Sunday, April 27, 2008

Closest Object Affected by Dark Matter

I sent the following email to Slate Magazine site called Explainer:

What is the closest body in space that we can notice the affect of dark matter? Is it anything closer than our nearest galaxy, Andromeda?

A recent news story about the Pioneer spacecraft addresses what is known as the Pioneer anomaly.

The two spacecrafts are not were they are supposed to be, given their escape velocity and the pull of gravity from our solar system. Could they be affected by dark matter? Probably not, it’s more likely escaping gas or some other more down to earth phenomenon.

The affect of dark matter can not be detected in the orbits of plants around the sun, the orbits of moons around the planets, or the trajectories of comets in our own personal solar system. But when we look at the rotation of distant galaxies or the velocity of galaxies in the universe, we can see its affect.

That’s my question. What is the object in space closest to us that shows the affect of dark matter?
Link for news story about Pioneer anomaly. For some reason I can't it to work with hypertext.

I can’t seem to find any details about the closest object in space in which we can detect the affect of dark matter on the object. Can we see it in our own galaxy? Can we see it in the group of stars we belong to or in the spiral arm in which we are located?

Seems to me if you are trying to figure out something you can detect but cannot see it directly, you ought to be looking at the closest object in which you can see its affect.

Just like my letters to MoDo, if I ever get a response, you’ll be the first to know.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Back from Dell Hell, Again

Well I'm back in Dell Hell again. Something is difinitely wrong with my computer. I looked and the last time this happen was September of last year.

Let's see, that makes 7 and 1/2 months. I noticed last week Windows was coming up really slow, so I should have known it was going to go down.

There's nothing I can do but reload the original setup. I've since learned so I don't keep anything important on my machine...nothing I don't mind losing. The help desk is no help.

Time to buy a new computer. Next time I'm thinking of going with the Geek Squad. Dell still gets a high rating in Consumer Reports, so I don't know.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Commenting on Cavett's Comment

In a recent post by Dick Cavett which was dated April 11, 2008, he commented on the appearance of General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker and I intended to comment on Cavett’s comments and the NYTimes in general. However, comments had been closed. I guess 489 comments were enough.

At any rate, and not to let a good comment go to waste, I’m posting it here:
As I have done before, I’ve fleshed this out a bit, however that doesn’t really apply here, since it never had a chance for electrical immortality – until now.

First, in defense of Copseak, or in the particular case, military jargon. Come on, Dick, he’s general. They talk that way to each other and especially in briefings, de-briefings and any other military briefs – and even when they are only in their briefs.

By the way, “Copspeak” is not in the NYTimes’ [Alt] [Click] on-a-word thingy. A book has been written with that term as a title but as two words, and if you ask Google, it comes back asking if you meant “cop speak”, but it all means about the same thing. That form of speaking that Cavett lamented.

However, your criticism of Crocker is dead on. Who does he think he is and where does he think he is speaking? If he can’t articulate the administration’s policy to Americans any better than that, how in the hell is he suppose to do that to foreigners?

Finally, why isn’t the [Alt] [Click] on-a-word thingy turned on at this site. Come on, NYTimes, it’s Dick Cavett. Of all the pompous, articulate opinion writers you got, Mr. Cavett needs to have his words clicked. I had to go to another opinion, activate the [Alt] [Click] on-a-word thingy, and then copy and paste words from Mr. Cavett’s post to get not only their meaning but how they sound. That’s so last century

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Experiencing Experience

I was commenting over at the NYTimes on an opinion by Republican Minority Leader Boehner, and I couldn’t stay on task. I kept getting back to my current theme on experience. Here’s what I wrote which I’ve fleshed out a bit more since then:

Has Boehner pulled a boner or what?

This election is like no other - or not like another in a long time:

1. We will elect a senator one way or another. A senator has not been elected president since JFK, and I don’t know who it was before that. Most senators have to become vice-president before they get to be president. This year is an exception.

2. Whoever loses will still be around in the Senate. Microphones sucks, they will be the goto person for spin on the winning senator/president’s performance.

Back to Boehner’s boner. Hello! There’s a very unpopular war going on right now. A war brought on by what? Come on everybody, you know the answer! Two of the most experienced politicians to hold office in a very, very, very long time: Cheney and Rumsfeld. So much for the importance of experience.

I could see how their experience with the CIA of totally blowng it and not warning of the fall of Communism and Saddam's invasion of Kuwait would lead them to reject anything they hear from the spooks. But even a clock that is not running tells the correct time twice a day. They just happen to pick a time to reject intelligence that was right.

Democrats – we are told – are experienced at getting us into welfare spending, bleeding-heart causes, and programs that are that four letter word in liberalism, fair. Republicans are supposed to be experienced at running things, like a successful business. Fairness be damned, the return on investment and the bottom line are what measures how any enterprise is run. And what has this republican administration run us into with the almost absolute power they had at their beginning? We don’t need expertise in obtaining failure.

Oh, and while we are on experience. The person with the least experience in the administration was Bush. Maybe if we had someone in the role of president who had something higher on his agenda than outdoing his brother or showing he’s not the wimp his dad is, we wouldn’t be in this mess we are in now. That’s where we needed the experience. If only Bush had listen to Colin Powell. The Decider decided to listen to the wrong people. Hello Hillary! Here’s the point about experience you should be making.

I’m damned sure no ones going to walk into the White House the morning after that 3:00am call and tell McCain what he should do. And I don’t think that will happen to Hillary either – especially from Bill. No, any mess McCain or Hillary get us into will be of their own making. (Fairness note: I refer to Hillary by first name to differentiate her by name from her very powerful husband and not by gender from her opponent.)

The Clintons will put their lock on control of the Democratic Party if they return to the White House. If experience teaches us anything, it has taught us that. No wonder Kennedy, Kerry, Carter, and any other big dogs in the party are either out right supporting or leaning toward Obama. Political history says Gore should support Obama because they are fellow populist, but then Hillary considers herself just as much if not a more experience populist – at least that’s what her machine keeps pumping out – than either Gore or Obama, so he could display loyalty and stay with the Clinton camp.

So we sit and wait to see which way Gore goes. Will Super Al wait with us and support whoever gets the nomination, or will he move in and display the leadership the party needs to make a smooth transition to the general election? Stay tuned.