I finished that book about cosmology I was reading. It went to print in 2003; it made predictions that I was enjoying checking against. For instance, "By 2010 the LIGO experiment should have confirmed the existence of gravitational waves." Nope, not yet: "As of July 2010 LIGO has never conclusively detected any gravitational waves at all. Since Einstein's General Relativity requires gravitational waves and the LIGO specifications ensure it is sensitive enough to detect them if they exist, LIGO's failure forces the question whether General Relativity is a valid theory." Whoa. Einstein's theory of General Relativity not valid? That's a biggie, a nagging biggie...
Physicists are hoping to detect the elusive and pesky Higgs Boson, but they still haven't. Why all the fuss? Because it's the only remaining component of the Standard Model (which explains matter in the universe) that hasn't been detected. Journalists call it the "God particle," which I'm sure puts scientists and people of faith on edge. Here's a good Christian Science Monitor article about it.
From a readable 2008 National Geographic article: "The first thing you learn when you ask scientists about the God particle is that it's bad form to call it that. The particle was named a few years back by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Leon Lederman, who has a knack for turning a phrase. Naturally the moniker took root among journalists, who know a good name for a particle when they hear one (it beats the heck out of the muon or the Z-boson). The preferred name for the God particle among physicists is the Higgs boson, or the Higgs particle, or simply the Higgs, in honor of the University of Edinburgh physicist Peter Higgs, who proposed its existence more than 40 years ago. Most physicists believe that there must be a Higgs field that pervades all space; the Higgs particle would be the carrier of the field and would interact with other particles, sort of the way a Jedi knight in Star Wars is the carrier of the "force." The Higgs is a crucial part of the standard model of particle physics—but no one's ever found it."
Well. Until they do I shall continue to watch old films noir in the evenings. I saw two recently:
Cloudburst (1951): A Britnoir wherein the wife of a cryptanalyst is run over and killed by a hit and run driver. Her husband devilishly metes out the same fate to the driver and his passenger. A funny sort of revenge story in the characteristically subdued and understated British production style. But in this case I didn't find myself wanting any DAME HUNGRY KILLER COP RUNS BERSERK American noir sensationalism. Oh, the beginning was way too talky, but it soon developed interest. Nice little film.
The Strange Mr. Gregory (1945): A hybrid horror-noir production sort of in the style of the Val Lewton horror flicks I love. What seriously got in the way of my enjoyment of it, however, was the prestige dialect used by the leading lady. "I cahn't understand what you mean" - that sort of thing. That old-fashioned, stagey Joan Bennett diction. I hate that. Also, a problem... the leading lady's friend was far sexier than she was. If the Strange Mr. Gregory was going to murder in order to clear the way for a play with the woman, it strains belief to think it would be little Miss Mid Atlantic Dialect and not her friend. (In much the same way male Dark Shadows viewers wonder why Barnabas had the hots for Josette when the far sexier Angelique was throwing herself at him.) In fact, my wife groaned at the conclusion of the film. I was making snide comments all through it. A not totally successful production.
A bad case of ennui pervades my soul. All I want to do is eat and nap. Nothing interests me. I have become my father. I know why Sherlock Holmes used to give himself injections. I hope this doesn't last long.
- ► 2012 (240)
- ► 2011 (249)
- ▼ July (20)
- ► 2009 (256)