Don’t Laugh News Challenge: How Goes Gravity Work?


– Hi, I still don’t know
what I’m about to say because I’m big stupid idiot. Go to Dropout.tv to start your free trial today. For every episode of
breaking news that’s here, there’s another episode only
available on Dropout TV. Until next time I’m Grant O’Brian, which is Irish for Grant Of Brian. (laughing) – [Producer] From West
Hollywood California, the only news team that doesn’t know what’s on the teleprompter
before they read it. Anyone who laughs or breaks loses points. This is, Breaking News. – Turns out it wasn’t a dog after all – Oh really? – I know I don’t know what it is. – Bet it got locked in the bathroom – Good evening and
Welcome to Breaking News. The show where we don’t
know what we’re about to say and we’re not allowed to smile or laugh. I’m Gillian Goldensocks. – And I’m Bethany Trash. (laughs) A new climbing gym has
opened here in town, and the city’s soft weak
hipsters are cheering. – [Gillian] Climbing
gyms are all the rage in neighborhoods that have a Sweetgreen. They answer the question, “What if crossfit was somehow
more unsafe and more douchey?” – Members at Downtown
Boulders can climb walls up to 25 feet tall, instead
of going outside ever. Why would anyone climb free, real, rocks when they could climb wooden ones for $175 a month. – [Gillian] Make no mistake,
climbing is bad exercise. It works like three muscles
and it moves really slowly. That guy from that movie Free Solo? Alex Honnold? I bet most
people could kick his a**. – Downtown Boulders is a
part of the mayor’s new River walk Initiative, which brings new businesses to the ugly
river of our lame city. (giggles) You see the same thing in
other second rate towns like Cincinnati, Austin and San Diego. – The Riverwalk will have a Bucca Di Beppo to stink up the whole place with garlic, and a dueling piano bar called the The Big Bang for anyone
who loves Billy Joel music, but wishes he told more d*** jokes. – [Bethany] There will also be Giggles, an improve comedy theater. For anyone who hasn’t seen
live improve, it’s a must. It’s a whole (laughs) It’s a whole show of nervous 30 year olds trying desperately to out joke each other. And everyone is so, so doughy. – You know I used to do comedy. – Oh yeah? Tell me a joke. – Well have you ever seen the one about a banana that goes outside into a green, green, green, field? – Have I seen that joke? – It’s a video. – [Bethany] Oh. – Have you seen it? – No. – It’s really funny. – Yeah, sounds funny. (laughs) – We now go to Mavis Martin, who met with the winner of the Finn Wolfhard Elementary School Science Fair. – Thanks Bethany, I had
quite a morning talking to these little geniuses. – I’ll bet Mavis, who won? – It was a little boy
named Micheal Doonsbury. He designed an experiment with
a potato gun about gravity. I don’t remember much about
it because I was distracted. He’s one of those little boys
who you just know is gonna be gay.
– Oh. – [Mavis] It was adorable,
you know the type. He’s 8 and I thought he was going to dislocate a hip from swishing so hard. – Cute! – [Mavis] He kept doing that
thing where he delicately pulls his bangs over the side
with his ring finger. He was kind of doing
duck face the whole time. – [Gillian] Terrific, did
you meet any other children? – Well I met his friends, they
were of course, all girls. – Naturally. – [Mavis] I feel bad for
them because they’re all going to be in love with
him, until he comes out. – Oh yes, they like that
he’s non-threatening and they don’t know why. – Exactly, big BTS posters
on all of their walls, I just know it. They’ll all be on the lighting crew of the high school play together. – Mavis, did he ever
explain how gravity works? – Not really, honestly I
don’t know how it works, do you?
– No I don’t. Bethany do you know how gravity works? – I know the basics, but
the specifics allude me. – Me too.
