September 12, 2009

G is for Gravity

Our good friend Oller, K's godfather, puts a lot of thought into his gifts. He once gave me a book of short stories by Haruki Murakami in German because I lived in Japan. He also once scored me Munich opera tickets because my grandmother was an opera singer, although I was 9 months pregnant at the time so I opted out - it was Wagner and that's a lot of sitting.
And recently he gave me an Alpha Centauri DVD produced by the Bayerischer Rundfunk, a series of astrophysics lectures from Prof. Dr. Harald Lesch.
I adore astrophysics, being a closet astrophysicist myself. Since I was 13 I've been fascinated with black holes, quasars and warped space time. And Dr. Lesch has a casual, humorous speaking style that really brings these topics to life for the layman.
As Ralf and I watch the lectures our conversation goes something like this:
Ralf: That's the best description of the Planck Scale I've ever heard.
Me: Really? How come?
Ralf: Well, he's the first person who explained that the Planck Scale is where the inability to measure anything smaller intersects the event horizon, where nothing is emited.
Pause.
Me: I dunno, that's just a fancy way of saying it's the smallest we can measure.
Pause.
Ralf: Still cool, though.
Me: I guess.
Then, when Prof. Dr. Lesch explains Relativity, I get up in arms.
Me: How old is this video?? They've already proven that information can travel faster than light speed with those particles that are in two places at once.
Ralf: Don't be such an astrophysics snob.
Me: I'm so not! I'm totally down with the people on astrophysics. In fact, I would have been a great astrophysicist.
Ralf: You?
Me: Duh. I'm really good at math.
Ralf: You?
Me: Sure. I can do differential calcs in my sleep.
Ralf: But you suck at finance.
Me (with dignity): That's completely different.
Actually, maybe G is for Geek.

8 comments:

  1. I didn't understand any of this. :)

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  2. "I don't know anyone who considers the taste of the recipient as much as he does." -- I'm with Kristina. Clueless. I suppose he'd give me a Rachel Ray cookbook.

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  3. I was into Quantum physics during high school. Read 'A Brief History In Time'. But have since lost interest.

    BTW, it's Jen.

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  4. Very funny! And you're right finance and calculus are way different!

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  5. Astrophysics scares me. black holes, infinity -- way too scary to consider that my world is less than stable. An admitted coward, I stick with things I can get my mind around.

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  6. You and Elijah could have quite the conversation...he was asking about black holes today.

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  7. He could also hang out with my boys. They love to talk all things science. The oldest even asked for a subscription to a couple science journals.

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  8. G is definitely for Geek. I only wish we could have those conversations. Instead of say, regarding our customers
    M:so-in-so stopped by today. He was so drunk I thought he'd fall down.
    S: Oh, like that one time what's-his-face fell and busted his nose?

    Ya, deep thoughts.

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