Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Seen Her Before?!

She didn’t go for plastic surgery although she has silicone skin.
She flutters her eyelids and she breathes.
She understands naturally spoken words and she speaks Chinese, Korean, English and Japanese.
She responds to people touching her.
Her name is Repliee Q1.


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Scientific Determinism

This post contains comments from me to the post called ‘Unbreakable Bonds’ written by ‘The Procrastinator’in his blog I would like to thank him for inviting me to read and give comments on his post. Basically, from what I understood after reading his post, he was trying to say that the state of the universe at one time determines the state at all other times. Before I start my comments, I would like to highlight some sentences in his post.

"What is the equation of a good karma? How do you quantify it?"

"Faith is the idea that a higher power exists and governs the world, fueled only by the actions of the souls it governs."

"Albert Einstein once famously said “God does not play dice!” and I am inclined to agree."

"An aspect of the Chaos Theory is the Butterfly Effect which fits in beautifully with the idea of karma and reaffirms the notion that nothing is a coincidence."

"The truth however is that we, at each moments of our lives, are presented with a multitude of options and the choices we make determine the future that follows."

Pierre Simon de Laplace said that if at one time we knew the positions and speeds of all the particles in the universe, then we could calculate their behaviour at any other time, in the past or future. However, the extremely complex equations and sometimes a property called Chaos appeared to limit us in predicting the future. ‘The Procrastinator’ pointed out that a butterfly flapping might cause a tornado to hit Indonesia which reflects Chaos. The problem here is, it doesn’t repeat. The next time the butterfly flaps will cause other things to happen which might cause tornado as well. That is why I don't trust weather forecasts completely. If you think only this prevents us from predicting the future, then you are wrong. Scientific determinism is also threatened by Uncertainty Principle and Black Holes.

Uncertainty Principle by Werner Heisenberg stated that: the uncertainty in the position of a particle times uncertainty in speed is greater than a quantity called Planck’s constant divided by the mass of the particle. This means that the more accurately you try to measure the speed of the particle, the less accurately you can know the position and vice versa. So now, how do you predict the future when you cannot even measure accurately the positions and speeds of particles at the present time? The best thing you are allowed to do is to predict a combination of speed and position.

But then if we take into account of Black Holes, there is no room even for this limited predictability. The particles that we lost down Black Holes will only come out randomly. (* I will not explain how this happens as it will take lots of words) Yes, perhaps probability will work here but we cannot make a definite prediction.

These are the Physics theories that I have learned so far in my life and hence I would like to conclude that the future is not fully depended on the present state and the laws of science. The history also shows that the universe continued to surprise us with unpredictability. With the evidence, my opinion is if there is god, then he not only plays dice (Uncertainty Principle) but he hides it somewhere (Black Holes) we can’t see sometimes!


Sunday, July 10, 2005

A Little Bit of Music

Ok, this post is not about Mathematics or Physics as my mind is still amazing in the music of the 12 Girls Band concert since last night. The China’s traditional musical instruments with modalities of modern popular musical performances were great. I have always wanted to go for a concert like this, which can take you to musical paradise.

Young classically trained female musicians, healthy dose of makeup, some club couture and then mix classical music together with modern music in a way that represented both the old and the new. I just love this…


Thursday, July 07, 2005

This Week's Historic Event

A historic event that happened in the world this week was definitely the NASA’s success crater crashing into Comet Tempel 1 which is more than 130 million km away from our earth at a relative speed of 37,000 km/h. The aim of the mission was to gain new information on the Solar System’s original composition and perhaps even how life emerged in our corner of the Universe. I think this event is comparable to landing human on the moon.

"We hit it just exactly where we wanted to," said an overjoyed Dr Don Yeomans, a Nasa mission scientist. The mission needed high accuracy for which one mission scientist said it was like one bullet hitting another bullet with a third bullet exactly in position to see it all happen.

The projectile was able to make last-minute course corrections whilst at the same time taking its own pictures of the oncoming target.

“The mission also gives scientists some information about how they might one day stop a comet if one threatens Earth -- but they would need a far larger strike to make a significant dent in turning a comet off-course”, A'Hearn said.

I learnt all these information from CNN and BBC NEWS. But my opinion is beside gaining information on the Solar System’s original compositions, how life emerged and changing the course of a comet that threatens earth. It is a demonstration to the rest of the world that United States is one BIG step ahead in information warfare. Read the lines which I typed in bold again and you will understand. Switch the target of the mission from Comet Tempel 1 to the Global Positioning Satellite or spy satellite, it will be a far more trivial mission. United States can easily threaten their enemies in information warfare whenever they declare a war.

As I mentioned in my ‘Star Wars’ post - “the American / World military are adding more and more similar like weapons to their arsenals lately”, this is no question another new Star Wars like weapon. I think we are going to watch Star Wars 4 live in the future, good for the Star Wars fans as you guys don’t need to go to the crowded cinema next time, just raise your head and stare to the sky!


Friday, July 01, 2005

Did You Know...

The 46th Paris Air Show, “Bourget 2005” ended not long ago. It reminds me of a great fighter aircraft which I guess not many people know about it because when talk about aircrafts with my friends, they will only tell me F-16, F-18, Eurofighter… Hence, I decided to have this post to provide an avenue about records breaking combat aircraft – Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-25.

The MiG-25 was the Soviet answer to the US bomber B-70. It is an interceptor aircraft for countering air targets in all weather conditions, by day and by night, and in dense hostile electronic warfare environments. It is produced by RSK MiG which is based in Moscow and Sokol Aircraft Manufacturing Plant Joint Stock Company at Nizhni Novgorod in Russia.

"At 70,000 feet we reach Mach 2.5 and are still climbing. The sky has turned a very deep blue and the Earth below is distinctly curved. At 80,000 feet, the sky is cold black and a translucent-blue hue hangs over the curvature. By God, that is the entirety of the atmosphere, I think. I'm astonished by its thinness." – Writer and professional adventurer James M. Clash, Forbes Magazine.

On August 31, 1977, the MiG-25 set a record by reaching speed of Mach 3.2 (3,390km/h or 2,110mph) at 13,000m (42,650 feet). The MiG-25 also holds a record of absolute altitude, reached the altitude of 37,650m (123,524 feet). In order for you to get an idea about the performance of the MiG-25, let’s compare it to other modern combat aircrafts.

Eurofighter Typhoon
Max speed: Mach 2 at 11,000m
Ceiling: 18,290m (60,000 feet)

Dassault Rafale
Max speed: Mach 2 at 11,000m
Ceiling: 19,810m (65,000 feet)

General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
Max speed: Mach 2.05 at 12,190m
Ceiling: >15,000m (50,000 feet)

Mc Donnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
Max speed: Mach 2.5 at 10,975m
Ceiling: 30,840m (100,000 feet)

Finally, I would like to end this post by introducing the 2 fighter jets that are in service with the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

The MiG-29 Fulcrum was designed to be a single-seat supersonic, all-weather, air superiority fighter. The mission of the MiG-29 is to destroy hostile air targets within radar coverage limits and to destroy ground targets using unguided weapons in visual flight conditions. The MiG-29 is internationally recognised as a high-performance combat aircraft, and has often been compared to the F-16.

The F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic, single-seat (A, C and E models) or two-seat (B, D and F models), twin-engine, all weather, night, combined fighter/attacker aircraft and can be refueled in flight. The F/A-18 is able to do various missions: air superiority, reconnaissance, suppression of enemy air defenses, fighter escort, air support, and day/night missions. It can operate from either land bases or aircraft carriers.