99% getting shafted again!


Editor’s note: Sally Kohn is a progressive activist, columnist and television commentator. Follow her on Twitter @sallykohn. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) — Here’s something you don’t see every day: The 99% demonstrating in support of the 1%. But that’s exactly what’s been happening for several weeks all around New England at Market Basket grocery stores.

Sally Kohn

In 1916, Athanasios and Efrosini Demoulas, who immigrated to the United States from Greece, opened a grocery store in Lowell, Massachusetts. Almost a century later, the family has expanded it to a chain of 71 supermarkets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

In 2008, Anthanasios and Efrosini’s grandson Arthur T. Demoulas was elected president of the Market Basket board. By all accounts, Arthur T., as he is known, presided over a very successful and happy company. Not only did Market Basket continue to expand and reap profits — generating $4 billion in revenues in 2012 — but workers have thrived as well.

Full-time clerks start at $12 an hour. Cashiers with experience can earn over $40,000 a year. And managers can easily make into the six figures.

Are the super-rich obligated to do more? CNN Explains: The Occupy movement 2012: Does OWS represent the 99%?

Keep in mind that’s in a nation where the average annual salary for grocery store cashiers is $21,370 and the national minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

The company also has a generous retirement plan, matching 15% of annual salary to employee retirement funds. What’s more, workers up and down the supply chain receive good bonuses throughout the year.

All this and Market Basket is affordable for customers, with prices regularly 10% to 20% lower than competitors. The company is profitable in an industry known for low profit margins, and has given $500 million in dividends to the nine family shareholders over the past decade.

In other words, at a time when corporate executives and wealthy investors regularly try to argue that companies cannot pay workers well and be successful in generating profits, Market Basket has been an impressive and stunning example to the contrary. Market Basket has been a good company all around — until recently, when things changed.

So what happened? Well, the family board switched sides, ousted Arthur T. and installed his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas as president.

One of the first acts under Arthur S. was to distribute $250 million in profits to the nine family shareholders, what a Boston Globe editorial called “an uncharacteristic act of greed for a firm known for its generous treatment of its workers and concern for price-conscious shoppers.”

There have been other ominous signs that Arthur S. and his allies plan to push profit at all costs — at the expense of workers and the values of the company. And so in an unprecedented mobilization, managers and workers have protested at Market Baskets across New England, calling for their beloved CEO Artie T. to be reinstated.

Last week, more than 6,000 Market Basket workers and managers joined in a peaceful march outside the company’s headquarters in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. If you go to any Market Basket store around New England right now, you’re likely to find employees and even some customers holding up signs protesting the new executive and supporting the ousted Artie T. Employees are also using social media to get their message out, using hashtags like #MarketBasket.

Of course, if you go inside a Market Basket you’re not likely to find much; even the warehouse workers are on strike. These protests aren’t being organized by unions; after all, Market Basket workers aren’t unionized. They’re being organized by the employees and managers of the company.

Already, eight managers have been fired for helping lead the protests. But the protests continue. As a result, the company is reportedly losing $1 million a day.

A reporter interviewed one of the Market Basket workers at a protest. “I have a friend who works at Walmart,” she said, “and I asked her, would they ever do this for their CEO?” The woman laughed. But what has become of capitalism in America is not funny: the extreme greed of a few overrunning the best interests of everyone, including workers, communities and a healthy growing economy.

Just like the Occupy Wall Street protesters before them, the Market Basket workers are not protesting against capitalism. They’re protesting for a certain kind of capitalism, a capitalism that works for owners as well as for workers and communities. It’s the kind of capitalism that has made Market Basket a successful business for generations, the kind of capitalism that once meant shared prosperity and opportunity in America.

The Market Basket managers and cashiers and bag boys joining in protest aren’t just holding signs, they’re also holding the aspirations of the majority of Americans. Those of us concerned about the growing economic inequality in America don’t want to “eat the rich” — we simply don’t want the rich to chew up and spit out everyone else.


