Monday, May 25, 2009

The God Particle

I have just finished reading "The God Particle" by Leon Lederman. First off I really enjoyed reading the book. He was one the great heros who helped build the experimental case for standard model of particle physics. The book is written in the Feynman style of popular science, that has long since been given way to bullshit PR books on stringy and insane theory.

Lederman guy was arrogant, but that is part of being a physicist. the book was clearly written just before the SSC got cancelled. If that had not happened we may already know about the Higgs boson.

I have one minor criticism of the book. WHY THE FUCK DID HE CALL IT THE GOD PARTICLE?

Leon named the book "The God Particle", because his publishers would not let him call it "The God damm particle", because is so elusive. But still calling the Higgs boson was clearly the worst decision of his career. In the book he complained about books such as the "Tao of Physics", as being misleading. This is true. I wouldn't mind but it is not clear that finding the Higgs boson would help with understanding the pattern of quark mass. The God particle is just such an emotive term.

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The worse thing is that Leon could apply for money from Templeton foundation. I really need some of that Templeton foundation money. I can't enjoy my late night Martini knowing that I have had to pay for the ingredients myself.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Big football match

I got a taxi home on Friday night after some post shopping beers. The driver tried to make conversation by saying "that it was a big football weekend". "Yes", I said, " if Burnley win on Monday they will be in the Premiership". The taxi driver, then muttered something like "I don' think that anyone in Scotland cares about that". True of course, so what was I thinking by making that reply

Given that I heard the honking of horns today. That normally means either that war has been declared or a local football team has won.

My Mum was born and raised in Burnley. My cousins live there. It would be a very big deal if Burnely get into the Premiership. I am happy that the whole town gets a day out at Wembley. Good luck!


I have been slacking of this weekend. I have so much to do, but I didn't feel like doing much. One trouble with a hobby, such as reading, is that it doesn't really relax me. I would try reading outside more, but I am living in an area where they like to throw rocks.

I have been reading another issue of the Transmetropolitan comic. This comic series is about the exploits of "Spider Jerusalem" a journalist, who is loosely based on Hunter S. Thompson. Anyway there is a lot of booze, drugs, violence and politics.

Patrick Stewart wrote the introduction, so it is hard core literature. Spider's great enemy is known as "the smiler". I hate people who smile as well.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I have finally manged to finish reading Accelerando by Charles Stross. What was the story about? Well frankly, I am not sure. The plot used a lot of complicated ideas from virtual life. There was an alien router that allowed people to download to an alien civilisation.

I had to renew the book about 4 time because it took me so such a long time to read. Now that I look atthe web I see that the book has been released as a free e-book. Interesting extra textual stuff.

Angels and Demons

I am not sure why I am writing so many posts on religion Perhaps my tooth ache problem has made aware of my own mortality

I went to see the film "Angels and Demons" last week. This was an action film based on Dan Brown's book of the same name. Dan Brown is a member of the cult know as the illiterate, dedicated to the destruction of a well crafted sentence.

I enjoyed the film, since it was more an action movie with some symbols thrown in. The movie starts in CERN. As the review in the guardian notes, CERN looks much more impressive than St Peters.

As part of the plot, one character complains about the "God particle". This is actually the Higgs boson, and has nothing to with God, (unless it doesn't exist). The Higgs boson was named the "God particle" by the nobel prize winning physicist Leon Lederman. He probably thought that this was a good idea at the time, but somehow "the God particle" quest has cheapened and confused the purpose of High Energy Physics. I am slowly reading Lederman's book, which that I really like, so I don't want to criticize the guy.

While I was sitting on the toilet this morning, I was pondering on the amount of complete bullshit that is used to "explain" particle physics to the masses, and thinking how I could make things worse. I had an idea, as my bowels finally moved.

In super symmetry, a candidate theory for physics beyond the standard model, there are actually two doublets of Higgs bosons. So there is not just one "God particle", but two! Given that is is pretty important to Christianity that there is only one God, it is clear that the prediction of the bible is that super symmetry doesn't exist. If more than one Higgs boson is found then the pagans were correct, and Christianity is wrong, irrespective of anyone's faith.

The key question is how I can dress this up so that the Templeton foundation will give me money. I need to write this up as a popular book. I will be shunned by the high energy physics community, but I will be rich and a celebrity, and I will still have my integrity, because I didn't mention black holes.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mother Teresa

Sometimes when you read books by people on left they see evil everywhere and you start to not to trust their polemic. However, after reading Hitchens book "the missionary position", I really feel that Mother Teresa was an evil woman. She was a religious extremist who did not believe in dying in dignity.

Hitchens has an interesting history. He was a darling of the left, but he supported the second gulf war and the Bush administration. Partly because he felt it was correct that Sadam was ousted.


When I was about 18 I was very impressed with the autobiography of Luis Bunuel called my last breath. I am going to discuss Bunuel's films, or surrealism, but focus more on the perfect Martini.

In the book he describes the perfect Martini. A martini is made from Gin and vermouth, and sometimes vodka. I tracked down a bottle of vermouth from a shop on Byers Rd. Unfortunately, I don't have any proper Martini glasses, and I am reduced to splashing vermouth into a shot glass, and then filling it with gin. Also I can't fit an olive in the glass as well. In the past I am sure I could have got the correct glasses from Woolworths. I watched the recent James Bond movie, where he drinks Martinis on a private jet.

I am so classy. In the book by Bunuel he recommends letting the rays of the sun pass through the vermouth and into the ice cold gin.

Obviously please drink responsibly. In particular please keep away from gin and tonic. In my experince the people who drink G&Ts are wankers.

Tomorrow Stories

I have been on a voyage of discovery through the world of comics and graphical novels, provided by the kind folks at Hillhead library in Glasgow.

One of the heros of comics is Alan Moore. He wrote the Watchmen novel, "V is for Vendetta" that are classics I have happily read.

So I had high hopes for "Tomorrow Stories" by Alan Moore. However, I found the irony too heavy. It was as though Alan felt that comic books were read by sad losers. I could cry.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

late night taxi

I am living in a quiet residential area. Occasionally I hear children playing outside and the descrete closing of car doors, but usually not much more.

However people in this building are taking a lot of taxis. I regularly hear the honking of a car horn after 22:00. This makes me feel miserable, because somebody is going off into the city centre to some nightclub or some boozy Glasgow dive. I am sitting at home watching TV (or youtube videos). Perhaps I should rush out and steal their taxi.

"Where to sir?"
"Take me to the party"


I am feeling tired, depressed and unwanted at the moment. So now is not a good time to learn about the philosophy of Kierkegaard. I picked up a graphical book (introducing Kierkegaard) of his ideas. as part of a 2 for 1 offer with a book I actually wanted.

What i actually get out of reading this type of book is sometimes beyond me. Sometimes the ideas of recent philosophers is hidden in blocks of text (padded out), so the graphical books gives me the basic ideas fairly fast (I want knowledge now), but is probably uncool to admit.

Persepolis (book)

I had planned to spend the day doing some fits. But in the afternoon I read "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi instead. This is a graphical novel about a woman's upbringing in Iran and Austria. The book hooked me in so that I had to finish it in one session.

It was interesting to read about the problems of growing up in Iran. However, the author seemed very self centered, and would probably annoy me if we ever met. When she came back to Iramn, I was expecting that her parents were driven into poverty, because they had to pay for her bring abroad, but no, they had disposable income.

The last paragraph seems a wee bit critical, she did stand up to authority in a way I can't be bothered to do. She also looks cute on the wikipedia page.

I now know about Iran.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Letter to a christian Nation

I was listening to some religious program on radio 4 just after East. The priest was boasting about his Easter service. Somehow this involved a huge burning fire in the early morning. He led his congregation into the darkened church for mass.

Now I don't know too much about Christianity, but it struck me that the Priest was in the wrong organisation. i would have been an enthusiastic member of his congregation, it a few changes were made. Perhaps some of us could wear black robes, and others would be naked. It would be "fun" to chant some of the prayers backwards.

On a similar theme, I just finished reading "Letter to a Christian nation" a book by Sam Harris. This is a very short book, with many good points. In the past I have had "a live and let live attitude" to these Christians, but extremism on the rise, perhaps I should argue more.

In the end, you die. There is nothing else. Get over it.