We’re going to go oh- (laughs) We’re going to go to
reporter Susan Pershing for information on a man
hunt underway downtown. Susan, are you with us? – I am Gillian. – Susan rather than tell
us about the man hunt, can you explain in
detail, how gravity works? – Certainly, so gravity is
a force that operates at negative .8 meters per second
squared and it is what keeps us grounded into the earth. It is basically a mysterious
kind of thick mist – [Susan] that we all walk
through everyday and kind of gradually as we age, it
tapes us further, further down into the earth, so the older you are, the less likely you are to fly away. – Oh, hmm,
well that’s interesting. Say more about that. – Oh and I will (laughs) – [Susan] So you know how I
mentioned its like a thick mist, scratch that, its like the
biggest blanket you’ve ever seen. Picture a blanket, now double it. That’s what I’m talking
about, so thick you can barely move through it. Imagine walking through
a big bowl of fudge, you can barely move right? That’s what gravity is doing to you. The only people who say
they’ve really experienced what its like to feel free,
have been in outer space, and usually died. – Is acceleration connected
to or independent of gravity? – Hmm, what wonderful question. – [Susan] I think its
independent of gravity but f*** if I know, you know what I mean? – [Susan] If I had to
guess, I would say that acceleration is sort of
like when you’re traveling through that same blanket,
or fudge that we were talking about, really fast. So that would be the difference. Traveling really fast,
versus traveling really slow. – Why is that? – Well you see the (laughs) – [Susan] You see, wow
you’re curious today, (laughs) you see when acceleration– – The kid didn’t answer me so
we’ll need to hear from you. – [Susan] Oh interesting all right okay. So I do remember from what,
whatever I’m reporting on, which is a crime, right? – [Susan] But acceleration
is what velocity over time or something? And that’s what’s
interesting about it because, other than that, no one really knows, aside from my fudge analogy
and that little thing. – That all sounds right to me. – [Susan] Oh, good! – That’s all for us but before we go, this weeks loser is Mary Holland. What a shmuck. – Hey thanks for watching. (laughs) – [Gillian] (laughs) thanks for watching. – Just giving up. (laughs) – [Producer] Breaking news, this just in. You have just watched another episode of, Breaking News, there are
10 episode only available on Dropout.TV, go to
Dropout.TV and start your free trial today.

Alfonso Cuaron Signs Deal With Apple to Create New Series | THR News


Oscar winner, Alfonso Cuarón is making big moves in the TV world. Following a competitive process
of multiple outlets bidding, Cuarón has signed an
overall deal with Apple. Under the terms of the multiple year pact, he will create and develop
new television projects exclusively for Apple’s
forthcoming TV plus. The deal could be considered
a big win for Apple. Especially after Cuarón
delivered a hit for Netflix in the form of “Roma.” Cuarón, of course, wrote,
directed, and produced the film that was nominated for multiple oscars including best picture. (soulful music) As part of the new pact,
Cuarón will still maintain his nonexclusive deal
with Anonymous Content, and will partner with
them on select projects, while also continuing to
produce other projects with different collaborators. The “Gravity,” “Children
of Men,” and “Harry Potter” grad becomes the latest
A-lister to sign a content deal with Apple. Apple TV Plus launches November 1st with original “See,”
“Dickinson,” “For All Mankind,” and “The Morning Show.” – Ahhh! – Ahhh! – You walk out that door, you
are never gonna get back in. – For more on this story, head to thr.com. Until next time with The
Hollywood Reporter news, I’m Tiffany Taylor.

Why the universe seems so strange | Richard Dawkins


My title: “Queerer than we can
suppose: the strangeness of science.” “Queerer than we can suppose” comes
from J.B.S. Haldane, the famous biologist, who said, “Now, my own suspicion
is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer
than we can suppose. I suspect that there are more things
in heaven and earth than are dreamed of, or can
be dreamed of, in any philosophy.” Richard Feynman compared
the accuracy of quantum theories — experimental predictions — to specifying the width of North America
to within one hair’s breadth of accuracy. This means that quantum theory
has got to be, in some sense, true. Yet the assumptions
that quantum theory needs to make in order to deliver those
predictions are so mysterious that even Feynman himself
was moved to remark, “If you think you understand
