Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Time, one of the most mysterious yet fundamental parts of the universe. The universe would be static and unchanging, stuck in the state the instant it was created. However, scientists don't really know why it exists in the first place, there appears to be no mathematical necessity  for causes to happen before effects and why certain events have to happen in a certain order or direction.

There is nothing that says, in the laws of physics, that the pieces of a broken tea cup will come together and jump on to a table to form a flawless tea cup, or that a perfect tea cup should fall off of a table and shatter, and yet only one of these two events have been observed.

One answer to this question is the idea of entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Originally used to explain how heat flows through bodies, the Second Law of Thermodynamics says that in an isolated system the collective heat in a system will spread out towards equilibrium. This means that heat always flows from points of high heat to points of low heat. This can be easily observed in a glass of room temperature water and a couple of ice cubes, the heat flows from the warmer water to the colder ice, cooling the water but eventually warming the ice and causing it to melt. Entropy is the measurement of heat or unusable energy in the system. With the Second Law of Thermodynamics we find that the total entropy of a system cannot decrease, only remain constant or increase. As work is done even though local entropy could decrease the work moves some entropy to another part of the system and turns some of the energy done in the work into heat increasing the total entropy in the system.

This increase of entropy might explain why exactly things happen in the order that they do. They arrow of time might have to follow the sequence of events that cause the increase of order entropy. Sequences of events that cause cause entropy to decrease simply are outlawed by this rule which explains why ice melts instead of the ice becoming colder and colder and the water eventually reaching boiling point. Entropy can also measure the amount of chaos in a system so chaos will always increase as well. A quick example of this is if you don't spend the energy to take care of your house, which will cause waste heat to be made increasing entropy, and you will see that messes quickly take occur, dust will collect and cupboards will decay and furniture will fall apart. Also order cannot spontaneously come on its own, if you take all the pieces of a car and put them in a box and shake up the box, you'd never open a box to find a new car inside. However if you'd take a new car and shake it up vigorously for a few minutes you'd find a bunch of broken car pieces.

I don't really like the idea of entropy when applied to the concepts of order and chaos. I understand how it works in temperature and accept that but I still don't like the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Since it says that Entropy tends increase over time. Even though the chances of entropy decreasing is very small and it happens at only small level it still not 100% true. With the law of gravity there is no chance that matter would be repelled on the gravitational level ever, even on the microscopic level. However the Second Law isn't always 100% true. Rather than a law I just see it as an observation of the how the world tends to act.

I think a decent analogy is a casino. Even though on an individual level their is a chanced of making a profit, the probability of winning is allot smaller than losing to the casino. So on a large scale the money tends to flow from gamblers to the casino. There is no law of the universe, though, that says that money has to flow in that direction. And I don't think that the flow of time is based off of the flow of money in this relationship. And if someone knows the system, such as card counters, that can make off with a decent amount of profit at the expense of the casino. It's my hope that one day that we will be able to understand the universe in a way that we can make use of its own rules to beat it self at its own game and reduce chaotic entropy.

A few days ago I saw a movie that gave me an odd idea about time. I don't want to say what the movie is or exactly what happened in the movie since it might give away the story for any one who didn't see it, and most might not have seen it since it came out not to long ago. So in this movie a guy made a quantum device that allowed a person to go back in time but didn't  effect the present. Instead it made a new world with a different timeline separate from the "real" one. In the new world the events in it are a slightly different but, since the device existed in that world too, it was also able to create different time lines. But since that world was slightly different from the original world the world it made would be slightly different from the second one based off of the second worlds differences. And this pattern could go on indefinitely.

As I was thinking about it, I thought it was such a weird situation. Each universe makes another universe based on its current state. If one could accurately predict human behavior then one could predict how all of the other worlds would be like. So then I thought maybe that is how the universe acts and what causes time to flow in one direction.

So the original universe would some how be created. But in this universe there is only three spatial dimensions, but no time dimension. So this universe would be in the initial state and stay in this state for as long as it exists, each particle static, never moving. However this universe makes another one, somehow. The state that this universe us in is based off of the state its creating universe is in. This universe makes a new universe using the same rules the previous one used. This chain of events would continue on forever. So there would be an uncountable amounts of universes, unchanging but the newest one making more and more universes.

This could explain why effects would have to have causes and why, even though time doesn't exist in the way that we imagine or experience it, time seems to flow continuously. As I type this there might be trillions and trillions of me's frozen in front of a computer and watching [adult swim]. Each state of the me's has affected the current me which allows me to remember the states of the universes that came before.

The universe could then be seen as a film reel, each frame is doesn't change but each sequential frame is slightly different from the one before it (unless the camera angle changes, or scene changes, but you get me). As each one is experienced one at a time time seems to flow almost exactly like how we see time. This view gives us a single timeline but possibly each universe makes multiple universe based off of quantum uncertainty, so if a quantum event has a 70% chance of happening than out of the 70% of the universes that that one made will have that event happen and in the others something happened. This picture of the universe is more akin to asexual bacteria. Each bacteria has multiple children each one slightly different in a slightly different way. So after many generations there could be a great degree of variation in the bacteria arising in speciation. This view allows multiple alternate histories to exist that many science fiction authors like to play with.

Now I don't truly believe this is true, I just thought it was was an interesting idea and thought it would be cool to put it up in here.To find out if this might be true could be decently easy. As with my first analogy if one looks hard enough they will notice that there is a frame rate and instead of characters moving smoothly throughhout the film they continuously make small little instantaneous jumps. Maybe, as our measuring devices become more and more precise, we will be able to notice the frame rate of time. This might not entirely prove this hypotheses but could show that it is feasible. I guess this is one of those hypotheses where people go "So?" and I can't really answer. I don't know how this view of the universe affects our lives and be used to make future predictions. I figure the most important view is that the universe has a "frame rate" and that time can be quantized, much like how energy has. It would be cool to see in the future that this idea is being seriously considered but I'll continue just watching the physics world and see what those crazy physicists come up with. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Schrodinger's Cat

Time for the much anticipated sequel to The Double Slit Paradox post! Here is the link to it if you haven't read it: http://standinginfrontoftheuniverse.blogspot.com/2011/06/double-slit-paradox.html.

So as you can guess the Schrodinger's Cat thought experimented by Erwin Schrodinger. At first he was trying to show how preposterous certain interpretations of the Uncertainty Principle to be used on more macroscopic scenarios. The Uncertainty Principle was created by Werner Heisenberg in 1927. He came up with this when he thought of a theoretical measuring device that could give scientists the precise velocity and position of a subatomic particle, e.g. an electron. This device shoots a single photon at an electron. The more precise of a location we want the smaller wavelength of the photon needs to be. However the shorter the frequency the more energy the photon has causing the unknown bounce of the photon off of the electron would have a larger effect (since we don't know where the electron exactly is we don't know where the photon is going to hit the electron so we won't know how electron is going to bounce off when the two collide). So the more we know the electron's position the less we are sure about its velocity and the more we know about its velocity the more uncertain we are about its position. So we have an inverse ratio between the electrons position and velocity. Now this isn't just faults in this hypothetical device. As it turns out its part of nature, for some reason, for us to be completely certain about multiple states of a particle, not with just position and velocity but other quantum states as well. 

