul in statie. Cunoasteti cu totii fenomenul: imbulzeala de la usile trenului, mai ales in orele de varf. Scrie peste tot in metrou si in statii ca se acorda prioritate la coborare. Mandrii nostri romanasi se inghesuie insa in fata usilor, inainte ca acestea sa se deschida, un obstacol enervant si nepoliticos in calea mea, care cobor din metrou. Mai rau e ca de obicei sunt asa grabiti repsectivii ca nici nu asteapta sa iesi tu ca sa intre ei. Rezultatul? O imbulzeala constanta, ciocniri, nervi, lume gramada una intr-alta si un fenomen absolut cretin care poate fi evitat daca se respecta o singura regula. Dar romanii nu inteleg. Nu vad. Cred ca regula e acolo doar ca autoritatile sa fie mandre. Sau nu le pasa. Si acesta e doar un mic exemplu. La Sala Palatului, un semn de circulatie care detalia schema intersectiei si a strazilor invecinate era pus invers, cu susul in jos. Si oricum cu un font de 48 pe care il vedeai de-abia la jumatate de metru de panou, in nici un caz de pe strada. Sigur, e un alt fel de imbecilitate dar tot o marca a complezentei, a delasarii - oricare ar fi fost cel care l-a instalat, nu puteai rata faptul ca e invers - si daca observai de-abia dupa aceea, trebuia doar desurubat si intors...

Uitati-va numai la felul in care se fac lucrarile de modernizare in cazul infrastructurii Bucurestilor. Intai, se pune un nou strat de asfalt, care nu rezista mult pentru ca dupa aceea cineva isi aduce aminte ca trebuie schimbate sinele de tramvai. Dupa aceasta interventie, se re-aplica asfaltul, insa nici acest strat nu dureaza mult pentru ca iarasi cineva isi aduce aminte ca trebuie schimbate conductele de gaze. Se sparge asfaltul, se repaveaza. Inca o saptamana, si trebuie schimbate alte conducte, sau trase cabluri subterane pentru reteaua de electricitate. Si asa mai departe... E clar ca lucrul corect de facut este sincronizarea acestor lucrari de interventie pentru a termina mai repede, si a reduce costurile. Insa nu se intampla asa, diferitele regii, primarii s.a.m.d actioneaza complet aiurea, cand ii taie capul, reusind sa creeze o harababura, sa tina drumurile impracticabile mai multa vreme, sa fie nevoiti sa cheltuiasaca considerabil mai mult etc. Este infiorator cateodata gradul de imcompetenta atat in randul edililor cat si cetatenilor de zi cu zi, lipsa de interes, nesimtirea si tratarea tuturor lucrurilor in mod superficial.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kate Bush - Hounds of Love

Skip To The End

"Distance, i'll keep my distance.."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

How Lightsabers Work

It's All In The Handle

A lightsaber is a unique device, created by hand -- the controls will be slightly different on each individual lightsaber that you buy. But all lightsabers share the same general characteristics. If you were ever to pick up and examine a typical lightsaber, here are several things that you would immediately notice:
· A lightsaber is normally about 30 centimeters long, about the size of a large flashlight.
· At one end is the hand grip, belt ring and on/off switch (a.k.a., the Activation Matrix).
· At the other end there is the blade arc tip and stabilizing ring.
· Somewhere on the case (generally near the blade end of the lightsaber) you find one or two adjusting knobs for blade power and blade length.
When you turn on the lightsaber (*see important safety tips), you will notice the blade rapidly extending to its set length. You can adjust the length using the blade length adjusting knob. The lightsaber blade will make a distinctive sound that is typical of an arc wave energy field. You will also feel a gyroscopic effect in the handle, which again is a distinctive characteristic of the arc wave blade. This gyroscopic effect can take some getting used to, so be sure to handle any active lightsaber with extreme care until you are completely familiar with its feel and handling.

Important Safety Information
A lightsaber is not a toy! Keep it out of reach of children at all times. Lightsaber locks are required in most states.
There are two ends to any lightsaber -- one end has the belt ring, while the other end houses the blade arc tip and blade emitter. NEVER point the blade emitter of a lightsaber toward your own body. NEVER look down the "barrel" of a lightsaber, even if you are "sure" it is in safe mode. If you accidentally activate the lightsaber, serious injury could result.

The Lightsaber Blade
Once active, the blade of a lightsaber can be used in four different ways.
The most common use, of course, is slicing. A lightsaber is like a sword on steroids. Cutting through any human limb -- even an entire torso -- is trivial. It's like cutting through a banana with a machete.
A lightsaber can help convince an assailant that no means no.
With practice you can also use a lightsaber like a knife. For example, if you need to cut open the belly of a large domestic animal like a horse or a tauntaun, the lightsaber is the perfect tool. Simply use the tip of the blade and control the depth of your cut just like you would with a scalpel.
Nearly anything you would normally find around the home or office is easy to cut with a lightsaber, including steel pipes, reinforcing beams, mounting struts and so on. If you happen to find yourself hanging upside down in a cave, a lightsaber is the perfect tool to use to cut the rope.
Another common use is melting. For example, if you come upon a three-foot-thick blast door, you cannot "slice" your way through it like you can with a normal steel or concrete partition. But you can plunge the blade of your lightsaber straight into the door and then melt your way through it to cut out an opening. This normally takes several minutes, but the results are most impressive to anyone on the other side of the blast door.
Another important use of a lightsaber is deflection, in two different ways:
1. A lightsaber blade can deflect another lightsaber blade and block its path.
2. A lightsaber blade can deflect blaster bolts. In most cases you will want to deflect the bolts back at the person who shot them at you in the first place, but it is also possible to deflect them toward other objects and people in the room.
A lightsaber user with a strong affinity for the Force has a distinct advantage in the latter situation. By using the Force, the wielder can anticipate the path of the blaster bolt and align the blade with that path prior to the bolt's arrival. Using normal visual tracking to accomplish the same effect can be far more difficult.

Inside the Lightsaber

The construction of a lightsaber is a Jedi art passed down primarily by word-of-mouth from a Jedi master to his young Padawan learner. Therefore the interior features of any two lightsabers can vary in their details. However, the main features are remarkably consistent from lightsaber to lightsaber because of the common lineage of information.
The four major components inside any lightsaber include:
· The power cell and associated components
· The crystal energy chamber
· The energy channel and blade arc tip
· The controls
The Power CellObviously a lightsaber contains a tremendous amount of energy -- far more than a blaster, for example. Any device that can melt its way through a three-foot-thick reinforced blast door in a matter of minutes obviously has access to tremendous energy reserves. Estimates range as high as several megawatt-hours of stored energy.
The source of this energy is a diatium power cell -- a device no larger than a roll of LifeSavers®. Diatium power cells are available from a variety of military and some civilian sources.
Surrounding the power cell is a power field conductor and the power vortex ring. These two devices work in concert with one another to move the available energy toward the energy gate. The energy gate controls the flow of energy into the crystal energy chamber.
The Crystal Energy ChamberReally the heart of any lightsaber, the crystal energy chamber is responsible for primary energy conversion. At least two crystals (typically of the Adegan variety) are used in the energy chamber.
The first crystal is known as the primary crystal. It converts the energy channeling from the power assembly and then transfers its output to one or more focusing crystals. The focusing crystals are held in place by the focusing crystal activator.
The crystal energy chamber is the reason why all lightsabers are built by hand, and then only in the latter stages of Jedi training. The builder must align the crystals perfectly or risk detonation of the lightsaber upon activation. Only through the use of the Force can the proper alignment be guaranteed.
With several megawatt-hours of energy on tap, detonation is of course a catastrophic event. For this reason, initial activation is normally done remotely with an inexpensive droid.
The Energy Channel and ControlsThe energy channel is where the actual lightsaber blade is generated. Energy flowing from the crystal energy chamber is converted to the arc wave that will become the blade. The arc wave flows up through the blade energy channel and past the cycling field energizers. These energizers are responsible for the gyroscopic effect discussed earlier in the article.
The refined arc wave makes its way to the blade arc tip and from there becomes visible as the glowing blade of the lightsaber that is so familiar.
The on/off switch, also known as the activation matrix, as well as the blade length and power adjustment controls are typically located near the cycling field energizers. Using these controls, the lightsaber's owner can tune the blade for specific applications.
Using Your Lightsaber Around the Home
Although a lightsaber is typically used as a defensive weapon by Jedi knights, the availability of lightsabers on consumer sites such as eBay is growing. It is a sad fact of life, but if a Jedi knight falls on hard times, his lightsaber is one source of quick cash. He can always build another one. If you are lucky enough to acquire a lightsaber, you are probably purchasing it for personal defense purposes. A lightsaber completely blows away a can of pepper spray as a deterrent in muggings or robberies. However, many new owners are pleasantly surprised by the many domestic uses of a lightsaber around the home or office. Let's examine a few of the more common applications here, and then you can use your imagination to come up with others.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Silencio a murit - Traiasca Noul Silencio