-FROM ME- Yet again, the inherited privileged assholes attempt to decimate one of the few businesses left that give employees a fair shake. Give people the means to educate themselves and move up the ladder, and you eliminate people that would rather sit and collect welfare. Getting rid of decent paying jobs erodes the economy and proves even more that the 1% are international and will leave this country for the next one after they have turned it into a land of poor people. 

A little about me!


I was born on an Air Force base in Rantoul, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. My father was an Airman who packed parachutes for a living and rode out the Vietnam War on a beach drinking Cokes. He never saw any action and never had PTSD. My mother was a trailer park opportunist from a well to do family that had destroyed her mother’s business because she had a fucking axe to grind. She did not elevate herself to a better station with her mother’s business, she just destroyed it because she was a short sighted hateful bitch. This is what I gathered from her from out interactions during our lives together. She obviously had some type of mental illness component, or she was just a vindictive bitch. Who knows. 

I grew up in 38 states in every Section 8 housing complex and every homeless food shelter across the U.S.A. I observed the most blatant abuse of the welfare system possible, with parking lots filled with Mercedes Benz, apartments filled with expensive furniture, and people trolling the steak isle while talking endlessly on cell phones. I saw this in every town that I lived in and was constantly told that these were the minority of welfare people. I sold news papers, pedaled junk and worked for people who would hire me off of a lie. Sexual abuse was a footnote in my life and very brief.  I was told that the profits were better in drugs and other dealings, but I never faltered. I saw that despite the better prospects, that these people would rather sacrifice and go to jail for $2.000 a day than work for that in a two week period. I see why this is the norm, but I worked my way to the top of my profession and eschewed the easy $2.000 dollar a day method of risk and human destruction. Now, it is different, and people scramble for jobs with Master’s degrees. This is wrong and needs to be adjusted. We need to join all other civilized nations with socialized college and hopefully, when we can control our worthless ass-sucking population, socialized medicine. Don’t get me wrong, if a person can’t get their drug problem in check, Soylent Green would be a great option, but there is a future beyond addiction as long as the asshole who is addicted wants it. People should have a way out, but they should have to earn it, hands down. Fuck what yer daddy and mom did to ya. I can give you a run for your money on that one. Mom and dad weren’t around, I got it. Now wake up you assholes and realize a better way to live! Change your government and get your shit right!!

Social Responsibility!


Nutella Switches to 100% Segregated Certified Sustainable Palm Oil in France

16 3 268

Posted on 18 April 2013 | 1 Comment
The food group Ferrero has announced that its flagship product Nutella is now using 100% segregated palm oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in the French market. This decision affects its production units in France, but also one in Italy and another in Germany, supplying other European markets. Ferrero also confirmed that it will source exclusively RSPO-certified palm oil globally starting from 2014, bringing its initial target forward by one year.

-As we know, it is our responsibility to hold the food makers accountable for the ingredients that they place in our foods. Due to social pressure, Nutella will be using palm oil that DOESN’T contribute to deforestation in their product! 

The rich JUUUST get richer!!

  • Congressman Paul Ryan says America has a problem in culture of poverty
  • Eric Liu: Actually, we live in a dysfunctional culture of concentrated wealth
  • He says certain antisocial values and behaviors have taken root among the rich
  • Liu: The wealthy rigged the political and economic games to amplify their gains

Editor’s note: Eric Liu is the founder of Citizen University and the author of several books, including “The Gardens of Democracy” and “The Accidental Asian.” He served as a White House speechwriter and policy adviser for President Bill Clinton. Follow him on Twitter@ericpliu. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) — When Congressman Paul Ryan opined recently that there was a “real culture problem” in poor communities, “in our inner cities in particular,” and that this culture was behind some of the country’s economic troubles, he didn’t realize how half right he was.

People are continuing to debate fiercely what Ryan said and whether he meant to propagate racially coded explanations of poverty’s roots. But put that aside for a moment. Here’s what he was right about: There is indeed a culture in America that is pathological and now threatens our social fabric. It’s not the culture of poverty, though. It’s the culture of wealth.

We live in an age of extreme concentration of wealth in America. The problem is not just that the 1% have managed to nearly triple their share of national income in the last three decades. Nor is it just that the 1% increasingly are fed, schooled and housed in a bubble apart from the rest of their fellow citizens.

