Insane in the membrane…

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HOLY SHIT, GUYS.

…er…I mean, Mornin’ all yada yada. But mostly, HOLY SHIT.

There I sat, choking down a cup of what I’m pretty sure is one of Teen Beta’s failed alchemy experiments to turn lye into drinkable coffee while I read the news, when I came across this:

Russian Volunteers for First Human Head Transplant

See? SEE!? Holy. Shit.

Here’s the deal. An Italian scientist announced last year that he had a kooky idea to take the good head off a bad body and stick it where a bad head used to attach to a good body. A Chinese doctor heard the snickers and jeers of 99% of the world’s physicians and bravely stepped forward to say, “Sounds cool, bro.” The two scoured the planet for a volunteer, and finally a Russian named Valery Spiridonov raised his hand and said, “Ispol’zovat’ moyu golovu!”

Wow, huh?

My mind is blown. I guess not as much as Val’s will be, but still, I’m gobsmacked. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got so many questions. Let’s dig in a little and see if we can make sense out of any of this.

First off, this idea isn’t exactly new. Folks have been curious about sticking parts of one person onto another probably since they sat around eating their mammoth steaks. No tv, no radio, no internet…I’m guessing caveman dinner parties were pretty boring affairs. I’m pretty sure minds tended to wander. Ugg sat looking at Mrs.*gruntnoise* and had the zany thought of wondering what she’d look like with Mr.*gruntnoise*’s head. Oh, you know he paid for the hoots of uncontrollable laughter he snorted out at the mental image later. Mrs. Ugg had spent all day grinding ash into that mammoth flank to make it tender and he HAD to go and ruin her efforts like the uncultured hyena he was.

Bad form, Ugg. *shakes head*

Or maybe the idea popped into the head of the first guy to use his super sharp, newfangled, handheld weapon fresh from the forger’s mystical cave to lop off an enemy’s arm in battle. The blade went *shing*, the arm fell to the ground, and the dude thought, “Hm, intriguing. I wonder if the barbers could attach the fallen appendage to another man? It’s a perfectly good arm. It would be a shame to waste it. If one were to simp*splat**gurgle*…uuuuhhhhffff…*thud*”

Never lose concentration in battle, folks.

The point is, it’s an old idea. Very old. One of those thoughts that probably popped into many different heads in many different cultures at many different times. The thing is, until very recently in terms of human history, it was just a thought experiment.

…get it? Thought experiment. Cus it’s brains. *ducks rotten tomatoes* Oh you fool. You just wasted your ammo, and you haven’t even heard the worst one yet. Pfft. Amateur.

We didn’t have the technology or the know-how to actually attempt such a transplant. And even if we had been able to manage such a medical feat sooner, this has always been considered one of the taboo experiments.

In the medical and psychomedical communities, there’s a general list of taboo and forbidden experiments. These experiments are deemed unethical or inhumane to a level that goes beyond any possible justification as to the value of the data outweighing the horror committed to attain it. These range from conducting medical trials on people who do not have the capacity to understand possible implications, to deprivation experiments, to using inmates as living donors… There’s a whole list, and head transplanting is pretty close to the top due to successful recent experiments with mice.

Yep, you read that right. They’ve done this successfully already. Not with humans, no, but isn’t that the next logical step? They have taken the head off of one mouse and successfully attached it to the body of another. And, they’ve done it multiple times, so this isn’t some one-off deal.