The wave functions of the some of the orbits an electron of
a hydrogen atom. The whiter it is the more likely an electron
will be there when observed.
Somehow this led some physicists to the idea that when not observed particles expand to a wave function. This function gives us the probability of a particles state e.g. position. When the particle is observed the wave function will "collapse" to a random point in the wave function. The function of a particle will tell us the likely hood the particle will be there when it collapses. So now when physicists thought only photons had a wave/particle duality it turns out every particle can be either a particle or a wave. This electrons, protons, atoms, molecules and even.... you! *gasp*

That cat is asleep not dead!
But I guess people don't like pics of dead cats
So when this idea came out Schrodinger found this a little odd. This wave function meant that an unobserved particle could hold two states and be in two, or more, places at once. In a way to show how preposterous this could mean, Schrodinger came up with a little thought experiment. He got a completely sound proof and opaque box. In this box he put a cat and a quite devilish little device. This device has an unstable atom and a can detect when it decays. When it does so it unleashes a poison gas easily able to kill a small mammal such as a cat, especially when there is no circulation. When the cat and this device is placed in the box and sealed off there is no way to detect what is going on in the box. The decay of atoms and subatomic particles is governed by the Uncertainty Principle and is completely random when it does decay. However the rate at which this type of theoretical atom decays is known and after an hour there is a fifty/fifty chance that the atom decayed and didn't decay. 

So according to the current idea of quantum physics the atom decayed and is still intact simultaneously. This means that this device activated and did not activate and that the defenseless cat is still alive AND dead at the same time. However once someone opens the box than one of the two states is chosen and we would either see a non-conflicting alive OR dead cat. No one knows why Schrodinger picked a sort of morbid thought experiment (because no physicists wants to needlessly kill cats, maybe the device can feed the cat so the cat would be a bit peckish or well fed simultaneously instead of dead or alive), but I guess he just wanted to show how weird this new theory could be. 

However instead of debunking this new idea this thought experiment was taken honestly and many physicists think that the cat would indeed be alive and dead at the same time. Some people I think went a little crazy with this idea of observation itself being able to change the world around us. Some people thinks that consciousness, which is what makes us able to "observe" the world, is a fundamental part of the universe, maybe as some fundamental particle which is necessary for life or evidence as a universal consciousness that we are just part of which religions have called God. 

One guy I saw on "Through the wormhole" (and yes in hindsight I realized that's very similar to my subtitle thing and I did make mine later, but whatever I like mine and I'm sticking to it) actually saw this as a evidence that we are in some simulation or game since in video games it doesn't render anything the player isn't looking at or doesn't update objects that are decently far from an the player to increase the speed of the game. However there is a huge difference between rendering objects to a screen for a human to understand and the how objects need to be perceived to objects in the simulation it self. In video games points of the model a translated from the position on the model in respect to the objects position in the world, then translated in relative to the camera's position in the world, then projected to a 2d plane which is then rendered onto your screen (there's a few more steps from camera to the screen but there more technical and unnecessary for me to tell you, but that's right I'm learning stuff in video game school XD). This is required for objects to be seen and takes up allot of processing time which is why we don't do that for objects behind you or out of your field of view in a game or simulation. In real life, photons bounce off of objects and certain frequencies are absorbed, the rest go into your eye and hit certain light sensitive cells depending on their relative position to the eye. The entire frequency of white light, usually sunlight, minus the color absorbed by the object gives the incoming light the opposite color which we observe. This happens all the time in a light filled environment whether someone is looking at an object or not. For more reasons why I don't think this world is not a simulation observe this post: http://standinginfrontoftheuniverse.blogspot.com/2011/05/are-we-in-matrix.html

I, being a skeptic atheist, don't believe in anything special about us and do not think there is some sort of ethereal or physical "thing" that is consciousness. As I've said before nothing special happened when three to four billion years ago when life originated. The universe didn't go "These bags of chemicals shall be able to observe and collapse wave functions when these other organic chemicals have no such power!" However I do believe that particles can exist as a wave and have all the implications that come with it, especially since experiments, such as the Double Slit Experiment, prove it. I just think that the definition of "Observation" is misconstrued by some people. When I first heard about the Double Slit Experiment I was like "Whoa! If  I open and close my eyes it changes how electrons behave!?" But then reading it up some more I realized that by observing the electrons it something more like Heisenberg's theoretical measuring device. They hit the passing electrons with photons to see which slit it went through (I'm assuming you've read the post I linked at the top so read that first plox). And it was this bombardment that affected the particle and wave like patterns. So looking at something start up doesn't really affect the actions of the observed object since photons are constantly hitting you any ways. However if it's pitch dark, using a flash light to look at the world around you will affect it, not because you're looking at it but because you're hitting it with a flash light, or the photons from the flashlight rather. 

Picture related, but also pretty trippy. 
So now looking at the Schrodinger's Cat experiment with this mentality the answer, to me at least, but what do I know, is that the act of the device that is measuring the unstable atom causes the atom to collapse to the a single decayed/not decayed state. This means that no matter how much the box is sealed off it is still being observed by the device it self not some scientist. So the cat would remain in one state at all time, box being opened or closed regardless. Also I would like to think that the cat would be able to look at itself and decide if it's dead or not, but I guess that brings up other things. 

Once again I'm a 20 year old in a gaming school and not taking any quantum physics and am mostly self taught so I could be completely wrong and it would be awesome if some Ph.D in physics came up and told me some awesomeness and correct any mistakes or misinterpretations I made. However I stand in my "This world is not a computer simulation" claim. And of course having a Ph.D or anything is not a prerequisite to leaving comments on my blog (well I guess a computer and hands are but that's more of a physical than a rules thing), so fill free to comment cause, you know, it'll be cool 'n' junk. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

NASA Blue Beam Project

Sorry about not updating in the past couple of weeks. I've been on vacation so I was not able/not willing to post stuff.

So during this break anonymous put a link in the comments to my 2012 post, http://educate-yourself.org/cn/projectbluebeam25jul05.shtml. This led to a website talking the NASA Blue Beam Project. To be honest I don't believe a lick of it and most of it I don't think even an anaconda could swallow, but I'll give anything someone links or posts in the comments. I might not make a post about it but I will read up a bit of it. So the Blue Beam Project is a NASA/UN joint operation (I'm not really sure, everything says the whole thing is orchestrated by the United Nations and I never hear anything about how NASA is involved but it's always referred to as the NASA Blue Beam Project so I don't know) that's supposed set up the world's populace to accept the a single "Satanic" New Age religion which is required for their New World Order, which is a single global dictatorship, why a single new religion is required for the New World Order I have no idea.

The Blue Beam Project (I also have no idea why it's called that) comes in four steps;

1. The architects of the Blue Beam Project will plant false evidence in certain areas, and then cause earthquakes in those areas, leading people to "uncover" the evidence. These objects will prove that either the teachings and meanings of all the major world religions were misinterpreted or disprove religions completely.

2. The next step is to use satellites to make holographic images all over the world. Each region's messiah, such as Jesus in Europe and the Americas and Muhammad in the Middle East, saying how the everyone has been misinterpreting their religions.

3. The third step is to have messages reach into the minds of every human on the planet, making them feel as if God is talking to them from within their soul. God says to them again that everyone has been misinterpreting all the holy scriptures.

4. The final step comes in three parts:
a. They'll make holograms in the sky (presumably the same technology used in step two) making it seem that aliens are invading the Earth. In a desperate attempt to survive the attack all the nuclear nations of the world will then use their nuclear arsenals on the holograms, leaving them defenseless.
b. Then a race of good aliens, still all holograms, will come in and destroy the invading aliens.
c. Now this is the most confusing part of the Blue Beam Project. Supernatural forces will then travel through wires and possess all electric devices (that will by this time have all have microchips in them) and will push people to suicide or permanent psychological damage).

