Thursday, November 22, 2007

Across space and time.

There was a time I call my "quantum physics period." I enjoyed contemplating observations made of the micro world of particles and waves and wondering what if things seen there might apply to our macro world. The idea of nonlocality being my favorite idea to ponder; the thought that particles which once shared a common experience or connection somehow were forever joined, no matter how widely they may have become separated over space and time.

That's where it gets tricky for the old school of science, because particles sharing such a relationship in the world of quantum physics--even if on opposite ends of the universe--can react to one another instantaneously, violating the established speed limit of traditional physics. (Ok, ok, that's a layman's take on it, or "the quantum world according to Dada.")

But what if the micro world of the quantum's has implications for the larger macro world we all inhabit? For example, when thinking of someone you haven't seen in years and years, someone of whom you may have totally lost track, do you ever wonder if at that very same time you're thinking about them, they may be thinking of you?

That's what I'll be doing more of than usual this Thanksgiving day, thinking of people I haven't seen or heard from in almost half a century and wondering if they're thinking of me at the same time.

It'll start by a memory of standing in a hallway outside my girlfriend's 11 o'clock class. Of a stranger who approached us with a fantastic question we did not know the answer to. Of leaving my girlfriend there and going off to lunch in the university cafeteria, of the announcement in the middle of that lunch that resulted in the sudden dropping of forks and knives on plates as gasps and sobs resounded throughout the dining hall immediately after the words came over the speakers: "President John F. Kennedy died at approximately 1 p.m. Central Standard Time today here in Dallas. He died of a gunshot wound in the brain."

And I'll remember some of the faces and places that ensued in the days that followed. Most of those people not seen in almost half a century, nor thought of in a year. And I'll wonder if the laws of the quantum apply to the world of the macro on this Thanksgiving day, the 44th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Happy Thanksgiving all!


D.K. Raed said...

I was in Jr High (no boyfriends yet). They broadcast live coverage over the school PA system. We walked like zombies from class to class, listening to the PA. Teachers were crying. When they announced he'd died, I was in Home Ec. The head of the girl in front me slumped into her Singer Sewing Machine & she lost consciousness. As we were helping her up, some twit behind me announced, "I don't care if he died; I'm a republican". I certainly wouldn't want to know what SHE is thinking today (or any other day), but I believe that moment was the symbolic beginning of the great divide.

You know, there is usually much memorial coverage & archive footage shown on this sad anniversary. I don't want to say what I'm thinking as to why.

Hope the Dada family Thanksgiving is scrumptous: eat too much, drink too much, watch football! I'll have a couple extra turkey drumsticks available for drop-in guests.

fran said...

I was 5 years old when Kennedy was assassinated.
I remember wanting to watch *romper room*, and finding every channel broadcasting the same coverage of the funeral- and never experiencing that before. I remember the solemn horse drawn funeral cortage procession, and the famous salute by "Jon Jon" Kennedy, his young son. I was too young to really understand what had happened.
Later, the retrospective coverage of the sorrowful event, made me understand the enormity of it.
Looking back, it seems like a real turning point in history. They still show footage of anchorman Walter Cronkite taking off the big black eyeglasses, choking up, trying to hold back tears while delivering the news that President Kennedy had been killed.
The Camelot era fairytale had become a nightmare. A photo of Jackie on the Presidential plane, Airforce One, standing in her blood covered coat, next to Johnson while he was hurridly sworn in as President.

DK- What a horror to have that student make the I don't care remark- right when it happened & another kid was in a medical crisis. Jeez!
I can see how you adopted the *not much interested in your opinion* philosophy.

Anyway, Kennedy may have been the last great President we had, and who knows what actually transpired- in any case his life was taken, and the course of history was changed forever. If anything it is a really disturbing part of US History.

Well- I hope you can take that quantum leap from then to now, and on this day find things that you are thankful for, despite the overwhelming big picture scenario. I am thankful for your insight & sarcastic humor. = >

eProf2 said...

Thanks, Dada, for your commentaries and travelogues on this Thanksgiving Day.

I was 23, sitting in my 11:00 am English class at City College San Francisco when the professor announced the shooting and death of JFK. He would not let us leave the classroom as he thought we would only be adding to the telephone and traffic jams across the nation and around the world. I remember mostly sitting on the couch at home that weekend and not really comprehending what had taken place, even though I had studied the assassination of Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinly in my history classes. This was a living history unfolding right in my living room on the black and white television screen.

