Speaker by Various Artists


Britain: the crisis isn't Brexit, it's Labour

by Andrew Miller

For all her public denials, it never made sense that Theresa May would wait to 2020 for an election. Now’s probably as good a moment as she’ll get to grab a mandate for her vision of post-Brexit Britain.

Her reasons for calling a snap election, though, don’t stack up. Brexit related polls have hardly moved, and Labour whipped the Article 50 vote despite now trying to walk a ‘Soft Brexit’ tightrope. Most people simply assumed the obvious: that it’s a party-political decision. In normal circumstances Brexit would make the government incredibly vulnerable, but these are anything but normal circumstances.

Despite the vagaries of FPTP a massive Tory majority is inevitiable – but real story of the 2017 election remains the future of Labour. Polls suggest it’s potentially facing electoral oblivion. With no possibility of being overtaken and no chance of government, they’ll be left as a kind of zombie opposition.

Towards the end of her doomed Labour leadership campaign, Yvette Cooper made an impassioned speech in defence of Labour in government, and its internationalist values. Whilst it was far too late to affect the result, the failure of the Labour Party to address the questions she raised are likely to shape the upcoming election .

A few years ago, I met Jeremy Corbyn on a handful of occasions and he came across as a man who’s spent his 30-year back bench career talking to people who agree with him. You never sensed he could go beyond preaching to the choir. After two painful election defeats his victory wasn’t totally inexplicable, even if the fact it was Corbyn seemed quite surreal. Suddenly the British left had their ‘real alternative’.

What’s happened since should come as a surprise to no one. His complete lack of experience, and far-left links meant the car crash we’re witnessing was entirely predictable. He and hardcore supporters carry most of the blame for Labour’s current predicament.

There’s been little of the ‘Kinder politics’ promised, with MPs constantly told to ‘Fuck off and join the Tories’. His candidacy acted as a magnet for not just Trots and Tankies, but radical activists, disillusioned Labour members and well-meaning campaigners to project their hopes onto Corbyn. At times it smacks of a personality cult.

Despite polls suggesting the electorate don’t want a bar of him, blame’s been placed entirely on the media and the refusal of ‘Blairites’ to get with programme. The low point was arguably the emergence of ‘Brick truthers’ in the wake of the attack on Angela Eagle’s constituency. Even historic by-election defeats appear to have made no dent in their outlook, but for some reality has started to sink in, and this gallery of high profile u-turns makes for comically grim reading.

One of the most depressing aspects of all this is how open many supporters have been admitting they don’t care if Labour wins power. Corbyn even tried to kick start a suicidal civil war, which was at least instantly kyboshed by party officials as ‘impractical’.

Even when promoting ideas which chime with the public, his personal brand remains electoral kryptonite, and there appears to be no coherent economic strategy . It seems inevitable Labour will suffer historic loses, at a time Britain desperately needs a credible opposition.

Sadly, things are likely to get worse as Corbyn’s incompetence has only ever been half the picture. Word has it that the Tory campaign will increasingly focus on Corbyn’s fitness for public office. The problem Labour faces is that claims of ‘smears’ or ‘guilt by association’ will be met with Corbyn’s own words being quoted back to him, on views he’s held his entire adult life.

The material at times seems limitless, including appointing Seamus Milne, supporting Sein Fein/IRA, and a toxic mess over anti-Semitism. There’s the denial of atrocities in Kosovo, paid appearances on Press TV, links to STWC ... the list goes on. You can throw in a controversial take on NATO, and a view on Trident renewal which contradicts Labour’s official policy and makes them seem incapable of dealing with fundamental matters of national security. While many of these positions are uncontroversial on the ‘anti-imperialist’ left, the general public is a different matter entirely, one the Tories are now set to fully exploit.

Some Labour supporters have concluded there no good options for Labour voters, and no one outside of Corbyn’s inner circle is talking about winning. Despite this, Nick Cohen fears that even a crushing defeat may see the hard left cling on. With polls suggesting Scottish Labour is in danger of being wiped out, and that Wales may be lost for the first time since universal suffrage, where they go from here is impossible to predict.

Brexit may mean tough times ahead for May’s government, but for now the crisis of truly historic proportions belongs purely to the left.  


