Tag Archives: science

The Fires Around Us

World to ashes
but our feet still on ground
carrying burdens
cast to us by
a selfish and needy past,
leaving nothing unfound.

We are left
to prove the impossible
rebuild from the broken
fragments of life
grieve for realities forever lost
and whisper memories of another time.

Why couldn’t this be stopped?
Is a question on all our minds
when the easily forgotten answer
is because you chose to be blind.

Do nothing
and receive nothing in return.
The savage destiny
we have built for ourselves.
The Earth continues to decay
and we stare at the inevitable
refusing to understand fate.

Can you not see
the fire burning at your feet?
It doesn’t care who you are
or what you could become.
The fire will consume everything
until it is all gone.

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SUPERPOSITION – Young the Giant

After being on a 90s binge for over two months, I heard this song on the radio and finally snapped back into the 2010s – kind of. While the song “Superposition” by Young the Giant was released back in August 2018, somehow I had missed this one until March of 2019. It’s the first song on the indie rock quartet’s fourth album, Mirror Master.

So what brought me into the depths of this one? Well – as it is a running theme with me – I loved the feeling it gave me. It started with the syncopation of the snare and then washed over once the ukulele and the deep drags of a synthesized bass joined in. Such polar opposites but it works so well. To describe the feeling, it reminds me of early mornings driving and how sun light starts to flicker across things as you move. But the light is almost horizontal in motion, casting a shadow on the things in front of it but giving ridiculous illumination to everything else. Your driving on a day that you were so excited for yet your whole body is in complete relaxation anticipating it – even if the journey started at five am. Do you what know what I’m talking about?

Well, even if you don’t, I still think you’ll like this song. Let’s dig a little deeper. Sameer starts us off in between Cannata’s picks with “I don’t believe in fate / no physic vision / but when things fall into place / superposition.” So what is superposition? Google Dictionary describes it as “the action of placing one thing on or above another, especially so that they coincide.” In other words, it’s a natural event cause by direct forces which add to one another.

The next line “In any universe / you are my dark star,” introduces another fun scientific term. A dark star is defined by Google as “a starlike object which emits little or no visible light. Its existence is inferred from other evidence, such as the eclipsing of other stars.” Interesting – so kind of like something that can’t be seen until it placed over something else. Like it has to be superposed? Very nice, Young the Giant. Very nice.

Beyond the precise defining of words, there is more to the verses. I feel like the lyrics chosen in this first verse are describing falling in love, but not in a fate sort of way. The universe itself has brought two people together and when they are together, they are a betterment of themselves. Destiny is cast aside; its just how the world works.

Sameer continues a desire for the other to want him back like he wants them, asking to rely on chemistry to create that initial attraction. And if anything keeps them apart, they should  push the obstacles out of the way.

Then the song releases – or at least that’s how it sounds and feels. The la-di-da’s chase the ukulele and we are brought into the another verse, where again the argument of precision and science is made over naive beliefs.

The only significant change in the song’s even pace is when everything drops out aside from the bass drum and a few keyboard clicks with Sameer’s voice saying “No matter what we do / I’ll be there with YOU.” There is a shrill emphasis on the “you” as the bass comes in with a little groove that lasts only a moment as it then settles back into the easy wave.

The lyrics on this one just have so much space and science play to them – so many meanings could be pulled but this is my take from it. Overall, a great song all together that always leaves me feeling happy and relaxed.

Please take a listen of this fantastic tune here and don’t forget to check out the full lyrics below. Perhaps while you watch their music video, you can also ponder whether superposition principles were used to produce it : )

——————————————————————————–

“Superpostion” by Young the Giant

I don’t believe in fate
No psychic vision
But when things fall into place,
superposition
In any universe
you are my dark star

I want you to want me
Why don’t we rely on chemistry?
Why don’t we collide the spaces that divide us?
I want you to want me

Superstition aims with imprecision
But when things can’t be explained,
superposition, oh
In any universe
you are my dark star

I want you to want me
Why don’t we rely on chemistry?
Why don’t we collide the spaces that divide us?
I want you to want me
I want you to want me

No matter what we do
I’ll be there with you!

I want you to want me
Why don’t we rely on chemistry?
Why don’t we collide the spaces that divide us?
I want you to want me

JUST FINISHED: The Martian

Author: Andy Weir

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

So I’m just going to come right out with it—I hated this book. I actually hated it. There was no part I enjoyed. No part that fancied my imagination. I hated all of it.

Harsh, right? Well, let’s discover the why.

Reason one: numbers. There are way too many numbers and equations in this book. ‘I have x amount of water. At X liters per day, it will last X many days. I need to find more water for X additional days if I don’t want to die.’ This is too much information that I don’t care about. I could care less about the exactness of the situation. I only need to know that he doesn’t have enough water and needs more. And it’s not just the water, it’s about the soil, the growth rate of plants, and on and on and on.

Reason two: the mechanics. This book strives to be a non-fiction manual on how to survive Mars. Yes, a manual. You know like your car manual, that thick-paged book you shoved to the back of your glove box never to be opened? Every system gets described in depth in this novel. From the research center (HAB) to a rover to batteries and more. More information that is not needed!

Reason three: the main character. The character of Mark Watney is obnoxious and self-absorbed. Maybe he was supposed to be that way, but it’s comes off as really annoying to a reader. He is unrealistic and sarcastic to the point that I often just closed the book. For someone who may be doomed to death on Mars, he doesn’t actual seem to really care in the long run. It’s more of a big joke for him. And that loses all of the plot suspense (if there ever was any).

Reason four: unrealistic dialogue. First correspondence back to NASA from Watney: “…Really looking forward to not dying. I want to make it clear it wasn’t the crew’s fault. Side question: What did they say when they found out I was alive? Also, “Hi, Mom!”.” Then there is extreme overuse of the word “Yay!” and things like “Look! A pair of boobs!-> (.Y.)”. Enough said.

Reason five: unrealistic situations. Getting stranded on Mars, possible. Finding a way out of every bad thing that happens in good time, not possible. Come on Weir, everybody fails at something. There are many difficulties presented in the book but for one individual to miraculous solve every problem and it all go to plan is ridiculous. Also, boring and predictable. I didn’t even have to make it to the last chapter to know how this one would end.

Reason six: zero character development. Watney is the exact same person you met on page one of the book as you will know by the end. The other characters introduced just fade to the background. They are stereotypical people: shy computer programmer, remorseful captain, feisty PR woman, resourceful/strong-willed leader.  There is little more to them. Even their choice of words and thought patterns are stereotypes.

I will give credit to Weir for an outstanding amount of research to produce this book to the nth degree of accuracy. Apparently he started work as a “programmer at a national laboratory at age fifteen” with hobbies in “relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned space flight.” That explains a good deal of why this book turned out the way it did.

I wanted a nice space thriller with some intensity and what I got was a bland book filled with endless clichés and numbers (and I’m an engineer!). I’ve read other comments on this book where people took it more as a comedy, and perhaps that’s a better light to see it in. But even then, I didn’t find it funny. This book contains way too many meaningless situations and empty relationships void of development. Just a little bit of imagination, that’s all I ask for.

Would I recommend it to you? Only if you are infatuated with astronauts and space.  Otherwise, I would just wait for the movie because you might actually enjoy it more than the book.