Showing posts from December, 2016

Einstein, Santa Claus, and Relativity.

Mysteries of Father Christmas/Santa Claus 'solved' by relativity theory
The mystery of how Father Christmas (Santa Claus) can deliver presents to 700 million children in one night, fit down the chimney and arrive without being seen or heard has been 'solved' by a physicist at the University of Exeter.
Santa and his reindeer zoom around the world at such speed that -- according to relativity theory -- they would shrink, enabling Father Christmas and a huge sack of presents to fit down chimneys.

Dr Katy Sheen, a physicist in the Geography department at the University of Exeter, has also found a scientific explanation for why Santa is not heard arriving by children, and why they rarely catch a glimpse of him on Christmas eve.

Santa and Special Relativity
She recently explained to children at the University of Exeter that Santa's stealth delivery is partly explained by special relativity theory devised by Albert Einstein, whom Dr Sheen thinks bares a passing resemblance …

ADHD and Creativity. You can't have one without the other.

Analysis of mind-wandering studies offers new perspective on mental disorders
". . .The ADHD mind allows us to think freely and creatively."
During downtime, some of us daydream while others might focus on a to-do list, or get stuck in a negative loop. Psychology has traditionally defined all these thought patterns as variations of "mind-wandering."
But a review of brain imaging studies led by researchers at UC Berkeley and the University of British Columbia offers a new way of looking at spontaneous versus controlled thinking, challenging the adage that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.

It suggests that increased awareness of how our thoughts move when our brains are at rest could lead to better diagnoses and targeted treatments for such mental illnesses as depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

"It's important to know not only the difference between free-ranging mind-wandering and sticky, obsessive thoughts, but also to …

Consciousness, Fractals and Great Literature

You want mathematics in your understanding of writing, you got mathematics.  You want hard science?  This science is hard.  And to paraphrase that pithyest of pithers, S.J. Perelman: "There is nothing like a report (see below) filled with decimal points and guarded generalizations to put a glaze on your eye like a sung vase (long a, please).

I'm of the school that writers write, editors edit, readers read, agents take ten percent of the gross, and reviewers do something, no one is sure exactly what. Literary theoreticians, to continue the cascade, scare the hell out of everyone.  I have images of graduate assistants assigning nascent authors underlining the fractals, mono-fractals and multi-fractals in a story.  And you thought parsing a sentence was a chore.

Finally, if you understand any of this research, anything at all, even one pseudo-fractal, kindly post your explanation for the rest of us at the end of this story.  In the meantime, I need a drink.  Perhaps a double.  …