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What’s hot around February 10, 2009

Posted by dorigo in astronomy, Blogroll, cosmology, internet, italian blogs, mathematics, news, physics, science.
Tags: , , , , ,

For lack of interesting topics to blog about, I refer you to a short list of bloggers who have produced readable material in the last few days:

  • The always witty Resonaances has produced an informative post on Quirks.
  • My friend David Orban describes the recently-instituted singularity University
  • Stefan explains other types of singularities, those you can find in your kitchen!
  • Dmitry has an outstanding post out today about the physics of turbulence, with four mini-pieces on the Reynolds number, viscosity, universality and intermittency. Worth a visit, if even just for the pics!
  • Marco discusses the long winter of LHC. Sorry, in italian.
  • Peter discusses the same issue in English.
  • Marni points out a direct explanation of the Pioneer anomaly with the difference between atomic clock time and astronomical time. Or, if you will, a change of the speed of light with time!


1. Kea - February 11, 2009

Excellent links, as usual! Yes, such a clear and simple explanation of the Pioneer anomaly just has to be correct.

2. Tony Smith - February 11, 2009

this might be not badly off-topic as it relates to the singularity of economic collapse facing the world, and particularly to the stresses that may hit the EU – according to the Telegraph web material about the financial crisis, “… ‘Toxic’ EU Bank assets total 16.3 trillion …”.
The 16.3 trillion is in British pounds, the local currency of the Telegraph, which is over 20 trillion US dollars.

That web page had a link to an old article (13 June 2008) in the Telegraph by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, about Euro notes, that said:

“… Each country prints its own notes according to its economic weight … German notes have an “X”‘ at the start of the serial numbers … Italian notes have an “S” … and Spanish notes have a “V” …
Ordinary Germans have begun to reject euro bank notes with serial numbers from Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal …
Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper says bankers have detected a curious pattern where customers are withdrawing cash directly from branches, screening the notes to determine the origin of issue. They ask for paper from the southern states to be exchanged for German notes. …
People clearly suspect that southern notes may lose value in a crisis, or if the eurozone breaks apart.
This is what happened in the US in the Jackson era of the 1840s when dollar notes from different regions traded at different values. …”.

Have you heard of such a phenomenon ?

Why are German banks allowed to honor customer requests to discriminate against Euro notes with V, X, etc serial numbers?

Tony Smith

3. Tony Smith - February 11, 2009

Sorry for a typo in my previous comment:

I said:
“Why are German banks allowed to honor customer requests to discriminate against Euro notes with V, X, etc serial numbers?”

I should have said:
“Why are German banks allowed to honor customer requests to discriminate against Euro notes with S, V, etc serial numbers?”

Tony Smith

4. Tony Smith - February 11, 2009

Another problem:
When I wrote (13 June 2008) in my comment here,
the blog program interpreted the 8) as an emoticon, which it is not.

Tony Smith

5. Luboš Motl - February 11, 2009

That’s interesting. When I write the same date (13 June 200ȣ), it doesn’t generate these silly emoticons.

dorigo - February 11, 2009

Fun trick Lubos. Your “eight” is a special character, an infinity sign set in vertical…

6. Tony Smith - February 11, 2009

Using special characters is indeed a way to solve the problem of silly emoticons,
the world-wide financial problems may be harder to solve.

In an article just put up on the Telegraph web site,
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard and Bruno Waterfield said:
“… The toxic debts of European banks risk overwhelming a number of EU governments and may pose a “systemic” danger to the broader EU banking system …
While no country was mentioned, the obvious candidates are Ireland, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, and Britain — and non-EU member Switizerland — which all have oversized banking sectors.
EU banks hold balance sheet assets of €41.2 trillion (£36.9 trillion). …”.

Since the other Telegraph article said:
“… ‘Toxic’ EU Bank assets total £16.3 trillion …” (about €18 trillion)
it seems that at least almost half of EU bank assets may be worthless.

The recent article also said:
“… officials are concerned about default risk in the weaker states where interest spreads on government bonds are flashing warning signs. The International Monetary Fund has questioned the lack of a proper lender of last resort in the eurozone. The European Central Bank is not allowed to bail out individual states, yet national goverments do not control the monetary levers.

The EU document also highlighted the “real danger of a subsidy race between member states” if countries start to undercut each other in the way they value toxic debts in their `bad bank’ rescue programmes. This could be used as a means of covert state aid, undermining the unity of the EU single market. …”.

If the EU market were to break up, would Italy better off because it is not among the EU nations that have “oversized banking sectors” ?

Tony Smith

7. carlbrannen - February 12, 2009

Let’s see if (13 June 200 8 ) works for me, too.

P.S. Phys Math Central still has not gotten back to me on my paper, that or their email got lost in my spam bucket.

8. dorigo - February 12, 2009

Carl, I will now send an email to the editors myself.

dorigo - February 12, 2009

I did, and they say the matter is straightened out – I am confused. Can you clarify ?

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