Thursday, June 30, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

The Guardian on the only agent who has infiltrated the CIA

Karel Koecher's story is unusual from many viewpoints

Hours ago, Benjamin Cunningham – who, acting as a writer for the Economist, gave me an hour-long telephone call last month because of the word "Czechia" – published a long story in The Guardian,

How a Czech 'super-spy' infiltrated the CIA.
The spy was Karel Koecher. As a teenager, he had pretty much violent relationships with the communist regime. But in the 1960s, the atmosphere began to improve and in 1965, he immediately agreed to be sent to the U.S. with the goal of infiltrating the CIA – which he did although it doesn't seem like he has used this success to achieve something particular.

At some moment, his supervisors in Prague ordered him to write down and send all the plate numbers of the cars of janitors who clean toilets for the CIA. He thought that his talent wasn't unused and found a more direct path to collaborate directly with Moscow instead of the losers in Prague.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Breitbart makes bland Visegrád statements sound more authoritative

Not too many things are happening in Britain's adventures that should lead to the departure from the EU. I am actually disappointed by the attitude of folks like Boris Johnson who don't seem excited enough and eager to act. Did Boris want to win at all? Was he prepared for that option? He should have been!

More events are arguably taking place on the continental side of the channel. Nicola Sturgeon is a Scottish nationalist prime minister, a proud feminist, and a left-wing demagogue screaming about "austerity" in ways that resemble folks like Alexis Tsipras. The introduction of an independent Scotland to EU could be similar to inviting another Greece – even though it would be just a softcore Greece. I guess that an independent Scotland would be far less fiscally responsible than the U.K. has been. Thankfully, the feminist was snubbed by everybody today.

Jean-Claude Juncker safely (5-to-1) survived the attempts in the European Parliament to remove him. It's sad and emphasizes the similarity of the EU to the USSR.

Two new independent dumb attacks on physics in just one day

Two "mainstream" news servers posted their stories based on delusions of cranks yesterday. One of them is supposed to be pro-business and is owned by a former Republican presidential candidate but it had no problem with spreading the "ideas" of our well-known Marxist whore Sabine Hossenfelder:

Could No New Particles At The LHC Be Exactly What Physics Needs?
Ms Hossenfelder paints the last 43 years of physics as a failure after another because the Standard Model has remained important. This continuing success of the theory is something very important. The readers are told that "We already know we’ve been doing something wrong" and so on. Your first big crime took place when you were born, Ms Hossenfelder, but it doesn't mean that actual physicists were wasting their time in the recent four decades.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Tanzania: helium reserves have apparently tripled

In 2012, I was answering a Stack Exchange question about the sky that is falling, we're running out of helium. I repost the answer at the bottom.

Well, according to the world media, including The Daily Mail and Gizmodo, a new method allowed the people to find 54 BCf (billions cubic feet) of helium in Tanzanian East African Rift Valley. The U.S. federal helium reserve (currently led by Janet Helium Yellen, assuming that algebra works) only has 24 BCf right now.

So Tanzania has more than twice the U.S. reserves. Since 2013, it was Qatar that was the main supplier of helium.

Monday, June 27, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

France, Germany demand the establishment of the Fourth Reich

Remaining 25 member states should be turned into protectorates

Due to the perceived loss of control over their immigration and other policies and the detachment of the EU officials from the citizens' concerns, a majority of the British voters have decided to leave the European Union. How do the politicians in the remainder of the European Union want to respond?

German and French foreign ministers arrived to Prague where they're meeting their Visegrád Group (PL, HU, CZ, SK) counterparts. The German foreign minister previously said that he didn't want a deeper integration anymore. However, the Polish TV TVP, Sputnik, TheNews.PL, The Express, and numerous others have pointed out a remarkable 10-page document

A strong Europe in the world of uncertainties (PDF)
penned by the German and French foreign ministers whose goal is to complete the project that Germany didn't quite complete around 1942.

ATLAS: a 2.3-sigma stop excess

This will be an extremely short blog post because one month ago, I discussed the search for gluinos by ATLAS based on the very same final states with 1 lepton, jets, and MET. See the relevant May 2016 paper.

Sunday, June 26, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Brexit: some differences in ideas about the future steps are comical

At the Politics Stack Exchange, I gave answers to three questions about the future steps in the wake of the Brexit decision. Some other countries led by Czechia and Denmark have a high enough but not overwhelming probability to follow in the footsteps of the U.K. The EU politicians may want to speed up things in order to quickly restore the illusion that nothing wrong has happened in the EU under their watch. But they have no official prescriptions to speed up the processes in the U.K. or tools to rapidly expel the U.K.

A well-known Czech public Sunday noon TV debate "Questions from Mr Václav Moravec" was rather interesting. The three main participants agreed about many things where you could be surprised by their agreement. They almost funnily disagreed about many others. And the two representatives of the center-left coalition government seemingly fought each other more violently than they fought the right-winger – whose party was partly vindicated by recent steps and, as Zahradil also more or less rightfully boasted, whose past views have been adopted by the other parties by now.

