Thursday, October 29, 2009

Last night's Colbert Report

I don't know if you have ever watched Comedy Central's Colbert Report, but this show (along with the Daily Show with Jon Stewart) have generally occupied my time from 11:00 p.m. till midnight for quite a while now. For my money, these are two of the best shows on TV. And speaking of paying for TV... that reminds me of when I was living in England in the early 1980's. Did you know that TV's in England at that time actually had coin slots on the back? You would drop a couple pounds in and get so many hours of TV in return. Some goverment chap would then stop by your house now and then to collect the money from the back of your TV. Weird Huh?

Anyway....back to the topic. The guest on last night's Colbert Report was especially interesting. He is a physicist from England named Brian Cox and has co-authored a book entitled "Why does E=MC squared? And why should we care?" I have put this book on my reading list on the strength of this guy's performance. He was quite a character. I had heard previously about this gigantic "Hadron Super Collider" in Switzerland. Its the worlds largest and highest energy particle accelerator. This machine, 17 miles in circumference, is designed to send particles smashing into each other at astronomical rates of speed. One of it's many functions to search for the elusive Higgs-Boson particle. This is the so called "God Particle" as it is supposed to be the animating force of the universe. When they were getting ready to start the machine up for the first time last September some were concerned that it could accidentally create a black hole and suck our whole planet down the tubes. As far as I have heard this has not happened yet. Correct me if I am wrong on this please.

Anyway, last night I learned the collider has been experiencing some bizarre malfunctions which has led two prominent physicists (Cox not being one of them) to posit the theory that the accelerator is being sabotaged from the future. Get that? It has (or will have) have created something so awlful that at some future point something or someone will be sent back in time to stop it. Let this idea swirl around your brain for while....


Another thing I learned was that if I had no mass I could travel at the speed of light.

Can't wait!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Today, according to Christian tradition, is the Feast Day of Saint Francis of Assisi. He has always been one of my favorite saints and I am surely not alone here. He is known as having a special, intutive relationship to Nature, and is often depicted in pious renderings as having animals gathered around him, with maybe a bird or two perched on his shoulder. I bet you know who I am talking about.
I think the reason I always liked him is he always seemed to me like some sort of medieval hippy. A sort of wandering, tree hugging, mystic. And in todays world, with all of our environmental concerns, he takes on an obvious added significance.

But as cool as St. Francis is, it is another Francis who I want to honor today. For it was 17 years ago today that our beloved cat, named after this saint from Assisi, came into our lives. On October 4th 1992 I picked up a 5 month old bundle of energy from a friend who had way too many bundles of energy on hand. Francis has been a great companion to both Lori and myself. A real friend. And yes, at 17 plus years he is still going strong!
So today, on his day, I wanted to honor him with these few words. You have been a peerless feline and we love you buddy!
I have attached the above picture because this entry obviously requires a photo so everyone can see what all the fuss is about. It's a fairly recent shot, taken within the past year.
Feel free to use the photo as wallpaper on your computer.
C'mon. You know you want to ...