The Brexlection

by John Palethorpe

In 1926 H.L Mencken proposed that the classical liberal solution to unaccountable democratic governance is to put more power in the hands of the voters, writing in summation "The cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy."

The last four years of British politics seems hell-bent on disproving this. Since 2014 there have been three major democratic exercises, and each one has left the country in a more fragmented, polarised and parlous state. So, it wasn’t that much of a surprise that Prime Minister Theresa May announced a snap election earlier this week.

Things are getting weird over there, not that they weren’t weird to begin with. PM May, who was selected by her own MPs unopposed after all the other post-Cameron candidates combusted, had spent nine months insisting she had a mandate to carry out Brexit from the 2016 vote and a mandate to govern from the 2015 General Election – and that Scotland could shove its talk of independence after 2014’s Independence Referendum vote. There was not going to be a snap election. Until there was.

Some hopeful sorts imagined that May was seeking a larger majority in Parliament, up from the 4 seats Cameron won two years ago. That, they insisted, would mean the PM wouldn’t be beholden to the harder Brexiteers among her own party. Nice idea, but it seems May is seeking an increased majority and a mandate to take whatever decisions she may have to in future and depower her own rebellious MPs, and the unelected House of Lords, who have sought to take the sharp edges off the Brexit scalpel.

Why now though? The Conservative Party are currently at 48% in the polls, enjoying a 20% lead over Her Majesty’s Opposition. And, to put it bluntly, UK Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is an complete fucking mess. As the election was announced sitting MPs started indicating they did not want their party leader as Prime Minister. Some, fearing an electoral wipeout, have already declined to stand again. Others, viewing a colossal defeat as the only way to remove Corbyn, are remaining quiet and hoping to hang onto their seats to take advantage of the political wreckage.

So, it’s an election about Theresa May being allowed to do what she thinks is best over Brexit without any specifics being offered to the public, hoping that her personal popularity - she’s currently polling as well as a second term Tony Blair - will tide her over. Early indications are that her u-turn on holding a snap election has been welcomed by the public.

The Scottish Independence Referendum sheared off trust between Scottish voters and the traditional Westminster parties, as evidenced by Labour’s annihilation north of the border the following year. The Brexit vote has had a different effect on Britain, polarising opinion in a manner which cuts across party lines.

In the case of the Conservatives, PM May campaigned for Remain, but has taken such a strident Thatcher-esque ‘Brexit means Brexit’ approach that she has the support of many of the 52%. That ruthless instinct for power which holds together many pro-business, socially conservative parties has ensured that, while there is some discontent, the overwhelming public support for Brexit has quietened any serious attempt to derail the early stages of departure from the EU.

Labour have been in turmoil since the Brexit vote. The attempt to remove Jeremy Corbyn as leader failed, as Labour MPs found that they did not have the support of their own party members and could not find a candidate amongst them who was popular enough with anyone. Corbyn has supported Brexit, albeit in the half-arsed manner in which he does most things.

The Liberal Democrats, fronted by Tim Farron, have been the most pro-Remain party. If you recall, they were savagely reduced from 57 to just 8 MPs in 2015 after five years in coalition with the Conservatives. Tony Blair has come out in support of them, which means they’re in real trouble now. However as the party of Remain, they are hoping to stage a comeback in seats they lost to the Conservatives - relying on the 48% who votes to stay in the European Union.

The SNP, it’s fair to say, are not happy. In 2014 their independence bid was derailed by, among others, the insistence by Westminster parties that Scotland would have to leave the E.U which would wreak economic havoc. The following year the Scottish public, having enough of this, reduced the main Westminster parties down to single seats in Scotland, with the SNP surging to become the third largest party in Parliament. Then in 2016 the Scottish public voted overwhelmingly to remain in the E.U, only to be dragged towards the exit doors by the English voters – led by the same bastards who’d told them what a terrible idea leaving the E.U would be two years earlier.

Nicola Sturgeon wants another independence referendum. Theresa May is refusing to have one.

Then there’s Northern Ireland, who haven’t got a power-sharing agreement at Stormont following the resignation and death of Martin McGuinness. They are aghast at the lack of progress on ensuring the Good Friday Agreement, regarding the Northern Ireland/Irish Republic border, is maintained after Britain exits the E.U and restrictions on freedom of movement return.