Globalization is a vague term, it's not necessarily taking place

No one can "control" it although the "New World Order" fans would love to

One of the strange words that has been used many times after the British referendum is "globalization". The New York Times wrote about ‘Brexit’ in America: a warning shot against globalization. Xinhua asked in a commentary: Brexit, a move threatening an end to globalization? The Providence Journal believes that Brexit may mark the start of a rebellion against globalization. The Kansas City Star is already convinced that Britain just killed globalization as we know it. also wrote about ‘Brexit’ and globalization. Florin Moldoveanu thinks that mass immigration is mandatory because it's a "part of globalization".

Slow down, comrades. None of this stuff makes much sense.

Saturday, June 25, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Worries about British science are mindless fearmongering

British scientists who voted "Bremain" outnumber the supporters of "Brexit" by a factor of 7-to-1 or so. Like other intellectual elites and would-be elites, even the physics departments have been largely overtaken by the European Union official propaganda.

So it shouldn't be surprising that many people use big words to show their hysteria. Peter Higgs said that Brexit is a "disaster" for the scientific research. (He hasn't recorded the rumors that the diphoton bump has gone away yet.) Yesterday, the BBC said that such views are common; see also a text in Wired and Physics World. There also exists an organization named "Scientists for Britain" that supported Brexit.

Friday, June 24, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

An arrogant centralized EU is no longer sustainable

The English voters' (not so much Scottish voters') decision to leave the European Union has certain implications for the United Kingdom that has preserved its independence, sovereignty, and democracy in this way. I think that even the consequences for the U.K. are being overestimated – I do think that the departure from the EU is a smaller change than e.g. Slovakia's departure from Czechoslovakia because the latter was a real country while the EU is not. The EU began to influence many aspects of the Europeans' lives but it is still deciding about a few percent of the GDP only etc. (and about a small part of non-economic issues, too). So although I often say bad things about the EU, I think it's a smaller deal for the citizens of the U.K. than the dissolution of Czechoslovakia was for us.

Yes, the United Kingdom will liberate itself from some decisions done by Brussels bureaucrats. But in practice, the effect of this change on the life of almost everybody is very small because the bureaucrats and ideologues in London don't differ from their counterparts in Brussels too much. After all, Britain has sent many sons and daughters to the EU headquarters and they were stauncher Eurocrats than many others – such as their Czech counterparts.

Britain is also a key country whose climatological institutions were the template from which the IPCC was created, along with the climate hysteria. Britain is also a home to many multiculturalists. Like Germany, it's largely a welcoming country – one that had no problem to pick an ethnic Pakistani as the mayor of the capital (whether you think it's great or not so great).

My point is that the decisions will be done more locally and more democratically once the United Kingdom leaves the EU. This will improve the feedbacks and the accountability of the politicians and the voters' ability to correct mistakes. But the content of all these decisions won't differ much – and the differences from the EU decisions will fluctuate in "both directions", if you get my point.

Central banks should intervene, push markets towards pre-Brexit levels

British voters have chosen to exit the European Union, 52-to-48 or so, which is the ethically correct decision. For example, the Klaus Institute praises Britain as a heroic essential country of Europe that decided to challenge the megalomaniac European plans for the third time – Napoleon, Hitler, Juncker ;-) and that created a wonderful opportunity for the Old Continent. However, the apparent costs are so intense that – I admit – I would have voted Bremain if I were a Briton yesterday.

PM David Cameron, the boss of the "Stay" camp, announced resignation later in the morning, saying that he isn't the right captain to steer the ships (British islands) now. Czech right-wing party chairman Prof Fiala says that the resignation of Tusks, Junckers, and Schulzes who have caused the problems would be more appropriate than Cameron's. Meanwhile, the world markets have kickstarted an absolute hysteria. This reaction could have been expected – we saw a small demo of that hysteria exactly 2 weeks earlier when polls indicated that the Leave side was ahead.

Within hours, the British pound lost some 8% on the dollar from $1.50 below $1.37 – low levels of the pound last seen in the 1980s. And the pound has seen the threshold $1.32 for a while, too. The stock markets are typically losing up to 10%, too. I am convinced that this hysteria is absolutely insanely unjustifiable. It doesn't reflect any underlying reality. And if economic problems begin, they will be consequences of the irrational hysteria itself, not the underlying event – Brexit – that is claimed to "justify" the havoc.

Some decisions will be gradually moved from Brussels to London but there's no reason to expect that the new London decisions will be worse or that some important processes will completely stop working.

Thursday, June 23, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Leonard Susskind vs Donald Trump

A co-father of string theory and lots of other creative ideas in physics and my once co-author Lenny Susskind (he's been surely more important for me than the very modest paper indicates) is the current director of physics at Stanford and he wrote a "letter on the lunatic" which he agreed to turn into an open letter. Here it is:

Letter to My Friends, by Leonard Susskind

I’m watching this thing that’s happening with disbelief, dismay, and disgust. There is a lunatic loose—I’m sure we all agree about that—but I keep hearing people say that they can’t vote for Hillary. I heard it at my daughter’s birthday party Sunday. Boy oh boy, will these people be sorry if the lunatic gets his way. Personally I do not find it an excuse that “I live in California, which will go Democrat whatever I do.”

(C) LM

I strongly believe in all things Bernie, but Hillary is not the Anti-Bernie. There is much less difference between Clinton and Sanders than the distortions of the nominating process might lead people to think. She’s for health care, he’s for health care; he’s for increased minimum wage, she’s for increased minimum wage; she’s for immigrant rights, he’s for immigrant rights; and on and on it goes.

The lunatic may be just that—a lunatic—but he is also a master of smear and innuendo. He is a gigantic liar, and he knows that if you keep saying something over and over, it sticks in people’s minds. It’s called the Big Lie, and it works. Say it enough and it sows confusion and distrust, not only among the know-nothings, but even among those who know better.

The lunatic and his supporters are exceedingly dangerous. Tell your friends: don’t be fooled. The only thing between us and the lunatic is Hillary. Get off your ass and vote in Nov.

Leonard Susskind
Director, Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics,
Stanford University
It's often being said that left-wing ideologies are unavoidably totalitarian in character and every leftist is a Stalin to the extent to which he is allowed to act as one. One's firm fist – either literally or metaphorically – is the only thing that protects tens of millions of lives from a leftist. It's hard to disagree when you read this Susskind's rant.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Negative rumors haven't passed the TRF threshold


Several blogs and Twitter accounts have worked hard to distribute the opinion that the 2015 excess of diphoton events resembling a new \(750\GeV\) particle at the LHC wasn't repeated in the 2016 data. No details are given but it is implicitly assumed that this result was shared with the members of ATLAS at a meeting on June 16 at 1pm and those of CMS on June 20 at 5pm.

In recent 5 years, my sources have informed me about all similar news rather quickly and all such "rumors about imminent announcements" you could have read here were always accurate. And I became confident whenever I had at least 2 sources that looked "probably more than 50% independent of one another".

Well, let me say that the number of such sources that are telling me about the disappearance of the cernette is zero as of today. It doesn't mean that those negative reports must be unsubstantiated or even that the particle exists – it is totally plausible that it doesn't exist – but there is a reason to think that the reports are unsubstantiated. The channels that I am seeing seem untrustworthy from my viewpoint.

A fixed numerical value of \(\hbar\) got a bit closer

The Parisian kilogram prototype should move to a museum in 2018

Yesterday, published an interesting news report

Important milestone reached on road to a redefined kilogram
that explains some experiment that helps to realize my 2012 call to fix the numerical value of Planck's constant.

The experiment is described in "AIP Review of Scientific Instruments" article
Invited Article: A precise instrument to determine the Planck constant, and the future kilogram
by Haddad and 7 co-authors.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Václav Klaus' 75th birthday

On Sunday, I was honored to attend the magnificent birthday party of Václav Klaus, the second president of Czechia, which took place at the Štvanice [=Hunt or Exhaustive Effort] Island on the Moldau River in Prague. The island is named "Hunts" after dog hunts at animals (bears, bulls, deer, cows...) that have been organized on that island up to 1816 or so – this activity has been defunct for 200 years in this year. The ban of this entertainment was penned by Francis I of Austria in 1802 and after a delay, the island switched to more peaceful sports.

Lots of European politicians have sent him birthday wishes remotely (the video above was posted by AfD and is AfD+FPÖ-centered but if you're patient, Marine Le Pen sings) and lots of famous Czech politicians, economists, artists, and singers have attended. The party was located [bird's eye] in the real estate of the First Bohemian Lawn Tennis Club (founded 1893) which has owned it since 1901 but the current modern buildings were only opened in 1986.

Monday, June 20, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Formal string theory is physics, not mathematics

I was sent a book on string theory by Joseph Conlon and I pretty much hate it. However, it's the concise, frank comments such as his remark at 4gravitons that make it really transparent why I couldn't endorse almost anything that this Gentleman says.

I can’t agree on the sociology. Most of what goes under the name of ‘formal string theory’ (including the majority of what goes under the name of QFT) is far closer in spirit and motivation to what goes on in mathematics departments than in physics departments. While people working here like to call themselves ‘physicists’, in reality what is done has very little in common with what goes on with the rest of the physics department.
What? If you know the amusing quiz "Did Al Gore or Unabomber say it?", these sentences could be similarly used in the quiz "Did Conlon or Sm*lin say it?".

Sunday, June 19, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Ambulance chasing is a justifiable strategy to search for the truth

As Ben Allanach, a self-described occasional ambulance chaser, described in his 2014 TRF guest blog, ambulance chasers were originally lawyers with fast cars who were (or are) trying to catch an ambulance (or visit a disaster site) because the sick and injured people in them, potential clients who may have a pretty good reason to sue someone and win the lawsuit. For certain reasons, this practice is illegal in the U.S. and Australia.

Analogously, in particle physics, ambulance chasers are people who write many papers about a topic that is hot, especially one ignited by an excess in the experimental data. This activity is thankfully legal.

The phrase "ambulance chasing" is often used pejoratively. It's partly because the "ambulance chasers" may justifiably look a bit immoral and egotistically ambitious. However, most of the time, it is because the accusers are jealous and lazy losers. Needless to say, it often turns out that there are no patients capable of suing in the ambulance which the critics of ambulance chasing view as a vindication. However, this vindication is not a rule.

The probability to find clients is higher in the ambulances. It's similar as the reason why it's a better investment of money to make Arabs strip at the airport than to ask old white grandmothers to do the same – whether or not some politically correct ideologues want to deny this obvious point.

Is it sensible that we see examples of ambulance chasing such as the 400 or so papers about the \(750\GeV\) cernette diphoton resonance?

