Monday, February 14, 2011

Book review: "A Brilliant Darkness" by João Magueijo

A Brilliant Darkness
The Extraordinary Life and Mysterious Disappearance of Ettore Majorana, the Troubled Genius of the Nuclear Age

João Magueijo
Basic Books (November 24, 2009)

The Italian theoretical physicist Ettore Majorana disappeared in 1938 at the age of 31. The reason for his disappearance and what happened afterwards were never clarified. His fate has inspired many books and movies, most of Italian origin, of which I haven't read or seen a single one. Thus, Magueijo's book was the first time I heard about the various theories of Majorana's disappearance, the leading ones being suicide, joining a monastery, or starting a new life in Argentina, due to depression, insanity, homosexuality or moral trouble with a research direction that Majorana might have understood earlier than everyone else would lead to the atomic bomb.
"... the [atomic] bomb, so much like a star in the sky, but so close to us that its brilliance amounted to darkness."

The more obscure theories feature various conspiracies, special forces, and/or aliens.

João's book, instead of listing all these theories, is a report on his following up on Majorana's fate. He has interviewed friends and relatives, seen the movies, read the books, visited the places. Woven together with his travels are explanations of the physics Majorana has been working on and the historical circumstances. The physics is explained on a level understandable without previous knowledge and covers atomic physics, β-decay, parity, chirality, neutrino-oscillation, (neutrinoless) double β-decay and the experiments behind all this. The reader is confronted with the difficulties scientific research had to cope with under Mussolini and Hitler, and gets to meet Majorana's contemporaries, among others Fermi, Heisenberg, Dirac and some radioactively contaminated fish.

João does not put forward his own theory or presents a solution to the mystery. Instead, he uses Majorana's life and unknown fate to get across some science and touch upon questions like the role of scientists in our societies, the clash between pragmatism and idealism, the ignorance of academics, the balance between competition and collaboration, and the influence of personal life on ones research. There's a lot in that book to make you think and João doesn't even attempt to think in your place.

The book is well written in a light-hearted style despite the dark topic, and the main flavor is sarcasm. João, let me remind you, is the one who famously suggested in his first book that the "M" in M-theory stands for "masturbation." In his book on Majorana, string theory makes an appearance as as an example for "the fad of postulating thousands of unnecessary particles," and João doesn't hesitate to speak his mind on all and everybody: Fermi, so João writes, "did lack imagination," "when [Dirac] spoke the outcome was... logically crafted insanity," and Cambridge (UK) is "that ivory tower of lunacy." The book is also interspersed with paragraphs that seem to have gotten there by random association, my favorite one is:
"Saying that we live in an odd world is often an understatement. I once had a random conversation on a Toronto street that derailed into the most sublime insanity. After a few minutes of pleasant platitudes, my casual acquaintance, out of the blue, revealed that "they" had implanted radioactive isotopes in his testicles. Being high-minded, he refrained from ejaculating, lest he might contaminate the entire universe."
and later he describes meeting an old friend at a book fair in Buenos Aires, an event that doesn't have any apparent relevance to Majorana's story. There's more side-tracks of this sort. One might say the book is also a book about João. If you decide to read it, you'll either love or hate it, but either way you'll very likely finish reading it.

31 comments:

Steven Colyer said...

Hi Bee, you have a wonderful way with words and your book reviews are thus of the highest (objective) order. If I am 50/50 on reading a book, a review of your review helps tremendously in "pushing me off the fence" so to speak one way or the other.

Should you ever lose your day job which seems unlikely a second career is yours.

So in this regard, I was very 50/50 on the book. It doesn't seem like it teaches Topology (my current interest) so what is the point in reading it? :-) "Gossip" ain't my thing, but biography is (typical of men over 40).

Since it mentions Dirac, that's a plus in its favor with me as Dirac is my 3rd favorite scientist after the first two obvious ones: Einstein, then Newton (residents of Cambridge feel free to reverse that order). De Broglie a close 4th.

"M" is for WHAT did he say?! Perturbation?! Well, perhaps being a master perturbator has its place and time, but in Physics? I love fishing for ideas, and when I go actual fishing I have been called a Master Baiter on more than one occasion, because yes I can bait with the best of them. 24-inch lake trout, yum. :-)

I think "M" stands for "W" as in Witten upside down, as Ed has certainly turned Theoretical Physics upside down, wouldn't you say?

