Posts Categorized: General Interest

The Dancing Physicist Launches

Nearly two years ago I launched Quantum Pie as a personal blog and web site. I knew I wanted to talk about physics, dance, and other things that interested me, but the name Quantum Pie never felt completely right. Last week I performed a dance routine, to explain quantum entanglement, as part of the Institute… Read more »

Salman Rushdie on being sentenced to death

A powerful, riveting, essay in the New Yorker by Salman Rushdie about how the fatwa, issued over the publication of “The Satanic Verses“, tore his life apart. “How does it feel,” she asked him, “to know that you have just been sentenced to death by Ayatollah Khomeini?” It was a sunny Tuesday in London, but… Read more »

Midnight’s Children

Midnight's Children Movie Poster

Walking by the Princess Cinema here in Waterloo I saw this poster for Deepa Mehta’s new movie adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. Midnight’s Children, winner of the the Booker of Bookers prize, is the best book I have read. Rushdie seamlessly blends fantasy with history as he tells the story of India’s independence, the… Read more »

Peak Babies

Hans Rosling on whether the type of religion (Christianity, Islam, or Eastern religions) is correlated with the average number of children a woman gives birth to. A great sound bite from the talk: The number of children [per family] is not growing any longer in the world. We are still debating peak oil, but we… Read more »

Why great ideas come when you aren’t trying

Good to see some research being carried out into this. As well as revealing that breaks on their own do not encourage creative thinking, Baird’s work suggests an explanation for one of psychology’s great mysteries: why we zone out. From an evolutionary perspective, mind-wandering seems totally counterproductive and has been viewed as dysfunctional because it… Read more »