It just happens that in recent 2 days, there were two places in the physics blogosphere that discussed a similar topic:

An exchange between 4gravitons and Giotis

Game of Thrones: 750 GeV edition (Resonaances)
It seems rather clear that much like your humble correspondent, the first page is much more sympathetic to the ambulance chasing episodes than the latter one.

Saturday, June 18, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Subdivisions of string theory are completely misunderstood by critics

Tetragraviton wrote an insightful blog post

Most of String Theory Is Not String Pheno
where he tries to clarify some brutal misconceptions believed by Backreaction – as well as most laymen who read similar "sources" – about "what various string theorists actually do". He points out that Hossenfelder pretends to be a hero fighting against a powerful community, the string theory community, but in reality, she is only waging jihad against a small minority of the string community that is actually less numerous than groups such as the "loop quantum gravity fans" and others.

I completely agree with his main point.

This is the key pie chart that Tetragraviton has created. The string theory research has some vaguely defined parts. And because Hossenfelder considered "the research of less understood aspects of quantum field theory using string theory ideas" to be OK or a success, and this branch is actually a majority of the research – e.g. according to the pie chart that categorizes talks at the Strings 2015 annual conference, Hossenfelder is actually trying to fight against string cosmology and string phenomenology only, something that is researched just by more than a hundred of people.

Tetragraviton believes and I do believe that these subfields of string theory are actually understudied Cinderellas. They should be much larger than they are!

Friday, June 17, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Universe may arise from nothing

Nothing means no spacetime and no information but it cannot mean no mathematics or no laws of physics

Two weeks ago, Inspiring Philosophy posted a YouTube video claiming "A Universe From Nothing, Therefore God Exists!"

It starts with a bizarre quote of Lee Smolin who said that the information is important – one could have achieved the same thing by quoting people like John Wheeler, you don't need to spend one of the most glorious crackpots in the present world. Then it criticizes Lawrence Krauss and sort of endorses William Lane Craig, an Evangelical ideologue.

Thursday, June 16, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Most scientific discoveries don't produce a technological gap

Various websites criticizing modern physics attract all sorts of individuals who really think that people shouldn't do science – in the sense of finding out how things work. A commenter at Backreaction named "akidbelle" believes that some amazing constraints should be imposed:

In my opinion, a successful theory leads to a technological gap. In this way, the sorcerer who could make fire was the scientist of the time - whatever the fairy tales he used to explain his doing. This is not a problem until a class of sorcerers emerges working not for the fire, but for the fairy-tales explanation that support their class.

What I learn from your list is that super-symmetry is not mentioned to lead to a technological gap (- in your list). What about string theory? [...]

Now if scientists ask the public to please give them money so they can write papers, make congresses, careers, receive prizes, and make experiments about topics they like and in which they have no hope to lead to a technological gap any time in the next 100 years, would that be true?... and what would happen?
In other words, akidbelle thinks that pure science should be completely eradicated while only applied science should be pursued by someone. Wow.

Like Al Gore, the Orlando shooter was an anti-Big-Oil TV actor

Does it make sense to think about the characteristics of killers such as Omar Mateen? I am not sure. He may look like a generic Muslim or a generic Afghani American and all his idiosyncrasies could be accidents that don't teach us anything.

He may have been gay or partly gay – but that doesn't mean anything, either. Once we start to say that "straight according to the normal evidence" men are gay, then every man may be a gay. Or a gay "in some sense" or "to some extent". So we don't learn anything at all from such vague information about him. Quite generally, I think that some "defenders of gays" are extremely hypocritical. On one hand, they say that gays are great and should be proud; on the other hand, they demonstrably use the accusation "he is also gay" as the ultimate insult.

I found the finding of NY Daily News much more interesting. He has worked for G4S, the world's largest security company, since 2007 – for nine years. His pointing out that he worked for Al Qaeda or an investigation by the FBI clearly weren't a problem for his career of a security guard. (See also his more recent threats on FB.)

But the video I embedded is even more interesting.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

LIGO has announced the December 26th gravitational wave

Here, you could have learned the details in advance and watch the event live

Tonight, at 19:15-20:15 Prague Summer Time (or, locally, 10:15-11:15 am PDT), you could follow the webcast here (video) of the new findings by LIGO. Because the most recent detailed rumors I was spreading were absolutely accurate, it may be a good idea for the dear readers to trust the exciting report below (update: the data were accurate again). The paper was released while they were speaking, PDF.

Nine concentric curves indicate the 10%-90% confidence areas.

Ladies and Gentlemen, one additional gravitational wave has been discovered at the 5-sigma confidence level in the first observing run (O1) that ended on January 12th, 2016.

Research into totally settled questions is meaningless

Yesterday, I mentioned the obsession of Marxist "critics of science" with the politicization of everything in science and with assorted sociological conspiracy theories that have nothing to do with proper scientific research and that no serious scientists spend any substantial amount of time with.

But that doesn't mean that the likes of Ms Hossenfelder understand some other basic principles of the scientific method. Another totally elementary issue she clearly misunderstands is the following:

Scientific research may only be valuable if it investigates questions that are not completely settled. A complete certainty about the answers makes any research meaningless and worthless.
Climate skeptics often like to point out that some climate alarmists love to say that "everything is settled" in their field but they still want to be getting funds for the research. The criticism of this inconsistency isn't just some malicious harassment. It's absolutely fundamental that in science, you can't have both. Either you're certain about something, or it makes sense to do further research on it.

