## Friday, June 29, 2007 ... //

### Dynamics of greenhouse effect

Saturated confusion of RealClimate.ORG

Originally posted on 6/27, moved to the top for the discussion to continue
The Gentlemen at RealClimate.ORG have decided that my article about
climate sensitivity
and similar articles by others are too dangerous because they show that every new molecule of CO2 causes smaller greenhouse effect than the previous molecule: the absorption rate gradually approaches saturation. Such a conclusion could diminish the holy power of the enhanced greenhouse effect and undermine the global efforts of scientists of good faith - and their friends, politicians of good faith, lawyers of good faith, singers of good faith, and publishers of good faith - to globally regulate the greenhouse effect.
Update: Why is the warming proportional to the logarithm of the amount of CO2?
They must be applauded for giving others the opportunity to study and discuss this question more carefully because the more people know, the more they will see why the hysteria is unjustifiable. So what do these eleven climate scientists think about the dependence of the strength of the greenhouse effect on the concentration? Well, they live in the state of scientific consensus which means, in this case, that none of them has any idea what the answer could be. So they invited an expert to clarify the situation.

Who is the expert? Well, it is a noted historian of science whose name is
Spencer Weart, a guest blogger at RealClimate.ORG.
Ray Pierrehumbert has helped Weart to reduce excessive hyphenation. Weart is the author of a painful book that celebrates a greedy group of researchers who were dreaming about grants and who finally got them after they constructed the man-made global warming theory.

Weart writes in such a way that the text is well-readable and looks insightful to superficial readers. If you read it carefully, however, you can see that Weart has no idea what he is talking about at the technical level. First of all, the text is completely non-quantitative. All assertions are binary and dogmatic, Yes/No, and no quantitative laws or functional dependences are ever given, not even sketched. His text makes it impossible to decide whether one effect or another effect is important or not, or whether it has already been included or not.

## Thursday, June 28, 2007 ... //

### TASI 2007: video

Videos from the summer school in Colorado:

### Bald eagle no longer endangered

Bald eagle has not only survived hunting and DDT but is thriving and will be removed from the U.S. endangered list today.

Let me admit that with this favorite hat of mine that I bought in the New York City about 4 years ago, it was very easy to feel endangered in the People's Republic of Cambridge, too.

Of course there have been dozens of other threats, too. :-)

## Tuesday, June 26, 2007 ... //

### Is Witten working on loop quantum gravity?

In this text, I would like to analyze the methods and logic of PW, a well-known critic of string theory, in one particular context.

Frame: Monstrous symmetry of black holes
Frame: Witten's paper is out
Wrong: Assorted news
Musings: Report on Witten's talk
Witten: Preprint
Witten: PDF for his talk
This text will be exclusively dedicated to the analysis of the description of Witten's work by PW which I find rather incredible (see "Assorted news"):
• Witten’s talk is entitled “Three-Dimensional Gravity Revisited” ... So, at least one talk there will be about a non-string theory approach to quantum gravity more along the lines of the LQG program.
Wow. ;-) The picture below is a refined version of a photograph by Chehak and symbolizes how sane, natural, and correct the statement of PW approximately is:

Why does PW write such a statement that will be shown to be a flagrant absurdity?

Well, the answer is obvious. If you read his blog or his book, you will learn that he believes that decisions in science do reflect and should reflect the emotional power of authorities. Edward Witten is such an authority, even according to PW, which is why PW thinks that if he manages to convince others about his interesting "story" that Edward Witten has largely switched from string theory to loop quantum gravity, it will have a dramatic impact on the scientific community.

### Mitt Romney & new Marshall plan

An occasional reader of this blog who is a Mormon located in Massachusetts liked our musings about a possible new Marshall plan that we proposed in May. Because he just happens to be running for POTUS, he decided to invent a fresh new idea called

a new Marshall plan
or equivalently, "Partnership for Prosperity and Progress", with a special focus on the modern world infrastructure in the Muslim world which is exactly what I had in mind.

