What Happens to Matter Inside a Black Hole?

Blog, Eugene Toth, Math, Science and Technology

by Eugene Toth
October 2, 2016Black Hole.jpghttp://www.universetoday.com/33454/how-do-black-holes-form/

A galaxy swirls around a black hole

At the center of our galaxy, gasses, stars, and nebulae swirl around a supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A.1   

Stephen Hawking explained the proportion of matter in a black hole to the matter we know.

“…the black hole would have the mass of  a mountain compressed into less than a million millionth of an inch, the size of the nucleus of an atom!” 2

For the Earth to make a black hole, it would have to be squeezed to the size of a cranberry.

In A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking (New York, Bantam Books 1988) and The Black Hole War by Leonard Susskind (New York:  Hachette, 2008), two famous physicists present differing theories of what happens to matter inside a black hole.  They consider what happens to matter sucked into a black hole.  Does it disappear?

No one disputes that black holes absorb matter.   Matter is anything that has a volume and mass.  Everything we see is matter.   Matter takes five forms – plasma, gas, liquid, solid, and Bose-Einstein condensate, the coldest form of matter. 

We see light.  Light travels in waves.  Light is also matter.   Photons are packets of light that travel in waves. 

Black objects absorb light.    The capacity to absorb light produces blackness.   We can only see a black object if some photons reflect off the object.   

Nothing can escape the horizon of a black hole.   In contrast to other black objects, black holes absorb all photons.   That no light comes out of the horizon, makes the area inside the horizon black.  In space we see a huge gaping hole.  We can see only the horizon of a black hole.  Nothing inside a black hole can ever communicate with anything outside of it.  Of what is inside a black hole, physicists can only theorize.

black-hole-diagram

At the center of the horizon lies the              singularity of a black hole.    http://www.wall.org/~aron/horizon.htm

Evaporation and obliteration theory

Cambridge’s professor Stephen Hawking theorized that a black hole destroys all matter that passes the horizon.  Hawking said:

“When a black hole evaporates, the trapped bits of information disappear from our universe.  Information isn’t scrambled. It is irreversibly, and eternally, obliterated.”4

Theoretical physicists Stephen Hawking and Bill Unruh proved that black holes, just like any other pieces of matter, have a temperature.  If black holes have a temperature, then black holes radiate heat.   Hawking and Unruh called it “black body radiation.”  Hawking and Unruh reasoned that if black holes have a temperature, then black holes eventually evaporate. 

A black hole emits “Hawking radiation.”  At the surface of the event horizon a black hole creates antiparticles.  An antiparticle is counterpart of a particle.  The antiparticle of a quark an antiquark.  When a quark and an antiquark combine, they create a hadron.  The antiparticle counterpart of small particles make up the antiparticle counterparts of large particles.  For example, a neutron is made up of quarks.   Antiquarks make up antineutrons.  The destruction of a particle leaves a neutral particle and an antiparticle.  For example, the destruction of a proton leaves a neutron and a positron.

Antiparticles can also make up “anti-elements”.  For example, a positron, the opposite of an electron, and a proton make up the anti-hydrogen atom.  The anti-hydrogen atom has the same properties as a normal hydrogen atom.5

Hawking radiation consists of particles, like light.  Unlike light, however, Hawking radiation can escape a black hole.  So how does Hawking radiation escape a black hole?      At the event horizon, virtual pairs of particles separate.

Virtual pairs of particles comprise a particle and its antiparticle.  At the event horizon, one-half of a virtual pair of particles is inside the event horizon, while the other half is outside the event horizon.  The particle inside the horizon will be lost to the particle on the outside of the event horizon.  On the inside of the horizon, the singularity sucks in half of the virtual pair.   The half on the outside of the horizon escapes the black hole’s pull.  This decreases the mass of the black hole, causing the black hole to “evaporate”.6

hawkingteamu.png

“Soft hairs” form a halo around a black hole.                          http://phys.org/news/2016-06-hawking-team-soft-hair-theory.html

As a black hole evaporates, it grows hotter and smaller.  After a black hole reaches high temperatures, the black hole begins to release particles of high energy.  As the black hole gradually grows hotter and smaller, it continues to evaporate.  It grows smaller.  As it grows smaller, it grows hotter.   Physicists know almost nothing about black holes once black holes reach their last burst of evaporation. 

The Hawking theory that black holes evaporate contradicts Antoine Lavoisier’s Law of the Conservation of Mass.   In 1785, Lavoisier, in his Law of the Conservation of Mass, stated that matter cannot be created or destroyed.  

Lavoisier conducted many experiments, in closed vessels, in which the weight remained constant, within experimental error.  He produced reactions of tin or lead with oxygen.  He analyzed mercury calx (HgO).  With large burning lenses he focused the sun’s rays to reach high temperatures to produce chemical reactions.  With a large lens Lavoisier burned a diamond and show that it produced only CO2.

Black holes differ from other objects in space.  Black holes have an extremely strong gravitational pull.  Nevertheless, black holes should not contradict the Law of the Conservation of Mass.

Pocket universe theory

Particle physicist Leonard Susskind teaches at Stanford.  He considered but rejects a theory that inside the black hole, a piece of space breaks off and forms a universe, isolated from our perception of spacetime. 

One of the most trusted principles of physics states that information is never lost. 7    According to the pocket universe theory, information that falls into a black hole goes into a baby universe. According to the pocket universe theory, a black hole does not obliterate information.   A black hole stores the information in the pocket universe.    This theory solves the problem with Hawking’s theory, that information cannot be created or destroyed.  If a black hole evaporated, then the information in the pocket universe would become completely unobservable. 

The pocket universe theory fails because it requires a change of energy.   To create a pocket universe would require a change of energy.   A quantum fluctuation is a temporary change in the amount of energy in a point in space.   Physicists Leonard Susskind, Thomas Banks, and Michael Peskin all agree that quantum fluctuations would transform into thermal fluctuations, changes in thermal energy.  Thermal fluctuations would almost instantaneously heat the universe to impossibly high temperatures. 

Wormholes

The pocket universe theory suffers a second problem.  The only way information could enter a pocket universe would be through a wormhole.  A wormhole is a theoretical passageway through space.  For example, the Einstein-Rosen Bridge is a passageway from one universe to the other through a singularity.   The singularity acts as a wormhole. John Archibald Wheeler, of John Hopkins University showed, by mathematics, that wormholes would open and closein so a short amount of time that nothing could pass through.   Susskind cites Wheeler’s wormhole as evidence that wormholes creating miniature universes would not be possible.

Information Vault Theory

Some speculate that black holes stop evaporating once they reach the Planck Mass.   The Planck mass is the combined mass of the number of particles in a Planck unit.  A Planck unit is the maximum allowed mass to contain one elementary charge.   The Planck mass is about 0.0217651 milligrams.   Physicists believe that once a black hole reaches this size, it stops evaporating.  It becomes an infinitely small information vault, containing all the information it absorbed.  This theory conforms to the Law of Conservation of Matter more than Hawking’s theory.  By the information vault theory, information is not destroyed. 

Susskind disagrees with the information vault theory.  He states that a particle containing potentially infinite amounts of information would have infinite entropy. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that entropy constantly increases.   Entropy is decay into disorder.  Water eroding a rock creates entropy.  An ice cube melting causes entropy.  Susskind defines entropy as:

“Entropy is a measure of the number of arrangements that conform to some specific recognizable criterion.”8

 According to the First Law of Thermodynamics, heat balances itself, by flowing into cold objects.  Heat raises the temperature of cold objects and lowers the temperature of hot objects until a system has a uniform temperature.  Infinitely entropic particles would cause a thermodynamic disaster. The infinite entropy caused by the information vaults would burn up the universe.

The bathtub option

entropy.jpg

                 Entropy                  http://www.michelecoscia.com/?p=1041

Susskind compares a black hole to a bathtub.  Susskind analogizes matter entering a black hole to drops of ink spilling into a bathtub of water.   Before an ink drop falls into the water, the ink drops are sharply defined.  One can easily differentiate between the ink and the water.  As the ink falls into the water, the ink drops dissolves.  The difference between ink and water blurs.  The water becomes cloudy.  Soon all that remains is a uniform tub of slightly gray water. 

If the inky water evaporates, the molecules of ink and water continue to exist.  They enter the air.  They scatter and separate from each other.  Susskind’s “bathtub option” edits Stephen Hawking’s theory to conform to the Law of Conservation of Matter. 

Conclusions

Both Hawking and Susskind believe that, at the center of a black hole, the singularity, along with all the other matter inside the black hole, eventually evaporates.   Hawking theorized that a black hole destroys and obliterates all matter which enters the horizon.   Susskind’s bathtub option predicts that the matter is scattered.  

FOOTNOTES

         1. Henderson, Mark “Astronomers confirm black hole at the heart of the Milky ‘Way'” London: Times Online. (December 9, 2008) (Accessed 10/2/2016).  “…[L]urking at the center of our galaxy is a supersized black hole with a Schwarzschild radius of about 100 million miles – about the size of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.”  Susskind, Leonard The Black Hole War, My Battle with Stephen Hawking to make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics (New York: Hachette Book Group, 2008) p.32.

