Random Stuff

Category archives for Random Stuff

“The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.” –Grand Moff Tarkin Sure, the Death Star was the most fearsome battle station in the Universe, for a time. Capable of destroying a planet with a single blast from its (certainly antimatter-based)…

“When I was a kid, my world was five streets long. I never got away, except in books. I lived a thousand lives through books.” –George R.R. Martin If you aren’t enthralled by Game of Thrones (or for you bibliophiles, A Song of Fire and Ice), have I ever got an introduction for you. First,…

“People speak sometimes about the “bestial” cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.” –Fyodor Dostoyevsky Humans are part of the natural world, and yet although the natural world is hard and unforgiving in many ways,…

The biggest, most surprising revolution that came along with the development of quantum theory, quantum mechanics and later, quantum field theory, was the overthrowing of the idea of a deterministic Universe, replacing it with a Universe where only a probability distribution of outcomes could be theoretically known, even if you knew all the initial conditions of…

“Exploring this set I certainly never had the feeling of invention. I never had the feeling that my imagination was rich enough to invent all those extraordinary things on discovering them. They were there, even though nobody had seen them before. It’s marvelous, a very simple formula explains all these very complicated things. So the…

“My love for you would blot out the sun like a cloud made out of yogurt. I hope you brought a spoon.” –Jarod Kintz There’s so much we take for granted in the world, that often we don’t appreciate how important sticking together is. Let Robert Plant and Alison Krauss remind you, with their joint song, Stick…

“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” –Pablo Picasso When you think about representing something physical in an artistic medium, you usually think of starting with a blank canvas and adding to it. Such is the case with musicians, who start with silence and add to it, like Tony Trischka as he plays…

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” –Oscar Wilde What do you like? No, I really mean it: don’t think about the things that you’re supposed to like, or the things you’ll admit to the world that you like, but really ask yourself the…

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” –Isaac Asimov Yet it’s that intersection — of science with our day-to-day lives, our imaginations, our hopes, fears and dreams — that’s going to be the thing that drives us towards a scientifically literate future. Have a listen…

“Her will tells nearly all. She left an estate worth $314.91, mostly in Liberty Bonds, with a few items such as a desk valued at $5. She never married and had few living relatives. She also left behind a legacy of a great astronomical discovery.” –Jeremy Bernstein, on Henrietta Leavitt Today is International Women’s Day,…