quantum theory, you don’t understand quantum theory.” It’s so queer that physicists
resort to one or another paradoxical interpretation of it. David Deutsch, who’s talking here,
in “The Fabric of Reality,” embraces the many-worlds
interpretation of quantum theory, because the worst that you
can say about it is that it’s preposterously wasteful. It postulates a vast and rapidly growing
number of universes existing in parallel, mutually undetectable, except through the narrow porthole
of quantum mechanical experiments. And that’s Richard Feynman. The biologist Lewis Wolpert believes that the queerness of modern physics is just an extreme example. Science, as opposed to technology, does violence to common sense. Every time you drink a glass
of water, he points out, the odds are that you will imbibe
at least one molecule that passed through the bladder
of Oliver Cromwell. (Laughter) It’s just elementary probability theory. (Laughter) The number of molecules
per glassful is hugely greater than the number of glassfuls,
or bladdersful, in the world. And of course, there’s nothing special
about Cromwell or bladders — you have just breathed in a nitrogen atom that passed through the right lung
of the third iguanodon to the left of the tall cycad tree. “Queerer than we can suppose.” What is it that makes us
capable of supposing anything, and does this tell us anything
about what we can suppose? Are there things about the universe
that will be forever beyond our grasp, but not beyond the grasp
of some superior intelligence? Are there things about the universe that are, in principle,
ungraspable by any mind, however superior? The history of science has been
one long series of violent brainstorms, as successive generations
have come to terms with increasing levels of queerness
in the universe. We’re now so used to the idea
that the Earth spins, rather than the Sun moves across the sky, it’s hard for us to realize what a shattering mental revolution
that must have been. After all, it seems obvious
that the Earth is large and motionless, the Sun, small and mobile. But it’s worth recalling
Wittgenstein’s remark on the subject: “Tell me,” he asked a friend,
“why do people always say it was natural for man to assume
that the Sun went ’round the Earth, rather than that the Earth was rotating?” And his friend replied, “Well, obviously, because it just looks as though
the Sun is going round the Earth.” Wittgenstein replied, “Well,
what would it have looked like if it had looked as though
the Earth was rotating?” (Laughter) Science has taught us,
against all intuition, that apparently solid things,
like crystals and rocks, are really almost entirely
composed of empty space. And the familiar illustration
is the nucleus of an atom is a fly in the middle
of a sports stadium, and the next atom
is in the next sports stadium. So it would seem the hardest,
solidest, densest rock is really almost entirely empty space, broken only by tiny particles
so widely spaced they shouldn’t count. Why, then, do rocks look and feel
solid and hard and impenetrable? As an evolutionary biologist,
I’d say this: our brains have evolved to help us survive within the orders
of magnitude, of size and speed which our bodies operate at. We never evolved to navigate
in the world of atoms. If we had, our brains
probably would perceive rocks as full of empty space. Rocks feel hard and impenetrable to our hands, precisely because
objects like rocks and hands cannot penetrate each other. It’s therefore useful for our brains to construct notions
like “solidity” and “impenetrability,” because such notions help us
to navigate our bodies through the middle-sized world
in which we have to navigate. Moving to the other end of the scale, our ancestors never had to navigate
through the cosmos at speeds close to the speed of light. If they had, our brains would be
much better at understanding Einstein. I want to give the name “Middle World”
to the medium-scaled environment in which we’ve evolved
the ability to take act — nothing to do with “Middle Earth” — Middle World. (Laughter) We are evolved denizens of Middle World, and that limits what
we are capable of imagining. We find it intuitively easy
to grasp ideas like, when a rabbit moves
at the sort of medium velocity at which rabbits and other
Middle World objects move, and hits another Middle World object
like a rock, it knocks itself out. May I introduce Major General
Albert Stubblebine III, commander of military
intelligence in 1983. “…[He] stared at his wall in Arlington,
Virginia, and decided to do it. As frightening as the prospect was,
he was going into the next office. He stood up and moved
out from behind his desk. ‘What is the atom mostly made of?’
