Cyclic Universe Theory

One of the biggest mysteries in cosmology could be explained by a controversial theory in which the universe explodes into existence not just once, but repeatedly in endless cycles of death and rebirth.

Called the cyclic universe theory, it could potentially explain why a mysterious repulsive form of energy known as the “cosmological constant,” which is accelerating the expansion of the universe, is several orders of magnitude smaller than predicted by the standard Big Bang model.

Now, I’ve never been a fan of the traditional Big Bang Theory.  It just has too many practical holes.  The one that bothers me most is the question of what was there before the big bang?  Something had to be.  You just don’t normally get something from nothing.  So, a LONG time ago, I came up with the cyclic theory.  Now, apparently it’s catching on.

But, that still doesn’t explain what was there before the first one.

When is a greenhouse NOT a greenhouse?

Does the Earth’s atmosphere primarily behave like an actual greenhouse?
No. The term “greenhouse effect” is unfortunate since it often results in a totally false impression of the activity of so-called “greenhouse gases.” An actual greenhouse works as a physical barrier to convection (the transfer of heat by currents in a fluid) while the atmosphere facilitates convection. So-called “greenhouse gases” in the Earth’s atmosphere do not act as a barrier to convection so the impression of actual greenhouse-like activity in the Earth’s atmosphere is wrong.

Reality check: No one cares.  People who feel man controls the Earth’s destiny don’t care what you call it, how it works, or even IF it works.  They think we are God and all we have to do is snap our fingers and the billion years of evidence of constant global change will instantly stop at the most convenient temperature they deem necessary.  And, until we do that, every single normal function of the Earth for the last billion years will simply be more evidence that we have not done what is necessary to stop that billion year cycle dead in its tracks.  So next time, just enjoy your weekend.

Bok Globules

First of all, look at this picture.

Now, do you see a red cloud with a messy hole in the middle of it? Or, do you see a black cloud with a bunch of red around it? I personally always thought it was just a red cloud with a hole in it. But, it’s actually a black something in the middle of a red something.

“Dubbed Bok globules after astronomer Bart Bok, who predicted their existence in the 1940s, these dark clumps of dust and gas are concentrations of the elements that feed star formation. “

Just think of those as stellar wombs next time you see one. Pretty cool huh?

Our pathetic example of global warming and what it could be and how

John Roth shined his flashlight on a black streak flowing through the cream-colored marble forming the walls of the Oregon Caves.

The graphite line is graphic evidence of dramatic global warming that consumed so much oxygen that it nearly wiped out all life on the planet 247 million years ago, said the natural resources specialist for the Oregon Caves National Monument.

Scientists aren’t certain what caused the episode some 247 million years ago. They estimate that temperatures ranged in the low 100s year-round for thousands of years, he said.

“Its kind of scary that we don’t know for sure what caused the worst catastrophe of life on this planet,” he said.

Well, they kind of touch on some ideas, and totally omit others.  Some thoughts by a dangerously informed layman:

  1. It couldn’t be your run-of-the-mill global warming as we have it now, man wouldn’t even exist for a couple of hundred million years.
  2. It could have been one of those cataclysmic meteor/comet strikes.  As the Moon points out, there was serious activity going back then around that time ( give or take a few million years ).
  3. We could have been passing through the Oort Cloud, which more or less goes along with #2.
  4. The coup de resistance, Nemesis did it.

Huh?  Nemesis?  Now, not too many people are aware of Nemesis.  But, in a nutshell:

Nemesis is the name given by scientists to a (theoretical) small companion star to our sun. Every 26 million years, Nemesis’s orbit brings it close enough to the sun to bombard our solar system with billions of comets.

Now, it would seem to me if Nemesis got closer than usual, a second sun would be more than enough to heat the Earth up a couple of notches.  And, if the radiation didn’t do it, I would imagine being bombarded by billions of comets would do it for sure!  For more information, this is an excellent “source” on Nemesis:

Think this is all hocus pocus?  Think again.  A brown dwarf could easily be within an orbit close enough to Earth to wreak the havoc of “Nemesis”.  EASILY.  Think we should have seen it by now?  Think of it this way, we didn’t discover Pluto until 1930.  We didn’t discover Sedna until 2005.  Sedna, in case you don’t recall, is within our solar system.  So, think finding a dark object several thousand light years away is all that easy?  Hell, they nearly hit Earth all the time and we don’t even see them.  A brown dwarf would be a little bigger, but not necessarily a lot.  And, depending where it’s at, it wouldn’t have to be all that far away.  And, if it’s in or even near the Oort Cloud, we wouldn’t see it till it was right on top of us because of all the comets and meteors hitting us daily.  Trust me, if the Nemesis and/or Oort Cloud theories hold any water at all, global warming would be about the last thing on anyone’s mind.  If indeed, there was anyone left to think about it.

The Vanishing Earth

Imagine you were stuck in space in a very small space ship that had no capabilities to go anywhere and a very limited amount of supplies.  And, then you looked out your window and saw that happening.

The Earth, slowly dissolving into the nothingness of space.

I’d have to think that would be somewhat disconcerting.

Never fear tho.  That’s just the solar eclipse as viewed from ISS.  Very cool.