Unbelievable events! And, where did 44 years go?

You might want to catch the film, Lions for Lambs. Lots of food for thought on today's politics of war, coming of age, race relations, friendships, teaching, and contemporary journalism.

Since this is the beginning of the holiday season, I wish for you what you wish for yourself in these times. Don't eat too much turkey!

dada said...

I want to thank each of you, D.K., Fran, and eProf for sharing memories of where you were and what you were doing 44 years ago this weekend. I really enjoyed reading each, taken from the varying ages and experiences (especially our younger commenters here, huh, eProf?) And, yes, where have the 44 years gone?

While I knew you were young, Fran, I didn't realize you were of "Jon Jon's" generation. Perhaps his loss in a plane crash was a particularly powerful moment for you? (I just assumed, if /when he ever decided, young John could have gone into and been very successful at politics.)

And while I was in the generation twixt JFK and his son (much like eProf), I look back on that moment as more than the assassination of Kennedy. It was the assassination of my youthful naiveté as well. (And lest prone to forget, I was sharply reminded, not once, but twice 4 1/2 years later in the spring of '68.)

There was a resident in our Fresno State dorm who was a carbon copy of young Bill Cosby, so vibrant and very funny (only white). I have vivid memories of the many, many tears he shed over days that weekend. His humor had left, his resilience had vanished, so very, very strongly did it affect him.

And your description of a classmate clunking her head into her Singer, D.K., on her way to unconsciousness reminded me of a similar, yet faux, image I've had all these years--of that moment in the cafeteria when the announcement came, I was sure from all the dropping of silverware that someone in that room must have slumped into their plate of tacos. Emotions were so, very, very intense.

And as with you, eProf, I don't remember my girlfriend's class letting out early because of the news that morning, which must have made for one very, very long hour.

Not totally satisfied with the final commission report of what happened that day, I realized there is more to American gov't than I was taught in my HS senior civics class.

Kennedy's death has made me cynically skeptical of all official government conclusions on major events since. Like, I'm just so, so dumbfounded we haven't yet found the mailer of that anthrax in the post 9/11 wild, wild west mentality that ran unchecked immediately afterwards. (Oh, but wait, the government hasn't officially solved that yet, have they? Or did I miss that one?)

(Did you have opportunity to use any of those extra drumsticks yesterday, D.K.?)

BTW, thanks for the TG wishes. It was a very nice one at my M-I-L's. And being as how it marked the 1 yr. anniversary of editor Sam's residence with us, he went along. I think it was his first experience with turkey, because after his first whiff, his day was unavoidably altered for hours thereafter, so enamored was he.

I hope everyone's was as enjoyable.

Cartledge said...

at that very same time you're thinking about them, they may be thinking of you?
I can never get over just how powerful the feelings can be, across vast distance, when this occurs.
But my favourite Quantum Physics trick is that simply by observing a particle you change its nature.
I believe that works in macro as well.

dada said...

eprof: forgot to mention, I did see Lions for Lambs last week. It's got everything you mentioned, but I was disappointed with the actors, all of whom (save for the soldiers), always made me aware they were acting.

And then the A-10? We never saw the Warthog, just heard the loud roar of its engines and saw explosions. Okay, I'm being picky here, but in all the military arsenal, the A-10 Warthog is my favorite tool of terror, having been "strafed" by one on the road to White Sands Missile Range some some years ago...incredibly frightening death machine.

But as a fan of Redford, the acting left me with a "preachy* feeling, even though I certainly agree with the points of the film.

Did you happen to catch "Valley of Elah"?

dada said...

yes, cartledge...why on earth do those waves/particles/whichever the hell they are (?) play games with our scientists whenever they look in on them?

Are they (whoever, whatever they are) trying to remind us of some power we possess that we've forgotten? It's a great QP trick alright.

eProf2 said...