Ok, Silencio nu e inchis de ieri. Sau de alaltaieri. De fapt, sunt ani - vreo 3 de cand Silencio si-a inchis portile. Si odata cu ele s-au auzit in cor suspinele noastre. Am suspinat si oftat dupa wc-ul cu aroma de lamaie. Si dupa pivnita cu baxuri goale si, umbla vorba, cadavre (de ce credeti ca de fiecare data venea alt nenea de la Coca Cola?). Si dupa bestiala lipsa de ventilatie si saunele cubaneze printre care se licarea cate o duzina de mucuri de tigara. Si dupa posterele cu Nick Cave si The Cure. Si dupa longeviva relatie televizor mic si monocrom+seif=love. Si dupa cele 6 mese strambe si mult mult indie, new wave si post punk, si atmosfera geniala si aceleasi persoane over and over again. The good old days. A, si desigur, Piulp! :x

Silencio pare-se a renascut din propria cenusa fara sa renasca din propria cenusa. Daca nu m-ati urmarit pana acum, iata chestiunea: s-a deschis the Loft sau Mansarda lui Jumbo sau whatever, nu importa, ce conteaza e ca e cu si de aceeiasi oameni care au pus si tinut Silencio pe si in picioare (chiar cand ei insisi erau bauti pe sub mese si nicidecum bipezi). Este mai scump, desigur, dar este cu mult The Smiths si Yeah Yeah Yeahs si Kings of Leon ( :x ) si Joy Division si...
Este o mansarda! Oh joyous joy of joys, e o mansarda in toata splendoarea ei bahica, cu mov si negru dar si cu termopan la baie (bleah, bad giugiu - depunctare dl-e Edi!). Si e cu nene care vine la masa si te intreba daca mai vrei ceva, nu ca pe vremuri ( "Piulp! Pune niste Pixies si mai da si tu o cola!"). Si cu scrumiere la fel - si meniu! - si canapele si fotolii si aer conditionat ( semana cu cel sa fie acelasi? sa nu fie?).
Asa ca dati buzna cu duzinele, ca e dragut. Si umpleti cuferele indie a lui nenea Edi ca sa nu mai existe Silencio 3: Intoarcerea lui Silencio Se Intoarce, e muzica buna si lume la fel.
Sa ne vedem p-acolo.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ticklish already?

