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Dave Hammond
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22nd-Jan-2008 10:52 pm - Required Reading
Kyon, Facepalm
Alright - I'm in the need of some new music.

Figure out which ten artists you have the most tracks by in your library. Then, for each artist, give a short description of their music style, where you picked them up and pick one song for every ten you have that you would recommend.

The Descendents - 30 songs

Descendents are a high-energy fast paced punk band. I actually decided to try them out after hearing a recommendation for them in the NoFX song "13 Stitches"

Cool to Be You - Nothing With You
Cool to Be You - Dog and Pony Show
Cool to Be You - Mass Nerder
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The Aquabats! - 33 Songs

Typical ska/punk band out of Southern California. Erin Blass was kind enough to introduce me. They put on the best live show I've ever seen.

Myths, Legends and Other Amazing Adventures Vol. 2 - Pool Party
Myths, Legends and Other Amazing Adventures Vol. 2 - Pizza Day
The Fury of the Aquabats! - Super Rad
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Dave Matthew's Band - 33 Songs

Jazz funk, progressive guitar, and jam band mentality layered over smooth vocals. I probably heard about DMB first on the radio.

Under the Table and Dreaming - Rhyme and Reason
Under the Table and Dreaming - Typical Situation
Before These Crowded Streets - Crush
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Queen - 34 Songs

Freddie Mercury was quite arguably the best rock vocalist of all time, and Brian May arguably the best electric soloist of all time. I remember when my brother got me into these guys back in 5th grade. I still love 'em.

A Night at the Opera - Bohemian Rhapsody
Jazz - Don't Stop Me Now
The Game - Save Me
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The Streets - 38 Songs

When I first heard The Streets I described them as British Punk Rap. I'd still describe them that way, but Mike Skinner's rhythm's have really grown on me. I picked up Fit But You Know It on a demo disc in Zia Records in Tempe.

A Grand Don't Come for Free - Could Well Be In
The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living - When You Wasn't Famous
Original Pirate Material - Stay Positive
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Yellowcard - 50 Songs

Kerry Ward got me into Yellowcard, my sophomore year of college. That was the year my musical tastes changed. They're pretty much pop/emo punk. A lot of their stuff is catchy, but the vocals and heavy harmonization are what really get me.

Ocean Avenue - Only One
Lights and Sounds - Holly Wood Died
One for the Kids - Something of Value
One for the Kids - Big Apple Heartbreak
One for the Kids - A.W.O.L.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Garth Brooks - 51 Songs

Nothing but Classic shit-kicking country. I can't remember when I started listening to Garth Brooks, but I think it was back about 3rd grade.

The Chase - Dixie Chicken
No Fences - Mr. Blue
Ropin' The Wind - Shameless
In Pieces - Ain't Goin' Down 'till the Sun Comes Up
In Pieces - Kicking and Screaming
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The Beatles - 55 Songs

I don't think the Beatles need any explanation - father's of modern pop and all pioneers of rock. How I only have 55 songs is a mystery. First time I heard them? I dunno. When I was born? Abbey Road is the first album i can remember listening to.

Abbey Road - Oh! Darling
Abbey Road - You Never Give Me Your Money
Abbey Road - Golden Slumbers
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Please Please Me - I Saw Her Standing There
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The Ramones - 59 Songs

The Ramones are likely what you associate when you think "Punk Rock." They more or less pioneered the genre. I got into them after downloading an anthology to see what all the fuss was about the last time I was big into expanding my library.

Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop
Leave Home - California Sun
Rocket to Russia - Surfin' Bird
Too Tough to Die - Howling at the Moon
?? - R.A.M.O.N.E.S.
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NoFX - 66 Songs

I've heard NoFX called many things - poly punk, comic punk, but they're really just modern punk rock. They've got some very original stuff too. Rob introduced me to them one day without my asking. It took me a bit to warm up to them.

