The Sound and The Fury. And the Redemption?

April 26, 2015 § 7 Comments

A scientist’s chamber orchestra project for nature and humanity, a photographer’s beautifully haunting industrial documentary, an architect designer’s alluring vision of future human habitat, and my (humble) reflections.

Fashionably late for Earth Day.

20150425-Earth-Day-headline-collage

Saturday morning at WholeFoods.  I sit down at a table outside the check-out counters to start writing this article, while my parents go into the aisles for the week’s grocery.  Earlier in the car, they were discussing an added task for this weekend – which other shops to go to next, to get what present for which relative or friend, since my father is going back to China for a month, my hometown being one of his stops.  The task is a rather difficult one these days, as China has every kind of stuff sold in America, then some; but gifts remain a must to bring along with a visit, as good social grace and relationship gestures.  Pushing a green shopping trolley, they continue their discussions.

 I, on the other hand, am preoccupied with my article for Earth Day.  WholeFoods seems like an appropriate venue to kick off the writing while waiting for my parents to go through their chores.  But before I type the first word, that feel-right ambiance also cast a shadow of doubt.  Have I, a California-living, healthy-eating, WholeFoods-shopping “liberal progressive” become too out of touch with reality and too self-righteous? « Read the rest of this entry »

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The Physics of Jazz and “Here Comes Now”

August 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

By day, Dr. Stephon Alexander, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College, is a theoretical physicist specializing in the interface between cosmology, particle physics and quantum gravity.  By night, he “blows sax”.  Born in Trinidad and raised in Bronx, NY,  Alexander draws music heritage from Jazz,  Caribbean Reggae and Hip Hop.   His ambition in science is big – to unify quantum theory, Einstein’s theory of relativity, and string theory, which have fascinated him since childhood, into a theory of quantum gravity!  When he gets stuck, he turns to music like Einstein used to do, except his instrument for relaxation and subconscious realization is the tenor saxophone, instead of violin and piano.

“Exploring a physics problem is like jazz improvisation—understanding the basic rules and themes lets you take off in spontaneous new directions. Music allows me to understand physics on a simpler, yet deeper level.”

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