The Three Body Problem

January 18, 2017


Shhhhh! The Universe is watching and It’s Dark Out There. That’s The Three Body Problem’s message; a book written by Cixin Liu.

For most Nerds The Three Body Problem is a classical Physics problem: Given masses, current position, and velocity of three bodies (a special case of the n-body problem) there is no way to analytically calculate the motion of these bodies.

The author takes this problem and crafts a spell-binding trilogy (The Three Body Problem is book one) starting with three Suns in erratic orbits causing chaos on the planet Trisolaris. Meanwhile a Chinese Scientist discovers a technique to broadcast RF throughout the Universe using the Sun as an amplifier, and of course Trisolarians receive the signal and respond or the story would be short and boring. They rejoice for they have found another inhabitable planet within 4 Light Years without the disastrous climate swings experienced by a planet in an erratic orbit around 3 Suns. What luck! Of course the Solarians set off to make the Earth their new home. However, since 4 Light Years is a long way off unless you can travel at the speed of light the Earthlings have several centuries to prepare for their coming. Well, the story marches on for seemingly eons of time with both adversaries gaining the advantage from time to time. And just to make the saga a little more interesting the Dark Universe weighs in from time to time.

When the tale has been told and all is said and done (Ecc.) the triology is about the fate of the Universe, not just Trisolaris and Eath.

The books provide the reader with many interesting hypotheses to ponder. For example, Einstein’s two Theories of Relativity declare the Speed of Light constant, but Time is not. Time slows down as gravity increases or relative velocity increases. That’s why clocks tick slower on GPS satellites and a theoretical Space Traveler would age less than their twin on the Earth. Does time slow down as the speed of light decreases? It does in Cixin Liu’s trilogy.

I wrote this review a couple of week’s ago and never did publish it — 70 year old memory? Yesterday I read an interview with President Obama in the NYT times. The subject of the interview was reading. In the article the President mentioned The Three Body Problem was one of his favorite books. How cool is that? Me and the President have something in common. Click Here to read the interview. Also, the review jogged my memory. Hey, I ought to publish my The Three Body Problemreview.

Remember, the Universe is watching and it’s Dark out there …

2016 the year that was

January 7, 2017

2016 was a good year for me. Turned 70. Traveled extensively, including New Zealand. Finally cruised Milford Sound, a dream for 30+ years! Hosted (the CCMGA) the Master Gardener State Conference. Learned how to use mixers, other A/V equipment, and produce videos operating the equipment for the Master Gardener Training Classes. Discovered iPhones don’t work well after a good cleaning by Maytag. Still waking up to “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” tune in my head; two year old Grandson is addicted to YouTube videos of the same.

Many people with the advent of a new year set goals, or generate New Year Resolutions or both. For myself a few weeks ago I read an interesting article this year advocating asking three questions insteads. Here goes my attempt.

Proud of this year

Exercised more than any year I can remember and did not suffer any exercise related injuries like I usually do. Most of the reason is I joined Orange Theory Fitness in June. Their program is an hour a day of intense interval training divided between threadmill, rowing machine, and weights with a diabolical trainer to guide you. Of course since I’m paying them for the privilege of sweating like a stuck pig I go almost everyday to get my money’s worth.

The CCMGA hosted the 2016 Texas Master Gardener State Conference. I helped develop the web site. Also pitched in an helped wherever I could at the Conference.

Lessons Learned

Don’t expect too much of other people, especially adults. Their Dance is unique shaped by everyone they’ve ever known usually very different than my Dance. In the end there is one Dance we’ll all have to do alone. Until then Dance on.

Rabbits eat pansies no matter what you treat them with. Just give up and live with a colorless landscape in the Winter.

What am I willing to let go of

I’m retired but still seem to have to much to do and not enough time to do it. Brings to mine an old quote “I’d give half my kingdom for a moment of time. Therefore, it makes sense I let go of something. But it’s hard, really hard. I’m not doing anything I can let go of – Family, Master Gardener, website development for volunteer groups, nerding out on my computer, etc. Okay, here goes a couple of things over the side of the boat:

  • Nerd like projects I’ve been spending time on including Learning Python, Migarating from Evernote, Developing a Mobile App and a couple of others I’ve been spending hour after hour banging away on my laptop
  • My garden plot