he thought, ‘Space.’ He started walking. ‘What am I
mostly made of? Atoms.’ He quickened his pace,
almost to a jog now. ‘What is the wall mostly made of?’ (Laughter) ‘Atoms!’ All I have to do is merge the spaces. Then, General Stubblebine banged
his nose hard on the wall of his office. Stubblebine, who commanded
16,000 soldiers, was confounded by his continual failure
to walk through the wall. He has no doubt that this ability
will one day be a common tool in the military arsenal. Who would screw around with an army
that could do that?” That’s from an article in Playboy, which I was reading the other day. (Laughter) I have every reason to think it’s true; I was reading Playboy because I, myself,
had an article in it. (Laughter) Unaided human intuition,
schooled in Middle World, finds it hard to believe Galileo
when he tells us a heavy object and a light object,
air friction aside, would hit the ground at the same instant. And that’s because in Middle World,
air friction is always there. If we’d evolved in a vacuum, we would expect them to hit
the ground simultaneously. If we were bacteria, constantly buffeted by thermal
movements of molecules, it would be different. But we Middle-Worlders are too big
to notice Brownian motion. In the same way, our lives
are dominated by gravity, but are almost oblivious
to the force of surface tension. A small insect would reverse
these priorities. Steve Grand — he’s the one on the left, Douglas Adams is on the right. Steve Grand, in his book,
“Creation: Life and How to Make It,” is positively scathing about our
preoccupation with matter itself. We have this tendency to think
that only solid, material things are really things at all. Waves of electromagnetic fluctuation
in a vacuum seem unreal. Victorians thought the waves
had to be waves in some material medium: the ether. But we find real matter comforting only because we’ve evolved
to survive in Middle World, where matter is a useful fiction. A whirlpool, for Steve Grand,
is a thing with just as much reality as a rock. In a desert plain in Tanzania, in the shadow of the volcano
Ol Doinyo Lengai, there’s a dune made of volcanic ash. The beautiful thing
is that it moves bodily. It’s what’s technically known
as a “barchan,” and the entire dune walks
across the desert in a westerly direction at a speed of about 17 meters per year. It retains its crescent shape and moves
in the direction of the horns. What happens is that the wind blows
the sand up the shallow slope on the other side, and then, as each sand grain hits
the top of the ridge, it cascades down on the inside of the crescent, and so the whole horn-shaped dune moves. Steve Grand points out
that you and I are, ourselves, more like a wave than a permanent thing. He invites us, the reader, to think of an experience
from your childhood, something you remember clearly, something you can see,
feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all, you really were there
at the time, weren’t you? How else would you remember it? But here is the bombshell:
You weren’t there. Not a single atom
that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff
of which you are made. If that doesn’t make the hair stand up
on the back of your neck, read it again until it does,
because it is important. So “really” isn’t a word that we should
use with simple confidence. If a neutrino had a brain, which it evolved
in neutrino-sized ancestors, it would say that rocks really
do consist of empty space. We have brains that evolved
in medium-sized ancestors which couldn’t walk through rocks. “Really,” for an animal, is whatever
its brain needs it to be in order to assist its survival. And because different species
live in different worlds, there will be a discomforting
variety of “reallys.” What we see of the real world
is not the unvarnished world, but a model of the world,
regulated and adjusted by sense data, but constructed so it’s useful
for dealing with the real world. The nature of the model depends
on the kind of animal we are. A flying animal needs
a different kind of model from a walking, climbing
or swimming animal. A monkey’s brain must have
software capable of simulating a three-dimensional world
of branches and trunks. A mole’s software for constructing models
of its world will be customized for underground use. A water strider’s brain
doesn’t need 3D software at all, since it lives on the surface of the pond, in an Edwin Abbott flatland. I’ve speculated that bats may see
color with their ears. The world model that a bat needs
in order to navigate through three dimensions catching insects must be pretty similar to the world
model that any flying bird — a day-flying bird like a swallow —
needs to perform the same kind of tasks. The fact that the bat uses
echoes in pitch darkness to input the current
variables to its model, while the swallow uses
light, is incidental. Bats, I’ve even suggested, use
perceived hues, such as red and blue, as labels, internal labels,
for some useful aspect of echoes — perhaps the acoustic texture of surfaces,
furry or smooth and so on — in the same way as swallows or indeed,
we, use those perceived hues — redness and blueness, etc. — to label long and short
wavelengths of light. There’s nothing inherent about red
that makes it long wavelength. The point is that the nature of the model
is governed by how it is to be used, rather than by the sensory
modality involved. J.B.S. Haldane himself had
something to say about animals whose world is dominated by smell. Dogs can distinguish two very similar
fatty acids, extremely diluted: caprylic acid and caproic acid. The only difference, you see, is that one has an extra pair
of carbon atoms in the chain. Haldane guesses that a dog would probably
be able to place the acids in the order of their molecular
weights by their smells, just as a man could place
a number of piano wires in the order of their lengths
