Steve's No Direction Home Page :
If he needs a third eye, he just grows it.
Updated: 10/23/2004; 11:51:55 AM.


Subscribe to "Steve's No Direction Home Page" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


Saturday, December 07, 2002

Gram Parsons: A Grievous Angel, a Busy Ghost. As his cult grows, Gram Parsons haunts CD racks, movie screens and a Georgia town. By Neil Strauss. [New York Times: Arts]
The cult of Gram. How strange.
11:46:35 PM  Permalink  comment []

White Apples by Jonathan Carroll

 Just read the most recent Jonathan Carroll novel, White Apples (the 53rd book I've read this year, not counting computer books and non-fiction books I skimmed or didn't read all of).

Vincent Ettich discovers he has died and come back to life. He is involved with three women (someone he meets in a store, his mistress, and his ex wife). His mistress pregnant with a boy who is communicating with her, and who has guided her to bringing Ettich back from the land of the dead. It turns out Ettich is involved in a drama that will involve the fate of the universe. A strang book; Carroll has a terrific imagination (as it might appear from that sketch). The characters are really well drawn, and you get drawn into the situation. It sort of ran down for me towards the end, and the beginning was a little slow, but for the most part it was really compelling.

10:11:30 AM  Permalink  comment []

Nature's Constants

Review of a book that looks like good reading. The Constants of  Nature by John Barrow investigates all the supposedly unchanging numbers that guide the universe.

 Today it is our belief in the unchanging nature of the fundamental particles of nature, like electrons and protons, which is used for standardisation. But is an electron really the same today as it was in the past? Barrow uses this simple problem as the springboard for a journey which ultimately leads us to the quest to understand the very fabric of the universe.

The numerical value of the weight of an electron will vary according to the units used. If instead you ask how much heavier is a proton when compared to the weight of an electron, you get a number that is independent of units. This number, approximately 1836, is an example of one of the "constants of nature". It is devoid of any cultural bias and can be compared across the universe. Scientists have called them constants because for many years we believed them to be just that - unchanging numbers. The question at the heart of Barrow's book is whether these pure numbers of nature are as unchanging as we once thought.

It is when Barrow starts to explore what would happen if you varied these numbers that things become quite frightening. Barrow does for physics what Robert Harris's novel Fatherland did for history. The effects of changing physics turn out to be far more dramatic than changing the outcome of the second world war. A small change in the relative weights of the electron and proton would result in atoms flying apart. There would be no possibility of glueing these fundamental particles together to make atoms and ultimately life.

10:03:22 AM  Permalink  comment []

The Blue Marble from Apollo 17. The Blue Marble from Apollo 17 thumbnail This classic photograph of the Earth was taken on December 7, 1972 by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. This was the sixth and final Apollo lunar-landing mission. The Goddard Space Flight Center celebrates the thirtieth birthday of one of the most breathtaking photographs ever taken. ... This full-earth snapshot has become one of the most widely recognized and requested photographs of all time... [Jinn of Quality and Risk]
9:36:44 AM  Permalink  comment []

© Copyright 2004 Steve Michel.

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website.

December 2002
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        
Nov   Jan