Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Overheard on CNN.com: Lore of the ring

"It's just a ring that belonged to his late mother, who meant a great deal to him just as this young woman does; it's not some magic ring that needs to be thrown into the flames of Mordor. The paparazzi will follow her even if she had a produce twisty-tie ring on because of who she's getting married to." --lanhub, in response to MattCR


Britain's Prince William is engaged to Kate Middleton, and has given her the engagement ring his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, got from his father, Prince Charles, he said Tuesday.


The announcement has generated lots of buzz (and attracted lots of comments). Check out what CNN.com readers had to say about this and other stories:


Prince William gives Diana's ring to fiancee Kate Middleton


More than 2,000 comments had flooded in by the time this post was written, making the prince's engagement to Middleton the most-commented story on CNN.com today. Much of the buzz centered on the role of monarchy in modern society as well as congratulations to the prince and his new fiancee. (Share your well-wishes and thoughts at CNN iReport) Chamorrita wrote, "It's about damn time he proposed. Jesus, what was he waiting on? It's only been eight long years! LOL! Congrats to the couple. I know Princess Diana is smiling down on her son. She should be very proud of both her boys." One very interesting thread to emerge was the discussion about ring-giving traditions. Commenters shared their own stories and gave their thoughts on Prince William's decision to present his mother's ring.


Kats50 said, "I think it was wonderful he gave her his mother's ring. It shows strength and love toward his mother, and shows Kate he puts her up there right next to his mom. It's cute and I wish them nothing but the best! The only downfall is that Diana is not here to see the man her little boy became."  Some commenters wondered if the ring would bring bad luck. MattCR wrote, "I wish them the best of luck, but this seems like a bad omen. Why give Di's ring to a women who has already been concerned about the media following her?" moiraesfate said, "I wear my mothers engagement ring in spite of the fact that her marriage to my father went so horrible. We couldn't afford a ring, and its the most precious thing I own. How is that wrong?"


House panel finds Rangel guilty of ethics violations


A House ethics subcommittee found longtime Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel guilty Tuesday on multiple violations of House rules. The subcommittee, according to California Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the ethics committee chairwoman, found "clear and convincing" evidence of guilt on 11 of 12 counts, including failing to pay taxes on a home in the Dominican Republic, misuse of a rent-controlled apartment for political purposes and improper use of government mail service and letterhead. Commenters were outraged. skurno wrote, "Charlie Rangel is probably guilty of a whole lot more that this. The sad part is that this is just the latest example of how our representatives feel that they are above the law because of their tenure. How could the citizens of New York re-elect him?"


ADB212 said that now "he'll get a strong rebuking and slap on the wrist. What a joke. You and I would be looking at jail time, and certainly lose our jobs. But not in Congress." PalinNope said, " You people act like this is something so unheard of in U.S. (or world) politics that it's unique. It isn't. He's in a position of power and he abused it. Very few people just serve and then go home without enriching themselves in some way. What he did makes him about average for a politician." bobfairar responded, "It may be normal in D.C. but it is wrong, period. No excuses, he needs to be permanently banned from Congress, his pension removed, and stop receiving paychecks. You know darn well that in your job there would be no trail, you would be fired immediately."


'Space-time cloak' could conceal events


New materials with the ability to manipulate the speed of light could enable the creation of a "space-time cloak" capable of masking events or even creating an illusion of "Star Trek"-style transportation, according to scientists in London. In other words, an object could seem to change location instantaneously. Commenters talked about the science of the article as well as the feasibility of this project. For example, jermag23 said, "This isn't news, we've known about this for a long time. Still, as a physicist myself I'm skeptical of it materializing, as well as the fact that the hype behind this article is extremely out of hand. Among so many problems, not even considering hypothetical problems, the first that comes to mind is that if you're physically invisible in the terms of this method, you're also completely blind and there is no way around that outside of making your eyes not invisible."


A lot of readers, like Anolderguy, said their minds were bent by the story. "Seems like mixed metaphors to me, light cloaking and time travel. But I suppose they could be related. If there is time travel in the future does that mean time travel already exists? I think I'm getting a headache." In response, relaxed noted that "time travel into the future is pretty well accepted," but not time travel into the past. "The past is not a place, it is merely history, a memory. The future is real and the present keeps going there. We are currently traveling into the future at the rate of one second per second. However, if you travel at relativistic speeds your personal clock will slow down relative to everyone else. This has been demonstrated many times with particle accelerators. Time travel is what we do. We just do it in one direction." As the clever puns rolled in, the commenter went on to say, "I guess it is just too irresistible not to make light of this article."


YOUR TURN: Now that you've read what other people are saying, do you find that your views align with theirs? Think of this as a wishing well in need of your 2 cents. Post a comment below or sound off on video. Compiled by the CNN.com comment moderation staff. Some comments edited for length and clarity.

November 16, 2010
Click to view Coaster26's profile

It still seems like it would have plenty of potential for disaster. What if they set up their time bubble to coordinate traffic at a busy intersction say, and it couldn't handle the amount? How many time cloaks at a particular time instance by a particular device before it all goes up in smoke and dumps all of the northbound traffic from 5:45:01 and however many parts of nanoseconds you want to divide down to, to 5:55:02 etc and drops all of it in the intersection in a mangled mass of steel and flesh? Not that that sort of thing doesn't happen already on a daily basis....

November 16, 2010
Click to view Joemmm's profile

This proposal doesn't violate causality.  It just says it may make things appear like. We can slow a photon down to a speed of zero. But we cannot make anything including a photon travel at a speed greater than speed of light. Phase velocity (apparent velocity) can be greater but the group velocity of a particle has to be equal to the speed of light or slower. It is the group velocity that carries information, momentum and such.


I wish people would not try to explain phenomenon with analogies to sci-fi stories.

November 16, 2010
Click to view dingdong135's profile

It is a false statement that cloaking will make the person who is cloaked blind. Prisms will allow splitting of light rays so that the person wearing the cloak can see the outside world even though all information would bend around him.


November 17, 2010
Click to view taxpayerUSA's profile

Ha-ha-ha. It's fun laughing at wacky scientific ideas, huh? It must be nice to tickle the public, except when the idea presented is so fundamentally horrible. Cloaking? Amazed hasn't this been locked and sealed by a defense contractor. There isn't a single peaceful, constructive use to be gained from cruelly manipluating the physical world. To the contrary it is inherently aggressive because it decieves. It would be perfect if you're a serial killer, stalker, or rapist. It would also be great fun if China and Russia adopted this for their armies in the upcoming world war. C'mon people - toss Nazi super science in the trash, where it belongs. This stuff was fun in the 50s. Today, given how much power the federal government has, it's not funny. It's not even interesting. It's just deviant.

November 20, 2010
Click to view hirajohn's profile



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