While listening to latest episode of the skeptic zone I was reminded of an incident with my oldest niece. She at the time was in grade 4 so she was about 8 or 9. We were walking in the woods and all of a sudden she asks, “Davey, do you think birds evolved from dinosaurs?” This took me completely by surprise. Firstly her mother and grandmother are religious and don’t like evolution so I wondered where did she find out about that and how to approach this subject. I just answered that the evidence says yes but she said she believed god created them, A few moments later she goes.”since the trees are older than god. I think the trees made god.”
May 11, 2015
April 7, 2015
The other night I was listening to The Merseyside skeptics podcast Be Reasonable hosted by Michael Marshall interviewing Alan Butler. Mr. Alan idea is that the moon and the asteroid Ceres are artificial satellites designed and placed in their current orbits by time travelling future humans who are trying teach modern humans a lesson of some kind. These time travellers destroyed a planet 4 billon years ago called Vulcan and re-assembled some of these pieces to create the Moon and Ceres. One claim is that Ceres orbit is 2.73 more distance than the Earth to Sun distance. The distance between the Earth and Sun is 1 astronomical unit or AU. The distance of Ceres from the Sun changes as it goes through its orbit from its closest approach of 2.56 AU to 2,98 AU It does go through a point were it is 2.73 Au from the sun but that is a small part of its orbit. The reason that 2.73 is significant is that the moons orbital period around the Earth is 27.322 days and Mr. Butler claims that this means that the time travelling humans did this on purpose as a clue for us to figure out. Another clue is that the Earth is 81 times the mass of the moon and the moon is 81 times the mass of Ceres. The moon is actually 78.58 times the mass of Ceres. The densities of these objects are different which accounts for the difference in mass. There was a theoretical planet called Vulcan in the 1800’s to describe some issues with Mercury’s orbit but has been scrapped since general relativity showed you did not need any such planet. In the beginning of the solar system there could of been one or more planets in the region of the asteroid belt but these planets if they did exist were torn apart by Jupiter’s and the Sun’s gravity pulling in opposite directions. Also most of the mass of the asteroid belt has been ejected out of the solar system by these gravitational forces. Ceres is thought to have an rocky core a layer of liquid water and an icy crust which might allow life under the crust like the moons of Europa, Ganymede, Titan and Enceladus. The moon itself was formed after a Mars sized object collided with the Earth about 4.5 billion years ago. After the collision there was a cloud of molten rock that gathered together to form the moon. There could of been smaller objects that either joined with the moon or fall back to the Earth. Most of these facts and theories can be easily looked up on the internet. Mr Butler seems more interested in tying together ancient units together and numerology than anything else.
March 30, 2015
I am thinking of changing the name of the website one thought is astrotimer, combination of astronomy and maritimer.
For the two or three people who read this thing do you think it is a good idea share your thoughts in the comments.
March 23, 2015
The other night I was watching Dragons Den on the CBC. Dragons Den is a series where people who have businesses who need investment go one to pitch to five potential investors. One the pitchers were pitching an astrology system. Astrology is based on the idea that your life is determined by where the stars and planets are located on the day of your birth. The gravity from the stars would not actually effect you because it would be to weak to do anything. The further away you are from an object the less gravity it will have on an object because it obeys the inverse distance law. that is if an object is twice as far as it was in different location it will have one quarter the gravity. So a star which is light years away will have almost zero effect on an individual here on Earth. Also gravity is a vector so the gravity pulling on an object here on Earth is probably being counteracted by the gravity of an object on the other side Earth. The planets effect would be very similar as to the stars. The investor did invest in the company because astrology is held to high esteem is culture. There are a lot of people in all different cultures that do believe in astrology but that does not make it right, The investor probably will make money out of this scheme just for this fact but it is still bad science but probably a good investment.
March 16, 2015
The underlying premise of the series is very insulting, ancient peoples could not figure things out without alien intervention. No human farmer while he is out of doors for most of the day could figure out that the sun rises or sets in a different location each day. No one would notice that round objects move much better than flat objects or that the fats from plants or animals make thing slippery so you can move very large objects a lot easier. Some rocks fall into a fire or arranged around a fire to create a fire pit and some parts of the rocks get melted and people figure out that these materials are useful or just pretty. It was not instant it took thousands of years Humans have been around for over a million years, people have only lived in cities for about six thousand years, It humanity that long to get the point where they could grow enough food to support large groups of people. There probably have been thousands of dead ends that have not been recorded, just imagine all the dead from eating the wrong food, the wrong part or eating it the wrong way. A good example would be the potato which is part of nightshade family so it leaves are poisonous but part of the roots are edible when cooked. How many tries did it take to figure it out. The pyramids which were a huge achievement of ancient Egypt took several tries before the ones I Giza, they are several others which show how the design changed over time. A lot of civilizations said gods gave the people the knowledge but it was people who figure out things out so far in the past the ancients even forgot who found the knowledge. What we should do is to celebrate the people who figured everything out and not belittle their achievements by saying it was all giving to us by aliens.
February 10, 2015
With measles outbreaks in the US and in Canada we have what we really need to fight the disease. The disease is caused by weakened versions of the disease being injected into kids arms also this also helps spreads autism, not. But now an off license day care in the Ottawa area is now offering a vaccine free zone to prevent the spread of the disease.
November 17, 2014
November 3, 2014
July 30, 2014
The first connection is how the plants get their energy. Deep in the interior of the star hydrogen fuses together to create helium also a small amount of mass is converted into energy. The amount of mass lost to energy is only 0.7% but the sun burns 600 billion tonnes of hydrogen a second. The energy released is in the form of light which can behave as a particle or a wave. The light bounces of particle in the interior for around a million years then after reaching the surface of the sun it only takes a 8 minutes to travel from the sun to the Earth. Then the plants absorb the light and with carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water from the ground it creates starches and sugars that it needs, then some greedy animal comes along and eats all its hard work. The second way astronomy is connected to gardening is that ancient farmers used the stars as a form of calendar. If you observe the stars every night you notice that stars raise latter and latter every night and then earlier every night. You can use this knowledge to predict when it is getting closet to the time of planting, so you start to get your ground ready for planting. Another way astronomy and gardening are connected goes back to about 13.8 billion years ago. For the first few hundred generations of the plant the farmer keeps the seed of the best producers to get better and better crops. Before that in the wild the plants grow on their own and which ever is more fit to survive than the others get to survive to continue on their line. 4 billion years before that the atoms that made up the plant were swirling in a giant dust cloud that would be someday be the planets and the sun. Around 9 billion years before that there was a sudden flash of light that cooled down to create all the hydrogen that fuse together in the future generations of stars that would become the plant and the gardener. Now I wish I was a better at weeding.
April 12, 2011
I am sorry for not posting here and I probably won’t be posting for a while. I got a little distracted and been looking for a job with not much success. Also my computer died. In addition I have a couple of large projects that envolve moving several tons of material so I do not know when I will posting next.