Finally there’s the public. Brexit is popular among those who voted for it and their intent to see it through is not deterred by the quite clear signals that they’re going to end up worse off for it. Instead newspapers howl about the E.U relocating E.U institutions to E.U nations as if they’re punishing Britain, while spending time rhapsodising about how the colour of passports will change to be just like they were in the old days (1988 was when the first burgundy E.U ones began to be issued, if you were wondering).

Remainers, on the other hand, find themselves in a situation where the hated Liberal Democrats and Tony Blair appear to be the only people who represent them. Yes, that is as bad as it sounds. It’s like finding out United Future and David Seymour are the only people who agree with you.

Whatever the result of the June 8th election, one thing is certain. Article 50, which was triggered in late March, grants an E.U Member State two years of negotiations to establish departure settlement. Negotiations have not even begun on Brexit yet, and are unlikely to start until after the election - as Parliament dissolves in early May. That’s May the month, not May the Prime Minister, although it’s entirely possible this whole mess might dissolve her as well.

At the end of Carry On Up The Khyber the British colonial forces win via some kilt base shenanigans and raise a Union Flag over their compound, emblazened with the slogan ‘I’m Backing Britain’. Peter Butterworth turns to the camera and says; "Of course, they’re all raving mad, you know".

He was quite right then, and he’s quite right now. Unlike H.L Mencken, it would seem.


The elephant in Room 903

by Steven Price

“Prime Minister, there is a report that an elephant has escaped from the zoo and is sitting in your office,” said the Prime Minister’s first advisor.

“That’s terrible!” said the Prime Minister. “Voters will not like it at all.”

“We have denied it, of course”, said the second advisor.

“That’s a relief,” said the Prime Minister. “So there is no elephant?”

The Prime Minister’s first advisor looked at the Prime Minister’s second advisor, who looked at the Prime Minister’s third advisor. Feet were shuffled.

“Ah, with great respect, Prime Minister,” said the second advisor at last. “It may be doubted whether that is quite the right question. In the circumstances.”

“The real point is, these elephant allegations are all very speculative,” said the third advisor. “There’s no proof.”

“There is no evidence of an elephant then?” asked the Prime Minister.

“No, none” said the first advisor. “Well, some people who work for us say they saw it. But they are afraid they’ll lose their jobs if they give their names, so that hardly counts. And some others are foreigners, so they don’t count either. And there are others too, but they’re dead, and that’s all very sad but at the end of the day you can’t really call them witnesses.”

“There is a little smashed furniture,” admitted the second advisor. “And some peanut shells and elephant droppings have been found. But it’s all very circumstantial. There could be a thousand explanations.”

“Plainly there seems to be something there that’s large and grey and has a trunk,” said the third advisor. “That cannot be denied. But that doesn’t mean we have an elephant. Many things are large and grey and have a trunk. A station wagon, for example. An ash tree. A stout Amish woman going on holiday.”

“At best, we only have indications of something with elephant-like features,” said the first advisor.

“Unsubstantiated talk about something resembling a particular large animal,” suggested the second.

“Politically motivated allegations by elephant conspiracy theorists”, said the third.

“You see? It’s all quite confusing,” said the first advisor. “It hardly counts as reliable evidence of an elephant.”

“Besides, the report has got it all wrong,’ said the third advisor. “It says the elephant is in your office in room 904. But that’s not your office! Your office is 903! We can quite genuinely reassure the public that there is not, and has never been, an elephant in room 904.”

“Phew!” said the Prime Minister. “So we can tell them that the claim that there’s an elephant in the PM’s office is wrong, then.”

“Ah. That’s not quite what I said, Prime Minister.”

“The point is that the allegations are not credible,” interrupted the first advisor. “You can’t expect accusers to be taken seriously if they can’t even get the scene of the crime right!”

The Prime Minister looked confused. “But they did say it was in my office, didn’t they?”

“Well, yes,” the first advisor explained patiently. “But there doesn’t seem to be any need to emphasise that.”

“Anyway, we have the results of an investigation, and it found that there was no elephant in your office,” said the second advisor.

“Great!” said the Prime Minister. “Let’s release that.”

“Yes,” said the second advisor. “That is to say, no. We don’t have it.”

“Can we get it?”

