Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

Lo The Darkness

by rg Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 12:37:41 PM EST


It has taken me a long while, but I more or less have it now: I am looking down at the sun these days, spinning up and away quickly and then spending most hours on the dark side under the stars.

Whereas in summer...

...I'm heading down and round, the sun above me for most of the day, then up into the night for a brief period, then down and round, the sun above me...

....took me ages to get my head round that.

So...the shortest day of the year arriveth.  It's the day after tomorrow, but this computer clock is set strangely, it thinks it's midnight plus fifteen, and somewhere an ET reader is reading this on the day before, maybe a city folk who, caught in artificial light, hasn't noticed the sun sinking lower...and lower...

For a moment the other day I thought something was wrong--surely the sun couldn't be setting due south?  I was staring at the sea, through a window, there was the sun on the horizon, it seemed due south, but turns out the building was tilted south east just far enough to create the illusion...

Another year passeth!  I wrote a diary last year about the solstice...a year has passed...I have become slightly better at Go;

Not much to say beyond that...  I'm sure you all know about Saturnalia;

Jolly version:

Four thousand years ago or so, ancient Egyptians celebrated the rebirth of the sun at this time of year. They set the length of the festival at 12 days, to reflect the 12 divisions in their sun calendar. They decorated with greenery, using palms with 12 shoots as a symbol of the completed year, since a palm was thought to put forth a shoot each month.

'Sacaea' was the Persian version. The annual renewal festival of the Babylonians was adopted by the Persians. One of the themes of these festivals was the temporary subversion of order. Masters and slaves exchanged places. A mock king was crowned. Masquerades spilled into the streets. As the old year died, rules of ordinary living were relaxed.

The Mesopotamians celebrated winter with a 12-day festival of renewal, designed to help the god Marduk tame the monsters of chaos for one more year.

The Egyptian and Persian traditions merged in ancient Rome, in a festival to the ancient god of seed-time, Saturn. The people gave themselves up to wild joy. They feasted, gave gifts, and decorated their homes with greenery. The usual order of the year was to let go of grudges and quarrels. Wars were interrupted or postponed. Businesses, courts, schools closed. Rich and poor were equal, slaves were served by masters, children headed the family. Cross-dressing and masquerades, merriment of all kinds prevailed. A mock king - the Lord of Misrule - was crowned. Candles and lamps chased away the spirits of darkness. As Roman culture became more licentious, so did Saturnalia. Over the years, it expanded to a whole week, the 17 December to 23 December.

Crystalinks.com

And then Jesus was born!

Heh...

Jesus Was a Capricorn

But hey, we're still in Saggitarius--a few Sagittarians here at ET I'm sure (I'm one--one who can't spell Sagittarius):

Positive Traits

charismatic
freedom-loving
extroverted
straightforward
benevolent
ardent
idealistic
sincere
intellectual
always happy
knowledgeable
creative
philosophical
broad-minded
sexual
funny
free-spirited
good sense of humor
honest
open-minded
truth-seeking
just
fun-loving
athletic
adventurous
expansive
optimistic
joyful

Negative Traits

None whatsoever.  They are all lies told by our enemies.

The Sagittarius's dual natures, that of the beast (aggressive, rebellious, sexual, free-roaming, etc.) and the higher nature (philosophical, open-minded, honest etc.) are said to be in constant conflict. However, the truth is that they match perfectly, as any fule no.

Wikipedia

Hokkay

I wanted to say that I have the in-laws staying throughout the festive period and my connection to zer net will be erratic and maybe a percentage of it will be spent at the kgs go server.  Are there any Go players around?  Anyone fancy a game of an evening?

Let me know here or by e-mail!

So, My Friends across zer Wires

I wish those of you in the northern hemisphere many happy midwinter festivities.  I wish those of you in the southern hemisphere many happy midsummer festivities...and those of you in the middle, the days are similar, no?  Have I got that all wrong?  Ah, but the weather changes....so happy dry season, rainy season, or season which has some of both!

Display:
Lovely diary, rg! thanks!

Well, not to long and we can celebrate the rebirth of the light. And then the best starsign of all will show up, Capricorn! :-)

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 12:42:27 PM EST

Many pleasures for from and to you, Fran!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 07:40:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As an ET Sagittarian, whose birthday has not quite expired (well, not in this time zone..) - much appreciated...