by means of their notes. Now, there’s another
fatty acid, capric acid, which is just like the other two, except that it has two more carbon atoms. A dog that had never met
capric acid would, perhaps, have no more trouble imagining its smell than we would have trouble
imagining a trumpet, say, playing one note higher than we’ve heard
a trumpet play before. Perhaps dogs and rhinos and other
smell-oriented animals smell in color. And the argument would be exactly
the same as for the bats. Middle World — the range
of sizes and speeds which we have evolved to feel
intuitively comfortable with — is a bit like the narrow range
of the electromagnetic spectrum that we see as light of various colors. We’re blind to all
frequencies outside that, unless we use instruments to help us. Middle World is the narrow
range of reality which we judge to be normal,
as opposed to the queerness of the very small, the very large
and the very fast. We could make a similar
scale of improbabilities; nothing is totally impossible. Miracles are just events
that are extremely improbable. A marble statue could wave its hand at us; the atoms that make up
its crystalline structure are all vibrating back and forth anyway. Because there are so many of them, and because there’s no
agreement among them in their preferred direction of movement, the marble, as we see it
in Middle World, stays rock steady. But the atoms in the hand
could all just happen to move the same way at the same time,
and again and again. In this case, the hand would move, and we’d see it waving at us
in Middle World. The odds against it,
of course, are so great that if you set out writing zeros
at the time of the origin of the universe, you still would not have written
enough zeros to this day. Evolution in Middle World
has not equipped us to handle very improbable events;
we don’t live long enough. In the vastness of astronomical space
and geological time, that which seems impossible
in Middle World might turn out to be inevitable. One way to think about that
is by counting planets. We don’t know how many planets
there are in the universe, but a good estimate is about 10 to the 20,
or 100 billion billion. And that gives us a nice way to express
our estimate of life’s improbability. We could make some sort of landmark points
along a spectrum of improbability, which might look like the electromagnetic
spectrum we just looked at. If life has arisen only once on any — life could originate once per planet,
could be extremely common or it could originate once per star or once per galaxy or maybe only
once in the entire universe, in which case it would have to be here. And somewhere up there would be the chance that a frog would turn into a prince, and similar magical things like that. If life has arisen on only one planet
in the entire universe, that planet has to be our planet,
because here we are talking about it. And that means that if we want
to avail ourselves of it, we’re allowed to postulate chemical events
in the origin of life which have a probability as low
as one in 100 billion billion. I don’t think we shall have
to avail ourselves of that, because I suspect that life
is quite common in the universe. And when I say quite common,
it could still be so rare that no one island of life
ever encounters another, which is a sad thought. How shall we interpret
“queerer than we can suppose?” Queerer than can in principle be supposed, or just queerer than we can suppose,
given the limitations of our brain’s evolutionary
apprenticeship in Middle World? Could we, by training and practice, emancipate ourselves from Middle World and achieve some sort of intuitive
as well as mathematical understanding of the very small and the very large? I genuinely don’t know the answer. I wonder whether we might help ourselves
to understand, say, quantum theory, if we brought up children
to play computer games beginning in early childhood, which had a make-believe world of balls
going through two slits on a screen, a world in which the strange goings-on
of quantum mechanics were enlarged by the computer’s make-believe, so that they became familiar
on the Middle-World scale of the stream. And similarly, a relativistic
computer game, in which objects on the screen manifest
the Lorentz contraction, and so on, to try to get ourselves — to get children
into the way of thinking about it. I want to end by applying
the idea of Middle World to our perceptions of each other. Most scientists today subscribe
to a mechanistic view of the mind: we’re the way we are because our brains
are wired up as they are, our hormones are the way they are. We’d be different, our characters
would be different, if our neuro-anatomy and our
physiological chemistry were different. But we scientists are inconsistent. If we were consistent, our response to a misbehaving
person, like a child-murderer, should be something like: this unit has a faulty component;
it needs repairing. That’s not what we say. What we say — and I include
the most austerely mechanistic among us, which is probably me — what we say is, “Vile monster,
prison is too good for you.” Or worse, we seek revenge,
in all probability thereby triggering the next phase in an escalating
cycle of counter-revenge, which we see, of course,
all over the world today. In short, when we’re
thinking like academics, we regard people as elaborate
and complicated machines, like computers or cars. But when we revert to being human, we behave more like Basil Fawlty,
who, we remember, thrashed his car to teach it a lesson, when it wouldn’t start on “Gourmet Night.” (Laughter) The reason we personify things
like cars and computers is that just as monkeys live
in an arboreal world and moles live in an underground world and water striders live in a surface
tension-dominated flatland, we live in a social world. We swim through a sea of people — a social version of Middle World. We are evolved to second-guess