“Quite possibly,” said the first advisor. “And we should most certainly give consideration to the possibility that we might request a copy. Strong, thoughtful consideration. Yes. Though it might be thought that the outcome of the investigation speaks perfectly well for itself, and a copy of the investigation might only muddy the waters.”

“There are nit-pickers out there, and mischievous people determined to take things the wrong way,” agreed the second advisor. “They might go around pointing out that the investigation was carried out by the zookeeper, who might not be perceived as wholly impartial, and who didn’t actually look in your office, and even then, actually concluded that there might be an elephant there.”

“I thought you said the investigation concluded that there was no elephant,” said the Prime Minister.

“Did we?” said the first advisor. “Well let’s not get cute about it. Of course, it’s not absolutely out of the question that there’s an elephant in your office.”

“Okay,” sighed the Prime Minister. “I guess I’d better go and have a look”.

The advisors looked at each other again.

“Oh, we wouldn’t advise that,” they said. “It might call into question the government’s honesty and security.”

Steven Price is a barrister specialising in media law and an adjunct lecturer in media law at Victoria University of Wellington’s law school. He has provided legal advice on several books by Nicky Hager, including 'Hit and Run'.


Happy Race Relations Day

by Vaughn Davis

It’s easy to believe that race relations in New Zealand are in a pretty happy place. Especially when you’re white. My own experience is probably typical of that.

Growing up in the Hutt Valley suburbs of Naenae and Alicetown meant mixing with a pretty diverse bunch of people. My best mate at primary school had a Samoan dad and a Palagi mum. The guys two doors down (and fellow model aeroplane fans) were NZ-born to Indian parents. And if Māori never quite made its way into the curriculum, brown faces certainly figured heavily in my school photos from the imaginatively named Hutt Central, Hutt Intermediate and Hutt Valley High School.

Fast forward a few decades. We recently marked Race Relations Day for another year and I’m living in a super-diverse city: no one of our 220 ethnic groups forms an absolute majority in present-day Auckland, and I like that. Our streets are filled with voices, faces, food and fashion our parents might not have seen without traveling overseas. The school across the road offers full immersion learning in English, Te Reo Māori, Samoan and French. It’s pretty easy to feel OK about race in New Zealand.

The other weekend, though, I read a couple of things that jolted me. The first one involved Wellington entrepreneur Deanna Yang. Her Moustache Milk and Cookie business had been featured in an ad for Visa, leading to Deanna being attacked online for having the audacity to look Chinese in New Zealand. Later, she blogged that she had come to accept being called an “Asian cunt” as a normal part of life.

Setting aside the fact she was born in Auckland, her story made me think we have a long way to go on the journey to acceptance, let alone celebration, of our diversity.

Deanna’s story reminded me of another one I’d read recently by Auckland woman Wong Liu Shueng. For her in the 1950s, being called “ching chong Chinaman” was normal, and awful. Then one day, walking home, boys from her school with pockets filled with stones cornered and attacked her. I’d love you to take a moment to read her story.

Two stories from the same city, 50 years apart. In 2017, we mostly attack with Facebook comments rather than stones. The hatred’s the same though. It hasn’t gone away and unless we keep reading stories like Deanna’s and Liu Shueng’s, and acting on hatred when we see it, it’s not going to.

In her blog, Liu Shueng says she hopes her granddaughters will grow up in a kinder New Zealand than she did. I’m not sure they will. And I hope I’m wrong.

Happy Race Relations Day, everyone.  


Brian Greene and the Cosmic Symphony

by Jean Balchin

Dr Brian Greene is known both for a series of revolutionary discoveries in his field of superstring theory – he is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University – and as a skilled communicator of  the wonder of theoretical physics for general readers. He has been called "the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today."

In advance of his talk in Auckland on Sunday I spoke with Dr Greene about his theories on string theory and multiverses, and tried to wrap my head around that elusive character, Father Time.

Thank you for speaking with me today, I really appreciate it. How did you get caught up in string theory, and why is this theory so exciting for physicists?

Well, I became interested in string theory as a graduate student. I was at Oxford and that was in the 1980s, when there was a major breakthrough by the only two people in the world (at that time) working on string theory. It was most exciting because it promised to address a question that we have struggled with for over half a century; how to put together Einstein’s theory of gravity with our understanding of the microworld and quantum mechanics. It had been a puzzle for decades, and string theory at least holds out the promise of finally solving it! That’s where the excitement comes from!

