Monday, May 10, 2010

Weird science, fuming outrage and a few nice things, May 11, 2010

This is a schematic of the set up for the weirdest physical experiment that I have ever encountered in the literature.  I append two links that try to explain it.  I am confused and find that quantum mechanics is truly spooky as Einstein said.  It raises hell with special relativity and with our understanding of causality to mention a few things.
This is one explanation.
and here is a description of the actual experiment.
Today I attended a mini symposium by this year's Wolf Laureates on Entanglement
and Nonlocality and became very confused by the weird physics.  It was somewhat
comforting to hear the laureates themselves admitting to some confusion as well.  Nature
still has many secrets for us.

Outrage over Blood Libels

The first and worst is what was broadcast on Syrian television
 as a rational panel discussion.  As you are aware, Israel sent
 a field hospital to Haiti in the wake of the terrible
 earthquake and all Israelis are justifiably proud of the
 performance of our medical teams.They drew praise from all
 the news media and were compared very favorably with the
 efforts made by many larger and wealthier countries.  Needless
 to say, no Arab country lifted a finger to help out.  We now
 are told by Syrian television that the Israeli medical teams
 used the opportunity to harvest organs from Haitian patients
 to sell on the organ transplant black market.  I invite you to
 view this abomination promulgated by a country we have as a
 neighbor and with home we must deal.  Make no mistake, I
 support peace negotiations with Syria and the return of the
 Golan Heights to their sovereignty.  Nonetheless, here is the
video clip of this monstrosity.

The other libel has to do with the ad hominem attempts in the
media in Israel to discredit Justice Richard Goldstone  as a supporter
of the apartheid regime in South Africa.   It is incredible that the people
who provided technology for nuclear weapons to the same regime are
vilifying someone who was chosen by Archbishop Tutu to serve on the
Truth and Reconciliation commission.  He also served on international
tribunals for Yugoslavia and Kosovo.   Here is a link to his biography.  Of
course, the Israeli interest in degrading him is a direct result of his report
on war crimes committed by Israeli soldiers during operation Cast Lead.
The media campaign is so transparently driven by self interest that it has no
real credibility behind it.

Civilians in Chad are in dire need of protection.  Please act on this call
from Amnesty International.

In Israel, the madness goes on, xenophobia, paranoia and a
 closing off from the world.  In Haaretz, at least warning
 voices are raised although little heeded and ynet has gone
to court to protest the choking off of information.   People write,
 satirize, rant, all to no avail.  A Spanish clown was denied
 entry to Israel out of fear that he might be connected to some
 terroristic humor plot to make children in Ramallah a bit
 happier.  That would of course make the good folks of our
 security apparatus most unhappy and frustrated.  The fact that
 we look to all the world like a horse's butt means nothing to
 Let me recount a conversation between a distinguished US
 scientist and the security gorilla of El Al at London airport.
 The poor scientist was coming to visit me at Tel Aviv
 Gorilla: Are you Jewish?
 Scientist: No
 Gorilla: What is your religion?
 Scientist: I am a Lutheran
 Gorilla: There is no such religion.  If you continue to make
 fun of me, you will not board the aircraft.
 At this point my friend asked for a supervisor who, surprise,
 surprise, knew of the Lutheran Church.
This would be funny if it were not indicative of the level of
intelligence of the security people.  What is happening is that
Israel is slowly following in the footsteps of North Korea and Burma
in closing itself off to the outside world.  The outside world is perceived
as a source of bad ideas, such as freedom of the press, liberal democracy
and god help us, atheism.  The Ministry of Education prevented the
circulation of a Hebrew translation of the UN Universal Declaration of
Human Rights on the grounds that it is subservive.  The closing off is also needed
as a means of steps that are being taken to get
the Palestinians to emigrate by making their lives hell.  It will not work, but it
is the messianic fantasy of our religious right and our Prime Minister is in fact
a subscriber to their ideology.  He is smart enough to know better, but he is
emotionally incapable of acting otherwise.

The Shabak as KGB or are we in Argentina in the 1970's?
Something even more frightening is happening to us.  People are beginning to disappear.  The
secret police come, arrest the person, ransack his or her home and then they get some corrupt judge,
usually someone who came to the bench  from the Army legal corps and who knows whom he/she is serving to issue a gag order to which the local press submit.  Haaretz at least protested. and ynet went to court and won in the most recent case.  Fortunately there are bloggers out there
who spread the word.  That is how the Anat Kamm case came to light and now we have the case of
the secret arrest of  Ameer Makhoul, director of the Israeli Palestinian community activist NGO, Ittijah, who was arrested in the dead of night at his Haifa apartment a few days ago after a team of 20 police and security agents ransacked his premises and stole cell phones, documents, computers and maps, including the research project of his teenage daughter.  The charge was eventually espionage.
 I think the blogging activity might have
had some effect as well.  It appears that Makhoul and Omar Said have been charged with espionage for Hizbullah.  

We shall have to  wait for the trial, but it is hard to imagine that such a prominent figure in the Arab community in Israel who must know that he is under a microscope at all times would be foolish enough to be involved in such activity.   Of course, the fact that such trials are conducted in camera and that the evidence is never shown to the accused, i.e. he/she cannot attempt to refute it, makes the fairness of such trials suspect.  They have been in custody for at least a week and have not had an opportunity to consult with legal counsel.  In the 1980's, there was a case involving the imprisonment of an IDF officer Izat Nafsu for espionage.  He was convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison on the basis of perjured evidence created by a Shabak man named Ginosar.  Eventually Nafsu was released, but Ginosar was pardoned.  The name of President Herzog will resound in disgrace through
our history.  He also pardoned Shabak people who had murdered prisoners in their custody.  Let us hope that some lesson was learned from that sorry affair.

OK, enough of this.  I would like to call your attention to a new album and performance by Jordi Savall 

I have long been an admirer of him and of his music.  I recommend you listen a something incredibly

Something Lighter...

There is science fiction and there is scientific fiction and we should be able to tell them apart. Start with Noah's ark.

and go on to a real ecological disaster...

and from Gene Weingarten, something old, but relevant to 
perjury by police

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