March 21, 2014 |
Early in his new history of humanity's embrace of nuclear energy and radiation, Craig Nelson writes about the impoverished 19-year-old Manya Sklowdowska and her lover, Casimir Zorawski, the eldest child in a wealthy Polish farming family for whom she worked as a nanny. His parents rejected the girl as below their station. The college-student son acquiesced, married someone else and went on to become a "well-regarded mathematician in Poland. " The jilted Manya became Marie Curie. The story of the star-crossed lovers and the unforeseen consequences of a single decision dovetail nicely with the sweep of our engagement with nuclear science.
November 14, 2013 |
Will we never tire of revisiting the middle of the last century? Between “Mad Men” and the craze for Midcentury Modern everything, we seem to be gorging on nostalgia for the Atomic Age. Painter (and actor and comic) Martin Mull's work has long mined the darker side of this era, and his new exhibition at Samuel Freeman continues in that vein. His large black-and-white paintings and a suite of graphite drawings are often surreal mashups of commercial imagery and found photographs.
November 5, 2013 |
For anyone interested in the politics of left and right--and in political journalism as it is practiced at the highest level, Orwell's works are indispensable. This week, in the year marks the 110th anniversary of his birth, we present a personal list of his five greatest essays. Published a mere two and a half months after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Orwell's "You and the Atomic Bomb" is notable as one of the first efforts to divine the social and political implications of a new weapon of previously unimaginable power.
October 18, 2013 |
Thom Yorke has sung often about the disintegration of crucial systems. Now, in a new music video, he's the one falling apart. The video, below, is for "Before Your Very Eyes," the opening track from this year's debut by Yorke's band, Atoms for Peace. That's the L.A.-based side project in which Radiohead's frontman busts out funky post-rock jams alongside pals including Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In the animated video -- a sort of sunny West Coast version of Tool's famously dank " Sober " clip -- Yorke's face rises out of an undulating desert landscape, then begins to break up as though it were in the middle of an earthquake.
October 17, 2013 |
If there's a mission statement for the groove-heavy side-project/supergroup Atoms for Peace, it was delivered rather gently in a near singalong at the end of the band's at times frantic show at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday night. "No more talk about the old days," Thom Yorke cooed, his voice gliding over a bright bass melody from his high-profile collaborator, Flea. "It's time for something great. " Not that greatness would be some big departure for Yorke, who has spent most of his career fronting the innovative and wildly acclaimed Radiohead.
August 22, 2013 |
Atomic clocks built at the official U.S. timekeeping laboratory tick with record-breaking regularity, scientists said - marking an advance that may someday allow researchers to perform new tests of the laws of physics and engineers to perfect technologies such as GPS systems. The ytterbium optical lattice clocks at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colo., achieved a so-called stability of one part in 10 18 . In plain English, that means that “if a clock had been running since the Big Bang, by now it would only be off by one second,” said Vladan Vuletic, a physicist at MIT who was not involved in the work.