Fantastic! So it’s a ‘theory of everything’, in a way?

That’s right! Gravity is our theory of big things, and quantum mechanics is our theory of small things, and if you put them together you have a unified description of everything.

That is every exciting. Could you give me a brief overview of string theory? 

The basic idea is pretty straightforward. We all learn about molecules and atoms and we learn that atoms are made of even smaller particles; electrons that go around the nucleus, which has neutrons and protons. Many of us learn that inside these neutrons and protons are even smaller particles called quarks. That’s where the conventional description stops; it claims that these particles, these little tiny ‘dots’, have no internal machinery.

String theory challenges this. It raises the prospect that there may be additional structures within these particles. String theory posits that these structures are little tiny vibrating filaments of energy, that kind of look like a piece of string; hence the name ‘string theory’. The idea is that the different vibrations produce different kinds of particles. A string vibrating one way might be a quark! A string that vibrates a different way might be an electron. Everything is kind of unified into the music played by these vibrating filaments.

Like the music of the spheres, or as you’ve described it before, a grand ‘cosmic symphony’? It’s very elegant.

Yes, exactly!

While I was researching string theory, I found that ten dimensions are necessary for this theory to work. Can you explain to me why this is?

I wish I could. The best I can do is to say that when you look at the mathematic theory, the math simply doesn’t work without the extra dimensions. In some metaphorical or vague sense, the universe with only three dimensions doesn’t have enough room for the strings to vibrate to saturate one of the mathematical requirements that’s necessary for the equations. Beyond that, I can’t give you a nice intuitive description for why this is. The maths makes it clear that it does.

I suppose I’ll have to do a bit more reading to understand the mathematics! Is it possible to imagine more than three dimensions? Can anyone do this? (Here I am a bit cheeky and suggest the psychedelic, hallucinatory effects of LSD as a catalyst):

Well, yes, some people claim that they can. There are certainly some mathematicians that claim they can. They have immersed themselves in the mathematics of extra dimensions for so many decades that they feel they can picture them in their mind’s eye. I think it’s pretty rare, and I certainly can’t. I’ve worked on these ideas myself for decades and when it comes to extra dimensions, I do rely on the equations, on the mathematical imagery.

I know computer graphics do a great job of representing the extra dimensions in three dimensional imageries.

Yes, exactly, they produce the extra dimensions in a three dimensional way. It really is, in some sense, a metaphor. It’s one that gives you a little bit of a mental toe-hold, so you can feel you’re getting the basic picture.

Could you describe to me your theory of the multiverse, or multiple universes? How different are they from our universe?

There are many variations on the theme of the multiverse, so I’ll focus on one to be concrete. The Big Bang, by which our universe came into existence, may not have been a one-time event. There may be many big bangs happening in distant, far-flung locations throughout space, each one giving rise to its own swelling realm, each one giving rise to its own universe. So in a way, you can think about the multiverse as a great cosmic bubble bath, where each bubble is a universe. Our universe is just one bubble in the great bath of existence.

Indeed, each universe can be very different from the next. They may have different kinds of particles and different kinds of interactions. Some might support life, and some won’t support life. There’s quite a range of possibilities.

That’s a thrilling idea. To me, it gives me a sense of my own insignificance.

Of course. I think modern physics is continuing a story of humankind’s demotion that’s been going on since the time of Copernicus, when we thought that the Earth was the centre of everything. Next came the notion that the Sun was the centre of everything, and then we realised that the Sun is one of many stars in the galaxy. Then we believed that the galaxy was the centre of everything, until we realised that our galaxy is just one of many. The final demotion may be that our universe is not the only one. Maybe there are many universes out there, if our theory is correct!

What I love about your field of physics is that it combines the huge, regarding the multiverse, with the infinitesimally small, at the level of quantum mechanics. Just in keeping with this multiverse idea, do you think life might exist in another universe?

My view at the moment, is that you should take the idea of a multiverse with a grain of salt, because we don’t yet know if it’s correct. However, if you take the multiverse seriously, you buy into the possibility that there may be an infinite number of other universes. If so, you can guarantee that in this very broad spread of universes, some certainly would include life like ours.

So potentially in another universe, I might be someone completely different – a grave robber or the queen? 

That’s right.