         2.  Hawking, Stephen A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam Books, 1998). p 112

         3.   Susskind, Leonard The Black Hole War, My Battle with Stephen Hawking to make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics, supra, p.32   

         4.  Susskind, Leonard, The Black Hole War, My Battle with Stephen Hawking to make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics, supra, p. 185

         5.  Wikipedia, “Antiparticle,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiparticle

         6. Strassler, Matt “Virtual Particles, What are they?” https://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/virtual-particles-what-are-they/

         7.  Susskind, Leonard, The Black Hole Warsupra, p. 179 “Smaller than an atom, smaller than a quark, smaller even than a neutrino, the single bit may be the most fundamental building block.  Without any structure, the bit is just there, or not there. John Wheeler believed that all material objects are composed of bits of information.” The Black Hole War, supra, p.136

         8.  Susskind, Leonard, The Black Hole War, supra, p. 131

BIBLIOGRAPHY

            Cain, Fraser, “How Do Black Holes Form?”  Universe Today http://www.universetoday.com/33454/how-do-black-holes-form/ (Dec. 23, 2015) (Accessed 10/2/16)

           Hawking, Stephen, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam Books, 1998).

           Henderson, Mark “Astronomers confirm black hole at the heart of the Milky ‘Way.'” London: Times Online. (December 9, 2008) (Accessed 10/2/2016)

            Strassler, Matt, “Virtual Particles, What are they?” https://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/virtual-particles-what-are-they/.

           Susskind, Leonard, The Black Hole War, My Battle with Stephen Hawking to make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics ( New York:  Hachette Book Group, 2008).

            Wikipedia, “Antiparticle,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiparticle. (Accessed 10/2/2016).

            Yirka, Bob, “Hawking team updates soft hair theory to help solve black hole information paradox.” http://phys.org/news/2016-06-hawking-team-soft-hair-theory.html#jCpf. June 9. 2016 (Accessed 10/2/2016)

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Tradition and the Modern Holiday Season

Authors, Omar Abdelhamid, Society

By Omar Abdelhamid

What holiday is special to you? Why is it special to you?

The latin word tradere, meaning handed over, is the root word for tradition. Tradition is quite literally handing over ideas, customs, cultures, and morals.

When we celebrate a holiday, passed down to us from our ancestors, the celebration is not merely a religious celebration, but also a chance to connect with the people important to us, and the ideas that are important to us.  We are able to connect to our previous generations of family and strengthen it, by replicating and carrying on the traditions of holidays. It brings us closer to our ancestors and our culture, who celebrated the same holiday with the same customs and in (almost) the same way.

EB5 Visas

Blog, Eugene Toth, Science and Technology

The U.S. awards EB-5 investors Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status.[1] EB-5 visas, also known as investor based visas, require that an investor from another country dedicate $1,000,000 to invest in a business in the United States. The investor may choose to invest in a rural areas with high unemployment known as a Target Employment Area(TEA). Investing in a Targed Employment Area reduces the minimum investment quota from $1,000,000 to $500,000.[2] As opposed to H1 and H2 visas which import raw labor and talent, EB-5 visa investments created 800,000 new jobs from 2012 to 2016. Many EB-5 investments fund infrastructure projects in the United States. EB-5 investments funded the expansion of a Baltimore Maritime Terminal and re station in Washington DC. The EB-5 program supplies investment in infrastructure.[3] 

Currently, the United States caps EB-5 visas at 10,000 investors per year.[4] A large backlog in EB-5 visa applications prevents investors from certain countries from coming to the United States. Most EB-5 investors come from China and India. A Chinese EB-5 investor would have to wait 70 years before the USCIS processes his application.[5] The $1 million minimum investment quota dissuades potential investors who do not want to invest that much. Even in Targeted Employment Areas, the $500,000 quota discourages many investors.Chinese investors have dominated the economies of Indonesia, the Phillipines, Thailand, and most of Southeast Asia.[6] Chinese ownership of US property necessarily displaces Americans. Could the EB-5 program lift real estate prices out of the reach of middle class Americans? EB-5 investment visas could attract Chinese billionaires to the United States.[7] Major Chinese tech firms are expanding into Malaysia and Singapore.[8] Could the United States become China’s newest economic colony? If Chinese were to come to the United States, could they put small businesses out of work?

Arguably, giving someone a visa costs taxpayers nothing. When a business investor comes into the United States on an EB-5 visa, he hires American workers.9 The program’s record proves it builds American infrastructure.

To entice more investors, the United States should remove its cap on EB-5 investor visas. Removing the cap would admit investors who can create jobs. Lowering the minimum investment quota would attract more investors with business ventures smaller than $500,000. The benefits of the EB-5 visa program outweigh the concerns of those who feel threatened. By creating jobs, the EB-5 program strengthens the US economy more than it threatens middle class Americans.

References

[1]Anusree Nair, 9-12-2016, “What You Need to Know About Residency Requirements,” EB5 Investors, https://www.eb5investors.com/magazine/article/what-you-need-to-know-about-residency-requirements

[2] Congress In, 3-23-2018, “About the EB-5 Visa Classification,” USCIS, https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/permanent-workers/employment-based-immigration-fth-preference-eb-5/about-eb-5-visa-classication

[3] Michael Halloran, founder and chief executive officer of NES Financial,”How our nation’s immigrants can fund American infrastructure,” http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-budget/329953-how-our-nations-immigrants-can-help-fund-infrastructure

[4] Lucid Professional Writing, 7-17-2018, “EB-5 Statistics,” No Publication, https://blog.lucidtext.com/category/eb-5-statistics/

[5] Beth Mattson-Teig, Uncertainty is taking a toll on the EB-5 program, National Real Estate Investor, Freelance Business Writer with a specialty in commercial and real estate investment, http://www.nreionline.com/nance-investment/uncertainty-taking-toll-eb-5-program

[6] John Reed, 4-30-2018, “Who dominates the economies of south-east Asia?,” Financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/898fa38e-4882-11e8-8ee8-cae73aab7ccb

[7] Will Parker and David Jeans, 7-1-2018, “Is EB-5 coming apartat the seams?,” Real Deal New York, https://therealdeal.com/issues articles/is-eb-5-coming-apart-at-the-seams/

[8] Stratford’s Senior, 3-20-2018, “China’s Tech Giants Are Racing the West Into Southeast Asia,” Stratford, https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/chinas-tech-giants-are-racing-west-southeast-asia-asean-ecommerce-smartphone-

[9] Michael Halloran, 5-11-2017, “EB-5 visas attract foreign investment and create US jobs; the program needs reform, not the chopping block,” Quartz, https://qz.com/981924/kushner-companies-china-the-eb-5-visa-program-is-a-us-job-creator-that-needs-some-reform-so-why-is-it-on-the-chopping-block/

 

Powers of Pascal’s Triangle

Uncategorized

Pascal’s Triangle

One day a man’s boss needed help gambling.  The boss asked his employee how he could win in gambling.  This employee made Pascal’s Triangle.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) studied mathematics, philosophy, and physics.  His father collected taxes in Rouen, France.  Pascal always loved creating calculators.  After 3 years, Pascal made 20 of the first calculators.  He called these calculators Pascalines.

Nevertheless, of all of Pascal’s discoveries and inventions, humanity most commonly remembers him for making Pascal’s Triangle.

Pascal’s triangle consists of a one on the first line, then two ones on the second line, then a one, a two, and a one on the third line.  Each line is formed of numbers which are the sum of the two numbers above it, as shown below.

Unknown

As you can see, each row is formed of numbers which are the sum of the two numbers diagonally on top of the number.  Pascal’s triangle continues forever, always containing increasingly large numbers.  The border of Pascal’s triangle is always one.

Powers of 11

1 = 1                                                                  110
11 = 11                                                              111
11 * 11 = 121                                                    112
11 * 11 * 11 = 1331                                          113
11 * 11 * 11 * 11 = 14641                               114
11 * 11 * 11 * 11 * 11 = 161051                     115
11 * 11 * 11 * 11 * 11 * 11 = 1771561           116

The zeroth row of Pascal’s triangle is one.  11is one.
The first row of Pascal’s triangle is one one, or 11.  11is one.
The second row of Pascal’s triangle is one two one, or 121.  112 is 121.

This pattern progresses until we get to the fifth row of Pascal’s Triangle.  The fifth row of Pascal’s triangle is one five ten ten five one, or 15,101,051.  115 is 161,051.  So does that mean that Pascal’s triangle only tells us the powers of 11 up to 114?  Of course not! One just has to know how to read Pascal’s Triangle.

1.jpgWhenever you have a two digit number produced by adding together the two numbers above it in Pascal’s triangle, you keep the unit digit and take all the digits after it and add it to the next number’s one’s digit.  For example, in the fifth row of Pascal’s triangle, you have:

1   5   10   10   5   1
Take the one in the first ten and carry it over to the next ten, you are left with:
1 5 11 0 5 1
then you take the tens digit one in 11 and carry it over to the leftmost 5. You get
1 6 1 0 5 1
11is 161,051.

