## Friday, December 09, 2016 ... /////

### Crazy denial of the revived Czech inflation

Just like I expected (and as the central bank and many others failed to predict), the today's numbers – reflecting the prices in November – showed a huge increase of the Czech year-on-year inflation rate. One month ago, that rate has only climbed to 0.7%, after almost three years when it was closer to 0% than 1%. I predicted a significant rise and indeed, the year-on-year inflation rate based on November prices was 1.5%, we learned today. It's a 41-month high.

This increase also makes it more likely that the interventions against the crown will be stopped sooner than previously believed – in agreement with my expectations. The ECB's decision to extend (but taper) their quantitative easing program can't be "essential" for the Czech National Bank which operates and basically has to operate domestically, independently of foreign events. ECB's asset buying programs are just one of many minor external events that affect the forecasts of ČNB board members. But the Czech bankers can in no way "parrot" ECB and they're not parroting it.

The Czech National Bank's "tolerance band" for the inflation rate is between 1% and 3% – so the number has returned to this tolerated zone after a long time – and the target is 2%. The central bankers have repeatedly said that a reading above 2% that seems sustainable is the right moment to scrap the interventions that have kept – and are still keeping – the crown weaker than 27 crowns per euro (EURCZK has been 27.02 or so for a very long time now; a 0.3% fluctuation to 27.10 two weeks ago was the biggest one since 27.16 after the Brexit vote).

These ČNB board members also promised not to remove the cap in 2016 – a commitment that could be broken as well – and softly "almost promised" that it wouldn't be in the first quarter of 2017. I think it's more likely than not that the cap will be scrapped in the first quarter of 2017 because the inflation has accelerated markedly and additional jumps should be expected.

## Thursday, December 08, 2016 ... /////

### Sam Ting claims that a $1\TeV$ WIMP is the only sensible theory matching the 5-year AMS data

Update: Some meaningful information overlapping with Ting's talk may be found in this AMS02 press release.
We're drowning in "fake news" stories about ("fake news" but also about) dark matter. Erik Verlinde has surely unified dark matter and dark energy in his own version of my holographic MOND. A would-be NASA rocket scientist suggests that his reactionless EM drive might give us flying cars that may also go to other galaxies. Some of his fans suggest that this invention of the millennium (which can exert a piconewton because a piconewton is the error of their measurement) is driven by dark matter.

Well, while all the journalists are obsessed with assorted cranks and speculative physicists and their musings about dark matter, The Reference Frame is the only website in the world that seems to care what a $2 billion experiment designed to detect dark matter says about dark matter. Who could possibly care about a$2 billion experiment if we have a genius building intergalactic spaceships by reflecting microwaves inside a plunger? And as we will see, the AMS results are much further from "null results" than the results of underground experiments as well as the searches for dark matter at the LHC.

As I mentioned at the top of the previous blog post, Bill Zajc, your humble correspondent, and others watched a CERN colloquium today (17:00-18:00 Prague Winter Time) where Nobel laureate Sam Ting promised to report some unexpected results of the 5-year run of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a gadget working on board of the International Space Station.

See some previous TRF blog posts about the AMS experiment.

## Wednesday, December 07, 2016 ... /////

### Scott Pruitt named the chief of Trump EPA

A day ago or so, Ivanka Trump as well as Donald Trump met Al Gore. Al Gore claimed that they had an extremely interesting conversation. Well, I was worried about it. Why would Donald Trump accept such a meeting? What could come out of it?

Al Gore has never accepted any request for a debate – and he has received very, very many. Now, when his era in the U.S. environmental policymaking seems to be really ending, he seems more willing to meet the people from the other side. Why? Doesn't he have some secret weapons to blackmail the U.S. president elect?

Moreover, Ivanka is an amazing young woman but she's arguably left-leaning and perhaps a climate alarmist of a sort. This fact may be said to be paradoxical – given her dad's being Donald Trump and her mother's being Czech, one of the most skeptical nations on Earth. ;-)

But right now, I reduced by worries by 90% or so.

### Methods that removed Mr Forejt are scary

The name of Mr Jindřich [=Henry] Forejt appears in three previous blog posts. He was the director of the Prague Castle protocol or the Presidential Etiquette Steward, if you wish, a man who was deciding in what order visitors of the Czech president should be ordered and lots of similar issues.

Search Google Images for "Forejt Bush" or any combination like that, you will see that he's been everywhere.

He was sometimes known as Mr Forejt Gump because just like his approximate namesake, he has appeared on many more photographs of famous politicians than what you would expect by mere chance from a professional who should work behind the scenes.

I believe that the first time I met Mr Forejt in person was in March 2007 when ex-president Klaus invited me and a few other skeptics to a lunch in D.C., a month after I helped to turn Klaus into a celebrity among the U.S. climate skeptics by translating an innocent interview that became a Drudge Report #1 story for the day and was therefore widely reported by other media including Fox News.