### Chile: coldest months in 20 years

May and June 2007 have been Chile's coldest months in the last 20 years. Correspondingly, natural gas consumption hit a record, too. You may also read about the brutal cold May 2007 in South America.

During the weekend, parts of Australia have experienced the chilliest June day on record. Last week, record cold temperatures had to be edited in Queensland, too.

Another continent that overlaps with the Southern Hemisphere is Africa. What weather do you associate with Zimbabwe? A few days ago, they recorded -7 Celsius degrees. Several people froze.

## Monday, June 25, 2007 ... //

### Strings 2007: website

Update: Jacques Distler is live-blogging: Monday

The official website of Strings 2007 (Mon-Fri)
Strings 2007 video blogspot site
There are menus under the nine Spanish aristocrats on the painting by Goya. The Reference Frame is the only place in the world where you can learn that the painting is "Blind Man's Buff", 1788. No, it's really not "bluff" as the page indicates.

Because I have learned that not everyone understands the painting, let me tell you that the blindfolded female aristocrat in the middle symbolizes the bulk of M-theory and the similarity with the hexagon drawing is no coincidence. We haven't been told whether the participants will play this M-theoretical game after the talks. :-)

### Witten's monstrous paper is out

It has 82 pages. The previous blog text about the topic was

Monstrous symmetry of black holes.
Properties of the CFTs dual to pure AdS3 are considered. The allowed central charges are identified. The discussion of the Chern-Simons description may look a bit overblown given the fact that this description can't be made non-perturbatively exact in any known way.

The monster symmetry of the minimum choices is supported by numerology based on the dimensions of irreps of the monster group and applied to some partition sums - I have almost no doubt that the conclusion of this numerology is correct - but the dimensions of the irreps seem to be the only property of the monster group that is ever used which I find somewhat disappointing: someone else will have to find something more about the importance of the monster group and its rich properties in this gravitational setup later.

And that's the memo.

Graviweak unification

I was also intrigued by two papers by Fabrizio Nesti who is incidentally also the author of the JHEP LaTeX macro. The second of these papers was written with Roberto Percacci. Unfortunately, the excitement lasted for 140 seconds only (and that's more than it would be otherwise because I have looked at it with a 56k modem).

### IQ: oldest brothers' 2-point edge

A survey in Norway shows that the oldest brothers' IQ is higher by about two points relatively to their younger brothers. The article proposes some sociological theories based on interactions between the brothers. Your humble correspondent thinks that this theory is mostly bogus.

In fact, it's also known that younger brothers are more likely to be gays. Their brains are correspondingly less male in average. There is a good reason - a likely mechanism - behind these facts: mother's womb gradually develops a certain kind of immunity against the male foreign intruder that acts on the younger brother's foetus.

Note that this action of hormones and the antibodies requires time. That's one of possible explanations why similar considerations can't influence the very sex of the child. Indeed, as far as I know, there exists no indication that younger siblings are more likely to be girls or more likely to be boys. In fact, the data are good enough that it is known that the existence of older sisters doesn't enhance a man's probability of being a gay, unlike the existence of older brothers.

## Sunday, June 24, 2007 ... //

### The Huffington Post and DailyKos endorse Václav Klaus

If we exaggerate just a little bit, there exists a universal consensus by now that Czech president Václav Klaus is right about global warming in his Financial Times article. (See also my synopsis of the Q&A session.) The consensus includes the progressive website called

The Huffington Post (thanks, Willie!)
where they have decided that Václav Klaus is one of their two most favorite people in the world: Greg Gutfeld analyzes the influence of terrorism on global warming and challenges Sheryl Crow, Laurie David, and Leo DiCaprio who behaves as an ecowhacko even though he has played your humble correspondent in the String Kings. And the consensus covers even DailyKos:
DailyKos: Václav Klaus is not wrong
Well, it's true that among the commenters, you find a few contrarians or, as Hamas calls them, mutineers. ;-) But if you had doubts that DailyKos as an entity loves Klaus' article, you may see another reaction:
DailyKos: Unbelievable, extremely useful article
Fine. This guy was somewhat less friendly but he was still excited! :-)