After these four steps the UN (or whoever) will then believe that the world is ready for any new messiah so when they present this to the world they plan the world will grasp for any kind of security and will convert to their new religion and accept a world dictatorship. 

I apologize to any one who reads these and does believe in this but I don't think I even have to say anymore about the Blue Beam Project and any normal sane person wouldn't believe this at all. I have no idea why a whole world religion is necessary for a world government. And the first three steps where all essentially accomplish the same thing. Also as an atheist I know hard it is to convince most religious people. Given the tons of geological biological and experimental evidence for evolution millions of people in the United States still don't believe in it. I can't imagine what proof they could uncover after step one that could make everyone in the world question their beliefs that their ancestors have been following for thousands of years. Also if I was christian having a giant image of Jesus Christ in the sky making me think it is actually him talking to me from heaven would make me believe in Christianity even more, hell if I saw that I might just believe in it right then and there rather than question Christianity, and I feel that would go for all religions.

To implement step three one of the sites talked about LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device) which is essentially a laser for sound. The sound emitted from LRAD does not dissipate in three dimensions like normal sound but all the sound waves travel down a single path directed by the device. This allows three cool things; it allows you to send sounds long distances without the sound dissipating and getting quieter, it makes sound appear to come from what your pointing at rather than the device itself and for military purposes you can have the device deafeningly loud to nonletahly cripple any opponents but only people in the direction of the device will be affected while the friendlies can stand a few feet away and not hear it any where as loud.

So this technology is supposed to be used in step two allowing the various messiahs to talk to everyone in the world. However this technology is uses normal audio, just fashioned in a way to not spread out. So satellites would not be able to send audio signal through the vacuum of space. Even if that was possible I can't imagine how satellites will be able to send messages to the six billion plus people of the world.

For their third step they planed to use LF (Low Frequency), VLF (Very Low Frequency), and ELF (Extremely Low Frequency) electromagnetic waves bursted at the same frequency as the human brain. This supposedly makes it seem as if voices are coming from the inside your head. LF and ELF waves range from microwave and radio waves frequency. And the their are two common household devices that uses these electromagnetic waves, you guessed it: Radios and Microwaves! If you live in any decently sized town Radio waves constantly travel through your head and yet nobody can tune into a radio station with their head (I did hear a story where this female comedian heard radio stations through her teeth fillings). Cell phones also use microwaves to send signals and I hope no one picks up my cell phone calls without my consent.

Step four is well... I mean the UN wants to fake an alien invasion just to make the countries of the world use up their nuclear arsenal leaving them unable to defend them selves against the UN's nukes, which is comprised of those same nations.... Then then a second alien race comes in to destroy the bad aliens and just as quickly disappear as fast as the whole world is supposed to forget about them. Then the websites literally say supernatural forces are supposed to travel down fiber optic cables, coaxial cables and other wires to some how scare the worlds population to suicide. TV's and hairdryers have to do some scary pretty scary shit to make me want to kill my self. An interesting sentence was that they said that step four was very similar to how the Soviets spread communism. So they made huge realistic holograms convincing the peasants that aliens where invading the Earth so the peasants of 1917 Russia and the third world countries of 1940s and 1950s would use their nuclear arsenals. When this retaliation would ultimately fail friendly aliens came, destroyed the bad aliens and left without a trace. Then the Soviets possessed the electrical appliances of the poorest people of the first half of the 20th century, with all their TVs, smart phones and iPad2's. Look it up in any history book it's in there, trust me.

Once this New World Order is established they require that everyone is a part of this. To track down any humans who run into the wild to live off of wild animals and fish, the conspirers plan to put microchips in every single fish and edible animal. So they plan to go everywhere and put trackers in the billion of billions of edible animals of the world. And of course they know exactly when every animal gives birth so they can put the trackers in the day their born. And somehow they're going to know based on the movements of the billions of blips on the world map when an animal is captured by a human not just a normal carnivore.

I would like to hope it's just a troll to mess with me because I would feel bad for humanity if some of us believe this is real. However there are multiple websites about this and some are pretty old so that would seem to be a pretty deep troll. And I've seen some crazy things that people believe in. Two of the websites where I got most of the information from where based off of a French Canadian where English is definitely not his first language, so if someone knows more about this and can answer some questions I had and fix any things that I may have misinterpreted (I'm looking at you Mr. Anonymous who put up that link).

If you were wondering these are the three sites that I looked up this stuff on:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Time for a new game concept! "Burden" (working title) is my oldest and my detailed concept, so I might be able to spread this out in two or three posts, hehehhe. So the setting takes place in this universe about 500 years into the future. Earth's diplomacy has changed allot. A century into the future China is one of the most powerful powers in the world rivaling the US and growing whilst American economies and strength has stagnated. China begins to flex its muscles and begins territorial expansion. Starting the Imperial war China conquers all of Asia up to the end of Turkey and Ural Mountains. After the war Europe was completely ravaged and all most every government lost power relative to the chaos in modern Africa. The American economy finally collapses and fuses together with Mexico and Canada to synergistically  support the government and forms the United Nations of North America, or UNNA. After years of recovery Europe is joined together again under one flag as the Roman Republic, harkening back to the original rise of Europe, and eventually becomes one of the most advanced Superpower. By the 26th century the "Universal Engine" (working name), which allows ships to open a portal to another dimension, dubbed the "Jump Dimension", and then jump back to this dimension at any point in this universe so the distances of any point is irrelevant in respect of travel time (I know this interferes with relativity and could possibly allow travel back in time, but shut up it's a video game).

Eventually a colonizable binary planet system is discovered (instead of a moon orbiting a planet it's two equally massive planets orbiting each other), called Pollox and Castor. The sentient species is quite humanoid but with a few distinctive features, I actually havn't figured out what these features would be yet. The technological level of the Descourian species is at the level humanity was at in the 14th-15th century, high middle ages. The Descourians have the ability to shape energy into different forms allowing them to appear to be able to do magic (cause lets face it if the don't have any biological advantage humans would completely decimate them, being a mellenia more advanced). They also have a naturally occurring alloy that's harder than any metal on Earth allowing them to make almost indestructible armour and Weapons that can pierce through a inches of steel (again more balancing). The planets are also tidally linked so the same faces are always facing each other. And the sides that face each other have points where the energy that powers the Descourian abilities pools together and allows the inhabitants to travel between its surfaces.

Their are three main powers on the Descourian planets; Ledia, Avor, and Doraia. Etymology time! Ledia came from lead, I'm not sure why I just remember that it is. Avor came from the good god of Fable "Avo" and I just put an 'r' in the back, and Avor is a theocracy. And Doraia came from the word Doric which is a type of Greek column, mostly cause they are based off of Roman and Greek civilizations. Also Pollux and Castor are twins that came from either Greek or Roman mythology. Descouria, I actually don't remember how I came up with that name.

Anyways, The largest of the three, Doraia is the most Isolated and the other two Ledia and Avor are religiously uncomfortable with each other as the Ledian kicked the Avorian converts out of their lands and banished them to the nearby continent (I do have a map for both planets but not on this computer, I might remake it for another post). Recently (past hundred years or so) the Descourians began colonizing the opposite planet, Pollux.

So the UNNA and the Roman Republic decided to split the Planet of Castor, UNNA would get the two smaller continents which ended up being populated with the Descourians and quickly allies with the Avorians who see the UNNA military as the angelic army of their god. The Romans colonize the larger uninhabited continent but then begins having trouble dealing with the deadly wildlife. Soon the Chinese Empire (before the Imperial war China had a regime change giving rise to the now called Chinese Empire giving the war its name) colonizes the unclaimed planet of Pollux. To counter American diplomacy, the ally with the Ledians.

