Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Tenth Dimension and How to Get There...

Wow. This is the best, most visual, explanation of the 10 dimensions (eleven if you count dimension 0) that encompass Everything with a capital E. Everything (with a capital E) is all possible timelines in all possible universes--the dimension that the super strings vibrate in.

When I was in High School, my outstanding geometry teacher (and dashiki wearing, former rocket scientist) Ed Murrell recommended that we read Flatland to help us to imagine the leap from 3 to 4 dimensions, and beyond. At the same time, I was obsessed with physics in general. I had been exposed to the very fine info-comic Einstein for Beginners, which was helping me to begin a lifelong struggle to grasp the interconnectedness of time, space and probability. Then in college, I read The Fourth Dimension by Rudy Rucker. And that really blew my mind.

But I guess the lasting impression of this journey is my continuing awe at the possibility of the universe (or should I say, universes). Just as Neanderthals probably thought fire was magic, this stuff seems absolutely fantastical, especially if you are, like me, a visual and tactile thinker. But this movie really gets it right. Stick with it, you'll be glad you did.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Genius Loci

My old pal
Maria Mortati is an exhibit designer and curator, in addition to being just generally hilarious, sweet and brilliant. I've contributed to things she has curated before like her awesome book and Maker Faire exhibition Power of the Prototype last year and the Bay area Furniture Art Show, back in 2003. So when she asked me to contribute something for her latest show Looking for Loci, I was happy to help out. But this time, I got the whole family involved.

Let me back up a little. Looking for Loci is a show about capturing the feel of a place that is really special to you. Everyone involved created a little diorama in a box (provided by Maria) in which to capture what was special about your Loci. I managed to turn this call for entries into an enforced family art day (what could be more fun?). When I asked my daughter Dinah what place is really special to her, first she said "going to sushi". When I asked for a place that was not a restaurant, she burst forth with this fantastic and magical scenario.
If I could go anywhere I would get shrunk down really small and live in a rabbit hutch. I would ride the bunnies all day long. And at night I would sleep with my head on their fluffy tails.
My wife, Rebecca was more concise.
Its the fridge. It contains life's greatest joys.
My loci was "in my head."
Sadly, my Genius Loci is in my head, which is like a big cluttered workshop with partially finished projects lying around all over the place. I go there to relax, pick up one of those dusty projects and putter. Sometimes things get done, sometimes I just make a bigger mess. I should probably get out more.
In any case, the project was a lot of fun. And the show is going kick off its SF debut at the Studio for Urban Projects on August 28th. So check it out.