This pattern works for every power of 11 greater than 4.  Lets try 116. The sixth row of Pascal’s Triangle is 1 6 15 20 15 6 1.

1 6 15 20 15 6 1
Take the one from the leftmost 15 and carry it over to the twenty.  You get:
1 6 15 21 5 6 1
Then take the 2 from the 21 and bring it over to the 15. You should now have:
1 6 17 1 5 6 1
Finally, take the 1 from the 17 and move it over to the 6.  You end up with:
1 7 7 1 5 6 1
11is 1771561

Now you know how to read the powers of 11 from Pascal’s Triangle!

Prime Numbers

In pascal’s triangle, the uppermost row is called the 0th row.  The second highest row is called the first row.  The leftmost number in each row is called the 0th number.  The second number to the left is called the first number.

Now examine the first number of each row.  If it is a prime number, then try dividing that number into each of the other numbers in that row except for the last number and the 0th number.  You should get a whole number for each answer.

Whenever the first number in a row is prime, all the preceding numbers except for the last one are multiples of that first number.  pascals2.jpg

Powers of 2

1 = 1                                                       20
2 = 2                                                      21
2 * 2 = 4                                               22
2 * 2 * 2 = 8                                        23
2 * 2 * 2 * 2 = 16                               24
2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 = 32                        25
2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 = 64                 26

The zeroth row of Pascal’s triangle consists of the number one.   2is 1.
The first row of Pascal’s triangle consists of 2 ones.  1 + 1 = 2.  2is 2
The second row of Pascal’s triangle consists of 2 ones and a two.  1 + 2 + 1 = 4. 2is 4.
The third row of Pascal’s triangle consists of 2 ones and 2 threes.  1 + 3 + 3 + 1 = 8. 2is 8.

This pattern continues in Pascal’s triangle forever.

Hockey Sticks

Pick a number, any number.  That is, a number on Pascal’s triangle.  Then choose a diagonal direction going downwards.  Continue however many rows down you want.  On the last number, change the direction of the diagonal.  That number will be the sum of all the numbers in the first diagonal.  2.jpg

Diagonals

Triangular numbers are the number of units in an equilateral triangle.  In an equilateral triangle with a side length of 3, there are 6 units in the triangle.triang.dots.gif

The third diagonal going down on Pascal’s triangle contains all triangular numbers.

Counting numbers are positive integers such as 1, 2, 3, 4, &c.  The second row of Pascal’s triangle has every counting number.

Tetrahedral numbers are “numbers that can be represented that can be represented by a regular geometric arrangement of equally spaced points. Tetrahedral numbers correspond to placing discrete points in the configuration of a tetrahedron.”

 

Sources:

 

How Does Loss of Sleep Affect Your Brain?

Blog

by Eugene Toth

Have you ever stayed awake late doing homework before a test the next day?   Beware!  A loss of sleep may harm your ability to think.

Young adults who lost sleep not only showed decreased cognitive function.  They also evidenced a reduction in physical activity.   People who lost sleep could not recognize certain emotions.[i]

In elderly persons, sleep deprivation causes cognitive aging.  Cognitive aging causes a deterioration of vocabulary, memory, general knowledge, and mathematics.  A reduction of these functions can signal the onset of dementia. [ii]  For an elderly person, loss of sleep reduces  “multiple domain performance, executive functions, verbal memory, and working memory capacity.” [iii]

prefrontal-cortex

Prefrontal Cortex[iv]

The frontal cortex control’s your brain’s highest functions.  The prefrontal cortex sits in front of the frontal cortex.   The prefrontal cortex controls less advanced thoughts.  When you lose sleep your prefrontal cortex loses some functioning.[v]

Irregular sleep wake patterns disrupt cognitive functions.

Sleep wake patterns measure the constancy of sleep.  If you go to sleep at 10:00 PM and wake up 4:00 AM on day one, then go to sleep at 7:00 PM and wake up at 10:00 AM on day two, your cognitive function may decrease.

To clean the brain’s waste, the brain needs cerebrospinal fluid or “CSF”.   Irregular sleep wake patterns and loss of sleep halt the cleaning of the brain’s waste. [vi] [vii]

Your body uses circadian rhythm, also known as the body clock, to wake up and go to sleep at regular times.   Artificial lighting and computer screens uncouple the sleep-wake cycle from natural light conditions. [viii]

Interrupting the circadian rhythm can cause stress and reduce cognitive function.[ix]

Extra sleep might boost your grades.

A gradual increase of sleep time benefits the brain.   Extending a person’s sleep schedule by 5 minutes each day improves their “abstract thinking and verbal creativity.” [x]  Before an exam, five minutes extra sleep may improve your score.

For sleeping, best to stick to a schedule.  Next time you plan to stay up late watching movies with your friends, consider how it may affect your performance in school the next day.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Dewald-Kaufmann, J.F., Oort, F.j., Meijer, A.M., (2013) “The effects of sleep extension on sleep and cognitive performance in adolescents with chronic reduction: An experimental study.” Sleep Medicine, 14, 510-517.

Duarte, J., Nelas, P., Chaves, C., Ferreira, M., Coutinho, E., Cunha, M., (2014) Sleep wake patterns and their influence on school performance in Portuguese adolescents. AtencionPrimaria, 46, 160 – 164.

Kato, K., Iwamoto, K., Kawano, N., Noda, Y., Ozaki, N., Noda, A., (2017) “Differential effects  of physical activity and sleep deprivation on cognitive function in young adults” Journal of Sport and Health Science xx p. 1-10.

Kilgore, W., Balkin, T., Yarnell, A., Capaldi, V., (2017) “Sleep deprivation impairs recognition of specific emotions” Neurobiology and Circadian Rhythms 3 p. 10-16.

Koch, C., Leinweber, B., Drengberg, B., Blaum, C., Oster, H., (2017) “Interaction with circadian rhythm and stress” Neurobiology of Stress 6 p.57 – 67.

 

Lo, J., Groeger, J., Cheng, G., Dijk, D., Chee, M., (2016) “Self-Reported sleep duration and cognitive performance in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis” Sleep Medicine 87 -98.

Spector, R., Snodgrass, S.R., Johanson, C.E., (2015) A balanced view of the cerebrospinal fluid composition and functions: Focus on adult humans. Experimental Neurology, 273, 57-68.

 

[i][i][i] Kilgore, W., Balkin, T., Yarnell, A., Capaldi, V., (2017) “Sleep deprivation impairs recognition of specific emotions” Neurobiology and Circadian Rhythms 3 p. 10-16

[ii] “What is cognitive ageing?” Retrieved from http://www.ccace.ed.ac.uk/about-us/what-we-do/what-is-cognitive-ageing on 2/19/2017

[iii] Lo, J., Groeger, J., Cheng, G., Dijk, D., Chee, M., (2016) “Self-Reported sleep duration and cognitive performance in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis” Sleep Medicine 87 -98

[iv] Chapman, S.B., (2013/1/23) Go Full Frontal to Be Smart Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/make-your-brain-smarter/201301/go-full-frontal-be-smart on 2/19/2017

[v] Kato, K., Iwamoto, K., Kawano, N., Noda, Y., Ozaki, N., Noda, A., (2017) “Differential effects  of physical activity and sleep deprivation on cognitive function in young adults” Journal of Sport and Health Science xx p. 1-10

[vi] Duarte, J., Nelas, P., Chaves, C., Ferreira, M., Coutinho, E., Cunha, M., (2014) Sleep wake patterns and their influence on school performance in Portuguese adolescents. AtencionPrimaria, 46, 160 – 164

[vii] Spector, R., Snodgrass, S.R., Johanson, C.E., (2015) A balanced view of the cerebrospinal fluid composition and functions: Focus on adult humans. Experimental Neurology, 273, 57-68.

[viii] Koch, C., Leinweber, B., Drengberg, B., Blaum, C., Oster, H., (2017) “Interaction with circadian rhythm and stress” Neurobiology of Stress 6 p.57 – 67

[ix] Id.

[x] Dewald-Kaufmann, J.F., Oort, F.j., Meijer, A.M., (2013) The effects of sleep extension on sleep and cognitive performance in adolescents with chronic reduction: An experimental study. Sleep Medicine, 14, 510-517

In the Heart of the Sea – Review

Blog

by Eugene Toth
October 2, 2016

On February 18, 1820, a British whaler, the Indian, spotted a whale boat drifting in the Pacific.  In that boat First Mate Owen Chase of the Essex, Benjamin Lawrence, a harpooner, and cabin boy Thomas Nickerson had survived at sea for 89 days.   Five days later, another whale ship, the Dauphin spotted and rescued Captain George Pollard and Charles Ramsdell.

Image result for Smashing of the ship essex by a whale

Smashing of the Essex

http://uk.whales.org/wdc-in-action/lecture-series-whales-in-heart-of-sea

Gradually reports traveled worldwide.  A whale had sunk the whale ship Essex.  Sailors had seen incidents of whales accidentally bumping cargo ships.  No one had heard before of a whale intentionally attacking a ship.

