What would happen if I was slowly sinking in a cylinder full of water, and then the water was dropped all at the same time? What would happen to me?

You would be weightless in a bunch of weightless water until the cylinder hit the ground. The behavior of water in a weightless environment is much different than in a non-weightless environment.

See Weightless Water.

Relics of the Past Destroyed? Is it Islamic Extremists Again?

Back when the Taliban Government under Sudam Hussein was destroying relics and statues of Buddha in Afghanistan that were thousands of years old, historians were horrified. Could you imagine, for example, blowing up the pyramids of Egypt? The Taliban’s actions were reminiscent of the Nazi’s burning books, or of the Spanish burning all of the Mayan civilization books and with it their history.

Although the war between the North and the South was largely about slavery – owning people – it is still part of our history. It may not be the brightest point of our history, much, I suppose, like the Taliban saw their country’s roots in Buddhism and Hinduism (Afghanistan is a word coming from India’s Sanskrit language). They destroyed statues, figures, relics, historical monuments and every remnant of the past that they could get their hands on. Should we do the same, or should we see the bigger historical perspective?

Is it okay to have statues of important figures in the Confederate States of America? They went to war against the United States much like the thirteen colonies declared independence against the King of Britain and wrote the Declaration of Independence. The outcome of the two wars was different, but both were states fighting for independence.

Had the colonies lost their war and America stayed part of the British Empire, would we now be destroying the Declaration of Independence and all evidence of the revolutionary war? Probably not. It would be history nonetheless. Similarly, should we now destroy all evidence there was a war – our deadliest war – now that there is no more a Confederate States of America?

These symbols – the Confederate heroes statues and flag – are seen not just as reminders of our unfortunate past of slavery but in today’s climate as a line drawn by white racists against the rest of us.

Admittedly, the issues are boiling over.

Once again racism rears its ugly head. We see the revival of the KKK and an alt-right president who comes just after the first African American president. The country could not be more divided – except perhaps in civil war.

Historically, we’re in a time of extreme pendulum swinging from left (Clinton) to right (George W.)  to left (Obama) to alt-right (Trump). The swinging is getting wider and wider and different views seem irreconcilable.

Despite the troubled times of the present, would the destruction or removal of these statues be met with blessings from historians four hundred years in the future, or will they see it in the same light as destruction of the Mayans, blowing up of Buddha statues or burning of books?

People will do what people do and this article will not change history in any significant way, however it’s one liberal’s opinion.

How could it change the science of an alien civilization with the science we have developed?

How would an alien civilization change if they met us? It would forever change both their and our civilizations much as the recently discovered Brazilian tribe pictured below will be forever changed by modern mankind, which they didn’t even know existed until fairly recently. The photo is an aerial shot. No one has met these people yet.

Have you turned into an agnostic/non-believer after your encounter with Physics/Science provided that you were a hard-core believer (a follower of a religion)? If you have, what is your message to those who prefer religion over Physics?

By Avanish Pandey 

Avanish Pandey, B.Tech from Shri Ram Murti Smarak College of Engineering and Technology, Bareilly (2016)

Actually it’s reverse in my case. I used to be a skeptical and on-the-edge-athiest earlier. But as I started learning about different theories and hypothesis on the formation of Universe, I found a striking similarity to them in my Vedic theories.

I won’t say it’s complete. I’m still in a learning phase and I constantly try to understand the symbolism inherent to the ancient scriptures. But yeah more understanding of science has brought me closer to understanding of my religious beliefs.

Do you believe in aliens? Do you agree that our modern technologies were taught by them?

Do I believe in aliens from outer space? Definitely yes.

Do I believe they have visited Earth, definitely no. Distances are far too vast for travel in either direction.

The idea that modern technologies were invented by visitors from space is really a silly idea because if you simply study where all these technologies came from you’ll see they gradually evolved from simple inventions to more complex inventions to the point we are at now. Just watch Modern Marvels if you don’t want to do an Internet search.

Should we launch into a serious attempt to protect ourselves from dangerous aliens, whether hostile or non-hostile (prohibition of gigantically powerful broadcasts, global camouflage, hugely improved military technology, space-war games, or so on)?

No. Simply because of distance.

All of this alien nonsense does not take into account that the nearest star is four light years away. It is such a great distance that traveling at the fastest speed possible it would take at least 150 years each way to traverse. Other stars are many, many more light years. 40 light years would take 1,500 years to traverse, that is where the Trappist-1 system is which is the next best candidate for “Earth-size” planets to exist.

Traveling at light speed is impossible, both for us and for aliens. I’m sorry to say, it is unlikely we’ll ever know for sure if intelligent life exists elsewhere, and if it does, it is unlikely they will ever know we exist.


99 Years Eclipse

A total eclipse happens somewhere on Earth about every 18 months.

However, the last time a total eclipse traversed the entire continental United States from coast to coast was 99 years ago.

It’s called the Great Eclipse because of it’s accessibility. About 14 million people live in the path of totality as it traverses the United States on August 21st. People are flying in from all over the world from scientists to eclipse enthusiasts to just plain curious folk.

It’s also thought it will cause some of the worst traffic conditions ever. They are saying arrive early and leave late after the eclipse.