Rebel Physics

Peter J. Carroll

Latest Blog Post

  • Junblog 2023

    Junblog 2023

    Travelogue, archaeology, cuisine, etc.

    The month of May proved a splendid time for a visit to the Scottish Highlands and Islands. The hillsides around Loch Ness blaze with great lush thickets of vibrant yellow gorse, the midges have not yet erupted from the bogs and ditches to make hillwalking hellish when the breezes drop. The Scottish secessionist movement has thankfully imploded under scandal and infighting. Our kids and grandkids thrive. The Scots Steak Pies* remain the pinnacle of British cuisine. I had a splendid time.

    (*The ubiquitous Cornish Pasties remain a severe downside to my life in the Southwest. Bakeries seem to serve little else here except these artless greasy pastries filled with ghastly shovelfuls of swede, turnip, and mean gristle, whereas the noble Scots Steak Pie contains nothing but generous portions of bovine muscle tissue in fine gravy.)

    On the slopes above the Ness, I came across a rare patch of about twenty False Morels, Gyromitra esculenta: -

    These strange fungi resemble something between blowtorched spaghetti and mummified brains. They can kill you if you eat them, they can also kill you if you merely try cooking them, as they then give off methyl hydrazine gas.

    Mainland Orkney seemed even more heavily livestock farmed than when we visited it half a century ago. Barely a tree or hedge remains anywhere, just endless rolling slopes of fenced grassland and sad stinking barns full of livestock kept mainly indoors to fatten whilst machines plant, harvest, and fertilise the grass for them. (I had better check on the ethical sourcing of those pies.)

    All the wildlife clings to the Orcadian coast, we saw plenty of seals and a splendid variety of seabirds. As I went beachcombing in heavy boots, three layers of clothing, woolly hat, and gloves against the chilly conditions, our three hardy oat-fed highland grandchildren stripped off and hurled themselves into the icy north sea to frolic in the waves, laughing at us soft Sassenachs.

    Fairly recent archaeological discoveries on the Ness of Brodgar between the small stone circle of the Stones of Stenness and the huge stone circle of the Ring of Brodgar have led to some interesting speculations. The historian Neil Oliver has presented some rather grandiose ideas about their significance. Do the neolithic remains on the Ness of Brodgar imply that Orcadian neolithic culture predates and inspired the culture that built Stonehenge? Do these remains imply that a Neolithic Theocracy dominated Orkney and built the stone huts and stone circles as a centre of religious cult activities?

    I rather doubt this. The stone huts do not seem that large or temple-like when you get close up. They probably built in stone because wood had become increasingly scarce. Neolithic cultures consumed huge amounts of wood for cooking and heating, tool hafting, and roof building. The small lathe and hide Neolithic boats could not have transported significant quantities of timber from mainland Scotland once supplies had become exhausted on Orkney. Orcadian civilisation appears to have gone into severe decline until the development of bigger boats in the iron age.

    The Ring of Brodgar seems singularly unsuitable for religious or cultish rituals, or even as a ceremonial meeting place. It has a diameter of 340 feet, you cannot even shout across it in a slight breeze, and it does not seem to have any features in its centre. The ring seems more like an example of Clan Power Bling to me. It seems more likely that some local warlord had it built as a statement of authority, control, and ownership of the land and the people. The stone huts contained very few items that looked like they could have had a religious function, but they did hold a number of finely worked stone mace heads for cracking skulls and intimidating people.


    I had a very enjoyable and fascinating day at Joanna William’s Fire Iron Art forge and studio at Bristol Docks after receiving a voucher for a day’s blacksmithing experience for my birthday.

    See Joanna here at work in her forge and studio: -

    Joanna guided me through the basics of the blacksmith’s craft showing me how to heat iron in the forge and then shape it with hammer, anvil, vices, and tongs. Herewith my apprentice pieces made on the day, a selection of useful hooks and hangers with a pleasingly rugged antique aesthetic.

    Towards the end of the day Joanna indulged my request to try and hand forge some esoteric instruments and she expertly guided me through the process. Herewith three forged iron Pocket Wands which can also serve to delineate Triangles of Arte in works of evocation.

    I had a great day at the forge, and I commend the experience to anyone interested in developing their creative craft skills.

    I have since seem Joanna exhibiting her own creations at various sculpture and craft events and her skill and dedication, and artistry never ceases to amaze. One day I hope to commission her to create splendid wrought iron gates for my home.

    However, disaster has struck Joanna’s enterprise. A night-time arson attack on adjoining buildings in the Underfall Yard at Bristol Docks has also pretty much destroyed her forge and studio.

    Here is a link to the crowdfunding appeal to help Joanna restore her facilities and continue to practise and teach the skills of blacksmithing and artistry in iron. 


    Please give what you can towards restoring her forge and studio after the tragic fire.

    The CMBR

    Hypersphere Cosmology has successfully explained most the data from which orthodox cosmology has cobbled together the conventional concordance model of LCDM Big Bang Theory and replaced it with a simpler and more elegant model that has no singularities, inflation, expansion, dark matter, or dark energy.

    The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation alone remains not rigorously reinterpreted within Hypersphere Cosmology.

    Within the LCDM model the CMBR consists of relic radiation from a period about a third of a million years after a Big Bang when the primeval fireball had expanded and cooled to a mere 3,0000 Kelvin and deionised to become transparent to light. Subsequent ‘expansion of space’ or the separation of gravitationally bound structures within the universe has supposedly stretched out and redshifted the wavelength of the 3,000K light to a wavelength corresponding to 2.70 Kelvin. We can make out a fairly credible mathematical case for this but at the price of assuming that the contents of the entire or observable universe once occupied an infinitely or insanely small volume at unrealistic temperature and density.

    As Hypersphere Cosmology can provide an alternative interpretation for all the rest of the cosmological observational data without using the hypotheses of a big bang or an expanding universe then it requires an explanation of the CMBR to complete its case for a new paradigm.

    Some cosmologists continue to wonder of the CMBR may arise from the redshifting of starlight from distant sources to the point where it thermalises into equilibrium with cold dust and gas in intergalactic space. In other words, the thin intergalactic medium has a basic temperature of only 2.70 K and once starlight has become redshifted to a corresponding temperature it continues to bounce around at relatively short ranges and remains at that wavelength, in thermodynamic equilibrium with the medium.

    A couple of fairly recent papers explore this idea further.



    Alternatively, Hypersphere Cosmology can perhaps supply a mechanism. As any gravitationally bound structure in the universe will rotate by hyperspherical vorticitation to its antipode position within the universe every 13 billion years, and any light emitted will also tend to reconverge in highly redshifted form on its antipode position in the same period, then the CMBR we observe may consist of light emitted from our own and nearby galaxies reconverging here 13 billion years later.

    A redshift of 3.0000 K starlight by a factor of z = 1100 suggests that it may have come from a region of space about 1/1000 of the size of the universe. This corresponds roughly to the local group of gravitationally bound galaxies - our Milky Way, Andromeda, Triangulum, and a swarm of smaller ones. The power output of the local group roughly matches the power input of the CMBR; however, the photon count seems badly off.

    All collaboration on this topic welcome.

    My Sci-Fi Hobby.

    The winter storms have washed up more insulation blocks on the shores of the Welsh hideaway that conceal the spaceship yards of Lithonia and other empires. Plus, over winter I have collected spent vape accessories, old electric razor components, discarded nitrous cylinders, and small bits of metallic scrap and junk from all over.

    The Lithonian empire now faces a challenge from these dark dreadnoughts.

    In time this may lead to a vast boardgame on the beach with a scale of a yard to ten light years, or perhaps to a novel about Artificially Intelligent ship-minds and their motivations as a metaphor for the great existential and political questions.

    Written on Saturday, 03 June 2023 18:57 in Blog Read 234 times

Latest Games Post

  • Frontier Space War 4.

    FSW4-AD 2222. Humans have spread to surrounding star systems. Following squabbles insurrections and skirmishes, humanity has split into 5 ideological factions. The treaty of 2220 established the militarisation of occupied systems only and the de-militarisation of unoccupied systems and space areas. Peace ensued for two years until factions started building transportable fortresses and a technologically advanced alien race began moving into unoccupied systems and space areas and sought to forge alliances with various of the human factions. Conflicts over systems and control space areas then ensued.

