• ### Question about the center of the universe...?

My understanding is that the universe has no borders, no edge, and if you could somehow cross the entire universe you'd end up where you started (sort of like Asteroids for Atari, but..not exactly). So, while you could say the universe has no center, wouldn't it be just as accurate to say that every point could be considered the center?
My understanding is that the universe has no borders, no edge, and if you could somehow cross the entire universe you'd end up where you started (sort of like Asteroids for Atari, but..not exactly). So, while you could say the universe has no center, wouldn't it be just as accurate to say that every point could be considered the center?
• ### Relativity and frame of reference question.?

I understand the concept of twin paradox. As one twin travels closer to the speed of light, time in his frame of reference will go slower than for the twin on Earth, so time has effectively slowed down. I get that. I even understand that our GPS satellites have to take this effect into account in order to keep their clocks synchronized perfectly.... show more
I understand the concept of twin paradox. As one twin travels closer to the speed of light, time in his frame of reference will go slower than for the twin on Earth, so time has effectively slowed down. I get that. I even understand that our GPS satellites have to take this effect into account in order to keep their clocks synchronized perfectly. I get it. What I don't get is how relativity decides which twin ages and which doesn't. My understanding is that there is NO ultimate frame of reference. To me in the rocket, in my frame of reference I am standing still and it is the EARTH that is moving at close to light speed away from me. Why isn't time moving mre slowly for my twin instead of me? You could point to an ultimate outside observer, but to him or her, they are moving away from each other. So WHAT determines the frame of reference by which time dilation effects which twin? Help me out, I've read a few pop science books on the subject, but I'm still confused.
• ### Should Congress pass the Armenian Genocide resolution?

On the one hand, this could seriously damage relations with Turkey, a long time ally. On the other hand, why should we cower before a country that probably did commit genocide? Bonus Question: Could this resolution, if passed, be the trigger to cause Turkey to invade Northern Iraq? They've held off til now, since we have asked nicely... show more
On the one hand, this could seriously damage relations with Turkey, a long time ally. On the other hand, why should we cower before a country that probably did commit genocide? Bonus Question: Could this resolution, if passed, be the trigger to cause Turkey to invade Northern Iraq? They've held off til now, since we have asked nicely and not so nicely. If this angers them enough though, maybe our requests will fall on deaf ears. Opinions? http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071011/pl_n...
• ### If you could restructure the US government from the constitution up, what major changes would you make?

I am just brainstorming. I wouldn't mind a weaker president, directly elected and slightly more powerful cabinet heads, and a congress whose districts are draw up by independant commission, but that's just me.
I am just brainstorming. I wouldn't mind a weaker president, directly elected and slightly more powerful cabinet heads, and a congress whose districts are draw up by independant commission, but that's just me.
• ### Romney criticises Clinton health plan that is very similiar to the law he signed, isn't that strange?

Here is the plan Romney signed: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2005-07-04-health-insurance-usat_x.htm and some more details: http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/2007/08/romney-vision-f.html and here is the Clinton plan:... show more
Here is the plan Romney signed: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries... and some more details: http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/200... and here is the Clinton plan: http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/09/17/h... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/17/AR2007091700118.html The same? No, but some substantial similarities. Isn't it politically risky for Romney to in effect attack his own plan? http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2007/09/18/post_78.html?hpid=topnews http://mediamatters.org/items/200709180002
• ### 1 in 4 didn't read even one book last year, shouldn't we be concerned?

Why is this in the politics section? Because an educated populace is the cornerstone of a democracy, and in a democracy well rounded and rational individuals are needed to make decisions about who will lead us. And while it's possible to not read and be a genius, or to read a ton and be a moron, in general more reading equals better education... show more
Why is this in the politics section? Because an educated populace is the cornerstone of a democracy, and in a democracy well rounded and rational individuals are needed to make decisions about who will lead us. And while it's possible to not read and be a genius, or to read a ton and be a moron, in general more reading equals better education (whether formal or informal). So if more and more people can't be bothered to read anything more than a text message that have ideas no more complex than "LIBS=BAD4_08" or "CONS_SUCK", doesn't this bode ill for the country? http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070821/ap_o...
• ### Counterfactual: What would the response have been to the McVeigh bombing, were W in office at the time?

Would it have been the same as Clinton's, stronger than Clinton's? Please try and put some thought into your answer.
Would it have been the same as Clinton's, stronger than Clinton's? Please try and put some thought into your answer.
• ### NASA rocked by two scandals back to back. Will the agency recover?

And how will this affect spaceflight in the long run? I'm not a big fan of NASA, but I'd be willing to bet this will blown over. In case you haven't seen it, this was in regards to sabotage and to drunk astronauts: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070727/ap_o...
And how will this affect spaceflight in the long run? I'm not a big fan of NASA, but I'd be willing to bet this will blown over. In case you haven't seen it, this was in regards to sabotage and to drunk astronauts: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070727/ap_o...
• ### Why not break up the country?

