COLUMN: Ripples in time

It took 100 years, but physicists announced last week they’ve observed “ripples in the fabric of space time.

It took 100 years, but physicists announced last week they’ve observed “ripples in the fabric of space time called gravitational waves, arriving at Earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe.”

This, they say, confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 theory of relativity.

The scientists, who are associated with Advanced LIGO, the U.S.’s $1.1 billion Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (whew) are excited about this, as they now have an “unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.” Translation — they can see farther into the universe than ever before.

Now I’ve lived a long and happy life without knowing a thing about gravitational waves. What caught my eye in this story is that when Einstein made his prediction a century ago, it was thought to be a “bold leap” of the imagination. Made me wonder how many of today’s scientific theories will take a 100 years to be proven right. Or wrong.

I don’t know how if any of Einstein’s peers pooh-poohed his theory, but some of today’s climate scientists have trouble agreeing. If the believers in climate change and what is causing it are correct, taking even a few decades to prove it or agree could be too late.

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Slumber Lodge was on last night’s Committee of the Whole agenda, under “Remedial action order.”  I’m guessing council wants the owner to do something about the empty building, and so they should. However, every time I look out my window I see the Cariboo Lodge building which has been sitting empty longer than the Slumber Lodge has. What about that?

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Celebrated businessman and controversial TV star Kevin O’Leary, a possible candidate for the Conservative party leadership, startled people last week when he announced he doesn’t want Canada to be involved in any campaign in the Middle East. We should be forging peace instead. He says Canada has the moral authority to be the country that can go anywhere in the world, and “after everyone is finished killing each other, to keep the peace.” Wonders never cease. I didn’t think I’d ever agree with Mr. O’Leary on anything.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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