Women Watching Stars (1936) at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo
Ota Chou Women Observing Stars (1936). Ink on paper.
This really compositionally interesting because you can see the women are in traditional kimono with the short bobbed hair. This telescope depicted here happens to be the one at the National Museum of Nature and Science. So all and all they are modern because of their hair and are learning/inquisitive science. All very modern but still reserves of the traditional because of their clothing. TALK ABOUT MIXED MESSAGING FOR THE MODERN WOMAN!!! Though for the record most Japanese women by this time and especially after the 1924 quake would have had experiences with Western clothes and hairstyles. Fun Fact:This was made into a stamp in the 90’s.
Here’s Sin-Itiro Tomonaga and Hideki Yukawa, Nobel-winning nuclear physicists. I’m reading this book about physics and stuff* and she mentions Tomonaga alongside Dirac and Feynman as the developers of the quantum mechanical theory of the photon and I’d never heard of him so I looked him up, and he was BFFs with Yukawa so I read about him too.
Tomonaga’s work helped lay the foundation of quantum electrodynamics, or QED. QED is about how light (photons) and matter (electrons) interact. At the scale we live on, we can describe how something gets from point A to point B exactly, but on a quantum scale, the closest we can get is watching something get from point A to point B over and over and over, and seeing how probable it is to go a particular way, and adding up all those probabilities using very complicated numbers. Here’s a gif of all the ways light can bounce off a mirror:
Yukawa predicted the existence of the meson, a kind of sub-atomic particle that exists only very very briefly before decaying into electrons or neutrinos or photons. Mesons transmit the nuclear force, which holds the protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei together. (Throw in some electrons and you have a complete atom—oxygen or iron or potassium or whatever, all the elements of our world.) Here is a gif showing a pi-meson, or pion, doing its thing:
Anyway, there you go. I am not a physicist and don’t understand these things on a very deep level, but as far as I know that is kind of what they did.
* Warped Passages (2005) by Lisa Randall
Jenny and Madame Vastra by Mudron
Inspired by Utagawa Toyokuni’s Tale of the Genji and Kuniyoshi’s “47 Ronin” print series.
Swordsmiths forge “Spear of Longinus” from Evangelion anime
The replica of “Spear of Longinus” that appeared in “Neon Genesis Evangelion” anime has been forged. The sword/spear remained faithful in looks to the original and measures 3.3 m (over 10 feet).
The sword display will be available to the public from July 2012 at the Bizen Osafune Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture Museum of swords (Osafune). The former township of Osafune is best known as the home of some of the most skilled swordsmiths in Japanese history.
The Evangelion exhibit will run from July 14 to September 17. The same museum hosted an exhibit with the weapons and armor from the Sengoku Basara game last summer, and 20,000 visitors (mostly young people) visited.
Ok, that’s completely CRACKTASTIC and I can’t even be upset with it.
Welp, when you get skewered on THAT, you STAY skewered.
“The pointy halves goes into the other man.”
hang that on your wall, nerds
this fills me with too much joy
QUICK, MOVE THAT TO THE SIDE OR KITTIES WILL VANISH!!
For X, with <3
Amazon.com: Some reviewers are calling 1Q84 a dystopian novel, no doubt because of the title. Is this the correct entry point for the reader, in your opinion? You don’t strike me as an overtly political writer.
Murakami: I don’t think of this novel as a “utopia” or a “dystopia.” Since you brought that up, this world itself in which we live is a “dystopia.” Right now I’m writing this in the lounge of an airport in Hawaii, and the airport’s security check is definitely an Orwellian world, an extreme dystopia. If you don’t take off your belt, remove your shoes, put your chewing gum through the scanner, raise both arms and turn around, you can’t board the plane. In response to this, none of the airport personnel give you a word of thanks. And we have to pay such high air fares… When the real world operates this way, why would you have to write a “dystopian novel” that goes even farther?
Whatever I write is nothing more than a personal retelling of my personal history. The world that comes from having rewritten history in this way is a world that isn’t particularly happy or unhappy. You could say it’s real, you could say it’s me. That’s how I interpret it.
Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997, Chinese-born American physicist, whose nicknames included the “First Lady of Physics”, “Chinese Marie Curie,” and “Madame Wu”) came up with a truly beautiful experiment to test whether the weak force conserves parity (whether beta decay would be the same if reflected in the mirror). In my print on the left I show Mme. Wu in her lab and a schematic diagram in the box of her beautiful experiment in the box. On the right I show her reflection, as in the mirror, and in the box I show the mirror reflection of the experimental set-up and the shocking result, that the reaction is not the mirror opposite. The print is in an edition of 10 printed on ivory Japanese kozo (or mulberry) paper, 12.3 inches by 12.5 inches (31.2 cm by 31.8 cm).
