The Elegant Universe is probably my favorite documentary about anything ever. I spent a full hour in the DVD section of Barnes & Noble looking for it because I was convinced it was there, despite the workers telling me it wasn’t. Then, just like that, straight out of the 11th dimension, it emerged.
It’s three hours worth of tackling the most complicated issue in Physics – the unification of all laws of the universe into one theory. Now, I’m a chemist. Physics – especially the theoretical, mathematically-heavy kind – is completely beyond me. But The Elegant Universe is as elegantly made as the theory it describes. It’s completely accessible despite its main topic being abnormally abstract. It’s pretty much the best way to spend your time.
So grab you popcorn, Milk Duds, donuts and pints of ice cream and go watch it online (you gotta love Nova and PBS):
Part 1: A great summary of gravity, electromagnetism, general relativity, development of quantum mechanics, and introduction to string theory.
Part 2: Expands on string theory and its development, featuring gravity – nature’s bastard child.
Part 3: String theory gone awry! Then a mathematical supergenious comes to the rescue. And, oh yeah, the 11th dimension.
Out of the nearly ten years I’ve lived in the U.S., six were spent in South Florida, which, as far as weather is concerned, has two settings – hot and wet. Year after year, the environment remains static and the grass always green. Fortunately, now I live in a place where all seasons are equally represented and I get to document the flowers as they spring up. Daffodils, tulips, lilies, then cherry trees.
But of all the flowers, orchids are queens. They are nature’s great deceivers – delicate-looking, but astoundingly sturdy and resilient; dainty and feminine but named for the Greek for “testes” (orchis). Roses may be the most poetic, but orchids are femmes fatales.
I was hesitant to begin a blog. The internet is crowded with them and my insights aren’t really necessary.
The reason behind the sudden change? I spent last Saturday riding to and in Governor’s Island. I had a blast. I hadn’t had such a thoroughly fun day in a long time. My enthusiasm has spilled over into this week, enticing me to share pictures of that fantastic day – Civil War reenactors and all.