Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bill goes Virago

I told him “I’m pregnant.”
He said, “Congratulations! Who’s the father?”
There was a long silence.
“You bastard,” I whispered.
“Oh,” he said.

She told me: "I'm pregnant."
I said: "Congratulations! Who's the father?"
There was a long silence.
"You bastard," she whispered.
"Oh," I said.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Public Life

Saturday morning, after one Friday night too many, I end up outside Public Life, a bar/club situated in a renovated public toilet outside Christ Church, Spitalfields. It was inevitable really; there are so many toilets masquerading as bars in Hoxton, it was only a matter of time before somebody went the whole bog hog. I couldn't even muster the indignation to say they are taking the piss. Of course there was a huge queue outside - this at 8 in the morning - and I'd imagine spending a penny wouldn't get you very far in there, so I put my tail between my legs and went and took a slash up Brick Lane.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Cat with only one life

The question of Schroedinger's cat, which has consumed top-level physicists and very stoned geeks over the past 100 years has reared its ugly head once again. The question Schroedinger raised states in essence that if a scenario exists where a cat could be isolated from external interference (decoherence), the state of the cat can only be known as a superposition (combination) of possible rest states (eigenstates) because finding out (measuring the state) cannot be done without the observer interfering with the experiment — the measurement system (the observer) is entagled with the experiment.

The thought experiment serves to illustrate the strangeness of quantum mechanics and the mathematics necessary to describe quantum states. The idea of a particle existing in a superposition of possible states, while a fact of quantum mechanics, is a concept that does not scale to large systems (like cats), which are not indeterminably probabilistic in nature. courtesy of Wikipedia

Or in other words, if you put a cat in a box it could be dead or it could be alive and until you find out, you don't know it could be both or it could be neither.

But the question of whether the cat is dead or alive was finally answered today by physioveterinarian Mark Fowells, who in a groundbreaking study published in Nature, pointed out that regardless of the action of the atomic-based poison gas release system indicated in the experiment, after three days or so the cat is pretty much dead.