Saturday, 26 February 2011

Have you ever wondered why golf balls have dimples?

If yes, I must ask what is wrong with you. (YOU VERY SAD PERSON)

Anyhow, now I've asked the question, I feel obliged to give an answer.

What it boils down to is the two different types of airflow; laminar and turbulent. Laminar flow is characterised  by a system of orderly layers, with no eddies or irregular fluctuations. In simpler terms, the flow lines do not cross.
Turbulent flow then is where there is not a system of orderly layers; that the flow lines cross.

Laminar flow past a ball is bad; it forces a larger separation in the air flows, causing greater drag, so that the ball will not travel very well. However, the balls dimples cause the flow lines to cross, and creates a turbulent stream behind the ball, lessening drag.

Really, all I needed to say was that golf balls with dimples travel further... But that would have been no fun.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

A Rant.

Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende became the first democratically elected Marxist leader when he became president of Chile in 1970, after his fourth attempt. Allende had been a medical student and subsequently went on to become minister of health. Once elected to president, Allende found Chile in a dire economic situation. He immediately started methods of nationalization and started redistributing wealth, while at the same time forging relationships with China and nearby Cuba.

However, America didn’t like having a communist nation so close to them, especially with its ties to Cuba, and what America doesn’t like tends to disappear. President Nixon ordered his advisor for national security, Henry Kissinger, to organise a coup to overthrow Allende. The CIA sent a taskforce into Chile, violently murdering the first person they tried to coerce into overthrowing Allende, chief of staff general Rene Schneider, when he refused before having success. They managed to stage a military coup, installing a junta under right-wing General Pinochet. On the morning of this Allende broadcasted a famous speech, saying he would not resign, finishing with “¡Viva Chile! ¡Viva el pueblo! ¡Vivan los trabajadores!“(“Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!”) Later that day Allende was found dead, and although it was declared suicide, there have been questions raised over this. In the following months Pinochet’s regime went on to murder thousands of its political opponents and install fascist-style restrictions in Chile, imposing strict controls on the media, suspending the constitution, banning all political activity and even closing down the Chilean parliament. He also tortured and exiled many, and destroyed Chile’s industry and agriculture.

Of course, America were no help for the people of Chile, even murdering many of the ‘dissidents’ who fled the regime, assassinating Allende’s peaceful supporters such as Orlando Letelier before attempting to cover it up. Britain’s right-wing prime minister of the time, Margaret Thatcher also provided Pinochet with weapons to enforce his tyranny and blocked the UN from investigating the breaches of human rights in Chile.

Pinochet was eventually voted out of power in 1989, although staying as commander-in-chief until 1998. In the same year he was arrested for his crimes during a visit to Britain. Before he was able to be extradited to Spain he was released home on compassionate grounds, where he was found unable to stand trial due to dementia, in 2001. In 2005 it was discovered that Pinochet had illegally laundered $28000000 during his rule. Pinochet died in 2006.

Thanks for him, America.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Dead or Alive.

I like viruses, I know I shouldn't as they are a classification that consists entirely of pathogens but I still like them.
There are 3 main parts to viruses, the genetic bit (made of DNA or RNA), a protein coat to hold it all together and some, more advanced viruses have a lipid envelope.
 Some viruses have quite simple shapes like helix's while some start to look more like living things.

My Favorite virus is this badboy:

His name is Enterobacteria phage T4 and he infects E.coli 

What else...

Oh yeah viruses have the most genetic diversity out of everything; plants, animals, archea etc but that's mainly because their DNA varies in shape so much as it's a large part of their overall structure.


I'm tired so i'm going to leave it there, i'll just do a really good blog next week.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Yay for a monopoly of organised violence!

According to a history professor I saw give a talk, that is what the state does. What's more, I agree.

He also said that the state is that which has law.  To enforce law, one must be the only person, or organisation (such as a government) to be able to have total control over the population.

A monopoly of organised violence follows this- normally administrated by the police force, or in extreme cases an army. If you are to disobey their law, they'll arrest you. If you protest violently against arrest, say with a firearm, it's within their rights to shoot you. Government controlled violence. It may sound horrific, but it's one of the only reasons that prevents us from descending in to anarchy and mob rule. In essence a revolution. History shows us that these are normally bloody.

An example of this is Egypt. If we follow this logic, it is no longer a state. It's army is not fully following the commands given by its government, and can no longer exert its monopoly. It can not disperse the hundreds of thousands of protesters marauding on the streets, so a overthrow of government is becoming more and more likely.

What will happen? Don't ask me - I'm only 17. It's not up to me...

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


Enough with the science, here's some Maths!

a = x [true for some a's and x's]
a+a = a+x [add a to both sides]
2a = a+x [a+a = 2a]
2a-2x = a+x-2x [subtract 2x from both sides]
2(a-x) = a+x-2x [2a-2x = 2(a-x)]
2(a-x) = a-x [x-2x = -x]
2 = 1 [divide both sides by a-x]

How can this be true? What's wrong with this is that at the last stage, both sides have been divided by zero (a=x, so a-x must equal 0). This is a mathmatical impossibility. But why?

As you divide by smaller numbers, the answer gets bigger and bigger, tending towards infinity as the number you divide by tends towards 0:

10/0.00001= 1000000
10/0.000000001= 10000000000
and so on:

Anything divided by zero will give infinity, and so the equation above is impossible.