Thursday, September 10, 2015

Consider our Universe with its four dimensions - at least four dimensions!


P.S. I just Copyrighted this. J

Consider our Universe complete with its 4 dimensions – at least four!
Scientists tell us that all the atoms, worlds, stars and galaxies added together do not give enough mass to enable it to work the way that it does.
According to their calculations all the matter that they see is only 4% of the mass needed. So, they ask where is the other 96%?
Now these scientists are a lot smarter than I am, (My IQ when I had it tested at about age 26 was 134)
The scientists that are working on this problem are far and away more intelligent than I am. Stephen Hawking for example has an IQ in excess of 160. (As a matter of interest my mother had her IQ tested when I had mine tested and it was 160 – she would have been about 47 years old then!)
But let’s do some wandering, or should I say wondering?
We live in a 3 dimensional world. Or 4 dimensions if you count Time.
Now consider people living in a 2 dimensional world. That would be a flat world, on a flat surface, with two dimensions. How difficult do you think it would be for them to imagine a world with three dimensions? I would think pretty much impossible, wouldn’t you? I don’t know how if you lived in a 2 dimensional world – width and length only – you could conceive of three dimensions. That would of course be height. How could they imagine it? What reference point would they have?
Undoubtedly there would be some inhabitants of this world that were more intelligent than the others. Some would be very intelligent.
Say a 3 dimensional person passed through their world. As that person travelled down through their 2 dimensional space they would appear to the 2D people as a shadow on their world. First would appear the feet, then as the feet disappeared below their ‘horizon’, or through their flat world, the shadow of the legs would appear as two round objects. As the body continued down those two shadows would vary in shape and size until the body reached the hips, then the waist, the chest, the neck and finally the head.
Now would it be possible for one of the really intelligent 2D worlders to recreate or imagine the 3 dimensional shape of the thing that passed through their world? Possibly.  But that 3rd dimension would be how much more complicated to them than their two dimensions?  A hundred times a thousand times, a million times, a billion times? Who knows? Certainly it would be almost inconceivably difficult.
An ‘easier’ example might be if a ball passed through their flat world. First they would see a spot, the spot would be perfectly round and would increase steadily in size until it reached a maximum diameter and began to get smaller, eventually ending in a dot before it disappeared. Could they then recreate or imagine the shape of that object in a 3 dimensional world? They would also need the 4th dimension – time – to envision accurately the shape. If they got the speed wrong it could be stretched out into an absurdly long ellipse or it could look like an M&M – yum, yum, that would not be too bad if they could get the taste right.
That is the equivalent of the difficulty that we have in our 3 dimensional world, imagining the fourth dimensional. In fact I think that imagining a 4th dimension would be millions or even billions of times more difficult than imagining a 3rd dimension!.
We have no idea what time is. We can’t see it as we can see our 3 dimensions. We can’t move our heads or arms or legs in it as we can our three dimensions! It “Moves”, but only in one direction – ‘forwards’?  Well, we call it forwards, perhaps it is sideways or up or down, or perhaps all 3 or even 4, or more ways at the same ‘time’?
Why does it only go one way? Why not backwards as well? Why only at one speed? Or does it only go at one speed? Perhaps it goes at different speeds at different ‘times’ or it could be different for different people?  Certainly it is, or appears to be going at a different speed for me than it did when I was a child, when it went    V  e  r  y     S  l  o  w  l  y   !   Now it is going so fast that I don’t even know sometimes if it is winter or summer, or even which year!
What is time? If our 2D people would have difficulty imagining a 3D world – and I don’t know how they could, trapped as they are in 2 dimensions, what chance do we have of imagining a 4 dimensional world?  Surely it would be at least as hard, or maybe a million times harder? You tell me.
Back to today’s problem, the Universe only contains 4% of the matter needed to ‘work’.
I have tried, using my very limited intelligence, to figure out what has happened to the missing 96% of the matter in our Universe. My first thought is to blame the Black Holes. Well surely as they are beyond imagining in their own right, they could be the culprits! For Billions of years now – 13.8 billion if our scientists have got any kind of a basic handle on time – those darn Black Holes have been sucking our Universe in and sending it, where?