The anti-head swappers have called this experiment “bad” and “irresponsible” science, for many reasons. They believe the experiment will fail, and many have gone on record saying that should that happen, and Val dies on the operating table, the doctors involved should be tried with murder. They are saying that the docs must have downplayed the high likelihood of death to get Val to volunteer in the first place. No one in their right mind would risk death for something like this if he was sane! Besides, even IF the experiment was somehow successful, it’s incredibly selfish for one man to get ALL the organs when so many people are waiting for organ transplants. Any donated body should be rent asunder and scattered evenly around the globe. Grumble and balderdash and stuff and nonsense and muttering about charlatans and…

Here are some facts about Val. Val has a genetic condition called “Werdnig-Hoffman Disease.” It’s a genetic disorder that breaks down muscle and kills nerve and brain cells that control those muscles. With all respect to Val, in the photo shown, the only thing that looks at all normal about him is his head. His body has crumpled in on itself. He’s confined to a wheelchair, and can’t even move his legs at this point. His arms have gotten to the point where they, too, are close to being useless. His life sucks, folks. It sucks massive amounts of balls, and there is absolutely no treatment whatsoever. His muscles will continue to dissolve until he is nothing but a head on a useless pile of bones, unable to move, unable to breathe or eat on his own, kept alive by machines. That’s the future Val has.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, because damn did that headline wig me out. But, I’m kinda on the side of Val and the docs here. I know it’s creepy. I know it feels wrong, somehow. I can’t help it. The more I read and consider, the more I think I’m on their side.

Shit. *shrug*

The body they plan to use will be a young, brain dead male. Trust me, there will be many options available to them without any clandestine behind-the-pub-waiting-for-an-unsuspecting-drunk attacks. Young, able-bodied men do stupid shit that gets a lot of them killed every single day. They’re going to start off with two absolute volunteers.

“But Bethie, Val is just desperate and not in his right mind.”

Yeah. Val IS desperate. He has absolutely no shot at living any sort of life. None, whatsoever. If he stays the course with his own body, he will only ever be a head. Everything else is too broken to repair. The doctors of the world have not done enough research to solve Val’s problem. Their “solution” is to make him “live” the rest of his life being a brain fed by a machine. That’s all Val will be. He won’t be able to talk, because his vocal chords are next on the Werdnig-Hoffman hit list. He won’t be able to move. He will be hooked up to machines that eat for him, that breathe for him, that pump blood through his dead body for him. He will not even be able to end his own suffering. Once he gets to that point, and it’s coming up fast for our pal Val, there is no way for him to stop it. He will be 100% at the mercy of whichever Dr. Frankenstein is at the helm of his “life” machines.

THAT is the “ethical” and “humane” future the doctors of the world are backing.

Would you want to be a cyborg head on top of a useless pile of bones for years and years and years and YEARS just because someone else wants to pat themselves on the back for keeping you alive?

I get it. At first I couldn’t wrap my head around all of this, but after thinking it through, I get it. In Val’s shoes, I would be gung-ho to try, too. The worst case, the very worst, is that his lifelong suffering is over. And even if that happens, the knowledge that will be learned for it will be the one and only shot Val has to contribute to the advancement of scientific and medical knowledge.

“You haven’t addressed the fairness of using all the organs on one person.”

All those organs were in one person to begin with. And if that person lived, then zero organs would be available for anyone. Maybe that donor would have lived long enough to develop cancer, or contract a virus, or be infested with worms, rendering the entire body useless for transplants. Maybe the person wants to gift their body to just one person. Maybe the idea of meting out body parts to and fro like a human pinata is pretty fucking creepy when you think about it.

“But it’s going to turn into rich old men buying bodies to use them in succession to use for eternal life.”

Classic sci-fi fears, playing out in real life. The thing is, all of these fears and trepidations have been voiced at every great medical leap. Some folks wanted to lynch the doctors in the Baby Fae for putting a helpless infant through that horrible ordeal. So many doctors in the medical community were absolutely convinced it was morally, ethically, and medically impossible. There were actual protests before the first human to human heart transplant. Protests!

And yet, enough doctors kept trying until they became successful.

“But…but…even if it works, Val won’t be the same person!”

Ah, there it is, what I think is the crux of the issue. What makes a person a person? What makes them an individual? How much can you replace of the man and have it still be Val? Is there a soul? Where does that soul reside…in the machine that is a brain, or in the chest that aches and warms when you feel emotion? Where does the person truly live inside a body?

Personally, I’m kinda hoping the experiment is successful and we can find out. I have no idea what that says about me.

