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About Jamie123

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    Kicker of chairs and knocker-overer of table-lamps
  • Birthday 10/03/1964

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    Sleeping. Stuffing food and drink down my gob-hole. Being annoying. Listening to unpleasant people arguing.
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  1. That certainly wasn't the experience I had with this young man. I was mostly just irritated by his assumption that the status of the LDS Church was "a truth universally acknowledged" (like the fact that water boils at 100C) rather than simply a doctrine professed by the Church itself. What did he think - that Jews, Catholics, Muslims and Sikhs all "know" (assuming they'd been told) that the LDS Church is "One True Church" and are sicking to their own beliefs out of sheer perversity? Having said that though, I'm mindful of the fact that convictions can be contagious: if another person radiates certainty about something then it's easy to start feeling that certainty yourself. Particularly if it's something you want to be true. And (lets face it) who would not want LDSism to be true? (OK it would mean a few minor inconveniences like giving up beer and coffee, but what's that compared to knowing for certainty the purpose of life, that God really is a loving father to all mankind, that there is no fiery hell waiting for most of humanity beyond the grave...etc...etc?) This is how Hitler rose to power - not that Mormonism is in most respects comparable to Nazism but you can see the parallel: the Germans wanted to believe that this charismatic man would lead them out of the mess their country was in and give them someone to blame for their woes - someone who could easily be punished! I was in much that position myself when I first encountered Mormonism. At that time I mostly equated Christianity with predestination (which I felt made life pretty meaningless) and for most of us unavoidable hell fire. If Christianity was true, then it seemed the entire universe was set up by an egotistical sadist for the benefit of a bunch of "I'm all right Jack" types. In contrast to that, Mormonism seemed like the Holy Grail. It sliced through all my problems like a scythe through grass. I remember thinking that if in my darkest moments someone had asked me to design how I thought the universe ought to be, I would have come up with something very like the LDS worldview. And ironically that's what put me on my guard. Maybe I overcompensated.
  2. Many years ago I had an odd conversation with two elders at my door. One of them said to me: "You do know, don't you, that we are a restoration of the original Church of Jesus Christ?" I thought to myself: "Stupid question! Do you think that if I did know that I wouldn't be a member myself?" But I said: "Well, I know it's what you believe you are." He replied, with a triumphant air: "We don't just believe it! We know it!" That was certainly a conversation-stopper.
  3. Jamie123

    Impeach This...

    ~~Trump and Anatess sitting in a tree! K.I.S.....*OOOF* Ugh Anatess! You didn't have to hit me *THAT* hard!!
  4. Jamie123

    The Ensign and the Watchtower

    Jehovah's Witnesses always used to be banging on the door selling their Watchtower magazines. You never ever see them these days.
  5. I preferred the Ugly Sisters - now THEY were COOL!
  6. Does it ever have stories as surprising as this one?
  7. Jamie123

    "A Lot Like Christmas!"

    Yesterday, all the family were together in the the car listening to a CD of Michael Bubble singing Christmas songs. When he got to one particular song I had a brilliant idea for a "joke" to kick off the holiday season. I described it, but no one thought it would be funny. ("That's just another Dad Joke!") But I thought I'd do it anyway: just 5 minutes of photoshopping before work...I just need to get a picture of a clown and...oh... That's right. Someone else had got there before me! NEVER MIND - MERRY CHRISTMAS
  8. Jamie123

    The Christ Child: A Nativity Story

    That is one way of reconciling the "perpetual virginity of Mary" with the fact that Jesus had brothers and sisters (Mark 6:3). Not that I've ever believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary. It's something I always always used to bring up whenever a Jehovah's Witnesses mentioned how Mark 6:3 "disproved the Pope".
  9. Jamie123

    If the Earth were hit by a comet...

    That's interesting - I read a book a few years ago called "Einstein's Heroes" and was all about Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday and James Clark Maxwell. Maxwell was the Proxime Accessit (the term the book used was "Second Wrangler") of his year, but what I didn't realize until 2 minutes ago was that the guy who beat him - Edward Routh - was same Routh who discovered the Routh Stability Criterion and the Routh-Hurwitz theorem. In those days, if you scored first class honours in the mathematics examination you were called a "wrangler" and if you got second or third class honours you were called an "optime". (If you passed without honours you were called a "poll man".) The lowest-scoring successful honours candidate was also called the "wooden spoon"; back in the day they would dangle an ornately-painted wooden spoon over his head as he came out from receiving his degree.
  10. Jamie123

    If the Earth were hit by a comet...