## Saturday, June 23, 2007 ... //

### Moving Victorian houses: in progress

Update 06/23

Click the picture to see a slideshow with 53 photographs (MSIE preferred)

Mass Ave - a long road that goes to $+\infty$ (Atlantic ocean) in the East and $-\infty(0.6-0.8i)$ in the West has decided to reduce its carbon footprint. So they have built a Victorian house in the middle of the road. It's actually a great idea. Drivers may get discouraged and take a different route which will lower the CO2 emissions near the Harvard Law School which is a good thing, as consensus of scientists thinks. Amen.

## Friday, June 22, 2007 ... //

### EU: voting rights & Polish population

Polish prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski - on picture with his brother Lech, the president, both obeying Fermi-Dirac statistics - argued that the number of Poles would be 66 million instead of 38 million today if Germany didn't initiate the Second World War. He suggested that this fact should perhaps be taken into account when the new voting rights of the EU are being calculated. Let me say a few things about it:

## Thursday, June 21, 2007 ... //

The Financial Times' climate expert, Prof Václav Klaus, answers some of the questions that followed Klaus' article, "Freedom, not climate, is at risk":

Ask the Expert (Q & A)
If you don't have much time, here's my abstract of all answers where I tried to make them even more insightful and entertaining than they are:
1. Do you think that the correct economist's approach is to follow hysterical recommendations of IPCC and others who replace cost-benefit analyses by "precautionary principle"?
No.
2. Imagine that AGW is real anyway, what should we do?
A detailed analysis shows that the answer is Nothing.
3. How can one predict climate if it's impossible to predict weather?
That's my point. After having read hundreds of books and articles, especially the human influence seems uncalculable to me.
4. Why do you disbelieve the science and why freedom is at risk if the consensus is supported by capitalism-loving governments of EU and U.K.?
Science is not the same as national scientific establishments. EU and U.K. elites only support market as the #1 force at a different planet. Moreover, market doesn't belong to policymakers.
5. What the costs of a 50% reduction will be for Czechia?
I admit I don't know but costs will be not only financial and costs shouldn't be calculated for 2050 because we don't know prices etc.
6. Environmentalists demand responsibility which should be a conservative value but it's not: what happened?
They don't have any copyright on responsibility, a standard part of human behavior. They only invented a non-existing "damage" and I won't pay for it. Saying that pro-capitalists want to dump waste is like the commie propaganda.
7. Czechia is a victim of powers' environmental decisions, what to do?
Blaming powers is fashionable but incorrect and wrong & environmentalist tendencies exist in countries of all sizes.
8. Do environmentalist really work on global socialism?
My experience and oversensitivity says Yes: the arguments seem too similar.
9. Global warming is like avian flu, driven by trillionaires who want global power, do you agree?
I don't think environmentalism is driven by power-thirsty trillionaires but rather by incapable people, and they only want a global government, not global constructive activities.
10. I agree with you but the left vs right flavor is confusing, what to do?
I don't believe that the left vs right debates are over. Freedom is a right-wing value but environmentalism has unfortunately swallowed some self-described right-wingers, too.
11. What do organizations and politicians gain if they jump on the bandwagon?
Power to manipulate, organize, regulate.
12. Is it still freedom when the powerful of the world impose the new climate on others?
There's no conspiracy to change the climate and the human-climate link can't be taken for granted.
13. How can rational libertarians save our culture from environmentalists?
Classical liberals should stop being a silent majority.
14. Why do so many people believe in junk science?
Some people have the same reasons as UFO & witch believers. Others believe in their special abilities to control the rest of us. A third group has a financial interest. My opinions are normal: I don't understand why people think that I am courageous.
15. Does wasting energy strengthen freedom?
Be fair: attacking environmentalism is different from attacking Nature. Saving energy is rational and a decision about it is naturally made by free individuals. Your statements about the U.S. encouraging wasteful policies are ludicrous.
16. Small temperature changes have led to huge problems: how much more do you have to see (numbers)?
Read Singer & Avery and Michaels' books. Just one number: the very debatable IPCC predicts 14-43 cm for the 21st century sea level rise. Not scary to me.
17. You criticize Stern for talking about future but you do it, too.
I criticize Stern for particular errors - choosing a funnily low discount rate - not for aprioristic opinions.
18. There's huge evidence that Man is ruining the planet. What do you have to see more to lead the counter-attack against Man?
The problem is that I don't see convincing evidence for the damage caused e.g. by AGW. Skiing and warm evenings are still very pleasant. And environment in Czechia is much better than when collective actions were taken: because of freedom.

