theoretically :)

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Theories about the Origins of Space and Time.

1. Gravity as Thermodynamics
Entropic gravity is a theory in modern physics that describes gravity as an entropic force - not a fundamental interaction mediated by a quantum field theory and a gauge particle, but a consequence of physical systems’ tendency to increase their entropy. 

2. Loop Quantum Gravity
According to Einstein, gravity is not a force – it is a property of space-time itself. Loop quantum gravity is an attempt to develop a quantum theory of gravity based directly on Einstein’s geometrical formulation. The main output of the theory is a physical picture of space where space is granular. More precisely, space can be viewed as an extremely fine fabric or network “woven” of finite loops. These networks of loops are called spin networks. The evolution of a spin network over time is called a spin foam. The predicted size of this structure is the Planck length, which is approximately 10−35 meters. According to the theory, there is no meaning to distance at scales smaller than the Planck scale. Therefore, LQG predicts that not just matter, but space itself, has an atomic structure.

3. Causal Sets
Its founding principles are that spacetime is fundamentally discrete and that spacetime events are related by a partial order. The theory postulates that the building blocks of space-time are simple mathematical points that are connected by links, with each link pointing from past to future. Such a link is a bare-bones representation of causality, meaning that an earlier point can affect a later one, but not vice versa. The resulting network is like a growing tree that gradually builds up into space-time.

4. Causal Dynamical Triangulations
The idea is to approximate the unknown fundamental constituents with tiny chunks of ordinary space-time caught up in a roiling sea of quantum fluctuations, and to follow how these chunks spontaneously glue themselves together into larger structures. The space-time building blocks were simple hyper-pyramids (four-dimensional counterparts to three-dimensional tetrahedrons) and the simulation’s gluing rules allowed them to combine freely. The result was a series of bizarre ‘universes’ that had far too many dimensions (or too few), and that folded back on themselves or broke into pieces.

5. Holography
In this model, the three-dimensional interior of the universe contains strings and black holes governed only by gravity, whereas its two-dimensional boundary contains elementary particles and fields that obey ordinary quantum laws without gravity. Hypothetical residents of the three-dimensional space would never see this boundary, because it would be infinitely far away. But that does not affect the mathematics: anything happening in the three-dimensional universe can be described equally well by equations in the two-dimensional boundary, and vice versa.

When you think you’re all alone.

When you think nobody loves you.

When you think everything is dark and rotten and there is only sorrow.

You do not know.

You do not know that all around you

in the darkness

there are ninjas.

Not one. Not ten.

Dozens of ninjas.

They feel your pain.

Dozens of ninjas that you do not see.

In the shadows. In the ceiling.

Under the cushions of the couch. They cry beside you.

They wish you well.

orangeisorange replied to your post “Well… hello there. Very interesting. Lyla is back for 5x19.”

I love your reviews, thanks for writing them. The problem I have with Olicity is that a reunion would be contingent upon things we haven’t seen on-screen. Oliver and Felicity hardly feel like friends anymore, so it’s all based on the fact that the writers are delaying the confrontation to end all confrontation. My fear is that it might not happen.

I thought your comment was really interesting @orangeisorange, so I wanted to kick it up to a separate post to respond to it. Hope that’s okay. I would say that if we are feeling a distance between Olicity this year then that’s appropriate. There is a distance between them. Yes, they’ve figured out how to work together. They are fighting crime together, but they haven’t worked out their personal issues.  They aren’t addressing them, because (like I said) if they do then they’ll get back together and Arrow is trying to milk this. Not unusual for a television show. We want the conversations to happen in 5x05 or heck even in Season 4. Arrow decides to push it to the back half of Season 5. The push/pull dynamic on pacing between writers/network and audience is always a frustrating one, but it’s the reality of a television show.

Are Oliver and Felicity as close as they were in Season 4 or maybe even Season 3? NO. That is intentional. They are intentionally leaving this wall between them because A) they are trying to move on and B) they don’t know how to fix what went wrong between them, despite the intense love they feel for one another. Is that frustrating as a viewer? Yes. We can scream, “TALK!” at the top of our lungs, but it’s not going to happen until it happens. Does Olicity work better together than apart? Yes. Does the show work better when they are together? Yes. I’m not saying there isn’t room for complaint, but I don’t necessarily find Oliver and Felicity’s behavior towards one another out of character for the situation they are in. 

That’s not to say there isn’t a rebuild. That’s not to say Arrow hasn’t put in the narrative beats so that when these conversations finally come it makes sense. Closing this distance, finding their way back to one another, is a huge piece of their individual arcs. Simply because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Nor should we really expect it to happen in episode 5 or episode 14 of a season. That’s just not how episodic television works. Frustrating? Yes, but watching a 23 episode season live is a long and arduous process. 

