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Joseph Dovaston
Hold fast to the Great Image and all the world will come.
Hold fast to the Great Image and all the world will come.

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I checked and my Subway is still what it says it is. The bacon and sausage in the breakfast sandwich is still delicious bacon and delicious sausage and not turkey lies.

Only three of the four Subway stores in the North East of England where I live are Halal. (1) Subway has more than 1,700 franchised stores in the UK. They intend to increase that to 3,000 over the next six years. (2) As it stands, approximately 11% of Subway stores offer Halal meat. If more stores do not offer Halal as Subway grows the figure will drop to 6%. I would suggest the vast majority of Subway stores offering Halal are likely in cities such as Manchester and London.

90% of Halal meat is now prepared by stunning the animal before slaughter effectively removing the argument that the animal feels pain. I am having difficulty finding the 10% that do not stun the animal and who they do supply. I was able to find the following:

"In short, Abraham Natural Produce would rather all animals were slaughtered without stunning . However most abattoirs in the UK, unless purpose built for halal slaughter, use stunning on animals." (3)

This implies that abattoirs purpose built for halal slaughter are the 10%. One Google search and I discovered, ANSA (Association of Non Stun Abattoirs), who have an article that acts as a counterpoint to the article linked for Abraham Natural Produce.

"If this act is such that it causes the animal to lose all its senses and consciousness completely, then there is a risk that it will have caused the animal’s death before slaughter, especially if the animal was weak or ill." (4)

I wonder why we never hear about the Jewish stake in the slaughter debate? I knew Kosher existed but I never knew what it actually meant.

A note about Britian First. is an example of everything you shouldn't teach children. For example, here is their complaint letter to Subway that you can send through their website:


FAO Subway,
I am absolutely disgusted that Subway has caved into Muslim demands and are now operating close on 200 stores in Britain which are halal only.
Many non-Muslim customers would like ham or bacon in their sandwich.
Many, including numerous animal rights groups, are absolutely appalled at the barbarity of halal slaughter.
This is Britain, and not a Muslim country.
We will not be dictated to, we are not under Islamic law, we will not tolerate this from your company.
Until this decision is reversed I will be boycotting Subway completely, as I am sure countless people across Britain will now be.
I simply will not tolerate a major company such as yourselves caving in to Islam and stocking halal only food.
Whilst halal remains, my custom goes elsewhere.
I look forward to hearing what action, if any, you propose to address my concerns.
I will no longer be spending one penny at Subway until you cease to pander to Islamic pressure and seek to force halal on all customers.


If you want to actually boycott Subway at least tell them in your own words and check the claims.


#Subway   #Halal   #breakfast   #bacon  

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A new understanding.
Why would the discovery of gravitational waves from the early Universe be such a big deal?  To get a sense of this, take a walk back in time to when these waves would have formed:

380 thousand years after the Big Bang - recombination.  Hydrogen gas cools down to form molecules.  The universe becomes transparent, and light from the hot gas moves freely through it, eventually becoming the cosmic background radiation we see today.
Temperature: 3000 Kelvin.

10 thousand years after the Big Bang - end of the radiation-dominated era.   At this point more energy starts being in the form of matter than in the form of light. 
Temperature: 12,000 Kelvin.

1000 seconds after the Big Bang - decay of lone neutrons.  There had been lots of lone protons, neutrons and electrons.  But a neutron by itself is unstable: it decays into a proton, an electron and an anti-electron neutrino.  The protons and electrons will later form hydrogen. 
Temperature: roughly 500 million Kelvin. 

180 seconds after the Big Bang - beginning of nucleosynthesis.
Some neutrons stick to protons, forming nuclei of heavy hydrogen, helium, and a tiny bit of other stuff. 
Temperature: roughly 1 billion Kelvin.

10 seconds after the Big Bang - annihilation of electron-positron pairs.   At high enough temperatures, photons in the intense form of light called gamma rays can collide and form electrons and their antiparticles, called positrons.  Now the universe cooled down to the point where this ceased: most electron-positron pairs annihilated and turned into light, leaving a tiny excess of electrons. 
Temperature: roughly 5 billion Kelvin.

1 second after the Big Bang - decoupling of neutrinos.  At high enough temperatures, neutrinos are so energetic that they interact a lot with other particles.   But now the universe cooled to the point where this stopped. 
Temperature: roughly 10 billion Kelvin.

100 microseconds after the Big Bang - annihilation of pions.  At high enough temperatures colliding particles have enough energy to make pions, one of the lightest particles after electrons.   Now the universe cooled to the point where this stopped and the pions, being unstable, decayed. 
Temperature: roughly 1 trillion Kelvin.

