Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Catastrophe In Three Dimensions

I encountered an interesting movie (1hr 17min) on YouTube, that ClimateProgress describes thusly:

"The Crisis Of Civilization is a documentary feature film investigating how global crises like ecological disaster, financial meltdown, dwindling oil reserves, terrorism and food shortages are converging symptoms of a single, failed global system. Proving that 'another world' is not merely possible, but on its way."

Cheerful little flick. If you want to see how we are circling the plug-hole in the bathtub of dystopia, watch the movie:

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany have just released a report which supports the premise that one ecological disaster, anthropogenic global warming (AGW), is already having nasty impacts upon our little blue marble, our lifeboat, Earth.
"At least for extreme rainfall and heat waves the link with human-caused global warming is clear, the scientists show"

On a more cheerful note, I encountered a new word the other day: brane. I thought it was a misprint for 'brain', but it is much more interesting than that.

Definition: (from http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/brane)
"(physics) A hypothetical object extending across a number of (often specified) spatial dimensions, with strings in string theory seen as one-dimensional examples."

Definition: (from http://physics.about.com/od/physicsatod/g/brane.htm)
"In theoretical physics, a brane (short for membrane) is an object which can have any number of allowed dimensions. Branes are most popular for their presence in string theory, where it is a fundamental object, along with the string.

String theory has 9 space dimensions, so a brane can have anywhere from 0 to 9 dimensions. Branes were hypothesized as part of string theory in the late 1980s. In 1995, Joe Polchinski realized that Edward Witten's proposed M-Theory required the existence of branes.

Some physicists have proposed that our own universe is in fact a 3-dimensional brane, on which we are "stuck" within a larger 9-dimensional space, to explain why we can't perceive the extra dimensions.
Also Known As: membrane, D-brane, p-brane, n-brane"

So there you have it. We are stuck in a piddling three dimensions, where we are in grave danger of stuffing up our existence in any number of creative ways and with little hope of reaching any of the other dimensions which we have not (presumably) managed to pollute yet. Inhabitants of the other six dimensions would do well to ensure that we never figure out how to reach them.

Makes one despair for our species, dunnit?

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