Sunday, February 04, 2007

OC Sunset

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!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another nice thing about leather clothes is seeing you in them :-9

Sorry for the non-scientific comment... Witty scientific comments would not be fun to read if it was not for the burden of extracting them from some noise.


5:52 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thanks Tommaso! I enjoy your posts too. I've been gathering pictures from the Yucatan which will appear here by early next week.

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great, I'm looking forward to it.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

What did you say in your 5 minutes? Of course, I can guess, but 5 minutes isn't much time when people aren't really listening.

10:48 AM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Hi Louise, you are right
I "LOVE" today's photo.

Tomasso - I agree, another nice thing about leather clothes is seeing Louise in them. lol!
Could that be a scientific fact?

10:49 AM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

These photographs bring back memories. I was a grad student at U. California, Irvine, and we used to regularly bicycle down to Newport beach to do various non physics things, most memorably, sailing.

10:52 AM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Louise, where are the likes os Branson going to organise space travel too. Just joyriding on a space shuttle like vehicle over the Pyramids or up to the Space Station - may appeal to some multi millionaires.

But hauling the parts to construct something like a nuclear powered submarine (docked) on the space station and capable of carrying several hundred (or a thousand) crew - is something only a government like the US, the EU, Hapan, China or India could undertake. And much more likely to happen as a combined inter-governmental project.

Well beyond the wealth of half a dozen indivinuals even with the wealth of Bill Gates (mind you he might provide the next generation x-boxes that will keep the crew entertained during long haul space flights.

And the first place they'll travel to is a moonbase - before we even dream or fantasise of mannned spaceflight anywhere else.

There are no inmediate or short term returns or profit from space travel and/or exploration - which private enterprise require, hence it is down to 'large' governments to take the lead ... build the highways which cars can travel on, and the airports which planes take off and land from.

10:59 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Nice to see you all.

Kea, sometime I will summarise what was said.

Carlb, I once cycled to Newport Beach and dreamed about better times.

Q9, I agree that exploration is at present best left to the government.

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