Welcome to this Monday’ s Monday Magazine.
This week’s Mag features a Seasonal Update, an AISOTB, a Science Section, an Art Section…..etc etc
Hey, it’s September 22! YIKES! It’s Autumn. Summer is over apparently. (Here in California, though, we’re not so sure this summer will ever end). Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year is upon us. Wednesday night! YIKEs again! Time flies. YIKES!
A Happy, Sweet New Year to all!
Bumbastories would like to remind all readers that all contributions, submissions, and suggestions to the AISOTB section are welcome, and that contributions can reference not only buses, but all forms of mass transportation, i.e., trains, ferries, monorails, bicycles etc.
As I sat on the train I said to myself, “Drat! It’s Monday already and I still haven’t completed the Monday Magazine. This As I Sat on the Train will have to be a quickie.
The subject of this train report is the Los Angeles subway, and, let me tell you, those trains sure are quick!
To paraphrase Herman Melville, “Thar’ she blows!”
And “Thar she goes!”
Note from the Editor: If you remember, last week in the Magazine, Bumbastories promised to provide an update on Max Born’s 1962 book, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. This book review was supposed to be written by our roving reporter and retired science teacher, George Packard. However when this editor handed Packard the assignment, he suggested I do it myself. “It’ll do you a lot of good,” he told me, as he walked out the door of the Bumbastories newsroom. The son of a gun had a smile on his face.
So, this editor has been left holding the bag. The Max Born book is a good one, but somewhat awkward in its presentations of the math, a bit hard to follow, at least for me. I quickly realized I needed to return to the fundamentals. Again! It seems I’m always at the beginning. But how could I ever hope to understand Relativity and Quantum Physics if I didn’t even understand Galileo’s planks and pendulums? (Not to mention Max Planck’s plancks and plenckulums!).
Back to Galileo I went. Back to1638. Galileo insisted we look at nature (to perform careful experiments) to determine the quantitative relationship between force and motion. Upon close examination, Aristotle’s system was inadequate. Contrary to Aristotle, motion does not require the constant application of a force, said Galileo. Things will keep on moving on their own once impelled by a force. The law of inertia was set forth. As Born insightfully points out, Galileo was able to realize that friction, which retards motion to varying degrees, is a secondary, incidental effect. To quote Planck, “It is just this intuition, which correctly differentiates what is essential in an occurence from disturbing subsidiary efects, that characterizes the great scientist.”
The concept of acceleration, the change in velocity over time, was studied in nature (via experiment, via Galileo’s polished wooden planks and shiny marbles), Acceleration was described algebraically. as a function of time (The planks enabled Galileo to slow down the velocity of falling objects so as to be able to measure the time elapsed as they fell through measured space).
Interestingly, Galileo was quite aware of the boldness of his new experiential or “scientific” approach. At the outset of his 1638 Discourse on The Two New Sciences, he takes pains to point out that predictions made by Aristotle’s and Euclid’s idealized reality – a world of perfectly straight lines with no thickness) – can take us very far, but can be contrary to what we perceive with our senses. A revision of the Aristotilian view was in order. Indeed, ever since Galileo got the ball rolling (down the plank) science has continually altered and refined its models to accomodate new evidence.
Editor’s Note: This editor will be working in the coming weeks on getting a better handle on fundamental physics. It’s a noble quest and a journalistic responsibilty as well. Let those marbles roll down those plancks….er planks!
ARTS SECTION: NEW NOVEL RELEASED
The buzz in the World of Art is all about the release of Stephen Baum’s second novel One Life or The Lives of Chester Knowles. And then there’s that bit of confusion regarding Baum’s third release, The Phantom Speaks or More in the Lives of Chester Knowles, which was also released last week. Which should we read first?
In an attempt to shed some light on the matter, Bumbastories presents a brief excerpt from our exclusive interview with the author conducted just yesterday at his home in Los Angeles.
INTERVIEWER: Well, Sr. Baum, I’ve looked at The Phantom Speaks and it surely is a cute and entertaining little book. But shouldn’t I read One Life first?
BAUM: The answer is yes. It’s only logical to read the first book, One Life or The Lives of Chester Knowles first and then to read the sequel…..
INTERVIEWER: I’ve noticed that in One Life, an obsession with logic is a characteristic of many of your characters…..
BAUM: Huh? Well, nobody’s perfect. However, I do like for things to make sense. That’s why Bumba is selling the two books together for the price of one. Just check it out on Bumba Books.