Friday, April 16, 2010

Volcanoes and Fringe

This is a NASA satellite image of the volcanic ash plume from the volcano in Iceland:

Hope you weren't planning to fly into or out of Europe or the UK right about now.

And, Gaah! Did anyone watch Fringe last night? That old guy (Peter's father) is such a good actor. Even though I suspected what was in the envelope in the end, it blew me away. He didn't have any memory of talking with the time-jumping man, and there was the sign he was looking for. A while tulip. He looks at the tulip, and then up the stairs after his son.

At the end of the show, I felt like I had just read an extremely satisfying short story. Well done, whoever crafted that script.

My husband and I were talking about the time travel in the show, and he was asking why everyone seemed to jump back in time with the time-jumper man. I told him that everyone didn't, the show was just showing how things changed when the man jumped back. The conversation became a little surreal and I was reminded of a quote that headlined a chapter in a modern physics text (an introduction to quantum theory and mechanics) for a class I was taking once. It said:

"Ludwig Boltzmann, who spent much of his life studying statistical mechanics, died in 1906 by his own hand. Paul Ehrenfest, carrying on his work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn to study statistical mechanics. Perhaps it will be wise to approach the subject cautiously." - David L. Goodstein (States of Matter, Mineola, New York: Dover Press, 1985)

If you didn't watch Fringe, then I aplogize for all of the above. If you want to watch this episode, go to and then select the episode titled, White Tulip." Or just click here.


jo©o said...

Our airways are lovely and quiet :-)
No contrails, nothing beyond the odd helicopter.
Still, I am not looking forward to all that ash dropping down on us before long. It is bound to affect our lungs. Why us? The wind direction is unusual for this time of the year. Normally it would have drifted out to the Atlantic.

ICQB said...

Hi Jo!

Maybe the ash will be good for the gardens?

adrienne said...

I've seen some amazing pictures of that volcano - especially the night pics.
I'm afraid I missed too many episodes of Fringe to really get into it. Sounds like one of those series you have to watch closely...

ICQB said...

Hi adrienne!

I think you're right. If you miss a few episodes, you can get lost. I actually missed the first part of this season, but somehow knew enough to be blown away by this particular episode.