For example, people are reasonably certain that the Earth is round ;-) so not too many people are receiving scientific grants to cover their journey around the world (although, I am sure, some of them do have sponsors like that – but I would simply never call it science in 2016). If and when we know what the outcome, why would someone pay for such a journey as if it were science? The knowledge won't evolve at all but some evolution of knowledge is really the point of research.

London's banned beach ready lady is neither unrealistic nor unhealthy

A libel lawsuit should be launched and starve the mayor

London's new mayor Sadiq Khan is said to be not so much a Pakistani Muslim but rather a social democrat. However, a new policy – thanks to Tony – raises some doubts about his true passions.

He already banned bikini ads on the London subway and he's in the process of banning them at all public spaces in London. Maybe he will fight to ban them in the private spaces, too. A not so new coalition of the Islamic terrorists and fat feminists supports him.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

One can't understand physics through sociology

Experimental news: Listen to a new report from LIGO tomorrow (on Wednesday) at 19:15 Prague Summer Time; new detected gravitational wave GW151226 will be announced, with a 10 times higher frequency than GW150914. Also, in 2016, the LHC has recorded 4/fb, pretty much matching all of 2015, and some articles and LHCnews Twitter indicate that they could have something new about the \(750\GeV\) cernette soon, too. Results at \(Z\gamma\) and \(gg\) were null.
I have written numerous blog posts, e.g. this one in 2015, about this question but the question keeps on returning.

There exists a bunch of arrogant social scientists who believe or pretend to believe that they may reduce the wisdom about the world – including natural sciences – to their cheap ideological clichés about the society and discrimination and similar constructs. They think that when they observe how scientists dress or talk to each other, they may understand everything important about science, much like when they are observing dancing savages in the Pacific Ocean.

Famously, in 1996, Alan Sokal proved [PDF] that this postmodern filth belongs to a [beep] [beep] when he published a totally idiotic crackpot hoax article about quantum gravity that licked the rectums of these individuals, and that's why it was enthusiastically embraced by a would-be prestigious journal published by those hacks, Social Text, despite dozens of cute claims in the paper that the value of pi depends on the oppression of women and similar "gems".

Sunday, June 12, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

ISIS murderer vs gays in Florida

I was offline today and only saw the news around 7 pm Prague Summer Time. If you missed it, the worst mass shooting in the U.S. history (and the worst terror attack since 9/11) took place in Pulse, a gay club in Orlando, Florida. The shooter was Omar Mateen. The 29-year-old killer ended the life of some 49 other people, injured dozens of others, and was later neutralized despite the hostages.

Mateen had Afghani ancestors and he recently pledged allegiance to Daesh. If you don't know where or how you should register for ISIS, well, this man simply called 911 to tell them that he works for al-Baghdadi.

My condolences to the friends and relatives, to Florida, and to America. This event is ironic from my viewpoint because for an hour in the later afternoon, we were listening to excited stories of my nephew James (22) and his sweetheard Dominika who returned from Florida today, after a 3-week visit to the home of Dominika's relatives. They loved it.

Coral expert prosecuted by Aussie university for noticing that a coral reef still exists

The Australian (see also Andrew Bolt, thanks to Willie Soon) brings us another saddening report about the ideologically driven prosecution of a researcher at an Australian university.

The Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system (near the Eastern coasts of Australia), is one of the frequently mentioned symbols of the destruction of this planet by humans. The coral reef is surely facing some pressures that it didn't know millions of years ago. But is there anything such as an existential threat for the coral reef?

Saturday, June 11, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

String theory vs a cynical demagogue

Five days ago, I didn't have the nerves to complete the reading of another demagogic rant by an aggressive crackpot named Sabine Hossenfelder.

I did find the time and nerves minutes ago. The second part is at least as outrageously false and unacceptable as the first one. Let's discuss the individual sentences.

In his book Why String Theory?, Conlon tells the history of the discipline from a string theorist’s perspective. As a counterpoint, let me tell you how a cynical outsider might tell this story:
An honest scientist or reader doesn't need "counterpoints" to every statement. He wants to know the truth whenever it's known and the relevant evidence whenever answers remain uncertain. Also, don't overlook the words "cynical outsider". Why is this phrase used? The answer is obvious. She wants to spread these lies and hope that some idiotic readers will embrace them but she doesn't want to have any responsibility for these lies, so she attributes them to a virtual "cynical outsider". You're not just a nasty liar, Ms Hossenfelder, but also an outrageous coward, weasel, and fraudster.

Friday, June 10, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Germany, Europe should adopt the pragmatic "Velvet Divorce" attitude towards Brexit

All relationships agreed to be useful by both sides should be preserved

Today, we visited The Stork Nest, the luxurious farm and rural conference center owned by our billionaire finance minister Mr Andrej Babiš. Elegant.

The European stock markets had a terrible day. Super Mario Draghi said something pessimistic, perhaps also in relationship with Brexit. Independently, there have been intense German-British interactions in the media. Take e.g.