I look into the Valley of Elah film. For most "art" films, we have to make the trek to PHX, even though our town just opened a 14 plex (nice facility) but most of the screens are filled with the most "popular" films (who decides these things?). I asked the manager of the new theatre if they were going to bring Love in the Time of Cholera or films like that to our town. The answer was corporate would decide based on requests and box office in major metro areas. I guess that leaves us out for sure.

dada said...

eprof: Valley of Elah starred Tommy Lee Jones, just as No Country for Old Men that we saw this past week. The latter I had anticipated much, being a Cohen brother's film and having enjoyed Fargo a lot, but esp. because it was filmed in the "West Texas" area (the part of El Paso being played by Albuquerque). But while disappointed in NCOM, I found Jones' performance in it far better than in Valley of Elah (which I enjoyed more, even though I don't particularly enjoy murder mysteries or--in this case--about what war does to our military members). Is this confusing enough?

So how far is the trek to PHX?

eProf2 said...

I live in Casa Grande about half way between PHX and Tucson off of I-10. The trip to the southeast corner of PHX (Chandler and Tempe) is about 35 miles and maybe 45 minutes away if the freeway isn't bumper to bumper or stopped.

I haven't seen NCOM yet as it probably won't come to CG either. I think we talked previously about the Three Burials with Tommy Lee Jones, a film I would recommend to anyone, especially those living in the "borderlands." The more I see him the more impressed I am with his acting. He was outstanding in Three Burials and he's had some very good reviews, including one by Larry McMurtry in Newsweek recently for his acting in NCOM.

Have a great Sunday.

D.K. Raed said...

Hey EProf, at least you're not in a dreaded tertiary market. Oh, most major films eventually make it here (unless they are "controversial"). Otherwise, we wait for DVD! E.K. has been talking about No Country For Old Men, and I'm interested in Lions for Lambs. Now I have to add Valley of Elah to the list.

Oh & I loved that Three Burials movie -- saw it a few weeks ago on TV/HBO. It was filmed so well, I think I could now find my way down to that little town south of the border. Was that an allegory with the blind man near the border -- something about Polyphemos in The Odyssey?

And, wasn't Tommy Lee Jones the college roomate of Al Gore, the composite of those two being the inspiration for Love Story?

enigma4ever said...

Ahhhh so good to see So Many Wise Souls here, Fran, and DK, and Prof, and Dada and the discussion is so soothing...phew...good to know that there is Space and Time and that I am not stuck in a Time Warp...I have been so worried..I keep thinking any day I will be called to McCarthy hearings and have to give Names....and that this Era will never end....but I read this and My Hope and Faith in Physics abounds...thank you Dada.....and thank you for remembering the Anniversary of the Loss of Kennedy...and that Loss that created the Division in our era...I was a young one, but I remember it clearly...and with great darkness, I remember thinking that was not all...and then with RFK I knew it was not all ( amd MLK that spring left us all waiting..and waiting..) I am so sorry that we are living through thiese times..and that we are having to fight and reclaim our troops home and the rights of our people....tell me where I live again? it is foggy out there....hard to recognize what does not look right....

421 days to go to get these fucking criminals out of OUR white house....thank you...

I am thankful that you blog and that your blog the truth.....

Happy thanksgiving to you and the missus...and that Lucky Dog....

dada said...

enigma...always I await your visits. Yes, this is a wonderful discussion amongst friends. The last thing I ever expected was to come to this stage of life, still having to fight!

But it appears that's where we are. In the middle of the ring (world) with the "heavyweight" championship on the line. And I'm feeling too old and tired for this shit.

I'd always thought at this stage, I'd be taking long trips in the car with editor Sam panting in my and Mrs. Dada's ears from the back seat as he peers out the front windshield while miles and miles of America roll past and we're singing oldies and laugh at roadside anomalies between weepings for the loss of small town America with each Wal-Mart Super Center we pass.

But, as I'm learning, "shit" can hit you at any stage of life, when you least suspect it, from a direction you never anticipated --like your back--the place you thought you'd secured a couple hundred years ago.

In light of what I've just said, the latest movie with Tommy Lee Jones, "No Country for Old Men" seems an appropriate title.

More of that in my next comment. But for the moment, it's time for supper.

WeezieLou said...

very moving blog and entries. i was of the younger baby-boom generation, being 7 when the awful day dawned. what i remember is having the school buses take us home early, and it was the first conscious time i prayed. and, for days it seemed, the drums, the drums. Years later, I was old enough to understand the horror of the King/RFK assassinations. We were actually in Kashmere,(North India) walking through a small, mostly impoverished town. two Indian men rushed up to us, radio's held up to ears - my father was certain we were being assaulted. then one guy kept saying "you american? you know kennedy?" at which point we heard the news coming across the radio.