My own feeling is that this book's subject may have taken a loan out with a loan shark, as Sicily is involved, and he was "made an example of" if he missed a payment, if you catch my drift. Well, this is just speculation on my part but if so he wouldn't be the first or last to "swim with the fishes." Now I must read the book to see if theory holds water. ;-)

GW said...

Well, I didn't finish his first book.
It seemed to be a sarcastic attack on well known people who have contributed a lot, and his own theory imo deserved the sarcasm. Also, from what I have read historically, saying that Fermi lacked imagination and that Dirac's lectures were logical insanity ---ludicrous. Dirac polished what he said to try to achieve maximal clarity, and Fermi was known for imaginative leaps. Being purposely outrageous gets boring.

Neil B said...

I like to mention Majorana's more obscure but important work on quantum spin. In the Emperor series, Penrose describes the odd implications of Majorana's research for superposed macroscopic spin. He shows a diagram of a ball with spin vectors sticking out at odd angles like pins in a pin cushion. That's the superposition in principle, and somehow it "collapses" into a reasonable macroscopic spin with a unique axis.

As for his disappearance, I think getting into trouble with bad elements (eh, of people) is the most credible explanation v. weird diversion ideas. BTW I know Sue Gray Al-Salam (around 89 y.o.), who knew Fermi while working in those nuke labs etc. in the 40s. Didn't hear from her about Majorana. (I forget details but here's a link ref'ing her from 1951, about the now-trendy "meson-induced fission": prola.aps.org/abstract/PR/v84/i2/p254_1

BTW2 folks, be on the lookout for my essay submission to the FQXi contest "Is Reality Digital or Analog?" My title is still in play but the subject is picked and writing mostly done (I guess, being me, thrashing the finishing touches Tuesday eve.) By using proposed doable experiments I try to show that reality is genuinely random in principle (the outcome is literally not embedded in the prior state) and not a deterministic continued Schroedinger evolution into e.g. many worlds. Hence I say the best answer is really "neither", since math models are in principle deterministic. ("Random variables" etc. are a conceptual tool, not a method to produce actual variable output. The user of an RV has to pick out sample outputs "by hand" if moving beyond referring to the concept in the abstract or as an average per se.) We need permission to say "neither" or else we're unfairly forced into a "have you stopped smoking" type bind.

Steven Colyer said...

Alternatively to "neither", Neil, there is "both." Have you considered "neither's" archnemesis?

Neil B said...

Steven: sure, Thisiverse could be "both" analog and digital, in which case it is fully representable in mathematical terms and hence (in principle) deterministic. I think it is not deterministic, hence IMHO it is indeed "neither." Of course I need to make that case, and I will. Keep an eye on FQXi.

Plato said...

Variable speed of light might have been "the incubator" for future transmissions in literature to "A Brilliant Darkness?":)He had a bend toward uncovering the truth of Einstein's own dream of Bovine Cows and perspective?

What was the scientific proposal built on in phenomenology? The Fine Structure Constant?

Of course, João Magueijo himself was cited as a "possible new Einstein".....but how many have been so name Steven....even Lee himself? :)

Lee's support of João would not of gone unnoticed if you were following the science(?)historically? Might of felt "as an outcast" as much as he saw the ideas of M theory in his views? I am sure he appreciated Lee's support and then cast a perspective about such theoretic as himself mixed with the rest? Did he react too, that in this further endeavors a motive in psychological drama as revealing?

See Also:Has the speed of light changed?

Speed of light may have changed recently

Pure speculation on my part and not being qualified to speak, chatter?:)

Best,

Plato said...

You have to ask yourself why Lee supported him? Why João Magueijo" views have become the way they are today?


If alpha [the fine structure constant] were bigger than it really is, we should not be able to distinguish matter from ether [the vacuum, nothingness], and our task to disentangle the natural laws would be hopelessly difficult. The fact however that alpha has just its value 1/137 is certainly no chance but itself a law of nature. It is clear that the explanation of this number must be the central problem of natural philosophy.Max Born, A.I. Miller (2009). Deciphering the Cosmic Number: The Strange Friendship of Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung. W.W. Norton & Co. p. 253. ISBN 9780393065329

Variable "constants" would also open the door to theories that used to be off limits, such as those which break the laws of conservation of energy. And it would be a boost to versions of string theory in which extra dimensions change the constants of nature at some places in space-time.

Was João Magueijo vying for as much recognition as M theory and cast them to the state of, as he himself found his proposals??