But I am sure the anti-Astrology ET clouds are gathering....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 12:59:34 PM EST
Of course astrology is a lot of nonsense; according to it I'm a Sagittarian too - but I'm only allowed that limited list of positive qualities ?! Clearly it's rubbish :-)

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 01:10:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I know...it's nowhere near long enough for all my good qualities.

No mention of modesty anywhere...

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 01:25:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you, Chris!
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 01:10:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks Fran...got some nice after-shave, courtesy of Solveig, and some Homer Simpson socks....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 01:24:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Svens Perfum diary was useful then;-) (Either that or it's a northern obsession)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 01:26:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Must be the latter, cos the fragrance pre-dated the Diary!

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 01:46:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy Birthday Chris. Many happy reruns!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 01:59:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A (late) happy birthday!

(This really is birthday season here... I feel so out of place as a summer child...)

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 06:41:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Great diary, thanks!  I'm Sagittarius too, there are a lot of ET b'days this time of year so there must be a few of us. Quite right too, there are no negative traits that I know of.  I interpret the horoscopes to suit myself. As one should do.

Do you know something? I would kill to get a chance to take photos of the aurora.  But I barely coped with 2 hours standing outside winter wonderland last night and in that kind of chill the batteries drain so fast, the camera parts shrink...

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 01:01:02 PM EST
and in that kind of chill the batteries drain so fast, the camera parts shrink...

I was talking chemistry-physics with a guy this evening.  I want a periodic table poster for my midwinter present.  Electricity!

I'm not sure how you relate to youtube vids.  

Electricity!

The aurora...(it works for me to listen to the previous video while watching this one)

...the song, for me, has the instant-backwards timemachine effect...

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 08:09:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, for tonight all I see with the video links is a grey background and a spinning circle...midwinter....grey and swirly....time to play Go!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 08:11:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But if I just poke the swirliness with...a mouse click...I am taken to the video!

(Okay...Go!)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 08:12:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't relate especially well to vids as you seem to have guessed. So without sound the top one is very surreal.  Can you imagine watching it and having not just no sound for the video but no external sound to draw from?  I can't be bothered to put my hearing aid in when I am about to go for a shower. My brain is trying to put words to it for me to make up for the lack of information but due to the surreal look of it, it doesn't know what to say.  Babbling in the background.

The vid of the aurora is great though, my brain makes it's own music soundtrack from watching the lights.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 02:47:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
once again the one true perfect star sign has nearly faded into the night. Are there really that many of us crowded into this small part of the year?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 01:14:09 PM EST
Boooo!!! Sagittarians are always full of illusions!!!! :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 01:15:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't get me started on Capricorns ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 01:25:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why, because you would get so delirious about that wonderful sign? :-)
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 01:32:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends on my mood how wonderful they are ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 01:37:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As Capricorns, we have your number already. ;-)
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 11:25:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh yeahhhh!!! what a nice pic.. that is a ohhh  lady my man.. wow those beatiful wow oh wow colouuuursss...

It's sexy.. isn't it?.. worthy diary even with this pic alone

oh and glad you joined the minority which understands that getting closer or farther away from the sun has nothing to do with summer or winter.... a minority despite the fact that most people know that right now it is summer in the south and winter in the north..

Oh.. yeah.. I forgot this example is the classic about how to show that there is no problem in holding to completely contradictory positions as long as they belong to completely different narratives....

Upps...

Happy roman days.. or roman sun party.. or however this stuff about the shroter days of the year in the north are called now.. soemthing about Cristies or was it frisquies?

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 01:49:21 PM EST
History!  I haven't heard this song in decades!

Warmth for the northern soul.

Northern Lights July/11/2007



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 07:45:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More wheels of greyness...I hope they work, what an excellent song!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 07:47:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice. Here's a newer Northern Lites

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 08:31:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Super nice!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 08:41:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - Lo The Darkness

For a moment the other day I thought something was wrong--surely the sun couldn't be setting due south?  I was staring at the sea, through a window, there was the sun on the horizon, it seemed due south, but turns out the building was tilted south east just far enough to create the illusion...