In 1821, First Mate Chase published Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex.   In 1960, someone discovered in a New York attic the account of cabin boy Thomas Nickerson.  In 1980 someone identified Nickerson’s writing as an account of the Essex.  Nickerson’s record supplied new evidence for Author Nathaniel Philbrick to weave his story. In the Heart of the Sea, by Nathan Philbrick, tells the grim tale of the survivors of the Essex.

In the 19th century, the boiling of whale blubber provided oil for lamps.  A global whaling industry centered on the island of Nantucket.  Only 7000 people, mainly Quakers, lived in Nantucket.   The Nantucketers termed outsiders “off –Islanders.”   From Nantucket, in 1819, the owners of the Essex sent out an old ship on what they planned as a final two year voyage.

Image result for In the Heart of the sea book cover

 

15 months later, a huge white sperm whale hit the Essex at a speed of 24 knots, twice a sperm whale’s normal speed.   If the whale hit the hull from the front head on, the whale might have broken its skull.  Somehow this whale knew how to hit the Essex in the right place, sinking the ship without killing the whale.

The buoyancy of whale boats kept them on top of the waves.  When the whale sank the Essex, two boats had been hunting whales.   After the Essex sank, a third whaleboat resurfaced.  For 21 survivors, bobbing in the swells of the Pacific Ocean, the sinking of the Essex began a struggle for survival.  Captain Pollard, First Mate Chase, and Second Mate Matthew Joy each commanded a boat.  Only the boats of Pollard and Chase reached safety.   The third boat, vanished in the sea.

The Essex sank about 1000 miles from the Marquesas and Society Islands.  The crew of the Essex feared “savages” or cannibals more than they feared the open ocean.  Instead of the closest land, the captain, first and second mates chose instead to sail towards South America, 2000 miles to the east.

Halfway into their voyage, the three whaleboats landed on Henderson Island, one of the Pitcairn Islands.  The survivors  of the Essex found a spring, some crabs and birds.  The 20 survivors quickly exhausted most of the island’s resources.  Three sailors not from Nantucket, “off –Islanders,” opted to stay on Henderson Island.  The three were later rescued.  The rest of the crew continued sailing towards South America.

Most people feel hungry if we don’t eat one or two meals a day.  The crew of the Essex ate less than the calories in one Big Mac Hamburger per day.  They ate hardtack and Galapagos tortoises.   Hardtack, a mixture of flour and water, provided carbohydrates.  The food they ate provided little nutrition.  When it rained, salty water would make the bread salty.  The salt made the sailors thirstier than before.  They drank what little water they had, and their own urine.  Eventually they ate each other.  The sailors’ bodies lacked digestive fluids.  In their weakened state, human meat provided almost no nutritional value.

The “off islanders” died first.  Eventually only Nantucketers remained.  On Captain Pollard’s boat, following a tradition of the sea, Charles Ramsdell suggested the sailors draw lots.  19 year old Owen Coffin drew the black spot.  He was Captain Pollard’s nephew and Charles Ramsdell’s best friend.  Ramsdell drew the lot to shoot Coffin.  Ready to die, the boy placed his head on the side of the ship for Ramsdell to shoot him.  Ramsdell ate his best friend.  Pollard ate his own nephew.

When the Dauphin found Pollard and Ramsdell, the rescuers saw a horrifying scene:

“First they saw bones – human bones – littering the thwarts and floorboards, as if the whaleboat were the seagoing lair of a ferocious, man-eating beast.  Then they saw the two men.  They were curled up in opposite ends of the boat, their skin covered with sores, their eyes bulging from the hollows of their skulls, their beards caked with salt and blood.  They were sucking the marrow from the bones of their dead shipmates.

Instead of greeting their rescuers with smiles of relief, the survivors –too delirious with thirst and hunger to speak – were disturbed, even frightened.  They jealously clutched the splintered and gnawed-over bones with a desperate, almost feral intensity, refusing to give them up, like two starving dogs found trapped in a pit.” 1

Image result for Ahab fights moby dick

Ahab fights Moby Dick

http://beattiesbookblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/top-10-literary-feuds.html

As a member of the crew of the whale ship Acushnet, Melville met the son of Owen Chase. Chase’s son loaned to Melville a copy of Chase’s account of the Essex and its survivors.  The facts of the Essex, including cannibalism, overshadowed Moby Dick.

In Moby Dick, Melville’s narrator Ishmael is an outsider.  With a distant and scornful eye, he observed the Pequod’s crew drawn from every corner of the Earth.   In the Bible, King Ahab worshipped false gods.  The prophet Elijah foretold that dogs would lick Ahab’s blood.   On the Pequod, Ahab was mad.  Ahab’s crew followed his madness.

 

Image result for Captain Nemo sees an octopus drawing

Captain Nemo observes

Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, begins with reports of a sea monster sinking ships.  Verne knew the tale of the Essex.  Captain Nemo of the Nautilus abandoned land.  He lived in and under the sea.  There he found unlimited treasure.  He defied earthly governments. Nemo resembled a whale.

In tiny whale boats, with harpoons and ropes, the crew of the Essex hunted nature’s largest beasts.  That a whale sank their ship seems mythical and symbolic. The situation of these forlorn, helpless men, lost in the Pacific,  forced them to make hard and fateful choices.  Extreme conditions lay bare human nature.

The men of the Essex were not heroes, like Odysseus.  Their catastrophe concerned common men.  The tale of the Essex transcends its survivors.  For writers, the events of the Essex have raised questions about the relations of men with each other and the relationship between men and the sea.

Footnotes:

  1. Philbrick, Nathaniel, In the Heart of the Sea (New York, Penguin Books 2001) p. xii

Bibliography

Beattie, Graham, “From Paradise Lost to Blood Meridian, the Canadian Writer Michael Crummey picks his favourite tales of bickering and brawl.” http://beattiesbookblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/top-10-literary-feuds.html (Beatty’s Book Blog April 5, 2012) (Accessed 10/2/2016).

Philbrick, Nathaniel, In the Heart of the Sea (New York, Penguin Books 2001) p. xii

Lecture Series: Whales In the Heart of the Sea, http://uk.whales.org/wdc-in-action/lecture-series-whales-in-heart-of-sea (Accessed 10/2/2016).

Roberto Devereux

Eugene Toth, Society, Uncategorized

by Eugene Toth

For the New York Metropolitan Opera’s March 24, 2016 gala opening of “Roberto Devereux,” the eyes of opera enthusiasts sparkled.  Not only was the performance a new production.   For the first time ever, on the 413th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth I’s death, the Met staged Gaetano Donizetti’s “Roberto Devereux”

Donizetti set several operas in Britain. After Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda Roberto Devereux was Donizetti’s third opera about British Queens.  “Roberto Devereux,” depicts the golden age of Elizabeth’s reign and the Tudor era, when poetry, music and theater flowered.

In 1599, Roberto Devereux, a former lover of Elizabeth I, returned from an unsuccessful war in Ireland, to England.   The opera tells why Elizabeth I executed him for treason.

With historical detail, exquisite costumes invoked the splendor of the Elizabethan era.  In

his first appearance, Devereux wore a black overcoat with silver lining over black plate armor, based upon a 1590 Portrait by William Segar of  Roberto Devereux, Earl of Essex.

In the Metropolitan Opera’s new production, the stage wore no curtains.  Between two balconies, a wall approached and receded from the audience.  In different scenes the wall represented a palace of Elizabeth I, the Palace of the Duke of Nottingham, and the Tower of London.  At the sides, in two galleries, chorus members acted as an audience and witnesses focusing attention upon the four soloists – soprano Elizabeth, the mezzo soprano Sara, the tenor Robert Devereux, and baritone Duke of Nottingham.

Elizabeth I’s passion for her lover  Robert, Earl of Essex, drives the plot.  In scene 1, Elizabeth displayed the character of an imperious, fearsome, and proud monarch.  She held more power than anyone else in England.  Parliament sought to execute Essex as a rebel for treason.  The elderly Queen loved a younger man.  The Queen confided to Sara, a beautiful lady in waiting, that the Queen would pardon Devereux of the treason charges, if he still loved the Queen.

Devereux loved Sara.  Elizabeth had forced Sara to marry Devereux’s best friend and supporter, the Duke of Nottingham.   Trapped in a marriage she never wanted, Sara still loved Devereux.   At their secret meeting, a duet between Sara and  Devereux supplies one of the opera’s high points.   Delightful flute mirrored the intense love they shared.  Telling him to flee, that they must never meet again, Sara gave Devereux, as a token of her love, her blue shawl.

By order of the Queen, Sir Walter Raleigh arrested Devereux.  Raleigh discovered Sara’s blue scarf.  The scarf proved Devereux loved a woman.  Blind with rage and jealousy, Elizabeth signed Devereux’s death warrant.

Recognizing his wife’s scarf, the Duke of Nottingham, drunk in his palace, assaulted Sara with a knife and threw her about.  Devereux’s unwise passion for Sara turned against him his best supporters – the Queen and his former friend the Duke of Nottingham.

Still in love with Devereux, too late, the Queen canceled his execution.   Moments before the executioner chopped off Devereux’s head, she pardoned Devereux.  A cannon shot signaled his death.   The Queen saw visions of Devereux’s headless ghost and a bloody crown.