Eventually the Avorians see the coming of humanity as a sign from their god to begin their long planned crusade to reclaim their homeland from the Ledians and launches an attack against them. Quickly China helps their new allies and fights the Avorians. Since tensions where building due to colonization claims and no one in the west has yet to forgive China the UNNA declares war on both Ledia and the Chinese Empire. As this war is going on Eventually an new Alien Civilization lands on Pollux called the Third Race, Humanity being the first race and the Descourians being the second (at first me and my friend didn't have a name for them just referring them as that and then it just stuck). A completely organic race they alter the genes of its members to form different classes and even technologies such as ships and mounted guns and creatures that would serve the purpose of vacuums and stuff like that. They travel the galaxy in huge ships that travel at sub-light speed slowly but patiently wiping any sentient civilization out that uses mechanical technology, they have reasons for which I'll explain another time. Quickly they become a force to great to ignore and the Humans and the Descourians declare a temporary alliance to fight this force. Eventually the Third Race finds one of the largest pools of energy and use it to increase the speed they can produce troops tenfold. Eventually they completely over run Pollux.

The UNNA is forced to play its hand and use the Anti-Matter Bomb, a weapon they where producing to finish off the Chinese. It opens another gateway to a different dimension which if very chaotic and filled with antimatter and when it pours out of the bomb and comes in contact with normal matter it explodes with exponentially more power than a Hydrogen Bomb. When they drop the bomb on the overran planet it is even more powerful than expected and rips the planet apart. While the threat of the Third Race is over a meteor shower decimates the Descourian population on Castor and a small asteroid belt forms a ring around the planet. The Descourians universally banish the Humans off of their last planet blaming them for the most deadly war in their history.

And that is pretty much the end of the first Game, I do have some general ideas for a trilogy if I do make this game and it becomes popular enough to have sequels. I plan to have this to be an RTS, mostly similar to the Total War series (which is my favorite RTS series ever, I highly recommend it). I was thinking of having it as a FPS/RTS mix, but I feel it would be to clunky so I dropped the FPS part. There are, obviously, three Races; Humans, Descourians, and the Third Race. And each race is split into three factions. Humanity has the UNNA, Roman Republic, and Chinese Empire. Descouria has Ledia, Avor and Doraia. And the Third race has the Bubonians (from the Bubonic plague), Stygia (from the word Stygian), and the Kroatoans (from the Roanoke colony).

The campaign would be split up into three campaigns. Starting off as the Humans, the player chooses to play as one of the Human factions and each faction's story happens simultaneously. Act two begins when the Third Race lands on the Descourian planets, where the player plays as one of the Three Third Race factions. The end of Act two is when the Third Race takes over the energy pool. After that the player chooses a Descourian faction and obviously ends when the bomb is dropped on Pollux.

Good example of this point of view. 
The name "Burden" comes from the 19th century term "The white man's burden," where Europeans, mainly the British, felt that they were "obviously" "superior" to the other races of the world and that is was their responsibility to help lift up the other races of the world to be civilized. While from there point of view it was a nice thing to do, but since they felt they were superior in every way it ended up in the spread of Western culture at the cost of native culture and ended up being detrimental on a global scale.

Even though I did used to do art in high school I can only do well when I can see the what I'm drawing and I'm quite Horrendous when it comes to drawing from purely from my head including concept art, so even in future posts I probably won't have much pictures for Burden, which I apologize for, cause I know it's nice to have pictures to break up text.

I'm pretty good with this overall story for Burden. Later I could do posts on the pregame history of Humanity, Descouria and the Third Race and go more in depth into Campaign story. I could also go into more depth about human technology, and Descourian lifestyles. So if y'all like it I shall keep on posting stuff about Burden. And as always if you guys have any opinions or think something should be changed or tweaked leave a comment in the comment section and I shall decide whether I approve or not. And my current plan for the the next couple of posts is to talk about Schrodinger's cat and then finish my Western Hegemony by talking about the rise of America and compare its rule over the world over European's reign. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Western Hegemony

So today's post is about the West's and then America's dominance over the world and what could possibly happen in the future. I feel like talking about this because this topic came up as me and a friend, who actually has his own blog: http://acidflaw.blogspot.com/, which has some pretty cool alternate art stuff that has the awesomeness of the internet in one place, (kay back to the story) were in the car and the topic came up on it's own. As we were talking I realized "Yo, this is somthing I could post in my blog and I do want to do some more history stuff!" (Yes I do say "Yo" in my head). So I wrote this.

During the renaissance in Europe the west was finally getting out of the Dark Ages, where centralized nations where finally taking hold and science and art became more important than being dedicated to live a completely pious life. However this mellenia of uncivilized barbarism was not world wide. China continued to being one of the most civilizations of its time. The Aztecs in central america were on the rise and nearby in the Middle East the Ottomans Empire finally took over the last vestiges of the Roman empire known as the Byzantine Empire conquering Constantinople in 1453 which was the final stronghold of the Greco-Roman culture. So why in the 16th century was it Europe the began conquering and dominating the world?

During the 12th century the nations of Europe were invading the Middle East and the holy lands. Luckily at this time the Abbasid Caliphate ruling the Middle East and North Africa was not completly united and could not stand against the United Christian forces. For a hundred years the Europeans held the small crusader states they made in the holy land until Saladin was able to rally the power of the Muslims and kick the Westerners out. Even though in the end Europe did not spread Christianity and did not win territorial gains they got allot of interactions with the much more advanced Abbasid Civilization. The crusades spread the ideas, sciences and mathematics created in the Middle East where learning and discovery was at the fore front of its priorities which they learned from the Greeks that spread there ideas across the Middle East during the Conquering of Alexander the great creating the short lived Hellenistic Empire and making Alexandria in Egypt which became the center for learning in the Ancient world, and in the peace of the Roman Empire that let ideas quickly spread across its vast empire (Roman and Greek ideas went east just as Christianity went west during these times). By the time of the Renaissance the Europeans relearned the importance of scientific discovery and the encouragement of making ideas, unfortunately the Muslims forgot this later and became lost in Religious Ideology making it the back water it is now and caused it to be controlled by Britain at the end of World War One.

School of Athens; Raphael 1509-1510
Luckily for Italy, at the end of the Crusades where they started to open there eyes to the glories of the Ancients, the Church held most of the documents written during Antiquity and let the Italians see the ideas of Pythagoras, Sophocles, Euclid, and the other great minds of Greece. During this period we see the art of Italy change from being solely being centered around Christianity and move to Greek and Roman mythology. One of my favorite paintings is the "School of Athens" by Raphael in 1509-1510. In the middle can be seen Plato and Aristotle arguing with each other. This painting strikes both the Artist and Scientist in me (Yes I used to do art, it was high school, things were different back then, things change). Soon Italy was the richest nation (well not a nation yet) in Europe opening trade across the Mediterranean coming into more contact with the Byzantines and there ancient history and the still thriving Muslims.

Soon this philosophy of humanism, concentrating more on human values and concerns rather than God's spread across Europe. Spain and Portugal started the Reconquista during the Crusades and began to claim all of Iberia for Christendom (the idea of a unified Christian kingdom, much like how the Islam empires were like but never really happened due to each nations will to not be associated with its neighbors). They saw Italy's wealth with envious eyes and knew that international trade was necessary to become rich. However Italy, most notably Venice, already owned the entire Mediterranean trade network very smartly took advantage of the Geographic advantage of being on the edge of the Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Due to the Exploits of a very adventurous Marco Polo Europe heard fantastical stories of China's Yuan Dynasty. However at the time the only trade route to China was the overland Silk Road. In the times of Man and animal power going by sea being pushed by the winds was by far the fastest way to travel, trade, and make money. But unfortunately the entire continent of Africa was in the way and even though the Mediterranean was only a few miles from the Red Sea no canal existed then to let ships cross. Muslims had control over the Silk Road forcing the Europeans to pay taxes for everything that came from China or India, so they just wanted a cheaper way too. At this time a new ship was designed, the Carrack, this was the world's first ocean going ship. Soon Portugal began going south Africa's western coast. By 1499 Vasco da Gama was the first European to circumnavigate Africa and reach India by the sea.

