Beautiful Newport Beach in Orange County, California is backdrop for the "OC" television series. That cute little craft at the dock is rented from Duffy Electric Boat Company. You may pilot your own non-polluting cruise around the harbour. Last week Newport Beach was also the setting of a Beyond Einstein meeting. Many scientists were in attendance, including Ned Wright, Kip Thorne, and George Ellis.
Our talks were limited to 5 minutes. Thanks to NASA's Beyond Einstein Program, this writer has enjoyed great benefits. My little presence seems to scare people, for a changing speed of light is not popular with this crowd. Belief in "dark energy" will mean funding for many researchers--that's what they think.
As Steinn Siggurdson has written, the Beyond Einstein Program will shortly have to choose which one of 5 planned Space missions will go up. These meetings are being held around the US to hear input from the physics community. Proponents of Constellation-X, a Joint Dark Energy Mission and others live in fear that their project will be deferred another decade.
Monday February 5 at 1300 EST will be a news conference concerning NASA's budget. After a vote by the US House of Representatives January 31 the NSF, DOE and NIST budgets will grow but NASA's budget will not. To pay for the Vision and close down the Shuttle programme, something has to be cut. Beyond Einstein is the sort of programme that would be on the chopping block, and the Space Interferometry Mission is also endangered.
Some of you out there may consider promoting "dark energy." If you do, you will live your life in fear of being exposed and losing your funding. If a Joint Dark Energy Mission is funded, Robert Kirshner says you will spend the next 10 years of your life in meetings instead of doing science. Long before a Dark Energy mission flies, there will be enough data to prove that DE doesn't exist.
One nice thing about the Dark Side of the Force--black leather clothes!