German finance minister threatens to BLOCK Britain from the single market if country votes for Brexit... but magazine pleads for us to stay
in the Daily Mail. I am sorry but Wolfgang Schäuble is either immature – if he doesn't fully understand the consequences of his blackmail – or he is downright evil, destructive, and non-democratic.

Let me emphasize that Wolfgang Schäuble isn't an EU dictator – not even to the extent to which Adolf Hitler was one. In particular, Schäuble doesn't decide whether the U.K. will be able to remain in the European free market after the hypothetical Brexit.

Thursday, June 09, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czechia, the main defender of the Second Amendment in EU

Czechia is objectively one of the safest countries in the world. For example, in the newest 2016 Global Peace Index that the Australian IEP Institute released yesterday, Czechia is the #6 most peaceful country after Iceland, Denmark, Austria, New Zealand, and Portugal, and ahead of Switzerland, Canada, Japan, and Slovakia. The table 6.4, the "militarization domain", shows Hungary, Czechia, and Iceland as the top three most peaceful countries.

A ČZ 75 pistol. Over a million of those have been made since the 1970s. Incidentally, the word "pistol" most likely originates in the early 15th century Czech language. A Hussite weapon was known as a "píšťala", a flute. Similarly, the "howitzer" comes from the Czech "houfnice", from the same period.

This result obviously wasn't made impossible by the fact that Czechia has one of the highest numbers of legally owned weapons per capita. As I mentioned one month ago, 0.775 million out of 10.5 million people have certificates or licenses to hold guns. Each recipient of the certificates or licenses is carefully tested in a system that is analogous to driving licenses, see Gun politics in Czechia.

Tomorrow, the EU ministers of interior will gather in Luxembourg and discuss a new proposal penned by the Dutch EU presidency to disarm the Europeans. In particular, most of semi-automatic guns are supposed to be completely banned and liquidated – with no exceptions allowed. The excuse for this policy are the terrorist attacks in Paris etc.

Virtually all Czech experts and politicians across the political spectrum (not to mention 40,000 signatories of a petition) agree that this justification of the proposed plan is utterly idiotic because the terrorists aren't acquiring legal weapons for their malicious acts. They use the illegal ones! On the contrary, terrorists would have easier conditions if no peaceful people will be able to confront them. The interior minister Milan Chovanec, a former social democratic governor of the Pilsner region, has been ordered by the government to veto all major proposals to abuse the EU to harass innocent gun owners.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Scott Aaronson vs Donald Trump

While Terry Tao's would-be rigorous rant against Donald Trump has demonstrated that Tao has no clue about the basic political issues, Scott Aaronson's text

Daddy, why didn’t you blog about Trump?
proves that Aaronson knows about all the basic forces that direct these political discussions. At the same moment, Aaronson shows his loyalty to the "progressive cause" that seems to be wildly illogical in the light of so many things that Aaronson seems to realize.

ATLAS+CMS: excess of \(ttH\) production

...and a few other deviations...

Fifth force: First, off-topic, Natalie Wolchover wrote a helpful article about the Hungarian claims of a new 17 MeV boson, pointing out that the researchers in Debrecen (the town that gave the name to the popular Czech Debrecen ham) have "discovered" a dozen of similar bosons in recent years and they have viewed null results as a "failure", thus proving their lack of integrity.
ATLAS and CMS have combined their Higgs production-and-decay analyses and many numbers agree with the SM predictions within 2 sigma. However, numerous measured numbers don't agree so well.

Look at page 22, second paragraph from the end. The most interesting paragraph starts with "The \(p\)-value".

Tuesday, June 07, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

New longest Czech railway tunnel gets topologically completed

This video of a "walkthrough" was added on September 10th, 2016.

I have been following the construction of the new railway "Tunnel Ejpovice" (Kyšice-Chlum) near Pilsen very carefully. An hour ago, we could finally witness the moment when the impressive German machine Herrenknecht TBM S-799 nicknamed Viktorie (probably after the best soccer team in Czechia, FC Viktoria Pilsen) – whose sibling was recently used somewhere underneath London as well and they seemed to be more proud about it than we are – finally changed the topology of the Pilsner region.

As we liked do scream when we were drilling the holes for the ethernet wires for the Internet at our student hostels in Prague in 1993, "penetration"! I've actually taught my fellow workers to scream "orgasm" but let's not be picky.

There will be two independent tunnels. The second opening of the first tube, i.e. the Southern tunnel, has finally emerged beneath the Chlum Hill in Pilsen, one mile from our home. (Chlum itself meant a "hill covered by forest" in archaic Czech.) Nice catering including 3 glasses of champagne, a beer, a lunch, and three pies were prepared for the relevant people – Metrostav workers, directors, mayors and other important municipal politicians, and high energy physics bloggers. The European Union that has contributed to this $160 million project has therefore earned a small unimportant plus in my statistics. ;-)

Monday, June 06, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Parasites in the scientific community have contributed zero to string theory

Sabine Hossenfelder has shown us once again how convenient the life on the border of the scientific community is for dishonest and incompetent science-hating charlatans and saboteurs similar to herself:

Dear Dr B: Why not string theory?
The tolerance for chutzpah seems to be unlimited for the people around her. OK, so why not string theory, Ms Hossenfelder? The first sentence of her rant is even more insulting than the title:
Because we might be wasting time and money and, ultimately, risk that progress stalls entirely.
Wow. That's quite a "reason" to abandon the most fundamental research in science.