Portugal monopolized the African trade route to Asia and when all of Spain was united in 1492 Spain had only one direction to go, West. Funding a crazy Italian merchant Spain sent three ships across the Atlantic hoping to reach Asia from the opposite end, letting Christopher Columbus to be the first westerner to discover the Americas (if you don't count the Norwegian Vikings around the year 1000). Before the rest of Europe realized what happened Spain and Portugal spit these new continents between themselves. In the 1994 Treaty of Tordesillas, the pope drew a line down the middle of South America, where they currently thought the middle was, where Portugal got the East Side, mainly modern Brazil, and Spain, luckily for them go everything in the West. These lands along with the trade in the East made Portugal and Spain the strongest and richest nations in Europe.

Soon Europe the rest of Europe joined in. The 1600's saw the golden age of the Netherlands and after the Defeat of the Spanish Armada England proved to be the new uncontested naval power of Europe. Since the 1700's England was on the Rise claiming North America (which according to the Pope was Spain's but they couldn't do anything about it and where happy with what they had already). Eventually Europe wasn't quite satisfied with just trading with India and China but wanted direct control over their lands. After a decisive  victory against the French,  Britain claimed all of India as one of it's most treasured colonies. France had to settle with Indochina, which was the peninsula of South East Asia what is now Modern Day Vietnam (which stayed french until the Vietnam war). The Netherlands claimed many islands in Indonesia. And England claimed Australia and New Zealand. Even though the Western Powers never directly conquered China Each major power by 1900's carved it's own sphere of influence where China could do barely anything except comply with the "Barbarians". And by in two decades, the 1880's and the 1890's Europe caught Africa fever and each nation quickly tried to claim it's own slice of the poor Continent known as the "Scramble for Africa".   If it wasn't for Germany's colony of Tanzania Britain would have had a strip of Africa that would have gone from "Cape to Cairo", reaching from Egypt all the way down to South Africa. Russia as well was beginning it's Empirical Conquest and while not overseas territories, Russia went non stop from its startings in Moscow to Northern Asia and Almost continued going into North America with it's conquest of Alaska  but then sold it to the new nation of the United States for two pennies an acre!

Matchlock Musket
One of the main reasons that Europe was so successful at conquering the rest of the world was it love affair with gun powder. While invented in China while looking for a potion of immortality a Chinese Alchemist created a powder that would violently burn. While only militarily used to shoot flaming arrows and for crude guns, if they could be called that, the main use for gun powder was for fireworks. However when brought to the Middle East and Europe it's true potential was found. In the Middle east the united Muslim Empire was split into three states; The Ottomon Empire (Iraq, Turkey, Balkans, Egypt, North Africa) , the Safavid Empire (Iran) and the Mughal Empire (India) which where known as the three "Gunpowder Nations" due to their avid use of Gunpowder. As Europe continued its rise of scientific and technological prowess it quickly used gunpowder in its own armies. With the European process of corning (wetting gunpowder and letting it dry letting it form is larger chunks rather than a superfine powder) increased the power of black powder many times. Soon refined match lock muskets replaced the old Arquebus, allowing them too be full fledged military weapons. This allowed Spain and Portugal to wipe out the Native American empires of the Aztecs and Incas with just a few hundred men. Innovations in cannon design also let Europeans put cannons on a ship. This what allowed the West to become a global force, the power to bring the power of an army to any shore where the native people are no where near as advanced allowed Europe to spread their power unquestionably across the world. In China even though it was impossible to conquer it with a land army, the Nations of Europe forced open its harbors with the sound of cannon fire.
The epitome of European naval power: A Ship of the Line

But why where they the first to conquer the world? Well if you truly look at it, they got lucky. The fact is was that they where just the first to explore the world and to first to properly use cannon and guns. China at the time was starting to send exploratory ships out at the time but stopped for some reason. Honestly if just a few things where different, if Columbus and da Gama wasn't born and the children of China where as itchy to explore as they where I would be explaining right now why the world is currently dominated by China in Mandarin. However once Europe began tasting the riches that came with colonization that would not stop and with an positive attitude of questioning the world and testing new ideas Europe would continue to advance and grow richer while the rest of the world is trying to catch up.

Now it turns out that this post is ALLOT longer than I meant for it to be which is cool, it just lets me get one more post before my queue of ideas to post about runs out. So I shall continue this subject later, talking about the rise of the United States and the fall of Europe and how America might get over shadowed soon by a nation from across the ocean! OOOOOHH!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Double Slit Paradox

So the double slit paradox experiment is good introduction to the weirdness of quantum physics.

So lets start this explanation off with things we can all understand. Imagine there is a guy with a machine gun and was shooting a wall in front of him. The gunner is not aiming at all so when he shoots a spray the spread of all the bullets would hit the entire wall so each point on the wall has the same chance of being hit by a bullet.

Now we put a metal wall in front of the wall with one vertical slit allowing the bullets to travel through. Now when he shoots his gun bullets would concentrate right behind the slit and barely hit any where else. If we were to put two side by side slits, like anyone would expect, there would be only two similar sized areas as the slits on the wall. Since the bullets don't interact with each other nothing spectacular happens.

Actually made these first three images believe it or not

The white levels on the back wall shows the intensity of the wave
So now we can more away from solid objects and move to waves. The most common and visible type of wave is water waves like in the ocean or like ripples. For this example we'll have a ripple tank, which is just a tank with water in it and has a wall that comes out of the surface and has slits in it to let the water waves through. So when we have one slot the maximum height of the waves is right behind the slot and spreads out away.

Notice the interference pattern in the back. 
When we add two slots something more interesting happens. The wave splits into two waves and these two waves interact with each other in a pattern known as the interference pattern. When two crests meet together they add up and get twice as high as the normal wave but when a crest and a trough meet they cancel each other out and the intensity of the waves at that point becomes nearly zero.

Nice top down .gif of how the interference works

So now we under stand how particles and waves react when going through one and two slits. When particles are shot through two slits we see two similar slits in the back, and when waves are shot through two slits we see an interference pattern. So now we go to the quantum level!

So lets imagine we have us an electron gun that shoots electrons out towards a surface that can detect electron collisions. So when there is nothing in the way every spot in the wall has an equal chance of being hit by the electron. When we have a barrier with one slit we see the similar vertical slit that happens in both both particles and waves. So that doesn't help us to see if electrons are true particles or behave like waves. So let us put two slits in this barrier. When scientists first did this they were surprised to see an interference pattern like with waves. They figured that the electrons near each other when they're are shot interfere with each other so they decided to configure the electron gun to shoot another electron when the last one hit the back so only one electron would be in the air at a time. When they did this the same interference pattern came up. 

Scientists figured that the electron has a 50% chance of going through slot one and a 50% chance of going through slot to so if it has the possibility of doing something something on the quantum level will do it, meaning that the electron goes through both and none of the slots at the same time!

To see what was really going on down there scientists set up detector to see exactly which slot an electron goes through or what it could possibly mean to go through two slots at once. However once they set up the detector the electrons acted like particles and two vertical slits appeared in the back. 

