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See that pale blue dot in the center of the image? That's Earth taken by the Voyager 1 space probe over 4 Billion miles from Earth. I think it's beautiful It shows us in our fragility and puts all our troubles, history and daily lives into perspective. A small dot on the western arm of the Milky Way orbiting around an ordinary singular yellow star with no other distinguishing features other than it contains life and it's our home.
Voyager 1 is at the far edge of our solar system on the boundaries of Inter Stella space, the space between the stars, a frontier which no man made object has ever travelled before. Scientists ask voyager to take this one last image of home, the kind you take before moving on with your life to green fields and pastures new. It's not heading anywhere in particular in about 40,000 years it will pass within touching distance of a star with the punchy name AC+79 3888 Such is the vastness of the Infinity of space. Our own neighbour in the solar system, Proxima Centuri lies 4.1 light years away from earth. A light year is such a vast measurement of distance its incomprehensible to even think how far that is away.

Scientist generally believe the universe was created 15 billion years ago, maybe with the big bang nobody is quite sure as the one thing we can't see is what caused the universe in the first place. What we do know is that everything you see in the universe was once contained in something so infinity small that an atom would be the size of the universe is now in comparison. In the 1st seconds after the big bang the universe experienced hyper inflation. The best way to imagine this is lighting a firework for a couple of seconds it fizzles then all the sudden it seems to fill the whole sky. This early universe was hot, extremely hot, hot enough to fuse together the smallest particles into atoms and the first matter was born.  Everything you see around you wherever you look contains billions and billions of atoms, every single one of which started in the same place  15 billion years ago.

We now live in a universe that is full of bright objects. On a clear night you can see thousands of stars with the naked eye. These stars occupy merely a small nearby part of the Milky Way galaxy; telescopes reveal a much vaster realm that shines with the light from billions of galaxies. According to our current understanding of cosmology, however, the universe was featureless and dark for a long stretch of its early history. The first stars did not appear until perhaps 100 million years after the big bang.

The first stars were quite massive many times larger than the sun and many times as luminous and that their formation was an event that fundamentally changed the universe and its subsequent evolution. These stars altered the dynamics of the cosmos by heating and ionizing the surrounding gases. The earliest stars also produced and dispersed the first heavy elements, paving the way for the eventual formation of solar systems like our own. And the collapse of some of the first stars may have seeded the growth of supermassive black holes that formed in the hearts of galaxies  In short, the earliest stars made possible the emergence of the universe that we see today, everything from galaxies and solar systems to planets and people.




THE FIRST GALAXY'S

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Hubble's ultra deep field
Around 900 million years after the big bang Galaxy's started to form. In the picture above nearly every single point of light you see is a galaxy. Hubble focused its telescope on a rather uninteresting piece of dark sky, unobstructed by any stars in the milky way and left the shutter open for 10 days what you see above is the result of that shot. Every single one of those galaxy's contain billions of stars, each star with the possibility of having its own pale blue dot orbiting it's star, with its own people reading a blog, looking up into the skys and asking the very same questions as us.  If you scroll to the bottom of the picture (which you probably have) look right at the bottom middle, move your eyes up, you'll see what looks like a bright orange star. Now go right,  between the orange star like structure and the yellow spiral galaxy  to it's right you will see a very very small red dot. if you were not looking for it you would miss it. its slightly above the line between the two objects almost in the middle of the two. This tiny tiny red dot is one of the oldest galaxy's we've so far discovered. when it's light first set off in our direction our sun hadn't even been born yet. How do we know this? Well it's due to one of the interesting properties of light. We've all seen a rainbow, we all kind of know how it works, the sun hits the rain at a certain angle and depending on how the rain drops bends the light depends on the colours we see. red light has to travel the furthest and is refracted the most. the blue/indigo light you see the least. Everything in the Universe is expanding objects are getting further away from each other. so as galaxy's move further away their light goes redder and redder. This is known as the red shift. So at one time to a Hubble telescope millions of years ago that small red dot would have been as vibrant as the yellow spiral galaxy is today and in billions of years that yellow galaxy will itself become a small red dot. Conversely new stars when we see them are usually bright blue in colour. 