Where indeed? Perhaps the missing 96% is in the Black Holes. But what the heck does that mean? When our daughter Sarah was a teenager, her room was a sort of ‘Black Hole’, things went in and never came out! Our freezer is a sort of modern “Black Hole’, things go in and never come out!
But our Universe’s Black Holes are different to our private home-made Black Holes. Stuff is definitely going IN the black holes – I know I saw it happening in the Disney movie , “The Black Hole”. (Actually I am lying, I didn’t see the movie. I just said I did for the effect.) But then again, if I do see it one day when did I see it? If ‘time’ is as different as it must be, perhaps I saw it even before it was made? Had you thought of that? Or perhaps I saw it AND everything that I have done over the last 74 years all together, at the same ‘time”! Perhaps everything that has happened, and is happening and will happen is happening all at once! So there is no time? Sort of like the 2D world that is just” there”, perhaps ‘time is just “there”
Too far out? Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Who knows, I don’t and I bet you don’t either.
Back to the Black Holes.  Are they really Black? Could they be Dark Purple, or even ALL colors together. Or how about NO color? Enough of that. So the stuff goes in. I have to say, in spite of the lessons learned from Sarah’s Black Hole, I for one do not believe that it goes in never to be seen again. Call me a pessimist if you will, and there are those among us who do just that, but I think that stuff does something.
Here is one thought, it goes in and comes out somewhere else – in the Fifth Dimension!! Has that ever occurred to you? It has? Oh s**t and I thought I was the first to think of that!
Of course, the Fifth Dimension. If there is a one, two, three, and four dimensions, why not a fifth? Or for that matter a 6th, 7th, 50th? Who knows, well it was just a thought!
So it goes into a fifth dimension. Now that we have established that, where do we go from here? Well first off if 96% of our Universe is already in there, presumably the other 4% will be following soon – well soon in Universal Time. Certainly after the Big Banks, and Wall Street have sucked in all of the world’s money. Hey, a similarity, do the Banks and Wall Street already have 96% of the money? They definitely have MORE than 96% of my money!
Enough already, don’t get me started on that. I am going to save that for another piece, which would be much more difficult to understand than a fifth dimension. I’m pretty sure there is no one alive today or in the past or the future who can explain why we let Banks and Wall Street rob us all with impunity.
Whew, back to the ‘easy’ question of a Fifth Dimension.  So it goes into The Black Holes – I imagine that there are Billions if not Trillions of Black Holes busily sucking away OUR universe – and comes out in the Fifth Dimension. That explains right there where the missing 96% is. Do we need to go further? No. But I will. You were afraid of that weren’t you? Come on admit it.
Immediately I have to ask myself what happens when the 5th dimension has ALL of our Universe, what then?  Nothing in this amazing Universe is ever stable. Is that when we have another BIG BANG and start all over again? No, too boring. I don’t think the same thing happens again and again. Something different happens. Something that we cannot imagine of course. We already have our 5th dimension which is a billion times more complicated than the 4th dimension, which in turn was a million times more complicated than the 3rd dimension . By the way, I did just pick these numbers out of thin air, they have not been established by ‘real’ scientists, just by little old me. I put that in for the few reading here who do not understand my theories.
Ready for another theory? I thought you might be. Stuff goes into the Black Holes, the forces in there are unimaginable, yeah, yeah, we already know that, we saw Disney’s movie too. No really, so unimaginable that it actually compresses the atoms down to almost nothing.  And you thought that I was going to say it tears them apart didn’t you. Come on admit it you did.  Didn’t you? Well it doesn’t. Well OK, it might. I’ll give you that. But what if it doesn’t, instead it compresses them.
