Waves Passing in the Night

Walter Murch in the Land of the Astrophysicists

Author: Lawrence Weschler

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1632867206

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 176

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From Pulitzer Prize nominee Lawrence Weschler, a fascinating profile of Walter Murch, a film legend and amateur astrophysicist whose investigations could reshape our understanding of the universe. For film aficionados, Walter Murch is legendary--a three-time Academy Award winner, arguably the most admired sound and film editor in the world for his work on Apocalypse Now, The Godfather trilogy, The English Patient, and many others. Outside of the studio, his mind is wide-ranging; his passion, pursued for several decades, has been astrophysics, in particular the rehabilitation of Titius-Bode, a long-discredited 18th century theory regarding the patterns by which planets and moons array themselves in gravitational systems across the universe. Though as a consummate outsider he's had a hard time attracting any sort of comprehensive hearing from professional astrophysicists, Murch has made advances that even some of them find intriguing, including a connection between Titius Bode and earlier notions--going back past Kepler and Pythagorus--of musical harmony in the heavens. Unfazed by rejection, ever probing, Murch perseveres in the highest traditions of outsider science. Lawrence Weschler brings Murch's quest alive in all its seemingly quixotic, yet still plausible, splendor, probing the basis for how we know what we know, and who gets to say. "The wholesale rejection of alternative theories has repeatedly held back the progress of vital science," Weschler observes, citing early twentieth-century German amateur Alfred Wegener, whose speculations about continental drift were ridiculed at first, only to be accepted as fact decades later. Theoretical physicist Lee Smolin says "It is controversy that brings science alive"--and Murch's quest does that in spades. His fascination with the way the planets and their moons are arranged opens up the field of celestial mechanics for general readers, sparking an awareness of the vast and (to us) invisible forces constantly at play in the universe.

A Wanderer in the Perfect City

Selected Passion Pieces

Author: Lawrence Weschler

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780226893907

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 287

View: 6626

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“There is something both marvelous and hilarious,” writes Lawrence Weschler, “in watching the humdrum suddenly take flight. This is, in part, a collection of such launchings.” Indeed, the eight essays collected in A Wanderer in the Perfect City do soar into the realm of passion as Weschler profiles people who “were just moseying down the street one day, minding their own business, when suddenly and almost spontaneously, they caught fire, they became obsessed, they became intensely focused and intensely alive.” With keen observations and graceful prose, Weschler carries us along as a teacher of rudimentary English from India decides that his destiny is to promote the paintings of an obscure American abstract expressionist; a gifted poker player invents a more exciting version of chess; an avant-garde Russian émigré conductor speaks Latin, exclusively, to his infant daughter; and Art Spiegelman composes Maus. But simple summaries can’t do these stories justice: like music, they derive their character from digressions and details, cadence and tone. And like the upwelling of passion Weschler’s characters feel, they are better experienced than explained. “Weschler seems so hungry for life that the rest of us become hungry for him . . . a magician, a performer, and a scholar. All in one.”—from the Foreword by Pico Iyer “Weschler’s essays are exquisitely written—so perfectly and unobtrusively organized that one can’t imagine telling them a better way.” —New York Times Book Review “Weschler is the owner of a large dose of novelistic vision, and a particularly poetic set of ears, but . . . as important an endowment as a novelist’s eye or a poet’s ear is still the journalistic nose which led him down the proverbial alley.”—National Post (Canada) “Weschler is a thoughtful observer and a superb storyteller.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

Everything that Rises

A Book of Convergences

Author: Lawrence Weschler

Publisher: McSweeney's

ISBN: N.A

Category: Art

Page: 232

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From a cuneiform tablet to a Chicago prison, from the depths of the cosmos to the text on our T-shirts, art historian and journalist Lawrence Weschler finds strange connections wherever he looks. The farther one travels (through geography, through art, through science, through time), the more everything seems to converge -- at least, it does through Weschler's giddy, brilliant eyes. Weschler combines his keen insights into art (both contemporary and Renaissance), his years of experience as a chronicler of the fall of Communism, and his triumphs and failures as the father of a teenage girl into a series of essays that are sure to illuminate, educate, and astound.

