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Rama Rao "Rama" (Annandale, VA, USA)

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Physics of the Soul: The Quantum Book of Living, Dying, Reincarnation and Immortality
Physics of the Soul: The Quantum Book of Living, Dying, Reincarnation and Immortality
by Amit Goswami
Edition: Paperback

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Metaphysics of soul, 25 Nov 2009
Consciousness and the laws of physics are highly intertwined to define physical reality. This relationship is murky since consciousness does not appear in any equations, although it is invoked in the interpretation of quantum phenomenon. Consciousness is not treated as a physical entity, like space and time (both of which can be measured in physical terms), and it does not have a physical existence like matter (or energy), but it is associated with living mater such as a human being. Purely from physical (and mathematical) considerations, very few have provided satisfactory explanations for consciousness and laws of physics, except for physicists like David Bohm and Roger Penrose. From neurobiological considerations efforts have been made to correlate these two concepts by Carl Jung, Karl Pribram, Stanislov Groff, Gerald Edelman, and many others. From metaphysical point of view, many from the school of Vedanta (Hindu philosophical tradition), school of Buddhist philosophy, early Greek philosophers and modern-day thinkers have dwelled in this subject, but a perfect harmony between physics and consciousness is not yet achieved. One of the problems is of course the implied dualism in the interaction of nonmaterial entities like consciousness or soul with physical body. Do we mean soul and body are two different things? How do we account for consciousness in the physics of an atom or a molecule? Is consciousness a fundamental force or a medium? How is it related to the other four fundamental forces of nature? There are many questions which require answers. In this book, the author considers soul, reincarnation, and transmigration in his explanation of physical reality. He is somewhat bold in suggesting the reader to consider data from; paranormal research, extrasensory perception (ESP), telepathy, near-death experience (NDE), and UFO encounters to gain knowledge about soul and consciousness. Certainly this approach may interest many mystics, spiritualists and new age groups, but very few physicists take these suggestions seriously.

The quantum physical basis for consciousness described by the author is mainly theoretical with little experimental support. This is summarized as follows: Reality pervades as undivided consciousness, as quantum wave function with probabilities for various possible states. Hence, consciousness is non-local; it is spread out across space and time. The act of observation leads to the collapse of this wave function into a self-reference that splits consciousness into apparent subject-object experience, which the author calls tangled hierarchy. The quantum measurement occurs in all living cells not just species with brain, but in the latter, thought, memory, mind, learning, etc., play a significant role in the subject-object relationship, and consciousness exists at various levels of complexities; the brain, organs, tissues, and cells. In addition, it is proposed that all individuals have subtle bodies besides the physical body. They are connected with our particular life processes. These are; a mental body (connected with our individualized ways of mentation); and a supramental body (that contains the learned themes of movement of the mind); and the vital body (bodies made of substances that are ethereal in nature). These subtle bodies neither interact with the phys¬ical body nor with each other, but they run parallel with the physical body. The subtle bodies are also quantum possibilities within consciousness. The subtle bod¬ies are also non-local (less localizable) and do not directly interact with the physical bodies, but consciousness recognizes parallel simul¬taneous states of the physical and subtle body for its experience. The consciousness synchronistically collapse similar states for non-locally separated brains that are suitably correlated. And the collapse of a unique state of experience into actuality is one of recognition and choice (quantum characteristics), not one of exchange of energy, so it is surmised that problems of dualistic interaction do not exist (classical characteristics). Consciousness mediates the interactions between subtle bodies or subtle body and a physical body, maintaining parallelism. But the bodies do not interact themselves directly thus avoiding dualism. Telepathy is a good example to support quantum non-locality of thought and mind.

Soul like consciousness is a quantum phenomenon. It survives death of the physical body, transmigrates and reincarnates in another body to form a continuum. Physical body represents quantum like possibilities that manifests as localized structure, but soul also represents quantum like possibilities (transcendent potentia) that has non-local correlation (can not be localized, could be anywhere in spacetime). Hence transmigration and reincarnation occurs through non-local quantum like phenomenon. The author invokes some parallel to the Tibetan book of the dead where various states of life and death called bardos form a continuum through life and death.