The Decline - The Decline
I Heard They Suck Live - The Brews
So Long and thanks for all the Shoes - Champs Elysees
The War on Errorism - 13 Stitches
The War on Errorism - We Got Two Jealous Agains
Wolves in Wolves' Clothing - The Man I Killed
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The Vandals - 97 Songs

I was rather surprised that I had more Vandals than anything else - I'd call them comic punk. This is another band I picked up from recommendation by NoFX - this time from We Got Two Jealous Agains - "I knew you were for me when I saw the first Vandals EP" (singing about this girl who had shitty taste in music, but he realizes by the middle of the song that she actually shares a lot of music interests with him.. Anyway, they list off a lot of good punk albums, and I took a lot of that advice to hunt down those bands.)

When in Rome, Do as the Vandals Do - Viking Suit
Hitler Bad, Vandals Good - I've got an Ape Drape
Hitler Bad, Vandals Good - Idea for a Movie
Hollywood Potato Chip - Don't Stop Me Now
Hollywood Potato Chip - Don't Make Me Get My Fat, Lazy Ass Off This Couch...
Live Fast Diarrhea - I have a Date
Live Fast Diarrhea - And Now We Dance
Look What I Almost Stepped In - Jackass
Look What I Almost Stepped In - Flowers are Pretty
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Anyway, that's what the upper end of my library looks like. I'm eager to see what yours are. I'll be ready to do some downloading :-)
3rd-Oct-2007 08:27 am - This pisses me off.
Kyon, Facepalm
http://wcbstv.com/local/local_story_275172255.html 

Got the article from fark. Maybe I'm just a little disillusioned with the human race right now because its before nine in the morning and I'm only on my second cup of coffee, but what the fuck, people?

These teachers should not be in any sort of trouble - the exercise teaches critical thinking and the ability to look at the controversial side of an argument. Its not as if there is a realistic fear of these kids growing up to be plantation owners and own slaves of their own. If its truly a concern of the parents that this might impress bad ideals on their children, perhaps they should carefully examine their parenting.

My fifth grade teacher had our class do a very similar exercise - where we had a whole classroom debate on whether or not slavery was a good idea. Half the class got assigned to one side of the argument, the other half to the other side. I happened to be on the "slavery" side. It stands out in my mind as an assignment that really taught me how to understand the root cause of the conflict during the time period. Guess what? To this day, I own no slaves.

Forgive the curtness and likely improper grammar. I'm angry and groggy.
23rd-Sep-2007 01:43 am - Day 3: Flagstaff 10s
Kyon, Facepalm
I woke up at 5am this morning. I don't even do that on weekdays, how do they expect me to do it on rugby days? Admittedly, it was my own fault, as i did not want to pay the extra $40 to stay in the hotel for the night, and wanted the freedom to come back down to Phoenix.

i arrived in Flagstaff at about 7:30, trekked to the hotel where all the 'pies were gathered, and eventually set out for the fields.

'pies standing around hotel

We got to the fields and there was a bit of a problem - see, my shorts ripped at the last game of last season. I've got no rugby shorts. I was told that ballsout rugby would be there - for all of our rugby needs, but the guy who supplies them with black shorts had not yet showed up (we'll forget that I ordered a pair of shorts from them 2 weeks ago... its kind of ridiculous that I would have to buy another pair from them even after being forced to wait so long for my hooker-shorts.)

Anyway, we rushed around, in typical Magpie fashion, and didn't begin warming up (with shorts from the rather tardy and hungover ballsout representative) 5 minutes before our first match.

Our first match was honestly pretty close. This was pretty suprising. There were errors that weren't present this year that there were last year. Last year, the Magpies were notorious for arguing with the referees, and generally playing sloppy rugby, but in this first match, we showed up, and on a lucky pick, Scottsdale won, 5-0.

By midway through the first game, it had started pouring. Now, I generally like the rain, but rain in Flagstaff sucks balls. Did you know its fucking cold up there?

Somewhere before we decided to go watch one of our old teammates play for Yuma, I had this picture snapped of everyone who played front row that game:

front rows

From left to right, we've got:

Ed Down - my trusty tighthead prop. Also known as the "loud englishman." for his boistrous - and rather common - voice on the field.

Me

Trevor Pappas - he played some loosehead prop the first game, second half. Truthfully, he's a lock, and a damn good one at that, but its good to have someone to spread around. This is one of the rookies (though he played for the U-19's, I believe)

Ben (something.) - This guy shows a lot of promise at loosehead prop. For someone who hasn't played the position before, I can't think of any advice i could give to him to improve him. In the third game, he got a chance to hook a little bit, and he did pretty well there as well, so i'm thinking he might just be adept in scrums.

