Saturday, January 10, 2015

Po, and May I Add, Pourri

-- The downside of this move by the Egyptian government in not allowing Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings is that Egyptians will not be able to see the movie in theaters. The upside, of course, is that they will not have to see the movie in theaters. The other downside, at least for U.S. theater owners, is that they did show Exodus: Gods and Kings and wound up without a lot to show for it.

-- In all of that big long and long-winded typing Kurt Eichenwald did about the Bible in Newsweek last month (wait, you thought they were dead? So did I. It's hard to tell), it's easy to overlook a couple of things. For all of the keyboard service Mr. Eichenwald pays to how serious biblical scholarship tells us how everything we know about the Bible is wrong, he only quotes two sources by name (that I saw, and there may have been some eye-glazing at a couple of points so I welcome correction). And his closing dig about all of the people who get the Bible wrong gets the Bible wrong: While one of the commandments Jesus called "greatest" was indeed the direction to love our neighbors as ourselves, the other was not "point[ing] out the faults of others while ignor[ing] their own;" it was loving God with all of our hearts, souls, minds and strengths. Why, Mr. Eichenwald is right! Picking and choosing what you want the Bible to say does indeed distort its message!

-- Again, sometimes the headlines are just too good to pass up: "Quantum pigeonholes are not paradoxical after all, say physicists" The story is not, alas, about quantum pigeons, who we might imagine are a problem that can be remedied only by employing Schrödinger's cats. Or not.

-- Turns out you can, in fact, move faster than light, and when you cross that threshold you create a "photonic boom" the way a jet does when it crosses the speed of sound. The only problem is that in order to do so you must have zero mass, and that state is probably not going to be reached by switching from ranch to vinaigrette on your lunch salad.

-- Which is worse? For me to be "ignorant of my inner music talent" as Aeon suggests, or for others around me to be all to aware of the rather low level of my outer music talent?

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