The author proposes that the memory of the vital and mental bodies is entirely quantum in nature (quantum memory) that occurs through conditioning of the possibility structure due to repeated experiences and it results from the basic dynamics of quantum mechanics. Thus, our individual mental and vital bodies are functional bodies, not structural like the physical body. Soul is the quantum monad, an individualized unit: The individualization of mind and vital body occur through quantum memory. This is the sole survivor of death of the material body, which carries the attributes from one life to another. It mediates reincarnation through transmigration.

The main problem with this theory is that quantum entanglement is known to occur between different quantum states (such as two spin states of an electron or a photon). How quantum entanglement or non-local interactions occur for subtle bodies whose physical states are unknown? Secondly, non-local interaction for larger bodies are very slow as described by quantum decoherence phenomenon. Is it possible that soul (consciousness) is a medium like ether (as invoked in Newtonian physics). Or is it a fundamental force linked to other four natural forces by unknown forces not yet discovered? The nature of dark matter and dark energy are still unknown. In light of these observations, I am uncertain if the author is on the right track.

1. Wholeness and the Implicate Order (Routledge Classics)
2. The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe
3. The Creative Cosmos: Towards a Unified Science of Matter, Life and Mind
4. The Holotropic Mind: Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives
5. The Holographic Universe
6. Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination (Penguin Press Science)
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Woman Of The Year [1942]
Woman Of The Year [1942]
Dvd ~ Spencer Tracy
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £4.66

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The "odd couple" love story, 12 Nov 2009
This review is from: Woman Of The Year [1942] (DVD)
This is the first of the nine movies Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn made together. The on-screen romance was carried over into their private lives that lasted 25 years. New York Times in its obituary column wrote "Her life and career were dominated by her love affair with Spencer Tracy, which created one of the great romantic legends and brilliant movie pairings of their day." Katharine Hepburn's independent life and strong-willed movie characters made her a role model for generations of young women for more than 60 years. Hepburn and Tracy became one of Hollywood's most recognizable couples. Hepburn had an agile mind and distinctive New England accent, which was complemented by Tracy's machismo

Woman of the year is a light hearted romantic comedy, which examines the lives of professional couples and how it affects their private lives. As you can guess there is certain amount of drama in the midst of a love story. The beautiful, brilliant and independent journalist Tess Harding (Katharine Hepburn) and the macho sportswriter Sam Craig (Spencer Tracy) clash over whether athletic events should be suspended for the duration of the war. She insists that sports column be abolished during war, but Sam believes that it is essential for morale. The editor brings them together to make peace but the pair when they see each other for the first time, they fall in love! When they start dating, things don't go easy on them. When Sam takes her to a ball game, Tess like the game, but when Tess introduces Sam to her international friends, he is not too thrilled. Nonetheless, they marry, but he quickly discovers she is so busy with her profession and that she has no time for him. When she adopts a war orphan without discussing with him, he realizes a drastic step must be taken, because she has no idea of being a wife and mother.

There are some very funny scenes in the movie; one of my favorite is when Tess drives back to Sam's apartment while he is sleeping; she decides to prove herself as a wife and a good cook. Using a recipe book she prepares his breakfast, which awakens Sam, and he silently watches as everything goes wrong for Tess, she breakdown when coffeepot and waffle iron both overflow, and the kitchen get messy. Sam then embraces her and says he doesn't want to change her; he merely wants their marriage to come first. The ending is somewhat discomforting for modern day feminists as it sounds too anti-family to be an independent professional woman. After all, this movie was made for audience of the year 1942, and they wouldn't have a liked it any other way than a woman learns a lesson, finally, that she has to be a caring wife, and not just a professional journalist and a political activist.

1. Spencer Tracy / Katharine Hepburn - Signature Collection : Keeper Of The Flame / Woman Of The Year / Adams Rib / Pat And Mike (4 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
2. Spencer Tracy And Katharine Hepburn Collection [DVD]
3. State Of The Union [DVD] [1948]

Consciousness, Life and the Fourth Dimension: A Study in Natural Philosophy 1923
Consciousness, Life and the Fourth Dimension: A Study in Natural Philosophy 1923
by Richard Eriksen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy of Relativity: An Original Thought, 12 Nov 2009
This is not an easy book to read unless you are used to reading philosophy books. This is one of the original works in the field of philosophy written after the concept of spacetime was discovered by Albert Einstein. Traditionally the spacetime was erroneously treated in philosophy according to Newtonian physics and Euclidean geometry. In this work, the author reinterprets physical reality through renewed thought; at this time (1923) quantum physics was still in developing stages, but it was an exciting era for physics, philosophy and physical reality. One of the shortcomings of this book is the limitation imposed by the lack of quantum reality discussion, and consequences of spacetime quantization on physical reality.