Eric Liu

Eric Liu

The problem is that today’s concentration of wealth is breaking the golden link that Ryan and others take pains to emphasize — the link between work and reward.

Economist Thomas Piketty’s landmark new book “Capital”unpacks this delinking in great statistical detail. It turns out that increasing numbers of Americans in the 1%, .1% and .01% have done little to “earn” their wealth or privilege.

Contrary to myth, most of today’s plutocrats are not the kind of Steve Jobsian visionary risk-taking entrepreneurs or superstar celebrities. The .01%, for instance, tend overwhelmingly to be high-end corporate managers and executives, particularly on Wall Street, operating in interlocking networks that inflate the standard of what an executive is “worth.” Or they are the heirs of the great entrepreneurs (4 of the 10 richest Americans are children of Sam Walton), inheritors of fortunes of which it can truly be said, “someone else built that.”

An aristocracy is emerging in America, a class of insiders that corrodes the promise of equal citizenship. And with this compounding of unearned advantage, certain antisocial values and behaviors have taken root among the superrich — norms that threaten to corrupt the rest of American society.

 a inequality’s an embarrassment

s Google to blame for the income gap?

What’s in this dysfunctional culture of concentrated wealth? Look around Wall Street. You’ll find tribal insularity, short-term thinking, personal irresponsibility, cynicism about playing by the rules, an aversion to socially productive labor, a habit of shameless materialism, an inability to defer gratification and a lack of concern for what “message” all this sends to the youth raised in such an environment.

In short, you’ll find the very things typically imputed to the culture of poverty.

Now, to be sure, there are poor people who do exhibit these antisocial values and norms. And there is no question that plenty of poor people are poor because they made bad choices and behaved in self-destructive ways.

But rich people who exhibit such values have something the poor don’t: Money. Money buys exemption from bad choices. Money confers power — in particular, over the poor. It confers the power to frame public narrative and policymaking and to determine whose behavior — whose culture — is (and isn’t) called pathological.

Today, as it was during the last Gilded Age, the concentration of wealth gives the rich the political clout to further concentrate their wealth. (And now, as then, the Supreme Court greases the skids in the name of “liberty“). This clout is wielded in plain sight now, without any pretense of civic equality. And it calls to mind the warning attributed to Justice Louis Brandeis: “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

When the richest 400 families in America have more wealth than the bottom 155 million Americans combined, the danger to the republic is far more clear and present than that posed by the “welfare queens” of lore or by anecdotes of shiftless inner-city men.

That would be true even if the super-rich today had entirely benign or merely neutral policy preferences. But in fact they’ve rigged the game of policy, subsidies and tax preferences to amplify and hoard their gains.

This isn’t to suggest that all super-wealthy people are “welfare kings” (they’re not) or to imply that they have a monopoly on selfishness or sociopathic attitudes (they don’t). Yet if it’s unfair to paint everyone in the 1% with the same unflattering brush of “dysfunctional culture,” isn’t it far worse to do the same to the poorest 20%?

Wealth and advantage are as strongly self-reinforcing as poverty and disadvantage. It’s possible to recognize this fact while also championing grit, gumption and good values. In fact, it’s essential. But culture doesn’t explain everything. And where it matters isn’t only among the poor or nonwhite.

If we’re going to reform the norms in this country so that opportunity is truly reflective of effort and talent, we have to do more than pick on those with the least. We have to start at the top.

-Again, start with the 90 Billion in church tax breaks, the NFL tax exempt status and all other huge corporate tax breaks and you have a good start. Applying skeptical and critical thinking along with a good bit of research and you will find the gap between the rich and poor exponentially widening. This is due to the fact that when you have enough money and influence you can load the dice in your favor.

The billionaires do not have to observe the laws that their paid minions write because they contain built-in loop holes dictated by said overlords, AND when the politicians get out of office, they just go to consulting jobs offered by the very same businesses that paid to have the laws written in the first place, yayyyy Sheldon Adelson, Koch Bros. George Soros and the people at ActBlue!!.



