Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hello from Bonn

Stefan and I, we are currently in Bonn for a workshop on "Black Holes in a Violent Universe." Bonn is the former German capital and a quite charming city, though not what you'd expect from a capital. So probably a good thing Berlin has taken over the burden. Germany is collectively in a good mood these days since the Germans won Friday's soccer game, and everybody is looking forward to Sunday's game.

We're staying in a small hotel near the river Rhine. Needless to say, our room is on the 4th floor without elevator. On the other hand, we have a small roof patio. And here's what we found looking out of the window on the side opposite the patio: A small staircase leading to a platform (the top of the downstairs windows) with railing. That little walkway ends then, leaving you with the only option of a 4 floors' jump down on the paved street. I was thinking it might be the emergency exit, but the evacuation plan on our door points another direction. So not sure what this is. An invitation for suicide? A diving platform in case the river floods?




My talk about the black hole information loss problem went very well (slides here). I wish you all a great weekend.

25 comments:

coraifeartaigh said...

Hi bee, I'm glad thetalk went well and you won't be using the emrgency exit!
Would love to have a peep at the slides but the link doesn't seem to be working..

Georg said...

Hello Bee,
I presume this stairway to nowhere
is a secondary emergency exit.
The idea is that the fire brigade
will use a big ladder or some more
developed machine to rescue You
in case the regular stairs are not
usable.
There is a general rule with emergency
exits, You need two independent exits.
Soccer:
since the Germans won Friday's soccer game, and everybody is looking forward to Sunday's game.
Englands own fault, if they hadn't
exported this waste of time,
they would be soccer world champions all the time :=)
Regards
Georg

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,,

Fourth floor and no elevator certainly will help you and Stefan stay in shape while in Bonn. As for that platform you took the photo of rumour has it that it’s the exit provided for the quests that attempt to avoid paying their hotel bill as to have them fully appreciate the gravity of such a decision:-)

More seriously I do hope you and Stefan enjoy a nice weekend as well. For me this one will mostly entail lying low to avoid all the motorcades and protestors as we play host to your leader and the other 19 big wheels of the planet. An interesting thought just came to mind in wondering how they would enjoy climbing four floors to get to their rooms. It might lend a whole new meaning in having it referred to as a summit meeting:-)

Best,

Phil

Bee said...

Hi coraifeartaigh,

Thanks for letting me know, I've fixed the link. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi Phil,

Weather is lovely here this weekend, blue skies, sunshine, we're expecting 30°C tomorrow! Stefan and I, we're planning on going out later for our wedding anniversary (a few days belated, due to workshop) to the place where we had the wedding reception.

I read the other day there was an earthquake in Ontario? Were you affected? Best,

B.

Steven Colyer said...

Georg is twice correct. Bonn probably has a law that buildings of a certain height have an easy access to firepersons should there arise the need to bang a hole in the roof. Look around at other buildings in town to see if I'm right.

Georg, have you thought of how many other sports England has exported? Don't the other countries know how to export sports? I mean, c'mon, cricket, soccer, rugby, tennis, golf (Scotland yes, let's not get picky). Alright, the Americans have basketball, but there are roots to that in Central American Indian games.

India gave us Chess, so that's an exception. And yes that's a sport, an intellectual one.

Have a good weekend Bee and Stefan as well. Much thinking this week, a good walk in a park should achieve balance. If you see any Italians or French be sure to give them a smile, I think they need a bit of cheering up. Pasteur and Marco Polo, what's not to love?

Bee said...

Hi Georg,

Yes, that seems to be the most plausible explanation. You'd have thought though they might plan the rescue from the roof patio instead. Would probably require though to park in the garden downstairs. Either way, Sunday's game will be entertaining :-) Best,

B.

Steven Colyer said...
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Steven Colyer said...

An interesting thought just came to mind in wondering how they would enjoy climbing four floors to get to their rooms.

They would have "their people" carry them, Phil. Don't yopu know how the wealthy class lives, Phil? Labour free. That's why they don't like Labour parties. Real work, ugh! They can't relate.

Cheers, Phil, here's hoping Toronto doesn't have a maple leaf version of the Seattle Riots 1999, which I don't think you will because you Canadians are too polite for that.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,


So for you and Stefan Bonn will always be that special place. It’s nice to hear the weather in Europe is improving as earlier I heard it was a little on the chilly side. What they reported as a earthquake should referred to more as a tremor as even at its epicentre which was just north of Ottawa it only registered as a five on the scale. I was at work at the time sitting at my desk when I felt it shaking mildly beneath me and the paper in my hand flutter a bit. I guessed right away it was a seismic event even though I never experiences one before. However discovering in this was less the a five I had a greater appreciation for the horrible experience for those in Haiti as that was an eight which translates as roughly 1000 times the energy, which really boggles the mind.

Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

Thanks for the complement yet we have our own crop of nut bars with two of them firebombing a bank in Ottawa a few weeks back as a rehearsal of sorts. Also all the nutbars of the planet will be coming here. The biggest complaint locally in respect to the summit is the security cost has been reported as exceeding one billion dollars. Actually they have turned the downtown into an armed fortress which saddens me for more reasons than I can express her briefly.

Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Georg,

We have such things as Bee shows here also in these parts as well, with them being referred to as “screamer balconies” as that’s what one will be dong if ever they find it necessary to venture out there. Actually a four floor drop into a net might be quite exhilarating experience or at the very least an accelerating one. Besides it should be reminded that a fall never kills anyone, rather it’s the sudden stop where the acceleration is realized:-)

Best,

Phil

Steven Colyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven Colyer said...

Aw. No worries mate, they'll fly out as fast as they flew in and before you know it you'll have North America's most beautiful city back again.

Phil Warnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee, Stefan & Georg,


I do hope that the game simply is remembered as being enjoyable as speaking of nut bars both England and Germany are renowned for their football variety. Of course they will fall back on the excuse it was the vuvuzelas that drove them to madness rather than the quantity of beer. In this respect you could call hockey as being sort of antifootball, as the spectators pay the players to fight with each other, rather than having to do it themselves:-) I must tell you I am disappointed that France and Italy have been eliminated so early as I find them as some of the best players for portraying convincingly the effects of trauma aqnd thus will be certainly missed. The one thing I always wondered about is if you get handed one of those yellow or red tickets if you are given your day in court to defend it::-)


Best,

Phil

Uncle Al said...

You have discovered a working prototype of the EU's economic recovery plan. 26 countries deficit spend until the euro is worth less than its colored papers. Then, Gemany takes one for the team.

http://occonline.occ.cccd.edu/online/vmarcina/EuropeanUnionMap.jpg

(Motto: "United in diversity." The US could send Europe 30 million examples of diversity, but one doubts any of them could find Europe.)

Steven Colyer said...

The US could send Europe 30 million examples of diversity, but one doubts any of them could find Europe.

Turn right at Greenland? Maybe I could build (or ask Dean Kamen to build) some water scooter that runs optimally on an oil-slicked ocean/planet. Then take a dip at the New Jersey shore and a couple of days later wash up on a Lisbon beach. Would have to be a fast scooter.

Georg said...

Georg, have you thought of how many other sports England has exported? Don't the other countries know how to export sports? I mean, c'mon, cricket, soccer, rugby, tennis, golf (Scotland yes, let's not get picky).

Hello Steven,
of course I have. But as a rather
un- or antisportist I like to annoy
sportsmen in any way :=)

Hello Bee,
Would probably require though to park in the garden downstairs.
Have a look there, I bet there is a way where fire brigade can drive their
truck in, at the place below Your
window You will find that concrete
pavement with holes in the stones,
allowing gras to grow through.
Regards
Georg

Steven Colyer said...

Antisportist!? (new word ...cool!) Oh please don't tell me that includes Chess! :-)

Hi, Bee, I look forward to more details about the Bonn Blackhole/Gravastar Workshop from you, but we'll all understand if you don't find the time, considering a rather exciting and important ESQG conference that you're co-sponsoring with Greg and Lee at Nordita in less than 3 weeks. Best of luck on that, here's hoping you have a reliable back-up caterer, and many good cooks from Poland with their fine Polish meat. :-)

Not sure who to root for today, Germany or England, as I have heritages in both places, so in that sense I can't lose. Well whomever wins, may they carry on to meet Argentina in the finals.

Bee said...

Steven:

No gravstars at the meeting. I hate to burst your illusions, but I know literally nobody who takes these seriously. They're extremely implausible for theoretical reason and also in conflict with experiment, see here. Best,

B.

Steven Colyer said...

No illusions burst, I assure you. A little further research has identified what is probably the source of your statement that Gravitational Vacuum Stars, or Gravastars, have been discredited, that being the arXiv publication by Cardaso, Pani, Cadoni, and Cavaglia, here, in July '08.

Yet Wiki obfuscates. After backing up your claim, the last paragraph goes on to state: "Even more the existence of gravastars does not exclude the existence of black holes as shown in other theoretical studies. However, such studies invariably overlook the fact that exact Schwarzschild black holes may have zero gravitational mass. Hence gravastars continue to be a serious alternative to the black hole model."

However, I'll take your word for it, and not pursue the subject further. I'm always looking for subjects to not study, which will lead quicker to those worth pursuing, faster.

Congrats to Germany for beating England 4-2 in the World Cup! I'm using the real score, not the official one. ;-)

Georg said...

Hello Steven:
Oh please don't tell me that includes Chess! :-)
No I do not include chess in sports.
(I do not include math in nat. sciences either)
4:2 ? Ahh good to know...
Fortem fortuna adjuvat! :=)
Georg

Rastus Odinga Odinga said...

Bee, looking at the slides of your talk makes me feel depressed. Because what you say is so reasonable, so obviously a better basis for further work than silly nonsense like fuzzballs etc etc etc....and yet you must surely be aware that you are doomed to be ignored by most of the community. How do you keep your spirits up? I'm delighted that your talk was well received.... any particularly interesting responses?

Bee said...

Hi Rastus,

Thanks for the kind words. One can't say the paper has been exactly well received, but it hasn't been ignored either. How do I keep my spirits up? Well, in the end only the truth will survive. I am satisfied to know time will come when people realize we were pointing into the right direction. It is unfortunate meanwhile if they continue wasting their time, but it's not really my problem. No, no interesting responses to this talk, but then the time for questions was really tight. Also, since I've talked about the topic a few times, I meanwhile know what points people tend to stumble over (eg the exact meaning in which I refer to information loss), so I make sure to explicitly explain this. Finetuning a talk typically has the effect that fewer questions come up. Best,

B.