There are seven chapters in this book; the first half discusses reality with emphasis on consciousness (neurobiology) and the second half with emphasis on space, time, and matter (relativistic physics). The summary of this book is as follows; to the positivist, the world is absolute, but in four dimensional spacetime, the reality is relative and subjective. The space and time and their relationship to each other in defining reality can not be limited to physics and mathematics alone but it also include epistemology and consciousness or the relation between subject and object. Human cognition is inherently linked to space and time separately; hence space & time becomes abstractions or mere shadows of true 4-dimensional reality. Therefore our concepts and general ideas exist dynamically as identified in 3-dimensional physical reality or as realized through consciousness as non-dynamic abstract objects. In reality we as thinking subjects in the absolute world of Minkowski spacetime, our senses and thoughts survey space and time in such a way that we are present successively and separately. By sensation a spatial world is perceived as immediate surroundings of the organism functioning in it as a subject-object by the virtue of its self feeling and self movement. So sensation and reactive movement can only lead to preliminary realization of space, and not time which is hidden in the veil of subjectivity. When self movement in time is connected with a psychic self-feeling, consciousness of time is fully realized.

The author proposes that the organic (biological) point of view may be applied as universally to physical reality as the mechanical or energetic (physics) point of view. Our consciousness is connected to the physical body by feeling of life, half-conscious, half-unconscious or subconscious by which we feel simultaneously present in every point and experience it as a continuous unity. The feeling of life gives us a sense of resting, and the dynamic immanence in all motions within our physical body like; respiration, circulation, and metabolism that involves electrical, chemical, and mechanical motions. Thus the transition from physical to psychical is same as transition from motion to rest. The psyche side of existence is an inversion of that relation to space which physical bodies realize by their motion in it (i.e., space remains static, but motion (as understood by brain) is dynamic).

When we pass from presentative side of consciousness to feeling, we will be passing from the object to the subject. In memory we move through time independently of the events in objective space, and in so far as space is present in the pictures and presentations of memory. It is only there as a servant of our psychic movement through time. In physical world we move (walking or writing) through space by means of time, while in psychic world we move (in memory) through time by means of space.

The theory of relativity replaces the absoluteness of space, conceived through Newtonian physics, by the velocity of light (a physical quantity), which is a constant, in the sense of simultaneous presence in the universe as a totality. Thus this is fundamentally an invariable quantity in relation to all the motions in the universe, but in classical Newtonian dynamics, space was considered as invariable in relation to all motions in the universe. By motion, spatial existence is not only made dynamical but also to some degree irrational since the concept of "now" has no meaning. For an alien population on a planet outside the solar system, separated from us by 5 billion light years, the planet earth doesn't exist because solar system is about 5 billion years old and time required for passing this information about our existence to this alien planet takes 5 billion light years. Therefore the existence is essentially relative. However the cause - effect dynamics is not violated since any harm we do to the rest of the universe is experienced by the rest as fast as the light can transport this information. The privilege of enforcing will is still valid in relativistic dynamics. By motion we are confronted with the dynamic element of existence from the outside, but the consciousness, thought, feeling and will is experienced from inside the mind. It should be emphasized the cognition and perception will also be deeply affected during high velocity since physiological parameters such as pulse, heart beat, brain waves, metabolism will function much slowly

1. Quantum Reality, Relativistic Causality, and Closing the Epistemic Circle: Essays in Honour of Abner Shimony (The Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science)
2. Relativistic Reality: A Modern View (Series on Knots & Everything)
3. Perspectives on Quantum Reality: Non-Relativistic, Relativistic and Field-Theoretic (The Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science)
4. Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics
5. Quantum Reality: Theory and Philosophy
6. The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe

Savory Baking: 75 Warm and Inspiring Recipes for Crisp, Crumbly, Flaky Pastries
Savory Baking: 75 Warm and Inspiring Recipes for Crisp, Crumbly, Flaky Pastries
by Mary Cech
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Baking, 4 Nov 2009
This book is filled with great recipes for baking for all seasons. These recipes are described in six sections; quick bread, flaky pastries, rustic food (cobblers, puddings, etc.,) puff pastries, cookies, sauces and chutneys.

