Thursday, May 10, 2018

The NASA way

When a link to a NASA document does not lead anywhere ...

Saturday, May 5, 2018


The plastic bag scene from American Beauty; music by Thomas Newman

It was one of those days, when it's a minute away from snowing, and there's this electricity in the air. You can almost hear it, right? And this bag was just dancing with me, like a little kid begging me to play with it, for fifteen minutes. That's the day I realized there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video's a poor excuse, I know, but it helps me remember. I need to remember. Sometimes there is so much... beauty... in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in.

Alan Ervin Ball [American Beauty, 1999]

Friday, May 4, 2018


Yukon Territory aurora / © Paul Nicklen

Everyday work at the frontiers of modern physics usually involves complex concepts and extreme conditions. We speak of quantum fields, entanglement, or supersymmetry, and analyse the ridiculously small or conceptualize the incomprehensibly large. Just as Willie Sutton famously explained that he robbed banks because "that's where the money is", so we do these things because "that's where the Unknown is".

from Fantastic Realities, Frank Wilczek (Nobel Prize in Physics, 2004)