Gratitude, Among Other Things

I was addicted to saying things and having them matter to someone. ~from Waitress

That’s you, galleons. You’re my someone. I can’t not post in here. Even on the days when I really have nothing to say or when I’m exhausted or when I’d rather be burning through old episodes of Leverage (killer show- go watch it)… I find that I have to put something in here. For you.

But, also, for me. Because even if you don’t comment, you read. I know you do. You faithful few. And all my silly, random thoughts finally matter to somebody. Even if it’s just a few moments of light internet reading.

I suppose this is why people want to be in relationships. Having your words, your thoughts, your you matter to someone else. Must be nice.

What I’m trying to say is… thanks for reading, galleons.

***

So anyway, ATLAS was the first of the LHC systems to provide us with findings from the first big collision last month. Rediscovered the W boson. Good job, ATLAS. Let’s keep those findings coming.

After reading this, I spent some time digging around and looking at information about other colliders through the ages. And it was during this search that I discovered this man:

Yes, I found the single most adorable nuclear physicist of all time.

His name is Gersh Itskovich Budker (or Alexander Mikhailovich Budker… I don’t know why he has two names), and he was a Soviet physicist who invented electron cooling. For those of you who don’t know, electron cooling is used to shrink the size of electron beams without removing any particles from the beam, increasing luminosity in hadron colliders.

He also founded (and served as the director of) the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Akademgorodok, Russia (the institute was named for him upon his death).

So, he was pretty awesome as well as being freaking adorable. You go, Gershka.

***

Don’t read The Eyes of Heisenberg. I picked it up because A) I enjoyed Dune immensely and thought Herbert was a good writer, B) I liked the fact that it referenced the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, and C) I’m a sucker for genetic engineering science fiction.

This is not Herbert at his best. It’s overly simplistic, plot-wise, with nothing of interest to bring to the large table of genetic engineering centric fiction. The characters aren’t terribly well fleshed out nor is the world. A lot of that is because it’s so short. Plus, most of the book is just unnecessary technobabble. While you need a decent portion of that in sci fi, we’ve already seen Herbert do a better job of balancing politics and the technical aspects of the science in Dune. Here, the politics were shaky, the science was too involved, and the whole thing suffered as a result.

Maybe I should stop comparing it to Dune, but I really can’t help it. That novel is a masterpiece, and I wish I saw even a fraction of that genius and literary skill in The Eyes of Heisenberg. I am sorely disappointed.

Also, I really want to go watch Logan’s Run again… No, it’s not about genetic engineering, but it is about a post-apocalyptic, sealed-off world that the main characters are escaping from. And, for some reason, I kept thinking of it while reading that shitty book.

Carrousel, here I come.

***

On the subject of books:

Have any of you read Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles? It sounds really intriguing, and I’m hoping to get my hands on it soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s