The second game was rather frustrating - We played Phoenix, who is notoriously bad. We played them well too. We were up 7-0 at the half, and I was pretty pumped up. I had gotten a steal in the scrum, laid a few hits, and was ready to tear someone's head off. Sadly, the altitude and fatigue got to a lot of the guys in the second half, and we ended up losing 7-17. Quite honestly, it should have been a much more respectable 7-10, but we stopped playing at one point.

The next couple of hours were a little hellish. Though we all knew we didn't come to this tournament to win, it didn't bode well for the season to begin on this down of a note. We started tearing each other apart a little bit (and I'm not without fault here... i got particularly unreasonably angry with our new scrum-half) and that doesn't help matters at all.

I was pretty beaten up by the third game, so I was more than happy to sit out the first half and let Ben have a crack at Hooker. I stood on the touch line, and watched one of the rookies score a try. It was pretty impressive. I started in the second half down 7-5, but this was soon turned around as we picked up a few very good looking tries.

Seriously, it was like all of the rookies started to understand the game (the entire point of the trip!) and the people who have been playing longer actually started clicking. Admittedly, my scrums sucked in that third game, but my open field play shone pretty well (I nearly got a try, and would have, had Tim not beaten me to the punch, and a second time, my offload pass while being tackled led one of the rookies to score a try.) We looked good out there in our third game, and it was definitely a nice change to win a game for once (we haven't won a game in actual play since the beginning of last year against Phoenix.)

I wish I could have stayed around a bit longer for the team social, but I had to immediately drive back down to Phoenix.... and might I say - the drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff is far worse than the drive from Tucson to Phoenix will ever dream of being!
20th-Sep-2007 12:03 am - Day 2:
Kyon, Facepalm
Yeah. Mansfield hasn't gotten any softer.

It was a bitch to get started at practice today. I mean, I was tired after the first practice, and the first practice was hard, but at about 7pm yesterday, my legs went from "rubber" and not wanting to work to full-on "holy shit I'm sore" status. I couldn't even touch them today because of how sore they were. Imagine my horror as I stepped out onto that concrete-like grass to play touch today.

We had 18 guys out there tonight, which is a step up from the first practice. Oddly enough, we had more new guys than veterans. As such, drilling went a little slower, but at least the new guys want to work. It pissed me off a couple of times to see a couple of the older guys saying "fuck it" to the fitness and taking a breather while the rest of us worked our asses off. Steve took a lot of flak for yelling out in frustration: "for fucks sake, if you don't want to be here, leave" - but the truth is, I really agree with him. It sends a horrible example to the new guys, and its the second practice for fucks sake.

Standardized warmup again. More fucking gorilla jumps. Fuck I hate gorilla jumps. They are the sole reason that i am sore right now.

After some passing drills, we worked on tackling. See, we've got a game (three, actually) on Saturday, and many of these guys haven't made a tackle in their life. I got through to Kalob (side - I found out its actually spelled that way) though, and he started making some hits. At one point he landed me right on my ass. Right on that old tailbone bruise. That's gonna make tomorrow suck. One of the new guys got stood up hard enough to knock the wind out of him and take him out for the night. Hell of a first night. Something tells me he won't be back this year.

We set up the forwards for Saturday. We're going to have an interesting pack this year. Out of 8 guys, 4 are new. Myself at hooker, Ed at Prop, John at Flanker, and Dieff at eightman. Hopefully the new guys pick it up pretty quick. Even Steve moved from wing to Scrum half, so I've been trying to train him to get the put-in at the correct moment. Saturday is going to be... interesting. At least we have 2 dedicated props now. I'm very happy about that. No more Dennis at prop - put him at center or flank. Somewhere the mofo can hit someone already.

We also sorted out the line-out. Only zorb knows why, but Rouff decided to have Kalob jump. Kalob is about 2 inches shorter than John. As such, my first two throws, exactly 2 inches too high for Kalob. No, nobody was impressed with this except me. I think maybe John was too, because he didn't yell at me, like usual when he can't reach my always perfect passes, but either way... I've got to get my throws down. All I know is I'm glad I'm not the one being lifted. My feet belong firmly on the ground.

