Saturday, April 26, 2008

Better And Better: Book meme

Better And Better: Book meme

I didn't get tagged, but Tam is too lazy to tag people and she told the rest of us to go for it.

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123.
3. Find the first five sentences.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

Well, I'm a nerd:

"For this reason, physicists call the theory of the three nongravitational forces and the three families of matter particles the standard theory, or (more often) the standard model of particle physics.

Messenger Particles
According to the standard model, just as the photon is the smallest constituent of an electromagnetic field, the strong and the weak force fields have smallest constituents as well. As we discussed briefly in Chapter 1, the smallest bundles of the strong force are known as gluons, and those of the weak force are known as weak gauge bosons (or more precisely, the W and Z bosons)."

Most of this book is not quite that dry; it's The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene, and it's meant to make superstring theory and cosmology accessible to the layman. It's arranged almost as a series of essays or lectures, so I'm working my way through it slowly. I've never been able to handle numbers or physics intuitively the way I can manipulate words, but I want it all. When I first saw Tam's take on this meme, I was just finishing my lunch at school and had her blog, IllinoisCarry, and a young adult book called Mortal Engines open in front of me. The book is a semi-steampunk piece about a post-apocalyptic future a thousand years after a final world war--in which cities and towns are mounted huge tracks and wheels, and they travel around Europe eating each other. It's a lot more complex than that and a lot better book than I just made it sound, especially since it's the author's first published work. Frankly, those sentences would have been a lot more interesting (Our Heroes had just narrowly missed being run over by a speeding town, which had smashed the cyborg assassin who had been about to kill them so that the girl could be resurrected as his immortal cyborg daughter--and they'd just realized that a larger city must be chasing it and thus about to run them over.)
Alas, the bell rang as I composed the email, and it was not to be.
Hmmm . . . I'll tag Analog Periphery, Radio Free New Jersey, Bayou Renaissance Man, and Expert Witness. Oops, it looks like Expert Witness already got tagged--he's got his post up already. OK, how about . . . . Plowshare Forge?

1 comment:

Tom said...

It’s a little outside my blog space but I didn’t want to ignore you so I’ll give you a comment instead.

I’m not 100% sure I’m doing this right, but I think my three sentences are:

And it was hardly wasted on the liberal intellectuals swirling around the Roosevelt administration that the enormously popular Benito Mussolini had used the same methods to whip the unruly Italians into shape. After all, the New Republic, - the intellectual home of the new deal – had covered the goings on in Italy with fascination and, often, admiration. Indeed, the new deal was conceived at the climax of a worldwide fascist moment, a moment when socialists in many countries were becoming nationalists, and nationalists could embrace nothing but socialism.

The nearest book was Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism”, and the selection from page 123 certainly gets right to the heart of the matter… that the New Deal, the foster parent of the American left of today, was in fact an overtly fascist enterprise. He takes a whole book to document how that fascist tendency has been passed directly to the nanny state liberals of today.

Good Reading.