And that's the memo.

### Superspinars

Eric Gimon and Petr Hořava point out an interesting tension between different notions of extremality bounds for black holes. For charged rotating black holes, supersymmetry implies the BPS bound for the mass $M$, namely

$Q^2 \leq M^2$

in some natural units. It is absolutely impossible to violate this bound. However, general relativity implies a stronger bound that also includes the angular momentum $a$ in addition to the charge $Q$:

$Q^2 + a^2 \leq M^2$

One can also calculate the efficiency of energy transfer from accreting matter to radiation. She gets 6% for the Schwarzschild black hole, 42% for an extremal Kerr black hole, and Gimon & Hořava argue that string theory can get up to the 100% efficiency with configurations that obey the BPS bound but not the stronger black hole bound. These configurations would surpass the general relativistic Kerr limitations. They encourage astronomers to look for such efficient objects and realize a new way to prove string theory.

My personal guess based on our work on the weak gravity conjecture is that the black hole bound is also satisfied in string theory for localized macroscopic objects, up to small corrections. This belief of mine is supported by the observation that Gimon & Hořava don't have any explicit solution for their "superspinar". Of course, superspinars may fail to be associated with a classical solution but I personally find such a belief unnatural: a classical approximation should become valid for any kind of a large enough object.

And that's the memo.

Update: Later I realized that when we relax the black hole condition, we can easily find systems with greater angular momentum than allowed by the mass - for example the Solar System where the distant planets have "J" increasing with the radius "r".

## Wednesday, June 20, 2007 ... //

### Tanmay Vachaspati: black stars & there are no black holes

A report on this blog about George Chapline's colloquium remains the #1 hit if you Google seach for black holes don't exist. It is a rather popular albeit untrue sentence that many users want to see. ;-) George is a friend of The Reference Frame but his black hole ideas unfortunately don't make any sense.

In the article under the previous link, we have explained that why the event horizon - a "red" hypersurface in space defined as the boundary separating a causally disconnected region of spacetime (the dark blue triangle, the interior of the black hole) - is created long before the black hole reaches equilibrium and long before it starts to evaporate.

In fact, the place where the horizon appears for the first time (the lower portion of the red line) looks completely ordinary and the people who live there don't have any tools to figure out whether they are already behind the horizon or not: they think that they are inside an ordinary star. If they had such tools, they would be extremely non-local, required superluminal propagation of signals, or a time machine. At that moment - when local physics still looks completely ordinary - it is already decided that the future curvature of spacetime creates a causally disconnected region because the evolution of spacetime according to Einstein's equations will inevitably lead to a spacetime whose causal diagram is depicted above: a spacetime with a causally disconnected black hole interior.

We can also prove that no plausible modification of Einstein's equations that keeps them consistent with observations can remove the conclusion about the creation of the event horizon.

### CO2 emissions: China has surpassed U.S.

China has become the #1 producer of carbon dioxide already in 2006. Congratulations - because the CO2 emissions may be viewed as a very good measure of the industrial strength.

It shouldn't be shocking for those who knew that China's 2005 production of carbon dioxide was only 2% below the U.S. levels. Why? Well, it's because China's CO2 output grows by about 9 percent a year. It is no coincidence that the number equals the GDP growth. Together with restrictive measures in the developed world, this meant that the U.S. was already 8% below China in 2006.

