The coming of another ice-age?

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A few days ago I stumbled upon an interesting article from Time magazine, entitled: "Another Ice Age?". No it is not a recent article. It is politically incorrect to talk about global cooling these days. The article appeared in 1974, after "three decades of cooling" prompted some to believe that an imminent ice-age may be coming. It is interesting to read it in perspective, and perhaps there is a lesson we could learn from it. Here are a few excerpts from it. Read and enjoy.

3 is dead

Everyone in Israel has heard of the Galsgow scale. Why? Because our former prime minister Ariel Sharon was and still is in a coma. The Glasgow scale, of course, measures the level of consciousness (or lack of). Ariel Sharon, for example, scored 6 out of 15. 8 or less is defined as a coma. 6 doesn't sounds that bad, doesn't it? So why am I writing about it? What's so curious?

On Google's PageRank

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Anyone who runs a website knows that a successful site has to have a high Google PageRank. Unfortunately, though, Google updates their publicly available PRs only every a few months. Moreover, the PR is only given in discrete increments, so it is hard to know whether a site improved if the actual increase is less than a PR point on average. Given that I am curious about the PR of my site, I thought I should do something. And I did, the bottom line of which is a calculator to estimate the PageRank of any site you wish.

Recently added articles: Stellar parameters, rowing boats, water propelled rockets.

Recently added material in ScienceBits includes:
  • Estimate the basic stellar parameters using the tendency for energy equipartition. In particular, the temperature at the center of the sun, the mass-radius relationship of white dwarfs and their Chandrasekhar limit are all estimated. These were taken from my order-of-magnitude course notes.
  • Row Row Row your boat, but at which maximum speed? This is a classic example of an order of magnitude analysis giving a lot of physical insight (and impressive predictive power).
  • Analysis of the classic homemade water rocket, taken straight out of my first year physics majors classical mechanics notes. There is even a rocket simulator with which the trajectory can be calculated and graphed.

Why do I hate Microsoft?

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No, I don't hate Bill Gates. He is doing what everyone would do in a similar situation. Could I hate a man I envy? What I do hate is Microsoft products which aim at the lowest common denominator, the fact that Microsoft is deliberately ruining the software industry, and that most windowers don't realize it and are happy with Microsoft's mediocracy.

Recently added articles: (1) On Global Warming (2) Snow above freezing

Recently added material in ScienceBits includes:

Shas and Shinui Knesset Parties as the Lotka-Volterra equation

The demise of Shinui party in the last Israeli parliamentary elections (March 2006), made me realize that Shas and Shinui should probably follow the Lotka-Volterra equation. As I explain below, the problems are not totally equivalent for several reasons. Nonetheless, many of the L-V elements exist in the Shas/Shinui pray/predator system...