This means that particles on the sub atomic level objects act like particles and waves. When particles are not observed they exist in every possible position and take every possible path they could given by the Heisenberg Uncertainly Principle and the Planck constant forming a wave function. But when a particle becomes observed (whatever that really means) the wave function that holds all the possible positions and states "collapses" into one of it's possible state and that is when we say "There it is" but once we stop looking at it it expands into all of its possibilities again!

So that's it for now. Eventually I will post about the other introductory quantum paradox "Schrodinger's Cat", go into more depth about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and other quantum funkiness.  

Here is a cat until the mean time

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Game Concept: Heaven and Hell

So as you can tell I've been a little dry in the coming up with posts department and haven't posted anything in I think about a week. So to post something up until I can do something more in tuned with my blog I shall talk about a game concept I have. As planning to work in the video game industry I actually have a bunch of ideas for video games. This one has to do with the forces of Heaven and Hell fighting each other. Even though the story is based off of the concepts of Christianity; Heaven, Hell, God, and the main characters of each side, it's not supposed to be the same Christian, Islamic, or Jewish god, or a retelling of those religions, so if you are heavily religious I'm not trying to anything, good or bad, about any religion.

So this would be the pregame story:
The Seven Archangels
In the beginning god created Heaven and the seven archangels; Micheal, Gabriel, Raphael, Suriel, Zadakiel, Sarathiel, Aniel. The archangels were perfect, immortal, and lived only to serve and praise their creator. In return for their loyalty lived a perfectly happy life in heaven free of suffering and had Heaven provide for all their needs and wants. However over mellenia god grew bored of the predictable love offered by the archangels.

So God preceded to make Terra, an imperfect finite land where its flawed inhabitants, the humans, would have to struggle just for their personal survival. God revealed to the humans that they may enjoy the endless bounties of Heaven, but only if they served Him and followed His rules. The humans, however, were given free will and were not forced to follow the rules of God. The humans had to choose between to suffer temporarily following His rules, and then live in paradise forever, or choose to take advantage of mortal sins and be denied the in front of the Gates of Heaven.

For those humans who fell under the influence of sins, God made a third world, Hell, where every selfish human would suffer for eternity. To rule and manage these lands God took what was left of the clay he made from the seven archangels and created the seven archdemons; Lucifer, Mammon, Asmodeus, Satan, Baal, Leviathan, and Belphegor. Being the opposite of the archangels, the Archdemons where unpredictable selfish and had an unending loathing for their creator, whom forced them to suffer for their eternal lives. They punished the immoral humans, just as God planned, as the archdemons wanted to hurt God's favored creation.
A painting of Heaven, Earth, and Hell

Lucifer, that clever devil
After thousands of years the cleverest Archdemon, Lucifer, found a way out of Hell into Terra which meant a path to Heaven. Wanting to invade and live blissfully in paradise the Archdemons, indirectly spread their influence around Terra, causing Humans to sin, spreading plagues and starting wars, sending many Humans to Hell. The Archdemons corrupted the Human souls turning them into demonic warriors. When the time was right the demon army led by the seven Archdemons charged out of the Gates of Hell into Terra. Soon the Archangels made an angelic army out of the pious humans who stayed loyal to God to combat the forces of Hell and prevent them from entering paradise.

And as this pleasantly unexpected turn of events occurred god patiently watched.

As for the story of the game itself I haven't thought about it too much. I might have a full linear story that has a definite ending, or have it like End War where both sides fight an open ended ended story where it plays a cinematic saying what happens depending which side wins, or be like Sins of a Solar Empire where there is just a intro story and game play only through skirmishes. I plan to have the genre be an RTS like Rome Total War or like Age of Empires, where the two armies are completely different where generally angels have fewer stronger creatures and the demons have more weaker creatures and could sacrifice them. Players will play as a sub-faction when they choose each Archangel or Archdemon to be there general. The generals will  be a Unique unit semi-immortal (where you can temporarily kill it) with crazy abilities. The Generals would also unlock units and abilities unique to that general. Each Archdemon has one of the seven deadly sins associated with it and each Archangel has one of the seven holy virtues, which would affect what abilities and units each general would have. I've always liked RTS's that had factions that had similar armies but subtle unique skills or units which affect game play allot, such as in Age of Empires III.

Another game play aspect that I think could be cool is using humans as a resource to make units. As the two sides fight for control over territory over lands in Terra, they will try to convert the humans there to add them into their respective armies. I just think it would be cool to use morally gray humans as a resource. I'm not sure how exactly it would work but as I work the game play ideas in I'll figure out how they'll fit in later.

The lamb on the right side of God Opening the Seven Seals
I'm not sure how I'll do this either but I want to fit in the scroll of that's sealed with the seven seals of the Apocalypse. As each sealed is broken after the prophecies occur the seven signs of the apocalypse happen on Earth. The first four are the four horsemen of the Apocalypse; War, Conquest (Wikipedia says it's not pestilence apparently), Famine and Death, the fifth is "reveals the cries of those who had been slain because of the 'Word of God'"(Wikipedia) the sixth seal releases natural disasters all over the world and the seventh releases fires and the trumpets of the angels. These seven seals would probably seven super weapons that can be reached by both sides.

So as I stress this is not Earth, there is no Jesus, Moses, Abraham or Muhammad, and this God is not supposed to be the God billions of people believe in and is not to have any messages about peoples beliefs. I just think that it would be an awesome story that could possibly make a cool game. I'm not sure if putting my untrademarked  intellectual property up on the internet where anyone can say that they came up with this idea before I did. Well I trust you guys with my ideas and I can use this as proof that I had this idea at least by June 22nd 2011 A.D. Also I want to get you guys's opinions and see what you think, what I can add, or what I can change. Since I do have about five or so game ideas I might put more of these up on another slow posting week.

Also, to prevent me running out of Ideas, I ask you followers and you Annon to ask me any questions you've had about Science, history, and philosophies. I'll be glad to answer any questions I know and am willing to spend time to look up some stuff if you ask a question I've never thought about or just plain don't know. Right now I am looking up some stuff about this New Age religion thing, I'm not sure about its name, that believes that Atlantis was real and was an advanced civilization that ruled a continent in the Atlantic Ocean thousands of years before sumerian towns came about, believe that Aliens gave this civilization and other people information and ideas, and believe in higher and lower dimensions that exists on different frequencies (frequency of what, i don't know, also supposedly the wavelength of our universe is 7.23 centimeters, it's proven, trust me). Yeah it's a little hard to swallow and I straight up don't buy any of it but I still give it my time and tell you guys my exact opinion on it and show you what I looked up.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Yeah! I figured since we're two and a half years from the date prophesied by the Mayans, Decemember 21st 2012, and since the discovery channel seems obsessed with the Apocalypse I guess I'll jump on the band wagon. As a human who relishes logic and the scientific process you can guess I don't believe in any superstitions prediction made by a stone age civilization thousands of years ago. I actually read a book a few years ago before the 2012 craze that was about the Apocalypse, what the Mayan prediction meant and how the Apocalypse might happen. The book is "Apocalypse 2012; An Investigation Into Civilization's End" by Lawrence E. Joseph if you feel like reading up on it, it's pretty good.