Moving on to look towards Saturday though - its going to be interesting. Just counting out in my mind, I'd say about 5 of the starters will be new, 5 will be veteran. I'm gonna go ahead and venture a guess that there will be no mauling, and minimal rucking. (Do you even maul in League / 10's? Anybody? Bueller?) Most 10's players will be smaller though, I'm assuming.. so assuming I can get some good phase play, I MIGHT be able to power 1 or 2 in.

My Status:
- Rouff cleated me good. -1 tonail.
- My shoulder is beatup from hitting someone. I don't know who or when that happened.
- My thumb. Its really swollen. I got stung by something when I was doing push-ups, and now its turning funny colors.
18th-Sep-2007 12:20 am - Day 1:
Kyon, Facepalm
My legs are screaming at me to go to sleep, but my brain is retorting with: "But I'm still tripping balls on endorphins!" So I'm writing in order to possibly calm my mind a little bit.

Tonight was the (dreaded) return to Mansfield Park for the (much anticipated) return of the rugby season. Last time I was at Mansfield, I couldn't walk right for a month from simply landing on my heel wrong. This brought about a horrible injury called a Heel Contusion, and the most painful shot of my life [see March '2007, true believers!] I'll tell you this: The ground is still that hard, but at least there's a small layer of green grass covering the dead grass that was there before. This at least makes you feel a little better about the idea that the soccer teams all want to knife you because we're a bunch of dumb gringos interrupting their rowdy game of footie.

I was a little off-put by the turnout tonight - we only had 16 guys and of those 8 were new. Of the new guys, I'll be surprised if two stay. Either way though, there were a couple of guys that I recognized from touch this summer (including the straight-laced mormon boy, Caleb - who I'm very interested to see how he handles the other 90% of rugby) but a pretty good mix. We picked up a new prop, a new lock, and a handful of backs. There were a couple of returning Magpies that didn't play last year - one or two I've met. The only one I have any solid memory of is a guy named Eddie who played for Tempe (I think) last year. We had a few drinks at the bar as per natural after our game and I was exceedingly curious how he knew everything about everyone on the team.

Practice started out standard - touch. I was slightly disoriented by it remaining one-hand touch (instead of last year's two hand touch) but I suppose that plays into our theme: This year we aren't going to rely on our pack so much to take the ball into contact. We're going to try to spread the ball out, and in doing so hopefully be better than the Wildcats at executing our plan.

It seems we've switched to a more intense warm-up. I'm pretty happy to see this, and was actually going to ask Tim if we could do so. It seems now we will warm up as a team, instead of just "take a lap" after touch. It never made sense to me last year how we could have a designated warm up routine for before our games, but never implement it in practice.

The running was way more intense. Its another thing i'm happy to see, and i hope it doesn't cool off as the temperature begins to drop. I came home pretty gassed tonight. Like I said before, my legs are dead tired. I feel like they're not going to be able to move tomorrow, but at the same time my quads are going to look nothing short of badass.

Coy didn't return this season. None of the new guys have previous hooking experience. It looks like I have no competition for the position this year. I'm kind of torn on this, to be quite honest. On one hand, I know that I can guarantee to any of my friends and family coming out to games that they'll see me play. On the other hand though, it means that I'm damn likely to be playing 160 minutes of rugby every weekend, injured or not. That's gonna get old pretty fast.

I'm pretty interested in how the drills have shifted so much to passing. We played a few passing games today, one which was hilariously fun the more tired we got: Take 16 guys, put them all in a 20x20m area, and say "complete 9 passes and your side wins." The loser gets punished, and you're not allowed contact with the other team. We can imagine how that ended up. "No contact with the other team" quickly turned into "No 'intentional' contact with the other team." Sadly, no hitting drills yet though. Apparently we're doing that on Wednesday.

Next game up is Saturday. I've decided to go ahead and make the trip to Flagstaff even though I'll be in Phoenix this weekend visiting my parents. This means I won't get to ride on the team bus, but I'll save a lot of money by not having to pay for a hotel. So I'm going to drive up at about 4am on Friday morning, and leave at about 6 after our last game is over (give or take, depending on when the last game actually is.) Its also just rugby 10s though, so i dunno how i'm going to do at that. I'm not exactly very fast.