the behavior of others by becoming brilliant,
intuitive psychologists. Treating people as machines may be scientifically
and philosophically accurate, but it’s a cumbersome waste of time if you want to guess what this person
is going to do next. The economically useful way
to model a person is to treat him as a purposeful,
goal-seeking agent with pleasures and pains,
desires and intentions, guilt, blame-worthiness. Personification and the imputing
of intentional purpose is such a brilliantly successful
way to model humans, it’s hardly surprising
the same modeling software often seizes control when we’re
trying to think about entities for which it’s not appropriate,
like Basil Fawlty with his car or like millions of deluded people,
with the universe as a whole. (Laughter) If the universe is queerer
than we can suppose, is it just because
we’ve been naturally selected to suppose only what we needed to suppose in order to survive
in the Pleistocene of Africa? Or are our brains so versatile
and expandable that we can train ourselves to break out of the box of our evolution? Or finally, are there some things
in the universe so queer that no philosophy of beings,
however godlike, could dream them? Thank you very much. (Applause)

Lawrence Krauss – How is the Cosmos Constructed?



in searching for this elusive final theory string theory has now become the popular term but what exactly is string theory that's a really good question I think many physicists are asking themselves any question and we did not sure we know the answer at its heart string theory really caught on in the 1980s it because it's based on this idea that a fundamental scale elementary particles are not point like objects but rather one-dimensional objects things that act like strings why well it turns out if you allow that to happen what was discovered was that that theory produced something that looked very much like gravity and that's what caught people's imagination because you see for most of the 20th century and so far 21st century gravity in all other ways has defied quantum mechanics we tried to take general relativity and merge it with quantum mechanics as we get nonsense but here was a quantum mechanical theory of a vibrating spring string that looked like that gravity in it so you might have a quantum theory of gravity and would it also produce the zoo of fundamental particles that experimentalists were finding well that's what he got people even more excited because initially you have gravity and that alone was enough to draw a lot of people's attention but then as people explored it well it turns out that those strings vibrating are only consisted not in four dimensions but it turns out in a lot more dimensions they got it down to ten dimensions after starting the twenty six got it down to 10 and so vibrating strings at ten dimensions would produce in our four-dimensional world something you look like gravity now you may say well that's you know a lot of extra stuff for nothing but it turns out because of those extra dimensions you also get a lot of extra stuff in the theory and you might also get not just gravity but the other known forces nature and not just the part not just the forces but the particles it looked in 1984 like you might have what as they called it a theory of everything you might explain the entire observable fundamental structure of the universe forces and particles with a single idea and everyone got are very excited and and if life were an impressionist painting then that's we'd be happy the trouble is as we began to explore string theory in finer and finer detail a lot of the excitement a lot of the hope in some sense has evaporated because the models that look like they might explain that four forces nature and three families of elementary particles those models we realize we're not particularly good approximations to string theory and then it turned out there are a bunch of different string theories not one and if you want to be theory of everything you hope it's unique right so there are a bunch of different ones but they were discovered well they're actually all different manifestations of a single theory great but not a single theory in ten dimensions a single theory and eleven dimensions the theory called m-theory we don't know what M stands for but it's called F theory what's one more dimension yeah well you know but in this case it turns out when you have that extra dimension and that that theory began to be investigated in terms of the strings themselves may not be the fundamental objects after all just like particles weren't as four dimensions strings may themselves be an illusion it turns out the dominant most important things were may have been things that weren't even known about in 1984 things called brains like membranes of three-dimensional three-dimensional universe would be like a three brane four dimensions five dimensions six inches and the dynamics of those things make the theory almost infinitely more complicated and what were what's been discovered is that perhaps this theory may have nothing to do with reality but even worse maybe it does have something to do with reality and there's no possible way for us to make a connection between that abstract idea in eleven dimensions it's really not even yet a theory it's a it's a it's an idea in search of a theory because it's so complicated that we're realizing for example that it might not predict a single kind of universe like our own but perhaps ten to the five hundred universes and and that can be viewed as a success or a failure depending upon how you're looking at it if you can predict a universe that has any different properties you could ever measure then that's like predicting nothing at all right because if your theories consistent with anything