Russia will cash in on 60 billion USD in 2008 for Kyoto machinations.

## Tuesday, June 19, 2007 ... //

### Sean Carroll: a guide for crackpots

Even Sean Carroll may be right. He has written his

alternative science checklist.
I must agree with it. However, it seems unlikely that alternative scientists will suddenly follow Sean's recipe.

For example, the first commenter, Peter Fred, ignored the article. Instead, he proposed to replace dark matter by radial spreading of infrared luminosity, following the old-fashioned crackpot algorithms. Mark Trodden joked that Sean Carroll's revolutionary theory how to proceed was being ignored by the crackpot establishment and recommended him two simple steps how to be taken more seriously. ;-)

A few weeks ago, an alternative Iranian physicist came to my office and was explaining me that Dirac's paper on magnetic monopoles was mathematically inconsistent & light bending and general relativity were impossible, too. I was trying both to explain him these particular technical points as well as to give him a general "checklist" but it was probably a failure.

### The Earth today stands in imminent peril

Global warming scientists will have to learn quantum gravity by the end of July. Why?

Well, it's because we can see that every day, their predictions get more catastrophic than the previous day by an order of magnitude. Roughly 35 orders of magnitude from the present numbers, you find the Planck scale.

Let me demonstrate this trend on two recent examples. On Saturday, the new boss of the United Nations whose name is Ban even though he is unfortunately not yet banned published an op-ed in the Washington Post that argued that

Global warming has caused the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
That's great and I am sure that many people will admire Ban's new clothes except that scientific papers agree with common sense and imply that there is no link between droughts in Africa on one side and increased CO2 in the atmosphere on the other side.

### Rumors about the God particle

Today, the Wired Magazine has joined the discussions about the rumors about the Higgs boson. The same text appears on ABCnews. Recall that the latest rumor talks about a 5-sigma signal around 180 GeV.

I feel that the Wired Magazine article is more reasonable than what we could have read on Slate.

The Slate article was written by an ex-student in a course of mine. No, with all my respect and compassion, I can't say that he was one of the better students and yes, I was always under immense pressure to give better grades than the students deserved. Correspondingly, the article is a typical emotional, Woitian politicization of topics that the writer doesn't understand in which the readers are frantically pushed in directions that have nothing to do with reality.

## Monday, June 18, 2007 ... //

### Cat: testing string theory

Via Mike the Technobuddhist and Andy XL who proposes to treat string theory with the respect it deserves.

### Waldemar Matuška: 75 years

On July 2nd, Waldemar Matuška will celebrate his 75th birthday: he was born in Košice, Slovakia - however he is Czech. Congratulations!

Since the 1960s, this bearded mannish tenor has been one of the stars of the Czechoslovak pop music, country music, and folk music. Let me choose his duet with Eva Pilarová, "Oh, This Heavenly Love":

Watch a Waldemar Matuška playlist with 30 songs or so.
Around 1964, these two people together with Karel Gott got drunk in Carlsbad and were probably pissing on a communist delegation from a balcony on the first floor. Matuška was the only one who was punished. He couldn't perform for one year. ;-)

His songs about love and life have always had a patriotic accent in them. That's why it was so shocking when he decided to emigrate to the U.S. in 1986. The official propaganda immediately dismissed him as a traitor and his songs were banned.

## Sunday, June 17, 2007 ... //

### Nuclear explosion in Krkonoše

Those who watched a Czech public TV channel in the morning could have seen a nuclear explosion in the Krkonoše Mountains during an otherwise boring breakfast program that normally shows weather at different places, especially touristic targets in the mountains.

Who was behind it? No, it wasn't Putin. It was an artistic group called Ztohoven which means "away out of it" but it also sounds identical to the phrase "one hundred excrements". Most likely, Roman Týc was the main spiritual father. This time, they hacked a web camera. But they have already produced several practical jokes of this kind in the past, usually featuring a question mark that complains about the ability of media and commercials to manipulate people.

