Sunday, January 25, 2009

Book Sale

There was another book sale at the local public library last week, and I made two trips down to check it out. The first trip wasn't very successful. An entire room, a relatively large room that's used for meetings and lectures, was used for the sale. The problem is that the room wasn't large enough for the crowd that showed up on the first day. The prices were cheap, which means that if you get lucky you can find something you're looking for, or even something you weren't but were pleasantly surprised to find, for no more than a few dollars.

During the first trip I searched around and picked up some art books, and the "The Da Vinci Enigma Tarot" by Caitlin Matthews. She's also the author of "Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom, Bride of God", which I have seen recommended before, but have yet to read. It's interesting, but it's missing two of the cards and had a few cards too many. I may try to use some of the excess cards, the internet, a printer, and some tape or glue to resolve that problem.

On the second trip, which was on the last day of the book sale, I was again lucky to find some interesting things. I say lucky, because the book fair lasts a week, and by the end of the week the selection is fairly picked over. Also to note on the last day, they let you stuff a bag with as many books as you can stuff, and you only spend a dollar for the whole lot. You can do this as many times as you like. I picked up three books (others with me picked up several more than three), and on average, I spent pennies for each. The first, "Inward Stillness", by George A. Maloney, S.J. This is a book about prayer and silence with a focus on the "inner" spiritual life. Second, a hardback copy of the Holy Bible, Old and New Testaments. It's red, with red-edged pages and gold-foil on the cover. It's quite nice. Lastly, a copy of the 1979 edition of the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church. Until recently this copy belonged to a small, but historic Episcopal church in the area. Lately I have developed quite an interest in the Episcopal Church, so I was glad to find this.

All things considered, the trips were productive, although I think they need a larger venue for the next sale. I look forward to delving into the selections I picked up, especially the Book of Common Prayer, if only to feed my curiousity.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Our World May Be a Giant Hologram

...or so says a very intresting article from NewScientist, located HERE. An excerpt:
According to Craig Hogan, a physicist at the Fermilab particle physics lab in Batavia, Illinois, GEO600 has stumbled upon the fundamental limit of space-time - the point where space-time stops behaving like the smooth continuum Einstein described and instead dissolves into "grains", just as a newspaper photograph dissolves into dots as you zoom in. "It looks like GEO600 is being buffeted by the microscopic quantum convulsions of space-time," says Hogan.

If this doesn't blow your socks off, then Hogan, who has just been appointed director of Fermilab's Center for Particle Astrophysics, has an even bigger shock in store: "If the GEO600 result is what I suspect it is, then we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram."

The idea that we live in a hologram probably sounds absurd, but it is a natural extension of our best understanding of black holes, and something with a pretty firm theoretical footing. It has also been surprisingly helpful for physicists wrestling with theories of how the universe works at its most fundamental level.
What's even more interesting is if you read this article and then read Philip K. Dick's "Cosmogony and Cosmology", which PKD wrote in 1978, over at the PTG.