Best,

Plato said...

Lastly, foundational approaches need to be seen in the proper light?

An eye on "particle reductionism" and and an eye "on the cosmos."

Dirac was a mathematical visionary as as well as a algebraic writer. You need both, "as well as the claims" as to how you see what is happening in the universe?:)

Best,

Eric said...

Plato, the flow rate of time is more fundamental to the measurement of dimensions of length and velocity than anything else. Einstein showed that this flow rate can slow in the frame of a particle with either high acceleration or one in a large gravitational field.

If the time flow rate changes it will not change the speed of light within your frame. Speed is distance/time or d/t. However the measure of distance is also directly affected by the flow rate of time. In other words, you can change the flow rate of time in your frame and it will change the distance measured. Because t is explicitly in the denominator of d/t and t is implicitly in the the numerator one can change the flow rate of time and the ratio, i.e, the speed of light, will not change.

However looking from one frame to another frame where time flow is different it might look like the speed of light has changed. It is just the flow rate of time that has changed. The flow rate of time really can change, it is not a mathematical illusion. Witness the paradox of the twins where one undergoes huge accelerations and then return to a brother who is much older than he is.

Another thing, the Planck Length defines probably THE most fundamental dimensionless constant, in that it derives the traditional energy density of the vacuum used for particle physics. It does not change (presumably) because it is made up of three constants,G, hbar,and c, that do not change. Yet we know that the universe cools as it expands.
That is the the most fundamental problem in physics in that it does not fit with our observations and is off by 10^120.

Finally, the fine structure constant is iced again and again in particle physics and people are fairly confident it is trustworthy and actually predicts quantum mechanical attributes of the particle world we actually live in. It has both c and h in it but not G. Think about what that could mean just from a purely deductive standpoint. (I don't want to take away all your fun).




Also, don't ever accept a phony that speculates there is non- conservation of energy. When you give up that you give up all fundamental constraints and open the door to legitimize rank speculation. We already have enough of that.

Rastus Odinga Odinga said...

"One might say the book is also a book about João."

Gee, what a surprise.

I suffered from extreme vicarious embarrassment while attempting to read his awful first book. Not going to go through that again!

Plato said...

Thank you Eric.

I was quite fond of the idea that such speculation in terms of VSL might be understood "as some example" of how one can look at the universe.

Those who have read the book will have look at whether such thoughts lead to the essence of the book supported by being speculative indeed "fueled some of the sarcasm?" What did João Magueijo hoped to find by writing the new book?

Of course such proposals(theoretics) shake the foundation of all that is concrete, that such things can be quickly diverted to such speculations, as to be show, that overturning foundational "is by philosophical debate to arrive at the questions relating to time(Barbour?)" that one will put up divergences so as to the questions which lead by supportive statements?

Sean does that, but he might yet be classified according to some such category of a type of scientist?

To begin inflation, the universe would have encompassed a microscopically tiny patch in an extremely unlikely configuration, not what scientists would expect from a randomly chosen initial condition. Carroll and Chen argue that a generic initial condition is actually likely to resemble cold, empty space—not an obviously favorable starting point for the onset of inflation. Link supplied below for quote, and of course his views constinue so as to find if his foundational erspetve is true tthe science of anomalies that may be recorded by scientific satellite equipment. Could their have been something wrong with it?

I choose Sean Carroll specifically to demonstrate the point of time.

What is happening with regard to the Bullet cluster from within inside the universe speaks to what happens globally to the whole universe? That is not outside of time?:)Their working on it?

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

”There's a lot in that book to make you think and João doesn't even attempt to think in your place.”

An interesting observation as I’ve often found the best way to read a book is for the time your are reading to attempt to surrender your own mind to that the author’s. With what you thus mention here perhaps João would have us surrender our thoughts to those of Majorana’s as to attempt to find our own truth along with his. So I guess I’ll have to get a bigger bucket to have this one added:-)

Best,

Phil

Steven Colyer said...

Hi Neil, you wrote
Steven: sure, Thisiverse could be "both" analog and digital, in which case it is fully representable in mathematical terms and hence (in principle) deterministic. I think it is not deterministic, hence IMHO it is indeed "neither." Of course I need to make that case, and I will. Keep an eye on FQXi.

So maybe the question should have been: Is the Universe Digital, Analog, Neither, or Both? Whatever it is, Fourier Transforms will convert one into the other, right? In any event, look forward to your piece, but I don't follow FXQi, however, I have your weblog on my feed, so if you publish there first that would be cool.