The quick bread is my favorite recipe section as it has recipes that does not take too much of your time to prepare. The peppered pear and Goat cheese scone is delicious and my kids loved it. It is soft, sweet and cheesy. The fingerling potato and crispy bacon pizza is a kind of original. The highlight of this pizza is the recipe uses Phylo dough, Asiago cheese and fingerling potato as one of the toppings. This pizza is very crispy and delicious which works as a great appetizer. The rustic section has one original recipe which I thought was terrific: This is confetti corn bread-crusted Creole shrimp. The Creole shrimp is used as a filling inside the tasty, buttery corn bread. This is one of my favorite recipes from the entire book. You may want to serve this as a side dish for the main course or even as an appetizer. This is really a yummy recipe.

The orange nutmeg popover looks more like muffins, Caprese salad-filled profiteroles is another great recipe to try. This serves as a great appetizer and also as a side dish in the main course. Serving profiteroles with Caprese salad is splendid idea. This section also has some great recipes for soufflés.

I didn't find anything exciting in the cookies and sauces/chutney section. The market is flooded with numerous books on cookies and sauces. I thought these two sections were totally unnecessary. The authors could have expanded on quick bread and perhaps puff pastry sections.

1. Jim Fobel's Old-Fashioned Baking Book: Recipes from an American Childhood
2. 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes
3. Good Housekeeping Great Baking: 600 Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Breads, Pies & Pastries

Stage Door [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Stage Door [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Katharine Hepburn

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Classic, 4 Nov 2009
This is another great classic (made in 1937) that belongs in the category of such memorable classics as; The Women (1939 classic, starring Norma Shearer) and Little Women (1933 Luisa May Alcott classic, starring Katharine Hepburn) that focused on the lives of women in the post-depression era.

The Footlights Club in New York City is a theatrical boarding house where young women from all over the country flood in to make it big in theater or Broadway. As they say, if you make it here (in New York City), you will make in anywhere. That was the dream of every girl residing in this theatrical villa. These girls are smart, intelligent, and beautiful, but disappointments are also common when they can't make it to the act or when greedy directors and producers take advantage of them. Sometimes rivalry could pit one girl against another and make it very bitter for everybody. This problem is solved since almost all girls are always cheerful, seek comfort in friendship, momentary quarrels are forgotten the next day and most of all their engagement in wisecracks and gossip make the crowd livelier and great to watch.

Terri Randall (Katherine Hepburn) is the only daughter of wealthy investor Henry Sims Randall (Sam Hinds), decides to become independent and comes to reside in the boarding house in search of a career in show business. Terri is fearless, very independent with a heart of gold, would like to do anything for a friend. Her roommate Jean Maitland (Ginger Rogers) is beautiful, also very independent, bold, and fearless competitor in the pursuit of her career in show business. The writers have taken a softer approach to their friendship, we see some professional rivalry between them, but we also witness plenty of emotions, sisterhood, friendship, understanding, and sharing happiness and grief.

Other residents of the house includes cynical Judith (Lucille Ball), wisecracker Eve (Eve Arden), lively and always cheerful Annie (Ann Miller), snobbish and playful Linda Shah (Gail Patrick), and sweet and adorable Kay Hamilton (Andrea Leeds.) Miss Luther (Constance Collier), an older resident who dwells on bittersweet memories also provides elderly advices to the girls when they need them especially in acting. Anthony Powell (Adolphe Menjou) is a greedy producer who makes lecherous advances and deceitful promises at every girl he comes across, and every girl in the house knows about his serenading tricks. His butler, Harcourt (Franklin Pangborn) provides all the fun and screwball comedy you care to watch. These serenading moments are fun to watch as one girl after another rejects him.

