## Tuesday, April 8, 2014

### Time Dilation - Einstein’s Experiment of Thought or Gedanken

The special theory of relativity proposed by Einstein saw little special about it and not much interest was shown towards it. Eventually the theory revolutionized the 20th century physics and hundred years thereafter Einstein’s life and work became well known by the general public all over the world. His proposal was based on two elements; namely that the speed of light in a vacuum is constant irrespective of how they are moving and that the laws of physics are the same for all systems which move relative to one another at a steady speed.

Einstein use the experiment of thought or Gedanken, to develop his ideas and many findings are recorded about how he imagine what things would look like if the option of riding on a beam of light was provided. Besides his ideas, he also acknowledged and built on the works of others like Poincare, Maxwell, Lorentz to mention a few as well as other scientists.

This theory of relativity is expressed in terms of the mathematical equations which are not within the understanding of most people and it is a most challenging concept to students of the theory. According to Einstein, he is of the opinion that the thinking ability was most suitable to a child and states that `the normal adult never bothers about space time problems. Everything there is to be thought about is done in early childhood and he developed slowly beginning to wonder about space and time when he had already grown up’.

Gravitational Time Dilation

According to Einstein, the concept of the special theory of relativity, if not mathematics, should be accessible to students of all age group and this work inclusive of student activity takes into consideration the consequence of the special theory. In general relativity, clock in a gravitational field of lower potentials like the proximity to a planet would be running slower, the gravitational time dilation is not reciprocal. At the top of the tower, the observer will find that clocks at ground level move much slower and the observer on the ground will also agree to the same.

The gravitational time dilation thus is agreed by the observers with their own independent attitudes. Time dilation means that a process which takes certain time to take place in a moving system is observed to take more time by someone outside the system. Gravitational time dilation is the outcome of time passing at different rates in regions of various different gravitational potential. The higher the local distortion of space time because of gravity, slower would be the time that passes. Einstein had earlier predicted the effect of this theory of relativity and since then it has been confirmed by tests of general relativity.

To experimentally measure gravitational time dilation, atomic clocks on airplanes was used wherein the clocks that traveled abroad the airplanes, on returning were slightly fast with regards to clocks on the ground. This was significant that the Global Positioning System needs to be corrected for effects on clocks on artificial satellites with further experimental confirmation to the effect.

## Monday, April 7, 2014

### Babylon – Ancient Mesopotamia

Gwendolyn Leick has been successful in bringing together a group of international scholars each with the liberty of focusing on the topic and specialty of their choice and her survey portrays a great deal about the people of Babylon, their culture and the reality that lies behind the popular myth of Babylon. Some 1800 years ago, the history of the Babylonians right from the time of Hammurabi, who was famous for his Law Code till the time when Alexander and his heirs ruled the Near East, Gwendolyn’s archaeological discoveries as well as the cuneiform tablets which was discovered in the city of Babylon provides us some insight of the people of Babylon and their society, together with their intellectual and spiritual information.

Interesting insight with regards to the lives of kings, merchants, women and slaves together with their social, historical, geographical as well as cultural context which flourished for many centuries have come to light, providing scholars and students a glimpse of this amazing world. Being the builders of a towering monumental urban city and the layers of the foundation of modern science and mathematics, the people of Babylon were an insistent lot of the ancient world at that time. From the discoveries of the cuneiform tablets, epigraphic research together with the latest archaeological advances, Leick’s findings relates reference resources as well as introductory text for university students.

The main areas, like ecology, urbanism, plurality and complexity, power relations; all these offer variety of insight reflecting their academic approach and focus and the Babylonian World portrays a kaleidoscopic view with patterns and fragments of the lost world in the most amazing way with information on the various aspects of Babylon details on the complexity and the richness of this country. The ruins of the most famous city from ancient Mesopotamian lie in modern day Iraq, around 59 miles southwest of Baghdad which according to Akkadian language at that time meant `Gate of God or Gate of the Gods’, Babylon was founded at some time before the reign of Sargon of Akkad or Sargon the Great who reigned from 2334 – 2279 BC claiming to have built many temples in Babylon.

The history of Babylon came to be known with the famous king Hammurabi who reigned between 1795 -1750 who ascended the throne on the death of his father, King Sin-Muballit and transformed the city into a powerful and influential country of Mesopotamia. His law codes have been very popular though they are only an example of the policies which he implemented to maintain peace and prosperity. He was also responsible in enlarging and heightening the walls of the city, engagement in great public works including temples, making diplomats an integral part of his administration. He was so successful in war and diplomacy that he managed to unite all of Mesopotamia under the rule of Babylon in 1763 BC, which at that time was one of the major cities of the world and named it Babylonia.