Hi Eric, how's our friend Assange doing? Out any bankers lately? How many of those numbered Swiss accounts were opened by a guy named "Hosni"?
And also, you wrote, to Plato:
Also, don't ever accept a phony that speculates there is non- conservation of energy.

Who is the "phoney"? Carroll? If so I think he was talking about net Universal energy, probably having to do with the expansion of the Universe.

Btw Eric, that was a very nice reply you wrote especially regarding the Fine Structure Constant. The last new Einstein (according to Einstein) was Wolfgang Pauli. His last hospital room was 137. He liked that :-) No, there's no G in the FSC, but at that level, G is insignificant, unless your name is Penrose, right? Has e for electric charge though, right?

Bee said...

Hi Steven,

Thanks for the kind words. What's the point in reading Joao's book? Well, I thought the historical context was quite interesting but certainly there's better books about that. I hadn't known for example they actually did nuclear fission first in in Rome, just that they didn't notice! And I also hadn't known that some Chemist tried to tell them what was going on, just that they ignored her. In any case, I read the book because I liked Joao's first book. I see that you can easily hate it, as it seems to be the case with Rastus, but I found it a refreshing difference to the usual white-washed pop-sci style. I'd say for me the main merit of reading the book on Majorana was entertainment. Best,

B.

Uncle Al said...

Discovery of neutron nuclear diddles required serendipity. Italy had marble everywhere, including its lab benches. The rest of the world used wood. Carbon and especially hydrogen are potent neutron moderators. Neutron experiments on wooden tables gave enhanced "that's odd" results, followed by discovery. The Old Guard was outraged when prevailing illusions of knowledge were exposed as being faerie dust.

Physics is too stinking proud to regard chemistry. Demanding that the world be derived from the bottom up is great fun. There's alway a black swan at the top honking back. Things proceed faster if black swans are accommodated at the start rather than being "symmetry breakings," ultimately to be followed with apologies and yet more defective theory.

A majorana particle is its own antiparticle. Perhaps Majorana accidentally walked into a mirror. "8^>)

Eric said...

Hi Plato,
I certainly wasn't thinking of Carol with the reference to phonys. I like the guy on a personal level just from what I read from him. Plus he has a PhD in physics and I don't, so how could he be a phony?

No, I was thinking very generically when I said that. Plus I can tend to start very reasonably and then go off on a riff sometimes and leave everyone slack jawed with an expression of WTF is he talking about! (picture Michael J Fox going off on his guitar at the prom in Back To The
Future 1.)

Hi Steven, yes Assange is taking his sweet time unloading his information about Bank of America. I wish he would just do it. I'm still very sympathetic to him though, even with his personal foibles. I'm just guessing here but he has a lot of personal problems to deal with now and he may be deciding his most powerful weapons against corporacrazy should be held in reserve as a weapon to save himself from his legal problems. I've got no problems with that as long as in the end the information comes out in all it's glory.

As far as Pauli goes, I don't know too much about him, so I should read a biography about him. As far a G being insignificant at the particle level I can only say "oh contraire!" If the measurement of length is determined by the flow rate of time then those lengths measurements will change as that flow rate changes. This would mean, just as an example, that if the vacuum energy density scaled directly with both an increase in G and the expansion of the universe in their own what seems small in today's universe would seem huge at a compressed state of the universe. That is because the flow of time would then change directly with G as the universe expands. This example leaves out a lot of other things but I hope you can see the point.

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

I said: " This would mean, just as an example, that if the vacuum energy density scaled directly with both an increase in G and the expansion of the universe in their own what seems small in today's universe would seem huge at a compressed state of the universe. That is because the flow of time would then change directly with G as the universe expands. "

I really meant: This would mean, just as an example, that if the vacuum energy density scaled "inversely" with both an increase in G and the expansion of the universe then what seems small in today's universe would seem huge at a compressed state of the universe. That is because the flow of time would then change "inversely" with G as the universe expands.

Also make that Carroll, not Carol. That was just a typo.

Uncle Al said...

@Eric: 1.97 solar-mass 317.5 Hz PSR J1614-2230 is a binary system with a 0.5 solar-mass He-C-O white dwarf, arxiv:1010.5788. That removes all neutron star equations of state except unremarkable nuclear matter. Its core density may be up to ten times that of an atomic nucleus.

