Who wants to be an unpaid billboard?

The fashion industry made a canny move in persuading millions to buy clothing that boldly bears brand names. I wish I knew how they managed that. I for one decided long ago that the only way I would wear such items is if the brand were to pay me for promoting their product (something that, naturally, would never happen).

When I was in the pub for my mid-litter-patrol reward pint last Wednesday, the young lady tending the bar complimented me on the T-shirt I was wearing. It was one of these:

Friends of the Earth ‘No Planet B’ T-shirt

While supping my pint, I pondered this. I looked up the ladies’ version of this T-shirt on my dumbphone, and then returned my empty glass to the bar. The young lady was still there, so I showed her the web page, and offered to send her the link. I left it at that, as she would need to give me her phone number for me to do that. She didn’t offer it (unsurprisingly; at a guess she was about a third of my age). But she did look up the Friends of the Earth website on her own dumbphone while we were chatting about it, so, who knows, maybe next week I’ll see her wearing one.

So, I set off on the second half of my weekly litter patrol… and pondered some more. And the final scene of V for Vendetta came to mind, in which a mass crowd, all wearing Guy Fawkes masks, surges towards the Houses of Parliament:

V for Vendetta – Great scene (finale)

Now, the problem with those masks is that they provide a measure of anonymity, and while this spectacle works well in a movie, it would be all too easy for such an event to be infiltrated and perverted by troublemakers.

But a T-shirt is a different matter. Imagine if enough people could be persuaded to wear this one as they go about their business. In the UK, our government recently revealed more of its fascist tendencies by implementing a law that allows them to punish, and even imprison, peaceful protesters. But while wearing a T-shirt with a specific message can be considered a form of protest, I’m pretty sure that there’s no law forbidding it. At least, not yet….

Enough people walking around wearing such a shirt would send a powerful message. I still hold out some hope that we can change such that we don’t consign all the residents of Spaceship Earth to an unhappy end.

So, might I ask you to consider buying one of these ‘No Planet B’ T-shirts from Friends of the Earth? They’re made from organic cotton, printed in the UK in a renewable energy powered factory, and a snip at just twenty quid each. You’ll be supporting a good cause.†

In fact, I’ll go one better than that: I’m willing to buy one each for the first five folks (it would be more but I’m not made of money!) to contact me (with name and address – I’ll obviously need that to get the shirt to you) to say you’ll have one. Because I’m not entirely stupid, there’s a catch, however: you have to agree to accept my gift under the terms of ‘ye Oath of Giftiness‘:

ye Oath of Giftiness, image

† There’s a megacorporation I won’t name that sells cheaper shirts than the Friends of the Earth one bearing the same ‘No Planet B’ message (though not the same design), but I can’t vouch for whether or not those are mass-produced in overseas sweatshops. (My guess is they probably are.)

Posted in ... wait, what?, Communication, crowdsourcing, memetics, Phlyarology, Strategy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Grassroots Manifesto, by Don Lubov

Don Lubov’s words here ring true, at least to me. It’s way past time our civilization took the next step into a brighter future. Is it too much to ask, too much to hope, that humans can grow up?

Bobbing Around

After many years thinking about this manifesto, it’s time to write it down and to share it with others.

How a society treats its least capable and most dependent members is an accurate measure of its greatness. How it cares for its least fortunate and most needy citizens reveals its worthiness to be called advanced.

Technological invention, development, and production indicate a narrow area of evolution. The built environment, while impressive at first blush, shows a degree of success, and cooperative effort. This effort. too often, is an insight into the surface, physical success only. It seldom translates into high moral values.

Opportunities offered on a universal level are clearer indicators of a society’s humanitarian structure. For example: Is it meeting the five basic needs of all of its citizens? Does it provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical attention and education to all? Not superior, but simply adequate.

When these…

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Don’t trash our future

It’s not just the big things; the little things matter, too.

The UK is suffering from a litter epidemic.

