Saturday, April 26, 2014

A To Z Day Twenty Three: Weather

Weather and weather forecasting has always fascinated me. My father always said that weather forecasts beyond 48 hours are nonsense, and experience has taught me that this is true. The systems at play in the atmosphere are simply too complex- no matter how hard you try, how big your computers are, how sophisticated your formulas are, you'll never know everything.

There is a lesson there, I think.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A To Z Twenty Two: Veterans

Does it bother anyone else that there are veteran's charities? Since we broke these people, shouldn't we, the people of the United States, be paying whatever it takes to fix them? I don't oppose the cause, of course. I just think there shouldn't be any need for it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A to Z Day Twenty One: U2

"Angel of Harlem" is one of my very favorite songs.
U2 got a lot of crap for this album (and for the accompanying film), and I don't think it was fair. People were saying, "How dare these Irish dudes tell us how great Billie Holliday was! We know how great Billie Holliday was!" Well, OK. But I was 17 when this record came out. I didn't know how great Billie Holliday was. And U2 made it cool so I could learn who Billie Holliday was. Perhaps I should have already known. But they were my gateway to a lot of great stuff, and I think that means something.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A to Z Day Twenty: The Band

One of my new favorite songs, "Richard Manuel Is Dead."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A to Z Day Nineteen: Schrodinger's Cat

The late Erwin Schrodinger, an Austrian physicist, once proposed a puzzle (a thought experiment, neither he nor I actually killed any animals) where a cat is sealed into an airtight box with a vial of poison gas , a small amount of radioactive material which has a 50% chance of decaying per hour, and a radiation detector, which if the material decays will smash the vial and kill the cat. The puzzle is, when you shut the box, is the cat alive or dead?
The answer is unclear. One can answer that it is both, or it is neither, or it is nothing until you open the box. There are a number of different interpretations and counter interpretations that try to solve the puzzle, or ignore the puzzle, or work around the puzzle. Personally, it has always just given me a headache.
To quote John Cleese, "it's people like you what cause unrest".

Monday, April 21, 2014

A to Z Day Eighteen: Rest In Peace

A List, In No Particular Order, of People I Wish Were Still Alive:
Isaac Asimov
Kurt Vonnegut
Robert A Heinlein
Freddie Mercury
David Foster Wallace
Jim Morrison
John Lennon
Kurt Cobain
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Jonathan Larson
John Bonham
Heath Ledger
Molly Ivins
My Father