I can measure then it's not falsifiable it's it's it's more like philosophy than physics I can't if I can't prove it wrong then I don't know if it's real but that doesn't mean it's not real that doesn't mean it's not really the worst thing would be if it's real and we couldn't prove it well I don't know if lies I don't think that's the worst thing if it's real even if you can't prove it accept it well how do you know it's real I mean maybe the world of maybe instead of particles being made of strings are made of pink elephants I mean if you can't disprove the idea then from a physics perspective it's impotent and if it didn't you ultimately end up throwing it out as Ben and I said that the string theory is the least successful great idea of the 20th century because it's been thirty years that have been worked on by really smart people thousands of them and and progress has been made but we still haven't answered any fundamental physical questions about the universe and we haven't shown that we can we can falsify it but this but some string theorists have recently taken this idea of 10 to the 500 universes this is a great success because as we look out at the universe we've discovered it's kind of crazy in a number of different ways there's certain properties like dark energy and other things that are completely inexplicable some people have said maybe there's really no fundamental explanation of why the universe must be the way it is a unique no unique measure sir it may just be an accident physics maybe in environmental science our universe could be one of an infinite number of universes in each one of which the laws of physics is different and we live in our universe because our universe allows life it's called the anthropic principle very controversial it's very controversial and and and and and to some physicists very disgusting but to string theorists it seemed like the Holy Grail because so it was a great resonance because here you had the series that couldn't explain anything and now you have this universe that may not be explainable and the two work together very well because string theory is produced what they call the landscape if there are 10 to the 500 universes you have a natural landscape in which this idea of the anthropic principle can flourish and flourish but the problem is in some sense you've gone from instead of having a theory of everything to a theory of anything which some people would say is equivalent to having a theory of nothing and we just don't know

How Gravity Built the World's Fastest Jet Suit | WIRED



I'd be the first to admit that we went down this road really at the beginning for the pure joy of taking on a challenge that was largely thought to be impossible there was no textbook on how to go and do this I'm Richard browning I am founder and chief test pilot for gravity and we build thousand horsepower jet engine flying suits for the last few years browning and his team have tested every possible design and configuration they could come up with all in an effort to make this a reality the origins of the concept were all around some of the inspiration from my early life I used to fly model gliders and model aircraft my father he was an aeronautical engineer his father was a pilot so I guess it was in the blood but fulfilling his dream of flying required real physical demands too I spent some time in the Royal Marines Reserve and the time in the military and all the sports I pursued after that taught me a lot about the capability of the human mind and body I'm no great athlete but I did learn a lot about how if you focus the human form on a challenge whether you want to be an ice skater or a gymnast or whatever it is amazing how this machine can be adapted I got to the point with this calisthenics bodyweight training where I could support my own weight in a number of different kind of unusual positions like flags for instance and I thought well if you just replace that hard structure that I'm holding onto with actually a form of thrust I can hold my body in any number of different kind of fly positions so as ludicrous as that sounded I thought well let's just go and experiment with it first he needed to figure out how to stay suspended in the air the form of thrust I landed on was gas turbines gas turbines are notorious for being very small form factors extremely aggressive one gas turbine weighs five pounds and puts out about 50 pounds of thrust so in 2016 browning started testing different components and variations and so have experimented one we went to two and then went to four and it was getting increasingly compelling but things didn't always go quite so smoothly through lots and lots of trial and error and constantly failing to be honest then learning all the time from those safe bales we got to a point where we managed to achieve a flight and that was two engines on each arm and he had engine on each leg but there were basic problems at every stage starting with the decision to have engines on each leg there's a number of interesting challenges with that model the problems included the engines being only three or four inches off the ground in terms of the exhaust thrust the violence of air coming out of those engines at about a thousand miles an hour and hitting even concrete you could see a smooth concrete surface would start to become pitted from the sheer violence of that air and yet as you move them away the the violence of velocity drops off there was also a challenge with having the engines on the legs in that if you happen to vector your arm engines anywhere near the intakes of the lower engine we realized that you're in in ducted air is going in and that would then spike the exhaust temperature you could see a little puff of Sparks and the engine would just shut down so that was another good reason for not having engines down there