Issue #59 (October 1986)
Christian Morgenstern (1871-1914) is a wonderful poet, and translating/ adapting him into English is an exacting and stimulating challenge, seemingly tailor-made for Mensa mentalities. Gareth Penn does it with great skill, but, by not acknowledging it as such, becomes a plagiarist. That gains him "instant notoriety" with me.
Robert J. Carr
Editor's Note: Don't blame Gareth. He originally submitted his work as a translation, but through a late-night editorial mixup we failed to identify it as such. We hereby apologize to all concerned. Look on the preceding page for the third piece Gareth sent us, which is also the most difficult translation of the set.
The Mensa scholarship letter/proposal of Brian Litzenberger on "Thauma-Physics" in the September issue particularly caught my attention. He deals with the possibilities of personalizing and dramatizing the creatures and elements of physics. This reminded me of my undergraduate days jesting about "the sex life of an electron," and its "search for a positive charge" with its head in a "cloud." Magnetic and electric "flux" would entwine and stimulate the "stray flux" needed discipline. The electrons in a "dentode" would move between the "upper plate" and the 'lower plate."
Of deeper excitement is my own dream, of the past thirty years, concerning life-after-death, or after transition to another state. At the transition time our residual and essential spirit would become free to enter a particle of its choosing. An available proton is a good choice.
Now the real adventure of "life" begins. One can visit truly exotic places, unavailable to ordinary life perhaps for all time, places such as: within the earth at the base of the crustal continental tectonic plates; the center of the sun; deep in the red spot of Jupiter; the edge of the universe; and the center of the human mind during great pleasure or great pain.
Riding a quantum photon wave on its route into a spectroscope or diffraction grating and through its interference fringes to a target would be illuminating. And a properly sturdy personalized proton might preserve its identity through a black hole, and reappear elsewhere in the universe. "Shades" of "2010" conclusion!
Well (or tunnel), it's all something to look forward to. I might start locally with a ride on the anti-node of a string in the violin of Itzak Perlman.
Los Gatos, CA
Los Gatos, CA
I enjoyed Brian Litzenberger's little piece on "Thauma-Physics" very much, but no doubt would have found it even more enjoyable had he honored ... the rules of language... Thauma is not the Greek word for "drama." The Greek word for "drama" is drama. Thauma is the Greek for "magic" or "wonder"...
San Francisco, CA
Editor's Note: Ed is correct. In fairness to Brian, however, the etymology of "theater" in our Webster notes that the Greek theatron is "akin to thauma." Perhaps that justifies the coinage.