  • 226 million cigarette butts are discarded in England every year.
  • £1 billion – the estimated cost of picking up litter in Britain in 2015.
  • 11,212 bottles and cans were collected in 2018’s month-long CPRE Green Clean Campaign.
  • 2.25 million pieces of litter are dropped on the streets every day [source: Symphony Environmental].
  • 180,000+ sacks of litter are cleared from motorways and major A-roads each year by Highways England [now National Highways].
  • £2.3 million is spend by Network Rail annually to clear fly tipping from its land.

Litter statistics source: Countryfile Magazine 11Dec2019

Laws exist to help keep our country clean but they are either flouted or not enforced on a massive scale – as recent scenes at beauty spots across the UK only served to prove. InYourArea, a UK local news platform, has joined forces with the national behavioural change organisation Clean Up Britain to push for changes they believe will force littering to be taken far more seriously.

They are calling upon the government to increase the fixed penalty notices for littering in the UK to £1,000, or 100 hours supervised community litter picking, and for the government to make it compulsory that every local authority in Britain has to enforce the law. They have a petition to urge those responsible not to ‘Trash Our Future’ – I’ve just signed it; the total number of signatories stands at 62,485. Can you make it 62,486?

If you live in the UK and, like me, care about our country and are appalled by litter louts turning it into a rubbish tip, can I ask that you please consider signing the petition too? You will need to register on the site in order to sign, but that’s a small price to pay, no? (You could use Firefox Relay to hide your email address from them, and block their emails if they became too ‘spammy’ for your taste – more to come on that in a future wibblette!)

‘Don’t Trash Our Future’ tweet by Clean Up Britain
Posted in ... wait, what?, Core thought, Culture, Environment, Health, Phlyarology, Strategy | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

A unique opportunity (time-limited offer!)

WordPress.com has begun reminding me that the domain name ‘a-unique-opportunity.com‘ is coming up for renewal, urging me to renew so that I don’t lose the name. I don’t intend to renew it. If you’re one of my genuine blogging buddies and can use it, please get in touch ASAP so I can transfer it to you.


Just over a week ago, I registered the domain name a-unique-opportunity.com for a specific reason. It has served its purpose; I no longer need it and intend to allow it to expire in a year.



hours minutes seconds


this offer expires

I’m not one to let things go to waste. I no longer need this domain name, but perhaps someone else does. Might that someone be you?

There are two options:

  1. I could transfer the domain name to you, either for a mutually agreeable fee – or for free, if your intended purpose for the name appeals to me.
  2. I could give you appropriate user access to the site to allow you to develop it entirely yourself. In this scenario:
    1. I would reserve the right to editorial control; I wouldn’t allow the site to be used for any unethical purpose.
    2. I would be happy to help with…

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Revealed: oil sector’s ‘staggering’ $3bn-a-day profits for last 50 years

Vast sums provide power to ‘buy every politician’ and delay action on climate crisis, says expert

Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd
under guardiansyndication Open Licence Terms

The oil and gas industry has delivered $2.8bn (£2.3bn) a day in pure profit for the last 50 years.

The vast total captured by petrostates and fossil fuel companies since 1970 is $52tn, providing the power to “buy every politician, every system” and delay action on the climate crisis, says Prof Aviel Verbruggen. The huge profits were inflated by cartels of countries artificially restricting supply.

The oil and gas industry has delivered $1tn in profit a year on average – Guardian graphic. Source: Aviel Verbruggen, University of Antwerp

Emissions from the burning of fossil fuels have driven the climate crisis and contributed to worsening extreme weather, including the current heatwaves hitting the UK and many other Northern hemisphere countries. Oil companies have known for decades that carbon emissions were dangerously heating the planet.

“I was really surprised by such high numbers – they are enormous,” said Verbruggen. “You can buy every politician, every system with all this money […]. It protects [producers] from political interference that may limit their activities. It’s real, pure profit. They captured 1% of all the wealth in the world without doing anything for it.”

