That “post three sentences from page 123 of the book closest to you” Internet “meme” has come around again, with Bora calling me out in hopes of getting a short preview of Bunnies Made of Cheese (or whatever the book ends up being called). Unfortunately for him, I blog from a desk heaped with books, and that’s not the closest physical book to me.
The book at the top of the nearest stack is Volume I of Matter and Interactions by Chabay and Sherwood, and the relevant sentences are:
Tarzan hangs from a vine, swining back and forth in a gentle arc. At the moment when he reaches his maximum displacement from the vertical and is momentarily at rest, is the rate of change of Tarzan’s momentum zero or nonzero? If nonzero, what is the direction of dp/dt
Of course, the book at the bottom of that stack can also make a claim to being the “closest.” That one is Bob Park’s Voodoo Science, and the relevant sentences are:
Stanley Pons, after resigning his position at the University of Utah, disappeared for a time, then resurfaced in Nice, living the good life in the south of France. He had been hired to work on cold fusion by Technova, a subsidiary of Toyota. Martin Fleischmann later joined him there.
The stack behind my right shoulder, which is also pretty close, is topped by a book called How to Get Your Child to Love Reading (I doubt we’ll have a problem with this, but it was a Christmas present). It’s basically a catalogue of children’s books, with recommendations and “If you liked X, try Y” suggestions, and page 123 offers a suggested follow-up to Laura Ingalls Wilder in The Birchbark House by Louise Erdich:
A year in the life of an Ojibwa girl is told from the point of view of Omakayas, or “Little Frog,” named so because her first step was a hop. She is the sole smallpox survivor on Madeline Island, rescued by a strange and strong old woman named Tallow and given to a loving family. Then smallpox strikes Omakayas’s new village.
Also in that vicinity is The Cyberiad:
But when they had come within five or six million light-blocks of the Black Wastes, they began to hear rumors of some robber-giant who called himself The PHT Pirate. No one they spoke to had actually seen him, nor knew what “PHT” was supposed to mean. Trurl thought this might be a distortion of “pH,” which would indicate an ionic pirate with a high concentration and very base, but Klapaucias, more level-headed, preferred to refrain from such hypotheses.
Of course, those are just the physical books. If you count electronic, the relevant sentences from page 123 of the closest book in electronic form are:
This directly contradicts the quantum indeterminacy that we’ve talked about before, and suggest that quantum mechanics is incomplete. The theory is missing the information that would describe the definite properties of the two particles.
“That’s just what I was saying!”
So there’s your three-sentence teaser, Bora…