Elizabeth could not order Devereux to love her.  Even the greatest power meets limits. In the background of the stage statues symbolized Time and Death. Renouncing her throne, she exclaimed “Let James be King!”  A blast of the orchestra’s brass marked her death.

Setting a fast and thrilling pace, the Queen’s transforming feelings supply the opera’s dramatic tension.  Her love transformed into fury, regret, sorrow, remorse, despair, and finally madness.  Donizetti called this work, “the opera of emotions.”

 

Note: For pdf version, click here: Roberto Devereux PDF

I,Too, Am America

Art Showcase, Authors, Blog, English, Poetry, Society

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Method and Goal, was to give the African American people a voice, to help them stand up, and , much like Booker T. Washington, to give them a way to build their way up to the top of the social structure, to prove themselves worthy of high positions.

His Intentions and motives, therefore, are best explained in the poem ” I, too” by Langston Hughes.

So, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, I present to you a Spoken Word Animation and Montage of the Poem ” I,too”. Below it, is the full text of the poem.

 

I, too, sing America.

 

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

 

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

 

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

 

I, too, am America.
– Langston Hughes

George Washington 2016

Authors, Blog, Omar Abdelhamid, Society

If George Washington was still alive, with all his same beliefs and opinions, would he be elected into office? Watch the video to find out! We will cover three things

  1. Political Views
  2. Opposition sprung from the voting system itself
  3. Issues regarding criticism and mockery

-Omar Abdelhamid

Monday

Art Showcase, Authors, Blog, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Poetry, Society, Uncategorized

Monday

A Poem by Omar Abdelhamid

It is Monday.  

The sky is freshly rolled out

the air is soft and silent

A single crimson leaf

dances above my head

 

And the world is in front of my eyes

but my arms cannot reach out and grab it

 

I am a speck in the ground below

Some hear my whispers

Stoop down to listen.

Pick up the words I drop

And place them into my humble basket

 

  1. Am.  Sinking.

My arms and neck  are stuck in the cement

I cannot reach out, nor do I have a soul to lift me

I am bound to something, something more than me

and it rushes through my bones

through my mind bouncing back and forth and breaking through every thought every memory

And I can feel the frozen bodies of those who fell behind me,  screaming, hoping,

 leaving their legacies

to be plucked by the vulture time

who eats his meal with no haste

they leave it for me

for me  to drop

and for you to stoop down,

pick up, and place into my humble basket

 

They will find me here

if they care to look

frozen

a moment in time

an echo, a memory

 

And every echo is smaller

when there is no one there to hear

please hear

 

Send help

Give my words a way

To break me out

out of this cage

Skyscrapers

Authors, Blog, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Society, Uncategorized

Skyscrapers

A Short Story by Omar Abdelhamid

      Exhausted from the walk and relieved to have found a seat, I braced myself for the roar of the train as it took off. Suddenly we were in the dark, and I could spot blotches of graffiti on the inside of the tunnel as we whizzed by. I could not think, because my thoughts,unable to keep up with the speed of the iron beast, were left to float in the emptiness of the tunnels, to be ignored, if even noticed, by later commuters. The screech of the friction of the rails as we shot through exhausted my mind, until I could see nothing, I could hear nothing, and I could know nothing. And West shot the beast towards home.

Are We Who We Think We Are?

Authors, Blog, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Science and Technology, Society

 

My name is Omar Abdelhamid. But is that really who I am?  Is Omar, the Omar that speaks to others and shares opinions and ideas the whole of my being? Or is Omar just one of the many functions of my human self? And does this self, this communicative, social self, really physically exist?
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On The Town

Authors, Eugene Toth, Miscellaneous, Society

by Eugene Toth, August 16, 2015

The Broadway play “On the Town” tells the story of three Navy sailors who found the loves of their lives in New York while they had 24 hours to explore the city.   Playful Chip wanted to see the sights.  Innocent Gabey wanted to enjoy a day.  Amorous Ozzie wanted to find a love in one night.

Their adventure started in the subway.  The three sailors saw a poster of the “Miss Turnstile” contest winner, the most beautiful woman who took the subway.  The moment he saw her picture, Gabey loved Ivy.  He searched for her in the places which the description under  the poster said she loved to go to.  Gabey found Ivy in Carnagie Hall.  There she practiced singing with her insane Russian singing tutor.  Ivy agreed to a date with Gabey.

1-Megan-Fairchild-and-Jackie-Hoffman-in-Broadways-ON-THE-TOWN-Photo-by-Joan-Marcus

In the middle of the city, Chip found Hildy, a plump taxi driver, trying to find a man.  Hildy immediately fell in love with Chip.  She took him to her apartment.

Ozzie found Claire de Lune, an anthropologist engaged to an indulgent fiancé.  Claire de Lune took Ozzie to her apartment, where she and her finance celebrated  before they announced their engagement at Diamond Eddie’s, an erotic club.  Whenever Claire’s husband caught Claire kissing and embracing Ozzie, Claire’s fiancé would sing “I understand.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 12.19.13 PMThe three sailors caroused in bars and clubs.  They loved their women.   Finally, in the morning, all bid each other goodbye.

 

“On the Town” portrays New York’s amazing diversity—a hedonist, Claire de Lune, an innocent classical artist, Ivy, the love-driven woman, Hildy.

The sounds of New York excite and stimulate us.  At Coney Island, we hear a circus theme.  The music conveys a circus of love and fun.

“On the Town” tells some jokes.  When the couples are riding the subway to Coney Island, Hildy, the taxi driver woman observed there were only 192 more stops until Coney Island.

Periodically, two women pass by, talking about one of the woman’s bosses. Each time they are more drunk than before.  With ridiculous Brooklyn accents, they gossip.

Woman 1:          So what did you say?

Woman 2:          So I said, I may be your secretary Mr. Gadolfin, but I can’t go that far.

Woman 1:          So what did he say?

Woman 2:          So I said, I cannot do that to Mrs. Gadolfin and all those other little Gadolfins.  So I just handed in my resignation and left the office. 

Woman 2:          Now lets get a beer and we can talk about things!

For enduring reasons, Broadway producers for decades have revived “On the Town.”  Two and a half hours of comedy highlight New York’s hilarity.  Three gamboling sailors show us New York’s fun and humor.

How Life is like Coding

Authors, Omar Abdelhamid, Science and Technology

How Life is Like Coding

by Omar Abdelhamid

Coding is a science. But in coding, there’s more that you learn than the rules and the commands and the format and the different aspects of every language. While learning coding, there are important life lessons that are learned as well.

1) In coding, there are tons of lines of code to write. Lines are measured in the millions, and they are essential to the foundation of what you are coding. In life, there are some phases and hardships that are tedious that everyone has to go through, and they are essential to the foundation of yourself. If you get past them, you could find success.

2) Sometimes its best to take shortcuts.

Luckily for programmers, there are many coding shortcuts that make it much easier for them to write code. There are pre-made commands and shortcuts that accomplish things that would be much harder without them. In life, we are sometimes given advantages like technology that make it much easier for us to accomplish otherwise difficult things. In both cases, these help us skip tedious parts and get to working on the more substantial parts of projects, and thus create more and more amazing things more quickly and efficiently.

3) Be Creative.

Sometimes there isn’t a command for something, and you need to use your creativity to work out a way to solve a problem or reach a desired result if there isn’t an already established way to do something. Sometimes you can’t find open source code for something, and you have to find out a way to make it work. Similarly, in life, we don’t always learn the solution to our our problems, and we need to think with an open and creative mind in order to solve them.

4) Mistakes aren’t always clear.

In coding, you could have finished a long block of code, but when you run it, it doesn’t execute the way you wanted it to. You think it should be easy to fix the problem, but one big roadblock is in the way: you don’t know what you did wrong. You have to search through your code and test every segment separately sometimes to know what you did wrong before you even think about fixing it. In life, we don’t always know what went wrong when we are faced with an undesirable result. We have to experiment and make mistakes and learn from them so that we could find the best combination of conditions and find success.

Coding is said to be the language of the future. How suiting too, since it serves a double purpose as the basic building block of technology and an important teacher of how to success in life.

Dreams and Goals

Authors, Blog, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Society

What is the difference between a dream and a goal?

Quite literally, a dream is the sensation you feel when you are asleep.  But when we use it in everyday conversations, it means a perception or hope for the future, your future, what you would like to happen, or what you would like for your everyday life or reality to become.

Is there  a connection between the sleeping-based dream and a dream for the future? After all, why would there be a connection in the word itself if not?        .

A goal is a set and established landmark you want to reach in your life. A goal is thought of as something to work towards , a step to take.

Now, to the question, how do they differ. Well, you could think of a goal as small, but you don’t normally do that with a dream. For example, you could say, my goal for this week is to finish writing this article, or you could say My life goal is to be rich. You could only replace goal with dream in the latter of these examples.

So a dream is, relatively big, or spanning a long period of time. I mean, you could say my dream is to own a little house in the woods. It isn’t necessarily extravagant, but it’s significant.  A goal is therefore a collection of goals, but a dream is also a collection of goals, and a dream isn’t a collection of dreams.
When you are young you dream big because you aren’t quite sure about what goals you should set. You aren’t sure about the process that goes into achieving goals and dreams. So in essence, your dreams are from where your goals derive, and each small goal that you think of puts you closer to that dream.