The Mayans more than any other civilization was captivated by the sky and stars. As far as archaeology can tell us they where building calanders and buildings to measure and track the movements of celestial bodies. They built calenders that predicted the cycles of the moon Sun and planets with precision far beyond their time. The calendar that tracked the Sun predicted it's movements from it's daily movement to the observable effect from the wobbling axis of the earth that cycles of thousands of years. It foretold the movements of the Sun for thousands of years but abruptly ends on the date 12/21/2012 in our calendar. Now many westerners interpreted that the Mayans meant that this was the end of world, if there is no one around to care what date it is than there would be no reason to make calendars past that point. Of course one could see it that the Mayans can't make stone calendars that go on forever and decided to stop there and make more calendars when they got to that point. Now that day isn't some date that the Mayans chose at random, December 21st will be the winter solstice for the year 2012, which is they shortest and coldest day of the year (at least for the Northern Hemisphere). This is also the time that the Sun ends up in between the Earth and the center of the Galaxy (yeah some how the Mayans figured that out, lolwut?) which happens every 26,000 years. So this 26,000 year period is a Mayan time frame that one could call an epoch. So the solar calendar they made was supposed to last till the end of the current epoch. Even though westerners went a bit wild with the Mayan Apocalypse, this date was not just some end of the year celebration for the Mayans either. They consider the contact the earth has with the center of the Galaxy as a good thing since they believed that's where everything came from (seriously the Mayans knew about the Galaxy while Europe thought the Earth was in the middle of concentric spheres and each heavenly body was connected to each one!) and that the loss of contact by the Sun's interference could have negative effects for the life on Earth. This date will bring the birth of a new Epoch but just as a birth of a human brings much pain and possibly death so could this date the Mayans believed.

Now I'm pretty sure the likely hood of civilization as we know it ending on that date is just as likely as any other day. However as it turns out, there is still a chance that mother nature could could end us at any moment with nary a warning. The rest of this post will talk about the possible ways humanity could come to a swift and painful end.

1. Sunspots
The Sun is not just a featureless ball of fire hanging in the sky. At such high temperatures and pressures the ball of hydrogen constantly fuses atoms together producing it's light and energy. In the past century scientists have found out the Sun is far more complex than anyone could imagine, with separate charateristic layers, a plasma surface that constantly moves and shifts and solar flares and storms many times larger than the earth, the Sun is definitely the most complicated system in our solar system. On the surface of the Sun's surface are sunspots that are essentially electromagnetic storm flinging massive amounts of radiation out into space. The number of spots on the Sun correspond with how turbulent the Sun is and how much solar radiation it spews into space. The Sun shoots out much more radiation than light and UV rays. This radiation would kill and harm most complex life on Earth. However, luckily for us, the Earth has a magnetic shield around it created by the molten iron core of the Earth that deflects the deadly radiation away from Earth.

This shield can only take so much energy from the Sun. When it becomes to much for it some of this radiation gets deflected towards the magnetic poles causing the Aurora Borealis. As it turns out though the Sun goes through cycles of allot of sunspots and few sunspots known as Solar Maximum and Solar Minimum. The time between each Maximum is eleven years. At this maximum the Sun shoots off more radiation than normal. Normally this wouldn't affect us since we're protected by the magnetic shield, however our satellites are not and can be stop functioning during this period or even permanently damaged. Most electronics are also more sensitive to sunspot activity than we are so now as we become more dependent on these technologies we need to pay more and more attention to sunspots especially during Solar Maximums. And when does the next solar Maximum occur? TWENTY TWELVE! And this article, http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2006/10mar_stormwarning/ says that this could be the worst Solar Maximum since 1958, but will have a much more heavy impact on us than fifty years ago as the global economy and infrastructure could easily be crippled by heavy solar activity that year.

2. Flipping of Earth's Magnetic Poles
As I've said the only protection we have from the Sun's solar radiation is Earth's magnetic shield. Without this our atmosphere could burn up and be blown away thinning it past human living conditions. Temperatures would sky rocket, Imagine global warming on steroids, we could not stand out side in sunlight for more than minutes at a time without receiving serious skin damage and cancer rates would sky rocket. Scientists have noticed that within the past decades the strength of the fields have noticeably weakened and have detected huge holes the size of countries in the shield, most of the time over oceans. Geologists also notice that iron deposits, which act as molecular magnets, line them selves with the poles when the rock was formed. They also notice the pattern that they suddenly point in the opposite directions. This leads to the conclusion that about every 100,000-1,000,000 years the poles shift while having a brief period of no shield cover. While it wouldn't be long enough to ebb away our atmosphere it would render almost every modern convenience pointless. No computer or electronical device would work while the poles are busy shifting. Many developed and developing nations would be sent back a century, and many would likely die in the sudden change. Scientists cannot predict when the next pole shift will occur or what causes this to happen in the first place. All we know that any one would call it a disaster on a global scale if this where to occur in modern times.

3. Yellowstone Super Volcano
An unexpected end to the humanity comes from the beautiful tranquil scenery of Yellowstone national park in Wyoming. As it turns out the entire park is actually the caldera of the largest volcano on Earth. Imagine a volcano with the trademark smoking crater on top. Yellowstone park is actually that crater which is 34 by 45 miles and the rest of the volcano sits beneath the surface. The famous geysers in Yellowstone is powered by the largest magma chamber in the world. If the supervolcano exploded it would not be like the volcanos in Hawaii that oozes out but akin to Mt. St. Helens but thousands if not millions times more powerful. The explosion would turn the land to molten slag in all of Wyoming and it's neighboring states, the explosion traveling faster than sound and within an hour millions would die. The surrounding ground in Yellowstone actually has some of the largest deposits of Uranium and would spread fallout all across the North American Continent causing cancer and deaths in many more. Most of the landmass and population of the world lives in the Northern hemisphere and all of it would be covered in ash that would blot out the sun for years killing crops and wildlife and leading to the starvation of much more people than the initial explosion and fallout. This would be a nuclear winter much colder and longer than anything The world's nuclear arsenal could produce. The Yellowstone super volcano luckily, according to geological records blows its cap every 600,000 to 700,000 years. Unfortunately the last time it did erupt was 640,000 years ago and rangers and geologists at Yellowstone have noticed that mountain ranges and valleys are bulging up due to the pressures of the volcanic gases and lava building up in the magma chamber. Bulges that have never been seen before since its making as a park in 1872.

4. Gamma Ray Burst
A more interesting scenario, at least in my opinion, is the Earth getting hit by a gamma ray burst. Aside from the Big Bang the most energetic and destructive (well I guess the Big Bang wasn't destructive but it was a BIG Bang) event in the universe is a super nova. When a star more massive than our sun dies, rather than inflating into a red giant than dying down into a brown dwarf till the end of time, it explodes violently releasing more energy in that one explosion than our Sun during its whole life. During this explosion it launches two beams of intense energy called gamma ray bursts along the rotational poles of the star. While most of the energy dies down logarithmically over space, these bursts are essentially directed gamma lasers that that send directed energy to the ends of the galaxy. Any planet that dares stand in its way will have no idea what happened to hit. If a gamma ray burst where headed towards us there would be no way of telling since the burst travels as fast as light so the instant we see the nova it will have hit Earth. Within seconds the entire atmosphere will burn up and possibly blown away into space. The surface of the Earth will heat up to thousands of degrees vaporizing all life except for the lucky and hardy single celled organisms. There would simply be no way to predict or prevent such a catastrophe. Scientists predict that supernovae along with their gamma ray burst happens in the milky way every fifty years or so, however for a burst to hit us straight on the accuracy it would need to hit us at the distances of light years is so extraordinary that we shan't need to worry about it. But the chance of such an incident happening is completely random and unpredictable.
ARTICLE: http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20040108&slug=extinct08