You know, ALL of my friends aged around 40 or so have miserable marriages male OR female. I take this as the institution of marriage is a passe thing and needs to be disregarded. Why ruin a good long term relationship with the death spectre of marriage? There are what, 0.5-10% of people who will describe their marriage as good and half of those are lying? So what is the benefit besides legal? I say that the law needs to be adjusted to consider the people who are too smart to resign themselves to the dungeon of marriage. 

I am unsatisfied I can tell you. The reason is because I cannot separate myself from my wife without her making the lives of our children miserable. She is so shallow that she cannot let me go and move on, she has to let the children know how much she is suffering! Unreal! I am willing to not fuck with their heads in this manner but she seems to derive a satanic glee in doing the exact opposite. She has her own career but will fight me to the end to get child support even though I want equal custody. This is because she co depends her deadbeat parents and forces me to take care of them even though their actions allowed their drug addict friends to rape her twice before the age of 10. I have tried to help her in this area but have been told that I do not qualify to tell her how to run her life. 

I have tried to break away with disastrous consequences all the way around. I implore my readers now to examine the families of the people that they are considering marriage too and urge them to consider the greatest choice of long term relationship WITHOUT paper involved. Yes, I am against marriage as an institution of the weak and brand it as a religious institution of bondage!  

Conscious what?!


As a confirmed skeptic, I have had to tell many, and I mean MANY two legged sheep to keep their creepy star-stalking bullshit to themselves. I am speaking of those vacuous idiots that are living vicariously through those out-of-touch bastards referred to as ‘celebrities.’ I, of course, refer to them as overpaid flotsam in need of a good plane crash, ( about ten airliners full ).or brain transplant. After about a good ten years of being famous, most of these overgrown children seem to just forget that anyone else besides them exist.George Clooney pontificates about the suffering in Darfur while sucking the toes of beautiful women half his age on the Amalfi Coast. Gwyneth Paltrow regales us with how well her trainer is whipping her into shape and about her “conscious uncoupling” from her deluded other half all while telling us how goddamned hard it is to be a superstar, SHUT YOUR WHINING HOLE GWYNNIE!

My only concern about these trained monkeys is that they dance on cue to entertain me when I need it and convince me that they are the character that they are portraying! ‘Ol Gwynnie better shut her cake-hole before people start to think that the best role she ever had was having her scalp peeled back over her head as a corpse in Contagion! Also, the sheeple! As usual, they will question nothing fed to them by the magic box in the living room. They just turn on network news and the reality programs and hope that Phil Robertson will go off on those evil homos again or that he’ll say some other closed-minded Gawd-speak in an effort to piss off ‘them damned librulz.’ I just shake my head in wonderment that this kind of mindless drivel is the main type of entertainment enjoyed in the free world today. It’s just pablum for the masses meant to further lull them to sleep so that they won’t pay attention to the important issues such as clean energy right now or the fact that Duke Energy in North Carolina is getting away scott free with dumping pure poison into the Cape Fear river right under the nose of the EPA. Don’t worry about the real issues people, J-Lo just got another manicure and we need to know how it turned out!

Hell, I spend so much time telling people that I don’t care what their favorite celeb did today that I should just wear a damned button and be done with it! I am too busy trying to learn something useful EVERY SINGLE DAY to care about what a spoiled brat did on his/her vacation in the Swiss Alps, but most people actually don’t realize this. They spend their time hating their own boring lives instead of fighting to eradicate injustice in the world and prevent corporate takeover of the nation as well as it’s piecing out to multinational interest through the elimination of education and infrastructure! If even 20% of these sheep pulled their heads out of the sand and dusted off their underused vision, it would send ripples through the country and to the billionaires that a change was occurring, but they know that the dummying down of humanity in the U.S is working perfectly and when things really go to shit the remaining folks will just kill each other for the remaining resources.

