This is a still from a video that is both magnificent and sad. Sad, because we’re about to lose access to the in situ recordings of a man who has made life on a space station look exactly as novel and entertaining as some of us have always hoped it could be. Magnificent, because he made this (excellent) song even better, having lived it.Thanks for reminding us all that space is still a beautiful goal, Commander Hadfield. Thank you for visibly enjoying the novelty of weightlessness to the end, and sharing it with all of us groundhogs at home.
You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.
And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.
And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.
And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.
I have no fight with faith, but I find beauty in this. For me, divinity is in the conservation of energy.
This is a hell of a thing to have stuck in your head
So, Jim… have I ever told you about the old country? The songs, Jim! Ah they’d melt yer face.
“Oh, I live in a shoe on Moore Street,
I’m a prostitute from Newry…”
Sally Donovan headcanon
If you suck at proofs, or deliver them in the wrong order, you shouldn’t be allowed to do mathematics.
That’s why she doesn’t like Sherlock. Not the rude remarks (although they’re a factor - how could they not be?). It’s because there’s a way to do things properly, and she’s done them all her life, because it’s important. It’s what makes things orderly and proper and accountable. A man who waltzes in and doesn’t show his work…That’s a man who shouldn’t be allowed on the crime scene.
He’ll show bits of it, and mostly to John. But it’s almost an afterthought, because the answer arrives first. And he expects the answer to be accepted because it’s his and it’s right, not because of the proof. It’s rather rock star. It’s a slap in the face to the rank and file.
Perhaps worst of all, he shows contempt for those who want him to slow it down, to show how it’s done. Sally’s not stupid, but she wants the proofs. She needs point B in the A to C. And the work she does, while slower, more methodical, is completely valid.
For all of Sherlock’s interest in logic, it’s intuition that makes what he does possible. And intuition is suspect. He can’t show empathy to her, or to anyone else who abides by the system, but he excels at getting into the thought processes of criminals. And how could he, if he doesn’t identify with them, on some level? Sally’s a police officer, and to her, that’s a red flag.
It’s all about conflicting working styles. About a failure to appreciate the value of doing things a certain way, on both their parts.
And both parties have brought inexcusable weaponry to bear against each other (slut-shaming or aberrant psychology), but I think the root of the problem is rather basic. It’s about the maths.
I’ve been trying to write Sally as a sympathetic character. I think there’s no need to add backstory of the flirtation/rejection variety I sometimes see. I think it’s a culture clash. And the weaponry deployed in the conflict has been regrettable, but it makes sense when you consider the sources.
Not excuses for either. Merely an observation.
My personal bona fide: I sucked at doing proofs.