Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
In a playhouse one would not expect those things. In the Globe Theater there were not cavalry charges across Bosworth Field. In ancient Greek tragedy there was no convincingly detailed set of Troy. Nor any costumes or props at all except masks and the occasional sword or cup.
So it may be that two things went wrong. Olivier made a play into a movie without knowing much about how to make a movie. And I watched a movie without being willing or able to see it as a play.
Or it could be as simple as that it has not aged well.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
If the universe were infinite and stars were uniformly distributed throughout it there would be an infinite number of stars. If the universe had always existed, the light from every one of those stars would have had time to reach us.
That means that no matter where we looked, our line of sight would end in a star. There would be no space between them. The sky should be a solid white sheet of the faces of stars.
But it isn't. Which means that at least one of those three assumptions (infinite universe, uniform distribution of stars, universe always existed) must be wrong. So far the one which appears not to be true is that the universe has not always existed.
The best estimate is that the Big Bang was 13.7 billion years ago. In that time light can have traveled only 13.7 billion light-years. So the furthest away thing we can see is 13.7 billion light-years away. (It was that far away when it gave off the light we would eventually see. It is further away now because the universe has been expanding rapidly the whole time the light was en route to us.) So though the stars are indeed infinite in number, the stars we can see, even in theory, are not.
Thus our lines of sight in the sky are not infinitely long. They reach out no further than 13.7 billion light-years and thus generally do not end on the surface of a star. Which is why the sky is dark at night.
Which means that cosmology and the Big Bang and the origin of the universe and all that woo-woo stuff that it seems like only astrophysicists understand, is not far away and abstruse and hocus-pocus and remote from your life. You can look up and see it tonight.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Faithful after 49er's had fumbled the opening kickoff of opening game which opponents ran in for touchdown: Just wait 'til next year!
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide bomber attacked a crowd of Iraqi Shi'ite pilgrims en route to a shrine on Wednesday, killing at least 25 and wounding 62 despite heavy security during a religious festival, a police source said.
The suicide bombing took place just short of a bridge where 1,000 Shi'ite pilgrims died in a stampede during the same rite in 2005 after hearing rumors of a bomb.
The attacker was wearing a belt full of explosives, the police source said. Suicide bombings are often a hallmark of Sunni Islamist groups like al Qaeda, which regard Shi'ite Muslims as apostates.
Saturday, July 03, 2010
So it is important to win small victories along the way. Yesterday's small victory for me was that Kragen had the headlight bulbs for my car, and had them in stock. Today's small victory was that I was able to install them. And they work.
As usual it was not as simple as I had assumed. In the old days a headlight lamp was a clear glass bulb with two parallel filaments in it. Regular beam was when one of the filaments was lit. High beam was when both were lit.
No longer. Nowadays, by which I mean 1995 when the car was made, the low beams and the high beams are two separate lamps on each side, making a total of four. Nor are they simple, easily visualizable bulbs either. They are sophisticated and electronic-looking instead. As one might expect, the two kinds of electronic-looking lamps are confusingly similar but not interchangeable.
It is tacitly assumed that one knows this and will not spend an undue amount of time trying to put a triangular peg in an almost triangular hole. I spent only a due amount of time attempting this, largely because I started with a lucky guess.
Assuming one can find the right ones to replace, they are wonderfully simple to install. They require no tools to snap into place.
Life is grand.