Alte lucruri pe care le zice despre mine...
C'mere, boy — in your former life you were a beagle named Scooter who hailed from Allamakee, Iowa. The cutest puppy on the entire farm, you were so adored that the Allamakee High Junior Varsity Basketball team chose you to be their mascot. You absolutely loved the attention — the cheers, the cool purple-and-yellow jersey, and, most of all, the pizza parties after the games. But you fell out of favor when your sister gave birth to Niko, a snot-nosed young pup who became the newest recruit for the JV team's mascot position. As Niko's popularity grew, the team began to neglect you. No longer did they chant your name when they held you over the basket to slam dunk the ball. No more did they make T-shirts with your adorable mug above the "Antonio's Chinese Food" logo.
Then, finally, they fired you when you bit the point guard's mother. After much moping and grieving, you decided to be happy for little Niko. So, armed with
your new contentment, you found it in yourself to support Niko and the JV team — not from the court, but from your new spot in the bleachers.
We don't need a psychic to tell us that you're giving off a Sapphire vibe. People with blue auras feel everything strongly — you tend to get a little emotional at the drop of a hat. You're also deeply spiritual and introspective. Matters of the heart, mind, and soul are important to you, and your waters run as deep as the ocean. Nurturing by nature, you're likely a loving, supportive caretaker. That's why friends, family, and co-workers adore you. They know
you're a good listener and always have great advice and a shoulder for them to cry on. In fact, if we had to find a fault, it's that you can be a tad too self-sacrificing. Remember that it's okay to say no sometimes. You forgive everyone else their weaknesses, so go ahead and forgive yourself for a little well-deserved selfishness. Indulge your creative side and do something artsy, or just take a break from being the world's counselor. You'll come back refreshed and ready for more.
Vlad, the recurrent theme of your dream life is Self-Reliance You're dreaming about situations in which you don't feel ready to take full advantage of life's opportunities. This means that in some area of your life,
you're searching for ways to better prepare and protect yourself on your road to success. Dreams are the stories your unconscious narrates each night as you
Vlad, your Emotional IQ is 115. This number is the result of a formula based on how many questions you answered correctly on Tickle's Emotional IQ test. But your Emotional IQ score is much
more than just a number: it's an indicator of success.
Research has shown that people with high emotional intelligence scores — not necessarily those with the highest IQ scores — tend to be the most valued and productive employees and have the longest and happiest romantic relationships. So, where are you most emotionally smart? Your test results show that your strongest suit is perception — your ability to pick up on what others are feeling.Because of this, you are unusually good at reading people's verbal and non-verbal cues. You're especially aware of the subtleties of people's actions, and can feel out the vibe of a situation better than many. That gives you and edge many wish they had. People with high perception skills like yours, however, tend to rely on them to the exclusion of others. As a result, they sometimes have underdeveloped abilities in other realms of critical emotional intelligence like managing emotions, empathy, and being expressive. To truly excel in life and know how to relate to different people, you need to balance out the different kinds of emotional intelligence.Research indicates that if people who are strong in perception can work to increase their overall emotional IQ score, they can prepare themselves to handle any interpersonal exchange with amazing skill — especially by learning to be empathetic and by being able to express what it is they are feeling or trying to say. And the good news is that people who try to improve their emotional IQ have far greater success than people who try to improve their IQ.
Vlad, you're a Type 2 - The Humanitarian Friends, family, and colleagues probably appreciate your caring and generous nature. They're also apt to know that when they come to you with a problem,
you'll usually offer a shoulder to cry on and unparalleled compassion. As a Humanitarian, you're likely to be seen as a loving and helpful person with a kind heart.Being a member of this type puts you in good company. Mother Teresa, with her tireless devotion to aid the sick and destitute members of society, and Bishop Desmond Tutu, with his emphasis on nonviolent protest against racial injustices, are also Type 2s. This means that compared to the eight other
Enneagram types, you have a strong sense of empathy for other people. In fact, you're the kind of warm, sincere person who can be uniquely capable of seeing the good in others.
Vlad, your most unique quality is that you're unusually Inspirational You inspire others around you with your creative energy and thirst for new experiences. You are exceptionally curious and aren't afraid of learning new
things — which is probably because you tend to focus on the potential positive outcome of any experience rather than dwelling on the potential negatives. You are a true explorer in the word. You want to understand and experience it all, and you're especially open to new feelings and ideas. Compared to others who are open, you are unusually appreciative of art and beauty. Only 2.1% of all test takers have this unique combination of personality strengths. While this
says a lot about you, there is much more to you than this.
Vlad, Freud would say your personality is most affected by events that happened when you were between the ages of three and seven. Relative to others, your personality today is moderately affected by the events of your childhood. This manifests itself in surprising ways. For example, you notice gender more than most other people do. You are also more likely to pay close attention to how gender plays out in relationships.
Vlad, your handwriting reveals that you are Clear-headed Your writing style reflects that you don't get confused easily; instead you manage to keep your wits about you most of the time. Is it your paragraph style, the pressure of your writing, or your left margin that gives you away?
Vlad, you're Muse! Known for your creative powers, you Muses are the poets and musicians of life, the patrons of the fine arts. It's funny, though — even with your inspirational prowess, you're probably not the type to boast about your guitar-strumming skills, or your latest published book of verse.
While it's great when people flock to you for ideas, there probably is a part of you that prefers to blend in sometimes — whether dressing in muted shades or staking out a one-on-one conversation at parties and social events. But try as you might not to hog the spotlight, others can't help but notice you. Must be hard to be such a goddess!
Despite any lingering modesty, you might be surprised at how much your mere presence can help improve the lives of those around you by infusing them with ideas and good thoughts. With that kind of healing energy, your inspirational ways have the potential to change the world, Muse. Whether you're scribbling sonnets, boogying with your friends, or drawing your own constellations — you're tapped in. So keep your eyes wide open to the possibilities and let that
inspiration flow!
Vlad, the shape of your hand reveals that you are especially good at Expressing your true self Based on the signs in your palm, you have much to gain by exploring and declaring who you really are. By putting directed energy toward your self-expression, your efforts will be returned multi-fold.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Tickle me