50 microseconds after the Big Bang - QCD phase transition. At high enough temperatures quarks can roam freely.  At this point the universe cooled enough that the quarks became bound by the strong nuclear force into little blobs called neutrons and protons.
Temperature: 1.7-2.1 trillion Kelvin

10 picoseconds after the Big Bang - electroweak phase transition. At this point, the electromagnetic and weak nuclear force became different, thanks to their interactions with the Higgs boson.  At higher temperatures they were indistinguishable. 
Temperature: 1-2 quadrillion Kelvin.

So far, we've gone back to 10^{-11} seconds after the Big Bang - 10 trillionths of a second!  I feel our understanding of the early Universe is fairly solid back to this time, because we've done experiments to understand physics up to the temperatures that prevailed then.  For example, we're pretty sure the Higgs boson is real.

Further back, things get more mysterious.  But the new BICEP2 experiment is a big deal because it seems to be shedding light on much earlier times: the 'inflationary era', roughly 10^{-35} seconds after the Big Bang!  

For more details, I think +Sean Carroll's blog is good:

For more on why physicists aren't completely convinced by the new results, try +Philip Gibbs's blog:

Briefly: some of the BICEP2 results are very different from the Planck experiment, and the Planck folks are going to look into this. 

And of course, there's probably a lot of unknown physics happening at energies and temperatures between those we can probe in colliders here on Earth and those that prevailed in the inflationary era.   I mentioned that the Higgs boson becomes really important at temperatures of a couple quadrillion Kelvin - or a couple quadrillion degrees Celsius, or Fahrenheit, since my numbers are quite rough.  But now people think temperatures during the inflationary era were about a hundred octillion Kelvin!    Extrapolating known physics from 10^{15} to 10^{29} Kelvin is very audacious.

But we're making good progress figuring things out.


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The ads are directed to people you know and are connected to. Read past the headline. If, however, you dislike ads then follow the steps.
Google may start using your picture in its ads!  To prevent this:

1) Log in to Google if you're not yet, and click this link:

2) Uncheck the checkbox. Unless it’s already unchecked — in which case, leave it unchecked. Oddly, some people are saying they’re opted out by default; others say they find it checked.

3) Hit save!

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This is a massive GIF, not sure if it will work. I made it from a sequence in IMAX - Hubble. Sorry if it's not working for you.

A quick trip to the Orion Nebula, a mere 1,344 ± 20 light years away, where we see numerous stars being born and entire solar systems forming around them.


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I'm just sharing this for the eleven people in the world who haven't seen it.

Those shots of our planet always bring tears to my eyes. That's us, that's where we live, and we dont' have anywhere else to go. We should probably take better care of it.

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Stolen from a Facebook post, but science is science and G+ loves.... science.

I don't know what you guys are paying for gasoline.... but here in California we are paying up to $3.75 to $4.10 per gallon. My line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth for every gallon:

Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in San Jose , CA we deliver about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline.. One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.

**Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening....your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role.

**A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

**When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL.

The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

**Another reminder if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.
To have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of gas buyers. It's really simple to do. Just share this. Thats it. 

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+John Baez has posted some of the most interesting things I have ever seen on the internet, that is no exaggeration.
"Behold, I am living badly, not well, wretchedly, and I consider myself dead. Again and again I sent you letters, but I haven't received a single one from you, and I have lost hope in you. My misfortune is this: I have been stuck in Dunhuang for three years thanks to you....  I obeyed your command and came to Dunhuang and did not observe my mother's bidding, or that of my brothers.  Surely the gods were angry with me on the day when I did your bidding!  I would rather be a dog's or a pig's wife than yours!"

This letter was discovered in 1907 by the famous British archaeologist Aurel Stein. It was in a mailbag in a Chinese watch tower near the Jade Gate, a fortified outpost 90 kilometers west of Dunhuang, a town at what was then the edge of China, on the Silk Road.    It dates to around 314 AD.  The mailbag contains some letters addressed to Samarkand, so that's probably where it was going. 

This letter was written by a woman named Miwnay, whose husband had abandoned her.  She didn't have enough money to take a caravan out of Dunhuang.  We'll never know what happened to her.

She wrote her letter in Sogdian, a language in the Iranian family.  Sogdiana was an ancient civilization centered in what's now Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with Samarkand as one of its most famous cities.  It's one of those mysteries that lures me to the Silk Road....

I cannot tell a lie: the letter I'm talking about is not the one in the picture here.  The picture shows another letter in Sogdian found in the same mailbag!


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+deadmau5  becomes active on G+ at last with +Imogen Heap.
deadmau5 hung out with 3 people. #hangoutsonairImogen Heap, James Clarke, and Mark Wood

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Nice, that was nice. A +Taylor Swift cover for someone special.


+Michael Woods in Middlesbrough at Empire tonight.

Very tempting for a holy diver.
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