Think about it: the shorter the day the closer the sunrise and sunset points are to being due south. In the limit, say, near the Winter solstice, from a point near the polar circle, the sun barely rises and sets in the South, minutes apart.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 03:40:47 PM EST
The point is: I thought something was wrong, just for a split second.  (Split that second!)  I would never be able to do this:

Joe Kittenger, oh man, oh woman, oh human!  I could never do that--I don't have the training.  

btw, I was discussing lo these many ideas this evening--one of which is what makes a solid solid, what makes water a liquid, and why the noble gasses are all gasses.

But I think most people (these days) don't really understand--at a physical level--that they are on a spinning ball in space, travelling around the sun.

I also think that the largest thing comparable to human complexity that I have intimate knowledge of is the atmosphere--and I live at the bottom!

Did I mention that water is a liquid because hydrogen is so willing to spare that unbalanced electron, and oxygen is willing to take it...ach....chemistry...

Water (molecule) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Water is primarily a liquid under standard conditions, which is not predicted from its relationship to other analogous hydrides of the oxygen family in the periodic table, which are gases such as hydrogen sulfide. Also the elements surrounding oxygen in the periodic table, nitrogen, fluorine, phosphorus, sulfur and chlorine, all combine with hydrogen to produce gases under standard conditions. The reason that oxygen hydride (water) forms a liquid is that it is more electronegative than all of these elements (other than fluorine). Oxygen attracts electrons much more strongly than hydrogen, resulting in a net positive charge on the hydrogen atoms, and a net negative charge on the oxygen atom. The presence of a charge on each of these atoms gives each water molecule a net dipole moment. Electrical attraction between water molecules due to this dipole pulls individual molecules closer together, making it more difficult to separate the molecules and therefore raising the boiling point. This attraction is known as hydrogen bonding. Water can be described as a polar liquid that dissociates disproportionately into the hydronium ion (H3O+(aq)) and an associated hydroxide ion (OH(aq)). Water is in dynamic equilibrium between the liquid, gas and solid states at standard temperature and pressure, and is the only pure substance found naturally on Earth to be so.

From a point far enough north, you won't see the sun, cos you're tilted so far up and the sun is so far down... you never see it!  Those who live close the equator don't see this....



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 07:09:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope we get to view these vids, for me they're just spinning wheels on greyness

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 07:20:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But I think most people (these days) don't really understand--at a physical level--that they are on a spinning ball in space, travelling around the sun.

Wait, there's a song for that.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 09:05:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you heard this one?



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 09:41:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course :-)
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 05:53:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of my favourite things from my degree was learning about orbitals.  Orbital shapes are just probabilities. It is purely a probability that you will find that electron orbiting the nucleus at that particular point at that particular time.  They move so fast that you end up with a 3d representation of the orbital shape that looks solid. But in reality if you could freeze at any one moment, there would be dots of electrons in random looking places around the nucleus.

I don't think the concept of a spinning ball in space is hard at all. I'm astounded that we exist, that we are solid. Or we think we are. We are nothing more than a probability.   Each atom is full of empty space.  How am I so solid when I am so full of space?  Why does matter not sift through me as though I were a ghost?

Are ghosts just people with a lower probability of being solid?

I've been neutron scattering.  I've fired streams of neutrons at my samples and collected the scattered hits to tell me what shape my molecules are. The neutrons go into my samples and bounce off from inside the atoms and the angles in the scattering patterns tell me the size and shape.

Electromagnetic radiation goes through me. Photons are both waves and particles.  Particles goes through me, so am I really solid? Am I really here?

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 03:03:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This guy yesterday was explaining how those elements with....heh....I'll have to go studying, but basically the metals lock together because it is the (you know all this!  I say it so see if I've learnt) metals are willing to share their electrons (hence they conduct electricity)--hence they are solid--locked together.  The noble gasses have perfect outer shells, have no need to bond with anything and so never become solid.  Liquids have strange pairings and water is the strangest of all...I didn't quite get it, but the oxygen can easily transfer its electron (or pick one up) from different hydrogen atoms so there's slippage--liquid.  You and I are mostly made of water so you're not a gaseous ghost--you have spare electrons which are out and about being chucked or hoovered up; but you're not super solid--you're not locked down like rock.  You're fluid, mostly, and so fluidity...