A bleak outlook indeed, and I will continue to fight it with activism and skepticism slowly feeding the message of common sense logic to the sleeping masses. I hope that some will awaken, but I fear that people have allowed themselves to be taken over the point of return and that they will blindly walk into the corporate bug zapper without a fight. I continue to find educated people who look at me as if I’m out of my mind when I say that people of the middle class have been sandwiched in between social and corporate welfare to eliminate any chance of a backlash against the corporate rape of the common citizen. By dividing the numbers their is absolutely NO chance of going Robespierre on their asses virtually eliminating the Constitutional power of the people. Due to the new corporate sponsored Homeland Security laws, the act of using your right to forcibly change your government is now an act of domestic terrorism! Remember past posts involving a camera on every street corner? These weren’t put there to ensure public safety no matter how the political spin doctors play it! They were installed as yet another way to keep tabs on the populace and ensure control and the naysayers cry conspiracy theorist if you point this out! Why? Because it violates their little comfort zone to be a meddler in regime politics. Most prefer to be silent because they don’t want to rock the boat and be singled out by Big Brother! Hell, next thing you know they’ll be calling me Alex Jones Jr. Hopefully not, I’d hate to be lumped in with that loudmouth! I just am totally against sleeping through the sale of my own country!

Well, I’ve said that which I came to say, now it’s time to go back to the T.V and catch Honey Boo Boo! Cracklelackle Alekum my blog brothas and Peace be unto you! 

The next theory that will become absolute fact!


How the Big Bang discovery came about

By Meg Urry
updated 10:03 AM EDT, Sat March 29, 2014


This long-exposure image from the Hubble Telescope is the <a href='http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2014/01/full/' target='_blank'>deepest-ever picture taken of a cluster of galaxies. The cluster, </a>called Abell 2744, contains several hundred galaxies as they looked 3.5 billion years ago; the more distant galaxies appear as they did more than 12 billion years ago, not long after the Big Bang.<!-- -->
</br> This long-exposure image from the Hubble Telescope is the deepest-ever picture taken of a cluster of galaxies. The cluster, called Abell 2744, contains several hundred galaxies as they looked 3.5 billion years ago; the more distant galaxies appear as they did more than 12 billion years ago, not long after the Big Bang.
NASA’s NuSTAR telescope array generated the first map of radioactivity in the remnants of an exploding star, or supernova. Blue in this image of Cassiopeia A represents radioactive material. Click through to see other wonders of the universe.//
A supernova was spotted on January 21 in Messier 82, one of the nearest big galaxies. This wide view image was taken on January 22.//
The M82 supernova, seen here, has been designated SN2014J because it is the 10th supernova detected in 2014. At 11.4 million light years from Earth, it is the closest Type Ia supernova recorded since systematic studies with telescopes began in the 1930s.//
Is that a giant hand waving at us? Actually, it’s what’s left of a star that died and exploded a long time ago. Astronomers nicknamed it the “Hand of God.” NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, took this image in high-energy X-rays, shown in blue. The image was combined with images from another space telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory. //
The Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, one of the largest and closest galaxies of its kind. The center of the galaxy is mysterious, researchers say, because it has a double nucleus — a supermassive black hole that may be ringed by a lopsided disc of stars, giving it the appearance of a dual core.//
Hubble scientists say this is the best-ever view of the Tarantula Nebula, which is located in one of our closest galactic neighbors, the Large Magellanic Cloud.//
Those spots on our sun appear small, but even a moderate-sized spot is about as big as Earth. They occur when strong magnetic fields poke through the sun’s surface and let the area cool in comparison to the surrounding area.//
This Hubble image looks a floating marble or a maybe a giant, disembodied eye. But it’s actually a nebula with a giant star at its center. Scientists think the star used to be 20 times more massive than our sun, but it’s dying and is destined to go supernova.//

  • Meg Urry describes the sequence of discoveries that lead to evidence of “inflation”
  • Urry: Inflation, far faster than speed of light, happened in the first instant of the universe
  • Urry: Theory began 80 years ago with Edwin Hubble: Telescope named after him
  • Urry: After inflation, the universe went into more “sedate” pace of Big Bang we see now

Editor’s note: Meg Urry is the Israel Munson professor of physics and astronomy at Yale University and director of the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics.