The profit-grabbing is holding back the world’s action on the climate emergency, he said: “It’s really stripping money from the alternatives. In every country, people have so much difficulty just to pay the gas and electricity bills and oil [petrol] bill, that we don’t have money left over to invest in renewables.”

[…] over the last 50 years, companies have made a huge amount of money by producing fossil fuels, the burning of which is the major cause of climate change. This is already causing untold misery round the world and is a major threat to future human civilisation. At the very least these companies should be investing a far greater share of their profits in moving to low-carbon energy than is currently the case. Until they do so their claims of being part of the low-carbon energy transition are among the most egregious examples of greenwashing.

Prof Paul Ekins, University College London

[…] in the midst of a cost of living crisis caused by record oil and gas prices, this flow of money to a relatively small number of petrostates and energy companies is set to double this year. Shifting to a carbon-neutral energy system based on renewables is the only way to end this madness.

Mark Campanale, Carbon Tracker

The Guardian revealed in May that the world’s biggest fossil fuel firms are planning scores of “carbon bomb” oil and gas projects that would drive the climate past internationally agreed temperature limits with catastrophic global impacts. The fossil fuel industry also benefits from subsidies of $16bn a day, according to the International Monetary Fund.

There is far more oil, gas and coal in existing reserves than can be burned if the world is to limit global heating to 1.5C.

To keep to 1.5C, this means [international oil companies alone] forgoing around $100 trillion of potential revenues. You can see why oil oligarchs and nations controlled by political elites want to keep their fossil fuel rents, the source of their power.

Mark Campanale, Carbon Tracker
Posted in ... wait, what?, Climate, Communication, Core thought, Energy, Environment, GCD: Global climate disruption, News and politics, Phlyarology | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

We need to treat climate change as the emergency it is

Global heat map comparison, 1976 and 2022

There are still far too many in denial of reality.

I’ve said it all before. I’m tired of being told I’m an ‘alarmist’.

‘Enjoy’ the heatwave, folks. And remember, from here on it only gets ‘better’.

Posted in ... wait, what?, balance, Climate, Communication, Core thought, Environment, GCD: Global climate disruption, Phlyarology, Rants, Strategy | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Republican Voices of Experience Speak Loudly

This may possibly be the most important post I’ve ever read. If we continue to allow ‘one rule for us and another for them’, the whole world is in dire straits… and we should all be in straitjackets.

Filosofa's Word

It’s one thing for someone like me, a mere political observer, to say that Donald Trump must be prosecuted for his crimes, particularly the crime of inciting an attempted coup to overturn an election, to kill the voices of We the People.  You and I can say it all we want, but our words carry little or no weight with the courts or the Department of Justice, the people who really matter.  However, when former Justice Department officials who served in Republican administrations say it, then it carries weight and significance.

The following article, published in The Atlantic, was penned by the trio of Donald Ayer, Stuart M. Gerson, and Dennis Aftergut.  Ayer and Gerson worked in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. Gerson also briefly served as the acting attorney general under President Bill Clinton, while Aftergut is a former federal prosecutor and former chief assistant…

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The 4 r-s of sustainable usage

A guest post by Bob Rich
originally posted on Bobbing Around

1. Refuse

Do I need this thing? Can I continue with what I have? If it’s not satisfactory, can I live a good life and simply accept the imperfection, or can I modify things so I don’t have to throw it away?

Do I really need this service? For example, a holiday in an exotic place is great, but can I have just as good at time at home?

My happiness doesn’t depend on stuff. It doesn’t depend on newness, or neatness, or impressiveness, but on my reaction to such considerations. They only matter if I choose to have them matter.

“I could make that space so beautiful if I only bought this.” But can I make the space beautiful without buying anything?

“That useful device has broken down beyond repair. Do I really need to replace it?” Could I live, and live well, without its convenience? For example, how well could I survive without a car, given my circumstances?

