Wednesday, May 23, 2018 ... /////

Second Prague defenestration: 400 years ago

Thirty Years' War was sparked exactly 400 years ago

It was Wednesday (like today!), May 23rd (like today), 1618 (four centuries ago). For 63 years, the Holy Roman Empire had been shaped by a reactionary religious principle codified by the 1555 Peace of Augsburg: the princes (local aristocratic leaders) could order what exact church their subjects (mandatory employees) should attend.

Since 1526, the Austrian House of Habsburg possessed the Czech Crown – it means the whole territory, not just \$0.05 or a piece of gold – but they respected the religious freedom and didn't exploit the 1555 anti-freedom regulation. So a very large fraction of Czechs – the nation that had supported an early, Hussite version of Protestantism since the early 15th century – was actually allowed by the tolerant Catholic Habsburg officials to stick to Protestantism.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ... /////

A reader has linked to another weird text about the foundations of quantum mechanics that was published in Scientific American,

Quantum Physics May Be Even Spookier Than You Think
and that describes a paper combining wrong claims about non-locality of quantum mechanics, wrong claims about "quantum mechanics that just tells us about the averages", with some new superstitious hype that makes quantum mechanics "diabolical" and not just "weird", and with drunk suggestions that quantum mechanics should have two states and not one state.

The title uses the concept of "escalating hype" – quantum mechanics is "even spookier than you think" – that basically emulates the language of the climate alarmists. Whenever their latest predictions and other claims are proven to be completely wrong once again, they double down and produce even more absurd claims that the "catastrophes are even worse than previously thought".

In this way, they expect the decrease of their influence – due to the recently invalidated prediction – to be compensated by the "increased threat" that they try to spread. Apologies but this isn't how honest scientists operate – and sensible consumers of science simply eliminate such sources of information from their list of credible or usable sources.

The stuff that the anti-quantum zealots are writing is increasingly idiotic and incoherent. I don't think it makes sense to waste time with every similar paper that makes it to the media.

Monday, May 21, 2018 ... /////

Laurel Yanny is a sister of Marilyn Einstein

A Lumosque introduction to the spectral analysis of vowels and consonants

There are two famous people named Marilyn Einstein. One of them is the trans-sexual daughter of Marilyn Monroe and Albert Einstein (yes, Marilyn had a relationship with many famous men):

Her genes are 50% from Einstein, 50% from Monroe, and the percentages don't change much. But the other Marilyn Einstein is this one:

Ze differs from the first one because ze can be close to 100% Einstein or close to 100% Monroe, depending how we look at zir.

Sunday, May 20, 2018 ... /////

Black hole mass can't be visualized as a property of the black hole interior

I still don't get why this [public] NASA video with sound that I posted to YouTube has acquired 1.8 million views – and is therefore my most viewed video although a few others with a higher added value of mine came close – but lots of people simply seem to be terrified when they are told that a black hole sounds like a vacuum cleaner that will devour them LOL. Most of the 2,200+ comments seem to be compatible with this explanation.

Jitter – and Erwin – have brought a confusing point about black holes that I have actually encountered many times in the past.

Jitter: When a large percentage of the mass of the interior of a BH is turned into gravitons/waves during a collission, then wont future LIGO detectors potentially be able to view the interior?

[...] Thanks Lubos. I still don't understand how scientists can say "nothing can escape a BH" yet scientists claim that LIGO observed lots of mass escaping from two BHs. Sorry but it just does not make sense to me. Can anyone help me understand this? At least as much as I understand the need for Eigenstates to explain attraction. ;-)

Erwin: Hi Luboš, I think Jitter asks because of "...the merger of two black holes with masses of 35 times and 30 times the mass of the Sun (in the source frame), resulting in a post-merger black hole of 62 solar masses..."

[...] I think it boils down to the question: what do we mean by "the mass of a BH", "is" this mass inside the event horizon?
The dots represent my (so far mostly unsuccessful) efforts to convey the basic point that no observations done in the asymptotic region i.e. outside the black hole(s) – and the LIGO experiment is a top example of that – simply cannot see inside the black hole. The black hole interior is defined as the region where it's impossible to look, even in principle, and black hole itself is defined as an object that creates such a (non-vanishing) inaccessible region of the spacetime.

A 28-year-old Camacho chosen the mayor of Sheffield

Czech readers were rather amazed by the city hall of Sheffield, an English metropolitan area with more than 1.5 million people.