The friendship between Terri and Jean comes to a head on collision when in a turn of events, Kay Hamilton, loses a part in the play "Enchanted April" due to interests invested by Terri's father, Henry Sims Randall. This part goes to inexperienced and somewhat erratic Terri. Neither Terri nor the producer Powell knows about this ownership except Henry Sims's representative. You would witness some hostilities among the girls against Terri but all is taken in good spirits and they still behave like real ladies. When Kay realizes that her dream of being a star is crashed and almost penniless, she commits suicide by falling from her bedroom window. Terri at the theater comes to know about this and filled with sadness and emotions, she offers a brilliant performance on the stage that thrills audience and movie critics. In a sudden change of events she announces to the audience that was not her performance but it was Kay Hamilton who performed on the stage and all the credits must go to her. This stuns the crowd especially all her friends and her best friend Jean. Part of final scenes reminds of another great classic, Sunset Blvd, a reverse of fate for the heroine, Kay Hamilton.

This is a true classic; fresh, sparkling, great girlish-dialogue infusing with humor. The rapid cross talk between the girls is filled with humor and fun to watch; this is reminiscent of quick humor seen in the movie "The Women." Katherine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Andrea Leeds and Lucille Ball have provided spectacular performances and you must treasure this movie in your personal library.

1. The Women [1939] (REGION 2) (UK and Europe) (PAL) ~ Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, and Mary Boland IMPORT
2. Little Women [1933] [DVD]
3. Sunset Boulevard [DVD] [1950]

New Vegetarian
New Vegetarian
by Robin Asbell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.77

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cooking for vegetarians, 3 Nov 2009
This review is from: New Vegetarian (Paperback)
This is an interesting book with an emphasis on vegetarian cooking. This book provides recipes for various dishes in five sections; appetizers (light meals), salads, soups, main courses and desserts. These recipes are heavily oriented towards East Asian dishes which are a little odd because East Asian cooking is generally known for non-vegetarian food.

In the introductory part, the author has discussed the advantages of eating vegetarian meals. In one study, 38% of vegetarian men had lower heart disease when compared with non-vegetarian men, and vegetarians lived longer than non-vegetarians. This discussion also includes how humans can stop indiscriminate and inhumane killings of animals for food consumption under the pretext of religious requirement and practices. Did you know that there are terms like ovo-lacto vegetarians or flexitarians or pescatarians who are vegetarians to different degrees? You will find out the meaning of these terms in this book.

From the recipe section, I strongly recommend trying French Lentil Croquets with mint aioli and Lemon Asparagus Spears in Phyllo for appetizers. These are delicious dishes and look great if you are entertaining guests. For the main course; I wished the author had left out Cracker-Crust Pizza Al Aglio, since this not a good recipe. There are great recipes for a pizza available elsewhere, and pizza is not exactly a main course dish. The grilled vegetable Sformato is a great recipe which I recommend highly. It is delicious and filling; beware it is also time consuming to prepare. The author displays the picture of this great looking dish on the front cover of the book. Goat Cheese Gnocchi is another great recipe but also time consuming to prepare. You may consider buying potato Gnocchi from your local grocery store and use the author's Lemon-Broccoli Rave sauce. The Red Lentil and Potato Samosas and Thai Omelets are out of place; it should be in appetizer and breakfast food sections respectively. Roman Chicken Gnocchi and Hazel Nut meatball and sauce are also good dishes to make. The author uses Tofu to make meatballs but I recommend using Chickpeas/Garbanzo peas (previously soaked in water and then boiled to soften). The recipe for Mac & Cheese could have been left out of main course.

The dessert section is unnecessary since there are numerous books about it. I wish the author had provided recipes for some good Indian dishes because Indian food is predominantly vegetarian.

1. Classic Indian Vegetarian Cookery
2. Hansa's Indian Vegetarian Cookbook: Popular Recipes from Hansa's Gujarati Restaurant
3. Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India
4. India's Vegetarian Cooking
5. Indian Vegetarian Cooking at Your House (Healthy World Cuisine)

Is God a Mathematician?
Is God a Mathematician?
by Mario Livio
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The relevance of mathematics in physical reality, 2 Nov 2009
This is a historical review of the evolution of mathematics in physics and philosophy. The author and publishers have used a catchy title for the book to enhance its marketability. I was looking for a philosophical analysis of the basic laws (and equations) of physics and how it influenced the thought on physical reality. There is no discussion of how consciousness fit in within all this. If God used mathematics to create the laws of physics, then how did he create consciousness? Did he use mathematics to link consciousness with the physical reality? What are the roles of dimensionless physical constants such as structural constant and the value of Pi that God created? These questions are not fully explored.