There are a lot of sceptics out there, regarding string theory.

I count myself one of those.

Many scientists criticise string theory because it hasn’t been experimentally backed up yet. Do you think string theory will be experimentally proven?

I think using the word ‘criticise’ is an unfortunate one. Even those of us who are deep in the field will acknowledge, advertise clearly and articulate to the public more generally that these ideas are not proven; that these ideas are coming from the mathematics that hasn’t yet been confirmed by observation or experimentation. So, I do find it curious when people ‘criticise’ string theory, because they recognise clearly, as we do, that this is a matter of the state of the art. Often in science, you don’t have the progress you want at the moment you want it. You have to have fortitude to keep on working and researching, experimenting and measuring, and hopefully one day come into the adjudication of controversial ideas. That’s what science is.

Indeed. Do you think that experimental evidence, or another major breakthrough will come about in your lifetime?

Nobody can predict with that kind of certainty the timescale of the next breakthrough. I certainly would welcome any insight, even if the insight were to show that string theory is not correct. I would be thrilled, one way or another. My view is not that we’re trying to push string theory forward, but that we’re trying to push our understanding forward. And if string theory happens to be part of that, so be it. And if it happens to not be part of that, so be it too!

It’s still an elegant, amazing theory regardless. Have there been any exciting developments recently? I know the discovery of gravitational waves was a major breakthrough.

That is the biggest one. The discovery of gravitational waves culminated a 50-year search trying to confirm a mathematical idea that came to us from Einstein. It’s just one more stunning example of how maths shines a bright light into the dark corners of reality. Of course we view this as a template and hope that one day, string theory, or some other proposed unifying theory will undergo experimental or observational justification to confirm our description of reality.

If you have time (no pun intended), would you mind describing to me the nature of time? Is it real? Is it an illusion we’ve developed?

Well, I don’t know. One of the big questions – and it’s a fruitful question – is whether time is something the human mind has conjured up and uses to organise one’s experience and perception, or whether time is something fundamentally woven into the fabric of reality. This will be one of the questions talked about, as we explore the time-mind, from the beginning of the universe to the end. We’ll explore how humankind fits into this grand cosmic evolution.

In relativity theory, the past, present and future concurrently exist in four dimensional space-time. Can you explain this to me? What implications does this have?

Well, Einstein taught us a long time ago that there’s no universal notion of time. Every individual has their own perception of time. And what might be ‘now’ for me might be ‘past’ for you. The ‘future’ for you might be ‘present’ for me. When you take into account all these different perspectives, you find that every moment in time is the ‘now’ for somebody. And if believe that ‘now’ is what exists, then all moments exist, because for any given moment, even though it might be your ‘future’ or ‘past’, somebody is in the present. In this sense everything exists through time, much as every location in space exists as well.

Wow, that’s such a strange idea – it’s like Sci-fi! I’ve heard you speak before on time travel. Could you give me a brief overview of how we might travel forward in time?

Again, time-travel comes out of relativity and Einstein, where we learn that if you go on a round trip journey in a rocket ship at the speed of light, when you return to Earth, your clock will show that less time has elapsed than has with the clocks on earth. This means that when you step out of your ship, you step into Earth’s future. This could be millions of years in the future, depending on how close to the speed of light you travelled.

Another method is to hang out at the edge of a black hole. Again, time slows down. Everything – your watch, biology, your thinking and heartbeat – it all slows down. So when you come back to planet Earth, Earth’s clocks will have been ticking off time in the usual sense and much more time will have elapsed on Earth. You will be in the future.

That’s amazing. I never seriously considered the idea of time travel, and it’s incredible that science backs up this. Do you think that time travel back to the past is possible?

Most physicists believe that time travel back to the past is not possible, but it hasn’t been ruled out completely. It’s still within the realm of remote possibility.

I think I’ve got to go catch a plane. I hope that was enough to get you going!

It was amazing! Thank you so much, safe travels, and enjoy your time in New Zealand!

That’s my pleasure, thank you. 


This interview is re-published from SciBlogs.

Brian Greene expands on his work in the presentation Brian Greene: A Time Traveller's Tale, this Sunday at the Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.

But guess what!? We have two double passes to give away to Public Address readers. Just email us via the email link at the bottom of this post, with "Brian Greene" as the subject line, by 7pm today.