A challenging rebuke to many of the foundation stones of physics.
Launier has many bones to pick with the way in which the science of physics is conducted, most notably its disassociation with simple logic and commonsense, and he tackles them with vigor. “Physics is about elucidating the mechanics of our materialistic environment; but unfortunately, in too many instances, it is deceived by mysticism, vanity, and/or blind idolism.” The idea espoused in his book rests upon the principle that a physical equation must accurately describe how a physical event unfolds, without the inconsistencies and incongruities that pepper the field. In that sense, and as a card-carrying skeptic, Launier makes you do that most elementally gratifying thing—stop and think. Take a minute—well, at 700 densely composed pages, a few minutes—and run a test or two. Watch closely as he displays how Young’s classical kinetic energy equation founders when run in conjunction with the conservation of energy law, using the same figures and parameters. Observe how he shrewdly delineates his quarrels with relativity theory. Launier is happy to give credit where it is due—Newton’s corollary 1 vector theory works for him, corollary 2 doesn’t; he appreciates Feynman’s work regarding interactions between elementary particles and their carrier bosons. And he is bold, but practical, with his own constructs: “Einstein’s idea, that the transfer of energy always involves a proportional transfer of mass, is illusory. If there is an increase in energy, it involves a proportional increase in mass and/or a proportional increase in velocity.” He moves steadily forward, starting with energy, on through time, forces, gravity, light; pointing to where scientific orthodoxy caused the fudging of experiments; tendering corrections where he has been able, freely admitting when he is flummoxed.
A thorough, at times dazzling, display of physics taking on physics, raising many questions as it throws a withering spotlight on old favorites.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)