Maverick Genius

The Pioneering Odyssey of Freeman Dyson

Author: Phillip F. Schewe

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0312642350

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 339

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A definitive portrait of the scientific visionary who has influenced fields ranging from quantum physics and national defense to space and religion describes his relationships with leading world thinkers and documents his contributions to nuclear rocket technology, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and other world-changing endeavors. 40,000 first printing.

Mr. Wilson's Cabinet Of Wonder

Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Techno logy

Author: Lawrence Weschler

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307833984

Category: Social Science

Page: 192

View: 2614

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Finalist for Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction Finalist for National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction Pronged ants, horned humans, a landscape carved on a fruit pit--some of the displays in David Wilson's Museum of Jurassic Technology are hoaxes. But which ones? As he guides readers through an intellectual hall of mirrors, Lawrence Weschler revisits the 16th-century "wonder cabinets" that were the first museums and compels readers to examine the imaginative origins of both art and science.

Bright Boys

The Making of Information Technology

Author: Tom Green

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1439865221

Category: Mathematics

Page: 320

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Everything has a beginning. None was more profound—and quite as unexpected—than Information Technology. Here for the first time is the untold story of how our new age came to be and the bright boys who made it happen. What began on the bare floor of an old laundry building eventually grew to rival in size the Manhattan Project. The unexpected consequence of that journey was huge---what we now know as Information Technology. For sixty years the bright boys have been totally anonymous while their achievements have become a way of life for all of us. “Bright Boys” brings them home. By 1950 they’d built the world’s first real-time computer. Three years later they one-upped themselves when they switched on the world’s first digital network. In 1953 their work was met with incredulity and completely overlooked. By 1968 their work was gospel. Today, it’s the way of the world. Special Foreword by Jay W. Forrester Includes notes by chapter, bibliography, index, and portfolio of archival photography. Tom Green talks about his book in a recent video available on YouTube.

Iran

Stuck in Transition

Author: Anoushiravan Ehteshami

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1351985450

Category: Political Science

Page: 310

View: 5489

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Having been ruled, more or less continuously, by a range of monarchical dynasties for three millennia, the end of the monarchy in Iran was relatively sudden, taking place in two short years. Since then, Iran has gone through tumultuous change, yet is still apparently caught in a cycle of transition. Iran has now created a complex but unique and non-transferrable system of government, but the question to be asked is whether the Islamic republic has lived up to its founding expectations, serving the Iranian people and helping them to realize their aspirations. This book is the first comprehensive analytical study of the forces which have been shaping and changing modern Iran and its relations with the rest of the world. It looks at the roots of the 1979 revolution and the forces unleashed during the modernization process under the Pahlavi monarchy. Applying a range of theoretical approaches to understanding the Islamic republic’s neo-authoritarian political system, Anoushiravan Ehteshami reflects on how the country’s new elite emerged and how these new political forces have changed Iran, the stresses on its political system, the forces shaping the country’s political economy, and the Islamic republic’s international relations. As some of Iran's leaders appear to crave permanent revolution as their means of staying in power, this book argues that the struggle for the soul of the Islamic Republic has mired the country in a cycle of change: Constant reform and transition. The republic finds itself stuck in transition. Written in a clear and insightful manner, this book provides an unparalleled analysis of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a major regional actor and gives fresh insights into the political workings of the world’s only Shia, and revolutionary, Islamic republic. It will be of great importance to students and scholars of Middle East Politics and International Relations, as well as the policy community whose gaze is never too far from this unique country.

Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees

Expanded Edition

Author: Lawrence Weschler

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520256093

Category: Art

Page: 310

View: 1545

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"Robert Irwin, perhaps the most influential of the California artists, moved from his beginnings in abstract expressionism through successive shifts in style and sensibility, into a new aesthetic territory altogether, one where philosophical concepts of perception and the world interact. Weschler has charted the journey with exceptional clarity and cogency. He has also, in the process, provided what seems to me the best running history of postwar West Coast art that I have yet seen."—Calvin Tomkins

Vermeer in Bosnia

Selected Writings

Author: Lawrence Weschler

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0679777407

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 412

View: 1377

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More than twenty short works by the Pulitzer Prize-finalist author of Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder include a profile of film director Roman Polanski, a furniture designer's struggles with Parkinson's disease, and David Hockney's unusual experiments with photography. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.