There are nine chapters in the book, and a significant part of the book gives a historical account of the work of early Greek philosophers leading up to the work of modern philosophers, mathematicians and physicists. There is fair amount of discussion on the theory of curves, analytical geometry, Cartesian coordinate system, Pythagoras theorem, the evolution of calculus and differential equations.

The author proposes that mathematical theories have two aspects; active and passive. In active theories, laws of nature are formulated in applicable mathematical terms. The terms include mathematical entities, relations, and equations that were developed with an application of mind for the topic under consideration. The researchers tend to perceive the similarities between the properties of the mathematical concepts and the observed phenomenon. One could conclude the theories were tailored to the observations (E.g., Newtonian Physics). The passive effectiveness refers to cases in which abstract mathematical theories were developed with non-intended applications for possible use in future models, such as knot theory, and Riemannian geometry. Invention are; calculus by Newton, and topological (geometrical) ideas in the context of string theory; or the application of Riemannian geometry in general relativity, and group theory in particle physicists are examples of mathematical discoveries. The accuracy and predictive power of mathematics are equally important. There are numerous examples for predictive power such as; prediction of antiparticles, Maxwell's prediction of waves associated with electrical and magnetic fields, prediction Bosons, and W particles by electroweak theory, and the quantum electrodynamics (QED) predicted the magnetic moment of an electron with a great accuracy.

Does mathematics has an independent existence from human mind or they have application beyond the context they were originally developed? Platonists view mathematics as discovery because it dwells in the abstract eternal world of mathematical forms. Some Platonists believe that mathematical structures are in fact a real part of the natural world. Max Tegmark of MIT states that the nature is mathematics, period. The answer to mathematics being "invented or discovered" question can therefore be gleaned from a careful examination of clues from a variety of domains. Since this physical world is entirely independent of humans, Tegmark maintains, its description must be free of any human conceptions. In other words, the final theory cannot include any concepts such as "subatomic particles," "vibrating strings," "warped spacetime," or other humanly conceived constructs. He concludes that the cosmos involves only abstract concepts and the relations among them. The author believes that math¬ematics is a combination of inventions and discoveries; the axioms of Euclidean geometry as a concept is an invention, just as the rules of chess are an invention. The axioms are supplemented by a variety of invented concepts, such as triangles, parallelograms, ellipses, the golden ratio, and so on. The theorems of Euclidean geometry, on the other hand, were by and large discoveries; they were the paths linking the different concepts. In some cases, the proofs generated the theorems mathematicians examined what they could prove and from that they deduced the theorems. Humans invent mathematical concepts and discover the relations among these concepts. Some empirical discoveries surely preceded the formation of concepts but concepts lead to theorems.

The limited explanatory power of mathematics in biology or medicine is a problem for mathematics to have universal role in physical reality. Because evolutionary biologists argue that the human evolution naturally selected them for survival since they had the best models of reality in their minds. Hence human logic was forced on us by the physical world through the process of natural selection.

The mathematics is effective in explaining the physical world because the natural world is not random; it has structure, organization and patterns, mathematics is a logically relevant. Atoms behave in precise mathematical ways when they emit and absorb energy. String theory (if proved correct) will prove that the universe is a geometrical structure and physical reality is mathematical. On a hypothetical note, if were contacted by aliens, communication could be a problem, but aliens will have the same laws of physics, and the common language would be mathematics.

1. Converging Realities: Toward a Common Philosophy of Physics and Mathematics
2. A Passion for Mathematics: Numbers, Puzzles, Madness, Religion, and the Quest for Reality
3. Reality's Mirror: Exploring the Mathematics of Symmetry (Wiley Science Editions)

The Computer and the Brain (Lectures)
The Computer and the Brain (Lectures)
by Burton L. Neumann
Edition: Paperback

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars John von Neumann on computer logic, 2 Nov 2009
Von Neumann is one the brilliant mathematician and an expert of computer logic. This book is dated, manuscript written in 1957, but from the historical perspectives it still well worth reading. Neumann's pioneering work lead to considerable advances in computers and his ideas lead to advances in computer automation and robotics. The thoughts of Klara von Neumann, the wife of John Neumann provides a brief sketch of events that lead to the presentation at the Silliman Foundation lectures at Yale University. Neumann was diagnosed with bone cancer that confined him to the wheelchair. His health deteriorating by the day until his death in early 1957, unable to deliver the prestigious lecture and unable to complete the manuscript for the lecture, Yale University eventually published his partly-completed manuscript as a part of the prestigious Silliman lectures.

