Happy Birthday to Me!

It's my birthday, dagnabbit! Time to chug a giant mug of beer and shout, "madadayo!"

To make this post properly Ghibli-related, I'm headed over to my father's this weekend, to give my sisters brand new DVD's of Animal Treasure Island, My Neighbor Totoro, and Whisper of the Heart. If they weren't completely thrown off course when I gave them Porco Rosso and My Neighbors the Yamadas for Christmas, then this should be a real trip.

My apologies for not posting this past week. I've been too exhausted from working the crummy day job, and reading things like Plato's Republic, quantum mechanics and theoretical physics can really wear your brain out. My thanks to everyone for all their kind words, all their suggestions, and, yes, all their criticisms. Now go and get yourselves some birthday cake, eh.


David Schaich said...

Happy birthday to you! Here are some best wishes from a random reader, only a few days late.

Since theoretical physics is a subject close to my heart, I'm curious to know: what are you looking at?

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Hey, thanks a lot! I really appreciate your taking the time to write. And, look! I'm actually gettting off my butt and writing.

I've been reading quite a lot in the past few months. C.S. Lewis' books like Mere Christianity and Surprised by Joy, Crime and Punishment (actually about halfway through), various bits by Thich Nhat Hanh and Thomas Merton, and Plato's Republic. There's also a new book called "Just Peace," by Mattie Stepanek with Jimmy Carter that was very inspiriing. Add in my 33rd birthday, and you can see where this sort of thing is heading.

I've been reading up on a lot of the basics of quantum physics, its history and major players. It's an extremely difficult subject to get into, because quantum, by its very nature, is a heavy mind trip. You find yourself questioning every facet of reality. Then there's David Bohm with his holographic mind, and then there's Bell's Theorem, with its implications of non-local space. Add in speeches by winners of the Templeton Prize, and discussions of science and faith on Slate.com's meaning-of-life series, and this is all beginning to feel like a theological semenary.

I don't know what books to read about QM, and I'm aware of a lot of the new agey metaphysical stuff like "The Dancing Wu-Li Masters" and Fred Alan Wolf's stuff, and, of course, that lousy MST3K-worty movie that's a cheap front for some rediculous Ramtha cult. There's a lot of quackery to wade through, so it can be hard to find legitimate science. I'll keep my eyes open.

David Schaich said...

> I don't know what books to read about QM

I think Andrew Watson's book "The Quantum Quark" is my favorite (non-technical) book on physics. Watson focuses only on QCD, the theory of nuclear and sub-nuclear interactions, so goes into greater depth than most popular books. Richard Feynman wrote a short book on "QED, The Strange Theory of Light and Matter", and his "Lectures on Physics" are remain popular.

Brian Greene's books include introductions to quantum mechanics and relativity that are generally well-done, with generally enlightening discussion and analogies. The main downside is he's a partisan of string theory, which has been running into difficulties lately.

Jafar said...

Hey Daniel,

So glad to have discovered your blog! Am an ardent fan of Miyazaki and studio ghibli(check my blog address)and got all of their films on dvd :o) It was indeed a pleasure to see a blog dedicated to them! Though i keep visiting Ghibliworld and nausicaa.net yet your blog is a sheer delight! But i see you havent updated the blog for quite sometime :o(

Greetings from India...and hope you had a great B'day!!

Take care

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