...and yeah, all that empty space!  But we're so huge and the empty space is inside the structures...anyways, I'm gonnae read up on the electron shells...it's a way to learn the names and characteristics of some elements I know nothing about....and I'm sure you're glad I told you that!  

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 06:06:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Water is weird - lots of odd-ish quantum chemistry.

The empty space idea isn't quite so weird. There's a big difference between everyday space, which is full of nothing much, and quanutum space, which is either full of or surrounded by dense probabilities.

So it's not really empty in the same way. :-)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 11:31:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not sure into how much detail I should get into here, but this is not quite right
In Wales:
They move so fast that you end up with a 3d representation of the orbital shape that looks solid. But in reality if you could freeze at any one moment, there would be dots of electrons in random looking places around the nucleus.
Electrons don't have trajectories, and as you know from molecular bond theory there is such a thing as orbital hybridization which is just a change of basis achieved using linear algebra. For instance, you start with one (spherical) 2s orbital and three 2p orbitals (aligned along the X, Y, Z axes) and you end up with 4 orbitals pointing at the vertices of a tetrahedron. The point is that the decomposition is mostly arbitrary. In particular, there's no reason to choose one collection of five orthogonal 3d orbitals over any other unless there's an external electromagnetic field.
Or we think we are. We are nothing more than a probability.   Each atom is full of empty space.  How am I so solid when I am so full of space?  Why does matter not sift through me as though I were a ghost?
Have you studied the basic Born-Oppenheimer theory of the hydrogen molecule? Have you looked at how the atomic orbitals hybridize into binding and non-binding molecular orbitals? If you have the two electrons in a non-binding molecular state you can see how the two atoms bounce off each other - that is, they behave as if they're solid. It's all a consequence of combining the Pauli exclusion principle and quantum-mechanical superposition of states.
I've been neutron scattering.  I've fired streams of neutrons at my samples and collected the scattered hits to tell me what shape my molecules are. The neutrons go into my samples and bounce off from inside the atoms and the angles in the scattering patterns tell me the size and shape.
Yes, because the neutrons are not charged and so they don't really interact with the electron clouds, only with the atomic nuclei. Well, there is a small scattering cross-section of electrons by neutrons, but if the neutrons are energetic enough the most they'll do is knock an electron off the molecule and go on on their merry way. But photons see the electron cloud because charged particles interact strongly with them.
Photons are both waves and particles.
"Things propagate as waves but interact as particles" would be a possible way of saying this.
Particles goes through me, so am I really solid? Am I really here?
You have a small interaction cross-section with certain particles. Just because a glass pane is transparent doesn't mean it's not solid, isn't it? Now, depending on your definition of solid, you're most emphatically not. Parts of you are liquid, parts of you are gels or emulsions, parts of you are rather elastic. Only your bones and teeth are solid and not througout their whole volume.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 06:29:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I know that, I just like my interpretation of it.  I like taking some of the models to their extreme literal interpretation for want of a better way of putting it, even if it looks warped.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 07:19:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like Mr. Tompkins?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 26th, 2007 at 03:05:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who is Mr Thompkins?  I mean I just like letting my imagination run away with me to all the possibilities, silly or otherwise.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 07:13:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a very dirty business. In spite of all warnings, you all continue to talk about astrology. Have you no shame?

But, on the other hand, rg's last picture does indicate that celestial influences are present on this Earth. But could they form a predictable pattern of influence from birth? It seems highy unlkely. Science is a work in infinite progress - whatever will they discover next?

I'm an astrology sceptic. but I haven't ruled out that there might be something in it. Like religion, any system that has been commentaried for thousands of years, and contains some consistent logic within its own rules, is worthy of attention - even, like religion, as an anthropological demonstration of a seeming popular desire to find order within chaos.


You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 06:33:39 PM EST
It seems so simple to me.  You're born in June, you start walking as winter turns to spring--all those impressions!  You're born in January, you start walking as Christmas turns up.  How accurate can we make these divisions?  How about dividing the year into twelve and roughly guesstimating characteristics?  A bit rough and ready, but we can guess that, say, an aquarian will have a different approach to, say, a capricornian.

