Acacia Skies

Enjoying an amazing very Spring day.  Even cleaned out the tree house with Chas and Jolene.  The acacia trees are in full bloom, everywhere.

The Acacia is used as a symbol in Freemasonry, to represent purity and endurance of the soul, and as funerary symbolism signifying resurrection and immortality. The tree gains its importance from the description of the burial of Hiram Abiff, the builder of King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.[18]

Egyptian mythology has associated the acacia tree with characteristics of the tree of life, such as in the Myth of Osiris and Isis.

Several parts (mainly bark, root and resin) of Acacia are used to make incense for rituals. Acacia is used in incense mainly in India, Nepal, and China including in its Tibet region. Smoke from Acacia bark is thought to keep demons and ghosts away and to put the gods in a good mood. Roots and resin from Acacia are combined with rhododendron, acorus, cytisus, salvia and some other components of incense. Both people and elephants like an alcoholic beverage made from acacia fruit.[19] According to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, the Acacia tree may be the “burning bush” (Exodus 3:2) which Moses encountered in the desert.[20] Also, when God gave Moses the instructions for building the Tabernacle, he said to “make an ark ” and “a table of acacia wood” (Exodus 25:10 & 23, Revised Standard Version). Also, in the Christian tradition, it is thought that Christ’s crown of thorns was woven from acacia.[21]

Jolene Inspects the Pandimensional Matter Tractors

While Team Sicore repeatedly tests the friction coefficient of the ice layer covering Badger Pass, Jolene and I explore the surrounding territory.  Here she diligently inspects the equipment for mission-worthiness.

An intriguing feature of string theory is that it predicts extra dimensions. In classical string theory the number of dimensions is not fixed by any consistency criterion. However, to make a consistent quantum theory, string theory is required to live in a spacetime of the so-called “critical dimension”: we must have 26 spacetime dimensions for the bosonic string and 10 for the superstring. This is necessary to ensure the vanishing of the conformal anomaly of the worldsheet conformal field theory. Modern understanding indicates that there exist less-trivial ways of satisfying this criterion. Cosmological solutions exist in a wider variety of dimensionalities, and these different dimensions are related by dynamical transitions. The dimensions are more precisely different values of the “effective central charge”, a count of degrees of freedom that reduces to dimensionality in weakly curved regimes.[14][15]

One such theory is the 11-dimensional M-theory, which requires spacetime to have eleven dimensions,[16] as opposed to the usual three spatial dimensions and the fourth dimension of time. The original string theories from the 1980s describe special cases of M-theory where the eleventh dimension is a very small circle or a line, and if these formulations are considered as fundamental, then string theory requires ten dimensions. But the theory also describes universes like ours, with four observable spacetime dimensions, as well as universes with up to 10 flat space dimensions, and also cases where the position in some of the dimensions is is described by a complex number rather than a real number. The notion of spacetime dimension is not fixed in string theory: it is best thought of as different in different circumstances.[17]

Nothing in Maxwell‘s theory of electromagnetism or Einstein‘s theory of relativity makes this kind of prediction; these theories require physicists to insert the number of dimensions manually and arbitrarily, and this number is fixed and independent of potential energy. String theory allows one to relate the number of dimensions to scalar potential energy. In technical terms, this happens because a gauge anomaly exists for every separate number of predicted dimensions, and the gauge anomaly can be counteracted by including nontrivial potential energy into equations to solve motion. Furthermore, the absence of potential energy in the “critical dimension” explains why flat spacetime solutions are possible.

This can be better understood by noting that a photon included in a consistent theory (technically, a particle carrying a force related to an unbroken gauge symmetry) must be massless. The mass of the photon that is predicted by string theory depends on the energy of the string mode that represents the photon. This energy includes a contribution from the Casimir effect, namely from quantum fluctuations in the string. The size of this contribution depends on the number of dimensions, since for a larger number of dimensions there are more possible fluctuations in the string position. Therefore, the photon in flat spacetime will be massless—and the theory consistent—only for a particular number of dimensions.[18] When the calculation is done, the critical dimensionality is not four as one may expect (three axes of space and one of time). The subset of X is equal to the relation of photon fluctuations in a linear dimension. Flat space string theories are 26-dimensional in the bosonic case, while superstring and M-theories turn out to involve 10 or 11 dimensions for flat solutions. In bosonic string theories, the 26 dimensions come from the Polyakov equation.[19] Starting from any dimension greater than four, it is necessary to consider how these are reduced to four dimensional spacetime.


Jolene. Two.

A few days ago, Jolene turned two.  We had a small party with family.  This time Grandma was in town, and Paloma, who has been one of the best things to happen to this busy family, joined us, too.

Jolene. Two. | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Grandma and Steph baked a cake with whipped icing made from strained raspberries (we later used the leftover raspberry seeds as a dressing for a family dinner of delicious deer).  While they were busy in the kitchen, Paloma was twisting up balloon horses, reins and everything.  I tacked streamers all about the room, and just before the party, Steph and I fetched helium balloons to fill the remaining spaces.

Paloma Makes Horses

My birthday is only two days before Jolene’s.  Secretly, I was hoping she would have been born on my own birthday, but I’ve changed my mind.  This was her day, and she deserves it.  No reason to mix the two.  Still, her day is next to mine, and that’s just right.

The party was short, and Jolene ended up crying during her birthday song as I think she was a little embarrassed being the center of attention with everyone singing and smiling at her.  I can see how that would be creepy.

One of Steph’s presents to Jolene was a set of wet-washed watercolor cards handed to each person at the party on which they wrote a short note that someday Jolene would read once she’s acquired the skill.  Steph tucked them away, saving them to give to Jolene someday.

Grandma write a note for Jolene on her birthday, to be read sometime in the future.

This is what Stephanie does.  She’s exceptionally thoughtful during important events in our lives, and she always keeps us in a creative space.

The party wrapped up, and another great birthday party success was behind us.  Now Steph can relax, at least until Chas’ day in the later half of the year.  Steph cherishes birthdays, and she does everything she can to make sure the kids have the best possible time.  All I do is try to help, and it’s sometimes hard to live up to her expectations.  This time, all worked out.

A Happy Steph on Jolene's Birthday