For example, ex-president Havel used to place a huge heartsuit at the Prague Castle. While some people thought that the Prague Castle became a whorehouse, Ztohoven hid one-half of it the heartsuit that it was changed into a question mark.

While the Czech TV wants to sue them, I tend to agree with some commenters that similar events are probably necessary to teach people how to doubt and rationally think about the news in the media.

And that's the memo.

## Saturday, June 16, 2007 ... //

### Quantum computer inside a diamond

Mikhail Lukin's group at Harvard, supported by one Texan physicist and one German physicist, has made some progress in a new technological approach to quantum computing. The qubits are nuclear spins of carbon-13 atom inside a diamond. They are manipulated by the spin of a nearby electron controlled by LASERs. The electronic spin is a new degree of freedom that occurs inside a nitrogen vacancy - a place where one nitrogen atom replaces one carbon atom. See

ZDNET
Science
A PhD thesis (focus on chapters 2,3)

This technology offers a remarkably long decoherence time and a possibility of a large number of qubits that can be manipulated with in a correlated fashion. If things go really well, you will be able to buy a diamond on the picture above that can break all codes in the world by Christmas 2007 but Easter 2077 is somewhat more realistic. ;-)

### Green and communist propaganda: comparison

Those readers who haven't lived in a totalitarian system may have problems to understand why the rest of us finds the structure of the environmentalist propaganda almost identical to the structure of the communist propaganda. To fix this problem, let me translate the official response to Charter 77, the pro-democracy statement penned by Václav Havel. You can compare it e.g. with DeSmogBlog's new defamatory pages against 61 of the "climate change deniers".

Rudé právo (The Red Law)
the official daily of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, January 12th, 1977: source in Czech

In their gnarly struggle against the progress, the international reaction is trying to create the illusion of a certain broad anti-communist front into which they try to drag not only open traitors but also fluctuating and disoriented individuals or groups, often covering themselves under the mask of the "Left" or "communists". They frequently try to achieve the impossible: to revive the political dead bodies, starting from those among the emigrants from socialist countries to those within the remainder of the class enemies in these countries, renegades, to various criminal and asocial elements. One of the forms of the "impressive" collaboration is the fabrication of diverse pamphlets, letters, protests, and other generic slanders that are presented as the voice of certain "opposition" individuals or tiny groups. With fanfare and in a co-ordinated fashion, these texts are being distributed throughout the capitalist world.

This description also applies to the newest pamphlet, the so-called Charter 77, that was composed by a miniscule group of bankrupted Czechoslovak reactionary burgeoisie as well as bankrupted organizers of the counter-revolution in 1968. Their work has been ordered by the world's anti-communist and Zionist headquarters and it was delivered to certain Western agencies.

## Friday, June 15, 2007 ... //

### Global warming arrives to Sweden

June is the right time for snow in Sweden. Via ClimateAudit.

As highs go, Thursday was a record low in Virginia. Also, Kentucky's and Oklahoma's yields have been reduced by an April freeze.

Disclaimer: this particular weather event implies neither that the whole Earth is cooling down nor that the Earth is warming up. Neither senator James Inhofe nor Michael Crichton or your humble correspondent claim so.

However, the Prairies will be shown to expect a devastation by the climate change in the future that is more catastrophic than ever anticipated. How much catastrophic? About 250,000 catastrophic. What You See Is What You Get.

If someone is interested in dirty corners of heavy quark physics, she may want to know that D0-brains at the Tevatron have discovered the "cascade b" particle whose mass is 5.77 GeV, dominated by the bottom-quark.

It is the first baryon that contains quarks of all three generations, namely "dsb". Note that all of them are lower quarks, making the net charge "-1". While the evidence so far has been largely indirect (from LEP), D0-brains have found it as a 5.5 sigma bump via its decay

$\Xi_b^- \to J/ \psi + \Xi^-.$

In other words, the probability that it is background equals 0.033 ppm. Yes, the left hand side is the new particle. See
Preprint
Space Daily
In the preprint, there is a funny typo in the list of authors. Can you find it?

