Monday, March 31, 2014

A Look At Light and Gravity's Gravitas

Cosmos' latest episode talked about a universal constant, the speed of light: 186,282.4 miles per second. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson - Astrophysicist says that speed is also a speed limit for a material object in real space to travel. In real space, it is not possible to travel at or faster than light, which is energy.

What Neil didn't discuss, mainly because they're universally regarded as theoretical at this point, are 2 things....matter is merely a slower vibrational state of energy and that changing the vibrational state of space may allow travel faster than light. 

He did touch on a cool concept, however, which is another reason why I enjoy his enthusiasm and open-mindedness about what is now considered science fiction, and that's the theory that near or inside a black hole, physical laws governing the universe may not apply. He also mentioned that galaxies such as our own, all contain supermassive black holes, hence the spiral shape. Black holes aren't visible, but they are common, and are chiefly the result of star death. Star life and death is what creates solar systems, all governed by gravity, something I sure wish I could lessen. 

Remember, just a few years ago, planets outside our solar system were considered science fiction.  Now, it has proven through scientific method that planets are common in our galaxy, and that 1 in 5 stars harbor earth-like planets.  A few hundred years ago, people were absolutely sure Earth was flat and that it was the center of the universe.  Who's to say, that in a few years, faster-than-light travel, which may explain many UFO sightings, will be not only possible, but that the journeys we took in our imagination will become reality.

Getting back to gravity, every time I get up from a chair, gravity lets me know in no uncertain terms, that it rules. This summer, though, I'm thinking of joining the Y again to get into the pool---the one place where I can say, fush you, for a change, to gravity's hold on me for a little while.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

How The Affordable Care Act - Healthcare Law Keeps Me Alive

My response to a friend regarding the Affordable Care Act:

Respectfully, people are not allowed to drive a car without insurance, so shouldn't that apply to health? Also, considering I am terminally ill, without health insurance of some kind, I'd have died long ago. Thanks to the ACA, my medicine is just $17, I keep the doc I had since 2008, and pay $100 a month for my insurance. Without ACA, I could not get insurance at all (I tried for years), my medicine would be over $100, and my doctor visits would be $220 EACH visit. Ideally, this country should be on a single payer system where MEDICARE is for ALL, but republicans didn't want gov't involved. ACA is PRIVATE insurance with regulation from gov't that allows people to 
  • 1. get insurance with pre-existing condition (like me and my heart), 
  • 2. for kids to stay on parents insurance until age 26 and then get their own at much lower cost with subsidies and/or expanded medicaid coverage, 
  • 3. preventive care, 
  • 4. lower medicine cost (like mine being just $17 for 8 different meds),
  • 5. lower cost since EVERYONE is in a pool. 
The irony is that it's a model of the MASSACHUSETTS health plan, which republican Romney signed into law. It's not perfect, it's evolving, and hopefully will lead to single payer, but it's better, by a longshot than what we had before, which was not a goddamn thing for people who could not get insurance.

For more info I failed to mention: