Harmonics in Space

Visions of Harmony: Inspired by NASA’s Mission Juno

This Apple Music original celebrates the space agency’s groundbreaking journey to Jupiter—and the intersection between science and art.

While this is new harmony and space isn’t.

In 1619 Johannes Kepler publisahed Harmonices Mundi ( The Harmony of the World).

While medieval philosophers spoke metaphorically of the “music of the spheres”, Kepler discovered physical harmonies in planetary motion. He found that the difference between the maximum and minimum angular speeds of a planet in its orbit approximates a harmonic proportion. For instance, the maximum angular speed of the Earth as measured from the Sun varies by a semitone (a ratio of 16:15), from mi to fa, between aphelion and perihelion. Venus only varies by a tiny 25:24 interval (called a diesis in musical terms). Kepler explains the reason for the Earth’s small harmonic range:

The Earth sings Mi, Fa, Mi: you may infer even from the syllables that in this our home misery and famine hold sway.

The celestial choir Kepler formed was made up of a tenor (Mars), two bass (Saturn and Jupiter), a soprano (Mercury), and two altos (Venus and Earth). Mercury, with its large elliptical orbit, was determined to be able to produce the greatest number of notes, while Venus was found to be capable of only a single note because its orbit is nearly a circle.

At very rare intervals all of the planets would sing together in “perfect concord”: Kepler proposed that this may have happened only once in history, perhaps at the time of creation.

Kepler reminds us that harmonic order is only mimicked by man, but has origin in the alignment of the heavenly bodies:

Accordingly you won’t wonder any more that a very excellent order of sounds or pitches in a musical system or scale has been set up by men, since you see that they are doing nothing else in this business except to play the apes of God the Creator and to act out, as it were, a certain drama of the ordination of the celestial movements. (Harmonices Mundi, Book V).

Kepler discovers that all but one of the ratios of the maximum and minimum speeds of planets on neighboring orbits approximate musical harmonies within a margin of error of less than a diesis (a 25:24 interval). The orbits of Mars and Jupiter produce the one exception to this rule, creating the unharmonic ratio of 18:19. In fact, the cause of Kepler’s dissonance might be explained by the fact that the asteroid belt separates those two planetary orbits, as discovered in 1801, 150 years after Kepler’s death.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonices_Mundi

 

PM English, deputy Bennett

Simon Bridges has withdrawn from the contest to be deputy Prime Minister, leaving the second top spot to Paula Bennett.

Herald: Simon Bridges withdraws from deputy prime minister race

Bridges confirmed he was stepping out of the race at a press conference in Auckland this morning.

“While my numbers were good, they weren’t good enough.”

He said he had a third of the votes, but he didn’t have half.

Bridges said Bennett was a “massive talent” with huge strengths who would make an excellent deputy.

“I know that Bill English and Paula Bennett are going to do a fantastic job.”

Bridges spoke to Bill English this morning and discussed his withdrawal.

He was pleased to have been in the race and that there was a real contest.

So next week we will have Prime Minister Bill English and Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett.

It will give the government a bit of a new look at least.

englishbennett

 

Bridges versus Bennett continued

The current state of the race to the deputy prime ministership as recorded by Claire Trevett:

czqci-kucaagcyf

More at the Herald:

Paula Bennett is on the cusp of becoming Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, but may have to lobby for a few more votes over the weekend to secure the job.

Based on publicly declared votes, Bennett has 23 National MPs on her side, though numbers are changing often. Simon Bridges trails behind, having secured the support of 10 MPs. A candidates needs 30 votes to become deputy to Prime Minister-in-waiting Bill English.

If no clear winner between her and Bridges is found by Monday – when a caucus vote will be held – it is understood both candidates will give speeches to the party before a private ballot takes place.

 

‘Secret ballot’ by social media drip feed

It seems quite odd to me that what I thought was supposed to be selection of a Prime Minister and a deputy Prime Minister by secret ballot next Monday have instead been a procession of pronouncements through the week by social media.