(CNN) — For the past week-and-a-half, people have been marveling over the discovery of evidence supporting “inflation,” the theory describing the birth pangs of the Big Bang 13.7 billions years ago. What do these findings mean and how did they come about?


Lots of articles reported the news, but I am going to try to explain it in depth. Stick with me, because this is one of the most exciting astrophysical discoveries in decades.


Meg Urry

Meg Urry

Humans have wondered about the origin of the universe for millennia, and last week’s news brought us a little closer to an answer. What this development means, basically, is that for the first time, we may be seeing what happened in the first billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second of the universe.


Assuming this discovery is verified by other similar experiments, it means the very birth of the universe can be studied. These will tell us about the physics of matter and energy well beyond the reach of earthly particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider.


In a press conference on March 17, leaders of the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP2) experiment announced their discovery of evidence of gravitational waves — predicted by Einstein’s theory of General Relativity — that were generated by the near-instantaneous expansion of the universe by some 50 factors of 10, or a factor of 100 million, trillion, trillion. Those waves were predicted by the theory of inflation, developed 30 years ago by Alan Guth, Andrei Linde and others.


Inflation is the instantaneous initial expansion, far faster than the speed of light, that “describes the propulsion mechanism that drove the universe into the period of tremendous expansion that we call the Big Bang,” as Alan Guth put it. Incidentally, the term “Big Bang” was coined as an insult by a physicist who didn’t like the theory.


The Big Bang idea itself is simple. Edwin Hubble — after whom the Hubble Space Telescope is named — showed more than 80 years ago that our universe is expanding. Objects in space are not hurtling outward: Space itself is becoming bigger over time. That means the distance between two galaxies grows even if neither galaxy is moving through space at all.


By extrapolating the Hubble expansion backward, we have long known that the universe was once smaller by many, many factors of 10. All the mass and energy of the entire universe squeezed into such a tiny volume would have been much hotter and denser. Then, as the universe expanded over time, the energy density went down, so the temperature cooled. This Big Bang idea implied that cool relic radiation should be visible today.


Indeed, this Big Bang glow of radiation was discovered in the early 1960s by two Bell Labs engineers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, who were trying to build the world’s best radio antenna.



Watch this video

Ripples in space-time revealed


Watch this video

A Big Bang breakthrough?

Their instrument recorded a mysterious irreducible low-level noise from every direction. Apparently worried that the surface of the antenna horn had been corrupted by, um, debris from pigeons roosting inside, the engineers repeatedly disassembled and cleaned the antenna, to no avail.


Physicists later connected this measurement to the Big Bang prediction of a cosmic microwave background, for which Penzias and Wilson were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1978. As a colleague at Bell Labs joked, referring to their obsession with pigeon droppings, “They went looking for dung and came up with gold. For most of us [scientists], it works the other way.”


The Big Bang idea was well established by the 1980s. But it did not explain important pieces of the story.


First, the universe looks pretty homogeneous and isotropic — that is, galaxies in any one direction look very similar to galaxies in the opposite direction, no matter how distant. The number of galaxies, their masses, their shapes and their stellar content are remarkably similar, to the furthest reaches we can observe.


This is surprising because the Big Bang-Hubble expansion implied that very distant regions should never have been in causal contact. How then could they be so similar? Here is a simple analogy: Imagine a thermos of ice water and a thermos of hot tea. As long as these two liquids are separate, they will have different temperatures. But if the two liquids are combined, the mixed liquid will quickly reach an intermediate temperature. Similarly, two well-separated regions of the universe can be alike only if they were at one time in contact.


The theory of inflation explains this quite naturally: If at the beginning the universe inflated at an extraordinarily rapid rate — much faster than the Hubble-measured expansion today — then all parts of the universe visible today were once in contact. That means they had the same initial physical conditions (such as temperature and density), so that similar stars and galaxies eventually formed out of the cosmic soup.


Inflation also explains why the universe has a very “flat” geometry — something revealed in the 1990s by analysis of the spatial distribution of tiny fluctuations (hot and cold spots) in the cosmic microwave background radiation.


