Pharyngula

Done!

I am actually completely done with all of my grading, at last. Fall term 2006 is officially finished for me, and I got everything submitted a whole 9 hours before the deadline. Now I need to party.

Fortunately, my copy of The Physics of the Buffyverse(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll) by Jennifer Ouellette arrived just now, so I think I’ll get wild with a book.

Comments

  1. #1 Greg Peterson
    December 28, 2006

    Oh, you lucky dog! I just learned about that book, checked with Borders to see if they have it, and I’m going to get it tonight–I hope. I guess I’d never really thought of Buffy as being a great launching pad for a physics lesson, but seeing Kitty Fantastico equated to Schrodinger’s Cat makes me want to read the book.

    “Fear and Loathing in Sunnydale” already touched on the philosophy of the Buffyverse, but what I’d really like to see is the theology of the Buffyverse. Whedon, an atheist, managed to work some interesting atheistic themes and lines into those series sometimes, as organic parts of stories. I find it pleasantly ironic that a self-described “angry atheist” like Whedon could use cross-wielding heroes to make points about existential atheism.

    In the meantime, I’ll be very happy to see what physics I might have missed along the way.

  2. #2 stogoe
    December 28, 2006

    I’m at a loss as to why 11% of the people who look at Physics of the Buffyverse on Amazon go on to buy “breast cancer basics and beyond”. Not the buffy DVDs, not the buffy soundtracks, not the buffy sticker packs, not Angel stuff, but “breast cancer basics and beyond”.

  3. #3 Shawn S.
    December 28, 2006

    Well, Buffy is a strong female character. This attracts women as an audience. These women might be interested in learning about breast cancer.

    That’s the most parsimonious (oooh, I use a big word!) explanation I can come up with. There might be other explanations, though.

    *poor taste joke comment about fat, bearded fanboys worried about developing breast cancer deleted*

  4. #4 Carlie
    December 28, 2006

    Holy cow, you had until today to finish grades? Mine had to be in over two weeks ago!

  5. #5 Carlie
    December 28, 2006

    OT – have you noticed that at the moment this blog is the top four of five in the recently much discussed sidebar list, and that the fifth is a post on another blog about one of these? Talk about steamrolling over the competition. Or those of us who read here have nothing better to do with our holiday break.

  6. #6 Ron
    December 28, 2006

    Uf! How do you do it? I still have 20 out of 30 final essays to grade. At least they are great, I have wonderful students

  7. #7 joseph rainmound
    December 28, 2006

    Enjoy the Buffyverse book – but please do provide a link to the author’s blog (which by the way links to yours…)! I love Jennifer Ouelette. I’m also chuffed science folks like Buffy… Whedon’s theology is eminiently fascinating. The faithful fanboys know that crosses almost always fail to stop the vampires: only a good stake and excellent wit have proved permanently efficacious. On the other hand, the vampires self-describe as being part of an all-pervasive evil. And then there’s all the stuff about the Powers that Be…

    Please: book report!

  8. #8 Ian H Spedding
    December 28, 2006

    Probably nought but a pale imitation of the groundbreaking The Physics of Star Trek

  9. #9 Rey Fox
    December 29, 2006

    “Probably nought but a pale imitation of the groundbreaking The Physics of Star Trek…”

    Well, surely you could only step down from that.

  10. #10 Bob O'H
    December 29, 2006

    I’m at a loss as to why 11% of the people who look at Physics of the Buffyverse on Amazon go on to buy “breast cancer basics and beyond”.

    Last week I got one of those regular emails from Amazon, suggesting that, as I had bought Vol. 16 of the Goon Show classics, I might like “After the Quake” by Haruki Murakami. Apparently fans of silly 50s radio comedies are also interested in the after-effects of the Kobe earthquake.

    I suspect Major Bloodnock may be the common factor.

    Bob

  11. #11 Greg Peterson
    December 29, 2006

    OK, someone asked for a book report, and I’m about half done, so here goes, taken from something I wrote a friend on the book:

    The Physics of the Buffyverse book, is an interesting failure made of two successes. Clearly Ouelette is a big fan of the series, and clearly she loves physics. The problem is she’s trying to extract physics from or insert physics into a story line that’s very lean on science. Whedon’s stuff is ripe for philosophical conversation and art criticism, but physics, not so much, really. Two bright, interesting, sophisticated halves make for a pretty strained whole. The sectionon Schrodinger’s Cat provides a good example of the dilemma, with a totally bogus reference to Miss Kitty Fantastico (Willow’s cat in the series) that was killed in a crossbow accident and had nothing whatever to do with quantum theory. I suppose the spoonful of Buffy sugar is intended to help the medicine of physics go down, but it ends up being a little bit more like rinsing the toothpaste out of one’s mouth using orange juice. Oh well. I still like the physics, and any friend of Whedon’s is a friend of mine, so I’ll just muscle past that gag reflex and enjoy what I can.

    Maybe I’m damning with faint praise here, but if, as some have said, the standard is “The Physics of Star Trek,” then this effort falls short. On the other hand, Whedon has made me his fanboy bitch so I reflexively love most things to do with his creations, and Ouelette seems to share a similar view, so even given the book’s flaws, I’m finding a lot to love.

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