Not an easy read, but for those with at least some background in quantum mechanics and relativity, it should prove both...



Authors Bach and Belardo use Einstein’s Theories of Relativity and quantum physics to establish a philosophical paradigm they say will lead to hope and happiness for mankind.

The book opens with a rather perplexing prologue, preface and introduction. These sections confound, in part, because of an inherent paradox. They continually use the terms “unthinkable” and “unspeakable,” without explaining what, precisely, is unimaginable or unsayable. Fortunately, clarity rules once the science begins—no small task considering the subject matter. It turns out that the unthinkable, unspeakable things are the implications of the Theories of Relativity, constructs that thwart our brains and mouths. This is dense stuff, but basically, quantum experiments have demonstrated that two particles can confer information instantaneously across any distance and time frame. Since this violates Einstein’s Theories of Relativity by exceeding the speed of light, scientists, including Einstein, began a debate that rages to the present. Without getting into that argument, which is not really covered in the book, the authors posit that relativity is not being violated. Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc2, they say, demonstrates that at the speed of light, all of space-time equals zero and in fact all information of the past, present and future, equals infinite and, therefore, exists as a single inseparable point, a realm they call nospacetime, nonlocality and an information singularity. Since all things are one in nospacetime, the information has not traveled any distance at all. The authors then attempt to make the leap to philosophy by postulating that somehow the knowledge of this oneness of all things on the nonlocal level will in itself change mankind’s wicked ways. As with most leaps from science to values and beliefs, their assumptions are not necessarily on a par with their scientific ones.

Not an easy read, but for those with at least some background in quantum mechanics and relativity, it should prove both fascinating and enlightening on a scientific level, even if the promised salvation of the human race falls somewhat short.

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-1470026134

Page Count: 150

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2012

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A straightforward, carefully detailed presentation of how ``fruit comes from flowers,'' from winter's snow-covered buds through pollination and growth to ripening and harvest. Like the text, the illustrations are admirably clear and attractive, including the larger-than-life depiction of the parts of the flower at different stages. An excellent contribution to the solidly useful ``Let's-Read-and-Find-Out-Science'' series. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 1992

ISBN: 0-06-020055-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1991

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Yes: it's high time for a de-romanticized, de-mythified, close-up retelling of the U.S. Space Program's launching—the inside story of those first seven astronauts.

But no: jazzy, jivey, exclamation-pointed, italicized Tom Wolfe "Mr. Overkill" hasn't really got the fight stuff for the job. Admittedly, he covers all the ground. He begins with the competitive, macho world of test pilots from which the astronauts came (thus being grossly overqualified to just sit in a controlled capsule); he follows the choosing of the Seven, the preparations for space flight, the flights themselves, the feelings of the wives; and he presents the breathless press coverage, the sudden celebrity, the glorification. He even throws in some of the technology. But instead of replacing the heroic standard version with the ring of truth, Wolfe merely offers an alternative myth: a surreal, satiric, often cartoony Wolfe-arama that, especially since there isn't a bit of documentation along the way, has one constantly wondering if anything really happened the way Wolfe tells it. His astronauts (referred to as "the brethren" or "The True Brothers") are obsessed with having the "right stuff" that certain blend of guts and smarts that spells pilot success. The Press is a ravenous fool, always referred to as "the eternal Victorian Gent": when Walter Cronkite's voice breaks while reporting a possible astronaut death, "There was the Press the Genteel Gent, coming up with the appropriate emotion. . . live. . . with no prompting whatsoever!" And, most off-puttingly, Wolfe presumes to enter the minds of one and all: he's with near-drowing Gus Grissom ("Cox. . . That face up there!—it's Cox. . . Cox knew how to get people out of here! . . . Cox! . . ."); he's with Betty Grissom angry about not staying at Holiday Inn ("Now. . . they truly owed her"); and, in a crude hatchet-job, he's with John Glenn furious at Al Shepard's being chosen for the first flight, pontificating to the others about their licentious behavior, or holding onto his self-image during his flight ("Oh, yes! I've been here before! And I am immune! I don't get into corners I can't get out of! . . . The Presbyterian Pilot was not about to foul up. His pipeline to dear Lord could not be clearer"). Certainly there's much here that Wolfe is quite right about, much that people will be interested in hearing: the P-R whitewash of Grissom's foul-up, the Life magazine excesses, the inter-astronaut tensions. And, for those who want to give Wolfe the benefit of the doubt throughout, there are emotional reconstructions that are juicily shrill.

But most readers outside the slick urban Wolfe orbit will find credibility fatally undermined by the self-indulgent digressions, the stylistic excesses, and the broadly satiric, anti-All-American stance; and, though The Right Stuff has enough energy, sass, and dirt to attract an audience, it mostly suggests that until Wolfe can put his subject first and his preening writing-persona second, he probably won't be a convincing chronicler of anything much weightier than radical chic.

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 1979

ISBN: 0312427565

Page Count: 370

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1979

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