Stephen Colbert, Brian Eno, and Michael Stipe sing Lean On Me

In a 2011 episode of Colbert’s former show The Colbert Report, they sang acapella the Bill Withers song. The lyrics of this song are worth paying attention to in these days when some people seem to have forgotten that we need to look out for one another.

(Previous posts in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12)

We seem to have arrived at a resolution to the paradox that this series started with that maintains our traditional expectations. Recall that it seemed like two postulates that were thought to be incontrovertible were incompatible when applied to a situation in which an electric charge and a neutral particle were dropped from the same height. It seemed like one or both had to be wrong. Those two postulates were:

Postulate #1: If we eliminate all other forces such as friction, all objects that are dropped from the same height in a gravitational field will fall at the same rate and hit the ground at the same time.

Postulate #2: An accelerating charge will radiate energy.

In the previous post, we arrived at a resolution in which the falling charge will radiate, in agreement with Postulate #2, but that this radiated energy does not result in a loss in the kinetic energy of the charge and thus it will fall at the same rate as the neutral particle, in agreement with Postulate #1.

The way this resolution was arrived at may not satisfy everyone. It involved invoking an aspect of the mass of a charged particle that we may not be familiar with. We looked at some aspects of the subtlety of mass back in Part 5. But there’s more, and this was the introduction of a mysterious source Q that provided the energy radiated by an electron that was accelerating under the influence of a uniform gravitational force. Recall that the rate of energy radiated by the charge was given by the familiar Larmor expression ℛ = 2e2g2/3c3 for a charge e having an acceleration g. Q = 2e2ao/3c2 where ao is the zeroth component of the covariant four-acceleration of the charge given by aμ = dvμ/dđťśŹ, such that ao = γv.a.

This is a little over the top, no?

Novak Djokovic has been expelled from Australia after an Australian federal court panel unanimously upheld the deportation order issued on him by the Australian immigration minister, Alexander Hawke, thus dashing his hopes of playing in the Australian Open that starts today.

I can understand his family and fans and his Serbian compatriots being upset. But the reaction has been way over the top, with the Serbian government also piling on.

[Serbian president, Aleksandar VuÄŤiÄ‡] said he was sure Djokovic â€śwould have been treated differently if he hadnâ€™t come from Serbia â€¦ If he was from another country, the approach would be completely different. Of course people here are frustrated, 90% are on Novakâ€™s side.â€ť

The playerâ€™s father, SrÄ‘an, said the episode amounted to â€śan attempted assassination with 50 bullets to the chestâ€ť, while the sports minister, Vanja UdoviÄŤiÄ‡, described it as â€śnonsense and shame, absurdity and hypocrisyâ€ť.

The full sordid web of Jeffrey Epstein is still to be revealed

Branko Marcetic writes that while the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell did not blow the lid off the whole sordid Epstein saga due to the prosecutors being cautious in their efforts to secure a conviction, the process did produce quite a lot of information that did not get much media attention, that showed the web of high profile people who were part of his circle and traveled around with him. He concludes:

The Jeffrey Epstein saga is the story of the worldâ€™s most prolific child sex trafficker who operated more or less unhidden for decades, but was able to consistently escape media scrutiny, legal punishment, and, finally, justice by dying before he went to trial. In a normal world, this tale of sprawling criminality and public corruption would be the subject of an intense, wide-ranging government investigation that would expose the conspiracyâ€™s full scope and the identities of those involved.

Instead, information about the case continues to come in dribs and drabs, thanks only to the work of a few dogged reporters and the occasional fortuitous legal disclosure, limited in this most recent trial by the judgeâ€™s order to avoid â€śneedlessâ€ť naming of names, and prosecutorsâ€™ decision to leave tens of thousands of photos seized from Epsteinâ€™s home by the FBI unreleased. The public may end up having to wait for the civil suit against Prince Andrew or for Maxwell herself to strike some kind of deal to learn more.

Just as with the John F. Kennedy assassination, obscuring the full truth of the crime has only fed the growth of disreputable nonsense like QAnon, which serves to launder and distract from the intimate involvement of elites like Trump in Epsteinâ€™s crimes, turning them into yet another culture war sideshow. This is the double tragedy of Epsteinâ€™s death: itâ€™s denied many of his survivors full justice, and turned the terrible truth of his crimes into a shield for his fellow perpetrators.