Echo24.cz, a news server, says: "Extravagance and obscenities. The new mayor of Sheffield is a 28-year-old immigrant from Somalia."

The representatives' choice was... Magid Magid (his YouTube channel says Magic Magic, however), a 28-year-old Somalian Muslim.

Saturday, May 19, 2018 ... /////

Some shaky new lore waits to be analogously invalidated in the future

Albert Einstein has done most of the work to build the general theory of relativity in the first place. David Hilbert competed and tried to scoop Einstein. Some folks have used the new classical theory to discuss black hole solutions – Schwarzschild, Kerr, Newman, and men like that. Others – Lemaitre, Friedmann, Robertson, Walker – have derived the big bang theory from that, and so on.

But a truly new era is associated with the name of Roger Penrose who began to play with some fancy modern aspects of Einstein's equations. Penrose brought the 1960s to general relativity. That decade means some new wind – but indeed, you may have mixed feelings about that new wind, indeed. Lots of people have good reasons to say that the human civilization peaked in that decade.

Penrose has always viewed Einstein's equations as a religion of a sort and his beliefs about the unknown aspects were always religiously shaped to some extent. One novelty of GR that everyone was aware of was the appearance of qualitatively new features of the – now dynamical – spacetime. Suddenly, horizons and singularities have emerged (as well as non-contractible loops and other novelties).

Friday, May 18, 2018 ... /////

Justin Trudeau vs respect for the truth

Justin Trudeau recently gave a commencement speech at the New York University (NYU).

Anthony Watts unsurprisingly emphasized Trudeau's comments around 24:10 in the full video above where the Canadian prime minister mentions two apparently equivalent things that can't be defended – female genital mutilation and climate skepticism (which is of course described by the verb "deny").

But I found a much larger portion of the speech sort of shocking. The Canadian prime minister may be an extreme example but he is not too extreme. He may also be considered a rather typical textbook example of the moral degeneration of the Western societies.

Thursday, May 17, 2018 ... /////

Two weeks ago, I discussed the unusually thick layers of pollen on cars due to the relative shortage of precipitation in my homeland.

Yesterday, most of Czechia saw intense rain and in Moravia, today is predicted to cover about 50% of the average precipitation for the whole month of May. (The figure 50% is changing rather wildly.) It's been modestly raining for a week and at least additional 4 days are predicted.

In Czechia, January 2018 had precipitation near the average, the following 3 months were visibly below the normal. Let's discuss Pilsen. It has 600 mm of precipitation per year i.e. 50 mm per month – all seasons are comparable although the harsh winter may reduce the precipitation rates.

During the first four months of 2018, we were expected over 150 mm of rain, but we only got over 100 mm i.e. 30% less. Is that extreme?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 ... /////

Kaggle: reconstruct tracks from 75 GB of point data

Fartel Engelbert has told me that there is a new CERN-sponsored machine learning contest at Kaggle.com:

TrackML Particle Tracking Challenge
To make the story short, the data you will have to download include 5 times 15 GB train files plus 1 GB train sample and 1 GB test file. A sample submission has 30 MB, detectors.zip have 175 kB.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 ... /////

Successful Hungarian pest control: Soros' OSF moves to Berlin

George Soros spent his formative years as a traitor who helped the Nazis to confiscate the assets of his fellow Jews.

At some moment, he made a successful bet against the British pound. This helped that currency to weaken outside a promised window and Soros became very rich. Because he was both filthy rich and richly filthy, he established the Open Society Foundation and tons of NGOs where corrupt and deluded individuals do their best to cripple the Western civilization.

After the fall of communism, he tried to spread his new extreme, billionaire-driven left-wing dogmas to the post-communist Europe. These days, almost all of us understand that Soros represents evil, intolerance, and the corruption of the democratic societies' vital processes but his brand was less comprehensible some decades ago.

PhotoMath: it really solves hand-written equations

In an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Leonard, Howard, and Rajesh were designing an app (the Lenwoloppali differential equation scanner) that scans a hand-written (differential) equation and solves it, including detailed steps how to do it without your phone. If I remember well, the domineering Sheldon was removed from the team but he created a great app to find shops with scanned shoes with Penny.

I just saw some hype, downloaded the three boys' app (iOS here), and impressively enough, it just works.

Monday, May 14, 2018 ... /////

E.C. George Sudarshan: 1931-2018

Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan passed away today. He was a top Indian theoretical physicist. Most recently, he was a colleague of Steven Weinberg, Jacques Distler, and others at UT Austin.