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July 18, 2007

a qualitative queer

is much more intriguing than a quantitative girl. At least that's what we decided on the way to The Shy Glassy-Eyed Indian's b'day party the other day. The highlight of the evening was the song competition, which was an outgrowth of the Bengali, Maharashtra, and Tamil intraIndian debate and cucumber war (mine was stolen). I (by the way), scored big points with "Y". Lest it be forgotten (gasp!), there was also an Oriya guy, who actually did quite well at this game.

The piece de resistance was the H(square) vanilla cake (frosted by She-Who-Will-Remain-Nameless) and quite tasty, actually. The dosa was yummy yummy yummy with and without the potato stuffing, and despite the experiment played on a certain naive american. There was no coconut curry (much to someone's chagrin?) however there was coconut rice, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Rock Star had nothing left to share with me, "Steph! Sorry! You arrived late!" Yeah, right. (Like that would have made a difference. Ha!) One of the girls broke the corkscrew and one of the boys came to the rescue. Some people had recently been partying way too much, and more than half the group paid attention to one part or another of my lesson in string theory. Time to feed your mind!

Most of the conversations I've had with physicists involve cosmology: "Was there a String Bang before the Big Bang, or did the Universe simply unwind?" We started out with gravity this night, because that's the Rock Star's area of study (supergravity?) I was trying to get a grip on what is the part of gravity that hasn't been figured out yet. Newton's version works for anything we know how to observe, but gets tricky at the quantum level: is it because of that whole indeterminacy thang? (I forget.) I should mention, btw, that at about this time Ambu temporarily abandoned his chef duties in order to post a large yellow traffic sign (symbolizing warning), saying:

area slippery.jpg

Now, my memory is sketchy, but I know gravity is actually a two-way force....yes, it pulls us down to the center of gravity but there is also another draw that orients to and/or positions us from the opposite direction. For whatever (crucial) reason that I cannot now reconstruct, the answer to my question about what is still unknown about gravity led to a minor tutorial on string theory, which is wicked elegant because it combines three other theories: Newton's (law of gravity? laws of motion?), Planck's h (a certain constant), and the speed of light into one dimension. Wow! Beautiful! Congruence! (One possible definition includes "agreement between trees." Go figure.)

Hmm. Does that elusive comprehension return? Is the unanswered question concerning gravity about the strong and weak nuclear forces? Yes....? (Maybe not, see four fundamental forces). Obviously, I am in need of follow-up instruction. I do recall (hopefully accurately), that string theory has a stronger restriction (allowing 11 dimensions in our universe) whereas supersymmetry has a weaker restriction (enabling an entire 26 dimensions). Something clicked a few neurons in my brain to imagine a parallel between symmetry (of any kind) and synchronicity. At this point, I was directed to geodesics.

{I cannot explain the next jotting in my notes: "coloring of cows." Must have been contextual.}


Posted by Steph at July 18, 2007 9:06 PM


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