Newsweek had a great issue last week all about 1968. see if you can get it.

btw - loved Lions for Lambs. seemed fluid to me - and streep is The One.

dada said...

Hi Weezielou: Thanks for sharing your JFK memories. (Another "kid" in our midst. [grin])

Well, you know, I usually go to 1 or 2 movies/year, but recently we've been going weekly. And your relating where you were during the RFK assassination--India--had me envisioning you in one of the recent, more strange, movies I saw: "The Darjeeling Limited" which takes place in that country.

I'm impressed/envious you got to experience that.

dada said...

eprof: I'm still hoping NCOM will make it out to your neck of the woods.

I wish I could see the last 20-25 min of that film over. That's where the meatiest dialog takes place.

I read Alex Baldwin's take on NCOM this morning. He said, "Go see 'No Country for Old Men.' It's a metaphor for Iraq and the post 9/11 world."

Well, knowing how poor I am at metaphors, I wish I'd read that beforehand. I'da been on the lookout for a metaphor.

Tommy Lee Jones, however, was excellent, just excellent, in this one.

eProf2 said...

I think I might just go up to PHX and see NCOM with all the good reviews it's getting. Saw Three Burials again last night. It certainly is on my top twenty films of all time list. It might not appeal to folks not living in the southwest, but for me it speaks volumes on what's going on at the border.

dada said...

eprof....WHERE do you catch Three Burials? Is it on HBO or one of those movie channels we don't subscribe to?

As I'm beginning to understand NCOM better and better, I look forward to seeing it, also, again.

Just because I didn't like the conveyance of the message...well, that pretty well reflects real life here in blogville I and so many others are constantly responding to, doesn't it?

eProf2 said...

It was on one of the encore movie channels. I recorded it on my new DVR as it was on in the wee hours of the morning.

Yes -- I think!

dada said...

Well, with this thread wearing bare, I just want to thank you eprof for the excellent Christmas gift idea for the Mrs. -- a DVD recorder! (I just tossed one VCR that kept eating tapes.) And I would wink and snicker at the "for the Mrs." part...but really, she's the one who would use that far more than I.

If you make it to town to see NCOM, let us know what you thought of it.

eProf2 said...


I guarantee YOU will love a DVR as much as the Ms. Every day for the past ten years or so I would "tape" my wife's soapy. On those days I'd miss doing it, the guilt was overwhelming. With the DVR, I've set it once to record all new programs. So, faithfully, the machine comes on at exactly the right time, records the entire program, and my wife has learned to whiz right on by the commercials. No more guilt! Plus, if I'm watching a program and the phone rings, I just hit the pause button, for live shows as well as films, and when I get back to my chair, I hit the play button and it will take off exactly where I left off for the rest of the show or until the hard drive disk catches up to the live broadcast. Those are just two of the ways I love my DVR. For two people, we have four or five tvs and I would like to have a DVR on each and every one of them.

Haven't seen NCOM yet. It will have to be in a week or two as we're having company over the weekend. And, of course, there is the little task of lighting up the house for the holidays, which takes at least two days.

Snow in El Paso? I know you're at a higher elevation but I didn't think you got much of the white stuff. I enjoy snow so long as I don't have to put chains on the car to get some place. Did that for too many years in WA and OR. The ice storms in the Gorge and in PDX were just awful. Makes shiver to this day!

Have a great day. I guess it's just you and me here on this thread now. Almost like email.

D.K. Raed said...

OK, now you guys know you're never alone here! EProf, the DVR changed my life, no lie. But Dada said a DVD, which I don't think does all the recording gimmicks. I love the DVR for all the reasons you mentioned, but especially that it's always LIVE recording so you can pause it (like to explain some arcane reference to your spouse or visaversa), which allows the program to get ahead of you & then you can FFWD through the damn ads.

Oh! We only have one DVR, but 2 TVs, so ours is a Dual Receiver, which makes it like having a DVR for BOTH TVs. It sends a signal by some kind of wireless antenna device. The only bad thing is the 100-hr limit on the hard drive, which I would never have believed we could accumulate so much watchable stuff.

Think about it, Dada! If not a DVR, then a TIVO ... both better opt's than a plain old DVD player.

eProf2 said...