The journalists especially liked to quote a sentence implying that Al Gore wasn't sane: this Fox News screenshot was based on my (somewhat spicy but basically accurate) translation. Due to the Drudgelanche, this blog received hundreds of thousands of visits on that February 2007 day.

## Tuesday, December 06, 2016 ... /////

### When pop science hype against QM makes Indian cranks too self-confident

Giotis has pointed out that there's a new physics.hist-ph preprint on the arXiv reporting another poll about "interpretations" of quantum mechanics:

Surveying the Attitudes of Physicists Concerning Foundational Issues of Quantum Mechanics
The abstract page suggests that the authors are Sujeevan Sivasundaram and Kristian Hvidtfelt Nielsen. I find Sujeevan Sivasundaramajarabalasubramaniankoothrappali's name too long so let us call him SS instead.

SS is an earring-enhanced Indian student in Denmark and Nielsen is his adviser. Well, aside from the title, the list of the authors is the first big deception of the paper. In the acknowledgements, we read:
First of all a big "thank you" is in place to my supervisor Kristian Hvidtfelt Nielsen. I know I am not the easiest person to work with, because of my erratic work method and lack of organization, but you have had the right sense of when to push and when to give me space. This was, and is, very much appreciated and I hope that is not lost on you.
OK, so SS wrote the paper himself and he just thanks Nielsen. Nielsen shouldn't have been included in the author list because it's not even clear whether he agrees with anything that SS writes.

A chance for a special relationship to the U.S. is surely a currency in Czechia

The Associated Press and the Czech media have told us about a telephone call between the Czech president Miloš Zeman and the U.S. President-Elect. Trump has appreciated that Zeman was the only EU head of state who publicly endorsed Trump before the elections.

Sorry, if I have found a more handsome Trump-Zeman interpolation, I would have posted it instead of this ugly one. :-)

They accepted the invitations to the White House and the Prague Castle, respectively. Zeman's trip to the White House is likely to take place at the end of April 2017 when Zeman is supposed to accept an award from a pro-Israel group, the same one that Trump won in 2016. The White House staff should be ready. Shortly after 9/11, Zeman visited the White House and he forced a militant anti-smoker George W. Bush to allow him smoke in the non-smoking places, by mentioning that both men were fellow Texans (an honorary one in Zeman's case) who must help each other. Up to 2001, that was one of the greatest achievements of Zeman's foreign policies.

(In the video, late economist Valtr Komárek, a former aide to Fidel Castro, pointed out that Zeman wasn't the first one to smoke there. Before him, it was Monika Lewinski who gave the blowjob there – the same verb in Czech.)

## Tuesday, November 29, 2016 ... /////

### Would you use a nuclear waste diamond battery in your smartphone?

University of Bristol, U.K., published an inspiring press release a few days ago,

‘Diamond-age’ of power generation as nuclear batteries developed
And they added the following video yesterday:

Graphite blocks are used to moderate reactions in nuclear reactors. If you study what's happening with them, you will find out that some of the ordinary carbon-12 in these blocks is turning into the radioactive carbon-14, especially on the surface of these blocks.

## Monday, November 28, 2016 ... /////

### Three papers on information in quantum gravity

I want to briefly mention three recent papers on the fate of the information in quantum gravity.

First, a week ago, Raphael Bousso argued that there is a simple

Universal Limit on Communication.
When you are sending the information by photons, one photon of frequency $\omega$ must occupy the time at least $\Delta t \sim 1/ \omega$ and transmits $\O(1)$ nats (or bits) of information, e.g. a bit from the polarization of the photon. The energy of the photon is $E=\hbar\omega$.

You might think that the number of bits per photon may be increased arbitrarily because the information may be carried e.g. in the precisely determined angular direction of the photon's motion. But Raphael argues that due to the unavoidable appearance of some quantum effects that are there despite the seemingly classical setup, the recipient of the information (whose name is Bob and who surrounds the source, Alice, by a big sphere) will actually not be able to extract much more information, and the total transmitted information can't be above $E \cdot \Delta t / \hbar$, after all.

There have been various limits involving the information and entropy etc. Some of them seem to be universal in quantum mechanics, not just results in quantum gravity. This bound doesn't explicitly depend on Newton's constant $G_N$ and even though the "cultural context" of the derivation seems like quantum gravity (just like some Bekenstein-related bounds), I think it's right to say that this is a non-gravitational result (if it is true).

### Swiss voters chose to keep nuclear power plants

I generally think that frequent referendums aren't a good way to organize societies – or at least nations such as mine – because I do think that detailed decisions should be made by selected people with special knowledge and skills and the median voter isn't one of them. That's why a competition between "potential experts" – politicians who fight against each other – which is judged by the median voter i.e. the representative democracy sounds like a more sophisticated scheme.

On the other hand, I am repeatedly impressed by the results of the referendums in Switzerland and the political maturity that they display. Almost one thousand years of referendums could have made the Swiss more sensible. One shouldn't denounce the possible explanation that the Swiss are simply better at this business – and what could be harmful to other nations may be beneficial for Switzerland.

The latest referendum was one about the nuclear energy.