Iata ce zice despre mine:
Vlad, you're Yoda You are wise beyond your years — a sage for the ages, the master's master. That's why your Star Wars type is Yoda. Sure, you might not look too much like the little green Jedi Master, but you have a quiet contemplative way about you that commands respect.
People trust you, especially your friends who are constantly coming to you for advice and sometimes predictions. While you may not be able to tell them who's going to win the big game, you do possess the rare ability to see the big picture. You never lose sight of the fact that we're all part of a greater whole. It keeps you grounded and balanced, and it's the perfect cover for a mischievous sense of humor that always catches others off-guard. This mix of wisdom and impish delight promises to bring you long life...another thousand years or so anyway.
Vlad, you have an unusually strong psychic talent in the area of Precognition This means you have an uncanny ability to look into the future and anticipate what is going to happen. By knowing something's going to occur, you can even change the outcome of events for the better.
Vlad, our in-depth analysis also shows you have other hidden psychic strengths including retrocognition (the ability to know what has happened in the past), telepathy (the ability to sense people's true thoughts) and clairvoyance (the ability to see the unknown).
Vlad, a Romantic Gesture turns you on Hey there, sweet thing! In affairs of the heart, your pulse pounds at the tender and enchanting moments. While you may not have it all mapped out just yet, the fairytale ending is what you're after and romantic gestures are a sure way to give you butterflies.
It might be sweet notes, a bubble bath for two, a surprise getaway to your favorite B&B, or even just an extra spin around the block listening to your favorite love song. Whatever it is, romantic moments (and the thoughts behind them) turn you on. Sure, brains are important, a sense of humor is attractive, and you never said there was anything wrong with sexy underthings, but it's how your partner expresses their feelings for you that really lights your fire. How romantic!
Vlad, you are Left-brained Most left-brained people like you feel at ease in situations requiring verbal ability, attention to detail, and linear, analytical ability. Whether you know it or not, you are a much stronger written communicator than many, able to get your ideas across better than others.
It's also likely that you are methodical and efficient at many things that you do. You could also be good at math, particularly algebra, which is based on very strict rules that make sense to your logical mind.
Vlad, your vibe is Burgundy Chic You're one class act — the perfect balance of a cool, casual attitude and an elegant, polished style. There's a certain grace in almost everything you do. It's true, you make things look easy — even when they're not.
And while there's nothing flashy about how you present yourself, you never fail to dazzle most people you meet. You tend to take life as it comes — and it's not easy to throw you off course. A strong sense of self and a hearty dose of confidence help you handle whatever comes your way. And usually, look good doing it.
Vlad, Reaching New Heights Exhilarates You Clever and driven, a smarty like you probably feels most invigorated when you're reaching new heights and chasing your dreams. So, it's only natural that your signature scent should be as unforgettable and fabulous as you.
Whether you're aiming for a promotion at work or a mountain summit, you've got a calm, cool, and collected approach to everything you do. Motivated and confident, you're a hard worker who isn't afraid to put in the extra time and energy to achieve your goals. With your great attitude and brains, you're sure to go far. Keep up the good work!
Vlad, your best quality shines through in how Creative you are The fact that you're an inventive and creative person who usually has an abundance of imagination and ideas really draws people to you! But that's not the only thing. Your answers on the test indicate you're a smart person who is more able to understand complex concepts than many other people are. You are an independent person who is usually able to handle things in a self-sufficient manner, too.
In all, there are 15 qualities that help define you when you're at your best. Those are the traits potential employers, friends, and partners look for in you. What makes you unique is your particular distribution of those 15 qualities.
