Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2008, 03:38 PM
Number of posts: 1,122
Number of posts: 1,122
Gunfire Shatters Quiet at AC Library
Retired Police Officer Shoots Self in Foot
Appleton City Journal, May 10, 2013, Volume 133, Number 3
by Cindy Arms, Sac-Osage Publishing Staff
Gunfire startled librarians and visitors alike around noon on Saturday, April 27, when Rich Bauer accidentally discharged a weapon he was carrying while visiting the Appleton City Library. Bauer was injured by a bullet through his foot and drove himself to the hospital. No one else was injured.
According to the police report, Bauer, who was doing some work at the library, had a semi-automatic weapon in his hand as Police Chief Bill Smith entered the library. Smith stated he was on his way to the library to meet with Bauer and was nearby when he heard five shots and smelled the odor of gun powder. According to the report, when Smith saw Bauer, he said, "I think I shot myself in the foot."
If only everyone were allowed to carry around loaded weapons....
Posted by xocet | Fri May 17, 2013, 01:03 PM (9 replies)
Washington gets explicit: its 'war on terror' is permanent
Senior Obama officials tell the US Senate: the 'war', in limitless form, will continue for 'at least' another decade - or two
guardian.co.uk, Friday 17 May 2013 07.54 EDT
Last October, senior Obama officials anonymously unveiled to the Washington Post their newly minted "disposition matrix", a complex computer system that will be used to determine how a terrorist suspect will be "disposed of": indefinite detention, prosecution in a real court, assassination-by-CIA-drones, etc. Their rationale for why this was needed now, a full 12 years after the 9/11 attack:
"Among senior Obama administration officials, there is a broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade. Given the way al-Qaida continues to metastasize, some officials said no clear end is in sight. . . . That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism."
On Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on whether the statutory basis for this "war" - the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) - should be revised (meaning: expanded). This is how Wired's Spencer Ackerman (soon to be the Guardian US's national security editor) described the most significant exchange:
"Asked at a Senate hearing today how long the war on terrorism will last, Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, answered, 'At least 10 to 20 years.' . . . A spokeswoman, Army Col. Anne Edgecomb, clarified that Sheehan meant the conflict is likely to last 10 to 20 more years from today - atop the 12 years that the conflict has already lasted. Welcome to America's Thirty Years War."
Here is a passage whose context is the war in Algeria from 1954-1962: the passage is excerpted from Counterinsurgency Warfare by David Galula:
"Essential though it is, the military action is secondary to the political one, its primary purpose being to afford the political power enough freedom to work safely with the population."
(Counterinsurgency Warfare (Praeger, 2006), p. 63)
For more on the late David Galula, one may see this retrospective:
DAVID GALULA: HIS LIFE AND INTELLECTUAL CONTEXT
Ann Marlowe August 2010
It is a safe bet that if the United States had not found itself—or to be more accurate, identified it-
self—as fighting an insurgency in Iraq sometime in 2003, “David Galula” would still be a nearly forgotten
name. In 2003, his two books on counterinsurgency had been out of print for forty years. One, Pacification
in Algeria, had never really been published at all; written as a study for RAND, it was classified until 2005.
One of the characteristics which makes Galula’s work so robust—its infusion with both the French and
Anglo-American counterinsurgency traditions—also left him an intellectual orphan. In his lifetime, Galula
had the bad luck to be an expert who wrote in English about a conflict mainly of interest to the French. Still
worse, the Algerian war was tainted for Americans by the shadows of colonialism and torture. Though Galula
was in the United States during the early years of the American involvement in the Vietnam War, he
seems to have had only a fleeting influence on those who formed our strategy.
In France, counterinsurgency theory had enjoyed a great flourishing in the 1950s and 1960s, as the French
Army fought successively in Indochina, Suez, and Algeria. But the stars of this movement, a group of colonels
including Roger Trinquier and Charles Lacheroy,were already famous before Galula began to write. In
the context of the French tradition of guerre revolutionnaire, there was little novelty in Galula’s approach.