Probably that it’s a good thing the Mr. hasn’t gotten around to funding my basement laboratory yet, eh?

Thus concludes a science-y Muse for Tuesday, August 20, 2016. I intended to hop on to talk about a completely different subject this morning, but when the first thing you see is a man getting a complete cranium transplant, everything else pales. Maybe I’ll ramble again tomorrow. For now, I’mma jet off to work. Unlike Val’s body double, it’s the only way I’m going to get ahead in life.

…told you. Next time, bring more tomatoes.

I wonder if cats are still assholes in a parallel universe?

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Mornin’ all.

My cat’s a dick.

This is Saturday morning. With the guy’s new schedule, it’s the one morning all week that allows me to delay contributing to the kinetic energy field of my household. Kitty knows this.

“Uh, Bethie? That sounds a little…”

KITTY KNOWS THIS.

If you have a cat, you understand. If you do not have a cat, this is probably one of the reasons why. Kitty knows. She knows when I’m trying to sleep. She knows when I just want to be left alone for five more minutes. Cats can sense it. They can feel your calm and tranquility and it pricks at their little feline psyches until they MUST do something about it immediately.

So there I was, snoring peacefully like a buzzsaw, and what did the furred she-devil do? She stood by the head of the bed and meowed.

“Awww! Kitty meows are so cute!”

A kitten meowing when it’s got extra milk on it’s squiffy wiffy face is cute. A cat that slips into a fish tank and looks to you and meows one sad, yet singularly perfect response to its current situation is cute. A furry friend that sees you get your video camera out and meows in a way that sounds sort of like “I love you” is…well, that’s not really cute, is it? That’s creepy as shit.

But it’s still better than what my cat did this morning!

She said, “Mau. Mau. Mau. Mau. Mau. Mau…”

When I woke enough to mumble, “Shhfuckoff,” she turned up the volume.

“MAU. MAU. MAU. MAU. MAU…”

It was so persistent and annoying that I almost automatically hit the snooze button.

” * GASP!! * ”

Calm down. I said “almost.” The furry beast from hell remains unscathed.

I was looking through the news. Big Mars news this week, though it kind of passed under the radar. NASA sent a probe to study what remains of Mars’ atmosphere to see if it was possible to determine how a once vibrant planet became a desolate rock. As it turns out, solar winds blew the atmosphere away. Things shifted, our young star flared, Mars was in the way and paid the price.

RIP Mars. *dumps a bit of coffee out for the fallen*

“But why…”

Shh. Moment of silence, man.

*hangs head* *kisses fingers* *flashes V to the sky*

Now, what were you saying?

“I was asking why it’s big news.”

It’s big news because it proves several important theories on everything from the extent of the importance of our star, to how our solar system was formed into the kooky bitch we know and love today, to how a planet dies in relation to how it lived before…

Trust me, this is actually quite big stuff. This is the type of data dump that sparks an instant intellectual orgy among scientists.

“Then how come I didn’t hear about it?”

Because media.

NASA held a press conference. They just don’t know how to drop info in a way that gets the average Joe jazzed. They put out a notice that they had some big, big news. And then they held a press conference about Martian climate change and I think the majority of the reporters fell asleep. They wrote small, boring little articles, which most people seemed to scan for the words “alien life” before moving on when they didn’t see that the rover found a Martian baby rattle or some shit like that.

What a bummer.

I wish folks would get excited about this stuff. It *IS* exciting. Okay, perhaps it’s not thrilling in the actual findings themselves. It’s a whole lotta numbers and those suck. What’s truly exciting, and what NASA should have focused on and the media should have made even the slightest effort to convey to the public, is the potential we now have because of this information.

Look, we actually know diddly squat about the universe. Oh, we’re okay at knowing things about our own rock. Not great, mind you. Just okay. Outside our one, tiny little sphere, we don’t really “know” anything. We can observe through a lens and make theories based around those observations. But “thinking” and “knowing” are two different things. Thinking leads to more thinking. KNOWING leads to more DOING.

