Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Gravity mirror

 I haven't heard much about what it's like at the boundary of the universe.

Could it be like a mirror, but a mirror that reflects the gravity of its contents back onto them?

That way, as far as the contents are concerned, there is no boundary and gravity is pulling in all directions.

Because of lensing the imaginary "outside" is bigger than the inside, hence expansion.

Friday, 24 July 2020

Argos

If you find the following hard to believe, try to imagine yourself in my position.

I was shopping for a pair of noise cancelling headphones, maybe something I could use for gaming, I thought.

I've got neighbours who like to karaoke themselves to their neighbours, no actual singing, just repeating what they hear, kinda annoying.

I thought noise cancellation would work for that too.

Well it says noise cancelling in the description, so I proceeded with the purchase.

I left it a few days before trying them out.

Some noise cancelling headsets have it enabled by default, some have a button to turn it on and off, some require you download an app.

I thought it curious that it didn't state "noise cancelling" on the box, but then there are probably lots of things the headset does that aren't described on the box.

Like that you need to download an app, available in Windows and Apple versions, to configure the headset.

And a link to the documentation where the headset is described as having "passive noise cancellation".

In case you haven't heard that term before (I didn't), it means that the headset operates like a pair of ear-muffs, or a pillow, or a wall. They make ambient noise less loud by being a barrier to outside sounds.

I wanted something that actually cancelled the noise, not just make it weaker, you know, like
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise-cancelling_headphones

So I phone up Argos customer support where I talk to a Stephen Miller.

He asked me for the Reservation number: 200760.

We talk and while doing so I get an email from Argos, listing the noise cancelling headsets they have available, the Logitech ones I bought were not in the list.

If you go to argos.ie and search for "SHOP NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES" you will see for yourself.

I asked Stephen to send me an email, which he did.

Thu, 16 Jul 2020 14:46:36 +0000
 Hi there,

So just as mentioned on the phone if you take your headset back to a store with you receipt we can exchange for you for a different make or model due to the issue with them, you are also more than welcome to reserve one just in case there is one that you are happy with that we could give you on the same day.
Whatever it is you would like to get or do we should be able to meet your demands within that particular visit.

Take care 

Stephen Miller
Customer Service Advisor
Email: stephen.miller@argos.co.uk
I asked him if there was a reference number for our conversation which I had been told may be recorded for training purposes, he said they didn't have one.

I asked how they referred to recorded conversations internally, he didn't seem to know.

I half-joked that I didn't want to end up leaving the shop with two sets of headphones, which he assured me wouldn't happen.

It happened.

I got there and provided the receipt. Told the Argos sales representative about my phone conversation and the email.

"Do you have a reference number for the conversation?" she asked.

I was dumb-founded. Stepthen Miller specifically stated that they don't provide reference numbers for phone conversations.

Thinking like any reasonable person, I saw a diagram in my head of any reasonable issue-tracking database.

reservation-number -> customer-id

reservation-number -> list-of-phone-call-ids

reservation-number -> list-of-email-ids

I asked if she could get the phone reference number, she said she could not.

I mentioned the email Stephen Miller sent me, she asked to see it.

I said I don't send emails from my phone.

I asked if she could look up the email from their end, she said she could not.

I stated that these were not noise cancelling headphones as stated in their product description, and backed up by the email I got from argos.ie listing noise cancelling headsets and that the Logitech ones I had purchased weren't on the list.

She said she couldn't look that up.

She retreated to consult with two other representatives when I noticed one of them take the headphones out of the box to try them on!

With glee and an actual kind of half-jig she triumphantly announced that they were indeed noise cancelling.

Talk about being on the wrong side of a victory dance. I searched around a bit, found and picked up my jaw and tried to explain what noise cancelling meant.

My efforts fell on deaf ears.

I asked if getting customer support on my phone would help.

I was told that it could.

It took a while but I got to talk to another customer service representative.

I asked about Stephen Miller, the person I was talking to (Becky? - not sure, I'm sure there's a log somewhere, right, RIGHT?) said she didn't recognize the name! WTF!?!