and finally there's a strange human behavior we learned which is that when your feet feel the ground and Earth's left them they they almost want to pedal and Scrabble around looking for where that surface is that's not helpful when you've got 50 pounds of thrust coming off your leg and those problems led to the solution of actually moving those engines slowly up the body and then consolidating them into one and essentially that created a skirt all at the same altitude in the body which can be likened to the three legs of a tripod there's thrust coming out of each arm and then essentially a third leg coming out of the back of your body which provides that uncanny stability and that's how we learn to fly I can set me through what the components are so you've essentially got an arm mount that your arm goes inside that aluminium 3d printed tube you've got a micro gas turbine on each side and you've got the same on the other side obviously and round the back and there's one more engine which is roughly the power of these two together the front here you've got a lot of the electronic control systems and the batteries which aren't plugged in here those batteries actually run the starter motors and the glow plugs and then on the sides you've got a couple of fuel bladders we've also got a helmet but it's especially lightweight one and the extra addition to it is a heads-up display system so inside there you can see the the lenses which actually paint over my vision the fuel and engine data that data gets to the lenses via this little device that takes a wireless feed from the suit that shows me everything to do with the engines and everything to do everything to do with the fuel to give you an idea as to how close we are to running out of fuel for instance last year browning set the world speed record for a body controlled jet suit clocking in at 32 miles per hour he says the suit can actually fly much faster and higher than they've ever attempted but for now they're playing it safe that's because even at lower speeds and altitudes there are still risks the fuel is either diesel or jet fuel they're fundamentally the same fuels Jeff will sound scary but it's the same kind of stuff the diesel it's actually not prone to forming vapor clouds it's not really explosive in fact you're really hard push to even ignite it and even if it did burn in an uncontrolled way you've certainly got probably 1015 seconds before it becomes a big fire every single time we fly we have fire extinguishers around the place in two years of doing this we've never used a fire extinction worried but I have a respect for the fire out aspect of this the heat aspect of it it's funny but if you get a hairdryer and you press it against your head you're gonna burn your head hold it like two feet away and it's cold the specific heat capacity of air is so poor that actually the heat dissipates really quickly and I've even swiped those engines across my leg with with this you know heavy cotton flight trousers on all it did is just slightly singe the very top surface of the fabric it didn't do anything so from a heat and fire point of view it's really not a significant concern we but we managed it he's more concerned with Falls and collisions it's akin to riding a sports motorbike if you if you've done that eighteen hundred miles an hour around small twisty roads and come off that it's gonna hurt if I'm ten feet above the ground and got an engine failure I simply go downwards there is no scenario where our system can suddenly in an uncontrolled way gain height or shoot off to one side you simply drop which is not a good thing but we've always got to allow for the potential for extremely unlikely mechanical failure of one of the engines and then in which case you do you do fall that's why we keep the height fairly limited speed wise we can easily do 35 miles an hour so we've come quite a bit quicker in testing but again for most of what we do by the time you've done 35 miles an hour you've gone a long way away from probably the audience or the area you're flying so by then you're coming back again we push the limits a little bit more over water because that's a bit more forgiving if you could if you fell in it so brownies jet suit is no longer just a pipe dream but what exactly is it for they recently started custom designing and selling them but at a price tag of about four hundred and forty thousand dollars a suit it's safe to say it'll be out of reach for most but that could change as we improve the efficiency of the ease of use then there is the potential for I don't want to see mass transit straight away but but we have developed something that allows you to move human beings around in a in a completely unprecedented way one of the biggest challenges for bringing down cost designing suits that are more fuel efficient this model currently burns about a gallon of fuel a minute that's one of the reasons they're working on an electric version and a set of wings that when deployed mid-flight would generate lift more efficiently they're also hoping some competition went spur innovation throughout history when when two human beings have said I think mine's Boston the newest that does push the envelope so next year 2019 we are building out a race series for this yes a racing series think Formula One but with the jet suits we've already had several pilots flying the record so far is five minutes five minutes of airtime so we can have a bunch of young guys and girls go and actually racing thousand horsepower jet suits over water to keep it safe but doing something that only people have seen before really in a Marvel film and that is gonna push the boundaries like nothing I think for the immediate future it'll be entertainment it'll be inspiring people and it'll be really fueling the journey on to creating a revolution in human transport