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Sascha VongehrRSS Feed of this column.

Dr. Sascha Vongehr [风洒沙], physicist and philosopher, studied phil/math/chem/phys in Germany, obtained a BSc in theoretical physics (electro-mag) & MSc (stringtheory) at Sussex University... Read More »


Trimethyl-Xanthine (spoken: Zanthine) is a bitter, white crystalline alkaloid. It is found in varying quantities in the seeds, leaves, and fruit of some plants, where it is naturally synthesized as a pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding on the plants. Having evolved for no other reason than to kill a wide variety of animals, it should not come as a surprise that some of its effects on our human bodies are less than desirable.

In the parallel world where bonobos* developed into those that took over the earth with the help of technology, they never insisted on an absolute nature of time in the first place. Einstein came along and discovered that since we use light as the most basic measurement tool, there should be a certain relativity. They experimented and confirmed that proposal. It was useful, too, and interesting, and nobody called relativity evil, so nobody made defensively a dogma out of it either. Bonobos accepted that relativity can be the emergent symmetry of an Einstein ether in case it is not fundamental all the way.

I do not usually shoot of little posts re-tweeting stuff I found, but the total destruction that is David Albert’s New York Times book review “On the Origin of Everything” reviewing “A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing” by Lawrence M.

That relativity theory or quantum mechanics are only important at huge velocities or incredibly small distances and so on is a common misconception. In fact, the yellow color of gold and the stickiness of fridge magnets are relativistic effects. One thing that only works because of quantum mechanics is that a gecko can walk along the ceiling, which is quite astonishing to watch for the first time. I remember washing myself in Thailand, finding beautiful white geckos above me. Not knowing how secure they are up there on the moist ceiling nor whether they were potentially dangerous, this was a quite strange situation, making me jump every time they moved.

I just saw the most annoying video about an interesting physics question. Apart from the over the top stereotypical German (supposed to be funny or is he for real?) and arrogant “look how clever we physicists are” attitude, the most annoying is that the really interesting stuff about the question isn’t even mentioned. Arrrggg - how can one be so ignorant?

You may have heard about certain potential dangers of nanotechnology; I like to write about some of them on occasion; and you probably know about the almost lost battle against so called superbugs, those pesky bacteria that evolved in hospitals to become resistant against all our drugs. Now combine these for something a little more scary: Fast-track evolution towards superbugs.