I got the manager in the store to talk to the customer representative and they ended up disagreeing.

The manager, sure that these were noise cancelling, and that I had put them on my head, meant that they couldn't be re-sold, meaning that I was not entitled to a refund or exchange, something Becky (I'm so sorry if I got your name wrong) disagreed with.

I took this encounter as round one and left.

I came back 10 seconds later to buy the headphones I wanted as I had already reserved them.

JBL E65BTNC On-Ear Wireless Headphones - Black

As I write this they are no longer listed on argos.ie but are on amazon.co.uk, with a downloadable manual to boot.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/JBL-Bluetooth-Headphones-Cancelling-Microphone-Black-Matte/dp/B0765Z1NWV

They have a noise cancelling button, and a light to let you know when it's on!

I wrote to Stephen Miller <Stephen.Miller@argos.co.uk> but as of the time of writing this I haven't received a response.

Either the customer service representative (Becky?) I talked to was new, Argos have more than one customer service department, or Stephen Miller is a one-time-use name Argos uses to send customers down the rabbit hole so they hang up thinking they've made progress on getting a refund/exchange.

Update 2020-07-27

About those JBL headphones, I may have discovered why they were taken off the argos.ie website.

I didn't want wireless headphones because no matter how good the battery, it won't last.

At least, I thought, if I keep them plugged into a charger I won't drain the battery.

It says in the manual that to turn on noise cancelling while plugged into the charger, hold down the anc (Active Noise Cancelling button) down for two seconds.

I tried it. Nothing happened.

The one reason I bought them is at fault.

Update 2020-07-30

I intend to take Argos to the small claims court and to that end I handed a letter giving them 10 business days notice, giving them a chance to change their mind. So Firday 14th of August, see you in court.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Reality

When I did the math on approaching black holes I had an epiphany - the very big and the very small are somehow related.

Electrons absorb photons and jump to some higher energy orbit.
Sometimes they shed energy as a photon and fall to some lower energy level.

In ruby, ultra-violet light is absorbed and red light is emitted - this is how ruby lasers work.

Quantum theory doesn't explain how the electron absorbs or emit photons.

Quantum theory doesn't explain how this energy conversion is lossless.

We don't experience 100% efficient energy conversion on our scale other than witnessing what the quantum scale does.

For us, one thing going in and two things coming out doesn't happen.

Oh, wait, isn't that the reproductive process?

But life forms consume energy in order to live, so they can't be the same.

That is unless electrons are consuming energy in the conversion, just from somewhere we can't observe.

In my condensing universe blog I explained that the universe doesn't have to expand in order for us to observe it expanding - it could be condensing and we would have no way to tell the difference.

But a condensing universe would have a surplus of energy stored in the fabric of space itself - maybe that's where electrons get that extra energy.

It gets me that two point-like objects can collide at all - Heisenbergs uncertainty principle would mandate infinite uncertainty as to their momentum.

The only conclusion I can think of is non-locality of influence - if they get close enough then that will do.

But at our scale non-locality doesn't happen, right?

Have you ever had some food cooking while you were on the phone and drinking coffee?

I've got news for you - you're non-local too.

We are entangled with this universe and with each other and our influence extends through time and space.

Life is an emergent property of the physics of this universe.

Speaking of time and space, at the very smallest of scales time loses its meaning, and I've got a feeling that at the very largest of scales, space loses its meaning, and our reality is some where in between.

I watched 3blue1brown's video on quaternions and wondered if the very big and the very small were the result of four dimensional spheres passing through our three-dimensional universe.

If so, electrons, photons, etc could be the same size as our universe but trapped on the surface of some higher-dimensional plane.

I think string theorists call this a brane.

Once you concede this, it follows that the Casimir effect could be other universes glancing off ours like electrons on a sheet of graphene.

Given that electrons are negative and protons are positive, why don't they collide and cancel their charge out?

I'm guessing that electrical charge and electricity itself is/are emergent properties as well, and something else is going on.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

The vibe

Vibe

We vibe off everything, may it be positive, neutral or negative.

