logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Science
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-07-24 09:27
Please, Mr. Einstein
Please Mr. Einstein - Jean-Claude Carrière

I feel like I hit the book lottery.  I hate hyperbole, and perhaps after the book hangover has faded I'll find myself backtracking or offering qualifications, but as of right now, this last minute impulse buy, at a used book sale for $1, might be the best book I've ever read.  

 

Ever.

 

I didn't think so when I started it, because the back-cover had me expecting an historical fiction; a what-if look back. I was not pleased to start that first chapter and find myself confronted with a speculative fantasy told in first person omnipresent POV.  I found the narrative voice a bit condescending and supercilious and I didn't see how this was possibly going to be anything other than a pretentious attempt at literary fiction.

 

Thankfully that only lasted for 4 pages or so, before it became obvious what the author was setting up, and I suddenly found myself totally hooked.

 

Imagine the chance to step outside of time and place to have to opportunity to speak with one person in history; not only about themselves and their work, but about their entire field as it spans time and events; to be able to learn and explore ideas with a hero of the discipline, someone who changed the world.

 

This is the setup for the book.  A nameless young woman 'finds' Einstein in a place that transcends time and she is gained admittance to his study for an 'interview'.  What follows is a conversation to which we are invisible observers.  This conversation spans all of Einstein's theories, what his work started; its repercussions; the emotional fall-out and the consequences of his overnight celebrity and the cost of his Jewish background.

 

What can I say?  It's beautiful, this odd what-if of a book.  The science isn't for those disinterested in physics but it isn't incomprehensible either.  The personal element is ... the author made you feel like you were there and made you feel Einstein's wonder, amazement, melancholy, regret, betrayal and pensiveness; the 'doors' were an incredibly vivid way to bring the times and events to life, and a drop-in visit by Newton was both funny and heart-wrenching.

 

I loved this book, I loved it so much.  It's so good I'm overlooking the times the author tried to argue against concepts by using the very same assumptions that he claims makes those concepts false.  Everything else was so overwhelmingly good that the fallacy isn't worth a 1/2 star demerit.  I closed the book wanting to hug it.

 

It's obviously a work of fiction but only in its construct; 85% of this book is factual representation of Einstein's and his contemporaries' theories, so if you're partial to science, philosophy, and think Einstein is a legend, definitely check this book out.  I honestly just wanted to stay in that room with him forever.

 

(This is a English translation of the book Einstein, s'il vous plait.)

 

 

 

 

 

Pages:  185

$$:  $6.00  (location multiplier)

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-07-24 09:20
Reading progress update: I've read 3 out of 250 pages.
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics - Claudio ... Basics of Plasma Astrophysics - Claudio Chiuderi,Marco Velli

Looks like a fairly standard intro to plasma physics with some more advanced topics at the back.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-07-24 09:05
Reading progress update: I've read 27 out of 42 pages.
The Feynman Lectures on Physics Vol 2: Mainly Electomagnetism & Matter - Matthew L. Sands,Robert B. Leighton,Richard P. Feynman

Feynman answers some mysteries he raised in previous lectures. Lesson: one must not forget that fields carry energy and therefore also momentum and angular momentum. If you've lost some mechanical energy or momentum, look for it in a field!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-07-24 08:54
Plasma Physics, R.A. Cairns
Plasma physics - R.A. Cairns Plasma physics - R.A. Cairns

This makes a good second book on plasma physics - Chen's Introduction to Plasma Physics has yet to be beaten as a first book on the subject in my experience. But Cairns provides a good reference on the basics of a wide variety of theoretical approaches, phenomena, experimental methods and applications in plasma physics, admittedly requiring a much greater mathematical knowledge than Chen, but without being terrifying like Ichimaru's "Basic" Principles of Plasma Physics, which is anything but basic. A minor irritation is Cairns' use of the informal "goes as" for "proportional to." Not sure why it winds me up so, given I know perfectly well what he means.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-07-24 04:33
Valerian from Page to Screen
Valerian Volume 1: The New Future Trilogy - Jean-Claude Mézières,Pierre Christin

On a whim (and due to a complete implosion of plans for D&D today), I ended up catching Valerian, which timed nicely with the fact that I borrowed Valerian, Vol 1: The New Future Trilogy from my library to read.

Right off the bat I have to say the movie is utterly gorgeous.  Absolutely breathtaking, with moments of travel that I think if I watched in 3D or IMAX I'd end up trying to fall out of my chair.  Some of the aesthetics and feel look like the work of the Wachowskis.  Overall, a fun, consistent story, if a bit heavy on the romance.  Though I'm forced to ignore the implications of all the structural damage inflicted.

I started out a bit hesitant.  The trailers made me think the film was some hot new YA series, and I had stumbled across a few reviews saying the movie lacked in substance.  That our first interactions with Valerian and Laureline involves heavy flirtation and a clear statement of romantic intent on Valerian's part increased my wariness.  But you know what?  She spends just as much time rescuing him as he does her (if not more, to be honest), and the relationship between them in the graphic novels is... odd.  Constant referring to each other as "my Valerian" and "my Laureline," with an undefined relationship that reminds me of relationships in Heinlein's work.  And while Laureline is certainly capable, she spends noticeably more time in the role of arm candy, supporting lady, or as a maiden in distress in the graphic novels... even if some of those times it is as part of a plan.  So I'm actually happier with the on-screen characterizations.

You can very easily see how the graphic novel that this was based on inspired many of Sci-Fi icons, which will undoubtedly have many people calling it out as "derivative" wherein the accused derivations were in fact inspired by the original.  Perhaps most present is the influence of Luc Besson's work on adapting Valerian from before he made The Fifth Element, in which he included specific elements seen in Valerian and in the concept art submitted by Jean-Claude Mezieres himself.  If you like The Fifth Element, you will see "pieces" of it all over Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.  Pieces that you'll also see when reading this graphic novel from the 60's.

Highly enjoyable translation of visual elements from the comics, with various tweaking of narrative place, name, and role.  Some elements are spot on, like their armor and their ship.  We even see a Transmuter in Circles of Power, though it is not at all in the same role as the Mul Transmuter.  Regardless, the illustrations are unmistakably the same creature.  Others like their actual roles (spatio-temporal agents vs military officers), and different concepts have been more dramatically modified.

Good way to spend an afternoon.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2017/07/valerian-from-page-to-screen.html
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?