First of all, the most incredible word of the sentence is "we". Sabine Hossenfelder isn't "we". She has never done any string theory and she cannot do any string theory because she clearly isn't in the same league as the people who are doing string theory, have done string theory, or are at least capable of learning and/or doing string theory.

Škoda jokes

I won't proof-read this blog post because I expect a low number of readers.

For a few days, we've known that Škoda, the Czech carmaker, was registering numerous trademarks in the U.S. But only today, a top executive of the Volkswagen Group, the owner of Škoda, admitted that the company is considering the introduction of Škodas to North America, one of the few places of the world where you can't buy these cars.

Škoda Yeti

A year ago, I would have been excited but right now, not so much, especially because we were shown that the excessive power of Pol-Pot-style environmentalists in the U.S. may bring quite some trouble to every carmaker, a trouble that Škoda has largely avoided. But they may try. The "Volkswagen proper" brand hasn't been successful, the Dieselgate made things even worse, and a brand so far unknown to the American consumers can change the game. If things work out, even the German VW workers could start to produce cars with the Škoda badge.

Sunday, June 05, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Donald Trump is fit to be president

...while Terry Tao's "axiomatization" of the cheap anti-Trump mudslinging is a circular, childish, embarrassing, undemocratic, vacuous, politically ignorant, yet arrogant sophistry...

I am not among those who consider Donald Trump a perfect soulmate. For example, his opinions about protectionism seem potentially counterproductive to me and there are other reasons why he shouldn't be considered a pro-market conservative. His way of talking is arguably closer to a very self-confident ordinary man than to a deep intellectual and I often prefer the latter.

But as you know, there are lots of reasons why I think he represents a potentially great improvement. It's much more important what the majority of the American voters will think, of course. The previous sentence is one of the very basic points that seem impossibly difficult to Terry Tao, a Fields medal winner, who wrote the following text

It ought to be common knowledge that Donald Trump is not fit for the presidency of the United States of America
which made me downgrade him to a Fachidiot (or, to be sure that my Austrians understand me, a Fachtrottel). I just can't preserve my broader intellectual respect for Dr Tao after I read this stuff. In the words of one of his readers, he transformed himself from an intellectual to a poo-slinging monkey.

Evolving textbooks of quantum mechanics

Dirac, Feynman, Sakurai, Weinberg

I spent some extra time with comparative literature – comparing various textbooks of quantum mechanics. Five years ago, there was a special blog post about Dirac's Principles of Quantum Mechanics published in 1930.

It was the first comprehensive textbook that could (and maybe should) be used today. He starts with the enthusiastic explanation of the quantum revolution – why classical physics absolutely fails in the description of many phenomena. You can see that Dirac was a co-founder of the field and his intellectual thrill may be seen in his text. He quickly turns to the importance of the superposition principle and the bra-ket notation that he invented, of course.

German courts confused what to do with underage "wives"

Two cousins likely to become a precedent for hundreds

Most of the Muslim immigrants are men and an even greater percentage of the problems created by the immigrants are created by the men. For example, it's the Muslim men who harass non-Muslims in the German shelters. But that doesn't mean that no problems depend on the ladies.

Sputnik News and e.g. some Czech media discuss a growing problem for hundreds of couples and for the German legal system. This problem may be considered a textbook example of the challenges posed by "multiculturalism".

Saturday, June 04, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Ethanol makes the EU leader very happy

The EU is as capable of hiding basic facts as the USSR

One year ago, on May 21st and 22nd, 2015, some politicians gathered at the "EU-Eastern" summit in Riga, Latvia. I don't think that anything useful came out of the meeting – except for the weird story that the EU Commission leader Jean-Claude Juncker said hey, the dictator is coming while greeting Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orbán.

A video was offered at that time. Juncker and Orbán had some quality time and they behaved in an exceedingly friendly way. For a year, we were encouraged to think that it was Viktor Orbán's image that was the driving force behind the weirdness.

LHC sets a new luminosity record

The peak would give 260/fb in a year

Those who sometimes look at the right sidebar of this blog are constantly reminded that in 2012, when the LHC discovered the Higgs boson and when it was running at the center-of-mass energy of \(8\TeV\), it has delivered about 27/fb (twenty-seven inverse femtobarns) to each major detector (ATLAS, CMS). About 92% of the delivered collisions are recorded.

I don't want to promote the collective guilt but let's face the truth: this is what the perpetrators of suicide terror attacks may look like.

While the center-of-mass energy jumped to \(13\TeV\) in 2015, after the Two Years' Vacation, the luminosity glory of 2012 wasn't immediately restored. (Don't confuse luminosity with lumosity or with my planned skyscraper suburb, the Lumo City.) In 2015, the LHC only delivered some 4.3/fb of data. 2012 has kept the record of the peak luminosity, too.

Friday, June 03, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech president ready to send firefighters, water cannons against migrants

Lazy Greeks (or, equivalently, Greeks) have often said that they don't know what to do with the migrants who enter the EU illegally. Should they shoot them? Isn't it obvious that everyone must be allowed to enter, they ask? Well, it's obvious that there are non-lethal solutions. It's enough to give a bottle of slivovice to your smartest men and encourage them to think for a while.