We've found that your particular combination of qualities is rare — only 1 in 10,000 people share the same general mix of traits. Those are great odds if you're trying to show a potential employer, colleague, friend, or date why you're exactly the right person for them.
The way you think about things makes you an Information Organizer. This means you have an eye for detail. You can scan a page and find the one mistake on it. You're also able to organize things in a way that makes sense and arrange information so that it is easier to understand. This makes you a very valuable resource for others who aren't organized or who have trouble catching their own mistakes. It's often difficult for traditional intelligence tests to pick up your particular set of abilities because the talent of organizing information and spotting inconsistencies is much harder to measure than other abilities.
How did we determine that your thinking style is that of an Information Organizer? When we examined your test results further, we analyzed how you scored on 8 dimensions of intelligence: spatial, organizational, abstract reasoning, logical, mechanical, verbal, visual and numerical. The 3 dimensions you scored highest on combine to make you an Information Organizer. Only 6 out of 1,000 people have this rare combination of abilities.
Holy smokes, you've got X-RAYVISION! Your answers show a keen sense of insight, coupled with a piercing mind. Okay, so you may not be able to see through brick walls — not yet, anyway. But you probably enjoy looking beneath the surface of things and reading between the lines. Your X-ray vision lets you see things others can't, making you good at reading people's motivations, solving mysteries of all kinds, or maybe just finding misplaced car keys. You've got the gift, so if you haven't started using it, it's high time you did. Just think of the benefits: You could really start undressing people with your eyes. Winning lottery tickets and grand prize soda-bottle caps will be effortlessly revealed to you. So start practicing! All superheroes know that developing your powers begins with mental training. To start honing your X-ray vision, try looking for the hidden meaning in things. Read old English poetry. Do crossword puzzles. Think metaphorically. Once you've trained your mind, you'll be ready to instruct the eyes. Start with gauzey fabrics, then move on to semi-transparent glass. Keep at it, and you'll be seeing through concrete slabs in no time. Good luck!
Vlad, you're likely to find fame and fortune in the Scientific World Talk about inventive! You're one of those people who has a special way of seeing a problem, wrapping your head around it, and squeezing out a solution that's nothing but pure genius. So what if you never won at the science fair (but congrats if you did). The fact is, you have a mind made for experimenting. You enjoy a mental challenge and like creating — whether it's a new invention for the sake of invention or something that solves people's more immediate problems.
Don't have crazy hair like Einstein? Don't know a Bunsen burner from a test tube? No sweat. Maybe you'll discover a cure for cancer. Maybe you'll be the first human to set foot on Mars. Or maybe you'll figure out how to safely make landfills evaporate.
Whatever you do, with a brain like yours, you're bound for scientific greatness. So get going! Fame and fortune await! The world's still waiting for someone to create that triple-chocolate, fudge, ice cream cake with zero calories! Or shoelaces that don't fray at the ends, or headphones that automatically adjust for outside noise factors, or rainproof-breathable fleece, or...
Vlad, your true talent is abstract reasoning Your ability to look at information abstractly means you have a rich imagination. You're one of those rare people who can mix two unrelated ideas together to come up with a great new one. Most people aren't as skillful as you are at applying knowledge outside of its usual context.
How do we know that's your true talent? While you were taking the test, we calculated your responses to each test question and rated your skills in 5 areas. You scored highest on abstract reasoning.
Your combination of strategic thinking and creativity can be an incredible value in both business and social environments.
And that's just a small part of what we know about you from your test results. You also have other hidden talents that can have a dramatic effect on your career, your life and how other people see you.