And finally, our schedule for this year:

Preseason
September 22nd - Flagstaff Tens (Away)
October 20th - Yuma rookie match (Away)
December 1st - Wild West Rugby Fest (Phoenix)
December 14th - Vegas baby, Vegas!

Regular Season
12-Jan  Old Pueblo
19-Jan  Tempe
26-Jan  Scottsdale
2-Feb   @ Red Mtn (Phoenix)
9-Feb   BYE
16-Feb  Gilbert
23-Feb  @ Old Pueblo (Tucson)
1-Mar   Red Mtn
8-Mar   BYE
15-Mar  @ Scottsdale (Phoenix)
22-Mar  @ Tempe (Phoenix)
29-Mar  @ Gilbert (Phoenix)
13th-Sep-2007 07:50 pm - Since Prince was on Apollonia
Kyon, Facepalm
The temperature has lowered that slight two, maybe three degrees and the sun is down easily by 7 pm. There's the smell of sweat and autumn pollen on the air. Norman Greenbaum is blasting out of my stereo about the "Spirit in the Sky." The stones are asking for shelter, guns 'n' roses are asking "where do we go now?" Daft Punk has got the music making them feel so free. My lungs are burning a bit, and my quads are starting to look like they might belong in a pair of short shorts. Queens of the Stone age may have it all in their head, but like Nelly I'm pushing myself to the limit so my talent will surface. My legs are itchy from the uncut grass and my car smells like sweat. The time just feels right.

I'm ready to hit someone on Monday. Then Saturday is Flagstaff 10s.

Crouch!
Touch!
pause...
Engage!

Hurghh!
6th-Aug-2007 12:22 am - Nest of tangled wires.
Kyon, Facepalm
I'm staring at the nest of tangled wires over by electric guit that I set up earlier today. I've never really found a way to make it look nice and neat... and that kind of bugs me.

What also bugs me is that my crybaby-wah peddle seams to have bit the dust. Over two years of inactivity will do that, no doubt.

The good news is, I had forgotten how cool my RP-80 sounds. Preset 24 recreates the opener to "Sweet Child of Mine" more accurately than my ear can detect.

Seems the amps are in working order, which is lucky.

Of course, now I could afford one of those amps like Russ had back in the day.

Speaking of Russ (I dunno if you check livejournal anymore, dood.) I took another listen to BSKTM the other day with the treble ramped up just the slightest bit (as it always is in my car) and holy fuck that song is cool and meant to play loud.

I miss having a band. Perhaps that will be my next project.

Sushi tomorrow. Niiiiiiiiiiiice.
19th-Jul-2007 12:23 pm - Wuh Teh Eff?
Kyon, Facepalm
I certify that this post is 100% spoiler free.

The new Harry Potter book was released through popular bit torrent sites.

Not really a big suprise there. Nor a big suprise was the media explosion when it happened. What particularly irks me though, is that now innocent news reporting agencies are being served with papers. Apparently, for reporting that someone has leaked the book (even
without providing links to the leaked content) they are under legal scrutiny.

I understand that scholastic is worried about people releasing spoilers on the internet (and admittedly, I'm rather suprised I've been able to avoid them for so long given all of the digg I read alongside the user comments I browse following these stories) however the news sites that are under fire do not release any spoilers, nor do they even discuss plot points: They reveal that the book was released online.

This is outrageous. Where does it stop? Yes, the person who leaked the book is actionable. Yes, the site which hosted it should be actionable (though apparently it is not.) Yes, the people who download it should be actionable. Yes, anyone posting on some backwater messageboard anything that even smells like a plot point should be actionable. I believe that Scholastic should have every right to hunt them down with the force of 10,000 lawyers, but going after a site reporting that this event has taken place is ludicrous.

Just so it is clear, I could recieve a legal takedown notice for this post, simply because of the second line. However, had I not included that second line, would I still be in a position to recieve legal threats? - I'm only one more level secluded from the actual content, and after all, I always thought one level was enough. Where do we draw the line now?