In principle, other geometries of space were possible. For example, a two-dimensional surface can be flat like a table; convex like the surface of a sphere (also called open); or concave like the surface of a saddle (also called closed).


For the universe to be flat requires a very precise balance. It has infinitely more ways to be open or closed, with strong curvature, weak curvature, or anything in between. But to be flat — well, that’s like balancing on a knife edge. Inflation naturally explains this odd fact.


Specifically, the idea is that, at the very beginning, the universe must have inflated enough to stretch the fabric of space until no trace of curvature remained. Imagine inflating a beach ball to the size of the Earth: you can easily see the curvature of the beach ball in your hands but once it’s hyper-inflated, any piece of its surface seems very flat, just as the Earth feels flat locally.


The enormous inflation in size would effectively erase the initial conditions in the universe. Whatever the initial temperature, for example, inflation would cool the universe to absolute zero. Even if the initial universe were very lumpy, after inflation we can see only a very smooth, local part of the original volume — and it would seem perfectly flat.


After about one hundred millionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second, according to theorists, whatever repulsive gravity caused inflation then transformed into a hot, dense soup of particles and energy. At this point, the Big Bang expansion that Hubble discovered took over.


How inflation began and how it ended are not yet understood, but this simple idea of inflation neatly explains otherwise odd characteristics — isotropy and flatness — of our universe.


Still, until now, there had been no direct evidence of inflation. What BICEP2 saw was the imprint of inflation on the cosmic microwave background radiation.


Specifically, inflation should have generated a lot of gravitational waves — that is, it would cause propagating ripples of space itself. Such waves have a characteristic pattern, squeezing space rhythmically in one direction then the perpendicular direction, like two hands pressing a rubber ball top to bottom then side to side.


This distortion of space causes a special pattern of polarization in the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation. So what is polarization?


Light is a wave that oscillates back and forth — polarized light oscillates preferentially in one plane. Because most light is a mix of random directions of polarization, its net polarization is zero. But any scattered light, like sunlight reflected off water, is polarized — which is why polarized sunglasses cut down substantially on glare.


BICEP2 scientists searched for that special pattern of polarization in the cosmic microwave background that would show the evidence of inflation, working for several years analyzing and reanalyzing their data.

As they ran through every possible check of the analysis, team members finally began to believe they had detected the first direct signs of inflation.


Now other experiment teams are redoubling efforts to find the same signal — or to find contradictions. The reported BICEP2 signal is unexpectedly strong, so it should be within reach of at least some of these experiments.


Physicists around the world know: the BICEP2 discovery is only the beginning of the story. If this result is verified by independent experiments, new, more accurate experiments will be designed to better measure the polarization imprint. This in turn will tell us about how matter and energy behave in conditions much hotter and denser than on Earth or any other place in the cosmos.


As Carl Sagan once said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Let the observations begin.

– The big deal between believers and reasonable people is the constant reference to the Big Bang Theory as ‘it’s just a theory.’ Now the “smart stupid people, ” as Bill Maher calls them, the scientists who can actually cling to the fairy stories of the bible and still have lofty science degrees, I can’t tell you why they could remain so deluded. I can only speak of those who blithely speak of scientific things and haven’t a clue as to what they are disparaging. It takes thousands, if not millions of hours of research and fact basing to establish a scientific ‘theory.’ People constantly throw the word around for their own thoughts but would shrivel under the rigors of scientific research that establishes a theory. These experiments must turn out exactly the same every time that they are performed or the theory is thrown out and the science team goes back to the drawing board. 

Theists just blindly accept a wild bunch of fairy stories written in the Bronze Age by people speaking to a crowd of complete illiterates. I, for one, would not be able to look an intelligent person in the eye and say that I believed the stories of the bible, and I refuse to cherry-pick things that I like over those more unsavory things in the doctrine. Therefore, I have to use skepticism, logic and reason to come to a sensible conclusion rather than stick to fables followed by fearful delusional shepherds dancing around a campfire fearing the wrath of a genocidal maniac.

I have it on enough authority that the above is the best evidence on the evolution of the universe and will keep looking to science to answer my questions instead of Bronze-age fear mongering.