2. Repair

Throwaway society throws away our future, and even our present.

Do I need to buy a new pair of shoes, or can I put new soles on the old ones?

What happened to darning socks?

Do I need to trade in the car because the engine needs replacing — or just repair the engine?

We are fighting so much! Perhaps we need to split and find new partners each? Or can we repair the relationship, and make it stronger, closer and better because we talked through our difficulties?

I don’t like the looks of that old couch any more. But instead of replacing it, maybe I can replace the upholstery.

Don’t toss it; fix it.

3. Reuse

That tissue is an issue; I use a handkerchief.

Throwaway plates, cups, forks and knives? No thanks.

How long can I make this cake of soap last?

Second hand is better value: much cheaper, and probably made from better materials with better workmanship.

It’s last year’s fashion — so what! I am not a sheep to follow the dictates of those who change the fashion so they can fleece people who take notice.

This radio or computer or phone lacks the wonderful features everyone raves about. It was leading edge just a few years ago. I can live, and live well, without upgrading.

4. Recycle

Recycle is the last resort, not the first. When all else fails, and I’ve had to buy something, and need to get rid of it at last, I’ll do my best to ensure it’s converted into raw materials for something else.

If you would like to be a contributor to ‘Wibble’,
please visit Creating content collaboratively.

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The Absurd Search For Dark Matter

The Absurd Search For Dark Matter (see YouTube description for research links) by Veritasium

Derek Muller: I am at a gold mine a couple of hours outside of Melbourne because one kilometre underground they are putting in a detector to look for Dark Matter. Let’s go. It’s going to take 30 minutes to go down a kilometre underground.

Dark Matter is thought to make up 85% of all the matter in existence. It could form a shadow universe five times more massive than everything we can see. Over the past several decades, over fifty experiments have tried to make a direct detection of Dark Matter; but none of them has found anything.

Except one.

Under a mountain in the Italian Alps, there is a Dark Matter detector called DAMA/LIBRA. It’s been collecting data for around 20 years [since 2003], and every year it sees the same peculiar results. The rate of detections increases to a peak in June and then decreases to a minimum in November. Some scientists think this could be the first direct evidence of Dark Matter. But why would Dark Matter create a periodic annual signal? Well, this is our galaxy, or at least what it looks like with visible light. Astronomers suspect it is surrounded and permeated by a huge sphere of Dark Matter; invisible particles that are zipping around all in random directions. According to most theories, Dark Matter doesn’t interact with anything, including itself, except through gravity. We think there should be five times as much Dark Matter as there is ordinary matter.

Now, our solar system is moving around the galaxy at 220 kilometres per second. That means we’re also moving through Dark Matter at this rate, except Earth orbits the Sun at 30 kilometres a second. So, for half the year, we’re moving with the Sun, going faster through Dark Matter, and the other half the year we’re moving in the opposite direction, so going slower through Dark Matter. And the idea is we encounter more Dark Matter when we’re moving through it fastest, which happens to be in June, and less of it when we’re moving slowest, which happens in November. The actual geometry is a little more complicated; the solar system is tilted at 60° relative to the plane of the galaxy, but the idea still works. So, the signal observed a DAMA/LIBRA may be due to this motion through Dark Matter.

Or… It might not be due to Dark Matter at all. It could just be something mundane, like the temperature, humidity, moisture in the soil, the snow on the mountain, or the number of tourists in Italy. All of these things fluctuate with a period of one year, and that is why they’re going to build an almost identical experiment in the southern hemisphere, down the bottom of this gold mine outside of Melbourne, because there the seasons are reversed, but our motion through Dark Matter is still the same. So, if we see the same signal, it’s pretty strong evidence for the existence of Dark Matter.

Prof Geraint Lewis: One of the big problems that DAMA/LIBRA has is that there are other very similar experiments that don’t see anything and this has led to a lot of uncertainty about… is the DAMA/LIBRA signal really Dark Matter? So, yeah, you know, we don’t know; the favorite thing in science.