Every bit of info we gain from our time spent zipping the most expensive RC car and remote controlled drones ever built around a “dead” rock is precious. Each bit of info opens scientific doors that we can’t even begin to comprehend in the moment. And we just got a billion bits of new info. New proof. New knowledge.

The more we know, the further we can go.

The other huge space news that no one cared about was a light.

Now, this is another theory based on an observation. It’s only a theory. But it’s a pretty cool one.

On the edge of the observable universe, there is a light. It is not coming from within the universe. It appears to be seeping in FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE.

“Uh, Bethie? Is the use of capital letters there really necessary?”

HELL YEAH.

Think about it, man. This might just prove the multi-verse theory.

“Multi-verse theory? Shit Bethie. This is getting awful deep.”

I accidentally made the paint stripper I call coffee extra strong this morning. I wasn’t paying attention and scooped too much into the basket and thought, “Well, let’s see where this leads…” Here. That led us here. Have some. Inject some caffeinated molecules into your lethargic body and catch up.

So where was I?

In the old big bang thinking, there was a sea of nothing. That nothing got bored and pulled in on itself and created enough somethings to explode. Those exploded things created our universe and keep traveling out from that single point of origin into…a sea of nothing. You with me?

“*slurp* Yep.”

Well, that theory doesn’t make much sense, does it? How can something be made from nothing? Enter the multi-verse theory. Many universes exist. And perhaps one of them had a dense pocket of matter that got out of control. Maybe a black hole, a giant, epic black hole. Maybe even a worm hole. Whatever caused it, there was such a build up of matter in one tiny spot that it HAD to explode, to bang, to create our universe.

Now, there are those who would say that simply means we’re part of another universe, that we’re a neighborhood in an existing city, that it means that our term for “universe” is simply the problem, that we still really are just one singular universe.

Maybe it’s a terminology problem. Until now, there really wasn’t anything that made it necessary to really explore that. There was no proof either way that there was anything outside our observable universe, so redefining terms and taking a hard look at multi-verses was not necessary.

The light is there. It is real. It can be seen and it either came from us and bounced back off shit we didn’t have any idea existed, or it came FROM that unknown shit itself. Either theory is equally exciting. There is more outside of our “everything” than we thought. Is that part of us? Is that something different? Is this an issue of our universe being so much grander than we thought? Or are we a separate entity among other entities in a vastness we can’t begin to comprehend?

One little light is going to lead to so much.

How cool is that?

Thus concludes and exercise in way too much coffee way too early for Saturday, November 7, 2015. I see by your convulsions that you took me up on the offer to share my java. Please tell me you didn’t drink the entire mug?! …oh…oh shit. Uh, you might want to get to a soft, safe place and lie down. If you aren’t used to it, the aftershocks can be hell. Lie down with a damp towel over your eyes and think happy thoughts. It’ll pass.

VIVE LA PLUTO!!

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Mornin’ all.

Has your favorite brand of sunscreen ever just stopped working for you?

Last year, I had no problems with it. This weekend, we had a fun trip to a local dam and an afternoon of pickning fun with friends and family. Sunscreen was applied, reapplied. The older I get the more sensitive to the sun my skin has become. I don’t usually get a sunburn, but if I don’t put on sunscreen, I’ll itch. And itch. And itch all night long. So I’m not one of those “oh, yeah, I kinda waved the bottle around me before I went outside” sunscreen users. No half-assing it, that’s what I’m saying. I put that shit on thick.

After the long, fun day, we packed up and I was about halfway home by the time it dawned on me that I was decidedly uncomfortable. Couldn’t do anything in the car, especially since I was driving. Fortunately, the hydraulic suspension system we have decided to blow a line in the engine and spray hydraulic fluid all over to give me a billowing, smoky distraction to take my mind off the burning. Thanks, Car! Always lookin’ out for me.

