The Universe As a Science Fair Project

EinsteinThe Physicist As Novelist

Alan Lightman is a science-guy who writes books. Good books. Full of science books. But not all science books.

Lightman’s early novel, Einstein’s Dreams, fictionalizes Albert Einstein as a young scientist troubled by dreams as he develops his theory of relativity. Each of the chapters represents one dream. Each dream focuses on a different concept of time. The dreams vary from reasonable, although exaggerated, representations of relativity to some highly imaginative fantasies, but they all demonstrate the relationship a human being has to time. Einstein’s Dreams won’t make you a physicist but it does represent a very interesting amalgam of science and literature. If you haven’t read it, please do.

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Who knocks big monsters dead on their knees?

Alley OopThis came to me via The Daily Kos. Snopes rated the exhibits as “probably true” but there are a few items on these sheets that make me question their authenticity. I want to believe this is legitimate but I wonder: Would you title your quiz, “4th Grade Science Quiz”? Why would a quiz on “Dinosaurs: Genesis and the Gospel” ask a question from the Book of Job? And doesn’t the whole quiz, even with missing questions, smack of profiling the religious right, hitting all the good progressive talking points? Even if the points are true, they still seem a little too easy. But then I stop myself and recall that this is a church school in South Carolina and conclude that rational thinking is not expected of me. It just might be valid.

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