Happy New Year. Happy 2017. May the New Year bring us all good health and good tidings.

imagesJanuary being the first month of the year, I suppose it is incumbent on me (actually, I’m already lying down) to do a Bumbastories Walk thru the Numbers or Mathematics for Dummies sort of thing for the number 1. I’ve already covered all the numerals – except for the 1 and for the 0. And that’s because they are the hardest ones (oops) to discuss. One, after all, is all the numbers. All the numbers are multiples of the one. One is the whole enchilada. One is the All. One can be divided endlessly into pieces that we call fractions, and one can one be added and multiplied to infinity. There’s always room for one more. Currently, in our current incarnations, we are aware of only one universe. We are rapidly approaching (thanks to Newton and Einstein et. al.) a fuller understanding of its universal laws. It is quite possible, indeed it looks likely, that there are other, multiple universes. Yikes, I say. Personally, I only know this one universe, this one earth, this one magnificent place, this one magnificent life.


January Magazine Science Corner

I know, I know. You don’t want to hear another of Bumba’s or George Packard’s long-winded science discussions, the glory of the laws of physics, the mystery of numbers, yadda yadda yadda. Well, tough. because here comes a rewiew of Neil DeGrasse Tyson and  Donald Goldsmith’s 2001 book Cosmos: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey-dvd-669_1000

I must admit. I am a fan of these sorts of books. And a fan of all those PBS science shows! So I’m familiar with Neil De Grasse Tyson and his hyphenated name and enthusiastic presentations. I think Neil is great. And he does a wonderful job, together with Donald Goldsmith, who is also an accomplished writer of science books, to attempt to explain modern astrophysics and cosmology to the general public.

It’s a terrific book. It strives to provide us non-scientists with some kind of understanding of the modern physicists’s current picture of the cosmos. It can get a bit technical, and you do need to know a bit about science, but it’s worth the effort because the subject matter is just so interesting. The ultimate questions – How did the universe begin? What is our universe made of? How did it get there? Why does it look the way it does? Where are we going? These questions are now somewhat answerable and subject to actual empirical scrutiny. Thanks to computers and modern technology/resources, we now have information about the far reaches of space (as well as from the inside of atoms). Cosmology is no longer speculative. Hubble photographs and info from recent space probes are presented in this book and explained. The writing, the language of Cosmos is clear and succinct throughout. Thumbs up!


Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out. Sing Along. (What, again!)

Written in 1923 by Jimmie Cox, Nobody Knows you was recorded first in 1923. In 1929 it was a hit for the great Bessie Smith. the sung’s been sung and performed by many since, including Leadbelly, Nina Simone and Eric Clapton. Me and Maybank like to do it too. Sing along.

Once I lived the life of a millionaire
Spendin’ my money, I didn’t care
I carried my friends out for a good time
Buying bootleg liquor, champagne and wine

Then I began to fall so low
I didn’t have a friend and no place to go
So if I ever get my hand on a dollar again
I’m gonna hold on to it till them eagle’s grin

Nobody knows you
When you’re down and out
In my pocket not one penny
And my friends, I haven’t any

But if I ever get on my feet again
Then I’ll meet my long lost friend
It’s mighty strange without a doubt
Nobody knows you when you’re down and out
I mean when you’re down and out

When you’re down and out, not one penny
And my friends, I haven’t any and I felt so low
Nobody wants me ’round their door

Without a doubt
No man can use you when you’re down and out
I mean when you’re down and out