The Theory of Everything – A Review and a Thought

•November 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

theory_movie

If this weekend at the box office doesn’t get the STEM education coalition the recognition it deserves, I don’t know what will. Hollywood is making mad love to science right now, with Interstellar, The Imitation Game, Big Hero 6 (cute!), and others like The Man Who Knew Infinity that are due to release.

But in the middle of all this binary, we have the true story of Stephen Hawking’s marriage. This goes beyond a simple biography or love story in that it extends to love of one’s life purpose and the honest failures and strengths we bear in trying to pursue it. The cinematography really captures this. The colors. The dancing. The spiraling of the camera. It all adds to the magic of chance; the years of life given and lived after having only two to go. The acting was superb too. I never really cared for Eddie Redmayne before this role. Not only was I now attracted (Yes, I’m into skinny guys with glasses – So sue me!), but I was mesmerized by his ability to channel the funny, lively genius of Stephen Hawking, rather than just a human machine with ALS. Felicity Jones also did a beautiful job portraying the heartbreaking tenacity of Jane Wilde.

What Hollywood really did here this year, was give science a heart. Neil deGrasse Tyson mentions in his interview with NBC on the science of Interstellar, that the scientists are the stars now. “…in the 1950s…..the scientist was the person you didn’t want to be,” he avers. People were once of a mindset that numbers were for machinery and useless ponderings of unseen structures. Anyone who chose to speak in numbers over pretty prose was definitely not to be envied.

Hopefully, this is taking a shift. The thing about numbers is that it’s just one universal system we use to understand things beyond human emotion. But if we really are the universe expressing itself as conscious beings, then we can’t ignore that the personal themes in this film are just as much science as Hawking’s area theorem. They somehow work together.

So before you indulge in the spectacular cinematic experience of Interstellar and the like, take an evening to catch The Theory of Everything. Because of this man, we are that much closer to turning science fiction into reality.

Eureka. :)

A Million Broken Pieces

•October 27, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Perhaps someday I’ll be able to write it all down.

Perhaps without feeling like a girl that’s been delusional for years. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to finally explain in words what I felt so many years ago. The why is not important, because we’ll never know why the sun and stars exist, but it’s what makes them all the more beautiful. An explained why would never be truth because poetry is for poets and poets rarely gaze into telescopes.

I’ll never know if it meant anything or if it was just a passing need, curiosity, or nostalgia. All I know is he came back to me in a million broken pieces and the sadness I felt wasn’t my own.

I only wished so hard I could have hugged him tight enough to put all his pieces back together.

The one who seeks

•October 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

pinkhaze

I have no right to call myself one who knows. I was one who seeks, and I still am, but I no longer seek in the stars or in books; I’m beginning to hear the teachings of my blood pulsing within me. My story isn’t pleasant, it’s not sweet and harmonious like the invented stories; it tastes of folly and bewilderment, of madness and dream, like the life of all people who no longer want to lie to themselves.

Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend

Love for the Pathetically Insignificant

•August 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

As a child, my father and I watched science documentaries as the rest of the country watched football. To this day, when I feel a deeper shade of indigo, I turn to space. A documentary, a book, it doesn’t matter. So tonight I came across this scaled map of the solar system.

UE Designer and fellow Los Angeleno, Josh Worth, made the map possible through the use of horizontal scroll. And what a scroll it was! I didn’t expect to be so thoroughly enthralled or for all my toxic thoughts to dissipate into a seemingly endless scroll of…..NOTHINGNESS.

It got me thinking about how humanity interprets and copes with its own insignificance. Not many centuries ago, we thought we were the center of the universe. As new information persisted, it quickly became clear just how small we really are. Not just in relation to matter, but in relation to space. There is so much ["empty"] space.

Whether you more strongly feel the monumental significance of tiny things or the massive void between them depends on who you are, and how your brain chemistry is balanced at a particular moment. We walk around with miniature, emotional versions of the universe inside of us.

I’ve always felt grateful for being the speck of consciousness in a vast backdrop of void. Like a fervid memory in one’s life. Life isn’t all memories. It’s mainly just time. At least that’s what seems to be the case when a special moment lived in time sinks deeper into the past and the moments spent between then and now start to blur.  Space is sort of like that time between a fond memory and the present.