Galaxy's were formed by the deaths of the super massive stars. these old stars created clouds of gas which swirled around their dead embers like flies around a carcass these clouds contained elements that we know now. Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium, Boron, Beryllium all the elements of the periodic table created by the supernova of a dying star. New stars were born by gravity pulling together these small particles until eventually they were so large ignition happens and another singular light goes on in the universe. The remainder of this gas swirls around the sun being heated by the new heat radiating from it's surface forming the planets and the solar system we live in ourselves.

The Solar System formed from the gravitational collapse of a giant gas cloud  4.568 billion years ago.This initial cloud was likely several light-years across and probably birthed several stars other than our own. The Solar System has evolved considerably since its initial formation. Many moons have formed from circling discs of gas and dust around their parent planets, while other moons are believed to have formed independently and later been captured by their planets. Still others, as the Earth's Moon, may be the result of giant collisions. Collisions between bodies have occurred continually up to the present day and have been central to the evolution of the Solar System.


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az

At the end of the planetary formation epoch the inner Solar System was populated by 50–100 Moon- to Mars-sized planetary embryos. Further growth was possible only because these bodies collided and merged, which took less than 100 million years. These objects would have gravitationally interacted with one another, tugging at each other's orbits until they collided, growing larger until the four inner planets we know today took shape.

Around 4 billion years ago the earth started to solidify, Ice comets and objects the size of Pluto bombarded the planet in a phase called the late heavy bombardment this is where most our water came from, and most the extra-terrestrial water we now find on other planets in our solar system. These oceans were bombarded with asteroids probably starting and evaporating life numerous times in the next million years eventually the bombardment stopped. Life started small bacterial strains started to emerge. where did life come from? The same place everything else came from, the death of stars, carbon is our main component. its in every living thing and its in the make up of every star, the primordial earth was vastly different to the one you see now. more acidic, more oxygenated and more adapt for life forming. Over the next billion years life never really got very complex until the Cambrian explosion 530 million years ago skeletons start to appear in fossils for the 1st time and many more animals such as molluscs and anthropoids started to appear

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This picture is just an idea of how Life could evolve from the very first objects to the Cambrian explosion. three very simple forms of life come together to form the first cells and eventually the first organisms. By the end of the Cambrian period the first fish had started to appear, and more importantly the first plants  . Plants need photosynthesis to survive and they give off oxygen as part of that process. The oxygen increase lead to the formation of the Ozone layer, and eventually an end to harmful ultra-violet radiation, this meant for the first time life could survive outside of the oceans. Until this time our earth resembled the surface of Mars. A barren wasteland with no living thing on it. A hostile place. the first tetrapods evolved from fish. It is thought that perhaps fins evolved to become limbs which allowed the first tetrapods to lift their heads out of the water to breathe air. This would allow them to live in oxygen-poor water or pursue small prey in shallow water.  Plants evolved seeds, which dramatically accelerated their spread on land, around this time. Some 20 million years later  the egg evolved (yes the Egg came before the chicken, I know highly controversial here) which could be laid on land, giving a survival advantage to tetrapod embryos.  This resulted in the first amphibians. another 40 million years and the first mammals started to crawl around.

HUMANS

A small African ape living around six Million years ago was the last animal whose descendants would include both modern humans and their closest relatives, the bonobo and chimpanzees. Brain size increased rapidly, and by 2 million years ago, the first animals classified in the genus homo had appeared. Of course, the line between different species or even genera is somewhat arbitrary as organisms continuously change over generations. Around the same time, the other branch split into the ancestors of the common chimpanzee and the ancestors of the bonobo as evolution continued simultaneously in all life forms. Modern humans ( are believed to have originated somewhere around 200,000 years ago or earlier in Africa; the oldest fossils date back to around 160,000 years ago. The rest is History....and that's a topic for another day.....

 

Religion

04/03/2011

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I watched a documentary today about The Phelps family church. If your not familiar with them they are the people who picket events with such hatred you start to question freedom of speech. They wave banners such as 'God Hates Fags' and 'God Loves Dead Soldiers'. brutal messages. They also want to eliminate all other religions especially the Jews for what they call the killing of their lord and saviour. Forgive me if I'm wrong but I could swear that was the Romans. Anyhow, this is the sort of rubbish that I've come to expect from most religious organisations this just happens to be an extreme example. Every time you see a religious figure on the news no matter what his denomination of monotheism, you can usually be sure it contains a message of hatred for at least one group of people. I swear if Jesus was around today he would be horrified in religion. The first thing he would probably say is this is not what I meant at all. Now anyone who knows me knows that I have no belief system of god. The bible was written by scribes, edited by Romans, bound by Monks, Re-edited by the pope and cardinals, before going through the editing process again by King James. I like to base what I know on proof not belief. I could Believe that the earth is flat, it doesn't make me right. Fortunately I'm not forced to go to church or read the bible (even though I have read it) and I am allowed to pass my own judgement without parental or community pressure. Our daughter has never been christened, manly because I believe that nobody should be forced to join an organisation they didn't have a choice about joining. If when she's older she wants to become a Christian, Muslim or any number of other religions, provided she's made that decision on her own and with no force, then I'm perfectly fine with that.  
The objections to religion are of two sorts - intellectual and moral. The intellectual objection is that there is no reason to suppose any religion true; the moral objection is that religious precepts date from a time when men were more cruel than they are and therefore tend to perpetuate inhumanities which the moral conscience of the age would otherwise outgrow.
But arguing against religion comes against one major obstacle and that's the religious themselves. You can't make a logical argument with an illogical person. If for example I was to say the earth is flat again and I produced one document that catagoricaly agrees with me in every way, would you believe the earth is flat. Or would you think I need further evidence before I jump to that conclusion. Maybe I just chose that document out of thousands of other doctrines because that's the one that most conforms to the way I want the world to be. Its the same with the Bible and all religious texts you place all your logic in one book. One book that you never saw written that has no bibliography, no indication to sources of material and you expect me to believe that this is the word of god. I might as well take the lord of the rings as my beliefs and worship Frodo Baggins as my god if thats the case for delivering us from evil.
The so-called Christian nations are the most enlightened and progressive...but in spite of their religion, not because of it. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetic in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve. And every step in astronomy and geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition. The Greeks surpassed us in artistic culture and in architecture five hundred years before Christian religion was born.

So In conclusion:

  • Without religion women would be free from their idiotic repression in the Middle East.
  • Without religion people would be more concerned with what they did with their lives, rather than what they avoided.
  • Without religion the strongest and most divisive form of segregation would be dissolved and many wars and borders would become irrelevant.
  • Without religion stem cell research could continue uninhibited and cure many debilitating diseases.
  • Without religion the scourge of AIDS and other STDs would be controlled by a condom.
  • Without religion, people wouldn't pray for peace, they would work towards it.
Just one last thing then Answer this, apart from social interaction, what does your religion actually do for you that you couldn’t for yourself?
 
 
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Ok here is a chart I mocked up on photoshop complete with burning just to show what most people want to do to politics but it shows roughly where political parties align themselves


As I get older I find myself becoming more and more socialist. As most people I know become more and more conservative. I guess I care more about the plight of other people than I used to do. I think the ideal governemnt would regulate the economy and business in fair trade. I believe that in an ideal world everyone would have roughly the same amount of wealth. I Believe that people aren't paid enough for low income jobs and that all forms of healthcare should be made a free of charge service paid for by everyone.The top politicians and fat cats would have us believe that socialist policies are unrealistic and unaffordable. But there is more than enough wealth and potential wealth in society to bring in the policies we have outlined. The 100 richest individuals in the UK have a combined personal wealth of over £250 billion. Just £90 billion of this would solve the so-called 'structural deficit' of the UK at a stroke. Big business would squeal that they could never afford to pay so much, but they are happy that we should pay - with longer working hours, worse working conditions and cuts in public services. It is the logic of the market - of capitalism - that dictates that cuts in public services and workers' living conditions are the only way forward. But I do not accept the logic of a system that is driven by profit and greed rather than meeting people's needs.

Humanity is capable of space exploration, has mapped the human genome, and can recreate the conditions of the big bang in the Hadron Collider.

Yet the world cannot be fed on the basis of capitalism. For most of human history it has not been possible to satisfy even the most basic human needs for everyone on the planet.

Now, as a result of the labour and ingenuity of working people, the potential exists to eliminate want forever. The barrier to achieving this is the capitalist system itself.

Based as it is on the private ownership of the economy, capitalism creates immense inequality and deprivation when the potential exists for providing a decent life for all.

A socialist  would take the big corporations, which dominate the economy, into democratic public ownership, under workers' control and management, in order to plan the development of society for need instead of profit. This would only be possible with the active support of the majority of working people.

A genuine socialist  would not take into public ownership small businesses, such as local shops, many of which are currently forced out of business by banks withholding credit and by the competition of the multinationals,.