So we get home. Unload, get the kiddies wrangled to change out of their damp, sandy swim trunks, and then it’s my turn to get a look at myself in the bathroom mirror.

Is “borscht” a skin tone?

Ugh, folks. UGH.

No outdoors for Bethie for the next few days. I guess that leaves me with a few “to do” choices:

1. Play my video game.

2. Clean.

3. Make an art.

The problem with the video game is that I rage quit yesterday afternoon, but accidentally did so after it auto-saved in a really, really bad spot. I’m surrounded by aliens, all of which are way stronger than my character, and I’ve got shit for ammo, a depressing fact I discovered when I picked the controller back up a little later. It’s going to take patience to get my character out of there, and I just don’t know how much of that I’ve got.

I *could* clean. I suppose. But… um… well, there’s… *brain robots scramble madly through files to come up with a viable excuse* Oh, wait! I know! Okay, so I mentioned the hydraulic line blew on the wagon. While the car is technically drivable, with no hydraulic suspension, the rear end is solidly locked WAY up high, making the car bounce all over the road when I try to drive it.

“Uh, Bethie? What does any of that have to do with cleaning?”

Well, if I start to clean, I just won’t stop and I’ll need to take trips to the dump, which I can’t do in the broken wagon. Darn.

“But, you could mop and shit…”

THE CAR IS BROKEN. I simply cannot clean. Oh well, nothing to be done for it.

That leaves art. I’ve got a painting project to wrap up with the youngest pup. We made paper mache birds to hang in his room, an owl and an eagle. We’ve just got to finish up the detail painting and hang them. That’s a good one to work on for the morning. It’ll get me pumped up to do some different kind of artwork.

I picked up a bunch of posters from the free pile at the junk shop across the way yesterday. I like to take an ugly or boring print and add to it to make it fun and interesting, and there was a box of about a dozen huge, high quality prints, mostly from museums. Score! I can totally deface those puppies. That sounds like fun.

Oh, and I forgot the most important “to do” on this morning’s list: Wait for the New Horizon’s up close Pluto shots to finally come in.

I’m not kidding. I will be refreshing NASA all day until I see some Pluto glamor shots.

“Um…why?”

Why? WHY!!?? Are you…have you…don’t you…. !!??WHY??!!

For the first time in human history, we are going to get a close shot of the furthest planet in our solar system.

“Bethie, Pluto is not a planet.”

WRONG. They demoted it to a “dwarf planet”, keyword “planet.” So even the idiots that demoted Pluto recognized that a large body that has three moons is most definitely a planet. Also, the closer New Horizons gets, the more NASA and their ilk are being proven wrong. What they thought they knew about Pluto is bullshit.

1. Pluto’s moons are actual moons, not simply asteroids floating nearby. The five small moons DO orbit in a regular pattern, meaning that Pluto has enough mass and spin to create the gravity needed to pull and keep objects in an orbit.

2. Pluto has not only polar ice caps, like any self respecting planet (albeit, methane and nitrogen ice), but an intricate surface, with possible mountains, cliffs, and canyons. Previously, it was assumed that Pluto was no more than a large asteroid that got locked into orbit. Now it seems that Pluto has developed the features we associate with an actual planet. Frozen liquid. Perhaps some sort of internal activity which would lead to the formation of mountains, the cracking into canyons…or flowing water to create these features. Which it shouldn’t have. Logic dictates that it can’t, not so far from the sun. And yet, there are some truly intriguing findings. A real beard stroker.

3. Pluto is larger than NASA thought. Pluto is right on the outskirts of the Kuiper Belt, a hodgepodge of celestial junk milling about on the fringes of our solar system. The logic behind Plutos demotion was that there were other bodies in that belt, specifically Eris, that could be larger. Up close, personal measurements have proven that Pluto IS the largest object in the Kuiper Belt (to date…I mean, the Kuiper belt is HUGE, and there may be some hulking behemoths in there somewhere).

