Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass

My mind does not work scientifically, though it is, to both my delight and dismay, highly nonlinear. This is why I love books about science such as Chaos: Making A New Science and why I generally find scientists adorable (see The Absent-Minded Professor for a classic example).

I read the The New York Times' Science Times section faithfully, and yesterday found, in an article about glass (a puzzling substance that is neither solid nor liquid) a quotation from Peter Harrowell, a professor of chemistry at Australia's University of Sydney whom I now adore sight unseen. He wondered whether one theory could cover all glasses, since glasses are defined not by a common characteristic they possess, but rather a common characteristic they lack: order. There could, of course, be many reasons order is thwarted.

“If I showed you a room without an elephant in the room, the question ‘Why is there not an elephant in the room?’ is not a well-posed question,” Dr. Harrowell said.

But doesn't every room have an elephant in it?

Post title from Nick Lowe's shattering song, available on the recently reissued Jesus of Cool.

(Photo found, appropriately, in a post about divas at Dirty Martini.)

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