Sunday, May 29, 2005

Awakening My Inner Science Geek

Never ask a reporter something unless you really want to know the answer. It’s kind of like a compulsion with us--if someone raises a question, we are pre-programmed to embark on a quest for the answer, not stopping until we have ferreted out the truth.

And I’m the best (worst?) example of this peculiarity. Why, just the other day, an acquaintance asked me a very innocent question: “What keeps Earth in orbit around the sun?” Now, I have a basic understanding of this concept. It’s gravity, of course. I learned that in grade school. But what is gravity? Why does it keep Earth in orbit around the sun? Uh-oh. As a reporter, I lack the capacity to be satisfied by such a simple answer. I have to know every detail. To this end, I set out on a search for an in-depth understanding of gravity.

The situation was made worse by the fact that I am science-prone. By this, I mean that I have always had a deep and hypnotic fascination with all things scientific. As a child, I was enthralled by astronomy and archaeology. I wanted to discover a new comet, unearth the lost city of Atlantis, find proof of intelligent life in the universe. (To date, I am still consumed by the fruitless quest to find intelligent life on my own planet. But I digress.) I long ago abandoned these missions, in favor of more practical pursuits. I became a journalist, and the answers I sought were more along the lines of: What’s the best way to choose a name for your business? What are the benefits of outsourcing? How many jobs will the new refinery bring to the state?

My friend’s seemingly benign question, however, awakened my inner science geek, and this time there was no turning back. Recently, I have immersed myself in books about physics and astronomy, and I have no intention of coming back to Earth anytime soon. Frankly, I like it better out here. And who knows, maybe I will at last find signs of intelligent life. I won’t hold my breath, though.


“Touch a scientist and you touch a child.”
Ray Bradbury, author (from the LA Times, August 1976)

“The most wonderful discovery made by scientists is science itself.”
Jacob Bronowski, mathematician, scientist (from A Sense of the Future New American Library 77.)

Friday, May 20, 2005

What the world needs now...

The highlight of my day: seeing two ladybugs making whoopee in the mulberry tree in my backyard.


"Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source."

Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910), Russian novelist, philosopher. Prince Andrew, in War and Peace, bk. 12, ch. 4 (1868-1869).

Saturday, May 14, 2005

If It Weren't For Bad Luck...

This week:

  • I was informed by one of my clients that the check for which I sent an invoice three weeks ago had still not been mailed. (I'm sure the bill collectors will take that into consideration.)
  • My car broke down. ($1,600 to repair.)
  • My CD-ROM drive bit the dust.
  • And to add insult to injury, I broke a nail. Will this torment never cease?!?

Maybe I'll just stay in bed next week.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Subjects I'm Currently Writing About

  • Astronomy
  • Meteorology
  • Business Outsourcing
  • Dog Breeds
No wonder I'm so confused all the time...

Monday, May 09, 2005

What I Wish My Horoscope Would Say

“Congratulations! Today is the first day of the rest of your life! From now on, your life will be perfect. Your career will take off, and you will achieve the kind of success mere mortals can only dream about. You will be rich, famous and respected. You will be idolized and adored. You will enjoy perfect health the rest of your life, with not even so much as a sniffle. You will be blissfully happy, and accomplish great things. You will win a Pulitzer, an Oscar, a Tony and a Nobel Prize. You will unify quantum theory and general relativity to find that holy grail of physics--the Theory of Everything. You will explain how the universe works, and will uncover the true cause of all paranormal phenomena. You will cure the public of its obsession with Paris Hilton. You will finally settle the debate between creationism and evolution. You will develop a cure for every disease, and will unlock the key to immortality. You will uncover the true identity of Jack the Ripper, find out who killed the Black Dahlia and determine what really happened to Jimmy Hoffa. You will solve the Reimann Hypothesis. Along the way, you will meet your very own Prince Charming, and you will live happily ever after on your own private island. Oh yes, and you will also raise a family of child prodigies who will continue your work after you’re gone. You will determine which came first, the chicken or the egg. And, for your crowning achievement, you will invent a pair of shoes that are both attractive and comfortable. So breathe a sigh of relief, and face the future with a smile, because from this point on, everything will go your way!”


“One may say the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.”

Albert Einstein, physicist (1879–1955)

Friday, May 06, 2005

My Horoscope for Today

"Feel free to be spontaneous today, and try not to let your rational thoughts get in the way of a good time. You won't regret any of the side trips you take, so get off the freeway, and explore a new route. You will find that these little adventuresome offshoots are what make the trip the most memorable. Don't deny yourself the simple pleasures by being fearful of what lies down that dirt road."

Rational thoughts? What rational thoughts?
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