I can feel it coming…

When friends visit California for the first time,  they always have some preconceived notion about what it will be like: everything is like Baywatch, or we’re all running around in fear that today will be the Big One, or every street looks like 90210 or the Castro during Gay Pride Week. Whatever it is, they never know that they have no idea about the breadth and variety of what our state has to offer. They are always surprised at how wrong they were, and if they spend enough time, they learn what us long-term residents already know: California is beautiful in too many ways to count, and that the diversity defies easy categorization. After all, we created Nixon, Reagan, the Grateful Dead and the Summer of Love! Not exactly peas in a pod. Continue reading “I can feel it coming…”

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A Critique of “The Science of Interstellar” by Kip Thorne

Last year, the movie Interstellar made quite the impression. It’s a good movie, with lots to go for it. One of the scientific advisers to the film is Kip Thorne, one of the brightest minds in the theories in the realms of Extreme Physics alive today. He wrote a book called “The Science of Interstellar” to let all of us know about what it was like to be a scientist working in Hollywood, and about the effort it took to make a big-budget SciFi movie consistent with our current state of knowledge. Kip set the bar very high indeed. He insisted that everything in the movie be at least possible based on what we know, even if it was a stretch and very, very unlikely. I have to point out that this was Kip’s standard, not mine, and that by setting this standard, he planted the seeds for his own failure. That’s not to say that the book is bad, or that his efforts were wasted, but by setting the bar so high he actually made is goal impossible in today’s entertainment industry. But despite not quite getting a perfect score, he got damned close. Continue reading “A Critique of “The Science of Interstellar” by Kip Thorne”

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