After the death of Hammurabi, his empire got disintegrated and Babylonia reduced in size and was taken over by Hittites in 1595 BC and later by the Kassites. Thereafter the Assyrians dominated the region and the Assyrian ruler, Sennacherib had the city razed, sacked with the ruins scattered and Babylon revolted against him. He was soon assassinated by his sons and succeeded by Esrhaddon who rebuilt Babylon returning it to its original glory. The city once again revolted against Ashurbanipal of Nineveh who had taken control though did not damage it but had made efforts to purify Babylon of the evil spirits prowling around that had been the cause of all the prevailing troubles.

Thereafter the Assyrian Empire fell and a Chaldean, Nabopolassar took charge of the throne of Babylon and created the Neo Babylonian Empire and his son Nebuchadnezzar in 604 -561, renovated the city covering an area of 900 hectares of land with some of the most impressive and beautiful structures in the whole of Mesopotamia where every ancient writer had made a mention of the city of Babylon with reverence and awe. The Neo Babylonian Empire prolonged after the death of Nebuchadnezzar II where Babylon continued to play an important role under the reign of Nabonidus together with his successor, Belshazzar. Towards 539 BC, the empire fell into the hands of the Persian under Cyrus the Great during the Battle of Opis.

Since the walls of Babylon were impregnable, the Persians devised a plan and diverted the course of the Euphrates River that fell to a manageable depth and while the people of the city were engaged in their great religious feast, the army waded through the river and marched under the walls of Babylon unnoticed. It is believed that the city was taken over without a fight though the documents at that time indicate that the repairs had to be done to the walls as well as some areas of the city and hence the invasion was not much of an effort.

Geographically, Babylonia can be defined as the southern half of Mesopotamia where the rivers, Tigris and Euphrates meet each other forming a strip of land. Towards the south lies the marshes, beyond which lies the waters of the Persian Gulf and the northern half of Mesopotamia was known as Assyria. Though most of the Assyrian cities were situated along the Tigris, those of Babylonia located along the Euphrates were a major trade route or the intermediary canals.

The Arabian desert to the west and the Zagros Mountains to the east formed its natural border with its climate being hotter and drier in the southern Mesopotamia. Agriculture was possible only through irrigation while the landscape was marked by a dense network of canals and dams. Babylon city was considered as the seat of kingship which was lavishly endowed with temples and palaces which were so unique that it attracted the cupidity of far away ruler from distant place namely the Hittite king Mursili who came down to Euphrates to attack and plunder its riches.

The Old Babylonian language was replaced with the previously spoken Sumerian and only the learned scholars were familiar with that language. Another group of immigrants this time from the east known as Kassites took political control of the Babylonian culture, their kings bearing outlandish Kassite names while the later one adopted `good Babylonia’ titles and names.

### Evolution of Fantasy Art

Fantasy A Part of all Human Societies

Every creature at some point of time tends to dwell in a fantasy world and mankind has always been a dreamer with strong need for the irrational. As we see even in the prehistoric age, many paintings depicted gods, imaginary fantasy beasts and other mythical creatures while some pictures from the caves in Spain had pictures which were over 15,000 years old.

When it were discovered at first they were believed to be fake but with the discoveries done in other caves these paintings were confirmed as real and original where the people had painted them to the extent of giving them an abstract figure, more of a fantasy. As fantasy has existed down the ages, so also fantasy art and illustration.

Fantasy art has always been a part of all human societies all through history and is found in plenty in folklore, fairy tales, mythology, religion and science fiction. Most of the ideas and fantasy stories have made their place in art, with illustration into reality and fantasy art and fantasy literature have always been linked like the two sides of a coin.

High and Low Fantasy

To define what is not a reality in the form of fantasy is quite a difficult task and for high fantasy, in terms of illustration and literature could be one from other world or other worldly creatures. A great fantasy writer and expert, Tolkien, has defined the difference in terms of primary and a secondary world, primary which is our own world while secondary being the imaginary world.

High fantasy according to him is distinguished from low fantasy on the basis of setting and low fantasy is set in our real primary world. Low fantasy may then include all mythology, fictions, fairytales which may be fanciful and a non –rational phenomenon but tend to exist in our world without any explanation of its existence in the rational world.

Mythology History in Fantasy Art

The ability to create within secondary world in the past was not always permitted and fantasy art did not emerge through the creation of secondary world but through the depiction of low fantasy which exist in the primary world.

Popular themes of fantasy art that have been adopted in the new worlds of high fantasy that have always been are the fairy tales, folklore, legends and mythology. European art in the past were the only themes which seemed worthy and were portraiture, of Christian or classical mythology while artistic imagination was not free. While depicting myths and tales, the need to hold true to the story was essential.

Myth defined as fiction at one point of time was considered as fact to some people and art was created in context to the beliefs which they looked upon even to the extent that though they were not believed in by the society, they were at least revered and respected.

Mythology history in fantasy art takes us back to the cave drawings of imaginary gods, beasts and mythical creatures which arose probably from a need to explain various things which is captured and subdued in the form of fantasy art.

