Sean Williams

august holes

posted on 2 Aug 2006 at 8:50 am

Something odd is going on in the field of black holes, if New Scientist is any judge. During my recent reading of the magazine (passive research is a wonderful thing), I’ve learned that they might well be: compact balls of plasma called “magnetospheric eternally collapsing objects”, bubbles of dark matter known as axions, seeded by sterile neutrinos, starved compared to those in the early days of the universe, homes for entire universes (including our own), tiny and everywhere, among other suggestions.

Whether they exist or not, and in what form, remains very much an open question. It will remain that way until a fleet of new instruments gathers the data required to eliminate the competing theories. This is, therefore, an exciting time for science fiction writers using, say, the core of the Milky Way as a setting, since we don’t even know how many black holes are in there, let alone their nature. Megascience has never been so fun.

On a related note, from the field of linguistics, comes a debate over the relative merits of “butt”, “ass” or “arse”. Me, I think the issue should be decided on a case-by-case basis, as demonstrated by “butt-face”, “arse hat” and “kick-ass”, none of which, imho, would be improved by substitution. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word “butt” in this context before, but I will defend my right to use it should the need ever arise.

Which leads us neatly to my favourite site at the moment: God is Imaginary (like black holes, until demonstrated otherwise). And that in turn returns us to New Scientist’s recent discussion of Feedback’s Statistical Proof of Alatry , as prompted by a certain smartarse South Australian author in its august pages…

  1. Vilken kul utmaning! Ska bli kul att följa dig i ditt skapande om året som går. Jag fortsätter med ett julkort i veckan, men med twisten att dra en liten lapp med en utmaning att skapa efter. Däremot borde jag ta efter dig och fotografera mera!kram Annika