Brian Stokes leaves ANDP to form new party

A little late in the day, but here’s the latest news from the Alberta NDP:

BRIAN STOKES FORMS NEW PARTY

NDP Organizer to form New Egress Party Party, to advocate for increased rights to landlords

EDMONTON – NDP organizer Brian Stokes threw his hands up yesterday, and declared his intention to form a new centre-left interventionist party.

“This just sucks,” said Stokes. “All the NDP cares about is helping deadbeats – I mean, working families, like the ones in my building – but what about the landlords?”

Stokes says he intends to poach key members from the Alberta NDP by forcing his tenants to sign on to his effort. Many residents of his building in Old Strathcona are currently NDP members.

“The New Egress Party Party (NEPP) will addess the real issues in Alberta, and take away what few rights our provinces’ tenants have left,” he said.

NEPP will also focus on bailouts for big landlords and condo developers hurt by the recession.

Stokes added that he has already engaged in discussions with Edwin Erickson on the fledgling Progress Party, as well as Joe Anglin of the Alberta Greens, who are at risk of being deregistered due to its failure to comply with Elections Alberta registration guidelines. He says that the three parties will attempt to work out a seat-swapping arrangement to avoid splitting the very-silly vote.

Stokes intends to brand his new party with the motto – “Alberta’s Egress Party Party: NOT On Your Side.”

Tenants from the building Stokes manages refused to comment – but pointed out that Brian does have a vacant suite if anyone else is interested in joining the new cause.

Happy April Fools,

Alberta NDP E-news
Alberta NDP

Repost: On why today isn’t a day for pi

(From one year ago)

Many around the world spent today celebrating the widest known mathematical constant, that share’s it’s name with a tasty treat:

π

The celebrate today because as March 14, or 3.14, it is a representation of π.

However this is wrong.

π in decimal (base-10) is 3.14159…, however, the calendar is not based on a base-10 system. So when is the real “pi day?”

We could consider a year to be like a circle, in that at the end (December) it connects right back to the start (January). In this representation we could represent the total number of days in a year (365.25) equal to the total angle of a circle (360 degrees, or 2π radians). This system would make “pi-day” to be approximately July 1st (or 2nd on a leap year, which also helps deal with rounding errors). This would also give us a 2π day on New Year’s Eve.

Or perhaps we should use the year’s total number of days as a base of counting, in which case π would have to be converted to that base and that would be the date. (Check my math perhaps) I think this date works out to April 24th or 25th (depending on leap years again).

However, explaining to people why you’re calling April 25th, or June 1st pi day and eating pie (which I did indulge in today), might take longer than the brief amusement provided by the idea.

Squirrel Physics

Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy is having some issues with squirrels attempting to defeat quantum mechanics.

But I think this requires a closer look and a bit more physics.

In his first picture (Squirrel Wavelength), we see the squirrels would travel with approximately 1/4 a fence-length wavelength. We’ll call this a wavelength of 0.25.

In the newer picture, taken at a lower temperature, we can estimate a wavelength of roughly 0.1 (it’s a little shorter but that’s not too much of an issue).

Phil’s concern is that quantum mechanics predicts that as temperature decreases, wavelengths increase. However, by demonstrating this relationship, these squirrel’s have disproved quantum mechanics!

Now, one commenter suggests that this could be due to multiple squirrels superimposing their tracks, or even one squirrel that crossed the fence multiple times, however, this explanation is just not fun enough for these sorts of exercises.

The general relationship for energy and wavelength is given by E = hc/?, where E is the energy, h is Planck’s constant, c is the speed of light and ? is the wavelength. Energy is proportional to temperature, so wavelength is inversely proportional to temperature.

But there’s a problem here: the squirrel’s aren’t moving at c (roughly 300 000 km/s), they aren’t even moving at a constant velocity!

If we assume that the frequency of the squirrels, f=v/? where v is the velocity of the squirrel, is constant (a safe assumption for most waves), then we can figure out a relationship for the squirrels velocity with respect to temperature.

So since the squirrel’s wavelength decreases with temperature, to maintain the constant frequency relationship, we must infer that the velocity increases with decreasing temperature!

Basically, the little buggers move faster because it’s really cold.

This relationship will have to be further developed as it only takes into account non-relativistic squirrels, and the relationship would seem to imply that as the temperature continually dropped, the squirrels would approach near infinite speeds!

There’s a caveat here though: at a finite temperature the body functions of the squirrel will shut down and kill the vermin, thereby preserving the laws of physics for us all.

Avast ye scallywags

Y’argh!

Today be International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

As a special tribute, I want to make ye all aware of the Computer Engineers of the University of Alberta. They be the rowdiest crew of plunderers since the Last Saskatchewan Pirate (see the video).

Doubt my words about the mighty CompEs? Just watch the video below (2 parts):

As a final word, any buccaneers that be reading this in the area of Edmonton should do well to drop by Dewey’s on campus after 15h00 and visit the Pastafarians of the UofA Atheists and Agnostics.

Until next year, keep plundering the booty!

Sex sells atheism?

There’s a new [tag]book[/tag] out by lawyer [tag]Geoff Henley[/tag] entitled “[tag]Beyond Reasonable Doubt[/tag]: A Lawyers Case for Disbelief in God” and rather than resort to traditional advertising means, he’s created a series of sexed-up [tag]YouTube[/tag] [tag]videos[/tag] to help him sell.

The first I came across was the [tag]bikini[/tag] girls [tag]cat fight[/tag] over [tag]atheism[/tag]:

The sequel to the cat fight features the [tag]girls kissing[/tag] and making up:

Finally, there’s the sexy woman in a towel arguing about the [tag]Bible[/tag]:

Check out his website for more on the book.

On why today isn’t a day for pi

Many around the world spent today celebrating the widest known mathematical constant, that share’s it’s name with a tasty treat:

?

The celebrate today because as March 14, or 3.14, it is a representation of ?.

However this is wrong.

? in decimal (base-10) is 3.14159…, however, the calendar is not based on a base-10 system. So when is the real “pi day?”

We could consider a year to be like a circle, in that at the end (December) it connects right back to the start (January). In this representation we could represent the total number of days in a year (365.25) equal to the total angle of a circle (360 degrees, or 2? radians). This system would make “pi-day” to be approximately June 1st (or 2nd on a leap year, which also helps deal with rounding errors). This would also give us a 2? day on New Year’s Eve.

Or perhaps we should use the year’s total number of days as a base of counting, in which case ? would have to be converted to that base and that would be the date. (Check my math perhaps) I think this date works out to April 24th or 25th (depending on leap years again).

However, explaining to people why you’re calling April 25th, or June 1st pi day and eating pie (which I did indulge in today), might take longer than the brief amusement provided by the idea.