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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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up, down, charm, strange, top and heh, bottom
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
I discovered this week that svmadelyn actually *hates* me, a total surprise, when I received a package in the mail. There were Season Two Farscape DVDs to borrow--no, that was good--coffee and chocolate--pretty much my favorite things ever--and at teh bottom, a book. The Elegant Universe. My *God*.

Transcribed, the note:

So I couldn't find my copy of this at all and just decided to try and buy a new one. Don't burn it. *grins* I will want it back eventually.

I think this pretty much obligates you to write a certain story?

Quite possibly. *ducks*

Happy reading? And remember, no burning.


I'm on page ten. Its been *this close* to the fireplace.

It faintly reads like a Tolkien prelude--and there was an Einstein, and there was a Newton, and never can the magics of relativity and the magics of quantum mechanics meet, but lo! There came a Child called Superstring Theory and united the warring nations under a benelovent dictatorship so we can understand the properties of matter inside black holes and the big bang and all rejoiced! Because that's been preying on my mind often these days.

I keep thinking how Relativity and Quantum Mechanics got together finally--a little bar outside the cosmos, drinking too much, then waking up and one got knocked up and Angst and Rage! Then there was Stringy, and yeah, you can see right here how much I slept through a lot of my hard sciences.

But, here is what we, and by we, I mean me and the fireplace, learned.

Taus, electrons, protons, neutrinos, quarks up, down, charm, strange, top, and bottom. You can guess when I had to stop and start giggling for really juvenile reasons.

Page *ten*. I feel smarter already.


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*giggles*
Now now, quarks are allowed to have their own proclivities too.
Don't forget Shrodinger's cat. It can get shot, and then not be shot, and then wait, it was shot again. Sort of like a plot hole. Shroedinger's Plot Hole? Quantum Mechanics accidentally runs over Shroedinger's cat on the way home from the bar, but it simultaneously lays dead on the road and scampters off to safety.
"Dammit." mutters Newtonian physics. "I hate it when that happens".

Taus, electrons, protons, neutrinos, quarks up, down, charm, strange, top, and bottom. You can guess when I had to stop and start giggling for really juvenile reasons.

I'm surprised someone hasn't worked that into a story yet. Hey, now, here's a thought... *touches fingertips to temples and beams telepathic compulsion beam at you*

I'm still at the place where Quantum has to tell Relativity about their unexpected love child.

*rubs forehead* The words *oh my God I am beyond help* comes to mind. Though now the whacky sex games of the quarks is starting to make me wonder just a little.

The Whacky Sex Games of the Quarks was one of the shows that the Ancient Atlanteans got on cable, I think.

OOOO - Brian Greene's Elegant Universe. He's wonderful - I don't understand a word he writes, mostly, but trying to grasp the concepts certainly twists my mind into knots, especially superstring theory. My understanding of that is that we're all basically vibrating at different frequencies and the only reason anything looks like it does is because our brains are wired to only perceive three or four dimensions...or, something *G*.

SPOILERS!

Kidding. *g* I'm just--I mean, so far, it is all words I know, and I'm like, sticking on mental post it notes to remind myself of the entire tau and neutrino sitch, but man. It's just--it's so *much*. It actually reminds me in a way of my favorite political science book that did an overview of all enlightenment philosophy--fascinating in how i caught glimpses of all these bigger, huge philosophies behind it, but just glimpses, just enough not to overload.

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the idea that there are - minimum - 11 dimensions. That's...going that far beyond the usual three plus time is like trying to imagine colors if you've been blind since birth, or it is for me.

Another book that I highly recommend in the brain twisting category is The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot. Talbot writes that ". . . there is evidence to suggest that our world and everything in it. . . are also only ghostly images, projections from a level of reality so beyond our own it is literally beyond both space and time."

There's some wonderful plot bunnies inherent in those conceptual hills *G*.

My dearest *God*.

......

There aren't words, are there?

Ooh, I've been meaning to pick that book up. His 3-part Nova episode was very good.

Does the nova make it less--well--massive? *curious*

There was a point at which my brain sort of lost the ability to keep up, but that point was a ways in, and he was entertaining even then. PBS reruns it from time to time.

and there was an Einstein, and there was a Newton, and never can the magics of relativity and the magics of quantum mechanics meet, but lo! There came a Child called Superstring Theory and united the warring nations under a benelovent dictatorship so we can understand the properties of matter inside black holes and the big bang and all rejoiced!

*chokes*

That is so wonderful! May I quote you?

*snickes* Feel free. Slashing Physics is totally the new black.

Dude, I just watched Copenhagen. I can't tell if they meant for Heisenberg and Bohr to be this slashy at each other, but they so totally are.

Or, possibly, if I were somehow transported back to the early 40s, mens' habit of addressing their also-male friends as "My dear ______" would make my wee slasher's heart burst with joy. No, I kid, they were so doing it.

I don't even know what half of that means!

I don't know if I'm lucky, or if I should do some reading up again on Quantum Mechanics.

Yeah, good luck with that. I may do a chapter by chapter analysis of this, and by analysis, I mean me, saying "huh? what the hell?"

I knew there was a reason I stuck with the English major. . .

Quantum Theory breaks my brain.

I'd like the analysis idea though, you can confuse the rest of the internet this way; you go down, we all go down! :D

You got me at the It faintly reads like a Tolkien prelude. *laughs*

*giggle* Oh, the fun that can be had with physics if you don't demand it actually make sense.

Oh I love the string theory! I once saw a documentary on tv about it that pretty much explained it all and I was wow'ing my way through it with random 'yah, I guess that makes sense' thrown in the mix. And of course they animated the strings and I was so totally a goner for the colorful curlycues and then the flying scientific formulas and this amazing bouncy castle style collapse of the universe into a black hole.... oh god stop me now.

Man, he's awesome. Personally, I thought Fabric of the Cosmos was a little clearer and easier to understand (plus, it explained wormholes using the Simpsons, c'mon), but he's awesome no matter what you're reading. Also, just a rec: Who's Afraid of Shrodinger's Cat is a handy dandy little reference book for anyone writing fic in a sci-fi fandom. Nifty page long explanations about DNA and black holes and such. Neat, neat book.

I have that book! I may have to take it on my vacation now.

The Elegant Universe is about a foot to my left at the moment so, hey, we can go crazy together, ya? I love physics, but when you've left "impossible" on the doorstep and ventured into the insanity that is quantum mechanics...

I saw the PBS special on it (hosted by the man himself) and it's good. It won't make the book easy but it would definitely help. Course I'm now stuck on the 'wacky sex games of the quarks'. Like some sort of neurotic Douglas Adams spin off. As if there's another kind.

*psst* ... Not that I ever disscourage reading but if you get stuck...It's on DVD *innocent*

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