<= 2001.01.18

2001.01.20 =>

curse of the rhinovirus

I suppose one shouldn't expect the St. Louis airport to be a bastion of sterility. Ever since that adventure I've been wandering around coughing and my mucous membranes are giving 110 percent to the cause. Here's what the virus looks like, for those who like their germs colorful.

China sent a monkey, a dog and a rabbit into space? Where the hell have I been? That's one quarter of the Chinese astrological calendar right there. I'm inclined to feel underrepresented on behalf of myself and all my friends who were born in 1978, but then getting a horse into space would be a whole different magnitude of problem. There were snails too, but what does one say about snails?

Scientists make superdense matter by smashing gold nuclei together, the theory being that they can knock protons and neutrons into their component quarks. I'm sceptical. They finally found the top quark - or at least they found the particle trails that are most likely byproducts of its decay - but nobody knows why the damn thing weighs so much. There's also the problem of theory predicting that protons should occasionally decay into their component quarks, but when they got several billion protons together in the form of an underground tank of water and monitored it for months on end, nothing happened. Just on instinct, I suspect that quark theory isn't the end of it. It seems like every time we get close to a complete model, a few inconsistencies crop up and suddenly an entirely new, more basic level emerges. At this point, with all the quarks and leptons and their corresponding antiparticles, we're looking at 24 elementary particles, and that's not even counting massless particles like photons. On a purely aesthetic level it's too sloppy for a fundamental structure, if you ask me.

Time photo essay from the set of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Woo! Rumor has it that the Magnetic Fields are set to score the next Ang Lee film, but I don't know if that's official/public information yet.

 

<= 2001.01.18

2001.01.20 =>

up (2001.01)

The Roof Rat Review