But that is in a more creative sense, as a child. But when you are a part of an institution, for example a company or a school, you can’t really normally stray off from the direction of the institution and make a monumental change in it, so you  stuck with making small goals to inch your way through improving it or yourself in the institution. In a school or institution, you, even if you think in terms of dreams, are goal orientated. You have a big dream, like being the best student , but  there are goals that are forced onto you, that you can’t actually control, and although your performance in achieving those goals controls how well you reach your dream, you have no power over the goals themselves. In that sense, in all cases, your dream is just an output of your goals.

In school, you might want to be a great student, but you can’t choose the means by which you do that. At the essence of being a good student is doing well on tests and doing your homework, and you can’t really control that, those are the standards on which you base your dream.

So a dream outside of an institution, for example, in starting your own business, is more free and is more based on the dream than the goals. Because in many ways, you get to decide how to get there.

Steve Jobs was fired from Apple. His own Board of Directors fired him, and although this might seem crazy and terrible, he says:

” I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

So in being in an institution, even as the head of it, he found himself forced to follow the goals set and standardized to be a good and successful business, he had the dream of having a better company, but the way he got there was pretty much controlled by the traditions of doing business. That’s something about the notion of dreams, they could be revolutionary or crazy or wild, and no set of goals can limit them, they decide their own rules and steps.

Out of an institution, he was able to dream more, and from his dreams was able to stem ways of getting there, and so he was able, with his creativity, to find the best steps to help him achieve his dreams.

We can’t control the fact that sometimes we have to dream and sometimes we have to stick to the script to continue living the dream once we’ve reached it or stop chasing after a dream once it’s been deferred, its just a consequence of the nature of goals and dreams.

Keep Dreaming.

Giselle at the 75th Anniversary of ABT

Authors, Eugene Toth, Miscellaneous, Society

by Eugene Toth

Hiding his cape, hunting horn, and sword of a lord, Count Albrecht persuaded Giselle, a country girl, to love him.  Bursting on the scene, the hunter Hilarion showed Giselle the engraved sword of Albrecht.  Learning that Albrecht lied to her, Giselle lost her mind.  She died of a broken heart.

The Wilis

Wilis are ghosts of women who died of unrequited love.  Myrta, the queen of the wilis summoned them to initiate Giselle into their sisterhood.  Beside Giselle’s grave, eighteen wilis danced Hilarion, the hunter who loved Giselle and buried her, to death .

Below:Giselle protects Count Albrecht from the wilis.

www.metopera.org/_uploaded/image/spotlight/giselle2.jpg

lgiselle2

 

Myrta, queen of the wilis, condemned Count Albrecht to dance to death.  As a wili, Giselle protected Albrecht. She danced with him until four o’clock when wilis lose their power.  In a memorable scene, Russian dancer Vladimir Shklyarov, as Albrecht, vaulted into the air an amazing 36 times.

Love, death, and dancing

Dancing to the limits of endurance sets Giselle apart from other ballets. The essence of Giselle, extreme dancing, gives to this ballet authenticity.  Giselle is not a performance.  In Giselle, we see something realistic, dancing to the limits.

As a tale of dancing to death with the wilis, Giselle’s libretto by Theophile Gautier adds to the ballet’s success.  According to the playbill, Giselle is the oldest continually performed ballet. On May 23, 2015, the 75th Anniversary of the founding of American Ballet Theatre, the crowd glittered with stars.  Giselle suits the tastes of ballet’s professionals.  On her last dance as a principal dancer for ABT, Paloma Herrera on May 27, 2015 will dance Giselle.

To dance Giselle explores the limits of dancing.  By its single minded focus on ultimate dancing, Giselle has won success.  ABT’s performance proved Giselle’s power as one of the greatest ballets of all time.

Free Will, Life, and the Damned Future

Alwin Peng, Authors, Blog, Philosophy, Science and Technology

By Alwin Peng

Let’s start out by addressing an important question: What is free will?

Well, kind seeker of answers, free will is the idea that living things have the CHOICE of what they are going to do. Judaism sees free will as something that naturally goes with the naturally
belonging human soul. For example, free will was present in the Old Testament, where Adam and Eve chose themselves to defy their omnipotent lord.

Well then giver of answers, what the heck does response have anything to do with the title?

My friend… I am just getting to that. Life, in a scientific sense, was created when random particles (namely hydrocarbons, but that science gunk really bores people so let’s not talk about it) reacted with each other. Over billions of years, these mindless reactions happened, until one day, a being was created that can reproduce. Mr. Charles Darwin will take over from here.

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“You see, my good inquisitor, that evolution happened. That being slowly mutated as it moved into different environments. Stronger mutations would be able to reproduce, and this passed down the genes
that helped it survive. Gradually, these beings evolved until they became as complicated as we are.”

Okay Mr. Darwin, you may step down now. So one may see life as the free will of the universe, and based on whether you are an atheist or not, you may draw different conclusions.

So, giver of answers, you told me why the title had the words Free Will and Life, but what is with “The Damned Future”. That’s rather depressing.

So here goes… but this could be a bit more depressing… Remember when I talked about random
reactions that created life? Well let’s zoom in a bit further. When you break down the situation to its simplest form, it is basically atoms moving at velocities at certain positions, their courses predetermined.

So you’re saying that life was predetermined?

In essence, yes. Now let’s go all the way back in time, to the moment the big bang happened. Each atom had a certain position and velocity as the universe expanded. From that point forward, you can calculate what will happen to that individual atom as it reacts with others. In a nutshell, if I had a computer that knew the position and velocity of every atom, I would be able to predict the future correctly, as the interactions of the atoms is the future.

Then why the heck don’t we predict the future?

Well… we can’t. It is impossible to know the position and velocity of any object at the same time: in the process of measuring, both values are changed. Due to quantum mechanics, an object stays
in superposition of both existence and a lack of existence before it is measured, making predicting the future impossible. However, the future is indeed set in stone, but we cannot predict it. Free will does not exist. All your thoughts are due to movements of particles in your brain, sending electrical signals
throughout the body.

You’re still not answering my first question about the depressing title.

The future may not be damned in an apocalyptic sense. But we cannot choose our own future. That, is why I see this future is damned.

The Achievements of the Han Dynasty

Authors, Blog, Drew Morris, Miscellaneous, Science and Technology, Society, Uncategorized

The Han dynasty lasted from 206 BC-220 AD and had many amazing achievements that changed the world for all and benefits our society in many ways. The Han dynasty had many achievements in science, and one of them was the seismograph. The Seismograph was an impressive instrument because it detected earthquakes from hundreds of miles away. Another scientific achievement was that they learned how to predict when the sun was going to have an eclipse. This discovery helped people because they were always ready when an eclipse came.  In medicine, doctors found new kinds of medications. This helped doctors treat more diseases and patients who were ill. Han craft workers also made an amazing invention when they learned how to create paper. They created paper by pounding the bark of Mulberry trees.  The invention of paper had a huge effect on the way people lived. Paper made it easier to record what was happening. With paper, students invented the first Chinese dictionary. Another idea that came up under the rule of emperor Wudi was Grand School. Grand School were schools that were created to help students get jobs in the local government. Grand School was the empire’s best school. They were set up in every province or state in the empire. Without Grand School and the Confucian emphasis on education, their society might not have had innovators to create these inventions. Overall, thanks to the Han dynasty’s hard work and achievements, society obtained tools and scientific advancements that benefit us to this day.

The Bystander Effect

Authors, Blog, Derek Leung, Philosophy, Society

By Derek Leung

Usually, when there is a physical fight, if there enough people, they will soon form a circle around the fight, usually without helping the victim of the fight. After the fight is over, the crowd will disperse, leaving the injured victim behind with little to no people helping them. This is often attributed to the bystander effect.

Annie and Communism

Authors, Blog, Omar Abdelhamid, Society, Uncategorized

The cold war was a period of tension between the two major world powers, the U.S. and The Soviet Union, and the two major world political structures, Communism and Capitalism during the 20th century. It was, of course, much more complex and interesting than quickly outlined here. But this simple description gives us a bit of context for what we are about to discuss.

The Cold War was all about getting people on either side of the tension. Both sides used all kinds of propaganda to get their own citizens more strongly associated with the beliefs of their government.

This propaganda was perpetuated through various different mediums, including cartoons, posters, and (as made possible by the popularity of advancing technology) movies.

Anthropology, Placebos, and Magic Voodoo Doctors

Authors, Blog, Omar Abdelhamid, Science and Technology, Society, Uncategorized

When the anthropology students of Horace Miner harshly judged and mocked the cultures of the people they studied and read about, Miner showed his students the humanity of these cultures and put them in a better light in a very clever way. He wrote an article  about the Nacirema, a Tribe with very strange customs and traditions, such as a mouth-rite ritual done by sticking horse hairs in the mouth. How strange indeed. A culture with medicine men and women and a charm-box in the washing room.