### Gia Dvali: 100 quintillion new particle species

Gia Dvali argues that if you have "N" stable particle species that are conserved because of "N" $Z_2$ symmetries or something similar, they can't be heavier than

$M \leq M_{Planck} / N^{1/2}$
This statement is supported by
• a perturbative naturalness argument: having a smaller Planck mass than dictated by the inequality above would be a form of fine-tuning
• black hole physics: black holes with all the discrete charges must remember them which requires them to be heavier than the bound above
Gia Dvali uses his insight to offer a truly radical solution to the hierarchy problem.

Disclaimer: I discourage all crackpots who routinely read "Not Even Wrong" and who have visited this weblog unintentionally to stop reading because the large numbers below could make them really sick.

Gia argues that if there are $10^{32}$ copies of the Standard Model particle species - which would include $10^{32}$ electron squirrel species -, then the gap between the weak scale and the Planck scale becomes natural because of his N-scaling. ;-) Recall that $10^{30}$ is called a quintillion in the U.K. but nonillion in the U.S.

Gia urges the readers to study the relation between his statements and the weak gravity conjecture. What I find perhaps even more interesting is that Dvali's inequality may be understood as a lower bound on the amount of discrete symmetry in a theory of quantum gravity. If the argument is refined, it could also be used to explain why pure AdS3 gravity has to have the monster group symmetry.

### Gr-qc papers on Friday

Let us look at the new gr-qc papers tonight:

Diaz-Polo and Fernandez-Borja solve a well-defined mathematical problem how to extract the precise dependence of entropy on the horizon area of a black hole in loop quantum gravity. Physics-wise, the paper is of course incorrect because the calculation of areas and entropies in loop quantum gravity is known to be physically absurd. Nevertheless, it is a well-defined and potentially interesting mathematical problem.

The spectrum of areas in LQG is semi-discrete but it is not quite equally spaced because the contributions to the areas are of the form $[j(j+1)]^{\frac 12}$ for $j$ being an integer or a half-integer. The resulting dependence of the entropy on the area is something in between a linear function and a stair-like function. The authors study the impact of this semi-discrete spectrum on the Hawking radiation.

Alekseev and Belinski ask whether two charged black holes can be in equilibrium. In Newtonian physics, the answer would be Yes: you just cancel gravity against a repulsive electric force. In general relativity, the answer is also Yes in the case of extremal black holes. That's why BPS objects of the same kind can co-exist more peacefully than Hamas and Fatah.

The authors claim that for non-extremal black holes, the answer is No. The answer would also be No for two naked singularities (super-extremal holes) but it can be Yes for a mixed pair. They get it by a complex analysis of solutions. I don't quite understand what's non-trivial about their result: if the two black holes have the same Q/M ratio, the no-force condition clearly means that they are both extremal. If they have different Q/M ratios, the no-force condition clearly means that one of them must be sub-extremal and the other must be super-extremal, am I wrong? The Q/M ratios must move in the opposite directions, I think.

Hogan proposes a very interesting refinement of the idea that a non-commutative geometry is behind holography in quantum gravity. Take two space-like separated events 1,2 (if I understand well) whose proper distance is $L_{12}$. He argues that the relative separation in two transverse directions $x,y$ satisfies

$[x,y] = -i l_{P} L_{12}$
which implies a new uncertainty principle
$\Delta x \Delta y \geq l_{P} L_{12} / 2.$
Note that the uncertainty grows as you keep on separating the events. The paper is at a comparable level of concreteness as Lenny's or Raphael's holographic papers. It also talks about LIGO and holographic noise implied by this paradigm and I think people should read it.

Brevik, Elizalde, Gorbunova, Timoškin promote a combination of FRW equations with a specific fluid with a certain non-linear equation of state as a useful model for various transitions in cosmology as well as quintessence. They want to explain the CMB anisotropy by considering viscosity in their fluid.

Larena and Perez determine what kind of FRW-like equations of classical general relativity with additional scalars are solvable. The answer depends on rationality of certain exponents while other relevant exponents may be written in terms of square roots.