Marcetic thinks that the Prince Andrew case, if it ever goes to trial, may reveal more details.

Tsunami hits Tonga and heads for US west coast

An underwater volcanic eruption in the Pacific has triggered Tsunami warnings. The hardest hit is the island of Tonga and NPR reported that communications with the island had been cut off.

Child abuse at an evangelical summer camp

The sexual abuse of minors is an extremely ugly thing that rightly arouses great anger among people. This is likely one reason why the QAnon movement has latched on to that topic to recruit followers, by claiming that there is a vast pedophile ring operating at the highest levels of government and celebrity culture. Once they are hooked, they can be drawn iton the vastly bigger conspiracy theory. But curiously, they do not target institutions that have well-documented cases of rampant pedophilia, such as the Catholic church and the Boy Scouts, probably because they are not considered part of the ‘elites’ and thus do not fit into the broader narrative that QAnon seeks to promote.

Now David French and Nancy French have a very disturbing article in the conservative Christian publication The Dispatch that discusses in graphic detail the sexual abuse of children that took place over many years in an evangelical Christian summer camp known as Kanakuk, where the people in charge of the camp did little to stop it despite being alerted to the problem by some parents. The article says that although the main perpetrator Pete Newman was sent to prison ten years ago, the people in charge then, especially Joe White, are still in charge.

Even a pandemic does not discourage cruise lovers

I am not the kind of person who chooses to go on cruise ships. I have been on long ocean voyages as a boy three times between Sri Lanka and England but that was back in the day when travel by ocean liner was the cheapest or only way to go to distant places. The idea of being on a ship for days and even weeks on end without any specific destination in mind that I could not reach any other way does not appeal to me. This is perhaps because I am not a very sociable person and these cruises seem designed, if the many advertisements I see are any indication, to be essentially floating holiday resorts that cater to people who enjoy spending most of the day in the company of others, many of whom they have never met before, and taking part in all manner of social gatherings and organized entertainments.

I am sure it must be great fun for those who enjoy such things and can afford them. I know people who go on them every year and I have discovered since coming to Monterey and playing the game of bridge more often that bridge players seem to be big fans of them. There are cruises catering to them, and I have started getting inundated with ads for bridge cruises where experts offer lessons. The people at the bridge club exchange information about the various cruises.

(Previous posts in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11)

In the previous post we arrived at conclusions that will enable us to address the basic paradox that started this series of posts, and is restated as Issue 3 below. I will be introducing some mathematics here is order to make the line of reasoning clearer for those who know something of this topic but for those readers for whom this is unfamiliar, I would encourage you to not sweat the details but simply read the text between the equations and I think (hope!) you will get the gist.

Issue 3: If a detector D on Earth detects radiation from a falling charge (Scenario 3), that implies that the charge loses some energy in the form of radiation and thus one would expect that it will fall more slowly than a neutral particle, thus violating Postulate #1 and the Principle of Equivalence that says that all objects falling freely in a gravitational field will fall at the same rate. If it still falls at the same time as the neutral particle and thus does not violate Postulate #1, that must mean that its kinetic energy is unaffected by the emission of radiation. Does that not violate the law of conservation of energy? We seem to have arrived at two irreconcilable and unpalatable options.

Andrew stripped of royal titles and patronages

Members of the British royal family, as part of the pomp and pageantry that is carried to absurd levels, have all manner of titles and roles in organizations. Apparently these are issued at the sole discretion of the Queen and she can take them back if she wants to. And today, she did just that with her second son Andrew, as his plight arising from his relationship with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein gets increasingly dire.

The Duke of York’s military titles and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen, Buckingham Palace has announced.

Prince Andrew will also stop using the style His Royal Highness in an official capacity, a royal source added.

The duke’s roles will be distributed among members of the Royal Family.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.

“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

This has to come as a big blow to Andrew. He had long been reported to be the Queen’s favorite child and so this move suggests that the royal family, that seeks above all to maintain its image, wealth, and all the privileges it has amassed, sees him as a threat to all that. He is clearly being seen as ‘damaging their brand’, as the kids say these days.