Nor would it, as opponents of socialism claim, stand for the taking away of personal 'private property'. On the contrary, socialists are in favour of everyone having the right to a decent home and the other conveniences of modern life.



 

Friday

04/01/2011

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A Right Pain In The Back

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Some of you might be aware that on the 11th of March I Fell onto a dumpster lifting up some trash that was picked up from the car park where I work. I'm not proud of it I knocked myself out and since then I haven't worked at all. In fact I'm beginning to feel like a Scouser. The Doctors have placed these restrictions on me:
  1. No lifting over 25lbs....Great My Daughter weighs 29.7lbs so she can climb on me but I can't pick her up well I could but I would have to remove one of her Limbs and I love her far too much to consider that....
  2. No pushing or pulling over 10lbs....So now if she decides to run away from me I could try shouting HEY STOP and if that doesn't work I'll have to resort to bribery with sweets....
  3. No Squatting or Kneeling...So no using those open hole French toilets or worshipping Monotheistic gods....
  4. No Bending more than 5 times per hour....Guess my nights out at the YMCA are cancelled for the foreseeable future along with picking the soap up on the shower floor....

Still It could be worse. I feel more like a Scouser now as I have to complete a Job Search, for Jobs that will accommodate me within these restrictions. Unless the job is feather tester; I don't see that happening still they want FIVE jobs a week filled out. I do however get compensation for this situation; just nothing in the last 21 days.


I also have to do Physical Therapy which basically consists of having electricity pumped through my back whilst sitting on a moderately warm and wet cushion. Call me naive but I was under the impression that water and electricity are not the best of friends. On the bright side there Is the usual collection of 2 year old magazines, of which I could guess the outcome of the 2010 presidential race. I went for Clinton I wonder If she won. Also I found an article about knitting your own socks and how to make a teddy bear out of that old fur coat you no longer wear because It reminds people of Sarah Palin. The PT section of the place I visit has numerous PT machines and a fair bit of gym equipment. One lady recovering from a broken shoulder had to put one arm in one side of a pulley system and the other arm in the other sling. Pulling gently she raised her arm to shoulder height then she either spasmed or something Inside her went GO ON. and she yanked her arm like a campanologist ringing a bell her arm flew skywards at 90mph and her vocal chords hit a note most Bee Gees would be proud of, all this whilst 3 PT trainers frantically tried to untie the poor woman. I on the other hand had to pretend that 'Times' most influential man of 345BC was worthy of a guffaw of laughter....

 

27b/6

04/01/2011

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I can't begin to describe how funny this site is. I just finished watching another fairly boring episode of a satire news program a little 'lol' here and there but nothing even verging on the belly laugh. It seems these days a good laugh is getting harder and harder to get.

This site is basically a blog of a man called David Thorne. Usually involving someone who's complained, not adhered to a reasonable practice or simply an arse licker of the 3rd degree. He then proceeds to what can only be described as tear them another arsehole in the funniest, wittiest most sarcastic way possible. Yes he reminds me of me at my best put simply humour like this is right in my league. If you fail to laugh at the Missy the cat story maybe you shouldn't be reading my blog because you can almost guarantee somewhere along the line I will probably be doing something similar.



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CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO READ MISSY THE CAT STORY

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ARGHHHHHH

I mean what are you supposed to blog about I guess this bit gets easier as time goes on. Today we will be mostly concentrating on me as It is my bloody page after all. Only joking.....

So if you don't know who I am. I am your god send me money in a large quantity. If you do, I probably owe you money.

At the moment of writing I'm 33 with a bad back, a cold, an empty bottle of Iced tea and two unsmoked cigarettes.

TODAY IN THE NEWS
Libya - Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi's armed forces are not close to breaking point despite hundreds of allied air strikes, American military chiefs have said.....Gaddafi must be using the same plastic surgeon on his troops as he is on his own face. they're not breaking just slowly melting into the desert rather like a scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Ireland - The Republic of Ireland's banks need an extra 24bn euros (£21.2bn) to survive the financial crisis, the central bank announces. Word has it on the streets of Dublin the Potato is to replace the Euro by August....

Earth - It looks like a giant potato in space. A survey of Gravity shows the Earth looks like a hot potato in space with baked beans, cheese and a large portion of shite.....


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    Simon Knowles

    Sadistic, Satirical, Sarcastic, Socialist, with enough time on his hands to waste yours.

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