## Saturday, April 5, 2014

### Fingers Length Portrays Your Personality

Research shows that a quick study of the hands especially the length of the index and the ring finger tells a lot about a person’s personality along with the risk of disease. The two important fingers are the index finger, the one which is used to pointing to something and the ring finger.

Your finger length can tell or predict how well a person can perform on various tests in school and what kind of a person they turn out to be. Scientist made a comparison on the finger lengths of seventy five children with their Standardized Assessment Test – SAT, scores and found a clear link between the child’s performance in numeracy as well as literacy test along with the relative length of their index and the ring finger.

It is known that boys comparatively perform better in math test while girls did better at reading, writing and verbal tests. Scientists are of the belief that the link is caused due to different levels of the hormones testosterone and estrogen in the womb and the effect they have on the length of the finger as well as the development of the brain.

Index and the Ring Fingers – Important for reading

The total length of the fingers is measured according to the size of the palm and on an average, the longest finger is about 7/8th the size of the palm and if the length of the finger is as long as the palm, the fingers are considered to be long while short fingers are shorter than 7/8th of the size of the palm.

The length and size of an individual’s fingers can give a common personality of the person. Long fingers portray a detail oriented person who think things completely and tend to be critical on small details while short fingers denote a physically oriented big picture people who are focused on the real world in an overall manner.

The index finger is considered very important in palm reading and though the index and ring fingers are compared to each other, if the index finger is even a fraction longer it is considered long. The ring finger on the other hand should be 1/8th or 12 cm longer than the index finger to be considered long and the line drawn between them must be half way up the final joint on the middle finger.

Index Finger – Mirror Finger

The index finger being the most important finger is also called the mirror finger since it indicates the person’s self image. A long index finger indicates a natural leader who are used to responsibility, having a high standard for themselves as well as others.

They also tend to be drawn to self reflection in all their activities. A short index finger on the other hand indicates a lower self esteemed personality who may tend to hide behind a persona which they create, with trouble in expressing their true feelings and thoughts. Moreover they are also prone to various health issues which may be the outcome of self negligence like unhealthy eating habits or smoking.

The middle finger also known as the `wall’ finger portrays the attitude toward authority and mental abilities while the thumb is used as a measure of willpower as well as self control. Short thumbs have a lower ability to stick to things when they tend to get tough while long thumbs have high levels of self discipline and perseverance.

### The Pineal Gland, The Third Eye

Is there a possibility that we have a third eye that can connect us to the spiritual dimension? The Pineal gland is something that is spoken in the New Age community as the intuition organ having connection point between the body and the spirit though only few people are aware that the pineal gland is in fact a literal eye. The Pineal Gland also called pineal body, epiphysis cerebri, epiphysis or the third eye is a small endocrine gland in the vertebrate brain.

It is located near the center of the brain, in the midst of the two hemispheres tucked in a groove where the two rounded thalamic bodies meet. It produces serotonin derivative melatonin, which is a hormone that affects the modulation of wake/sleep cycle with seasonal functions. It is regarded as one of the most important part of the nervous system and the word `pinea’, is derived from the Latin word, `pincone’.

Pincone is a symbolism appearing all over the ancient world from the Greek, Sumerian and Roman traditions right to the Vatican’s `Court of the Pine Cone’, as well as the staff of the Pope. It is considered to be of high psychic and spiritual significance and bindis in the Hindu culture is a way of signifying the importance of the pineal gland with spiritual wakefulness.

.
Can be activated to the Spiritual World through Yoga….

The Pineal Gland or the third eye of every human being can be activated to the spiritual world frequencies and once tuned into proper frequencies with the aid of meditation, yoga or various esoteric, occult methods, it helps to travel into another dimension known as astral projection or travel or remote viewing.

Along with advance practice and ancient methods, there is also a possibility of controlling the thoughts and action of people in the physical world. It is also represented in Catholicism in Rome where the pineal is depicted as a pine cone in art.

While the ancient societies like the Egyptians and the Romans were aware of the benefits, they exemplified the pineal gland in their vast symbologies with the symbol of an eye. Several research have been conducted confirming that there are certain period in the night perhaps between the hours of one and four in the morning when the chemicals get released in the brain bringing about feelings of connectivity to one’s higher source.

Pineal Gland target for Flouride

A research carried out by a scientist, Jennifer Luke in the late 90s, on the first study the effects of sodium fluoride, on the pineal gland and was determined that the pineal gland placed in the middle of the brain seemed to be a target for fluoride. Besides, the pineal gland seemed to absorb more fluoride than any other physical matter in the body and the bones.

The Pineal gland seems to be like a magnet to sodium fluoride which calcifies the gland, making it no longer effective in balancing the entire hormonal processes through the body. Various studies have proved that sodium fluoride goes to the most important gland in the brain and is the only thing which attacks the most important center of our gland in the brain.