Derek Muller: But why do we think Dark Matter exists in the first place? In 1933, Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky was studying the Coma Cluster, a collection of more than a thousand galaxies. These galaxies are gravitationally bound together, so they all orbit around their collective center of mass. Zwicky measured the orbital speeds of these galaxies and found that some were moving way faster than he expected. It was as if there was a lot more matter in the cluster than he could see, pulling everything inwards. So, he proposed the existence of invisible matter, which he called ‘Dunkle Materie’, the origin of the term ‘Dark Matter’. No one really took this idea seriously, but 40 years later, Dark Matter turned up again. Vera Rubin and Kent Ford observed the motion of stars in the Andromeda Galaxy, and they expected that the farther out from the center you go, the slower the stars would be orbiting. But this is not what they found. The rotational velocity stays almost constant with increasing distance from the center. Without additional mass in the galaxy to pull those stars in, they should be flung off into space. The result was the same in other galaxies. Using radio telescopes, Albert Bosma and others measured hydrogen gas even further out from a galaxy’s center; but the rotational velocity still stayed constant. One way to explain this is to posit the existence of matter we can’t see: Dark Matter, which holds all these galaxies together.

So, let’s say you have a star and this represents the mass of everything in the center of the galaxy that’s pulling the star in. The star can maintain a stable orbit if its centripetal force is equal to the gravitational attraction to all the mass in the rest of the galaxy. And so you can see that at about a distance of one metre, this is the speed of the orbit. But what happens if we add some Dark Matter? So, this water bottle represents the matter we can’t see. Now there is more mass pulling this star into the middle, which means at the same orbit it can now go much faster, and in fact it must go faster to maintain that orbit; and this explains the observation. This is what we see.

By looking at the rotation speeds of stars, scientists estimate that about 85% of the mass of a galaxy is Dark Matter. But there’s another way to explain these observations without invoking Dark Matter, and that is to modify our theory of gravity.

What’s the supporting evidence for thinking that the particle idea is totally misguided and that we should actually be looking at a revised theory of gravity?

Prof Geraint Lewis: You can either invoke something we can’t see, or you just say, well, the universe is what we can see, and we need a way to explain what’s going on out there; and the only way we can do that is by modifying the laws of physics. So when you look at the outskirts of galaxies, they’ve got a lot of centripetal acceleration. Dark matter says, well, that centripetal acceleration is due to the gravitational effect of Dark Matter, whereas the people like MOND will say, no, that’s centripetal acceleration; that’s just the fact that it’s now reached this floor and can’t get any lower. So they’re saying that there’s not additional force – due to Dark Matter – but there’s a limit to how low the acceleration could go. I think the consensus is hugely in favor of it being a physical substance in that it just seems reasonable that there could be other particles out there that we haven’t seen yet.

And there’s more evidence. This is the Bullet Cluster, a site where two clusters of galaxies collided. Most of the ordinary mass of these clusters is in the interstellar gas; and when the collision occurred, the interstellar gas interacted, heated up and slowed down. So, you’d expect that most of the mass of the Bullet Cluster would be in the middle where all of this gas is. But if you use gravitational lensing, the way that gravity bends light, you can actually measure where most of the mass in this picture is, and it isn’t in the middle; it’s actually on either side. So, the best way to explain this is that when the clusters collided, all that gas got stuck in the middle, but the Dark Matter passed right through, creating the most gravitational lensing where we can see the least ordinary matter.

Even more evidence for Dark Matter comes from the oldest light in the Universe. 380,000 years after the Big Bang, light could finally travel through the universe unimpeded, and this is what we see as the cosmic microwave background or CMB. The red spots show where the early universe was a little hotter, and the blue spots show where it was a little cooler. But these temperature differences were tiny, just 0.01%. But they are there. And you can turn this picture into a graph by counting up how many blobs there are of different sizes. So there’s the most common-sized blob which results in this peak, but there are also other common-sized blobs, and so you get these other peaks of decreasing size. Now, the height of these peaks depends on how much Dark Matter there is. In a universe without Dark Matter, the graph looks like this; but as Dark Matter increases, the amplitudes of even-numbered peaks decreases. To match the measurements of the CMB, we need about five times as much Dark Matter as ordinary matter.

This figure also agrees with the amount of Dark Matter required to explain the motion of stars and galaxies and the motion of galaxies and clusters. So, the Dark Matter hypothesis explains a lot of different observations with a simple theoretical framework: that there’s some type of particle out there that only interacts through gravity. But what is this particle exactly? Since we don’t know, scientists have proposed a whole bunch of different things that it could be, and now we have to try to go out and find them. The approach differs depending on what you’re trying to find. DAMA/LIBRA and the detector at the bottom of the gold mine are looking for WIMPs, weakly interacting massive particles. These particles are expected to weigh about as much as a proton, but interact with ordinary matter extremely weakly.

At the heart of the detector are seven seven-kilogram crystals of pure sodium iodide.

Derek Muller: So, that’s actually sodium iodide in there?

Unknown bod: Yep.

Derek Muller: I didn’t expect it to be so clear.

The idea is that, very, very rarely, a Dark Matter particle may hit a nucleus in the crystal and transfer its energy. This creates a flash of light, called a ‘scintillation’, which is detected by photo multiplier tubes, very sensitive light detectors, which are positioned above and below each crystal. But there’s a problem. Even the purest sodium iodide crystal contains radioactive potassium; and when a potassium atom decays, it emits an electron and a gamma ray. Now, the electron can cause a scintillation in the crystal, just like the hypothesized Dark Matter particle. So, to eliminate these events, the sodium iodide crystals are submerged in a tank full of 12 tons of linear alkylbenzene. This is a liquid scintillator that emits light when exposed to a gamma ray, and that light can then be detected by photo multiplier tubes in the tank. So, if there’s a simultaneous detection in the crystal and in the tank, it was most likely a potassium decay, not a Dark Matter event. But there’s another problem: cosmic rays. Energetic particles from the Sun and other galaxies hit the top of Earth’s atmosphere, creating muons, essentially heavy electrons, which stream toward the Earth at close to the speed of light. Muons can also create flashes of light in the crystal.

This is a muon detector, and it’s got these three panels of plastic here separated by some pieces of steel. If we see a flash of light in all three basically the same time, then we know that a muon has passed through them. So, if I hit reset, we can see it counting up the muons being seen. So… it’s at least a few a second. This is why all sensitive particle detectors are located deep underground. Here we have the muon detector now, one kilometre underground, and it’s been running for something like 15 minutes. And there have been no muon counts.

Madeleine Zurowski: Yeah. We’d have to leave this running for a long time, I think, even if we wanted to get a single hit. We expect the number of meuons down here to be about a million less, and we didn’t see a million up the top, so we’re probably not going to see any down here.

Derek Muller: And this is the whole point of putting a Dark Matter detector underground. You want to get rid of all the background that would create noise in the detector. But even this shielding is not enough. They’ll have muon detectors immediately above the tank. So if a flash is seen in a crystal at the same time a muon is detected, it can be ruled out.

Being underground brings its own challenges. The walls of the mine contain trace amounts of radioactive elements like uranium and thorium, which decay into radon gas.

A/Prof Phillip Urquijo: The requirements here are fairly serious: for Dark Matter experiments, we have to completely control the environment, in particular the radon level.

Derek Muller: To counteract this, the walls of the cavern are coated with special paint to contain radioactive particles. The crystals are immersed in a continuous stream of pure nitrogen gas, and the entire detector is shielded by 120 tons of steel and plastic. Wow. Look at the size of that cavern. There is a lot riding on this experiment; it will validate or disprove one of the most contentious results in physics.

