Tag Archive: science

The T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. Project

As a counterpoint to my last post, I’m passing on the link just given to me in the comment to that post.

It’s the Twinkies Project (punctuated like it is in the title to the post – I typed it out that way once and thought ‘ah, screw it’ to doing it that way again). It’s a bunch of “experiments” done on Twinkies to see how they respond to sets of experimental conditions (read: the site authors decided to burn Twinkies and write faux-science-y results)(which are awesome). There’s even a link that gives you results in haiku form. Brilliant.

And, because this is WEIRDING ME OUT BIG TIME: who the hell knew that Twinkies are, and I quote directly from the site linked to above: “”Twinkies” and the “Twinkie the Kid character” are registered trademarks of
Interstate Brands Corporation, 12 East Armour Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64111.”

First thought: I should try to work for them.
Second thought: I kinda hate Twinkies. Maybe I should reconsider.

Woah (said like Keanu)

Theoretical physics makes my brain hurt.

Read this.

What I just linked you to is an article about a group of physicists who have decided, per a bunch of math I have no hope of ever beginning to comprehend, that there’s a possibility the universe might be holographic. Like, 2-D. Like, the entire third dimension (you know, the dimension that makes us different than flat planes of nothingness?) is a lie fabricated by our brains as they attempt to make sense of vibrations in the space-time continuum (which, apparently, is FLAT)(or something).

To test said hypothesis, or rather to give themselves some data to work with so that they’re not just playing with entirely abstract mathematics, they’ve built themselves something called a holometer. I read what it does and I don’t think I understand it well enough to paraphrase it here – I’ll just let you work with whatever understanding you came up with in your reading. What I *can* say about it is that this whole thing reminds me of the machine Mary plays with in His Dark Materials (I forget which book exactly, but I think maybe the Subtle Knife). You know, the one where the Dust starts talking to her through whatever computer program she’s come up with.

Because honestly, after reading that the third dimension might be a misconception of our poor, unable-to-function-at-light-speed brains, I don’t think I’d be at all surprised if dark matter started talking to us.

ETA: About five minutes after I posted this, I almost squeed out loud because I realized that I really don’t remember which book Mary talks to the Dust in, which means that I have an excuse to re-read the whole trilogy, which makes me 5,000 kinds of excited.

About thirty seconds later, I realized that His Dark Materials, alone with 99.7% of the rest of my book collection, is packed in a box in my parents’ basement and I have no idea when I’ll be able to see it again. But you can bet your bippie that when I find those books, they’re shooting straight to the top of my reading pile.

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