Gravitation (General Relativity) does nothing anomalous at close separations and high densities (including Thorne-Zytkow objects). Altering G at large distances and low densities is a crap shoot. Anybody who cooks the books as a "yearning for tenure" theory du jour absent validating observation suffers reality deficit disorder. V. Alan Kostelecky is particularly good at spinning luscious cotton candy that never quite makes it to any mouth for tasting.

Eric said...

Hi Uncle Al,

"Altering G at large distances and low densities is a crap shoot. Anybody who cooks the books as a "yearning for tenure" theory du jour absent validating observation suffers reality deficit disorder. "

I agree. But along with some problems in doing that there are also some potential solutions. Though it is beyond my pay grade as far as the math I think rescaling through G changes might eventually resolve problems concerning
dark matter and it's possible connection with strong coupling.

Nirmalya said...

I've read this one. As Bee says, it's a report on Joao's following up on Ettore Majorana's fate. It's not a biography and there are lots of side-tracks. The questions of social role of scientists etc which Bee mentions, I didn't think are particularly highlighted, though of course many of these questions came up in the history of those times.

Also I wouldn't say it's particularly well written: it does not develop its characters with care. Although structured as a book, it reads more like a report most of the times.

But its still an entertaining read as Magueijo's interesting personality shines through his writing: irreverent, hot blooded and reflective being some of the flavors.

Neil B said...

Is it really still undecided whether a neutrino is a Majorana particle in the sense of being its own antiparticle? Latest peek at Wikipedia implied that. I know that since they have mass, it's possible to speed past one in flight and thus see its spin going the other way - making them different than if they were luxons (various discussions raising that here.) Are they perhaps "FAPP" Majorana particles, but not really?

PS @Stephen (and only in reply to question, no other OT from me here): Thanks, I just submitted to FQXi last night. My title is: "Our Non-Deterministic Reality Is Neither Digital Nor Analog: Experimental Tests Can Show That Decoherence Fails to Resolve the Measurement Problem." I hope they let me correct some little errors, any responsible publisher would. The fixed version will be on my blog Paradoxer today, I appreciate your interest.

Bee said...

Hi Neil,

Yes, it is still undecided. Both Dirac & Majorana neutrinos can have mass. What they cannot both do is neutrinoless double-beta decay, only the Majorana can, so that's why people are looking for it. Best,

B.

joel rice said...

Talk about "postulating lots of unnecessary particles" - i just saw an article about galactic rotation curves which argues that dark matter might well be irrelevant. C.K.Raju arxiv 1102.2945

Steven Colyer said...

I haven't read the article, Joel Rice, but I'm sure there's tons of articles out there that would like to completely do away with Dark Matter (best current guess: WIMP"s, or Weakly Interacting Massive particles), and if they could, Dark Energy as well.

And that's from the Pro's. The looney tunes are even more "sure."

The first two professional previous theories to try to "correct" DM and DE are MOD and MOND. MOND I believe has been completely disproven, just last year. I don't know what's up with MOD.

What I do know is that Dark Matter Phenomenology is the hottest field for newly minted PhD's in Physics in America at the moment. That's a huge shift away from SuperStrings, the old hottie.

Cosmology is so very young, so very speculative. The data is pouring in very fast. WISE is dead but its data will be analyzed for years, e.g., in April we should have verifiable proof or falsification of the recently speculated Tyche plant/dwarfstar 1500 A.U.'s (or not) away, for example.

I did have to laugh though when in one of Lee Smolin's books he wrote: "If Cosmology wants to be considered a real science ..."

LOL. Slap. :-)

Robert L. Oldershaw said...

Since the concept of variable G has been breached, allow me to offer to following amusing calculation.

density = mass/radius^3

For a neutron star or subatomic nucleus the density is very roughly on the order of 10^15 g/cc.

This is amazingly dense in both cases, so let's use the Schwarschild R in the density equation, as a rough approximation.

Eq.(1): density ~ mass/[2GM/c^2]^3

Substituting the neutron star M and R values, G comes out approximately the conventional Newtonian G.

Substituting the typical M and R values for a subatomic nucleus, G comes out on the order of 10^31 in cgs.

Using the latter value for G in the equation for the gravitational Bohr radius yields the standard Bohr radius for an atom [10^-8 cm].

As I have tried to point out before, there is a radically different paradigm for modeling nature that is remarkablty simple, fits all well-documented empirical knowledge, and solves major problems like the VED crisis, the meaning of the FSC, the meaning of h-bar, etc., etc., etc.

