Sunday, 13 June 2010

Black Holes/Tetris Effect?

Okay, so yesterday I mentioned space-time to you. Well, I was on the National Geographic website (getting way too addicted to that thing) and I found a really interesting page about it here.
Oh oh oh, and if you watched or are going to go and watch the Doctor Who Confidential that was on that I talked about yesterday, my friend just told me that the space scientist who talked on it was at a Chemistry talk we went to go and see! I've seen her friggin' live!
...well, not live, but you know.

Anyway, today I thought I'd talk about black holes. The first sentence I read on them seriously sounded like a line from Doctor Who. I think it might have been actually, when The Doctor is describing them when they're heading straight towards one in Amy's Choice, and The Doctor says something like "Black holes are the cold remnants of former stars, so dense that no matter — not even light — is able to escape their powerful gravitational pull." which is the first line I read about them on the National Geographic website.
Basically a black hole is a star at the end of its life cycle. When I say a star, I mean something at least 10 times bigger than our sun. So that's big. Anyway, once it's got so old, it no longer has an outward pressure that exists in balance with gravity, so the gravity outweighs everything else and the star collapses in on itself. It eventually reaches zero volume so is therefore infinitely dense. Which means its light also gets sucked in, hence the name 'dark star', or 'black hole'.
Something needs to pass within a certain distance to be pulled in, for example if our sun turned into a black hole, it would not suck us in as apart from everything on the Earth dying due to the fact there would be no light, the gravitational pull would still be the same so we would continue to orbit.
When they reach a point of no return they are said to have entered the event horizon — the point from which any escape is impossible because it requires moving faster than the speed of light.
Black holes are actually tiny, as a black hole made by our sun for example, would only have a three mile radius. As they take in more substance they grow in size and become denser.

Ideas related to black holes include wormholes, or time travel, as no one knows what is on the other side of a black hole, if there is another side of a black hole, or if it would be some kind of wormhole such as if you go through one end you come out the other end of the universe, kind of like a transporter which could possibly lead to time travel, but this is all speculation and there is no scientific evidence of this.

I realise that I'm writing this blog post purely to avoid doing History revision, but the thing is that now I've found intresting stuff to learn, I don't feel like I'm skiving as I'm still learning, just not necessarily what I'm supposed to be learning. I wish we did about dinosaurs in History, that would be interesting. I think my next blog post might have to be about dinosaurs.

Anyway, moving on to the "Tetris Effect". I read this really weird article that said that if you incessantly play Tetris can actually develop this condition called Tetris Effect, where you see tetris shapes when you're not playing the game. This forms from either habit or hallucination.

Th worrying thing is I think I might have this. Not with tetris specifically, but as I mentioned in a past post, recently I've been playing with my Rubik's Cube an awful lot, and last night when I was watching Primeval I couldn't help but subconsiously scramble and rearrange a Rubik's my head. I got really annoying and after a while it went away, but while it was there...really, I thought I was going crazy. I also get this if I play Super Mario Bros for too long and then read, I always see people jumping up and down the lines and it gets extremely annoying.

But on the note of Rubik's Cube, new record: 2 minutes 36 seconds!!!
I tried to teach myself to juggle yesterday; I used oranges and when one of them exploded I had to stop, but I can now sucessfully do three throws with three balls. I'm going to work on it.

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