By 2006, when FM 3-24 brought Anglophone writers back into the game, the French had less reason to be absorbed in counterinsurgency studies. So even after Galula’s works were republished in English — and translated for the first time into French, nearly 40 years after his death—he remains almost unknown to the nation whose uniform he wore for most of his adult life.
Posted by xocet | Fri May 17, 2013, 12:08 PM (15 replies)
As is to be expected, Matt Lauer conducted a short, fluffy interview and offered no meaningful resistance or forceful counterpoints to Rumsfeld's statements. Here is an excerpt that may call to mind one of the many things that Rumsfeld has said in the past:
NBC's Lauer Asks Rumsfeld if Benghazi Scandal is Just GOP Trying to 'Discredit' Hillary
Noteworthy is Lauer's smooth transition away from anything that might require a thoughtful response from the guest. At this point, Lauer could have been replaced by a fluffy bunny in Wolf Blitzer glasses and the interview would have been equally well done.
One should recall that Donald Rumsfeld knows about protecting people who are put at risk:
So, here (apparently) is Rumsfeld's Rule on protecting people who are put at risk:
"You go to war with the army you have..uh..not the army you might want
or wish to have at a later time."
--Donald Rumsfeld, Camp Buehring, Kuwait, December 8, 2004
For a more complete presentation of Rumsfeld's statement, one may consult this article:
Iraq-Bound Troops Confront Rumsfeld Over Lack of Armor
By ERIC SCHMITT
Published: December 8, 2004
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait, Dec. 8 - In an extraordinary exchange at this remote desert camp, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld found himself on the defensive today, fielding pointed questions from Iraq-bound troops who complained that they were being sent into combat with insufficient protection and aging equipment.
Specialist Thomas Wilson, a scout with a Tennessee National Guard unit scheduled to roll into Iraq this week, said soldiers had to scrounge through local landfills here for pieces of rusty scrap metal and bulletproof glass - what they called "hillbilly armor" - to bolt on to their trucks for protection against roadside bombs in Iraq.
Posted by xocet | Wed May 15, 2013, 11:34 AM (8 replies)
To see exactly what is being discussed, one needs to read these papers and the appended commentaries:
The original papers:
Classical Time Crystals
Alfred Shapere and Frank Wilczek
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40502 USA
Center for Theoretical Physics, Department of Physics,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 USA
We consider the possibility that classical dynamical systems display motion in their lowest energy
state, forming a time analogue of crystalline spatial order. Challenges facing that idea are identified
and overcome. We display arbitrary orbits of an angular variable as lowest-energy trajectories for
nonsingular Lagrangian systems. Dynamics within orbits of broken symmetry provide a natural
arena for formation of time crystals. We exhibit models of that kind, including a model with
traveling density waves
In this paper we will investigate a cluster of issues around the question of whether time-independent, con-
servative classical systems might exhibit motion in their lowest energy states. Fully quantum systems are the sub-
ject of a companion paper . Related issues have been raised in a cosmological context , but those investi-
gations consider quite different aspects, in which the time dependence introduced by the expansion of the universe
plays a significant role. (The term \time crystal" has been used previously to describe periodic phenomena in other contexts .)
Quantum Time Crystals
Center for Theoretical Physics
Department of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge Massachusetts 02139 USA
Some subtleties and apparent difficulties associated with the notion of spontaneous breaking of time translation symmetry in quantum mechanics are identified and resolved. A model exhibiting that phenomenon is displayed. The possibility and significance of breaking of imaginary time translation symmetry is discussed.
Symmetry and its spontaneous breaking is a central theme in modern physics. Perhaps no symmetry is more fundamental than time translation symmetry, since time translation symmetry underlies both the reproducibility of experience and, within the standard dynamical frameworks, the conservation of energy. So it is natural to consider the question, whether time translation symmetry might be spontaneously broken in a closed quantum-mechanical system. That is the question we will consider, and answer affirmatively, here.
