A Bit About Me

My photo
Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

14 November 2006

Einstein, Heisenberg and Bohr...Oh My!

What happens when you combine lying in bed trying to get back to sleep with thoughts of helping your child memorize a bunch of scientists for her Science Olympiad competition? You get "brilliant" wacky ideas to explain other theories...at 4:00 in the morning I had transformed into a postulating potentate.

Oh, not one of those run-of-the-mill boring scientists...I have the benefit of absolutely no real technical knowledge on my side...but gobs of B-movie sci-fi melodrama. Now that doesn't mean I am without some knowledge...I could probably beat the pants off most celebrities who compete on Celebrity Jeopardy!, but let's just keep that our little secret. Please??

I am a great believer in the power of mnemonic memorization skills..."No, Ashley Olsen, that has nothing to do with films Keanu Reeves has been in...but you can't really remember what they were about"...it does, however, have to do with remembering something by remembering something else...like that "ROY G. BIV" thing. So once these bits of info are floating around in my head...after coming up with a bunch prior to the competition and drilling them into my daughter's brain...eventually they tend to group together and spiral out...much like that DNA Helix that Watson, Crick and Wilson are so famous for establishing in our minds.

As Bette Davis once infamously said with such finesse, "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night"...so I, too, advise you to strap yourselves in as you are about to be taken on the ride of your lives...inside my brain. Okay, it's not so much a ride like one of those extreme rollercoasters...more like those slowly revolving teacups at Disneyland. Pasteur? Nah...can't do anything with that. Salk? Nah. Röntgen? Röentgen? The spelling...the spelling...can't anyone get it right? And what ARE umlauts anyway? We should use more umlauts...slowly revolving teacups...slowly...revolving. Hey, how about that Hubble guy?!

The universe is expanding...Hubble said so, so it must be true. I wouldn't win an argument with Hubble...I can barely win one with my son. But...how do we know this to be true. Einstein didn't even like it...he wanted the universe to be static...an expanding universe wouldn't support his findings of a "cosmological constant" universe. Einstein, by his own assertion, called this his "greatest blunder".

Einstein also had a heated debate which lasted years (until Einstein's death in fact) with Niels Bohr, Danish Nobel Prize winner in Physics, over Quantum mechanics...a role which Einstein pivotally played and then later tried to discount as he firmly believed that there were no accidents...everything was predictable...nothing was up to chance if you knew the factors going into it..."God does not play dice with the universe". Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and Bohr's own beliefs in Quantum physics put the mathematical and scientific community at odds with Einstein...who searched endlessly for an elegant equation to express it all...in essence, to literally read God's mind. Bohr's counter to this was to say to Einstein, "Stop telling God how to roll his dice"....Einstein, even more determined, shunned the community he was such a pioneer in to work feverishly to prove once and for all that nothing was up for chance...if you knew the values of the "dice" you were throwing, their velocity, their angle, the rate at which they were dropped, the distance, etc., you would indeed be able, not to "predict"...but to say with certainty, how they would fall...thereby tossing out that whole "uncertainty principle" once and for all.

But let's head back for a moment to the uncertainty which dwells in my head...let's say the universe isn't expanding as we know it...but everything in our little corner of the universe is contracting...we are getting smaller...everything else, as Einstein surmised, is indeed following the laws of a cosmological constant universe. I don't know how many of you have ever seen the 1950s classic sci-fi film, "The Incredible Shrinking Man" (if you haven't...you should...there's more to it than meets the eye...no pun intended)...but this is an exceptional analogy of how I can explain my "Ambien-induced theory". Cue obligatory segue to a voice-over sounding disturbingly similar to Rod Serling...only we can't use the stark contrast of the white smoke against that black background...we have to be socially aware even tho it loses all that "aura" mystique which this set up so needs. "Consider if you will...that if you change your size but everything around you maintains the same dimension...you will perceive yourself as getting further away from your surroundings, when in essence, you are just shrinking...albeit shrinking in a vast void larger than anything we can imagine, yes, even larger than Paris Hilton or Tom Cruise's ego." The minutiae that our world becomes against the backdrop of this vast expanse would seem as if everything else were rushing away from us, and at considerable speed, thereby causing the only effect that we could rationalize in our brain...that we were indeed the same proportion in size...but that everything was expanding around us.

I would love to believe there is nothing left for chance in this world...that everything is done for a purpose...with a clear purpose in mind...and if you held the key to unlock that purpose...there before you would befall riches the likes of which we have never fathomed. And even without a fancy equation...I can tell you that...for certain.


  1. Where's a Quantum Mechanic when you need one...

    Not to throw a monkey-goodwrench into the works, but there is another other possibility - that the universe, and our relative state, are constantly fluctuating on a circainfinitanian rythym, with cyclic expansion and contraction at the harmonic resonance point. Sure, there's always the first law of motion, but Newton never did shots with quantum spin doctors Einstein, Podolsky, or Rosen either. I wouldn't worry about it too much though. Heisenberg wasn't certain about everything, and, even without six college degrees, Francis Bacon, (remember him - Mister "Knowledge is Power", father of the scientific inquiry method and inductive thinking, and part-time ghost writer for the Bard himself) never became quantumly entangled.

    Well, if you can't be perfect, at least you're amicable.

    On a more sober note, nice website (humor me online). Think we'll see a new Imagine That winner this year?

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. I'm still trying to fathom "circainfinitanian" (I think there's some fusion going on there) and yes, "Imagine That" will be updated before the end of the year.

    Of those two things, regardless of what Heinsenberg ever said...I am certain. ;)