For my birthday (for example) all the pubs put up decorations.  Not for my birthday, but it is impossible for me to go the pub on my birthday without finding midwinter decorations abounding. If you're born in May that doesn't happen--something else does (all the flowers are in bloom!)

Grab that basic fact, twist it around star formations (which we can no longer see, so "astrology" is no longer the funky edge of "looking at stars") and....voila!  I would say that in the sense of the I Ching and the Tarot, the star signs are integrated: there are no "good ones" or bad ones, every one can be read out of every other one, so you have this closed system which is open, sorta like Go, where simple rules build complexity and connection....heh!

The important point is that Saggitarians have no faults--except for those who do, and their faults are obviously due to rising or falling moons, on any one of a variety of planets.

And, talking of natural effects:

Crop Circles (Morgana's Observatory)

Whirlwind Vortex (also known as Plasma Vortex)

The first theory proposed by Dr. Terrence Meaden in the 1980's attempted to explain all spirally generated circle patterns as a product of entirely natural atmospheric phenomena. Meaden likened the vortex to dustdevils, tornadoes, etc., but also including friction-generated plasma which could account for the anomalous light phenomena which many eyewitnesses had seen. Meaden claimed the forces involved were hitherto "unrecognized helical or toroidal forces" which had "subsidiary electromagnetic properties due to self-electrification." The vortex would presumably form high above the ground, then suddenly "breakdown" to the ground level in an axial strike. The theory was plausible for a number of years, with further corroboration obtained in Japan by Dr. Y.H. Ohtsuki and Prof. H. Ofuruton. Their lab research produced similar vortices by electrostatic discharge and microwave interference. Theoretical work on the plasma-vortex was carried out by Prof. H. Kikuchi, Japan, who modeled the vortex using energy potentials including an interaction term between an axial electric field and the earth's magnetic field.

Although Dr. Meaden was possibly the first to equate a meteorological event with a plasma-vortex, the term is not new to plasma physics. A 1970 Nobel Prize winning physicist, Hannes Alfven, developed several theories of wave propagation in plasmas. His broad vision embraces interstellar and laboratory phenomena, for he was interested in those properties of lab plasmas which could be used to form a cosmogony (a theory of evolution). The bulk of his work relates to magnetohydrodynamics, an area of plasma physics which investigates acoustic and magnetic interactions within an electrically conductive fluid or gas. It is an advanced subject, but Alfven wave concepts are at heart quite intuitive.

Basically, Alfven waves are ripples or propagating waves on top of plasma-vortex structures. The vortex structures themselves form spontaneously within a plasma from shear flows and instabilities. Once formed, however, they can propagate waves in various modes, as well as deliver momentum across large distances. How does this relate to crop circles? A plasma-vortex structure such as a toroid, or a moving spiral, can explain the gentle "groomed" appearance of the plant stalks after a formation has occurred. The stalks show no mechanical chafing or damage, which would be the case if struck by a sudden whirlwind or tornado. I believe that Alfven waves create the final "push" which pulsates along the axes of vortex structures. How these are generated, and where they begin is still quite an intriguing mystery.

The whirlwind vortex, or upward-axis vortex as it was promulgated by Dr. Meaden, was sufficient to explain all of the true "circles" appearing in the 1980's. However, the whirlwind theory became public "disinformation" as soon as the first large-scale pictograms began appearing in Britain as early as 1990. This new dimension to the shape of the phenomena began to inform people that much larger, more complex forces were at work. It could no longer be a simple combination of "hitherto unrecognized" natural forces. In addition to the anomalous light phenomena, several more reports of a 5KHz "trilling sound" were taken from witnesses in the vicinity of the formations, none of which could be explained by revolving wind and charge clouds. Straight lines began to appear in the pictograms, with stems of the plants lying parallel to the outer contours of the lines. Obviously, Meaden's theory was in need of modification.



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 07:31:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've considered setting up a serious test of sun-sign astrology - or at least one aspect of it - just for the fun of it.

It would need some moderately dense stats, but wouldn't be too hard to organise otherwise.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 11:34:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stats on the moderately dense?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 11:57:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 07:19:32 PM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]