Tuesday, 11 January 2011

A hypothetical...

There have been a couple of well publicised instances of people working in nurseries that have been found to have been abusing children there. Hard to imagine a more horrendous situation for parents.

But imagine if these instances had turned out to be only the tip of the iceberg. Imagine that, say, they were working for a hypothetical national (or international) nursery franchise. Then imagine that the management of this company had found out about the abuse these people were involved in. What would you expect them to do?

Imagine that the management kept the abuse secret from the authorities and simply moved the employees to another nursery in another part of the country (or even another country). And then these people continued abusing children. What would your reaction be if that were true?

Then imagine that this case wasn't a one off. Imagine that it occurred regularly, and had been for decades. Imagine the management knew about many abusers, and had protected them all from the authorities. For decades. What would your reaction be if that were true?

Say the police finally discovered evidence of this and asked the company to give them it's internal documents about these people and it's handling of them. Imagine that this company refused to hand over it's documents and refused cooperate with the police.

Can you imagine what the public reaction to a situation like that would be? How would you feel knowing that an institution trusted with caring for young children had acted in that way?

(In case it wasn't completely obvious what I was getting at here, this news should clear it up for you: The Vatican warned Irish bishops not to report abuse.)

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Woo Fighters


Their latest album cover. Ahem. ;)

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

A question I should probably be able to answer...

That's the frustrating thing (well, one of them) about learning physics, science etc - coming up with a question that you know you really should be able to answer. I think the solution is to keep reading. Or ask someone cleverer! Yes :)

So what I am stuck on is this - relativity says that there is no universal measure of time, that it's dependent on relative motion. A photon of light, moving through space at the speed of light, won't experience any time as it moves.

But science has measured the age of the universe to be 13.73 billion years. Given the effect of relativity, would an alien being in another galaxy zooming away from us at some great speed measure the same age for the universe? How does relativity affect the measurement of that age?