I guess National MPs can do their selecting and their voting however they like, but does anyone know if they have ever selected their leaders so publicly before?

Who remembers how John Key’s selection as National leader and leader of the opposition in 2007?

This is all the National Party constitution says about leadership selection:

PARLIAMENTARY SECTION
Constitution

81.The Parliamentary Section of the Party shall consist of the members of the Party elected to the House of Representatives. Should at any time a member of the Parliamentary Section cease to be a member of the Party he or she shall cease to be a member of the Parliamentary Section. Leader

82.  (a) The Parliamentary Section shall appoint its Leader as soon as practicable after each General Election.

(b) If at any time the leadership of the Parliamentary Section falls vacant, the Parliamentary Section shall appoint a Leader to fill such vacancy. Notwithstanding Rule 82 (a), the Parliamentary Section may at any time between General Elections confirm or change its Leader.

(c) The Leader of the Parliamentary Section shall, upon receiving the approval of the Board, become the Leader of the Party. The Board shall consider such approval as soon as practicable after the appointment by the Parliamentary Section of its Leader.

Maybe the secret ballot idea is incorrect and the National caucus just selects it’s leaders however they feel like at the time.

From the Herald:

If no clear winner between Bennett and Bridges is found by Monday – when a caucus vote will be held – it is understood both candidates will give speeches to the party before a private ballot takes place.

Threat of extreme Islam

Nicolas Pirsoul, a doctoral candidate in politics and international relations at the University of Auckland, writes in the Herald about Salafism, an extreme and intolerant strain of Islam that inspires terrorists organisations like Isis, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.

He warns of this risks this poses to New Zealand, and why extremism thrives on division, so “New Zealand should remain an inclusive and tolerant nation by embracing its diverse Muslim community”.

I wouldn’t use the term ’embrace’, I have no intention of embracing Islam or Catholicism or Brianism or and other religion.

But tolerance of religious practices,and encouragement of the peaceful practicing of religion here, are important things that New Zealand should stand for.

Nicolas Pirsoul: Warning for NZ in rise of extreme form of Islam

Salafism is an extremist, literalist, and intolerant form of Sunni Islam. Its origins are hard to trace, but it is commonly argued that 13/14th century theologian Ibn Taymiyyah strongly influenced the development of modern Salafi thought nearly five hundred years later.

Salafism obtained the important political power it continues to hold today when Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab formed an alliance with the al-Saud family during the 18th century to give birth to the Saudi version of Salafism, Wahhabism, the state religion of the current kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

As Saudi Arabia developed as a major political force, due in large part to its oil production and its status as one of the West’s principal allies in the Middle East, Salafism further expanded its political and geographical influence. Saudi Arabia has continued to use its wealth to propagate Wahhabi ideas thorough the Islamic world and Muslim communities in the West.

New Zealand needs to be wary of the threats of extreme Islam.

It is important to recognise the existence of a problem and not to underestimate it. The recent hate speech controversy, involving a cleric from the at-Taqwa mosque in Manukau, is only the tip of the iceberg and follows a well-established pattern of other events involving Salafi clerics preaching in New Zealand, such as Egyptian cleric Sheikh Abu Abdullah a couple of years ago. It would be naïve to think that our nation’s Sunni oriented mosques are immune to Salafi ideology and its intolerant and sometimes violent interpretation of Islam.

It would equally be naïve to believe that New Zealand is free from economic ties with the Saudi Kingdom, as the controversial Saudi farm deal recently underlined. The extent to which these economic ties influence the ideological makeup of Islam in New Zealand is uncertain.

It is important that New Zealand does not imitate the leniency of other Western nations towards these issues.

We don’t have the same problems that European countries have. We have a fairly thorough immigrant checking system, and we distance, and we have a very large natural moat.