Hayward Fault

Scientists think they know where the next big earthquake will be in California.  Namely, right here:

See the town of Hayward?  That town sits right on the Hayward Fault.  ( That should be a MAJOR clue. )  Now, I would be a little more skeptical of Livescience’s article, but I remember watching a baseball game a few years ago and watching an earthquake knock it off the air.  Apparently they get pretty good ones all the time.  Now, the problem I have is unlike hurricanes, major earthquakes are not predictable.  Unlike tornadoes, earthquakes can devastate an entire region, knocking out infrastructure.  Unlike almost anything else, earthquakes can change the lay of the land making immediate reparations impossible.  However, given the awesome destructiveness of a major earthquake, and knowing the history of the area, some 2 million plus people have called the Hayward Fault home.   That’s a lot of people.  Let’s think of this way, it’s four times the population and density of the area affected by Katrina.  And, we knew Katrina was coming.  The next “big one” for Hayward won’t give us that luxury of planning.

Bottom line, knowing what we know, and the Californians knowing what they know, will they still try to blame FEMA if the President is a Republican when it does hit?  I mean, they’ve been warned.  Now the political playing field is exactly the same.  Everyone knew New Orleans could flood, and it did.  We all know it’s just a matter of time before a major earthquake hits California again.  But, people still move there.  I have several friends that live there.  They’re not morons.  They know the risks involved of being there.  But, when the next big one does come, how many people in that area will blame it on FEMA, the government, or anything other than their own decision to live there when people die and property is destroyed?

Final bottom line, there is risk involved no matter where you live.  That’s a given.  However, what is bothering me of late is people seem to refuse to acknowledge that risk and when that risk materializes, blame someone else for their own decision to live there.  Bad things are going to happen anywhere, there WILL be a major earthquake in Hayward.  No if’s and’s or but’s.  The Midwest will suffer from floods and tornadoes.  No if’s and’s or but’s.  The deep South will have hurricanes.  The northeast freezing cold and dangerous blizzards.  Earth is just a dangerous place.  Don’t blame it on FEMA or anyone else, you’ve been warned.

The Solar Climate

Scientists predict the next solar activity cycle will be 30 to 50 percent stronger than the previous one and up to a year late. Accurately predicting the sun’s cycles will help plan for the effects of solar storms. The storms can disrupt satellite orbits and electronics; interfere with radio communication; damage power systems; and can be hazardous to unprotected astronauts.

The breakthrough “solar climate” forecast by Mausumi Dikpati and colleagues at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. was made with a combination of computer simulation and groundbreaking observations of the solar interior from space using NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). NASA’s Living With a Star program and the National Science Foundation funded the research.

The sun goes through a roughly 11-year cycle of activity, from stormy to quiet and back again. Solar storms begin with tangled magnetic fields generated by the sun’s churning electrically charged gas (plasma). Like a rubber band twisted too far, solar magnetic fields can suddenly snap to a new shape, releasing tremendous energy as a flare or a coronal mass ejection (CME). This violent solar activity often occurs near sunspots, dark regions on the sun caused by concentrated magnetic fields.

Now, if my theory holds true, I would strongly suggest those that have not moved back to New Orleans, don’t.

4/20/17 Editor’s Update:  We now have retrospect.  The “next” Solar Cycle has now come and gone.  Rather than being 30 to 50 percent stronger, as predicted by NASA, it was 30 to 50 percent weaker.  The stronger double band to me is pointless OTHER than the fact the first peak of the cycle was so profoundly weak possibly the second band being stronger might indicate that the cycle might be returning to normal.  The one year delay did occur as predicted and 2007 was a remarkably uneventful year.

The big picture from all of this?  The less activity, the warmer it feels on Earth.  2007 was a brutally hot year.  When it peaked, we had the biggest snowfalls in a decade.  SOME will say this all coincidence.  I don’t believe that.  MY prediction is that if the solar cycle returns to its normal levels, the Earth will magically cool and scientists will be dumbfounded trying to explain while global climate change isn’t going as planned.

Cueva del Fantasma

I live in southeastern Kentucky. We’ve got caves all over the place here.  Some of them are pretty big too:

See that backlit thing in the bottom right hand part of the picture?  That’s a person.  That’s how big Mammoth Cave can get.  Although some caves are bigger, the Mammoth Cave system is pretty impressive, basically running underneath a good part of Kentucky.  We’ve got caves right here in my hometown as well:

That one’s pretty cool.  A river runs through it.  I have spelunked quite a few of the caves around here, some are pretty large by my standards.  Some drop off bluffs directly into the lake.  Some have unusual formations in them.  Some are just plain beautiful.  However, I have to admit, I never dreamed of a cave like the one just discovered in Venezuela:

Beautiful view huh?  Now, to get an idea of the size of Cueva Del Fantasma, see those two lighter colored objects sitting at the bottom of the cave?  Those are HELICOPTERS!

Sprites: The Motion Picture

That up there is just cool.

What’s even cooler is the Motion Picture!

I did a piece on this phenomena and it’s possible ramifications a while back.  In fact, it was a couple of weeks before that pic was taken.  Pretty cool timing huh?  They still don’t know the power of these things, or whether it could destroy a shuttle or not.  But, as opposed to just a short time ago, they no longer doubt they exist at all.