Sunday, 22 June 2008

In God's Kingdom..

Taking a bicycle run around my new environs. I discover Morpeth Park and the round trip that leads to the bridge over the Wansbeck.

I had no idea about the links between JMW Turner and Morpeth until recently. The park is full of Turner. I shall revisit the Garden dedicated to him later.

This park is full of history and it's accessibility. Well done Castle Morpeth Council!

I topped a rise to find myself overlooking Morpeth.

A circuit of the cycle path takes us to the bridge over to my back lane..

with a view of the house from the river.. mine is the white cottage to the left of centre in
the photo..


Another hiatus.. But a return to the online journal.

I have a battle on with Orange who have unfailingly provided me with a telephone for years and cheerfully accepted my custom and cash.

Through the Carphone Warehouse, I am suddenly saddled with a contract for a product I cannot use.
Eager to retain my links with friends and family as well as this facility, whilst moving to 'God's Kingdom' I asked for a suitable connection method that did not require a landline.

The helpful young lad in Carphone Warehouse assured me that they sold wireless units to people in this circumstance all the time. 'Of course ther'll be a signal, it never drops. Look, there's the coverage..'
Reassured I signed and left, anticipating hassle free broadband at a very competetive £15.00 a month.

Will I never learn?

So, with BT safely managing my online life and the so called 'Dongle' returned to the shop, Orange and the 'Warehouse are trying their best to accommodate my request that the service be terminated. Predictably, neither have facilities that make it easy to do.

As I pointed out to the nice lady at Orange customer services, if getting connected was as difficult as being disconnected from a service you cannot use, who would sign up?

Rant over.

For now.

A good suggestion prompts:- Sale Of Goods Act Information.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Children's stories.. With bite!

Peter Pan and The Tunnel In The Sky would appear to rise from the same mythos. The fear of childhood abandonment and the rising strength of spirit needed to overcome that fear.

Graham Masterton and Clive Barker have fuelled the flames of my Horror Story furnace over the last thirty years. I have a love of pulp fiction and, whilst their jacket cover recommendations talk of 'Place amongst the pantheon of distinguished literary figures', 'The rightful heir to the reign of Edgar Allen Poe' etc, the appeal of both has always been due to accessible, easy reading styles combined with a good game of 'Hunt the Fairy Story'. Both writers books unravel beautifully and never fail to reach an expected but satisfactory conclusion. You can almost see the faint 'And they lived...' on the flyleaf. With the caveat, 'Or did they' on the backboard.

Here's my (probably wildly inaccurate) list of parallels.

Graham Masterton

The Djinn - Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
Prey - The Tale of Tom Kitten (With direct reference to H P Lovecraft. (Now there's a combination!)
Night Warriors (series) - Any combination of Norse myths and Marvel Comics.
Flesh and Blood - Tales older than (but not exclusive of) Robin Hood, The Green Man.
The Manitou (series) - Rumplestiltskin.

Clive Barker

Weaveworld - Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Alice through the Looking Glass.
Hellbound Heart (Filmed as Hellraiser and the series) - The Tinderbox.
Cabal - The Changeling.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Given time...

One of the nicest (in the proper sense) comments made by Brian Cox in his talk on Cern was concerning our being.

'..This is what Hydrogen and Helium can do given 13.7 billion years...'

Hydrogen doing what it does best under terrestrial conditions.

The mind numbing combinations of events that must 'fall right' in order that we are able to write and read this blog, feel so unlikely as to fit neatly into Clarke's rules:

  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
There are many occurrences of our being asked to perform 'Seemingly impossible tasks' or 'Endure impossible hardship'. Our accidental occurrence would seem to put these glib statements into perspective.

Helium doing what it does best under terrestrial conditions

Quite apart from the questionable enjoyment to be gained from this activity, Helium is contributing to the 'full circle' nature of it's use in Quantum Computing.

The question at the heart of every atom is being explored as a potential gate for decision making at an inconceivably small scale.

Go on, humour me, read it, it's not necessary to understand it. Just imagine it being spoken by Professor Frink from The Simpsons!

Qubits and quantum gates with electrons on helium
M.I. Dykman, B. Golding, P.M. Platzman (Department of Physics amp; Astronomy, Michigan State University), D.A. Lidar, L.-A. Wu (Chemistry Department, University of Toronto)

It was previously proposed that electrons floating on the surface of liquid helium can be used to make a quantum computer (QC). This computer will be scalable, with an interelectron (interqubit) distance \sim 1\mum, and the working frequency \sim 1~GHz. However, interaction between the qubits cannot be turned on and off. Instead the transition frequency of a qubit can be varied in a controlled way, so that the qubits can be tuned in resonance with microwave radiation for specified times. We show that the effective Hamiltonian of the qubits corresponds to an anisotropic Heisenberg spin system with a superimposed on-site static field and a pulsed perpendicular ac field. We describe an efficient way of interqubit excitation swap by selectively tuning qubits in resonance with each other. Relaxation of electrons is analyzed in the case where lateral electron confinement is due to underlying electrodes rather than the external magnetic field. Methods to further reduce the already small decoherence rate are discussed. These methods include an encoding into a decoherence-free subspace, in conjunction with decoupling ("bang-bang") and recoupling operations on the encoded qubits. Encoded recoupling also allows us to eliminate undesired single-qubit phases and qubit-qubit interactions that arise from the Coulomb coupling.

Well, it made me laugh!