The closer we’ve gotten, the more info we’ve gathered, shattering assumptions about Pluto. And now, New Horizons will get just 7,750 miles away. I know it sounds like a lot. But folks, New Horizons has putt-putted for nine and a half YEARS to get there. It’s already covered almost 3 BILLION miles. 7,750 is nothing.

Okay, let’s put it this way. The moon is 238,900 miles away from us. Think of how much we can see with the naked eye on a clear night, how many details. Now, zoom that image in 30 times. Blow the visible moon up 30 times larger in the night sky. Imagine the details we could see then! Why, we’d be able to see the secret alien landing strip at that point.

It’s happening at 7:50 a.m., my time. And I cannot wait.

What am I really hoping for?

Well, the writer in me really, REALLY wants to see some native critter waving at us, though I’m fairly certain that won’t happen. I’d like to see details of the remains of a true environment. Scars on the land from water, or dormant volcanoes that prove there was once a nuclear heart to the now-icy beast. I want to see something that will re-open the conversation about Pluto.

They’ve already seen so much that there WILL be a push to reinstate it as a full fledged member of our solar system, but I think it’s going to take more than what they’ve discovered so far to give the argument any really substance. Sure, I could start an internet petition. I’m betting it would get tons of signatures. Scientists don’t tend to care about internet petitions.

“Bethie, why do you care so much? It’s a dwarf planet because it is a dwarf.”

Because what the hell is size when the body is spherical, has an orbit around our star, has moons which, in turn, orbit around it, has polar ice caps, has the same geological markings of the other planets in our solar system…

The ONLY reason they demoted Pluto was because it was small. But that does not mean it’s not a functional member of our solar system. If it looks like a planet, and acts like a planet, and has the same magnetism as a planet, then it’s fucking planet.

“But if we say that, then we’ll have to start including other large bodies, like Eris.”

Maybe. And what would be so bad about that? If further investigation into Eris proves that it, too, has the same planetary markers we’ve established as a baseline for our other planets, then why not add it to the list?

When we demoted Pluto, we took a step back. We demoted it based solely on one factor, and that’s just bad science. Hopefully we’ll see something great when those pics come in. Hopefully Pluto will once again get the respect it deserves.

VIVE LA PLUTO!

Thus concludes a nerdy Musing for Tuesday, July 14, 2015. I’m off to get more aloe lotion while I wait for history. You know, I wouldn’t have gotten this sunburn on Pluto…

There’s a weird glowing thing in the sky…

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Mornin’ all.

I think my kitty smoked some crack in the night. She’s tearing around the house like her tail’s on fire. Every time she gets near me she stops, crouches down, wiggles her butt like she’s going to attack, then jumps up in the air and takes off again. This has been going on now for 13 minutes straight. Maybe she found the stash of ‘nip.

Kitty got a problem.

Thirteen minutes. Now approaching 14. It’s fairly impressive. And, if I’m being honest, entertaining as hell. I didn’t think my morning coffee would come with a show.

Guess what? It didn’t snow yesterday!! Not one single flake. Yeehaw! The SUN even came out, too. It felt fantastic. My vitamin D factory went into overdrive as I stood and tried to knock the alarmingly large icicles off the bathroom roof.

No, for real dude…the icicles…THE ICICLES… Those of you who don’t live in an area prone to water freezing in various configurations through the winter might be thinking to yourselves, “Oooh…pretty!” When they’re on anything but your roof, yeah, I can see how they’re pretty. But when they are thick as an arm and run from the edge of the roof all the way to the ground, they are nothing but harbingers of bad times ahead.

See, an icicle on a roof forms when the roof conducts enough heat to melt the snow. Melted snow trickles down as water, drips over the edge, and freezes into a crystalline stalactites. While this can happen from a warm day turning into a cold night, my icicles have formed during cold days, with no sun to aid in the melting process. This means that the heat is coming from within and seeping out through the roof. This is not how a roof is supposed to work. *sigh*

I don’t even want to think about it right now. I’m just going to knock them down and pretend I don’t see them until there’s a leak. Not much to be done in winter for a roof anyway.