That which we vibe off can be animate or inanimate.

When we have an idea, it's the idea we vibe off.

We usually describe this as "like", "dislike", "ignore", "useless", "love",
"hate", "interesting", "curious", "uninteresting", "bizarre", "attractive",
"uninteresting", "unattractive" or other adjectives.

These are all reflections of our human condition - not everyone feels the same,
so, to an extent, how we feel about things is a reflection of us.

When you vibe off something or someone, you know it, balls to bones.
If it's a person and they feel the same, you've found a soul mate.

You don't finish each others sentences, it's like surfing the net but you're
surfing their personality and they are doing the same thing, at the same time!

Notice that I've said nothing about gender.
Gender is a genetic coin flip, and sometimes that coin lands on its edge, so
it's not about that.

I've also not mentioned sex.
How important are having mind blowing orgasims to your life?

It's great when they happen, but it's usually not like calling an elevator,
which is actually part of their charm.

The best adrenaline rush is in the vibe, not the schedule.

What I mean by this is the vibe exists outside of time, but the schedule, when
and where you're going to do something, has a future, present, and a past.

You can sprinkle a relationship with events but the vibe was always there and
the events came from that.

That's why relationships never truly end - t had no beginning.
You were always gonna vibe off them.

And if you think that's not strange enough, cast your mind back to the last time you were lost in the rhythm!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Event horizons of approaching black holes

I think that the event horizons of approaching black holes should repel as they approach.

I was intrigued when I posted a comment on PBS space times' YouTube video and the response was "do the math".

It took me a while but now at least I have something to point at, and I think it was worth the effort given my lack of background in (astro)physics.


The source code is available in SourceForge for you to try out yourself.
I'm on Debian so you'll need make and g++/clang++, I tried to keep it as simple as possible.
The program generates an ".off" file which describes a point cloud.

The image above is what you get when you load the file into MeshLab and take a snapshot.
This was generated by:
./event-horizon  --d=1.6 --res=1e-4
 You can try other values by varying the parameters, the code isn't that complicated to understand.

Enjoy!

Update 2017-10-03


I wrote a CGAL variant that generates full surfaces but as it turns out one sometimes gets its normals inverted - it looks kinda cool though!

Update 2017-10-03 part 2

After several hours mulling it over, I figured out how to write a libigl version with the NanoGUI.
With this version one can look around the model and directly modify viewing attributes as well as the distance (d) parameter.

These screenshots were taken from running
./event-horizon-igl -d 1.382012173 


The thing to note is the blob hiding in the middle of the combined event horizons - it's outside the event horizon but isolated from the rest of space-time.

It's also shrinking as the singularities approach one another.

I'm guessing its entropy is decreasing too, so time is going backwards.

It may or may not be being bombarded with leaking firewall from the two black holes.

Finally, it's becoming so small and so close to the event horizons that millions or billions of years will pass for it while for us it would be just a moment.

Sounds like a pocket universe to me, a time-reversed big bang!

Update 2017-10-13

It looks like the singularities meet inside that pocket of regular space-time!
I used the radii corrosponding to the 29 and 36 solar mass black holes whose gravity waves were detected.

If you run
./event-horizon --r1=.855484 --r2=1.06198 -d 5e-13 --res=1e-11
 here's a very zoomed-in view of what you get (the dot in the middle is the origin)


I wasn't expecting that!

Update 2019-04-18

For the record, I don't believe singularities exist.

When the universe was formed the energy density was way more than matter can sustain which explains why matter didn't form until the universe had time to cool down.

If ultra ultra high energy gamma rays can combine to form matter then that process should be reversible, and everything that falls into a black hole gets hot enough to force that conversion.

Update 2019-05-01

Temperature has no meaning without matter, which means that when the big bang happened things weren't hot, they were dense.
Only after the universe had a chance to spread out did photons combine to produce matter, at which time things were very hot indeed.