Monet

Art Showcase, Authors, Omar Abdelhamid, Poetry

“Monet”

I’ll set a bridge

In a flowing gleaming stream.

Beside the tallest tree

Will be my sky-scraping towers.

And I’ll lay some concrete

And stone blocks

Amidst your flowery jungle crops.

Until my juxtapositioning makes it so

That we are one

And That WE are beauty

That WE are art

-Omar Abdelhamid

Les Contes d’Hoffman, an evening with Offenbach

Authors, Blog, Eugene Toth, Society

by Eugene Toth

On February 28, 2015 the Metropolitan Opera presented Les Contes d’Hoffman, three short and striking operas by the composer Jacques Offenbach.

In 1819 Jacques Offenbach was born the son of a synagogue cantor in Cologne, Germany. The young Offenbach began his career as a virtuoso cellist. Until that time, most composers wrote long and complicated operas lasting several hours. Offenbach pioneered short operas, simple and easy to understand. He broadened the appeal of opera. Offenbach grew so famous that the Emperor Napoleon offered him French citizenship.

I Know Everything About a Stranger

Art Showcase, Authors, Poetry, Theresa Teng

I Know Everything About a Stranger

Two strangers
unbeknowst of one another
chanced a meet at crossroads;
and with millions upon billions of possibilities
destiny wove the threads of their lives together.
Learning of one another’s
insecurities
flaws
weaknesses
but viewing them as perfection.

If I recall
Six months, three weeks, and five days ago
you told me you were lonely;
Four months and two nights ago
a call voicemailed your fears;
Exactly one month and two weeks ago
your frown lines showed me you fear I’d stopped loving you.
I didn’t find it
nagging
clingy
annoying
How could I judge when I felt the same way?!

Only seventeen days ago
we had a midnight picnic
staring into the cosmic abyss;
comparing our love to the endless array of stars and the ever-growing space.
Falling asleep in one another’s arms
feeling protected
warm
(almost) content.
–How could it be that
so quickly everything has changed?

Walking past you
pretending you weren’t there
everything we did,
all that we ever had
was shattered glass no one bothered to put together back,
a wilting flower on its last breath,
a burned book turned to ash

But I still remember everything about you
as if I’ve known you my entire life.
Your scent
the way you dressed
your silhouette;
the little things
your counterfeit smile when you said you weren’t sad
–and I could still list over a hundred facts on you off the top of my head,
if anyone asked.

It was supposed to be forever
because Fate made us bump at crossroads
because of our unspoken promises
because our minds were the same.
So I fixed your insecurities
but what did i gain?
Your gray world into a rainbow
but how come my world hasn’t changed?
..I’m left alone again.

-Theresa Teng

whispering night

Art Showcase, Authors, Omar Abdelhamid, Poetry, Uncategorized

Whispering night


A whispering night

Silences itself to life 

Until normality 

Having long been the rhythm of the sun

Sets and is but a whisper

And the cold trickles up the veins 


When the buttress of the fragile soul 

Breaks and drops it’s  child

And not the dark

But the dimming light is seen


With squinting

” let it live ” is cried

And the light does push so gallantly for life 

Till the final desperate flicker and the  end

Puts it to rest at last 

And sight excludes it 


And when the mind is pressed and the night is dark and the music is soft but deadly 

A child quickly falls and falls and falls


Asleep 

-Omar Abdelhamid 

On the Elements of Love

Authors, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Society, Uncategorized

by Omar Abdelhamid

 

To encompass the benefit and the reason for the survival of love in humans, one can describe all forms of “Love” as the basis of all motivation. The reason for doing anything that has ever been done is love.

We can further break down love into 3 different forms.

One kind of love is loving something for what it has done before. Another is loving for what it is doing. And the last is loving for what it can do.

All these forms are similar, despite being listed in the dictionary as three entirely different definitions of the word love. Because all three types of love is giving very passionately because there is something that can, is, or has been given to you before. You love because you were given or will be given and you are grateful. So love is in a sense gratitude as well.

These categories seem vague at first glance, so it would help to provide examples for each kind.

Black And White

Authors, Blog, English, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Society

by Omar Abdelhamid

What do you consider blank?

If someone was to ask you to draw or express something blank, what would you draw?

Would you take an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of computer paper and not draw anything? Is the paper blank? White reflects in all light and absorbs none, so is the paper blank because it is free of absorbed color?

Or would you color the paper in pitch black? Black reflects no color and absorbs it all,making your eyes see no color. So would the paper be visually blank?

What does blank mean?

The Itsy Bitsy Spider and The Pheonix

Authors, Blog, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Society

By Omar Abdelhamid

 

“There was a silly damn bird called a phoenix back before Christ, every few hundred years he built a pyre and burnt himself up.But every time he burnt himself up he sprang out of the ashes, he got himself born all over again. And it looks like we’re doing the same thing, over and over, but we’ve got one damn thing the phoenix never had. We know the damn silly thing we just did. We know all the damn silly things we’ve done for a thousand years and as long as we know that and always have it around where we can see it, someday we’ll stop making the goddamn funeral pyres and jumping in the middle of them.” ( Bradbury,163)

Martin and Malcolm

Authors, Blog, Omar Abdelhamid, Society

 

The following is an opinion based article, not to be taken into fact, but to be considered and perhaps rejected or adopted into your own thoughts and opinions.

( I only discuss the life of Malcolm X in this article, assuming that the reader already knows enough context about Martin Luther King. If you need to brush up on who he was, http://www.biography.com/people/martin-luther-king-jr-9365086 is the place to go.)

Malcolm-X-and-ML-King-273x300

 

Martin Luther King Jr.(left) and Malcolm X(right), two of the most influential  leaders in the African American Civil Rights movement of the 20th century, are pictured above in their first and only meeting.

Why were these two men so rarely and briefly together, even though they had the same vision for the progression of the African American race?

The Winner of the Haiku Day Haiku Contest is……. Aaron Wang!

Here is Aaron’s poem:

Look, it’s New Year’s Day,

Parties, food, and wild laughter,

What a beginning.

Thank you Aaron, and thanks to all who entered.
Happy Holidays!
Uncategorized

The Quadratic Formula

Alwin Peng, Authors, Math, Uncategorized

 

By Alwin Peng

The quadratic formula is used in order to find the value of x in an equation such as ax^2 + bx + c = 0.

It is x = (-b + (b^2 – 4ac)^(1/2))/2a.

download

 

 

It simplifies a more complicated way to solve the expression. Below, I will show you why the formula works by explaining how it was derived.Deriving the quadratic formula goes as follows:

ax^2 + bx + c = 0

ax^2 + bx = -c .We subtract both sides by C

x^2 + bx/a = -c/a .We divide both sides by A

x^2 + bx/a + (b^2)/(4a^2) = -c/a + (b^2)/(4a^2) .We add (b^2)/(4a^2) to both sides   so that the left side of the equation is factorable

(x + b/2a)^2 = -c/a + (b^2)/(4a^2) We factor the left side

(x + b/2a)^2 = -4ac/(4a^2) + (b^2)/(4a^2) We multiply the top and bottom of the fraction -c/a by 4a so that it can be added with (b^2)/(4a^2), achieving the common denominator of 4a^2 in both fractions.

(x + b/2a)^2 = (-4ac + (b^2))/(4a^2) We now add the like terms

x + b/2a = (((b^2) – 4ac)^(1/2))/2a We square root both sides

At last, we subtract both sides by b/2a, isolating x and getting the quadratic formula:

x = (-b + (b^2 – 4ac)^(1/2))/2a

The method  that we just used to obtain the quadratic formula is known as “completing the square”, but just plugging values into the quadratic formula is a faster and simplified way to complete the square.

 

Fibonacci Sequence

Authors, Eugene Toth, Math, Miscellaneous, Science and Technology, Uncategorized

Fibonacci Numbers

by Eugene Toth

Fibonacci numbers are an amazing sequence of numbers which appear all throughout human history and throughout nature.  One may see fibonacci numbers in the great pyramid or a nautilus’ shell.  This amazing sequence of numbers have a simple pattern but a stunningly complex role in the world around us.

Pascal’s Triangle

Authors, Eugene Toth, Math, Miscellaneous, Science and Technology, Uncategorized

Pascal’s Triangle

by Eugene Toth

Mathematicians named Pascal’s triangle after the French mathematician Blaise Pascal.    Pascal’s triangle is a triangular graph.

In Pascal’s triangle each number is the sum of the two directly above it.  The numbers in each row are numbered beginning with 0 for the first row. Each number is positioned either to the left or to the right of the numbers in the rows above. The sum of the elements of a single row is twice the sum of the row preceding it.  A Pascal’s triangle can expand infinitely.

 

Capture

Figure one – Google Searches Containing the term “ebola”

2

 

Figure 2- Google Searches containing the term ALS . Circled are, in order, the results for August, september, and October.