Nacir and Mazzitelli arguably study Einstein's equations with a scalar field source in the quantum gravity regime. The action for the scalar field contains arbitrarily high derivatives but it also depends on an observer velocity given by a D-vector $u_\mu$ that picks a privileged reference frame. That implies that the dispersion relations also depend on infinitely many coefficients.

While I don't find such general Lorentz-breaking theories well motivated, that's not my worst problem with the paper. What's worse is that they only want to write Einstein's equations for expectation values of the stress energy tensor only but at the same moment, they want to be careful about the renormalization of the stress energy tensor operators. I don't understand the logic and motivation of this approximation.

## Thursday, June 14, 2007 ... //

### Gaza Strip is becoming Hamastan

The real dream of the most progressive and politically correct segment of the Palestinian nation hasn't been a Palestinian state. Instead, it has always been Hamastan, an Islamist country fighting against Israel and all forms of freedom.

The picture above shows representatives of the Green Party of Palestine, also known as Hamas, that also has an official website.

We criticized disengagement as a strategic mistake that would cripple the security of Israel in the medium term. Disengagement was organized professionally and many Israeli citizens surely liked that they would get rid of some problems tightly connected with a part of their country.

However, it should have been clear that such a partial surrender would energize the most radical Arabs in Palestine - a nation that is manifestly unable to establish its own civilized country at this moment - and it would provide them with an opportunity to gain full control over the situation. People who understand politics had to know these things for a long time.

### RAS wants Griffin to retract his heretical idea

Scientists rally around Griffin...

Meanwhile, Prof. Michael Rowan-Robinson, the president of the Royal Astronomical Society, has a different opinion. For the sake of clarity, I have replaced some modern jargon in his statement by the conventional, old-fashioned vocabulary that has been established during Galileo's life and that more accurately describes Rowan-Robinson's mode of thinking:

In Exodus 30 God the Lord commanded Moses make a holy anointing oil out of the best spices of myrrh, cinnamon, and cassia, along with the low-carbon oil from the olive tree. With this mixture, all the tent of the covenant with its accessories, as well as Aaron and all his sons, were to be anointed and dedicated...

That's why I was so disturbed to read the comments by the Head of NASA, Father Michael Griffin, on global warming and climate change. While accepting the first seven commandments that a trend of global warming exists, he dares to question whether this ‘is a problem we must wrestle with’ as summarized in the remaining three commandments.

This is counter to the strong advice of the world's priests, expressed through the Fourth Lateran Council (AR4) and the enlightened wisdom of the Holy Inquisition, who have urged the world's spiritual leaders to act swiftly to limit the rise in warming to no more than 2.000 degrees Centigrade. It is also counter to the stern report by Pope Paul V (PBUH & SAW), which demonstrated that limiting global warming is both do-able and affordable.

Europe's Jesuits, space scientists, astronomers, commissioners known as the Qualifiers, and Solar System scientists, especially those who believe the greatness of Scripture, will be dismayed by Michael Griffin’s position and it will undermine their confidence in his leadership of NASA, an organization with which the both UK and the Church has a strong shared purpose.

I call on Michael Griffin to recant his godless idea and to do penance. The idea about the inability of Man to stop climate change is absurd in philosophy and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of the IPCC Holy Scripture while the free mobility of the future temperature is, in regard to theological truth, at least erroneous in faith.

Also, his comments about the arrogance are a very dangerous thing, not only by irritating all the policymakers and climate scientists, but also by injuring our holy faith and rendering whole chapters of the IPCC report, obtained by the scientific method, false. Publication of further opinions of Michael Griffin shall be forbidden and Atlantis shall be renamed to Hansen the Space Shuttle. Should Griffin resist the decree, stronger action would be taken.

You have heard the holy word of consensus of 3000 people in RAS who support all of our commandments unanimously and wholeheartedly, except those 53 percent of heretics whose life won't be long and rich unless they turn their hearts back to God and His fine struggle against the greenhouse effect. Amen.