Take a Hydrogen Atom, probably the most common thing in the Universe. In order for our limited brains to understand the scale of an atom - If the Nucleus of a Hydrogen Atom were the size of a golf ball its single electron would be a mile away from the nucleus! And more than 99.9% of the mass of the atom is contained in the nucleus. So you can see that most of an atom is space. Another analogy is to compare a penny to the size of the moon. An atom compared to a penny is about the same size as a penny compared to the moon. But don’t forget that virtually ALL of the space in the atom is space.  Some atoms could be compared to a ping pong ball as the nucleus and the electrons circulating at the surface of the Earth or even further out. Or compare a gold atom to the Sun. if both were one foot in diameter, Pluto would be 1.6 miles from the Sun. The outermost electron of the gold atom would be 3.3 miles out from the gold nucleus, twice as far as Pluto is from the Sun! So you can see that the space in an atom is virtually ALL of an atom. How do you compare the size of something a foot in diameter to something several miles in diameter that is all empty space? I’m not sure that I could do the calculation. My Dad could. He would immediately say the volume of a sphere is 4/3 pi R cubed. So the volume of 1 foot diameter ball is 4/3XpiXR cubed. = just over .5 of a cubic foot, I think. The volume of a ball 3 miles in diameter is equal to about 4 Trillion cubic feet. (If my calculation was right.) A trillion is a big number. If you stacked dollar bills 6 feet high they would cover 100 football fields. Wow 100 football fields covered 6 feet deep in 1 dollar bills! Or, just one football field 6 feet deep in $100 bills! Or 5 times the number of stars in the Milky Way – our Galaxy - which has 200 Billion stars. BUT, that is only ONE Trillion. The answer was 4 Trillion! So 400 football fields full 6 feet deep, or 20 times the number of stars in our Galaxy! See why I say that the area filled by the nucleus of an atom is so insignificant compared to the overall size of an atom? ½ a cubic foot compared to 4 Trillion cubic feet. (The electrons are so small that they effectively don’t add any size or mass to the nucleus.)
Where the heck was I going with this? See I have so much fun with numbers. J Oh yes, our Black Hole, well one of the Billions of Black Holes in our Universe, or Trillions of Black Holes? Or Trillions of Universes? Let’s not go THERE! Our atom goes into the Black Hole and gets compressed down to its component parts. Trillions of atoms are compressed down to the size of one atom. Now that would be Heavy! Could that be the missing 96%? All those atoms compressed down into all those Billions, (Trillions?) of Black Holes. All the 200 Billion stars from our Galaxy compressed down to the size of one star 1/20 the size of a star? Or if you prefer all the stars from 20 Galaxies compressed down to the size of one star? (Aren’t numbers fun?)
See, there is plenty of room for our imagination to roam. Why not lets yours wander? Come on have fun, ramble, stray, see what you can come up with. Who is there to say you are wrong? Stephen Hawking? He would not bother to answer our meanderings, he is too busy thinking his own thoughts. Maybe he is working on the Sixth Dimension?

Good luck with that Steve.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A letter to my father.

Hi Dad, how does the lawn look? I just mowed it. Were you watching?
do you remember when we went fishing together for the first time on the pier at Shanklin on the I.O.W.? When we caught a fish you wouldn't let it flop about on the pier like some others were doing. You held the fish firmly by the tail and banged it's head on a steel post to kill it.
Do you miss me as much as I miss you?
Can you fix stuff there? It really would be heaven if there were lots of things to fix.
I just got laid off from my job so I should have time to write that book about you. I think I will call it, "Big Feet. Tough shoes to fill. My Father was a remarkable man."
Thanks for teaching me to swim, and to ride a bike, and to fix things, and to care.
I really miss our long phone conversations when we talked about fixing things. Things in your house, and my house, and other houses, and the world.
It rained really, really hard a few days ago and the lawn was almost floating, there was so much water on the ground. It reminded me of when we laid the lawn at 21 Chestnut Avenue. It must have been about 1954, was that when we moved in? You had ordered the Turf - we call it Sod over here - and it had rained almost every day. You worked of course so we pretty much had to do it on weekends. Well after about two weeks you were afraid that the grass would all die. It was in pieces that were about a foot wide and three feet long. Each piece was rolled up. So there were probably several hundred pieces. The weekend arrived and it was raining, hard. we decided to do the job anyway and went out in our raincoats. you laid down some planks of wood to roll the wheelbarrow on, so that it would not get bogged down. We floated the pieces into place! You brought them over in the wheelbarrow and I floated them into place. I think. you probably helped me with that part too. I must have been about 11 or 12 years old.