Reference: http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/07/18/scholastic-loses-it-over-harry-potterbittorent-story/
4th-Jul-2007 01:47 am - Anthropic Principle
Kyon, Facepalm
 First, to set a bit of the scene - this is gonna be a long entry. I've got a bottle of scotch that I'm just getting into at 2:00 in the morning for the very purpose of seeing how my writing is affected as I get more and more inebriated. For anyone who is interested, I'm drinking a Bowmore single malt. Its an islay, so its a little sweeter than I'm used to, but after two sips its grown on me. I just got back from Transformers. I have to say, I was pretty impressed. Not only did it not suck, but it was pretty cool. My nails are currently nubs.

Anthropic Principle for the Bored and Increasingly Inebriated

My thoughts on how the universe works (or rather why it works) have always been a little off. I've always had trouble subscribing to a straight scientific version of the universe - things are too... exact for that. Pi doesn't equal 3, it equals somewhere around 3.1415926 and some smaller change. I've often sat around and wondered exactly why that is. What would a circle who's pi = 3 look like? I've also had a lot of trouble with subscribing to the idea of an intelligent designer who at one point, existing somewhere outside of our universe thought to himself "hey, this sounds like a good idea, and I'll throw humans in just for the fuck of it as well" (in a very british accent, because I've always imagined God using a cockney rhyming scheme.)

Well pi is a constant. Its a universe-wide number that (though we can only approximate it to what... a few million digits or so?) rings true for all of existence. Whether you are here, or somewhere near Betelgeuse, if you see a circle or sphere, the radius of that object will wrap around the solid exactly twice. That said, as humans we will never see a circle with a radius which doesn't conform to the 2 pi rule. We may define pi to be more and more exact, but we will never be able to change the way circles behave as pi defines them.

I'm sure by now you've heard of string theory, brane theory, and M theory... if not, you've at least heard of string theory. If you don't know what it is, it basically says that any matter in our universe is but a single point anchored in the aether of space, and that all matter is made of "strings" which traverse multiple planes of existence. Lots of string theories (and there are a lot of them) state that there are multiple universes. Millions of them, in fact. A lot of people think that these millions of universes are our key to faster than light travel, as any quark (or whatever is smaller) in my body could be linked to any point in our universe billions of light years away by passing through x other 3 dimensional universes on the fourth dimension to get there.

You look confused. I'm sorry. I'll get back to my point. String theory is messy anyway.

Pi. We will never be able to see  observe a universe where pi = 3. Anthropic Principle goes so far as to state that we could not exist in such a universe, and as such, the universe could not exist because we could not observe it.

Not really, but that's the long and short of it. Lets meander over to quantum physics.

There's a lot we don't understand about our universe, and quantum physics is at the forefront. As you might recall, I posted a rant a few months back about how quantum computing is finally making its debut. Exciting and scary stuff. I know. There are odd bits to quantum theory though - take this example:

Assume you have a pitching machine that throws baseballs covered in paint at a wall. There's a bit of variation in where the baseballs will end up, so if you were to point it at a screen x feet away, you would get a rough sphere after a while. Assume that if you put a screen in front of it with a slit in the screen big enough for a baseball to pass through. What pattern would be made on the wall? Exactly, a straight line. Easy enough to follow so far. With 2 slits, there would be 2 lines, and so on, even though the baseballs are only passing through one slit at a time - because the machine is left on for a while, we get that pattern on the wall.

That's how we used to think that matter worked.

Light or sound (each a wave) works slightly differently. If you were to fire one of these through a single slit, you would get a very fuzzy line when it hit the wall, but still roughly a line. When fired through two slits however, an interference pattern forms (if you want a physical demonstration of this, strike a tuning fork then place it near your ear and rotate it slowly. It will alternate between being louder and softer due to the interference between the two prongs.) As a result, you would get multiple lines on the wall. With me so far?

A while back, scientists fired a particle cannon through two slits. Now, with our old understanding of matter, we would expect two lines to appear on the wall, however they instead found an interference pattern. Even when slowed down to fire only 1 particle at a time, an interference pattern eventually formed. This led them to think that inherently a particle must be a wave existence. In order for the particles to create the interference pattern, they would have to leave the barrel of the cannon, split into two seperate entities, pass through each slit independently and interfere with itself on the way to the screen. This isn't so  far fetched if you've ever read anything on Hawking Radiation.