Update 2019-07-14

For singularities to exist without breaking the laws of physics, at least the laws of physics of our universe, could they be outside of our universe and our only interaction with them was their gravitational field?
If our universe had at least four spacial dimensions, then inside and outside are the same, they just look different to us - once again here's a link to 3blue1brown's video on quaternions.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Quantum Gravity

The double slit experiment

Just read the Wikipedia article which explains four possible explanations for this phenomena.

Here's my take on it.

The exact location of quantum particles such as electrons, photons atoms... is a probability distribution explained by Heisenbergs uncertainty principle - a bell curve.

Quantum tunneling is the phenomena where particles can appear on the other side of a barrier without having sufficient energy to do so.

It also demonstrates that the uncertainty principal isn't just an idea, it explains phenomena observable in nature.

By the conservation of mass-energy particles such as electrons and atoms aren't cancelling themselves out due to interference as this would release a lot of energy.

If electrons aren't canceling themselves out and their hitting the detector in bright and dark bands then their probability distribution function is being affected by the slits.

They either hit the slit mask where they are absorbed or reflected or travel through it.

Quantum tunneling even allows them to reach the other side of the slits by traveling some non-zero distance inside the slit mask that classical physics would prohibit.

Somewhere in this journey from one side of the slit mask to the other the probability distribution of the particles is affected making their final trajectory different to that of a particle traveling in a straight line without the double slit barrier.

If these particles have mass then it's at the quantum level.
If some thing's changing the direction of such a particle and it's not one of the other atomic forces then were left with one conclusion - quantum gravity.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Hyper Revo 26 Inch Dual Suspension Mountain Bike - Men's - White


I bought this bike from Argos's ebay Ireland web store - here it is.
Curiously, the Argos Ireland web site didn't offer home delivery at the time - maybe it's changed since then.

Anyway here it is out of the box.

45 minutes later and I had it assembled as the first picture shows.
Incidentally don't lie it down that way up - turn it over so the pedals are on top, it makes it a bit easier to assemble that way.

It actually ended up being taller than my old touring bike once I'd adjusted the seat so my legs would stretch to their full extent, so I need to kick my leg up a bit higher or just make use of the lack of a cross bar and mount it that way.

I found the seat would move around when I did my first ride - use a proper torque wrench to keep it from doing this.

The snap lock on the seat works well but you have to remember how it was mounted when you put it back on otherwise you'll be adjusting it back to the way it was after cycling 20 meters, which is a bit annoying.

As far as gears go, since I'm used to touring bikes I just keep it at the highest pedal gear (operated by the left hand gear adjustment) and just use the wheel gear, numbered 1-6, with the right hand.

Sometimes going up or down a gear doesn't have an effect - then you need to go one past and back up, but there's not a big difference between one gear and the next, so that's no big deal.

You'll need a proper two-hand floor pump to fill the tires.

The wishbone suspension was a bit too spongy the way it was set so I tightened it about another 20% to stiffen it up.

I bought some mud guards and a bag holder for it but when the bag holder is weighed down it hits the mud guard which hits the tyre - a problem with dual suspension bikes.

You'll need ones that specifically mention "for dual suspension bikes" otherwise you'll be disappointed.

I got mine from Lidl, and ended up putting on the bag carrier using the supplied tools in the shop, so I could leave with my shopping inside the box the bag carrier came in, on the bag carrier.

It took about 20 minutes to attach.

I guess you dirt bike enthusiasts will be yelling at the screen - "you don't have mudguards or a bag holder when you're dirt bike racing", and yeah, you're right.

I was just looking for a bike that would do what I want and would last, and this certainly looks like it'll do that - and a bargain.

The bag holder was probably a waste of money - I'll use a back pack for heavy shopping in future.

I haven't ridden in the rain or through mud so I don't know how good the mudguards are, so I'll update this post when I do.

It certainly is a smooth ride, and those bumps and holes in the road are a lot less jarring to cycle over than they were before.

It has a steel frame so it weighs some, but it cruises like a Mercedes Benz, or at least how I imagine one would.

Happy trails!