Friday, November 19, 2010

J K and faith

Been googling 'J K Rowling and faith', where you can find articles describing the more explicitly Christian inspiration to her books, including the Biblical references she puts on tombstones (death is swallowed up in victory; where your treasure is, there your heart is also), which for her 'sum up, almost epitomise the whole series.'

A church of Scotland churchgoer, she quotes approvingly Graham Greene, 'my faith is sometimes that my faith will return.'(See for example this article from the Daily Telegraph).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A year ago

One year ago I was lying in a bed in an acute cardiac ward in London, with my major organs starting to fail. For the best part of four years I had been trying to sell my novel.

Today I came off my heart medication, and this same day I received notification of my first payment from Amazon from sales of my novel.

My enthusiasms this month are pacemakers, ablation therapy, the drug amiodarone, the new world of publishing, and the goodness of God.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Physics in need of a revolution

It's a staple of the history of physics that:
(a) in around 1895 the subjects seemed almost complete, apart from the Michaelson-Morley experiment (speed of light is constant) and the peculiar phenomena provisionally called X-rays.
(b) The following quarter century was a golden age of fresh discovery: relativity and quantum theory arrived in a glorious rush.

Michael Brooks' book hints at a further explosion-to-come:
(a) We have no idea what 96% of the universe is made of
(b) The two Pioneer spacecraft, launched in 1976 and 1977 are being slowed down and no-one knows why
(c) The constants of physics might not be constant
(d) The universe is fit for life only because a certain constant (called omega) is exactly the size it is, not a thousand billionth more or less.

So we either are, or aren't in for an exciting time in physics, assuming someone has the cranial capacity to think round this stuff.

A further interesting message in light of current debates about faith and science is that science is a little more rickety, and less sure, than the aggressive atheists might totally wish. Great book.