I remember watching this film (Not VHS!) about Galloping Gertie in a physics class on numerical analysis. Ross Spencer was illustrating how the wave equation was related to the simple harmonic oscillator. The approximation is only good insofar as the restoring force is linear. “And here it goes nonlinear…”
The best story of his to begin with is Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius. More of Borges’ surreality can be found at a site dedicated to his works. In the same vein, Ray Girvan tells the story of Udo of Aachen with a neat reference at the bottom to Hildegard of Bingen, including her Litterae Ignotae and Lingua Ignota.
“It is argued that immense physical resources – for nonlocal communication, espionage, and exponentially-fast computation – are hidden from us by quantum noise, and that this noise is not fundamental but merely a property of an equilibrium state in which the universe happens to be at the present time. It is suggested that ‘non-quantum’ or nonequilibrium matter might exist today in the form of relic particles from the early universe. We describe how such matter could be detected and put to practical use. Nonequilibrium matter could be used to send instantaneous signals, to violate the uncertainty principle, to distinguish non-orthogonal quantum states without disturbing them, to eavesdrop on quantum key distribution, and to outpace quantum computation (solving NP-complete problems in polynomial time).”
Doug writes, “I liked the bugs. I had an idea about ordering dead beetles from a catalog and making buildings out of them, with wings for stained glass windows, antennae framing the vaults, iridescent scarabs for roof tiles… but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. It’s a little expensive. Here’s the catalog, though: http://www.insect-sale.com/“
The stuff my (day)dreams are made of.