Urban Shocker

Silent Hero of Baseball's Golden Age

Author: Steve Steinberg

Publisher: U of Nebraska Press

ISBN: 1496200950

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 352

View: 1245

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Baseball in the 1920s is most known for Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees, but there was another great Yankee player in that era whose compelling story remains untold. Urban Shocker was a fiercely competitive and colorful pitcher, a spitballer who had many famous battles with Babe Ruth before returning to the Yankees. Shocker was traded away to the St. Louis Browns in 1918 by Yankees manager Miller Huggins, a trade Huggins always regretted. In 1925, after four straight seasons with at least twenty wins with the hapless Browns, Shocker became the only player Huggins brought back to the Yankees. He finally reached the World Series, with the 1926 Yankees. In the Yankees' storied 1927 season, widely viewed to be the best in MLB history, Shocker pitched with guts and guile, finishing with a record of 18‑6 even while his fastball and physical skills were deserting him. Hardly anyone knew that Shocker was suffering from an incurable heart disease that left him able to sleep only while sitting up and which would take his life in less than a year. With his physical skills diminishing, he continued to win games through craftiness and well-placed pitches. Delving into Shocker's baseball career, his love of the game, and his battle with heart disease, Steve Steinberg shows the dominant and courageous force that he was.

Uncanny Valley

Adventures in the Narrative

Author: Lawrence Weschler

Publisher: Catapult

ISBN: 1582438412

Category: Social Science

Page: 319

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Shuttling between cultural comedies and political tragedies, Lawrence Weschlers articles have throughout his long career intrigued readers with his unique insight into everything he examines, from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Uncanny Valley continues the page-turning conversation as Weschler collects the best of his narrative nonfiction from the past fifteen years. The title piece surveys the hapless efforts of digital animators to fashion a credible human face, the endlessly elusive gold standard of the profession. Other highlights include profiles of novelist Mark Salzman, as he wrestles with a hilariously harrowing bout of writers block; the legendary film and sound editor Walter Murch, as he is forced to revisit his work on Apocalypse Now in the context of the more recent Iraqi war film Jarhead; and the artist Vincent Desiderio, as he labors over an epic canvas portraying no less than a dozen sleeping figures. With his signature style and endless ability to wonder, Weschler proves yet again that the “world is strange, beautiful, and connected (The Globe and Mail).Uncanny Valley demonstrates his matchless ability to analyze the marvels he finds in places and people and offers us a new, sublime way of seeing the world.

Your Brain's Politics

How the Science of Mind Explains the Political Divide

Author: George Lakoff,Elisabeth Wehling

Publisher: Andrews UK Limited

ISBN: 1845409248

Category: Psychology

Page: 141

View: 2438

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At first glance, issues like economic inequality, healthcare, climate change, and abortion seem unrelated. However, when thinking and talking about them, people reliably fall into two camps: conservative and liberal. What explains this divide? Why do conservatives and liberals hold the positions they do? And what is the conceptual nature of those who decide elections, commonly called the "political middle"? The answers are profound. They have to do with how our minds and brains work. Political attitudes are the product of what cognitive scientists call Embodied Cognition — the grounding of abstract thought in everyday world experience. Clashing beliefs about how to run nations largely arise from conflicting beliefs about family life: conservatives endorse a strict father and liberals a nurturant parent model. So-called "middle" voters are not in the middle at all. They are morally biconceptual, divided between both models, and as a result highly susceptible to moral political persuasion. In this brief introduction, Lakoff and Wehling reveal how cognitive science research has advanced our understanding of political thought and language, forcing us to revise common folk theories about the rational voter.

A New History of Documentary Film

Author: Jack C. Ellis,Betsy A. McLane

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 9780826417510

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 385

View: 5190

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This history of documentary film concentrates mainly on the output of the film industries in the US, the UK and Canada. The authors outline the origins of the form and trace its development over the next several decades. Each chapter concludes with a list of the key documentaries in that time period or genre.