Cons hate libs, libs hate cons, why not become two seperate countries? The blue states can be one and make as liberal a laws as they please, while the red states be as conservative as they please. As long as it's fairly peaceful, maybe it would be for the best.
Cons hate libs, libs hate cons, why not become two seperate countries? The blue states can be one and make as liberal a laws as they please, while the red states be as conservative as they please. As long as it's fairly peaceful, maybe it would be for the best.
• ### Former Surgeon General says his views were censored, why isn't there more outrage?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/200707... http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Jul10/0... On C-SPAN I got to hear some of his testimony. I was pretty shocked that the politicization was this bald faced. Please read the Fox or Yahoo article and give your opinion.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/200707... http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Jul10/0... On C-SPAN I got to hear some of his testimony. I was pretty shocked that the politicization was this bald faced. Please read the Fox or Yahoo article and give your opinion.
• ### Why do we have so many socialized services?

Police forces are government funded and run, as are the military, as are most schools, as are most fire departments, ect. If the free market is the most efficient way to accomplish almost any aim, why aren't more "anti-socialists" yelling about these programs? Okay, many do you about the schools, but never the others. Isn't this... show more
Police forces are government funded and run, as are the military, as are most schools, as are most fire departments, ect. If the free market is the most efficient way to accomplish almost any aim, why aren't more "anti-socialists" yelling about these programs? Okay, many do you about the schools, but never the others. Isn't this inconsistant? I'm not a socialist, but neither am I a believer in laissez faire government.
• ### Liberals don't like Bush's pardons, cons didn't like Clinton's, time for a change?

Why not amend the constitution to remove the pardon power from the President and give it to a special panel nominated by the President, but confirmed by the House? The majority party would get one extra seat, no matter the actual number split. I think this would alieviate most of the problems with the presidential pardons, like covering up... show more
Why not amend the constitution to remove the pardon power from the President and give it to a special panel nominated by the President, but confirmed by the House? The majority party would get one extra seat, no matter the actual number split. I think this would alieviate most of the problems with the presidential pardons, like covering up administration crimes, while still leaving a ray of hope for the unjustly convicted.
• ### Should liberals thank the President for commuting Libby's sentence?

After all, this will rile the democratic base, and give them one more thing to get energized about. As we have seen in past elections, the most energized base usually wins.
After all, this will rile the democratic base, and give them one more thing to get energized about. As we have seen in past elections, the most energized base usually wins.
• ### The Tom Cruise scientologist versus Germany thing, your views?

Background: News reports earlier this week had started officials would ban "Valkyrie" from shooting at German military sites because of star Cruise's belief in Scientology. Supposedly the Germans are now backpeddling and saying they welcome the movie, and have no problem with Cruise. Yeah, right. Now, as an Atheist, I think... show more
Background: News reports earlier this week had started officials would ban "Valkyrie" from shooting at German military sites because of star Cruise's belief in Scientology. Supposedly the Germans are now backpeddling and saying they welcome the movie, and have no problem with Cruise. Yeah, right. Now, as an Atheist, I think being a scientologist is only slightly loopier than being a Christian, but for Germany to have even thought about being this blatently biased against this guy because of his "religion" is profoundly disturbing to my sense of justice and fair play. Thoughts?
• ### Can you think of some good atheist related Haikus?

Remember, 5 - 7 - 5. I'll start: There is a heaven. Well, that is what they tell me. They are full of it. Now you try. =-)
Remember, 5 - 7 - 5. I'll start: There is a heaven. Well, that is what they tell me. They are full of it. Now you try. =-)
• ### How could you tell if someone today were a prophet?

All the people claiming to be prophets today are considered crazy, or cult members. Even if they make a prediction, it is considered a lucky guess or worse. Yet, many people accept that there were prophets in the past. What criteria would it take to convince people today, or is it only possible to declare one after the fact?
All the people claiming to be prophets today are considered crazy, or cult members. Even if they make a prediction, it is considered a lucky guess or worse. Yet, many people accept that there were prophets in the past. What criteria would it take to convince people today, or is it only possible to declare one after the fact?
• ### What are the actual downsides to allowing gay marriage?

Economic, political, legal, or practical issues please. I just can't figure out how two gay people getting married hurts me or my family in the least, but I'm willing to listen to opposing arguments beyond the simple bumper-sticker slogans.
Economic, political, legal, or practical issues please. I just can't figure out how two gay people getting married hurts me or my family in the least, but I'm willing to listen to opposing arguments beyond the simple bumper-sticker slogans.
• ### Why aren't there more female space entrepreneurs?

I mean, Anousheh Ansari is just about the only one I know of in the industry.
I mean, Anousheh Ansari is just about the only one I know of in the industry.