Second, it is important to understand and adopt the right attitude towards the problem of Islamic extremism. Extremism thrives on division. Mainstream stereotyping and discrimination against Muslims has helped Salafism, and its Manichean worldview, to grow in Europe. It is therefore critical that New Zealand should remain an inclusive and tolerant nation by embracing its diverse Muslim community.

The majority of Muslims, conservatives or not, reject violence and intolerance. They are allies in the fight against terrorism.

By creating a New Zealand model of multicultural citizenship, where Kiwis of all ethnic groups and faiths live with and are supportive of each other, we can become a role model for the world and avoid replicating other nations’ mistakes.

We need to avoid division and driving Muslims in New Zealand towards extremism.

Extremists and terrorists want to provoke extreme reactions. We need to understand this and avoid being used by them to increase hatred and fear.

We need to promote positives like peace and tolerance as Kiwi ideals to be aspired to, and this will reduce the chances of negative and violent reactions to ostracism.

Most people want to live in peace and harmony. If we advocate strongly for this we are more likely to achieve it.

Juno flyby #3

Juno will soon soon do it’s third flyby of Jupiter, the first close encounter with most of it’s instruments gathering data.

NASA Juno Mission Prepares for December 11 Jupiter Flyby

On Sunday, December 11, at 9:04 a.m. PST (12:04 p.m. EST, 17:04 UTC) NASA’s Juno spacecraft will make its third science flyby of Jupiter.

That will be 6.04 am Monday New Zealand time.

At the time of closest approach (called perijove), Juno will be about 2,580 miles (4,150 kilometers) above the gas giant’s roiling cloud tops and traveling at a speed of about 129,000 mph (57.8 kilometers per second) relative to the planet.

Seven of Juno’s eight science instruments will be energized and collecting data during the flyby.

The eight instrument, the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM), is in need of a software patch.

“This will be the first time we are planning to operate the full Juno capability to investigate Jupiter’s interior structure via its gravity field,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “We are looking forward to what Jupiter’s gravity may reveal about the gas giant’s past and its future.”

junoflyby

Artist’s concept of the Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
It will be very interesting to see what they discover about Jupiter, which was the largest and first planet to form in our Solar System.

The Juno spacecraft launched on Aug. 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016. During its mission of exploration, Juno soars low over the planet’s cloud tops — as close as about 2,600 miles (4,100 kilometers). During these flybys, Juno will probe beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter and study its auroras to learn more about the planet’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-juno-mission-prepares-for-december-11-jupiter-flyby

Jupiter is the fifth planet from our sun and the largest planet in the solar system. Jupiter’s stripes and swirls are cold, windy clouds of ammonia and water. The atmosphere is mostly hydrogen and helium, and its iconic Great Red Spot is a giant storm bigger than Earth that has raged for hundreds of years.

10 ‘need to know’ facts about Jupiter:

1. The Biggest Planet
With a radius of 43,440.7 miles (69,911 kilometers), Jupiter is 11 times wider than Earth.

jupiterearth

2. Fifth in Line
Jupiter orbits our sun, a star. Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun at a distance of about 484 million miles (778 million km) or 5.2 Astronomical Units (AU). Earth is one AU from the sun.

3. Short Day / Long Year
One day on Jupiter takes about 10 hours (the time it takes for Jupiter to rotate or spin once). Jupiter makes a complete orbit around the sun (a year in Jovian time) in about 12 Earth years (4,333 Earth days).

4. What’s Inside?
Jupiter is a gas-giant planet and therefore does not have a solid surface. Jupiter may have a solid, inner core about the size of Earth.

5. Atmosphere
Jupiter’s atmosphere is made up mostly of hydrogen (H2) and helium (He).

6. Many Moons
Jupiter has 53 known moons, with an additional 14 moons awaiting confirmation of their discovery — that is a total of 67 moons.

