Next Week I Turn … Really OLD!

Lookout.jpg Something called the World Science Festival is going on in New York. It started last night and I went to one of their events. This one began with a screening of a movie that was made by indie musician Mark Oliver Everett about his father, physicist Hugh Everett, who came up with the theory of parallel worlds. The film was titled Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives. Afterwards there was a talk with Mark and physicists Michio Kaku, Max Tegmark, and another physicist who acted as moderator, Brian Cox.

Before I forget, this movie is going to be on PBS in the Fall. See it. It’s funny, I mean really funny, and sweet, and you will learn about physics in a completely painless way. I finally got one thing I have been trying to get for years.

Anyway, I’m so excited now. Loved this subject. The main room filled up and so they put some of us (me, alas) in a room upstairs and we watched via closed circuit TV. I didn’t get a chance to ask a question and I was DYING to. I’m going to try emailing Max Tegmark and hope that he doesn’t ignore me. I know he won’t be thrilled by my question, but I’m going to give it a shot. I want to ask if parallel worlds could explain the effects the Duke guys found. The answers Tegmark and Kaku gave to other questions seemed to indicate it was possible. “No matter how big something is it can be in two places,” is something Tegmark said. He seems to be saying that what they were talking about doesn’t only occur sub-atomically. When asked about communication between universes the answer from Kaku gave seemed to be: maybe someday, by very advanced civilizations.

I just worry that Tegmark will put me in the same category as this woman who asked about talking to dead people. She may have been a very nice person, and maybe she was just nervous, but she asked an ill-formed, not at all thought-out question in a crazy person way and no one wanted to respond to her. Kaku actually gave her a great answer. He seems like a nice man. He answered her using an example from the beginning of the Q&A, where he had said in another universe Elvis is alive. (Meaning, in another universe, Elvis made healthier choices with his life, didn’t OD, etc.) If it were possible to communicate with the Elvis in another universe, he pointed out, you wouldn’t be talking to the ghost of Elvis, you’d be talking to a live Elvis. In other words, forget about communicating with your dead mother, see if you can find your live mother in a parallel world. (Except you may not exist in that parallel world so she wouldn’t know you!) Not that he was encouraging her. Except, as crazy as that sounds, based on their previous answers, it could be possible.

So next week is my birthday!

One Can Never Get to the End of a To-Do List

YoungRhine.jpg And this haunts me. When longing for peace I tell myself that in order to have it I have to accept that as I check off things from my to-do list, I will always be adding things, and that won’t end until I’m dead. That said, I love checking things off my to-do list.

I’m meeting with a lawyer at my publisher today. I enjoy discussing legal issues, they’re like fun puzzles, but I’m sure that I will walk out of that meeting with a longer list of things to do. And the list of things to do with this book is already rather large. You’re not done when you finish the book.

Next comes: getting people to buy it. I don’t enjoy this part. It feels unseemly at times, although it does have its good moments. I’ve started a marketing plan. Here are some of the items from that to-do list:

– Get pitches ready for monthly mags by September. “Is God a Ghost?” (Maybe use that theme, or one like it, for a panel or presentation.)
– Put together list of fun events, ie, seances, EVP recording at a haunted house, etc.
– Write pitch for a local haunted house story.
– Come up with a couple of lectures/presentations.
– Put together a list of possible colleges (and other organizations, societies, etc.) who might be interested in a lecture or panel.
– Create Unbelievable blog.
– Come up with ideas for YouTube video.
– Explore how to use Facebook to promote book. And Twitter.
– Look into Adsense.

The picture is of J.B. Rhine, the head of the Duke Parapsychology Lab. He was a handsome, alternately intense/sweet man.

Great Jones Street

I’ve reached that time of life. I have friends who have sons in rock bands. Steven Levy and Teresa Carpenter’s son Andrew is a singer and the bass guitarist for a band called Great Jones Street and they played at Don Hill’s this past weekend. Andrew is the one in the middle in a tie. They were so great and it was a lot of fun. The rest of the band members are Daniel Bernstein, lead guitar, Alex Lundberg, guitar and vocals, and Jareb Gleckel on the drums. All very talented. And cute.

My next door neighbor Beth and her son Malique were nice enough to join me, and since we were already out and about we went to a late show of the new Indiana Jones movie. Kind of a perfect holiday weekend night. I took a great picture of Teresa, and Holly, the mother of the guitarist on the right, but I didn’t think to ask them if I could post it here and generally I like to err on the side of caution with this blog, so my friends and I can live together in cyberspace in peace and harmony!

[Video removed because the link no longer works.]

Looking in Windows

It’s been a while since I posted a dress I couldn’t possess. I don’t really want to possess this one, although I like it. It’s just not for me. I wish I could say I took this shot with these lovely leaf reflections on purpose but I didn’t notice them at the time. It’s like a quiet fireworks display of leaves.

About Bones. I read an interview with the creator saying something along the lines of “as long as it gets people talking.” I hate when people justify bad moves with this kind of logic. You could have Seeley plunge a knife into the heart of Bones, killing her instantly, and that would have people talking, but does it make narrative, emotional sense? I loved the whole Gormogon thread, and to wrap it up so hastily and badly and with Zack as the apprentice? Zack?? Come on. Please. That was out of nowhere and is simply not plausible, there is no history to explain Zack going along with this serial killer AND committing murder. It was just so stupid, from a show that has never been stupid. What happened to everyone over there? Seriously. What pushed you to this? I know you know better.

Watch So You Think You Can Dance, I’m Begging You

Dance.jpg Tomorrow I will talk about the horror of the Bones finale, but today I have to talk about So You Think You Can Dance because it premieres tonight and I’m determined to get everyone to try this show this year. It’s my favorite reality show and I honestly think it’s something special and you will thank me for this.

I’ve posted this before I believe, but I loved Heather Armstrong’s (Dooce) piece about the show. Some highlights:

“… the true success of the show is that it doesn’t go to great lengths to exploit a contestant’s weakness or failure. What makes this show so great is that it celebrates just how magnificently the contestants can move their bodies.

“Few reality shows, if any, have ever given me chills like this one has, and while watching “So You Think You Can Dance” this summer I have cried more than once when a street dancer has realized that his world can be so much bigger … watching these young kids who have never danced anything but hip hop pick up a slow waltz as if they have been practicing it for years has been some of the most inspiring television I have ever watched. I have discovered that I like watching people dance just as much, if not more, than I like listening to people sing …

“… every week it has put me square in the middle of a new dance routine, an exhilarating new style, as new for me as it is for the dancers, and in the relative solitude of my living room I can feel at least for a few thrilling minutes as if the rhythm is moving through my own feet.”

Please, please, please give it a try. Hang in there during the auditions part, whether you like that part or not. You need it to get to know the dancers, but the show really comes alive once the finalists are picked.

What I love as much as the dancers, which Heather alludes to at the end, is that it’s also just as much about the choreographers who really try to come up with new and exciting routines weeks after week, many of which rise to the level of art. (Actually, it’s all art but some are just, I don’t know how to describe it, high art vs low art? That’s a little bit it, but that doesn’t describe what I mean either.)

If you get into it, you will want to go to this url after the shows, it’s a blog for fans: