Sunday, October 18, 2009

Clouds are pictures in the sky

Clouds are pictures  in  the sky
They stir  the soul, they  please  the eye
They bless  the thirsty earth with  rain,
which  nurtures life  from  cell  to brain
But  no! They're  demons, dark  and dire,
hurling hail, wind,  flood,  and  fire
Killing,  scarring, cruel masters
Of destruction and disasters
Clouds have such diversity-
Now blessed,  now  cursed,
the best,  the worst
But where would  life without  them  be?

by Vollie Cotton

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

by: Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of the easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

From "You Come Too", 1916

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Men That Don't Fit In

There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: "Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!"
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It's the steady, quiet, plodding ones
Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that's dead,
In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
He has just done things by half.
Life's been a jolly good joke on him,
And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
He was never meant to win;
He's a rolling stone, and it's bred in the bone;
He's a man who won't fit in.

by Robert W. Service


Başkalarına benzemeyen bir adam boyu vardır,
Bir boy ki yerinde duramaz;
Eşe dosta kendini özletir,
Dünyayı isteğince gezinir.
Düzleri aşar, selleri yarar,
Dağların sırtlarına çıkar;
Onlarınki göçebe kanının laneti,
Dinlenmesini bilmezler.

Düz gitseler belki uzağa varacaklar;
Güçlü ve cesur ve dürüsttürler;
Fakat hep bilinen şeylerden sıkılır
Ve hep yabancıyı ve yeniyi isterler.
Derler ki: "Bir kendi yolumu bulsam,
Ne biçim bir iz bırakırdım!"
Deşinir ve değişir, her yeni hamleleri
Yeni bir hatadan ibarettir.

Ve herbiri unutur, soyunup koşmaya başladığında
Gözalıcı ve nefes kesen bir tempoda,
Tutarlı, sessiz, adımlayanlardır
Yaşamboyu süren yarışı kazananlar.
Ve herbiri unutur gençliğinin elden kaçtığını,
Unutur verimli çağının geçtiğini,
Ta ki bir gün, ölmüş bir ümitle,
Gerçeğin ışığında dinelene kadar. 

(Türkçe çevirisi Erden Eruç'tan. Devamı Erden Avustralya'ya ulaşınca...)  

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The cloud

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
I BRING fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
    From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
    In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken        5
    The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother’s breast,
    As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
    And whiten the green plains under,        10
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
    And laugh as I pass in thunder.
I sift the snow on the mountains below,
    And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night ’tis my pillow white,        15
    While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skiey bowers,
    Lightning my pilot sits,
In a cavern under is fretted the thunder,
    It struggles and howls at fits;        20
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
    This pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
    In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,        25
    Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream
    The Spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in heaven’s blue smile,
    Whilst he is dissolving in rains.        30
The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
    And his burning plumes outspread,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
    When the morning star shines dead,
As on the jag of a mountain crag,        35
    Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one moment may sit
    In the light of its golden wings.
And when sunset may breathe from the lit sea beneath,
    Its ardours of rest and of love,        40
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
    From the depth of heaven above,
With wings folded I rest, on mine airy nest,
    As still as a brooding dove.
That orbèd maiden with white fire laden,        45
    Whom mortals call the moon,
Glides glimmering o’er my fleece-like floor,
    By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
    Which only the angels hear,        50
May have broken the woof of my tent’s thin roof,
    The stars peep behind her and peer;
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
    Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,        55
    Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
    Are each paved with the moon and these.
I bind the sun’s throne with a burning zone,
    And the moon’s with a girdle of pearl;        60
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,
    When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
    Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof,        65
    The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march
    With hurricane, fire, and snow,
When the powers of the air are chained to my chair,
    Is the million-coloured bow;        70
The sphere-fire above its soft colours wove,
    While the moist earth was laughing below.
I am the daughter of earth and water,
    And the nursling of the sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;        75
    I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain,
    The pavilion of heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams,
    Build up the blue dome of air,        80
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
    And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
    I arise and unbuild it again.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Science of Superstorms

3 episodes BBC One documentary:

Documentary revealing the history of hurricane modification through cloud seeding. (Roelof Bruintjes (NCAR) talks near the end of the this episode. There is also a mention to cloud seeding simulations.)

The second of three films exploring the science behind weather modification.

This episode explores future developments in weather modification.

Cosmic Gall

Neutrinos they are very small.
They have no charge and have no mass
And do not interact at all.
The earth is just a silly ball
To them, through which they simply pass,
Like dustmaids down a drafty hall
Or photons through a sheet of glass.
They snub the most exquisite gas,
Ignore the most substantial wall,
Cold-shoulder steel and sounding brass,
Insult the stallion in his stall,
And, scorning barriers of class,
Infiltrate you and me! Like tall
And painless guillotines, they fall
Down through our heads into the grass.
At night, they enter at Nepal
And pierce the lover and his lass
From underneath the bed - you call
It wonderful; I call it crass.

John Updike

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I am the very Model for a Student Mathematical

This poem was excerpted from "Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering, Third Edition"

I am the very model for a student mathematical;
I've information rational, and logical and practical.
I know the laws of algebra, and find them quite symmetrical,
And even know the meaning of 'a variate antithetical'.

I'm extremely well acquainted, with all things mathematical.
I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical.
About binomial theorems I'm teeming with a lot o'news,
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

I'm very good at integral and differential calculus,
And solving paradoxes that so often seem to rankle us.
In short in matters rational, and logical and practical,
I am the very model for a student mathematical.

I know the singularities of equations differential,
And some of these are regular, but the rest are quite essential.
I quote the results of giants; with Euler, Newton, Gauss, Laplace,
And can calculate an orbit, given a centre, force and mass.

I can reconstruct equations, both canonical and formal,
And write all kinds of matrices, orthogonal, real and normal.
I show how to tackle problems that one has never met before,
By analogy or example, or with some clever metaphor.

I seldom use equivalence to help decide upon a class,
But often find an integral, using a contour o'er a pass.
In short in matters rational, and logical and practical,
I am the very model for a student mathematical.


When you have learnt just what is meant by 'Jacobian' and 'Abelian';
When you at sight can estimate, for the modal, mean and median;
When describing normal subgroups is much more than recitation;
When you understand precisely what is 'quantum excitation';

When you know enough statistics that you can recognise RV;
When you have learnt all advances that have been made in SVD;
And when you can spot the transform that solves some tricky PDE,
You will feel no better student has ever sat for a degree.

Your accumulated knowledge, whilst extensive and exemplary,
Will have only been brought down to the beginning of last century,
But still in matters rational, and logical and practical,
You'll be the very model of a student mathematical.

*K. F. Riley, with apologies to W.S. Gilbert