Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The fate of the universe

After watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos I've came up to a lot of new stuff to think about. I've always been a thinking person, I had no problem being alone and do nothing because I've always had something to ponder about.

Sagan said that if there's enough matter for the gravitational forces to stop the expansion of the universe and start the contraction (Big Crunch) until it reaches a critical point at which big bang occurs and it starts expanding again then the universe might be oscillating and undergo an infinite amounts of cycles in which the universe expands and contracts. But such theory in not reconciled with the second law of thermodynamics and caused cosmologists to abandon the oscillating universe model.

However new understanding in dark matter suggest that its interactions with mass and gravity demonstrate a possibility where an oscillating universe could be possible. I somehow would prefer this idea of a cyclic universe to an open universe where the acceleration of expansion becomes so strong that it overwhelms the effects of gravitational, electromagnetic and strong forces.

If the universe was cyclic and once started to contract in exactly the same way it expanded, it might be that causality will be inverted and effects will precede causes. Which might not be easily understandable to us where the time might seem to be going backwards. Also a question arises if every universe and the laws of nature are randomly determined or are always the same and perhaps the same cycle is repeated infinitely.

I'd like to believe that same guy like me will live in another cycle of the universe but I know that most likely the universe is open and in many many years there will be nothing but particles left in the universe. But we never know.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Meteor showers - Perseids

 Perseids aroused my interest in Astronomy

I became interested in astronomy a few years ago. I was reading up some articles about technologies and I found out that there's gonna be meteor showers on 13th of August called the Perseids.  I had no idea things like that were happening at that time. I became fascinated by it so I decided to look more into it.

The Perseids are called that way because the point from which the meteors seem to be coming from lies in the constellations Perseus. The earth travels through a cloud of dust which consists of particles ejected by a comet called Swift-Tuttle.

I remember the first time I heard about it I set up to spectate that glorious event. I was still young and was living in a city apartment. I wanted to get somewhere out of city to spend the night observing them but I had no one to go with. I still didn't want to miss it so at around 1 am I went into my balcony with my blanket and lay down on cold concrete. I only saw a small part of the sky and there weren't too many stars there because of the light pollution but I remember seeing the constellations Pegasus and Cassiopeia. It took quite some waiting and  I was about to give up but then I saw one. It was really exciting for me that time. I saw a few more and it was too cold so I went to bed.

Two years ago I was in a village shack that is owned by my father. It's far away from the city and the night sky is the best seen from there as far as I know. The meteor showers were magnificent, I saw dozens of them falling. I can still remember the day very well. After that day, the night sky became something much more for me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lithuanian cuisine - Cepelinai

Time for some cooking. I occasionally like to experiment with food and I enjoy my country's national dishes. So I'll introduce you to some of it.

Cepelinai is a national dish. It's named so because it resembles the airship 'Zeppelin'. They are a type of dumplings made from grated potatoes and usually has ground meat (pork) inside, sometimes the meat is replaced by cottage cheese. It's served with sour cream and pork or bacon cracklings (spirgai).

Here's how you can make some yourself. It's quite a long process but if you have several people working on it it's really fun. Last time I was making there was 10 of us and we made them really quick, only the cooking took some time.

First you have to peel the potatoes and boil some then grate the rest.Later you will need to rice the boiled potatoes and squeeze the grated ones in a piece of cloth so it ends up dry. Save the fluid from the potatoes since at the bottom the starch will set. Then you should mix the potatoes take some into your hand and make a flat patty. Add some meat in the middle and start forming a football shape. Use the starch to coat them and add them to boiling water till done. 1 - 1.5 hours.

You can find some great recipes online or there's also some good illustrations here.

Good luck.

Many more posts to come!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Movies - Se7en

Since I'd been watching movies for quite some time I decided to share my opinion of some of my personal favorites with you. And this time it's Se7en.

If someone had asked what is my personal favorite, Se7en would definitely be one of the first ones to cross my mind. It's about two detectives who hunt a serial killer who kills by the Dante's seven deadly sins. The movie is slow paced and takes its time to develop the characters brilliantly unlike other movies from the same genre. The two main characters played by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt are presented as an unlikely police-couple that are different in many ways from each other but in a way that is also what makes them such a great couple. Brad Pitt successfully proves to us that he's not just a pretty face on screen, and that he plays his character so well, that you can tell he's a really good actor. Kevin Spacey truly plays a bone chilling character, almost just as legendary and chilling as Hannibal Lecter. He may be in it for 20 minutes, but his roles is extremely memorable.

It was dark, gripping, fascinating, and not only that but it makes you question your own morality. If you haven't seen it, you should definitely go watch it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

TV shows

Today I'll talk about TV shows.  They're fun and highly addictive. Over the last years I've became very careful in choosing what to watch and don't like trying out new things because I'm afraid I'd get hooked on it and end up watching all 5 seasons in a week, the addictiveness is scary.. For example suppose you start watching a new show of which each episode is 40 minutes long, there's 6 seasons with 20 episodes per season. That sums up to 80 hours which is half month of work. So technically one show could cost half a month's pay. Still watching an episode a week is pretty harmless and a decent way to relax. At the moment I'm watching Dexter and impatiently waiting for the next season of Futurama. So more about these..

This animated science fiction show by the creators of 'Simpsons' has surpassed all other cartoons by its wonderful type of humor. The plot takes place in the future, the year 3000 and that gives the creators vast freedom to be creative. The story follows one young adult Philip J. Fry who got frozen in year 2000 for a thousand years and then gets a job at delivering company where his co-workers are all the main characters of the series. The viewer can relate to Fry because he's new to the future and often confused by it.


The plot of these series is unique and really interesting. It follows a serial-killer named Dexter who has no emotions and has the urge to kill people. His foster father knew about that and took care of him, he taught him that there are people that don't deserve to live so if Dexter had to kill it should only be other murderers. Dexter is smart and learned how to fake emotions and perfectly blend in the society. He works at the Miami police as the blood spatter analyst.