7. Ringed World
Jupiter has a faint ring system that was discovered in 1979 by the Voyager 1 mission. All four giant planets in our solar system have ring systems.

8. Exploring Jupiter
Many missions have visited Jupiter and its system of moons. The Juno spacecraft is currently orbiting Jupiter.

9. Ingredients for Life?
Jupiter cannot support life as we know it. However, some of Jupiter’s moons have oceans underneath their crusts that might support life.

10. Great Red Spot
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is a gigantic storm (about the size of Earth) that has been raging for hundreds of years.

http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/jupiter

Planet positions – obviously not distances:

1047px-planets2013-svg

 

Media watch – Saturday

10 December 2016

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

As usual avoid anything that could cause any legal issues such as potential defamation or breaching suppression orders. Also remember that keeping things civil, legal and factual is more effective and harder to argue against or discredit.

Sometimes other blogs get irate if their material is highlighted elsewhere but the Internet is specifically designed to share and repeat information and anyone who comments or puts anything into a public forum should be aware that it could be republished elsewhere (but attribution is essential).

Earthquake, possible tsunami threat

There was been a 7.8 earthquake of the Solomon Islands an hour ago (followed by 5.5 and 5.2 aftershocks so far).

There is a potential tsunami risk to New Zealand, but no known imminent threat

It would be wise to be cautious about going anywhere near sea level at the top of the North Island until more is known.

How do you know if and when it’s safe? I don’t really know, apart from listening to news and checking Civil Defence.

Their national website says:

Tsunami

All of New Zealand is at risk of earthquakes and all of our coastline is at risk of tsunami. We can’t predict when one will happen, but we can protect ourselves and our family.

But also

No declared emergencies

Friday 9 Dec7:53 am

http://www.civildefence.govt.nz/tsunami/

Three hours earlier there was a 6.5 earthquake off the coast of California.

pacificearthquakes

Media watch – Friday

9 December 2016

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

As usual avoid anything that could cause any legal issues such as potential defamation or breaching suppression orders. Also remember that keeping things civil, legal and factual is more effective and harder to argue against or discredit.

Sometimes other blogs get irate if their material is highlighted elsewhere but the Internet is specifically designed to share and repeat information and anyone who comments or puts anything into a public forum should be aware that it could be republished elsewhere (but attribution is essential).

Labour response to fiscal update

Labour finance spokesperson Grant Robertson has responded to the release of the latest half yearly Treasury update.


Economy must deliver a fair go for New Zealanders

The latest Half Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) provides further evidence that the economy that the National Government and Bill English have is sitting on shifting sands and leaves many people behind, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says today.

“It’s easy to glance at the headline figures and see a rosy picture of government surplus and economic growth, but look harder and there is plenty for New Zealanders to be concerned about.

“The country’s economic growth is a sandcastle based on rampant house price inflation, high personal debt, and on population growth that is putting pressure on infrastructure and public services – pressure that this Government is failing to address.

“On a per-person basis New Zealand is hardly growing at all. It’s no wonder people are feeling that they are working longer hours but they are only treading water. And the forecasts today are for almost no real wage growth in the next two years.

“And then there are the tens of thousands of people just being left behind, homeless, out of work and losing hope under National’s watch.

“Labour’s focus is getting New Zealand back to its best. That is when everyone has a roof over their head, access to the best health and education systems in the world, and the opportunity of decent work and a good pay packet.

“As Finance Minister I would commit to more investment in people through strong public services, starting to pay back the enormous debt that been amassed since 2008, and planning for the future by restarting contributions to the New Zealand Super Fund.

“Bill English however is still playing politics with dangling irresponsible tax cuts. This is all the more so with this year’s surplus slashed due to the Kaikōura earthquakes.

“Calm the farm, Bill, and pull back on the tax cut carrot. The HYEFU shows that the real priority is invest to get sustainable growth that foster the innovative and productive economy that will deliver decent jobs,” says Grant Robertson.share on twitter