I don’t really agree this confrontation is contingent on things we haven’t seen on screen. We’ve seen the progression of this rebuild on screen all season long. For those who don’t see the rebuild, there’s something I do sometimes. It’s a little trick I play in my mind. Arrow is very much like Buffy where the romantic relationship is a core tennant of the show, but it’s not a main focus of the show. There’s episodes that focus on Olicity and then there’s many episodes that don’t. We get smaller moments, snip its, or none at all. This is true of  every single season of Arrow. So, sometimes what I do to see the narrative beats, is remove those in between episodes and focus on the big Olicity ones.

5x01 - Diggle kicks off the season long question that Oliver has to answer.

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I just went off on some kid who tried to claim that Michelle Obama was too uneducated and inexperienced to run for President. Like child, I realize that your weak and sensitive white male ego is still recovering from the shock that a woman came so close to being our president and the thought of a black woman scares you even more, but what the actual fuck? To claim First Lady Obama, who graduated from two Ivy league schools, implemented multiple programs in the past 8 years, and just an all around class act, is as he said “uneducated and inexperienced” is just beyond ridiculous. Go home child you are drunk. 

Accountable: Arrow 5x14 Review (The Sin-Eater)

As Anatoly explained, a sin-eater is someone who consumes a ritual meal to magically take on the sins of another person, thus absolving the person and saving their soul.

Christianity has another name for this person: Jesus Christ. The son of God who died for our sins. The concept that superheroes are Christ like figures is nothing new, and is certainly one I’ve written about before. However, “The Sin- Eater” is as close as Arrow has ever come to a literal comparison.  Oliver Queen has a history of taking others’ sins upon himself. Essentially, blaming himself for their wrongs. As if somehow taking responsibility for them will save them.

If Christ died for our sins, if that action of selfless love is our salvation, then why do we ever need to be held accountable for our sins? Aren’t we already forgiven?

Sorry, but that’s just not the way it works. There is nothing we can ever do that will stop God from loving us, but that does not prevent us from seeking His mercy. Yes, Christ died for our sins, but we must be held accountable for those sins. We have to seek forgiveness. We have to desire salvation in order to truly achieve it. The door to God is always open. There’s nothing we can ever do to close it, but we still must make the choice to walk through it.

So, is Oliver Queen really saving anyone by being a sin-eater? Or maybe the better question is…  is Oliver even worthy of the title?

Let’s dig in…

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I was feeling terrible because I forgot to commemorate my cat’s eighth adoption anniversary, but I just learned that tumblr will make gifs from videos! So here are some pics of my imperious kitty while he’s trying to go to sleep despite my interferences.

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Distant Quasars Show That Fundamental Constants Never Change

“From a physics perspective, it’s long been assumed that the fundamental constants and the laws of nature really are the same everywhere and at all times. However, one particular dimensionless constant, α, the ratio between the electric charge, the speed of light and the Planck constant, has been shown by a number of previous studies to show variations both the farther back in time we look and at different locations on the sky. However, new observations by a team working at Arecibo observatory, of the quasar PKS 1413+135, have placed a very tight constraint on the time variations, casting doubt on the previous findings. To only 1.3 parts in a million, the fundamental constant α once again appears to be truly constant.”

We assume that the fundamental constants are truly constant, but they don’t have to be. The speed of light is the same everywhere, but it could have been different elsewhere, either in space or in time. The same is true for other constants, like Planck’s constant, the gravitational constant, or even the fundamental charges or masses of particles. You might not think it’s likely, but the evidence indicated otherwise. Over the past 20 years, time variations and spatial variations in the fine structure constant, which determines the force of the electromagnetic coupling, have been observed to about 5 parts in a million in different locations and at different distances. It was a disputed but intriguing finding, but new evidence was just released conflicting with those results. Instead, the fundamental constant, α, once again appears to be truly constant, to better than 1.3 parts in a million, thanks to the new results from Arecibo.

There’s always more work to be done, but one of the greatest puzzling results from the astrophysical community might not be a puzzle after all!

We ain't ever getting older

When Keyleth visits Vasselheim, she doesn’t expect to run into an impossibly old friend. But Vesh is a vain and demanding goddess, and will not let her follower die, not when he is the only one, the only thing granting her power. (or, Kash and Keyleth get a drink, just like old times)

Based on this post by @luxheroica about Vesh granting Kash an (unwanted) immortality.

tw for vague suicidal ideation and the horror of outliving everything and everyone you ever knew

[read on ao3]

It comes to pass, through an unexpected series of events, that Keyleth arrives in Vasselheim on a cloudy weekday in early Fall.

It looks much like it did when she first visited the ancient bastion of civilization some two, three hundred years ago. The peoples of the city are still grim and weathered; the walls are still manned by guards in a mix of armors, each sworn to their god. She recognizes the dark uniform of those who serve the Raven Queen with a bittersweet twinge of fondness, and the followers of Kord with a swell of amusement. She weathers their stares as she passes, head held high, headdress adorned with fall foliage. She is golden autumn today, at odds with the grey solemnity of the city. Even the temples of stone and metal glint with a different vibrance than the thrum of life she carries with her. The air here here presses down, heavy with age in a way she finds unbecoming of the element. But, this is not her land nor her city. She has picked the hills upon which to stake her flag. This is not one of them.