Robin

Author: Dave Itzkoff

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1627794255

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 400

View: 1811

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From New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff, the definitive biography of Robin Williams – a compelling portrait of one of America’s most beloved and misunderstood entertainers. From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. He often came across as a man possessed, holding forth on culture and politics while mixing in personal revelations – all with mercurial, tongue-twisting intensity as he inhabited and shed one character after another with lightning speed. But as Dave Itzkoff shows in this revelatory biography, Williams’s comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt, which he drew upon in his comedy and in celebrated films like Dead Poets Society; Good Morning, Vietnam; The Fisher King; Aladdin; and Mrs. Doubtfire, where he showcased his limitless gift for improvisation to bring to life a wide range of characters. And in Good Will Hunting he gave an intense and controlled performance that revealed the true range of his talent. Itzkoff also shows how Williams struggled mightily with addiction and depression – topics he discussed openly while performing and during interviews – and with a debilitating condition at the end of his life that affected him in ways his fans never knew. Drawing on more than a hundred original interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, as well as extensive archival research, Robin is a fresh and original look at a man whose work touched so many lives.

Osawatomie

Author: Randy Michael Signor

Publisher: MCP Books

ISBN: 9781635055672

Category: Fiction

Page: 222

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'Osawatomie'' comprises three interwoven stories centered in the small Kansas town beginning in 1854 with a young woman's choices, choices that reverberate more than a century. This is the story of two people coming of age a century apart and yet are joined by a secret that itself contains a secret. The story begins in the early days of Bloody Kansas, when the Kansas Territory hosted the first true battles of what would become the Civil War six years later. Their stories reach across time from the small town's settlement to its centennial celebration and to the early Sixties and the election of President Kennedy.

Science and Art Symposium 2000

3Superscriptrd/Superscript International Conference on Flow Interaction of Science and Art with Exhibition/Lectures on Interaction of Science & Art, 28.2 - 3.3 2000 at the ETH Zurich

Author: Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9780792363583

Category: Art

Page: 342

View: 7559

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This book promotes the interdisciplinary work between science and art; in the present volume specifically the interaction of fluid dynamics and video art. It suggests how both disciplines can profit from each other without loss of professionality in either field. Both disciplines are described in their own language. The contributions in fluid mechanics are from internationally well-known scientists, and the topics range from fractal laminar flows in the lung to astrophysical processes. Turbulence, vortex dynamics, bio-fluid dynamics as well as issues in magnetohydromechanics and topological fluid dynamics compete with more than a dozen artworks by known Dutch and Swiss video artists. The catalogue of the exhibition incorporated in the book illustrates how artistic creativity can profit from scientific results, and how scientists can learn from artists how to present their thoughts and ideas.

Boggs

A Comedy of Values

Author: Lawrence Weschler

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226893969

Category: Art

Page: 175

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Boggs: A Comedy of Values teases out these transactions and their sometimes dramatic legal consequences, following Boggs on a larkish, though at the same time disconcertingly profound, econo-philosophic chase. For in a madcap Socratic fashion, Boggs is raising all sorts of truly fundamental questions - what is it that we value in art, or, for that matter, in money? Indeed, how do we place a value on anything at all? And in particular, why do we, why should we, how can we place such trust in anything as confoundingly insubstantial as paper money?

Earth Sound Earth Signal

Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts

Author: Douglas Kahn

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520257553

Category: Art

Page: 330

View: 7195

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Earth Sound Earth Signal is a study of energies in aesthetics and the arts, from the birth of modern communications in the nineteenth century to the global transmissions of the present day. Grounded in the Aeolian sphere music that Henry David Thoreau heard blowing in telegraph lines and in the Aelectrosonic sounds of natural radio that Thomas Watson heard in telephone lines, the book moves through the histories of science, media, music, and the arts to the 1960s, when the composer Alvin Lucier worked with the ""natural electromagnetic sounds"" present from ""brainwaves to outer.