Today, Czech president Miloš Zeman visited České Velenice, a town with 3,000 people on the Austrian border. The recently deceased top illustrator Mr Adolf Born was born there. The town is basically a part of a twin city with Gmünd, Austria.

The fireman-in-chief

A local citizen asked Zeman how do the migrants get to the countries where they don't belong. Zeman responded with a lecture about the trajectories of the illegal migrants. "They prefer railway tracks and roads close to the border crossings," Zeman explained. "But the precise locations on the trajectory can only be determined with the precision of \(\hbar/2\Delta p\)," he warned.

Penrose debates Aaronson

I had to write lots of answers at the Physics Stack Exchange to win the "legendary badge" which I just did – but John Rennie already did so two years ago! ;-)

Meanwhile, Eric Worrall at Anthony Watts' blog told us that Elon Musk is 99.9999999999% certain that he lives in Matrix. His reason? People play 3D games so they must be characters from games, too. Holy cow. Musk has three extra theories that support his picture: all of us will be killed by CO2, all of us will be killed by asteroids, and he is being watched by the extraterrestrial aliens. Clearly, billions of dollars aren't enough for a good psychiatrist in the U.S.

But I want to say something about the ideas that were flowing between Roger Penrose and Scott Aaronson, see Aaronson's blog on it. These men are very smart. Penrose has found lots of deep things in mathematical physics as well as lots of ingeniously playful things in recreational mathematics, among other things. And of course, many of us would love to live at his age, let alone be at least as intellectually capable as Penrose is.

Scott Aaronson wanted to undergo a chemical castration to improve his feminist credentials. He's a nut but he also has the ability to pretend sanity.

Thursday, June 02, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

2016 California Climate Truthers and Witch-Hunt Act

This Washington Times report was a shock that trumped others. Here is the simplified version of the bill that has already made it through the Senate of the sunny state and the remaining lawmakers may decide about it today.

The 2016 California Climate Truthers and Witch-Hunt Act (CCTWHA)

Section 1. The law must be named by the name above.

Section 2/1. There is consensus, John is Cook 97% of his life and Luboš Motl only 3% of his life.

Section 2/2. EPA also says that CO2 causes all evil in the world (A-F). Its chairman McCarthy therefore asks everyone: "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the organizations that doubted that the sky is falling?"

Legal funding for victims of tabloid attacks is charity

...and revenge is the main engine of justice, the mechanism of deterrence...

A week ago, I noticed some news reports that "Thiel is funding Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker". I am a fan of Peter Thiel and of course, my relationship has been strengthened when I spent a week in a group he helped to gather (and funded the meeting) and talked to him. But I find lawsuits annoying and I didn't know who Hulk (some green supervillain?) or Hogan (holographic noise?) or Gawker (no idea) was.

Well, Gene made me interested in the story.

The basic facts seem simple. Hulk Hogan, apparently a wrestler and an actor, had sex (like many people before him) and the aggressively obscene magazine named Gawker has acquired the video of it in some way and profited from it. Hogan obviously didn't like it and sued Gawker. And Peter Thiel is or was helping Hogan to fund the lawyers, partly because years ago, Thiel himself was a victim when Gawker revealed some totally confidential information about Thiel's sexual world. (It seems that the court decided that Gawker has to pay over $100 million.)

I am disgusted by this kind of media and I avoid it carefully – which is, in my opinion, the optimum "default" policy to deal with things that can produce mess but that may remain decoupled if you try. But it's impossible to avoid these things entirely. So for example, almost every day, I see a TV commercial promoting one of these "magazines" for the bottom of the Czech society by offering a "demo" – this or that celebrity has suffered in this or that way because of something with their partners or relatives or a disease etc. I get angry for a minute whenever I hear something like that.

I strongly believe that most of the people who work in this kind of "gossip about celebrities" industry are filth and parasites who should be eradicated in some legal way (even though I also fully realize that some of the celebrities love this press about them to remain visible). These hyenas have basically murdered Princess Diana, singer Iveta Bartošová, and made the lives of thousands of other celebrities much less pleasant.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

FB, Microsoft, Twitter, YouTube sign a 24-hour censorship deal with the EU devil

The European users of the Internet were stunned by the yesterday's news that the four leading Internet companies signed a deal with unelected and unnamed fascist would-be dictators in Brussels that will guarantee that all Internet content that will be disliked by the EU fascists or the retarded treacherous left-wing NGOs and the pro-terror snitches who are their members will be removed within 24 hours:

Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online (3-page PDF)
The document contains absolutely no checks and balances that these new powers won't be immediately abused to completely destroy the freedom of speech on the European continent. It doesn't even attempt to define what the term "hate speech" is supposed to mean. The only thing that is clear from the text is that it's approximately the ideas that are inconvenient for the fascist would-be dictators in Brussels and the retarded treacherous left-wing NGOs that will be deleted from all the major social networks.

So the lesson is that everyone who disagrees with these individuals, let alone despises them (and there are thousands of reasons why most decent people do), will be facing problems pretty much on the whole Internet. In the centuries of freedom and democracy, independent courts were deciding. Now, the left-wing Euronaive pro-Muslim scum is supposed to have the complete power in the whole EU (independently of what the nation states' laws, Parliaments, and courts actually say about these matters) and replace all the courts, just like in certain notorious regimes on the dumping ground of the human history.