5. Galactic Cloud
Another quite unexpected possible cause for the Apocalypse is that our solar system is going through an energetic section of the galaxy. This cloud is most likely made from the debris of a nova or supernova and is made out of hydrogen and left over radiation. As our solar system flies through this cloud the solar winds emanating from the sun pushes the cloud out of the way much in the way a boat pushes the water away at its bow. And like a ship plowing through water the gases are cresting up and the "bow" of the solar system and are beginning to push through and leak into the solar system. These gases and radiation are adding more and more energy to the planetary systems and in the past couple of decades uncharacteristic patterns in planetary weather are being detected, a frozen moon on Saturn has had geysers on its surface that have not been seen since its discovery and a new red spot has been detected on Jupiter that may become as big as the first big red spot that's an electromagnetic storm larger than the planet Earth. As this energy reaches Earth it could increase the effects of global warming and puts more pressure on Earth's magnetic shield. When this energy reaches the Sun it could easily unbalance and energize the complicated systems in the Sun. If it reaches the sun at solar maximum, which is already supposed to be really strong the extra energy could make the this solar maximum the largest sunspot storm in human history. If the shield weakens due to the polar shift or the energy cloud at the same time we have an unprecedented solar maximum the consequences to human civilization on 2012 could be unimaginable.

6. Meteor
Probably the most famous way to bring about the Apocalypse would have to be a meteor colliding with the Earth. Popularized in many movies and brought the end to the most famous family of animals, the Dinosaurs, 65 million years ago the threat of a meteor is a serious threat. According to this chart: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/risk/ there are only two known asteroids that threaten Earth, 2011 AG5 and 2007 VK184 which might hit us by 2040-2047 and 2048-2057 respectively. Luckily they only measure a 1 on the Torino scale where 0 is absolutely non-threatening and 10 is the most dangerous, so they are the most non-threatening while still being a threat. However there are many unknown asteroids and comets which could hit us at any moment. Threats come from three main areas; the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter has 700,000 to 1.7 million asteroids with a diameter of a kilometer or more. This is the most likely place for an apocalyptic object to come from but also the most observed, although an unexpected collision among two large asteroid could send one towards us. Another place is the Kupier belt reaching from the orbit of Neptune past Pluto which are estimated to hold 70,000 objects with a diameter larger than 100 kilometers while only over a thousand are known about. The last and most unknown source of dangerous objects is the Oort cloud which is about a light year away from the Sun. The Oort cloud is most believed to be the source of the 200 year comets that have highly elliptical orbits. As these comets head almost directly into the sun these icy comets could easily careen into the Earth.

As always the question of the Apocalypse is not how but when. As Godwin's law says that the longer a conversation continues the probability of Hitler being brought up approaches 100%, the longer Humanity lives on the probability of an Apocalyptic event destroying us approaches 100%. One day a catastrophic event will happen that will change what life will be like on the planet Earth. According to geological records of animal fossils major extinctions the scale of the fall of the Dinosaurs and greater happens 62-65 million years and the last major extinction was 65 million years ago. Hopefully this post shows the importance of Human colonization of other planets. In the future humanity needs to have other places to live so we would be able to evacuate any planet that is threatened and be able to reterramorph the planet and repopulate it. This would be the only way to ensure our survival until the end of the Universe or the end of time.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What exactly is fire?

Here is a quick little post that people might enjoy knowing about. Ever since I was a wee little child, I wondered to myself "What exactly is fire?" I knew it wasn't matter, nor could it be pure energy, something was going on that educational books and shows where not telling me. With out any answers, Internet wasn't as big at the time nor as helpful, I eventually forgot about that question but every time I saw that dancing flame blackening contorting and vaporizing what ever its fuel source was that question still beckoned int the back of my head (and yes I think I'm a bit of a pyro, but I love me some fire).

Now many years later with an enhanced knowledge of science and physics, at least more enhanced than an eight year old, I pieced together the various clues until I came to the answer! The answer lies in the physical structure of the atom itself! *Crash of Lightning* Of course the shown model of the atom is wrong, electrons orbiting around a nucleus like planets around a sun is easier to imagine than an "electron cloud" that shows the probability of an electrons position which can change based off of observation due to the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle.

A non-ionized lithium atom. Why lithium? Because Google Images say so!

So you here you can see the different shells that surround the atom. The lowest shell can only have two electrons in it at a time and the second can have eight and so on. In the non excited state all the electrons go to the lowest shell they can and fill up the next shell until all the electrons are accommodated for. How ever an electron can become "excited" and rise to a higher shell. Since this is moving away from the oppositely charged nucleus it requires energy to move away from it, much like how it takes energy to move away from the Earth. Purely randomly (I say this cautiously) an electron can settle back down from it's excited state down to it's normal state in a lower shell. This causes a release of energy which then turns into a photon. The frequency of the photon depends on how many shells the electron dropped down to, the more shells it fell the higher the frequency. 

So now what can add energy to an atom causing its electron to become excited? Heat. And the hotter a body the higher the electrons will jump when they become excited. So even in space a warm body without any other matter for the body to leak heat to through conduction, it will still cool down since it has excited electrons which throw away energy in the form of photons. So right now every object that you are seeing is releasing light constantly. So why can't we see in the dark? As I said the warmer an object is the higher an electron jumps and than when it falls the higher the maximum frequency of light it emits. At normal Earth temperatures objects radiate light in the infrared spectrum which is invisible to the human eye. And yes this is exactly how night vision infrared goggles work, they have detectors which can pick up the heat radiated by bodies in Earth like temperatures (that always confused me, I was like wait infrared is heat? But it's just a small spectrum of all light! How can it be heat?). 

The electromagnetic (light) spectrum, in case you were curious 

So now we can understand what happens when metal becomes really warm. As an electron stove turns on it's maximum frequency starts entering the lowest frequency of visible light, red, and now we see it glowing a nice red. If we continue to warm up the metal it goes through the entire spectrum and starts emitting frequencies at all visible levels which our eyes detect as white, so it's now burning white hot. If we keep on raising the temperature it will eventually start emitting ultraviolet rays, but I don't think any stoves get that hot. This is exactly how light bulbs work. You take tungsten, which is a good conductor and has a high melting point, put it in a vacuumed environment which light can still penetrate so that it doesn't burn the air and destroy itself, and than run electricity though it which warms the filament to very high temperatures therefore causing it to emit visible light. This also happens on the sun since the nuclear fission of hydrogen realeases allot of energy and heat but since it is at such high temperatures it releases light at all frequencies all the way up to gamma rays. So the sun isn't fire but is much more complicated and I'm not going to go into that in this post. 

So what exactly is fire? Well it is an an exothermic reaction between two chemicals, one is most of the time oxygen, that in order to start the reaction the fuel sources need a certain level of heat to start the process but the chemical reaction releases enough or more heat in the process to keep the chemical reaction going given that there is enough of both fuel sources to keep it up. The reactions most of the time give enough heat to radiate light at frequencies that we can see, most commonly from red to yellow. This chemical reaction also heats up the nearby air and as the heated air's density lowers due to the increased heat, it rises since the gravitational pull of the earth pulls more on the denser colder air. As the heated air makes contact with the colder air the lose heat through convection and begin to radiate heat at levels our eyes can not detect. Fluctuations in the density of air due to movement and other factors also cause the rising heated air to not go in a straight path but move around unpredictably (I heard that a super computer can not predict the movement of the flame and smoke of a match). So essentially at it's base, fire is pretty much hot air. So I hope you actually found this post helpful since fire is a pretty integral part of human life.

YAY fire in a bottle cap!

Also any questions and corrections be welcome by anyone, including you shady anons who randomly stumble upon this page.