    SHIP                      DICE                                    COST               

    Fortress                  20                                          6                      

    Hive                        20                                         4

    Battleship                12                                         6

    Serpent                  12                                         4

    Battlecruiser           10                                         5                                          

    Cruiser/Carriers       8                                         4                             

    Destroyer                 6                                         3                                                                

    Frigate                     4                                          2

    Fighter                     4                                         1(Imperials only)


    SURFACE UNITS            

    Garganaught           8                                        3

    Scorpion                8                                        2               

    Devastator               6                                       2

    Reaper                    4                                       1

    1) Turn sequence. Income, Production, Movements & Combats.

    2) Income of (5), 4, 3, 2, depending on system size. Income from any home system not occupied by enemy units, income from any other system occupied by own surface units.

    3) Production only on systems where a fortress has been planted. Income units can only move across uncontested (connected) pathways of any length. Ships appear in neighbouring uncontested space. Surface unit appear on systems.

    4) Movements & Combats.

    A) Ships may move from one area of space to an adjacent one. (Imperial Fighters can only move from one area of space to another in Carriers.) If it contains enemy ships, Combat will occur. The attacking side can elect to retreat to the space it came from, and the defending side can elect to retreat to any friendly occupied or unoccupied space at the beginning of any combat round after the first.

    B) Ships may fire on surface units in systems adjacent to the space they occupy. Combat occurs at the discretion of the attacking ships.

    C)  Ships may convey surface units between any two systems that border the space they occupy. Surface units may only be moved across one space area to another system in a turn. If surface units land on a system occupied by enemy surface units or fortresses Combat occurs.

    D) A fortress may land on a system not occupied by enemy forces, and assimilate its carrier.

    5) Combat. Risk Protocols. Up to 3Attack dice against 2Defence dice. by combat rounds, highest dice against highest dice, defenders win draws. Casualties at the discretion of each combatant.

    6) The number of pieces of each type supplied reflects the limits of units of that type that a civilisation can support.

    7) Initial Production Levels. Imperials 24, Aquarians 22, Chaoists 21, Darwinians 22, Soviets 22. No production on first move.

    8) Fortresses. All civilisations start with one immobile Fortress on their largest world, and one fortress in a carrier in a space adjacent to the homeworld. Civilisations may purchase additional Fortresses and Carriers to transport them to other systems. A Fortress only becomes operational when landed on a system empty of opposing assets and its Carrier has become assimilated and removed from the display. Fortresses can only defend and only when not in a Carrier. If attacked in a carrier only the carrier defends.

    9) Starting Conditions - Humans. 1 Fortress on homeworld, one next to it in space, all Cruisers, Destroyers, and Frigates deployed at will on any space territories adjacent to at least two home systems.

    Reapers equal in number to the production values of all home systems on those systems.   

    10) Victory Objectives, conquest of as many systems as possible.


    ALIENS. Special rules.

    2) Income. From any system occupied by a Hive or Scorpion.

    3) Production. At any system occupied by a Hive. (If connected)

    Mutations: (performed during production phase) Scorpion to Hive cost 2. Scorpion to Serpent cost 1. Serpent to Hive not possible. Free mutations, Hive to Scorpion, Serpent to Scorpion, Hive to Serpent.

    9) Starting Conditions. 1 Hive, 8 Serpents, 8 Scorpions, placed on any un-militarised treaty spaces or systems.

    ALLIANCES. 2 Player. Aliens pick any two allies but not Imperials, by picking an ideology to back. The Imperials then ally with the other two factions. Aliens then set up and move first. Play order then established by lot and proceeds clockwise or anticlockwise by lot. Allied ships but not surface forces may occupy the same areas.


    The following chart shows the ideological relationships of the five factions. The Aliens can pretend to any ideology to select a pair of allies. The Imperials will adjust their ideology to suit the allies they become left with.




             Goths               l              Capitalists


    (Mystical) ---------Imperials ------------(Rationalist)


             Aquarians       l                 Soviets




    Additional optional tournament rules.

    Tactical Attack dice bonus. D4+1, D6+2, D8+3, D10+3, D12+4.

    Tactical Defence dice bonus. D4+1, D6+2, D8+3, D10+3, D12+4, D20+5.

    Psychic Attack Bonus. Throw all attack dice twice, use highest score.

    Psychic Defence Bonus. Throw all attack dice twice, use highest score.

    Production bonuses. Add 1 or 2 to the income value of any system.

    Leader and Character pieces can be added to the game to add these powers to any forces on a system or space area.

    Written on Monday, 24 January 2022 13:51 in Games Read 4807 times

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