Scientists were intrigued by this however, and decided to measure the amount of particles passing through each slit. Particle counters of some such were placed on each slit, and the experiment was re-ran. Suprisingly, two lines appeared on the final sheet - no interference pattern.  So, when the particles were observed,  they behaved as particles, and not waves. That's the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle at work - by observing something, we change the state of the thing being observed.

You can find a pretty cool demonstration of this on youtube somewhere. Just look up quantum physics. Something to note here though, is that when the particle left the particle cannon, it was a particle, even though it was yet to be observed. After all, one could deduce with Occam's Razor that the particle does not leave as a wave, "smile for the camera" and then remain that way until it hits the sheet. So a future observation forces the past to change.

Here's where Anthropic Principle comes in. We're living beings. We're observing the universe and changing the state of things by doing so.

Is your mind blown yet? Lets talk about black holes for a second or four.

There's a blog I like to read (on an almost daily basis) called "bad astronomy." You can find it at http://www.badastronomy.com . Anyway, he had a pretty cool blog entry at one point about how black holes can not exist.

I'll summarize: Essentially, black holes are supermassive. The event horizon is where escape velocity equals the speed of light. For anyone who studies computer science, think of a black hole as a giant divide-by-0 exception in the universe. Lots of mass x, in 0 space - the singularity: x / 0 = error. Anyway, this can never really happen, x / 0. Black holes get really close to this, but some space is always taken up with a black hole. Here's where that kook Einstein comes in with special relativity. Time is a part of our universe. And just as any other part of our universe, it is affected by its surroundings. Someone somewhere proved that time slows down in major gravitational fields. So imagine a gravitational field of infinite proportions such as that in a black hole - time effectively stops - that is to say, it slows until it nearly stops. Hawking Radiation kills the black whole long before time = infinity, and the black hole disintigrates.

I know that this sounds entirely tangent, but its not.

The "big bang" is a pretty commonly accepted theory now. The universe is expanding, and has been ever since T = 0. Philosophically (Ah! There it is) we are all privvy to ask "what happened before the big bang? Was there a universe before us? Are we the result of a big bounce? Did God sneeze us out?" Anthropic Principle states that the universe is here because living things observe it. The more we define pi, the more clearly definied pi will be in the eyes of the universe. Its a cool thought really, and there are a few books on it, but here's where scientits opinions end, and my opinion begins.

Months ago when i was watching "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" - an anime that touched on Anthropic Principle - I didn't quite get it, but its starting to come into focus for me. Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Anthropic Principle - these are all aproximations on how the universe works - in our eyes. As we come to better and better understanding of what these are and what they clearly define, some are refuted and some are proven. Touching back on the article at badastronomy.com - there are certain laws of physics which don't compute within a black hole - one can also assume that these laws of physics did not exist when we (the universe) was teensy i.e. the singularity before the big bang.

This is where I take issue with all of it. Our universe? Right now? Its fucking teensy. Its a singularity from a certain point of view. Hell, spend any amount of time with a telescope and you'll be a little inclined to say 'I feel pretty insignificant to all of it.' But if we were each the size of our universe, would we have any concept of what an atom is? Would we even have a concept of what a planet is for that matter? Or is all we would be able to determine the existence of is the supermassive black holes at the center of each galaxy? The truth of the matter is, barring a little bit of gravitational resistance, we are still moving at the same rate we were coming out of the big bang. The only difference is that time is speeding up, where it was observably stopped before the big bang. Its a little hard to imagine that at some point, zoomed way out, we look like a big bang -  a fleeting glimpse of the beginning of the universe.

As I break to refill my glass - yes, this is the first time. Its a big glass - let me pause and say: i'm trying to steer clear of a theological discussion, though that IS one of my favorite drunken topics, I'd like to stay away from it tonight.

These are clearly naval strength drinks. I knew these glasses were big, but I didn't know they were THAT big. Of course now I've completely lost my train of thought on the subject, but looking back I think I've said what I want to say. Instead I think I'll go watch some Haruhi, and you know... just appreciate the space/time we're living in. It won't be here forever.
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