Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Friday, February 08, 2008

Fast Car

Ever since I was first told in a science class that nobody can travel faster then the speed of light, I've pretty much believed that claim. It would seem to be a reasonable theory.
Just yesterday, though, it dawned on me that this theory has a little glitch in it, or at least to my simple mind it seems to be a glitch. Someone straighten me out here if this idea is based on false understandings of science and Einstein's theories.
The thing is, Einstein theorized in such a way that if you were to put a clock in a moving object, let's say a spacecraft, the clock would be observed to run slower the faster that spacecraft moved. I think scientists have been skeptical about this but it is my understanding that this has actually been tested and indeed the clock ran slow as predicted.
Assuming that is the case, let's enter into the imaginary...
Imagine that mankind discovered a way to accelerate a spacecraft to somewhere near the speed of light which happens to be 186,000 miles per second, or thereabouts.
Imagine such a spacecraft existed and it had a clock in it. Not only that but imagine it had room for you inside of it as well.
Now imagine you were riding in this spacecraft at close to the speed of light. Got it in your mind? Good! According to Einstein, your clock would be running slow. I don't know the math but let's imagine for argument sake that at 180,000 miles per second the clock is running at only a tenth of its stationary rate.
Now imagine you flew right past someone else up in space who was stationary, not moving much. Let's call that person the stationary observer. The stationary observer also has a clock that she is watching.
From the stationary observer's perspective, one second after you pass by her, you will be a distance of 180,000 miles away from her. You will have traveled that far. In fact if you glanced out your window you would no doubt observe that you had traveled that far.
But...!!! Look at your clock! Since your clock is running slow, it was only one tenth of one second ago that you passed by the stationary observer. You traveled 180,000 miles in only one tenth of a second according to your own perception! - according to your own scientifically calibrated spaceship clock...
OK, so let's say from the stationary observer's point of view, another nine seconds pass by. From her perspective you have traveled 180,000 miles times ten seconds since you did your flyby. You are now 1,800,000 miles away. But on your very own clock, even though you indeed are 1,800,000 miles from the stationary observer, only one second has passed by since you passed that person.
You are traveling at 1,800,000 miles per second by your own speedometer! - 10 times the speed of light!!
This effect would only become more and more pronounced the closer your spacecraft approached the speed of light as observed by stationary observers. Maybe you could slow your clock down enough to travel a billion miles per second according to your own spacecraft clock! Maybe you could go even faster than that!
Was Star Trek's "warp speed" not so far fetched after all?
Fix my faulty thinking, someone...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Galaxy Funding

I have to laugh. It seems that the Republican Party has suddenly come to the faith that earmark spending is a bad thing. Newt Gingrich just sent me an email stating:
****
Dear Friend,
A few weeks ago, I called on the President and Congress to listen to the demands for real change coming from the American people in campaign '08 and to act immediately -- without waiting for the election.
Speaking directly to the President and Congress, this is what I said:
"The country is speaking loudly and clearly. The American people are rejecting the special interests, and the bureaucratic status quo in Washington. The question for you now is: What are you going to do about it?"
Well, today at least on one front, the answer is in. President Bush and the Congress, led by House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio), are leading an all-out fight for real change by ending the undemocratic, corrupt practice of pork-barrel spending through earmarks.
****
Funny, a couple years ago the Republicans could have cared less that earmarks were "undemocratic" and "corrupt" and "pork-barrel."
I don't know if the $5 million the federal government dumped into leveling the 4,000 foot main runway at our little airport a couple years ago was an earmark, but it certainly came from a Republican congress and a Republican White House. Mind you they didn't extend the runway or even widen it by much, just leveled it out and in the process, laid down a base strong enough to launch a C5 Galaxy, not that they'll ever be doing that, mind you. I can't help but wonder how much of that $5 million wound up back in Republican campaigns.
Well good, under the guidance of George Bush and Newt Gingrich and representative Boehner, the Democrats are to have their filthy hands held to the fire. Maybe then America will give Congress back to the Republicans so Republican earmarks can once again flow like a river to nowhere from Washington.
Way to go, Newt.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Conservative

What an irony it is to watch the Republican primaries evolve. Last week John McCain was looking rosy as Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the race. Giuliani, if I am not mistaken, had been the conservative of choice coming into this primary, but fell into disgrace over his marital affairs and nose-dived into oblivion. In the early Republican debates, it was Giuliani who pointed out the glaring flaws in Romney's "conservative" record.
But now that it's down to just four real candidates, everyone is wondering which one is the real Republican.
Ron Paul is out because of his opposition to war. That's a no brainer. Republicans are, if nothing else, Islam-reactionary. So despite Paul's actual credentials as the one and only real conservative in the race, he's just out of the picture for most Republican voters.
Huckabee is out because his only claim to the conservative crown is his right-wing Christianity. That wins Republican votes in some circles, but it isn't the only thing needed to win Republican elections.
John McCain is getting slandered by the right primarily because of his stand on immigration.
By default, that leaves Romney as the only one worthy of the "conservative" crown and sure enough, he's the one being heralded by the right. Who cares if the Christian Right sees Mormonism as a cult? Who cares that Romney downsized his employees? Who cares that he had illegal aliens working on his place? Who cares that his claim to fame was being governor of one of the most liberal state in the US? He is conservative by default. All the other candidates are unworthy which leaves Romney as the only one left to win the support of the right.
Isn't it a shame that so many of the leaders of the right over the past decade have disgraced themselves?