Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Report 2010

Today the particle physics report 2010 was released. I haven't read the full document (around 140 pages), but from the press release it is obvious that US is planning to regain the lost territory after the cancelation of the Superconducting Super Collider and will actively back the construction of the ILC in the US.

On the astro side, the LSST (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope), an 8.4 meter telescope with an amazing 10 square-degree was among the proposed projects. Similar in purpose to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) with an obviously higher deepness, showing around 10 times more galaxies than a similar SDSS field, to get an idea of the data that the LSST will collect take a look at the DLS site which is doing a similar survey with a much smaller telescope (around 4 meters) and a much smaller field. The most impressive part of this is that LSST will cover 50 000 times (yes 50 000) the area of the images of the DLS and in 5 bands!!! Such amount data will change astronomy even more than the almighty SDSS.

Keep tuned.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The latest Flying Spaghetti Monster sighting

A very funny article on the Wichita Eagle tells the story of a teacher who had a poster of the FSM ... when members of the State Board of Education were touring the school. Read the full story here. It seems evident to me that this Saucy Creator is everywhere!

Scientific McCarthyism

While the Bush administration has never been much versed about science (remember intelligent design?) some of the recent facts described by Phil Plait about ¨Mr. Deutsch, a 24-year-old presidential appointee in the press office at NASA headquarters whose résumé says he was an intern in the “war room” of the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign¨ are really outrageous. Trying to teach intelligent design in schools is almost like teaching sorcery and I really can't visualize it happening in any modern country, but to supress the facts about global warming (rememeber Bush has been an oil entrepeneur for long time) will have even far reaching consecuences. While there has been some considerable polemic about the reality of global warming, the position of Bush and pals is really based on profit and not in any scientific study.

Ohh yes, you should read how they consider the Big Bang a "mater of opinion". Of course, you should rememeber DeLong's Law: “The Bush Administration is always worse than one imagines, even when taking into account DeLong’s Law.”

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Will Mac OS X go open source ?

Beeing myself a fan of both MacOS and Linux seeing the column of John Dvorak at,1895,1950222,00.asp was a surprise. As you may know the new Intel based macs are capable of running win xp natively creating a lot of fuss around them. If you have ever run MacOS you already know that is currently years ahead of windows, and with more than half of pc's around not capable of running the future Windows Vista it seems that the moment for exploring an alternative operating system.

If MacOS goes open source, the battle Linux-MacOS will surely get all the spotlights turning them away from the Redmond camp, or at least that is what Dvorak suggests. Very nice prospect indeed. For now I will remain in the Linux camp, while using MacOS for my laptop, as I have always find turning any Linux distro into a usable laptop OS a real headache.