Random Thoughts

When I was a young guy living in Florida, on one station we used to get reruns of a television show called "The Saint". I liked the stick figure cartoon and the halo that would appear above his head in the beginning. Roger Moore was cool.
What big trends can you expect to take hold in 2013?  THE WIRED WORLD IN 2013 is a new annual trend report that covers a broad range of topics across eight sections; from science to arts, politics to medicine and culture to the environment.

I have two articles in the issue, one on science and one on environmental policy - that's right, Richard Branson and James Dyson only get one but they love Science 2.0 twice as much.

You can buy it on newsstands, get it within the Wired UK app on iTunes/Kindle/Android or buy a digital copy at this link:

Scientists take a great deal of pride in the Scientific Method, and not just because it’s a method named after them. The Method is the basis for their authority. It is the universally accepted tool for finding all facts about the universe, the unbiased straight-and-narrow path that we wish all of the world’s irrational people would find more often.

Oh, you think that’s condescending? How do you know? What are your controls?

Overextended, uncivil in spirit and costly, elections in both the United States and Canada are ironically becoming insulting to both democracy and thought.

The 2011 Canadian election cost about $300-million - up from $198-million in 2000. Per capita, that amounts to about $9. This year's American elections will cost an estimated 5.8 billion dollars or $18 per capita. And while Canadians have been flabbergasted by 50% election-cost inflation over a little more than a decade, the rate of increase south of the border has been a whopping 80%.
Since spot weather events are once again proof of global warming, reversing the trend of 2007 to 2011 when we were told that local weather was not evidence against global warming, it's time to think about the upcoming Ice Age - because we are having a big storm in the northeast, weeks later than when we had a giant snowstorm in 1980 Pennsylvania that knocked out our power for a week, so NYC media writers desperate for pageviews say it must be due to climate change.  
Physics professor Paul Frampton of UNC Chapel Hill is sitting in an Argentine jail, busted for trying to smuggle out 2 kilos of cocaine, but that hasn’t stopped him from asking for a raise on his $107,000 annual salary - raise as in he wants it doubled.

Hey, he has tenure. And a lot of citations.

Frampton is in a spat with the school because he says they are improperly withholding his salary. They contend his being in an Argentine prison cell for virtually all of this year means he can't possibly be doing any work, even for a tenured professor.
How do you make an A-list film with a B-movie budget?  You use clever writing, moody atmosphere and then some creative camera work. Result: a lot of fun.
Are you buying Halloween candy?  Don't you know they use child labor to harvest those cocoa beans?  You went to Chick-fil-A?  So you don't believe gay parents have just as much right to be annoying at a kid's soccer game as everyone else?

It's increasingly the case that someone, somewhere, is going to make a value judgment about you based on what you buy and where. This is the sign of a new, militant mentality made easier by the Internet, right?  No, it is American culture 101.  The first American boycott took place in 1765, because of the Stamp Act, and it so confused and was misunderstood by the English ruling class they lost a whole country 11 years later over it.  We're not as ban-happy as Europe, so we instead boycott, and always have.
One of the results of the conference "ComunicareFisica 2012" I attended last week (and about which I wrote extensively in the past few posts) was, for me, getting convinced that Twitter cannot really be ignored. I have subscribed long ago and never really used it much, but now I am going to be more careful with that medium. I intend to tweet there news on HEP as well as other things I find interesting. I promise it will be a high signal-to-noise channel.

So this post is just to say that you are all welcome to follow me on twitter at @dorigo. See you there!
Disclaimer:  This blog post is composed of speculative ideas and any resemblance to actual scientific findings is purely coincidental.  

The beginning of this speculation is oriented around early life forms, not the origin of life, but rather how simple primitive cells may have begun to evolve.

Therefore one of the initial assumptions is that primitive cells existing during this early period were fundamentally unique.  Reproduction was not yet part of the dynamic, and these "cells" were little more than primitive chemical factories, capitalizing on their environment.

One of the first questions to surface is why reproduction would have evolved at all.