Man I want spring. I want spring so damn bad.

Ah well. It’ll get here before we know it, right? Until then, we’ll just have to entertain ourselves to keep the cabin fever at bay. Let’s look for something interesting to discuss.

How about this story? “Everything We Know About the Big Bang Theory Could Be Wrong” That seems like an excellent thing to explore today. My icicles mean diddly squat in outer space!

A new theory in quantum physics has been proposed that counters the idea that the universe was created from an explosive singularity.

“Uh, Bethie…should I be taking notes?”

No, no. There won’t be a test after.

Basically, the prevailing theory has been that there was a big explosion that created the universe. The idea is that about 14 billion years ago, the universe was really just one little dot of highly compressed matter just waiting to break free, and then something tipped the carefully compressed little bundle over the edge and **BOOM**: Universe.

Scientists have accepted this, by and large, because the small portion of the universe we have the ability to observe actually seems to be moving from a basic point. Things like galaxies and nebulae are traveling away from that dot, speeding through the previously nothing area of, well, nothing and filling it with universal matter of all fantastic sorts. We can track where many of the observable objects in space are moving, trace the steps backwards, and see that they seem to be coming from a general area.

It’s forensics, on a cosmic scale. As anyone who has ever watched CSI or NCIS or any of the 3,724 iterations of those two shows can tell you, basic forensic science says that you can determine the point of impact (in this case, the impact being the universal fricken singularity of AWESOME) by the blood splatter. Just think of the observable objects in space as forensic evidence.

When looked at in that light, the Big Bang seems to make sense as a creation theory.

…for the most part. On the surface. If we just look at Galaxy A and Nebula 22-41b. But more and more, we’re finding things that don’t fit that model. Entire galaxies are going in the “wrong” direction. Large blobs of mysterious matter that the Big Bang theory says shouldn’t exist are standing completely still. The better our telescopes become, the more we can see. The more we can see, the more we can study. The more we can study, the more we can learn. And as we’re gathering tons of data previously unavailable to our scientists, the more we’re finding these anomalies. The scientific community keeps having to spend a lot of time coming up with complex new theories to explain how these anomalies can exist in a Big Bang model.

Some scientists were sick of this shit. If the Big Bang was actually correct, in their minds, we wouldn’t HAVE to come up with more and more exemptions.

So, in this fed up state of mind, a couple of scientists decided to erase the chalkboard and take a different approach. Ahmed Farag Ali and Saurya Das have proposed a new theory in a paper titled, “Cosmology from quantum potential.” The theory is being called the Ali-Das Model, which, you must admit, sounds way more sciency than “Big Bang.” I mean, who thought that one up, anyway? “This is my Bang, and I will call him Big and he will be my Big Bang…an’ I’munna hug him an’ squeeze him an’…” Cavemen could have come up with a more intelligent name!

Er…sorry. That’s always bugged me.

Anyway, this new theory…it’s actually not “new”, per se, but we’ll get to that in a sec. This new theory proposes that we’re really over-complicating things. It essentially says, scrap the Big Bang, and just accept that the universe is here. Period. It’s got sections that zing this-a-way, and doo dads that go there. Instead of dark matter and super strings and all these complex concepts thought up to explain all the holes in the Big Bang theory, it proposes a substance called “quantum fluid” which is a measurable force that ebbs and flows in the universe and explains seemingly anomalous observances.

Think of it like an ocean. Sure there are currents. There are also eddies, and pools, and mysterious things that live in the deep, dark recesses.

Now, just believe it’s always been there. That ocean has always been flowing. It flows in every direction, regardless of time, heedless of spacial confines, forever and ever and always.

“Bethie, this sounds implausible.”

Oh, I see. So you can accept that a mysterious dot of absolutely no mass and yet somehow ALL mass at once existed, but didn’t REALLY exist, in a place that was utterly nothing until one day it had enough and burst forth somehow producing every-fucking-thing? That makes more sense to you? HM?

“…touche.”

This new theory actually solves many previously unsolvable equations. Using math I’m not even going to pretend to understand, they have inputted their data and come out with answers. ANSWERS. Logical, quantifiable answers where before there were only…more theories.

Like I mentioned before, this concept isn’t exactly new. There have been many iterations through the years, voices that pipe up and say, “Uh, maybe the Emperor really IS as naked as he seems.” The big difference now is the math. The beautiful, effed up, confusing math. Essentially, it’s saying we’re making things way too hard on ourselves. This place is here, it’s always been here, it always will be here, and it’s infinite.

“But it’s still asking us to accept the concept of infinity in relation to the actual physical world, when everybody knows that there is no such thing anywhere as the perfect vacuum described in these theories. How can you expect me to stop believing in one abstract concept and embrace another?”

Hmm, that’s a beard scratcher. I suppose that’s what quantum physicists will be discussing around their liquid molecule entropy-lowering devices this morning.

*deep breath*

Ah that feels good. Science feels good. Stretching the brain and thinking beyond the confines of my icicle fortress makes me feel alive! Let’s head down and read the comments after the article to see how others are taking this potentially science-shattering new theory!

“BETHIE NO!!!”

…well damn. How did I not see that one coming? The first SEVEN posts are from people saying that the Bible is the only authority and that the scientists are heretics. It’s like…it’s so…

“I tried to warn you.”

When did religion turn from science?

Now, I know I’ve got readers who will balk when I say this, if they already haven’t, but in terms of history, religions have classically SUPPORTED science. Until very recently, the biggest contributors of scientific discovery, education, and enlightenment have been funded by churches. I’m sure the idea was that the way to be closest to God was to truly understand the depths of “His” creations.

So, when did that change? What made the followers of some of the world’s larger religions decide that science is bad?

The article I read was excellent. The author, Aja Romano, took a very difficult and expansive concept and succinctly compressed it for easy consumption without dumbing it down. I honestly felt invigorated after reading it, ready to expand my mind and explore a different concept. I would honestly have thought that people reading that article would be moved to comment on the aspects of the science.

Indeed, some were. But they were drowned out by people whose sole argument was, “The Bible didn’t say that, so it’s not true.”

It makes me wonder why people do that? I don’t go on to the religious articles and say, “My physics book didn’t say that, so you’re dumb.”

What motivates these people?

If you’re saying it’s to “educate”, or some misguided attempt to convert, you’re sorely mistaken. There is no attempt to promote a point of view in a logical argument. Instead, these folks overwhelmingly just want to say “Nuh uh.” What’s the point? Especially saying it to a group of people who stuck through past the first paragraph of what is actually some pretty heavy quantum theory. These are not folks that will, in any way, listen to an argument whose sum total is “pppfffftttthhhhhb.” Boggles the mind, and puts a damper on what is a very cool idea.

Maybe that’s the point right there. Maybe they’re saying, “I don’t get it, so you can’t enjoy it.” Disagree with the new theory if you want. I’m not saying otherwise. Just present your argument with, well, an actual argument. Don’t say, “You’re wrong,” if you can’t provide logical reasons for your point of view.

It’s just like the scientists who will staunchly stand behind the Big Bang theory for no other reason than it being the norm. There are zealots everywhere, I suppose, people who are firm in their beliefs in spite of any evidence to the contrary, and quail at the idea of change. I feel bad for the authors of this new theory. They’ve got an uphill battle on all fronts.

I wish you luck, Ali and Das. It doesn’t matter to me if you’re right. What matters is that you’ve accepted that the “norm” could be wrong and given me an interesting morning of thought free from icicles and snow berms and cold. I tip my hat.

Thus concludes a science-filled Musing for Wednesday, February 11, 2015. The kids are up. Ballisti-cat now has other targets. She’s currently eyeballing the youngest, deciding whether or not to jump on his bowl of cereal. I’m going to spend my morning seeking out her stash. She’s going cold turkey. Wish me luck.