An APS article on the subject:
Viewpoint: Crystals of Time
Jakub Zakrzewski, Marian Smoluchowski Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University, 30-059 Krakow, Poland
Published October 15, 2012 | Physics 5, 116 (2012) | DOI: 10.1103/Physics.5.116
Researchers propose how to realize time crystals, structures whose lowest-energy states are periodic both in time and space.
Spontaneous symmetry breaking is ubiquitous in nature. It occurs when the ground state (classically, the lowest energy state) of a system is less symmetrical than the equations governing the system. Examples in which the symmetry is broken in excited states are common—one just needs to think of Kepler’s elliptical orbits, which break the spherical symmetry of the gravitational force. But spontaneous symmetry breaking refers instead to a symmetry broken by the lowest energy state of a system. Well-known examples are the Higgs boson (due to the breaking of gauge symmetries), ferromagnets and antiferromagnets, liquid crystals, and superconductors. While most examples come from the quantum world, spontaneous symmetry breaking can also occur in classical systems .
Three articles in Physical Review Letters investigate a fascinating manifestation of spontaneous symmetry breaking: the possibility of realizing time crystals, structures whose lowest-energy states are periodic in time, much like ordinary crystals are periodic in space. Alfred Shapere at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and Frank Wilczek at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge , provide the theoretical demonstration that classical time crystals can exist and, in a separate paper, Wilczek extends these ideas to quantum time crystals. Tongcang Li at the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues propose an experimental realization of quantum time crystals with cold ions trapped in a cylindrical potential.
In nature, the most common manifestation of spontaneous symmetry breaking is the existence of crystals. Here continuous translational symmetry in space is broken and replaced by the discrete symmetry of the periodic crystal. Since we have gotten used to considering space and time on equal footing, one may ask whether crystalline periodicity can also occur in the dimension of time. Put differently, can time crystals—systems with time-periodic ground states that break translational time symmetry—exist? This is precisely the question asked by Alfred Shapere and Frank Wilczek.
How can one create a time crystal? The key idea of the authors, both for the classical and quantum case, is to search for systems that are spatially ordered and move perpetually in their ground state in an oscillatory or rotational way, as shown in Fig. 1. In the time domain, the system will periodically return to the same initial state.
Patrick Bruno's commentary:
Comment on “Quantum Time Crystals”: a new paradigm or just another proposal of perpetuum mobile?
In a recent Letter , Wilczek proposes the existence of a new state of matter, “quantum time crystals”, defined
as systems which, in their quantum mechanical ground state, display a time-dependent behavior (periodic os-
cillation) of some physical observable. The proposal is based upon a model consisting of (discernible) particles
on an Aharonov-Bohm (AB) ring,
European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, BP 220, F-38043
Grenoble Cedex, France
Posted by xocet | Thu May 2, 2013, 11:58 AM (3 replies)
Cub Scouts from Pack 119 shoot ping pong from PVC pipe cannon vaporizing watermelon
6:20 PM, Apr 28, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa- Have you ever dreamed of vaporizing a watermelon with a ping pong ball?
That was the mission for a group of 10 and 11 year-old Cub Scouts near Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday.
Cub Scout pack 119 built a 10 foot long supersonic ping pong ball cannon made out of PVC pipe. Turns out, the experiment was much more powerful than expected.
The ping pong ball was clocked at over 880 miles an hour. That's faster than the speed of sound!
One should note the contrast between the above and this:
Florida Teen Girl Charged With Felony After Science Experiment Goes Bad
Posted by xocet | Mon Apr 29, 2013, 06:23 PM (12 replies)
Fake bomb detectors were being used in Iraq as recently as last month
Iraqi MP says country has paid 'high price in blood' for fake devices, but officials continue to put faith in them
The Guardian, Tuesday 23 April 2013 08.47 EDT
On 19 March this year, the tenth anniversary of George W Bush's declaration of war against Iraq, I was heading into Baghdad's ministry of the interior in search of an official from the inspector general's office who had been involved in the investigation into its purchase of fake bomb detectors.