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 10.26.00 PM

It’s reassuring to know that no matter how depressingly bleak or ridiculously momentous we feel, the universe, judging by its current structure, seems well aware of both extremes.

As present day humans, we’re all a bit myopic when it comes to imagining what something so disparate as nothingness really is, or what it isn’t, rather. Much less are we capable of delineating it. The thought of nothing existing before or after the universe throws some people into panic mode. It’s hard enough to believe that we as individuals will cease to exist. When I was a child, my thoughts looped the void that came before my own existence. It may sound pompous, but I found history to be a respite from the anxiety I felt from the thought of having not existed, because it almost gave breath to the extreme of nothingness I was before being what I am now.

Because of thoughts such as these, some prefer to live a muffled existence as an escape from the extremes that are found in the universe. Perhaps we can’t avoid the vast voids such as the space between Jupiter and Mars, but we can avoid our worldly voids, such as the price of fulfillment by not fulfilling, the pain of loss by never having, or the stabbing pains of the heart by simply limiting what you feel for someone. We try to be constant in an inconstant universe, because looking at the vastness of the other extremes makes us feel powerless; it’s safer to pretend we are capable of living in between. The authentically human concept known as, “Limbo”.

We are not insignificant.

We are merely an extreme.

 

 

 

 

The Anatomy of Breaking

•March 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

windowpaneDen som är allestädes är ingenstädes.

 

Perhaps this isn’t the most apposite place for a post like this, or maybe it is more suitable than the patently ridiculous, semiotic disposition of a post like this daring to proclaim it is.

As I sit here, thousands and thousands of miles away from where I was, not quite two weeks ago, I can’t help but feel time has stopped. I no longer look at the time, (aside from the occasional appointment), and the days have grown so dark here that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to recognize daylight in this new country.

I’m not running. I can’t run. My body is much too weak to run. I’m simply following the motions of what is familiar to me; simply enjoying the pathetic romanticism of collapsing on a steep cobblestone road because I “forgot to eat”….for two weeks.

“You need to recognize you didn’t ask for this,” she says in a language that’s more comforting to me than the language that brought me here. “You simply didn’t want happiness.” Why would anyone not want to be happy? That’s a psychological (if not even philosophical) question that could be discussed further in a future post. This very question, however, loops in my mind as it hits me that I’m in what would seem to be a very random, frigid country on the other side of the world, that feels like a giant ikea; a country that somehow makes me both more and less aware of my quotidian existence.

Just a few weeks ago I was completely immobile; a feeling I’ve felt once before…..and like most of my acts of sundering continuity, I woke up one day without a word to say and boarded a same day flight.

The buildings here provoke feeling despite my feeble attempts to guise myself under some sort of Cartesian thought, while the waters promise me a blithe rest from all imperatives. If it’s not snowing, it rains so much I can’t distinguish the coalescence of rivulets trickling down my face.

I’ve reached a climax here in regards to understanding myself, thanks to not only professional help, but the places themselves. And so I’m choosing to retreat into solitude for a while and hope that no one takes offence. I may never be able to share this in depth with someone that turned out to mean more than I intended them to, but I wanted to at least share a piece of it with all of you who may be feeling the need to explore yourselves…..just, somewhere else.

 

On Raising Thinkers

•September 15, 2013 • Leave a Comment

syriacafeI was standing in line for my daily mocha, when I started eavesdropping on a father telling his three sons, (of about 7 to 13), about the war in Syria. I prepped my eyes for the inevitable eyeroll that was sure to ensue after hearing yet another American, suburban parent inflict their political beliefs on their children. I was pleasantly surprised to see this was not the case at all. He described the present Syrian situation as clearly, unbiasedly, and thoroughly as a man could in a short matter of time to 3 young boys. Then he asked for their opinions without interjecting. The three had varying comments from “it’s not our business” to “we need to help them NOW!! We need to fight for them!”. Without making any of his sons sound more correct than the other, he drew out their reasoning behind their answers and developed a little mini debate over sandwiches and fizzy drinks.

Parenting done right.

The Innovation of Loneliness

•August 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

The Innovation of Loneliness from Shimi Cohen

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.