Anyway it had a good start. It could not have been better watered in! And it grew well although over the years the area in front of the house gradually turned into mostly moss. I think it was a mixture of being quite shady and being England, it rained fairly frequently. Plus there was a lot of clay in the area, which probably held the water.
Talking of clay do you remember that Mum's brother Clive took some of the clay and used it to make a pot?
I had a similar parent/child project with daughter Sarah. It was at our old house on Dock Road in Pasadena. She must have been about 10 years od. It was in the early 1980's. I had decided to put in a brick patio at the back of the house. I think it was about 20 feet by 30 feet. We ordered the bricks and sand and mortar, We raked the area flat, covered an area with sand mixed with dry mortar and laid the bricks. doing a section at a time. Sarah seemed to enjoy it. When it was finished, it took just one weekend, we swept playsand into all the cracks between the bricks. We did a good job apparently because it is still flat and in good shape some 35 years later! I think Sarah enjoyed it and hopefully she will remember the project with pride and pleasure.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Getting a permit in AA County.

Getting a permit to build a house in Anne Arundel County Maryland is difficult in the extreme. It took us three years and cost $60,000. That was just to get the permit, not including the house! And that was with a lot that already had a home on it, albeit a small home. The house was just 360 square feet. But it was there and had been there for the 30 years that I had owned the property and for years before that. The county had no problem acknowledging that it was there and collecting taxes on it. We decided to build a home there after Julia with the multiple injuries from her car accident years before and her Fibromialga was too ill to climb the stairs in our 1860's house. We decided that a small home on one floor would help her.
After three YEARS and three engineers we got the permit. The first Engineer, retired while it was proceeding. Well not really proceeding as he was pretty ineffective and had pretty much given up hope of us ever getting the permit. In fact he was very upset and told me that he was going to call the county when I told him - after he had retired - that the county had "agreed" to allow us to have a permit for a 1500 sq ft home. Well actually I think that I got them to agree to let us at least apply for a permit!
The next Engineer didn't have much more luck. He too went through the motions and once again it was up to me to sit in the offices of the permit offices and wait for them. I took in pizza's and donuts and made friends. I went to the print shops and had made, and paid for the 10 copies of the various plans that the County required.
After a while this Engineer committed suicide! Which should give you some idea of the stress that trying to get a permit from AA Co entails!
By now we were some two years into the process with still no end in sight. And running out of engineers?
The third Engineer certainly had experience on his side. He was well into his 70's perhaps even 80's! But he had been around and seemed to know what to do. It was during his "Reign" that we finally got the permit. I still had to trot down to Annapolis with my Donuts and Pizza and Candy. I still had to get and pay for the multiple copies of everything - God knows what they do with 10 copies of everything! I even had to go to court a couple of times. But we prevailed and were finally granted a permit to build a 1500 sq ft house. on our 1/2 acre lot.
We had fought for this and pointed out that there were several homes on our road with houses of 4 or 5 or 6,000 sq ft on smaller lots than ours! it had even occurred to me that perhaps I should be "greasing some palms", perhaps that is how it was done. But I decided not to risk that! If I approached the wrong person - that rare honest bureaucrat - I could be in even worse, deeper doo doo than I already was! Certainly I would have been willing to do it if a few thousand in the right place had saved us 2 or 3 years we could easily have saved some $50,000! Not peanuts in any ones life. But I had never done it and was afraid to risk it as I said.
Having the permit was only the start. The nightmare continued and even got worse. See my blog/letter entitled My Permit Nightmare. And my further letters detailing how the bank and the builder cheated us out of some $200,000. Ever tried taking on a bank? Don't bother. I went to the OCC - Office of the Controller of the Currency who supposedly Control the banks. Ha Ha Ha Ha. I can't stop laughing. Well I must say I didn't believe it right from the beginning. I said to the person at the OCC the first time I talked to them that I thought they would end up saying to me, "The bank says they did nothing wrong and there is nothing more that we can do for you" That is virtually EXACTLY what they said three years later!
Well enough of that I guess. Maybe I flourish on stress. Certainly I have had more than my fair share in this area.