Saturday, March 2, 2013

Extra Dimensions

Scientists, or at least some of them, believe that the universe may consist of as many as eleven dimensions - the three with which we are familiar, a fourth dimension (time), and seven additional dimensions which are "folded up" so that we can't perceive them.

To grasp what's meant by "folded up" imagine a piece of paper representing a two-dimensional plane. Now imagine that the sheet is rolled up very tightly so that it looks like a tube. Imagine that it's rolled up even more tightly so that it looks like a wire. If we could do that to the paper we would have converted it from a two-dimensional plane to a one-dimensional line by folding it. The second dimension is still there but it's "folded up" so we don't perceive it.

Not only can't we perceive dimensions beyond the first four we can't very well conceive them either, but the first 12 minutes of this video by Rob Bryanton explain how scientists conceptualize them. The video is helpful, but Bryanton moves quickly and doesn't allow much time to think about what you've heard so be ready to back it up from time to time and review it.

Exit question: What's the point of these extra dimensions if they're imperceptible? What function do they serve?

Thanks to Michael Weiss for the link to the video.


Democratic pollster Pat Caddell who served numerous Democratic presidential and vice-presidential candidates, writes that Barack Obama is more like Richard Nixon than any president in the last forty years. This is a startling claim coming from a well-known Democrat, but the present administration's record of mendacity, opacity, legal circumventions, and cover-ups are, in his view, unrivaled by any administration since Nixon's.

Caddell's particularly incensed by the White House's treatment of journalistic icon Bob Woodward, the sequester hysterics, and most of all the scandalous cover-up of the Benghazi debacle. Here are a few excerpts from his column:
While Barack Obama may not share the Nixon pedigree, he and his White House are the closest thing to the Nixon regime of any that we have seen since then -- both in the extent of their paranoia and their willingness to suppress the truth and push the boundaries of law.

In my lifetime, in over 40 years in national politics, Mr. Obama is the only president who comes close to rivaling Richard Nixon for fundamental disingenuousness.

As the youngest person on Nixon's enemies list in 1972, I am particularly sensitive to a White House where they have utter disregard for trampling on dissent and on the rights of individuals.

As important as these other issues are, however, nothing rivals Benghazi. During the Chuck Hagel confirmation fight, it was revealed that to this day, neither the public nor the Congress know the names of those who were evacuated out of Benghazi. Nor have we ever seen the transcripts of the interviews which were conducted immediately after the event.

The White House's excuse, that this information cannot be revealed because of an FBI investigation, is eerily and frighteningly similar to Nixon telling H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman to "turn off" the Watergate investigation as it threatened national security.

Since Benghazi, when I raised the alarm about a media that was not only willing to blatantly support one political party or one political candidate but for the first time seemed willing to suppress or ignore the facts and truth as related to a disaster of American foreign policy, my fear has been that we are now on a slippery slope. Almost everything since then has helped to realize that fear.

What this Woodward/White House sequester battle highlights is the crisis in our democracy. Not so much for what it says about Mr. Obama and his administration but for what it says about the establishment press and all the members of my own party.

During Watergate, there were a number of Republicans who were willing to stand against the president of their party in defense of the United States of America.

Sadly, as a Democrat, I must confess, that today there is no Democratic Senator or member of the House who appears to be willing to publicly put the country ahead of Barack Obama's White House.
When Mr. Obama first campaigned for office he gave most people to believe he would return us to the days of Franklin Roosevelt. This was frightening enough for many who were disposed to oppose him in the first place, but little did those who supported him expect that on the way back to FDR he'd stop at Richard Nixon.