    OK I'm finally back in my office and can use the scanner again. This was my complete solution... Expressions (1) and (2) are identical, so we know the Moon has just enough energy to escape the Earth regardless of what the actual numbers are. However, Mores was quite right about one thing: the solution is on a knife edge, and the slightest change could affect it. This got me thinking while I was on the bus to work: by assuming M>>m, we are effectively assuming some gigantic Godlike (though massless) "hand" holding the Earth still so only the moon moves. In reality we know the Earth and Moon both revolve around a common centre of gravity. Though this wouldn't cause more than a slight "wobble" in the Earth's position, given the "knife edge" nature of the solution, could this affect the answer? After a bit of back-of-envelope scribbling I think I know: from moments we find that the radius of the Earth's "wobble" R=(m/M)r, so the gravitational force between the Earth and Moon is now GMm/(r+R)^2=GMm/[r^2(1+m/M)^2] . Equating this (as before) to the centripetal force mv^2/r we find that v^2=GM/[r(1+m/M)^2], so the kinetic energy is now GMm/[2r(1+m/M)^2]. Now the energy needed to escape (given that the Earth's mass is now M/2) is the integral of G(M/2)m/[x^2(1+m/{M/2})^2] between x=r and x=infinity, which is GMm/[2r(1+2m/M)^2], which is slightly less than the kinetic energy - so now the Moon is more likely to escape. I keep seeing more errors in this - I'll post again when I've had time to sort it out properly. OK let's try again: I think the previous expression for the Moon's initial kinetic energy is correct: GMm/[2r(1+m/M)^2]. Let's write this as (GMm/2r)/(1+k)^2 where k=m/M. Now when half the Earth/s mass is removed, the initial distance of the moon from the new common centre of gravity becomes r(1+k)/(1+2k) - so for the moon to escape the kinetic energy must be greater than the integral between this and infinity of GMm/[2r^2(1+k)^2] which is (GMm/2r)(1+2k)/(1+k)^3. Dividing this by the kinetic energy we get (1+2k)/(1+k) (approximately 1+k for small k), which is >1 for all k>0. Therefore kinetic energy loses and (all other things being equal) the moon does not escape. I think that's right now. Our original solution was the special case where k=0, and the ratio of two energies becomes 1. This is still without numbers, so although we know the moon fails to escape, we don't yet know by what margin. Just for fun let's put some numbers in: the mass of the moon is around 7E22 kg and the earth 6E24 kg, so k is approximately 0.012, so the Moon's kinetic energy is about 1.2% too small for it to escape. P.S. If Scott is right about this question being 200+ years old, this couldn't have been the original solution since the modern formula for kinetic energy was not developed until 1829. It would be interesting to know how the original candidates attempted it.
  11. Jamie123

    Prince Andrew

    Does "only begotten son" mean the same as "favourite son"? (I'm afraid I'm not very familiar with the Doctrine and Covenants - could you find an equivalent quote from The Bible?)
  12. Jamie123

    Prince Andrew

    This is not correct. A few years back Princess Anne was convicted of allowing her big dangerous dog to run wild in Windsor Great Park, where it bit two children. So right now she holds the distinction of being the only royal with a criminal record! (Though that could change very soon!) P.s. Now I think about it that conviction is probably "spent" by now - meaning that technically she no longer has a criminal record. But nevertheless being "royal" did not protect her.
  13. Jamie123

    If the Earth were hit by a comet...

    I think you're right - it's a sloppy formulated question, but that can have its advantages. It helps examiners separate the duller candidates - the sort of people who give lazy answers like "how long is a piece of string?" - from those with a spark of inquisitiveness and speculation. A better candidate will think "OK I don't have all the information I would like, but maybe if I make some assumptions I can still go somewhere with this!"
  14. Jamie123

    If the Earth were hit by a comet...

    Oh yes we can. We do not need to know the actual kinetic energy of the moon - only how it compares with the energy needed to escape. If the former is equal to or greater than the latter then the moon escapes. It will too. Sorry but you are wrong. The expressions for the energy needed and the energy possessed are identical and will be equal whatever numbers you substitute into them. You won't be able to calculate the exact orbit no, but you can ascertain that it is not a closed orbit and that the moon never comes back