Now that the Ebola Virus is seemingly becoming more and more of a threat to United States citizens, more and more citizens of the United States, and people in other countries are consulting Google to find out more about the disease and know their risk. In fact, an increase in google searches about a disease can indicate an increase of interest or worry concerning the disease. Above, the statistics for searches for Ebola or related searches peaked in October. It began to increase in August and September as well. The statistics for searches for ALS however, peaked in August and fell dramatically in September and October. As more people became aware of the threat of Ebola, it seems as if ALS became less of an interest to the public, despite the issue not have been fixed. It seems as if the public cannot care about two diseases at the same time. This also might be a coincidence. Comparing Ebola and Cancer, no clear results are seen. Cancer maintains a steady amount of “publicity” even when the Ebola virus began to be a problem for Americans. So is the publicity of diseases a fad, is it true that diseases are given attention for a few months an then forgotten? Or is the case of Ebola and ALS a special case?

 

Feel free to vote on what you think is right below, and leave a comment expressing why you think so.

 

-Omar Abdelhamid

Authors, Miscellaneous, Omar Abdelhamid, Society

The Core staff of Infinite Initiative has decided on a change in the direction of the purpose of our organization.We are going to attempt to allow children to be able to express themselves through writing, so that they can get their ideas out eloquently and in a way that adults will be able to understand. The program will provide a writing and blogging skills program, and will also provide authorship on our websites to people who go through the program, with hopes that it will not only provide skills, but an audience for our children’s ideas.The project is in early development stages, but we would like as much support and publicity of our website as possible. Thank you in advance for any support given. Email omar@infiniteinitiative.org if you are interested in supporting or want any more information.

We will still continue to be posting, so scroll down to see our latest posts.

-Omar

 

Uncategorized, Updates

Newton’s Laws of Motion

Authors, Eugene Toth, Science and Technology, Uncategorized

Newton’s Laws of Motion

By Eugene Toth

Aristotle believed that everything had a natural state.  Water would stay in the hydrosphere.  It always flowed to the hydrosphere or water bodies.  Rocks fell to the geosphere or Earth.  Air entered the atmosphere or the rest of the air around us.  Fire rose in the form of smoke to a place above the atmosphere. People believed Aristotle’s theory until Galileo started studying physics.  Galileo’s studies of falling objects proved Aristotle wrong.  Then, in 1687, Sir Isaac Newton published his book Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, or ,in English, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. People more commonly know Newton’s book as “The Principia.”

Sir Issac Newton

Sir Issac Newton Painted by Godfrey Kneller

Living on Water

Authors, Eugene Toth, Science and Technology, Uncategorized

By Eugene Toth

living on water

“Call me Ishmael. Some years ago–never mind how long precisely–having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation.”

– Moby Dick, Herman Melville

In almost all places on Earth, we have been living in houses of all shapes and sizes.  We have built mobile homes and houseboats.  Many have ridiculed the idea of houseboats.  We have not developed houseboats as much as other forms of housing.

How to make Green Fire!

Authors, Eugene Toth, Science and Technology, Uncategorized

By Eugene Toth

                                                     WARNING!

Only persons 18 years old and older should perform this experiment. If you do not fit this criteria, you need adult supervision when performing this experiment. Perform this experiment outdoors in a fire safe area. Infinite Initiative disclaims responsibility for explosions, fire or any other damages.

Ever wanted to resemble a mad scientist?  Have you read the story of Dr. Frankenstein?  Have you ever wanted to produce green fire?  The spectacle of green fire will amaze and thrill.  In fact, green fire is no more dangerous than normal fire.

Peanuts and Child Philosophy

Authors, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Uncategorized

Charles M. Schulz, famous for being the creator of the Peanuts cartoons, once remarked about his profession:

” If I were a better artist, I’d be a painter, and if I were a better writer, I’d write books- but I’m not, so I draw cartoons.”

The key element of his skills description is his lack of proficiency in writing. He may have not been good at writing, but he was still able to express very powerful messages. He did this by taking on the view of children, who have ideas like he did, but are not able to organize them into eloquent writing,and instead were more abstract in their mindset. He used his persona as a child to justify expressing his ideas in abstract and unclear ways.

Vibratory Motion

Authors, Eugene Toth, Science and Technology, Uncategorized

Vibratory Motion

By Eugene Toth

Vibratory motion, or vibration differs from rotational motion and linear motion.  In vibration, motion progresses alternately changing direction at fixed intervals.

In the 6th century, the Greeks first studied vibration when they plucked the strings of instruments.   Pythagoras of Samos in Greece studied the relationship of vibrations to music.  People know Pythagoras of Samos better for discovering the Pythagorean Theorem (a2+b2=c2) in a triangle. The word vibration comes from the Latin word “vibrationis” for shaking.

World Cup and Increasing Nationalism

Authors, Omar Abdelhamid, Society, Uncategorized

The FIFA 2014 World Cup has become a principal aspect of many people’s lives. Doubtless, players and coaches are greatly affected by the outcomes of these games; however, fans and countries as a whole are impacted by these games. Some of these impacts are beneficial to people and nations, but some are proving to be dangerous and may get us dangerously close to a global conflict.

What is the meaning of Nationalism?

na·tion·al·ism
ˈnaSHənəˌlizəm/
noun
  1. patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts.
    • an extreme form of this, especially marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries.
      plural noun: nationalisms
    • advocacy of political independence for a particular country.

( Taken from Google search)

Lets take a closer look at this definition. It has two main parts; a nation is better than other nations and a nation deserves freedom from another nation.

Angular Momentum

Authors, Eugene Toth, Science and Technology, Uncategorized

By Eugene Toth

Rotation Inertia

Bodies that have rotation have rotational inertia.  They will continue to rotate around axis unless stopped by an outside force. For example, the Earth rotates around the Sun. Because of rotational inertia, astronauts are exceedingly careful to avoid getting into a spin.

Just as there are linear and rotational velocities, there are also linear and rotational accelerations.  As we use the Roman letter α for rotational velocity, we also use it for rotational acceleration.  Just as linear velocity is equal to angular velocity times the distance from the center of rotation. Therefore linear acceleration is equal to angular acceleration.

By the second law of motion, we know that force = mass x linear acceleration.  Let a represent angular velocity.  Let r represent rotation.  “τ” is the greek letter “tau.”  In our case, we will use it to symbolize “torque.” This formula gives us:

As you exert force on the pedal, the petal turns and the pedal and chain gains angular momentum

As you exert force on the pedal, the petal turns and the pedal and chain gains angular momentum

F = M r a

Force = Mass x Rotation x angular velocity

Force = mass x radius x alpha

Velocity

Authors, Eugene Toth, Science and Technology, Uncategorized
 By Eugene Toth
What is Velocity?  Many think velocity is just a scientific name for speed.  They are partially right. Scientist define velocity as distance covered in unit time as in feet per second or miles per hour.
The Curve Between Force and Velocity.  As the force exerted on an object is decreased,

The curve of Force and Velocity. As the force exerted on an object is decreased, the velocity of the object is decreased.

If a ball rolls at 2 feet per second, it’s average velocity is two feet per second, and its average velocity is 2 feet per second. At any given moment, however, the object is going faster or slower. This can be expressed as a fraction

     2 Feet       OR     2 feet/1 second
1 Second

It is important to recognize that the numerator and and denominator are units and not numbers.

The average velocity is 4 feet per second after it has traveled two feet.

In the third second, it covers 18 feet with an average velocity of 6 feet per second.

Chuck E. Cheese and a Rise in Materialism

Authors, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Society, Uncategorized

chuckecheeseext05opt

I was recently at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant / arcade. I picked up on a few details about the place that you may not have noticed, but are very negatively influential to children who play there.

For those not familiar with the place, it is an arcade of different games and you get tickets from every game that you are able to exchange for receipts to buy prizes. Each game is worth a token that you can buy with real money.

Prizes of Chuck E. Cheese

Prizes of Chuck E. Cheese

See the problem yet?

Cynicism

There are two types of games, games for fun, and games that are chance based that get you tickets. The ticket games are often more prominent; however, they are usually rigged, making it hard or impossible to get a real prize. The number of fun games are decreasing and decreasing as the point of the arcade becomes more centered around getting enough tickets to get a prize. Again, these games are not fun at all, and only involve pulling a lever or sliding a coin down with accurate timing. Even worse, jackpot prizes reach only 25 or 50 tickets. The prizes are very expensive and often poorly made or easy to lose. They are often worthless. You can buy a small pack of candy for 50 tickets,and a good prize would be 4,000 tickets, an almost impossible task. These are usually supposed to be saved up for, but the store encourages children to cease to invest and instead buy small and cheap toys.

How is modern day economy similar to places like Chuck E. Cheese?

France Advancing into the Future

Authors, Eugene Toth, Science and Technology, Uncategorized

By Eugene Toth

The New Yorker provided an excellent article about a hydrogen power plant that the government is building that will give almost infinite energy to anyone who uses power coming from it.  The power plant will be a vacuum filled with trillions of hydrogen atoms.  Then, the inside of the vacuum will heat up to enormous temperatures without melting the metal.  The extreme heat will create the hydrogen atoms to move.  This will make the hydrogen atoms fuse creating huge amounts of nuclear energy with only one millionth of normal nuclear energy’s nuclear waste.  This spare nuclear waste will be drained of its resources until it will basically not exist making the power plant, in some sense, have no energy waste at all.