It's the same old nature, just radically reinterpreted via different dynamical assumptions. All the smoke, mirrors, strings, extra dimensions, Boltzmann brains, multiversae, SUSY, QCD, anthropic reasoning, heuristic calculating tricks, etc. vanish in a puff of stale pipe dreams. In its place is comprehensible and totally unified physics for realworld systems.

Toodles,
RLO

Bee said...

Please, guys, this is totally off-topic.

Steven Colyer said...

Please, guys, this is totally off-topic.

Agreed. This is about Magueijo's book.

Well, those who hate it seem to hate it because of Magueijo's ego, and those who love it seem to love it because of the subject, Majorana. Do we have to know any more?

I'm done with this post, thereby, except ... when all else fails ... read the book! lol

I'll leave with two, no, THREE questions:

1) Have the girls smiled yet? Two months is the usual time at which infants start to smile. So, you "THINK" you know what "love" is, but when the babies smile, then, and only then, will you know what "love" really is, and for the rest of your life. :-)

Until then though, it's hard work as you've been finding. After that though ... it's easy. :-) OK, I lied, it gets harder with each passing month. Sorry to lead you on, lol. BUT, with each passing month ... MORE experience! It's like grad school that way. :-)

2) Have those weird .... unfinished skullcaps on the girls: closed yet? I think they call it the "fontella", or something. Pretty friggin spooky, huh? It aMAZes that we're born before we're complete, heh.

3) If Gleiser is right and there is no such thing as a "Theorey of Everything", then is it too much of a stretch to assume there is no such thing as a theory of "Quantum Gravity" as well?

What if "Gravity" is nothing more than a geometrical consequence of
those two "forces" that have been experimentally proven to exist on the microscopic scale, and thus earn the "moniker' of "force": Electroweak, and Strong. Duality? And what is THAT geometry, if so?

Sorry to "talk shop", Bee, I just figured, .... worth a try?

Neil B said...

Someone should mention "the Majorana Experiment", find more at http://majorana.npl.washington.edu/. "The MAJORANA Experiment will perform an essentially background-free measurement of neutrinoless double-beta decay (0νββ) in 120 kg of 76Ge with the goal of determining the neutrino mass." Neutrinos are so weird, that for awhile after the momentum anomalies of nuclear decay, some physicists toyed with the idea that maybe the conservation laws didn't hold up after all. Pauli turned out to have the right idea: a peculiar particle that was hard to find.

BTW, FQXi accepted my article, titled "Our Non-Deterministic Reality Is Neither Digital Nor Analog: Experimental Tests Can Show That Decoherence Fails to Resolve the Measurement Problem." You get to it via my linked blog.

Bee said...

Hi Steven,

1) Babies are not really smiling yet. They're starting to be able to focus on things, as long as they're large enough and close enough. And they've both learned to grab my hair.

2) For all I can tell, no.

3) As you know I agree with Gleiser that there's no TOE - at least not in the literal sense of the word. I believe, as I guess most particle physicists, that there's a TOE in the common sense of the term: that all interactions we know today originate in a common theory. Quantum gravity demands even less than that, and I think it's the most inevitable ingredient of a TOE.

Best,

B.

Steven Colyer said...

Nice, Neil! I haven't read your peice yet but good luck, sir. Maybe some $$$ in your future or better yet, someone will run one of your experiments. Hey, if all else fails there's always Templeton, but if taking their money makes you feel uncomfortable, there's always the Rowan University Mechanical Engineering Department. If they'll run experiments on Randall Mills' crazy "Hydrino" theory, they can't be that hard of a sell for a legitimate experiment. That goes for you too, Uncle Al.

Hair-pulling! Lol, I'd completely forgotten about that, wow. Yeah, for such tiny little hands they sure have a strong grip, those babies! Right around now they should be smarter than my dachshund, although that's not saying much.

This Just In! Of ALL the unknown things I never expected to see in my life, the Unification of Yoko Ono and Albert Einstein is pretty close to the top. I didn't even know that was a question! Click here to see what I'm talking about and be sure to read the replies. What a crazy world. Btw, I haven't seen that t-shirt mentioned in the replies in the Princeton University bookstore (not that I'd buy one if they did). In fact, all that have are E=mc^2 baseball caps. Where are the Gen Rev hats? Is Princeton tensor free?