Monday, December 18, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I remember our Chinese teacher Zhu Laoshi telling me that I was fat (I think I'd just come back from holiday somewhere), in that straight-talking 'how much do you earn' way that the Chinese do; she was, of course, entirely right.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Oddly enough, I was searching the web to see if I could get a CD of the bootleg album the velvet underground and so on. I used to have a vinyl version of it, but I threw it out with all my old vinyl records when we put our possessions in storage prior to going to China, it seemed to make sense at the time as I no longer had a record-player and I assumed that I'd be able to get anything on CD. Alas, they don't seem to be selling this on CD.
I particularly liked the tracks It's Alright (The Way That You Live) and Loop; fortunately I have a tape I made of the album (it's up in the loft somewhere - I kept all my tapes), all I need now is a tape player. And then, how do I get it on to a CD to play in my car? Ah, the onward march on technology.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
New Scientist has a list of 13 things that don't make sense, starting with the Placebo effect.
This reminds me of the famous lecture by Lord Kelvin in 1900 where he said there were just two problems left to solve in Physics.
As I recall it, his advice to students was not to go into Physics as Newton's Laws of Motion and the Theory of Thermodynamics had pretty much explained everything - apart from these two minor issues - but I couldn't find any reference specifically giving that advice on the Internet.
The two problems were to do with detecting the ether (the medium through which it was assumed electro-magnetic radiation such as light was propagated) and describing the radiation emitted by a black body.
In seeking the solutions to these, physicists came up with the Theory of Relativity to describe how gravity works and the Laws of Quantum Mechanics to describe how sub-atomic particles (such as electrons) behave. In other words, the whole of modern physics.