This book is described in two parts; the computer and the brain. The basic concepts of analog and digital procedures, the characteristics of digital machine types and their basic components, memory-stored controls, memory capacities, and the concept of access time are discussed with regards to the machine. In the second part the author discusses the structure and function of human brain and compares the common characteristics between the brain and computer. The author provides a comparative analysis of the nerve cell (neuron); how it generates and propagates nerve impulses compared with generation and propagation of computer messages. The author looks at the complexity on neurons and its functions; the nature of the nerve impulses, the process of its stimulation, digital character, the problem of memory within the nervous system. Although the author still refers to vacuum-tube machines, the flip-flops, and transistor technology, but the basic concepts underlying the development of memory elements in a computer is well worth the reading.

The recent advances in automation and robotics illustrate the early contribution of von Neumann in this field. In a recent study, Christopher Macleod and his colleagues in Aberdeen, UK, have created a robot that evolves like a living species in biological evolution. When the incremental evolutionary algorithm (lEA) realizes that its evolutions are no longer improving the robot's speed it freezes the neural network it has evolved, denying it the ability to evolve further. The sensors determine what it needs to carry out a given task most effectively. As animals evolved, the robots can evolve similarly. The robot can also adapt to newly acquired vision, and learn how to avoid or seek light when given a camera. This is just like the way the brain evolved building up in layers.

1. Minds, Brains, Computers: The Foundations of Cognitive Science - An Historical Introduction
2. Enchanted Looms: Conscious Networks in Brains and Computers
3. Brain-computer Interfaces: An International Assessment of Research and Development Trends
4. Logic in Computer Science: Modelling and Reasoning About Systems

Little Women [DVD] [1933]
Little Women [DVD] [1933]
Dvd ~ Douglass Montgomery
Price: £17.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly classic movie of Katherine Hepburn and Director Cukor, 29 Oct 2009
This review is from: Little Women [DVD] [1933] (DVD)
This movie is based on the story of novelist Luisa May Alcott who studied under the tutelage of such luminaries as; Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller. Little Women is one of her best stories based on her personal experiences as a young woman growing up with three sisters in Concord, MA. This is one of the early literary works Hollywood ever used to make movies and it was great success. This story was used again and again in as many 10 versions including this truly classic made (1933) during the height of Great Depression.

The story is woven around the Civil War era about a family living in Concord, Massachusetts. The family consists of four daughters; Jo March (Katherine Hepburn), Meg March (Frances Dee), Amy March (Joan Bennett), and Beth March (Jean Parker). The story is essentially about the lives of four girls and how they grow up and eventually get married and have their own families. It is a tremendous film about family, and a character study of four little girls. When their father Mr. March (Samuel Hinds) is away as a minister serving at the war front, the mother, Marmee (Spring Byington) takes care of the family. To keep their spirits high while living in poverty, the four girls form a strong bond. Amy is selfish and timid, but Beth is sensitive who practices on her broken-down clavichord. Meg is envious who works as a seamstress, and Jo (a true self of author Luisa May Alcott) is spirited and tomboyish, who dreams of becoming a famous author. The four girls also have a well-to-do Aunt March (Edna May Oliver) who cares them.

Jo is in love with her wealthy next-door neighbor Laurie Laurence (Douglas Montgomery) whose grandfather Mr. Laurence (Henry Stephenson) terrified her for years. To strengthen their friendship, the Laurie invites the girls to a lavish party, at which Meg meets Laurie's tutor, John Brooke. Over the next few months, while Meg is being romanced by John, Jo has her first short story published and Beth overcomes some of her shyness so that she can practice on Mr. Laurence's fine piano.