Look out Dada, we're ganging up on you to go out and buy a DVR for you and your bride.

DK, you're right, you're never alone out here in cyperspace, just sometimes at the end of a thread the traffic gets real low.

I have the two tv hook-up from Dish but I'm not sure it's working correctly. Last night I wanted to watch a Dish program on one set while my wife was watching her program on another. I couldn't get the channels to move or the guide to come up much less the dvr recordings. But, my tv hookups are crazy anyway with cable (mostly for the internet), dish, and over the air. We can't get the digital cable but we can get the broadband internet on one cable line; thus, I wanted to watch more films through the dish. One of these days, I'm told, I'll be able to get internet, digital hd cable tv, and my telephone all on one line here at my house in "rural" Arizona. I've only been waiting for three plus years so far. In the meanwhile, my at-home entertainment bill has been creeping up steadily, now close to $200 a month. Why? Because I like my televisions with HD and all the bells and whistles. Extravegant? Yes, but a nice touch for those times when I'd rather watch tv than read or garden or surf the net.

dada said...

OK, this has been a real roller coaster ride this afternoon...thinking you'd given me a great Xmas idea, eprof, I went researching this medium online.

Enter D.K.--and thanks for pointing out I had said DVD instead of DVR. It was half out of ignorance, half out of reluctance to enter into anything now tied to a particular service (yes, the realization that our DISH network obligation is up in March and I'm considering leaving them).

But this all sounds so wonderful, and for a couple of hours I thought our discussion had hit on an excellent gift idea. But now I'm thinking I need to wait, to see what we decide a few months down the road.

I also have this fear...always an under-riding fear that drastic actions we're about to encounter are near. It makes me reluctant to commit to the future anything based on the steadfast conditions of the past.

The technology of DVR sounds wonderful...totally "life" altering, much like microwaves and yet, I'm reluctant to make reservations to travel to the PacNW next summer based on fuels and the increased insecurity of increased security of this (fascist) regime.
(something about next February, states granting/denying the rights of travelers to travel across state lines w/o permission--via Naomi Wolf).

I'd just like for me, my wife, our dog to live out our retirement lives peacefully utilizing the wonderful technologies like DVRs and cellphones instead of paranoia they're tools of the government.

Instead, I may have to spend that time researching assault weapons. (Coming from someone who doesn't own a gun, doesn't want to, this is extremism to the extreme for me.)

"You say you want a revolution?"

D.K. Raed said...

Dada, the one aspect of DVR technology that fits your paranoia is DISH telling us we needed to have a phone line connected from the TV to the DVR. hmmm, I asked why? The tech told me: so that when you want to watch a Pay-Per-View, it can be ordered through the TV. oh, is that all? yup, he says. So, out of paranoia, we leave the phone unconnected from the DVR/TV UNLESS we want to order a PPV. We were concerned that that phone line connection was too easy a route into our TV room, not to mention into our regular phone calls, that all would be accessible by satellite technology.

I hear you loud & clear about concerns over long-term plans. I think we are all in a short-term mode about now. Still, I won't give up my DVR, now that we've experienced it.

EProf: $200/mo?!? We have some of the same problems ... no DSL availability here (established neighborhood), no wireless either (we're behind a small mtn). We refused cable TV since it is censored here, so DISH it is. Internet has to be broadband cable. Qwest tells us we are a low-priority area ... yes, sounds very familiar to finding out we are in a tertiary movie market.

dada said...

Short note to the federal agencies reading this thread. In my previous comment re procuring an assault weapon:

"That was not a threat against anyone. Just an idea of how I might test my waning rights granted under our fading constitution, in this case, the 2nd Amendment."

d.k. when we rolled our phone service over to VOIP, we disconnected our DISH phone link. After several mos. of warnings from DISH, things settled down. I don't even know if our VOIP connection would work with DISH.

Speaking of which. One of the things I DON'T like about El Pasoans is the fact they're all Dallas Cowboy fans even though we're closer to Phoenix and Denver.

Tonight Dallas & Green Bay play in a game being carried only on DISH satellite. And the whining and moaning by El Paso Dallas fans has me chuckling. Some have gone so far as to cancel their cable and install DISH instead. If only they cared as much about their government as they did about what their cable co.

(I'll be watching the game, rooting for the underdog Packers.)