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The Breakfast Club (Good Morning Blues)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and
weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our
boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late,
it's PhilJD's fault.
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This Day in History

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

Terror bombings strike London's transit system;
Oliver North testifies at Iran-Contra hearings; Sandra Day O'Connor
nominated for U.S. Supreme Court; Author Robert Heinlein and musician
Ringo Starr born.

Breakfast Tunes

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

 

I get by with a little help from my friends.

Ringo Starr

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NO wins Greek Referendum in a Landslide

Catch up with the referendum analysis from Real World economics perspective at The European Tribune:

Greek referendum day open thread (and click back through for more #GreekCrisis Open Threads over this past week), Greece: The next step; introducing the Euriou, Grexit and Propaganda, The case for Austerity, and more.

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The Breakfast Club (Elvis)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.

 

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The Breakfast Club (Notes)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and
weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our
boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late,
it's PhilJD's fault.

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The Breakfast Club (Color Me)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and
weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our
boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late,
it's PhilJD's fault.

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This Day in History

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

The Civil War Battle of Gettysburg begins; The first
nuclear weapons test in peacetime; TR's assault on San Juan Hill;
Britain's Princess Diana born; Hong Kong returned to China; Actor Marlon
Brando dies.

Breakfast Tunes

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

 

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.

Frederick Douglass

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The Breakfast Club (Electric)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.

 

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The Breakfast Club (Weird)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and
weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our
boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late,
it's PhilJD's fault.
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This Day in History

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

President John F. Kennedy rallies West Berlin during
the Cold War; The U.N. Charter signed; Scientists complete first rough
map of the human genetic code; Charlie Chaplin's 'The Gold Rush'
premieres.

Breakfast Tunes

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

 

I used to think that anyone doing anything weird was
weird. I suddenly realized that anyone doing anything weird wasn't weird
at all and it was the people saying they were weird that were weird.

Paul McCartney

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The Breakfast Club (Lucky Us)

 
breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgSometimes
the Science section scares me and I have a hard time coming to grips
with issues that are more immediately and politically important like
Climate Change and the Environment, instead favoring those that are more
esoteric and intellectual. 

This is one of those weeks where the news in general has been
uniformly depressingly bad and the only place we seem to be making any
progress at all is on the silly issue of whether the Battle Flag of the
Army of Northern Virginia represents racism and should be removed from
government sponsorship.

Of course it does.

But it is just another in the littany of Social Issues the
Plutocrat thieves and their NeoLib minions use to divide and distract us
from the fact they are robbing us blind and destroying the Environment,
the Economy, and Peace and Freedom in the process.

I like to think as a writer I'm a positive and cheerful person
(and what you think doesn't really matter to me, I write for myself) so I
make an effort to select good news and there is just not as much of it
as I had hoped today.

So instead of pointing out how Genetically Modified Organisms are
likely to create a world full of health problems and unintended
consequences (add 'Space Germs' to your reading list), and the pettyness
of Scientists (see 'Jellyfish Gene' and 'Sexism in Science'); or
talking about the destruction of our environment for marginal monetary
gain and the determination of our government to strip us of our last
scrap of privacy, freedom, and dignity; I have chosen instead today to
focus on just how lucky we are.

Some physicists consider it a puzzle that certain constants they
have discovered have the particular values they do because they seem
random and arbitrary.  Those who argue this way are fond of pointing out
that should any of the values vary the Universe as we know it wouldn't
exist.

There are 3 main camps of thought on this issue.  The first is
called 'Weak Anthropomorphism' and basically contends the Universe is a
fluke and we should all just be happy it is the way it is.  The second
is called 'Strong Anthropomorphism' which says the Universe responds to
observation like the Quantum State of Schrodinger's cat.

The third, and this is the one to which I subscribe, says simply
that if the values were different the Universe would be different.
 Everyone pretty much accepts now the idea that the Universe will keep
expanding until all the energy in the system is equal and after that
nothing much will happen.  It's called the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

It was fashionable for a time to think this would not occur, that
a limit would be reached where the energy expanding the Universe would
be overcome by Gravity and it would collapse on itself in another Big
Bang.  Indeed for quite a while the existence of a Big Bang was denied
entirely and a Steady State Universe was proposed where everything was
always the same.

 

 

What changed?

Well, as we checked out the values of specific items predicted by
each of the discarded theories we found out they weren't that, they
were something else.

But if they were that then that's the kind of Universe it would be.

Now those who subscribe to the first two camps (and indeed physicists who insist this is a very important question) tend to dismiss this attitude as a mere multiverse cop out, but it's much more subtle than that.

In complex equations there are often more than one right answer and their very nature frequently depends on the results of the previous ones.

Our mathematical structure is fundamentally arbitrary and derives
it's validity from internal consistency and practical use.  That means
it's not impossible to imagine a different mathematical structure.

Humankind's Existentially Lucky Numbers
by George Johnson, The New York Times

JUNE 22, 2015

Rejecting the possibility that this was nothing
more than a lucky accident, physicists have been looking for some
underlying principle - a compelling explanation for why everything could
only have unfolded in this particular way.

...

But physics isn't played that way: If a number called alpha, which
governs the strength of electromagnetism, were infinitesimally larger or
smaller, stars could not have formed, leaving a lifeless void.

Alpha's value seems no more predictable than digits randomly spit out by a lottery machine: 0.0072973525698.

...

Other values, like the mass of the Higgs, or the strength of the
force that binds together the cores of atoms, appear to be just as
finely tuned. Bump the dials just barely, and nothing like our universe
could exist.

...

Finally there are followers of a middle path, who seek to prove that
the universe is not accidental but inevitable, with its set of defining
numbers as constrained and mutually consistent as the solution to a
Sudoku puzzle.

That was the goal of string theory when it rose to prominence
three decades ago. The mathematics, with its extra dimensions and
pretzel geometries, was so mesmerizing that the theory seemed almost
certain to be true - a tightly woven description, when ultimately
deciphered, of a universe just like our own.

Instead, string theory spiraled off in another direction,
predicting a whole multitude of other universes, each with a different
physics and each unobservable except for our own. Maybe some of the
other universes have spawned different kinds of conscious beings, made
from something other than atoms and just as puzzled (in some
unfathomable equivalent of puzzlement) as we are.

What fundamentaly drives this issue is our collossal, egotistical,
anthropomorphism that insisted for centuries that the world is flat and
the Sun revolves around us.

Plenty of multiverse skeptics remain open to some
version of string theory, one that doesn't require redefining what
counts as real. Maybe, lurking still hidden in the thicket, is a magic
equation, showing that this universe is, after all, the only one that
can be.

See?  It's the same attitude that faced Copernicus.  What doesn't change is people and their self centered ignorance.

Science Oriented Video

 

 

The law that entropy always increases holds, I think,
the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to
you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with
Maxwell's equations - then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If
it is found to be contradicted by observation - well, these
experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found
to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope;
there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

-Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

Science News and Blogs

Obligatories, News and Blogs below.

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The Breakfast Club (Dreams)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and
weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our
boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late,
it's PhilJD's fault.
 photo 807561379_e6771a7c8e_zps7668d00e.jpg
  

This Day in History

 

 

 

 

  

Start of the Berlin blockade during the early Cold
War; Boxing champ Jack Dempsey born; Comedian and actor Jackie Gleason
of 'The Honeymooners' fame dies.

Breakfast Tunes

 

 

 

 

  

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

 

I have a dream that my four little children will one
day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of
their skin, but by the content of their character.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


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