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tatzelwyrm asked: revan or quinlan vos

“Sir, you seem troubled.”
“Quinlan Vos has that effect.”

Who Is Prometheus?

It’s been awhile since I’ve done this, but I thought I’d dive back into the world of spec. Bear with me. We might be rusty, but this is a natural byproduct of talking Arrow with @callistawolf​ for over an hour. The brain swims with possibilities.

I’ve made no secret about my frustration over the Prometheus storyline. 

Primarily because A) we didn’t get a reveal in the midseason finale and B) the back story on Prometheus was, in my opinion, spectacularly lame.

My reasons are thus: The Big Bad is always a crucial element in Arrow’s season arc. He/She is the dark half of Oliver’s hero’s journey for that season. It is monumentally important that the audience connect to the Big Bad. It is monumentally important that we are allowed to get to know him or her, so we can understand his or her motivations. This ultimately leads to a greater understanding of where Oliver needs to go in his overall evolution.

Not revealing who Prometheus is essentially keeps a wall between him and the audience. His more of an archetype. A voice box, with a skill level to match Oliver, who’s more of an omnipresent figure than an actual “face to face” opponent. He’s the Arrow equivalent of the Boogey Man. We saw some of this with Ra’s Al Ghul in Season 3 and Slade in Season 2, but Arrow revealed their characters in both mid seasons finale to allow the audience to connect to the them and move beyond the omnipresent archetype.  They have not done that with Prometheus us and failing to reveal his identity simply prolongs this disconnect.

Arrow then tries to temper this disconnect by providing us with some information about Prometheus. He is the son of  Claybourne, a man who was on Robert Queen’s list. A villain Oliver killed in Season 1. I had both my mother and husband, both ardent casual viewers, ask me if Claybourne was someone we knew about in Season 1. Nope. Never heard of him. They just plucked a name from obscurity. The connection to Season 1 is… thin. Even, Diggle’s “you’re killing can lead to unforeseen consequences” statement was so heavy handed it was cringe worthy. This all just feels plopped in.

And that’s my beef. We’ve been told over and over and over again how Prometheus is a villain they had to wait FIVE YEARS to do. This places some mythological like level to S5′s Big Bad, like he’s been lying in wait and Arrow has just been waiting for the right time to pull the trigger.  So this all boils down to Prometheus needed five years to train? Eh.

Then, of course, there’s how Team Arrow discovered Prometheus was Claybourne’s son. They only discovered this information because Prometheus wanted them to. 

It was like a play. He set up the scene and Oliver was merely an actor in the show Prometheus was directing. None of it felt real and yet… Oliver and team believed it hook line and sinker. Prometheus reenacts a kill from Season 1. He provides a baby photo and Claybourne’s ashes and TA DA! We have the identity of our bad guy. There wasn’t a lot of critical thinking from Team Arrow. This was all handed to them at a very specific time and in a very specific way.  And everyone’s just all, “Cool. Makes sense.”

WHAT??? Where’s my beloved Scooby Gang? Where’s the examination? WHERE’S THE DISTRUST OLIVER? At the very least I’d expect that from you, but homeboy is “Prometheus is, above all things, an honest foe.”

MADNESS I TELLL YOU. MADNESS. Hence the screaming and throwing things at my television.  Then there’s the overly dramatic, almost Greek like tragedy way, Prometheus orchestrated Billy’s death.  

True to his name! Dude is a Drama Queen. He’s not particularly concerned with killing Oliver at the moment, but he’s going to make his life a soap opera. Why? THE FUN.

So, I’m calm now. We’ve watched the aftermath of Billy’s death. We’re seeing the path Felicity is going down. 

There’s been some incredibly telling things revealed about that journey. So, instead of accepting Prometheus at face value (as Arrow so desperately wants us to do), I decided to actually acknowledge the man for who he is… a Puppet Master.  This is all one, big, massive misdirect. It is elegant. It is cunning. It is twisted. And it will touch everyone in Oliver’s life.

The reason why Arrow didn’t reveal Prometheus’ identity is because this is the season long mystery.  The identity reveal is their big card. It’s the “Who’s in the grave?” reveal. It’s the “What is the Undertaking?” reveal. They aren’t letting us connect to the Big Bad because WE ALREADY KNOW HIM. And when he is revealed it will be a light bulb moment. A moment worth five years waiting for.

A lot of this has been theorized by many other people for many other months. I’ve seen so many specs I can’t remember them all, but this was the most recent. Added a layer to the Prometheus myth I missed and I loved it. However, I think Calli and I have pieced together a couple of the holes that were hanging us up on a few items. So, let’s dig in…

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