Prof Elisabetta Barberio: So, if we see nothing, well, this is the death of DAMA/LIBRA. But if we see something, well, we are all happy.

A/Prof Phillip Urquijo: I actually like the idea that because, you know, 80% of the mass of the universe is Dark Matter or Dark ‘stuff’, maybe there’s more than just one particle that Dark Matter is made of; it could be an entire ‘Dark Standard Model’, if you like, a Dark version of everything that we can see, or maybe something more complex because there’s so much more of it. I really hope it’s that.

Derek Muller: Do you think that Dark Matter interacts with ordinary matter?

Prof Geraint Lewis: If we want to find out what this stuff is, we’d better hope there’s some level of interaction that we can at least probe when it comes to doing experiments. If God gave me the ‘Great Book of Physics’ and there were two sections, Section A and Section B, one for the luminous matter and one for Dark Matter, and they didn’t talk to each other, I would say that was a very peculiar universe. But in science we have to live with the possibility that, you know, at some level we may never find the answer. It may elude us. But at least we tried.

Derek Muller: The sponsor of this video, Brilliant, is the opposite of Dark Matter. You see it everywhere and it’s highly interactive. Brilliant is an innovative STEM learning platform that guides you through engaging hands-on courses in math, science and computer science. They have great courses on so many topics, from pre-algebra to probability to computer science fundamentals. It’s the ideal complement to watching educational YouTube videos. After learning about a topic, you can dive deeper and get your hands dirty so you really understand it. For example, if you want to learn more about Dark Matter, gravitational lensing and the cosmic microwave background, I highly recommend their astrophysics course. A lot of care and attention goes into all their courses. Every lesson and interactive simulation builds on what you’ve learned previously, and every step of the way, your knowledge is tested through quizzes which check your understanding and reinforce what you’ve learned. If you get stuck, there’s always a helpful hint, so I encourage you to check out the courses on offer over at https://brilliant.org/veritasium and I bet you’ll find something there that you want to learn more about. Plus if you click through right now, Brilliant are offering 20% off an annual premium subscription to the first 200 people to sign up. So I want to thank Brilliant for supporting Veritasium, and I want to thank you for watching.

Veritasium: The Absurd Search For Dark Matter

The transcript above was made with the help of Sonix, which did most of the donkey work for a tiny fee (I did have to spend some time tidying it up). Note that I do not have the copyright owner’s permission to publish this transcript here. I’ve investigated the copyright rules regarding transcriptions (more about that here), and one thing I’ve learned is that it’s no defence to make a disclaimer like “these aren’t my words, no copyright infringement intended.” However, I offer the transcription here as a service to society (especially the deaf community). I do hope the copyright owner won’t object. And I hope that you find this video as interesting as I did.

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Forward or Backward?

I’m a Brit, so I suspect that I may well get flak from USAns telling me that this is none of my business; however, I believe that Russell has hit the nail squarely on the head here (well, all except his penultimate sentence, on shooting off fireworks, as – call me a killjoy if you wish – I’m on a crusade against litter; and those things are just expensive examples of the stuff).

Happy ‘Forth’ of July, USAns!

Russellings of the Spirit

Tomorrow is theFourth of July.

Celebrating this holiday has rarely ever been a question for me. I mean, who wouldn’t jump at the chance for a day off, a backyard BBQ, a frosty cold adult beverage, all topped off by watching a display of loud, colorful fireworks.

But something is different this year.

Something seems psychically, spiritually, and certainly politically out of whack here on July 3, 2022.

My blogger idol Mitch Teemley (find his thoughtful workhere) has jarred my consciousness about what it means for anyone… but ESPECIALLY a follower of Christ… to engage in this national festivity.

We have all witnessed the way this date can easily become a jingoistic bacchanalia of flag-waving excess, raising this nation onto the altar in place of the One God, in the meantime willfully turning a blind eye to the violent and blood-stained chapters of our national story.


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