In 1956, theoretical physicists Tsung Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang suggested that perhaps the weak force might not be the same ‘through the looking-glass’. The idea that the “Law of Conservation of Parity” might be broken was hard to believe. The laws of physics are the same in the mirror for anything else. Face a friend, as in the mirror. If you drop a pencil from your right hand, and your friend mirrors you and drops a pencil with his or her left, the pencils will fall at the same rate. This is because Parity is conserved by the force of gravity - as it is with the electromagnetic force and even the strong (nuclear) force within atomic nuclei. Lee and Yang pointed out that no one had checked to make sure that the weak force, which controls beta decay in radioactive materials, also conserves parity. Lee convinced the brilliant experimentalist to test this.
Madame Wu did a subtle and technically difficult experiment will her collaborators which is shown schematically in the print. She took Cobalt-60 (shown as the cobalt blue sphere in the box), which is radioactive. Its neutrons spontaneously give off electrons and become protons. The electrons are the tiny blue dots. On the left, we see that the Cobalt-60 in an electromagnet (a wire wrapped metal horseshoe with a source of power). Because of the spiral-wrap of the wire, we know that the North pole of the magnet will be on the bottom (you can figure this out by mimicking the curl of the wire with the fingers of your right hand and look at the direction your thumb points). It turns out that the emitted electrons are given off preferentially towards the North pole.
Next, she reversed the set-up as in the mirror. On the right you see the horseshoe and wire spiral reflected. If you use your right hand to check the direction of the magnet field, you’ll see that it is the opposite way; the North pole is now on the top. It turns out that the electrons are preferentially emitted upwards toward the North pole. Thus, beta decay IS NOT the same in the mirror! Madame Wu showed that a “Law” of physics did not hold! This result was staggering and shocked the physics world. Lee and Yang won the Nobel prize for their theoretical work. Many physicists thought Mme. Wu should have been included in this win.
- minouette on etsy, via joellesoswell
this artist has a lot of great science-related prints! I chose to post this particular one in the hope that I will eventually understand it.
Oh man, how have I never heard of this lady?! I know right now everyone is fussing about those neutrinos and whatnot—thanks to her experiment we actually did have to re-write the laws of physics.
From UCLA’s Women in Physics pages:
Chien-Shiung Wu is said to have said,
“There is only one thing worse than coming home from the lab to a sink full of dirty dishes, and that is not going to the lab at all.”
And Wikipedia tells me she has an asteroid named after her.
In The Cage of Zeus (out now from Haikasoru), a terrorist group targets a society of genetically engineered intersex people, the Rounds, aboard a space station orbiting Jupiter. Charles Tan interviews the author, Sayuri Ueda.
One recurring theme in Japanese fiction is perceiving space as the future of humanity. Do you share in this belief?
Space is such an alluring world. I doubt we’ll ever give up the journey toward space and will continue to set its sights on faraway planets, no matter what the challenge.
But the future of humanity doesn’t lie in space alone. It’s hard for me to believe that a people that haven’t been able to find a future on Earth could ever forge a future in space. In fact, those two missions are one and the same. You could say that our readiness to embark into space is being tested in our daily lives and in the values of contemporary society.
In the excerpt you can see that the translator uses Spivak pronouns. Interesting.
“Safer to get rid of something one didn’t understand”: Shinichi Hoshi’s “He-y, Come On Ou-t!”
The last of these Caveman Science Fiction comics reminded me of a story I read a long time ago, and after a bit of Googling learned it was “He-y, Come On Ou-t!” by Japanese sf author Shinichi Hoshi (1926-1997), a prolific author of “short-short” stories.
Not that I condone copyright violation *cough*, but here’s the full story. When an old village shrine is wrecked by a tsunami, the villagers find a mysterious, seemingly bottomless hole, and call in the experts…
The scientist contacted people at his laboratory and had them bring out a high-powered bull horn, with which he was going to check out the echo from the hole’s bottom. He tried switching through various sounds, but there was no echo. The scientist was puzzled, but he could not very well give up with everyone watching him so intently. He put the bull horn right up to the hole, turned it to its highest volume, and let it sound continuously for a long time. It was a noise that would have carried several dozen kilometers above ground. But the hole just calmly swallowed up the sound.
In his own mind the scientist was at a loss, but with a look of apparent composure he cut off the sound and, in a manner suggesting that the whole thing had a perfectly plausible explanation, said simply, “Fill it in.”
…The concessionaire had his cohorts mount a loud campaign in the city. “We’ve got a fabulously deep hole! Scientists say it’s at least five thousand meters deep! Perfect for the disposal of such things as waste from nuclear reactors.”
Government authorities granted permission. Nuclear power plants fought for contracts. The people of the village were a bit worried about this, but they consented when it was explained that there would be absolutely no above-ground contamination for several thousand years and that they would share in the profits. Into the bargain, very shortly a magnificent road was built from the city to the village…
To my glee, there’s a UK-produced short film based on the story.
P. S. X. adds there’s a similar bit in a Discword book—anyone know which one?