# merger

Question: If 2 black holes get near each other, can they then gravitationally pull matter out of the other black hole & back into “normal” space?

A black hole (in the traditional sense) is defined as an object that has collapsed so that its radius is equal to, or less than, the Schwarzschild of the object.

What does this mean?

Every object has a Schwarzschild radius; this is the point at which an object’s mass is so compressed that the gravitational influence overpowers the other forces of nature and it collapses to a singularity.

Of course, not every object is massive enough to collapse to its Schwarzschild radius. The Earth’s Schwarzschild radius, for example, is about the diameter of a small marble. If you were to apply enough energy to the Earth and compress its mass to that size, it would collapse to form a black hole. The same is true for humans, except I’d need to compress you to a point some 10-million times smaller than a marble in order to turn you into a black hole.

So, what is special about the Schwarzschild radius? This is the point at which the escape velocity for the object is equal to the speed of light. Obviously, since you can’t travel ,or faster than, the speed of light you can’t get out of a black hole neither can another black hole pull you out.

It’s important to realize that, outside of the Schwarzschild radius (also known as the event horizon), spacetime is normal. You can interact with a black hole in the same ways you interact with any other object of mass.

Image credit: NASA/CXC/A.Hobart

Article: From Quarks to Quasars

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Warren Buffett’s Involvement Protects Burger King Inversion Deal With Tim Hortons

An inversion deal of epic proportions such as the merger of Tim Hortons Inc. (TSX, NYSE: THI) and Burger King Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: BKW) to create a \$23 billion behemoth based in Canada should have been enough to get the protectionists screaming bloody murder.

But the reaction to Burger King becoming a Canadian company has been muted, as compared to the outrage expressed when Walgreen and Pfizer and other such large companies tried their own inversions.

This could be because it’s just a hop north to Canada instead of a long swim across the Atlantic to Europe. There’s also the fact that this merger is not just about saving taxes by merging with a smaller company.

It’s more of a marriage of equals, since the new merged entity with 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries enhances the reach of both parties to the merger and allows them to continue growing their unique brands while leveraging each others’ strengths in the international market.

Secondly, Burger King isn’t going to save billions in taxes by paying \$11 billion for coffee and doughnuts and changing their on-paper corporate headquarters to Canada.

In fact, both companies have an effective tax rate of around 27 percent, and the merger isn’t going to make that big a difference in taxes to either of them.

3G Capital, the Brazilian investment company which owns Burger King, will continue to hold a 51 percent majority stake in the merged entity.

The Tim Hortons headquarters in Oakville, Ontario will continue to be the global home of the Tim Hortons business even after it becomes a part of Burger King. And Burger King’s headquarters in Miami, FL will in effect continue to be the operational global home of the Burger King side of the business.

But all the anger towards corporations ditching America can’t be forgotten just because this deal is happening close to home in Canada and it seems more sensible than some of the other recent merger proposals that were purely tax inversions.

One of the main reasons for the muted criticism is the involvement of Warren Buffett. Berkshire Hathaway is reportedly putting up \$3 billion to help finance the merger through preferred shares.

These large corporate mergers usually send the stock of the acquired firm soaring, while the buyer’s share price drops a bit because of concern over the huge outflow of capital and additional debt.

However, in this case, shares of both Burger King and Tim Hortons soared over 20 percent. Some of the credit for investors’ unusual confidence in the value of the deal can be attributed to Buffett’s involvement.

More importantly, Buffett is looked upon as an investor who cares about the American economy more than profits, and if he’s got no problems supporting the Burger King-Tim Hortons deal, then well…this poutine can’t be that bad a whopper.

Photo credit – scazon/flickr

## Comcast + Time Warner Cable = Disaster

Comcast just announced that it’s buying Time Warner Cable. If approved, this outrageous deal would create a television and Internet colossus like no other.

Comcast is the country’s #1 cable and Internet company and Time Warner Cable is #2. Put them together and you get a single giant controlling a massive share of our nation’s TV and Internet-access markets.

No one woke up this morning wishing their cable company was bigger or had more control over what they watch and how they get online. But that is the reality we’ll face unless the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission do their jobs and block this merger.

Stopping this kind of deal is exactly why we have antitrust laws. After a year of sustained organizing, we convinced the DoJ and the FCC to stop AT&T from gobbling up T-Mobile.

This merger would put more than a third of all cable-TV subscribers in Comcast’s hands and give it control over more than half of the “triple-play” services that combine TV, phone and Internet service. Don’t forget, Comcast already owns NBC, MSNBC, Universal Studios and tons of cable channels. That means that for most of America, Comcast could control even more of what you see and how you see it.

Putting this much power in the hands of one company is dangerous. This deal would lead to less consumer choice, less diversity and much higher cable bills.

Tell the FCC and the DoJ to stop this merger today. This is a fight we can win.

Giant interacting galaxies

This image shows the spectacular barred spiral galaxy NGC 6872 that is shaped like an “integral sign”. It is of type SBb and is accompanied by a smaller, interacting galaxy, IC 4970 of type S0 (just above the centre). The bright object to the lower right of the galaxies is a star in the Milky Way whose image has been strongly overexposed and exhibits multiple optical reflections in the telescope and instrument. There are also many other, fainter and more distant galaxies of many different forms in the field.

The upper left spiral arm of NGC 6872 is significantly disturbed and is populated by a plethora of blueish objects, many of which are star-forming regions. This may have been be caused by a recent passage of IC 4970 through it.

This interesting system is located in the southern constellation Pavo (The Peacock). It is comparatively distant, almost 300 million light-years away. It extends over more than 7 arcmin in the sky and its real size from tip to tip is thus nearly 750,000 light-years. It is in fact one of the largest known, barred spiral galaxies.

Image credit: ESO

## Kraft Foods to merge with Heinz

US food giant Heinz is to merge with Kraft Foods Group, creating what the companies say will be the third-largest food and beverage company in the US.

The deal was engineered by Heinz’s owners, the Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital, and billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

Current Heinz shareholders will own 51% of the combined company with Kraft shareholders owning a 49% stake.

The combined company’s brands will include Kraft, Heinz, and Oscar Mayer.

So Comcast (the largest mass communication company in the world) wants to merge with TimeWarner (the second largest media and entertainment conglomerate after Disney), and the current chairman of the FCC who is to approve or disprove of the merger, Tom Wheeler, was formerly the head of both the largest cable lobbying organization, as well as the largest wireless lobbying firm. Nothing to see here, just corporate fascism and neo-fedualism ruining everything forever.

Comcast Corporation announced this morning that its merger agreement with Time Warner Cable and its transactions agreement with Charter Communications, Inc. have been terminated.

I believe this calls for a video: