Archive for October, 2009

Discoveries or Rediscoveries?

An interesting rip-off from Dan Brown‘s latest book ‘The Lost Symbol

Makes an interesting read. Doesn’t contain any *spoilers*

“So tell me, Kate,” her brother had asked while she was home on vacation during her sophomore year at Yale.
“What are Elis reading these days in theoretical physics?”
Katherine had stood in her family’s book-filled library and recited her demanding reading list.
“Impressive,” her brother replied. “Einstein, Bohr, and Hawking are modern geniuses. But are you reading anything older?”
Katherine scratched her head. “You mean like . . . Newton?”
He smiled. “Keep going.” At twenty-seven, Peter had already made a name for himself in the academic world, and he and Katherine had grown to savor this kind of playful intellectual sparring.
Older than Newton? Katherine’s head now filled with distant names like Ptolemy, Pythagoras, and Hermes Trismegistus. Nobody reads that stuff anymore.
Her brother ran a finger down the long shelf of cracked leather bindings and old dusty tomes. “The scientific wisdom of the ancients was staggering . . . modern physics is only now beginning to comprehend it all.”
“Peter,” she said, “you already told me that the Egyptians understood levers and pulleys long before Newton, and that the early alchemists did work on a par with modern chemistry, but so what? Today’s physics deals with concepts that would have been unimaginable to the ancients.”
“Like what?”

“Well . . . like entanglement theory, for one!” Subatomic research had now proven categorically that all matter was interconnected . . . entangled in a single unified mesh . . . a kind of universal oneness. “You’re telling me the ancients sat around discussing entanglement theory?”
“Absolutely!” Peter said, pushing his long, dark bangs out of his eyes. “Entanglement was at the core of primeval beliefs. Its names are as old as history itself . . . Dharmakaya, Tao, Brahman. In fact, man’s oldest spiritual quest was to perceive his own entanglement, to sense his own interconnection with all things. He has always wanted to become ‘one’ with the universe . . . to achieve the state of ‘at-one-ment.’ ” Her brother raised his eyebrows. “To this day, Jews and Christians still strive for ‘atonement’ . . . although most of us have forgotten it is actually ‘at-one-ment’ we’re seeking.”
Katherine sighed, having forgotten how hard it was to argue with a man so well versed in history. “Okay, but you’re talking in generalities. I’m talking specific physics.”
“Then be specific.” His keen eyes challenged her now.

“Okay, how about something as simple as polarity—the positive/negative balance of the subatomic realm.
Obviously, the ancients didn’t underst—” “Hold on!” Her brother pulled down a large dusty text, which he dropped loudly on the library table. “Modern polarity is nothing but the ‘dual world’ described by Krishna here in the Bhagavad Gita over two thousand years ago. A dozen other books in here, including the Kybalion, talk about binary systems and the opposing forces in nature.”
Katherine was skeptical. “Okay, but if we talk about modern discoveries in subatomics—the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, for example—”
“Then we must look here,” Peter said, striding down his long bookshelf and pulling out another text. “The sacred Hindu Vendantic scriptures known as the Upanishads.” He dropped the tome heavily on the first. “Heisenberg and Schrödinger studied this text and credited it with helping them formulate some of their theories.”
The showdown continued for several minutes, and the stack of dusty books on the desk grew taller and taller. Finally Katherine threw up her hands in frustration. “Okay! You made your point, but I want to study cuttingedge theoretical physics. The future of science! I really doubt Krishna or Vyasa had much to say about
superstring theory and multidimensional cosmological models.”
“You’re right. They didn’t.” Her brother paused, a smile crossing his lips. “If you’re talking superstring theory …” He wandered over to the bookshelf yet again. “Then you’re talking this book here.” He heaved out a colossal leather-bound book and dropped it with a crash onto the desk. “Thirteenth-century translation of the original medieval Aramaic.”
“Superstring theory in the thirteenth century?!” Katherine wasn’t buying it. “Come on!”
Superstring theory was a brand-new cosmological model. Based on the most recent scientific observations, it suggested the multidimensional universe was made up not of three . . . but rather of ten dimensions, which all interacted like vibrating strings, similar to resonating violin strings. Katherine waited as her brother heaved open the book, ran through the ornately printed table of contents, and then flipped to a spot near the beginning of the book. “Read this.” He pointed to a faded page of text and diagrams.

Dutifully, Katherine studied the page. The translation was old-fashioned and very hard to read, but to her utter amazement, the text and drawings clearly outlined the exact same universe heralded by modern superstring theory—a ten-dimensional universe of resonating strings. As she continued reading, she  suddenly gasped and recoiled. “My God, it even describes how six of the dimensions are entangled and act as one?!” She took a
frightened step backward. “What is this book?!” Her brother grinned. “Something I’m hoping you’ll read one day.” He flipped back to the title page, where an
ornately printed plate bore three words. The Complete Zohar.
Although Katherine had never read the Zohar, she knew it was the fundamental text of early Jewish mysticism, once believed so potent that it was reserved only for the most erudite rabbis.
Katherine eyed the book. “You’re saying the early mystics knew their universe had ten dimensions?”
“Absolutely.” He motioned to the page’s illustration of ten intertwined circles called Sephiroth. “Obviously, the nomenclature is esoteric, but the physics is very advanced.”
Katherine didn’t know how to respond. “But . . . then why don’t more people study this?”
Her brother smiled. “They will.”
“I don’t understand.”

“Katherine, we have been born into wonderful times. A change is coming. Human beings are poised on the threshold of a new age when they will begin turning their eyes back to nature and to the old ways . . . back to the ideas in books like the Zohar and other ancient texts from around the world. Powerful truth has its own gravity and eventually pulls people back to it. There will come a day when modern science begins in earnest to study the wisdom of the ancients . . . that will be the day that mankind begins to find answers to the big questions that still elude him.”
That night, Katherine eagerly began reading her brother’s ancient texts and quickly came to understand that he was right. The ancients possessed profound scientific wisdom. Today’s science was not so much making “discoveries” as it was making “rediscoveries.”

Mankind, it seemed, had once grasped the true nature of the universe . . . but had let go . . . and forgotten.

Really sad to know that the greatest treasures of this universe were once known to the ancient men. But later, people fell for lesser pleasures and took no pain to hail the findings of all those wise men. Here, I am hoping that at least we will be able to rediscover all of them and make sure its not lost for ever!!

The above content belongs to the author and the publishers. It has been reproduced only on academic interest 🙂

That said, there were a lot of pictorial references in the book. I had to google and then refer to each one of them, So I thought I wud put them together in a single place so that it will be helpful when reading. I shall be adding more in the days to come.

Here they go..

Apotheosis of George Washington

Apotheosis of George Washington

George Washington Zeus

George Washington Zeus

Melencolia I

Melencolia I

Pig-Pen or Masonic Cipher

Pig-Pen or Masonic Cipher

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ICC Awards 2009

Its that part of the year when the Cricket players are honored. And they have something to brag about officially!! This year the awards had a very good Indian presence. Hope it gets better with years 🙂

ICC World Player of the Year – Mitchell Johnson [Australia]

Test Player of the Year – Gautham Gambir [India]

ODI Player of the Year – MS Dhoni [India]

Twenty20 International Performance of the Year – Tillakaratne Dilshan [Sri Lanka]

Emerging Player of the Year – Peter Siddle [Australia]

Spirit of Cricket – New Zealand

Umpire of the Year – Aleem Dar [Pakistan]

World Test Team of the Year – Led by Dhoni [India]

Gautam Gambhir (India), Andrew Strauss (England), AB de Villiers (South Africa), Sachin Tendulkar (India), Thilan Samaraweera (Sri Lanka), Michael Clarke (Australia), MS Dhoni (India, capt & wk), Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh), Mitchell Johnson (Australia), Stuart Broad (England), Dale Steyn (South Africa), Harbhajan Singh (India, 12th man)

World ODI teamLed by Dhoni [India]

Virender Sehwag (Ind), Chris Gayle (WI), Kevin Pietersen (Eng), Tillakaratne Dilshan (SL), Yuvraj Singh (Ind), Martin Guptill (NZ), MS Dhoni (Ind, captain, WK), Andrew Flintoff (Eng), Nuwan Kulasekara (SL), Ajantha Mendis (SL), Umar Gul (Pak), 12th man: Thilan Thushara (SL)

Women’s Player of the Year – Clare Taylor [England]

Associate Player of the Year – Will Porterfield [Ireland]

Thanks Cricinfo, from where the content was heavily borrowed 🙂

The clash of the champions

Would have anyone thought that something like this cud happen at the beginning of the Champions Trophy!!?
  • NZ, Eng and Pak comfortably thru to the next round.
  • Particularly Eng who just came out a 6 match losing streak against Aus
  • SL being thrown out of the tournament despite their good form
  • India and Aus fighting for a spot in the semis
  • SA (regarded as one of the title contenders) finishing at the bottom of the table at the end of round 1
  • At the end of round 1, India, the no. 1 team in the official rankings at the start of the tourney has been pushed out
Phew!!
Points Table (At the end of league matches)
Group – Group B
Teams Matches Won Lost Tied N/R NRR Points
New Zealand Cricket: New Zealand Cricket New Zealand 3 2 1 0 0 0.782 4
England: England and Wales Cricket Board England 3 2 1 0 0 -0.487 4
Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Cricket Sri Lanka 3 1 2 0 0 -0.085 2
South Africa: Cricket South Africa South Africa 3 1 2 0 0 -0.171 2
Group – Group A
Teams Matches Won Lost Tied N/R NRR Points
Pakistan: Pakistan Cricket Board Pakistan 3 2 1 0 0 +0.999 4
Australia: Cricket Australia Australia 3 2 0 0 1 +0.510 5
India: Board of Control for Cricket in India India 3 1 1 0 1 +0.290 3
West Indies: West Indies Cricket Board West Indies 3 0 3 0 0 -1.537 0

Current official ICC Rankings for ODI teams

Rank
Team
Points
1
AUS
Australia
126
2
IND
India
124
3
SA
South Africa
121
4
PAK
Pakistan
112
5
NZ
New Zealand
109
6
ENG
England
107
7
SL
Sri Lanka
106
8
WI
West Indies
76
9
BAN
Bangladesh
55
10
ZIM
Zimbabwe
26

————————————————————————————————————————————–

Meanwhile, somewhere in South Africa, Pontings speaks sense. Thats a news really!! 🙂

Ponting paid tribute to Tendulkar, the leading run-scorer in ODIs and Tests. “The number of innings of his I have been able to sit back and watch, I think he is an amazing player,” he said. “Look at his stats and records and it’s quite incredible for someone to have stayed in the game for 20 years. He has set benchmarks for guys like me to chase him and get as close as we can. If I had to last 20 years, I would probably be batting in a wheelchair.”

He sits at third behind Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya in the list of all-time ODI run-getters. Ponting is the only Australian with over 10,000 runs. In Tests, Ponting is also third to Tendulkar’s 12773 runs with 11345. Like Tendulkar, Ponting has stepped down from playing Twenty20 internationals for his country.

Good on ya mate!! 🙂