Arriving at the entrance, a bomb – the first of 12 to explode in the city that day – detonated about a kilometre away.
The officer on the gate explained a few minutes later that just the day before two improvised explosive devices had been found nearby. He asked what we were doing at the ministry. He nodded as I explained. "We know that the detectors are useless," he replied bitterly. "They're fakes. We've seen it on the news."
Visiting a checkpoint a few days before the wave of attacks I watched two police officers using the wands in the recommended fashion, halting in the road and shuffling their feet – supposed to build up static electricity – before approaching cars with the device held out.
UK businessman found guilty of selling fake bomb detectors to Iraq
Jim McCormick made millions of pounds selling 'completely ineffectual' devices based on novelty golfball finder
Robert Booth and Meirion Jones
The Guardian, Tuesday 23 April 2013 07.49 EDT
A businessman has been found guilty of a multimillion-pound fraud involving the sale of fake bomb detectors to Iraq and around the world.
A jury at the Old Bailey found Jim McCormick, 57, from near Taunton, Somerset, guilty on three counts of fraud over a scam that included the sale of £55m of devices based on a novelty golfball finder to Iraq. They were installed at checkpoints in Baghdad through which car bombs and suicide bombers passed, killing hundreds of civilians. Last month they remained in use at checkpoints across the Iraqi capital.
McCormick, who faces up to eight years in jail when he is sentenced next month, also sold the detectors to Niger, Syria, Mexico and other countries including Lebanon where a United Nations agency was a client.
He claimed they could detect explosives at long range, deep underground, through lead-lined rooms and multiple buildings. In fact, the handheld devices were useless. Their antennae, which purported to detect explosives, and in other cases narcotics, were not connected to anything, they had no power source and one of the devices was simply the golfball finder with a different sticker on it.
Here is a company description of their "device":
Posted by xocet | Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:54 PM (2 replies)
John Nail teaches at St. Paul's Lutheran School in Sedalia, MO: http://www.sedaliastpauls.org/staff.php?staffID=25639&
Creationism certainly does undermine education!
by PZ Myers
Tina Dupuy had a good op-ed published in the Sedalia, Missouri newspaper, titled “Teaching creationism hurts kids, undermines educational system“. Yeah, it does: it prompted some rebuttals that made her case even more strongly. John Nail has some complaints:
Writer had it dead wrong on debate over teaching creationism
Posted by xocet | Sat Apr 27, 2013, 10:56 AM (8 replies)
Posted by xocet | Fri Apr 26, 2013, 09:29 PM (3 replies)
The same motive for anti-US 'terrorism' is cited over and over
Ignoring the role played by US actions is dangerously self-flattering and self-delusional
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 24 April 2013 11.27 EDT
(updated below - Update II - Update III)
News reports purporting to describe what Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told US interrogators should, for several reasons, be taken with a huge grain of salt. The sources for this information are anonymous, they work for the US government, the statements were obtained with no lawyer present and no Miranda warnings given, and Tsarnaev is "grievously wounded", presumably quite medicated, and barely able to speak. That the motives for these attacks are still unclear has been acknowledged even by Alan Dershowitz last week ("It's not even clear under the federal terrorism statute that this qualifies as an act of terrorism") and Jeffrey Goldberg on Friday ("it is not yet clear, despite preliminary indications, that these men were, in fact, motivated by radical Islam").
Those caveats to the side, the reports about what motivated the Boston suspects are entirely unsurprising and, by now, quite familiar:
"The two suspects in the Boston bombing that killed three and injured more than 260 were motivated by the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, officials told the Washington Post.
Additionally, Glen Greenwald is to appear on Bill Moyers Journal this weekend on PBS:
Posted by xocet | Thu Apr 25, 2013, 01:37 PM (38 replies)
Posted by xocet | Thu Apr 25, 2013, 12:17 PM (3 replies)