Driving With Cox

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Watching young Dr. Cox last night on The Colbert Report talking about his new book Why E= mc2 and debunking the notion that’s been floated by some physicists that people from the future may be influencing the present in order to prevent catastrophic events associated with CERN’s particle-smashing collider from happening, I’ve been enjoying some the videos of him that are around.

Here for example, he talks about the possibility that the world may end in 2012 at the end of the Mayan “Long Count” calendar — in the process pointing out a somewhat humorous flaw in their system of calculation (that should really have been obvious).

The physics of cosmology is endlessly fascinating, so expect to see more of him popping up here from time to time.

Faux Outrages Du Jour

It’s difficult to understand how spray painting graffiti over an image of an American flag can be considered desecration in the technical sense, but unsurprisingly, the usual suspects are exercised over one of the advertisements submitted to a contest sponsored by the DNC’s Organizing for America project dealing with healthcare reform.

So what is it with Americans and their strange, reverent attachment to their flag, anyway? I’ve always thought the tradition of swearing allegiance to it was very peculiar to say the least. By the way, here in Canada there’s no legal penalty for “desecrating” or “outraging” our flag, but in other countries that’s not the case; some of which might surprise you, like Denmark and Finland.

But that aside, perhaps these folks need to take a deep breath and consider for a moment René Magritte’s brilliant painting “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”…

And speaking of haywire symbolism, there’s this juvenile bit of sacrilege by Larry David from last week’s Curb Your Enthusiasm that has a lot of folks upset.

I’m sure Bill Donohue must be fuming with indignant fury about it (while secretly delighting in the fact that it will help sales of his new book Secular Sabotage — cha’ching).