Monthly Archives: November 2015

Into the middle of nowhere

From the description:

Children at play in a woodland nursery provide a rare glimpse into the imagination, ours and theirs.

I can’t recall ever watching pure imagination unfold like this. Given nature as a toy chest, two logs become an airplane and the children pile on.

“Where do you want to go?” He asks his passengers.

“Into the middle of nowhere,” she says with a giggle.

Spooky action at a distance confirmed

Imagine that you’re looking in a mirror and you raise your right hand. The reflection you see appears to raise its left hand. Now imagine you’re a particle, the reflection is another particle, you are separated by great distances, and yet the two particles still affect each other. That’s kind of an analogy for entanglement, a principle of quantum mechanics that says when a pair or a group of particles are entangled, they cannot be described independently from each other.

Measuring a particular property, like velocity, of a single particle affects all the other entangled particles, regardless of distance. Einstein and many other scientists believed that this phenomenon was paradoxical, as it would allow for information to be exchanged instantaneously across vast distances. He dubbed it “spooky action at a distance” and he believed that science was missing hidden variables to account for the phenomenon.

Turns out, he was wrong. Scientists at the National Institute of Standard and Technology have proven beyond reasonable doubt that spooky action at a distance does occur. According to the lead author of the research, “You can’t prove quantum mechanics, but local realism, or hidden local action, is incompatible with our experiment. Our results agree with what quantum mechanics predicts about the spooky actions shared by entangled particles.”

It’s a weird world we live in.

Sufficient, but knows nothing of practical gardening

He said that he would acquire no knowledge which did not bear upon his object. Therefore all the knowledge which he possessed was such as would be useful to him. I enumerated in my own mind all the various points upon which he had shown me that he was exceptionally well-informed. I even took a pencil and jotted them down. I could not help smiling at the document when I had completed it. It ran in this way —

SHERLOCK HOLMES — his limits.

Knowledge of Literature: Nil.
Knowledge of Philosophy: Nil.
Knowledge of Astronomy: Nil.
Knowledge of Politics: Feeble.
Knowledge of Botany: Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium, and poisons generally. Knows nothing of practical gardening.
Knowledge of Geology: Practical but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks has shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them.
Knowledge of Chemistry: Profound.
Knowledge of Anatomy: Accurate but unsystematic.
Knowledge of Sensational Literature: Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century.
Plays the violin well.
Is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman.
Has a good practical knowledge of British law.

— Dr. Watson