Welcome

The KEGS Erevna society and blog has just been created, allowing readers to browse lecture notes, resources and further reading related to each presentation as they are given. 20 minute lectures can often only scratch the surface of a subject, so here is the perfect place to find out more about each topic.

Only two presentations have as yet been held, but expect more weekly.

 

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Welcome back (It’s matt again)

From now I endeavor to create an actually active blog. I’ll probably keep it appropriate to the work I’m doing at the moment – my A-Levels. I hope to keep to some academic updates of my Politics, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics over the next two years (and it may be of use to anyone also interested or studying those courses)

A Level Politics

In my previous post I outlined the main criticism of the UK’s liberal democracy. Today’s comments by Home Secretary, Theresa May, illustrates this criticism perfectly. Today’s Sunday telegraph reports her as saying that the Human Rights Act should be scrapped because it causes “problems” at the Home Office, particularly when it comes to deporting illegal immigrants, some of whom “are perhaps terrorist suspects”. A summary of what she says can be found on the BBC News website.

The Human Rights Act enshrines into UK law the European Convention of Human Rights, and is the main cornerstone of human rights within the UK constitution (apart from the Magna Carta of 1215, which was aimed at the barons of the Middle Ages rather than 21st Century peasants like you and me). Aside from the arguments for and against the Human Rights Act, it is interesting to note that if there…

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Destroy your childhood… with MATHS

IS THERE A SANTA CLAUS?

As a result of an overwhelming lack of requests, and with research help from that renown scientific journal SPY magazine (January, 1990) – I am pleased to present the annual scientific inquiry into Santa Claus.

 

  1. No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.
  2. There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn’t (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist cihldren, that reduces the workload to to 15% of the total – 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that’s 91.8 million homes. One presumes there’s at least one good child in each.
  3. Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seemes logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once everey 31 hours, plus feeding and etc.

    This means that Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man- made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second – a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

  4. The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that “flying reindeer” (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal anount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload – not even counting the weight of the sleigh – to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison – this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.
  5. 353,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates enourmous air resistance – this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

In conclusion – If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he’s dead now.

My Family is Crazy with Money

In my family, for any economic change or suggestion, we have to submit an argument or thesis proposing the change and reasonable evidence to back up the suggestion. I’m a 15 year old boy who likes money, so for me, any effort is worth it.

Well my idea is to switch my current allowance (a small amount at the end of every week, and an additional sum at the end of every month) to simply getting the child tax return/child benefit sum. For those of you who don’t know, every family in the UK gets a little sum of money every month for just having children. I think since it’s my existence that earns this (only about £70 a month) I deserve to receive it. (The evidence continues by the way).

Since I’m submitting a thesis, I could do with someone providing a “support vote” just to make it sound legit.

I saw in 2004, but in the UK we can’t see this year.

Science-Based Life

Today, I got to see a once in a lifetime event–the transit of Venus. Of course, I did it in style.

There are many reasons why this event is important to science, but personally, it was important to me.

It was a chance for me to actually witness an astronomical event with my own eyes. It literally was a once in a lifetime experience, and I am grateful to have had it. It made me feel small, it puts the universe in perspective, and I realized that this is what science feels like. And it feels good.

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