When mother Marmee leaves her daughters to see her husband in Washington D.C. who was wounded at the warfront. Beth contracts scarlet fever and her fever worsens, and Jo prays that Marmee will return before she dies and tearfully reveals her deepest fears to Laurie: Beth survives and she is reunited with both Marmee and her father. There is a tremendous amount of sorrow for March family, and the sadness that ensues, is splendidly directed by Cukor with great deal of sensitivity. At the end, Beth passes away, Meg marries John much to the dissatisfaction of the family, and Jo spurns the love of Laurie, moves out to New York City to work for a German professor named Bhaer (Paul Lukas). Amy falls in love with Laurie and marries him, and Bhaer falls in love with Jo.

This story is set during Christmas time; hence you may want to add this movie to your Christmas movie list. My favorite scenes are; as a Christmas present, Aunt March gives each of the girls one dollar, which they then decide to spend on presents for their mother; she asks them to donate their holiday breakfast to the impoverished Hummel family. The drama scenes in which the four sisters perform for local children (theses are fun times for the family) is brilliantly directed. Hepburn was only 26 when she made this movie and she was beautiful and very talented: This was captured by one of the best of Hollywood, director George Cukor.

1. Little Women [1949]
2. Little Women [DVD] [1995]
3. Holiday [DVD] [1938]
4. The Philadelphia Story [DVD] [1940]

Encounters with Einstein: And Other Essays on People, Places, and Particles (Princeton Science Library)
Encounters with Einstein: And Other Essays on People, Places, and Particles (Princeton Science Library)
by Werner Heisenberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.95

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reminiscing with Werner Heisenberg about the evolution of quantum mechanics, 13 Oct 2009
This book is a collection of nine essays/lectures delivered by Werner Heisenberg in the last few years of his illustrious career in the contribution to the understanding of physical reality. This group of essays deals, briefly, with the historical development of quantum mechanics, and how the concept of matter as a particle was replaced by energy and by fundamental symmetry. These essays not only touch of upon one of the most fundamental aspects of physical reality but also some of the most private moments in the lives of the founding fathers of modern physics. The title of the book "Encounters with Einstein" is somewhat misleading since only one essay (chapter 7) deals with this subject and this chapter has the same title as the book.

Heisenberg was a student of Sommerfeld at Munich who was a close friend of Einstein and a supporter of theory of relativity who use to share Einstein's letters with his students, and discuss the physics written in these letters. Heisenberg describes his interest in meeting Einstein as he started working in the developing field of quantum physics. This was during 1920s when quantum mechanics was beginning to take shape. It was also the time when the Third Reich was gaining momentum and anti-Semitism was soaring in Germany. Einstein was most respected in the academic world and obviously he was the target of nationalists. At the 1922 congress of German scientists held at the Leipzig, the students of one of the most respected association of German Experimental Physicists distributed red leaflets suggesting "that the theory of relativity is totally unproved Jewish speculation, and that it had been undeservedly played up through the puffery of Jewish newspapers on behalf of Einstein, a fellow member of the race." Heisenberg recalls this as the poisoning of science by political passions. It is ironic if we recall that Islamic countries and Islamists brand 9/11 terrorist attack to Jews and Israel: This is certainly very saddening.

According to one of the Einstein's work; the requirement that a physical theory should only contain quantities that can be directly observed will guarantee a connection between the mathematical formalism and the phenomena. In one of his discussion with Einstein, Heisenberg argued that the path of the electron within an atom must be abandoned from the theory because no such path is experimentally observed except for the light frequencies radiated by the atom, intensities and transition probabilities. Heisenberg stated that he was astonished to see that Einstein did not agree with him and in fact argued that the theory in fact also contains unobservable quantities. When Heisenberg pointed out that Einstein had made a similar assumption (existence of only observable quantities) in the special theory of relativity, he responded simply by stating; "Perhaps I did use such philosophy earlier, and also wrote it, but it is nonsense all the same." Einstein had revised his philosophical outlook. His vision was that the concept of observation was problematic because it presupposes that there is an unambiguous connection between the observed phenomenon and the sensation that enters consciousness. We can be sure of this connection if we know the natural laws by which it is determined. These laws do not include consciousness in equations. This interaction between the two great physicists illustrates the confusion that existed in making sense out of quantum reality, and Heisenberg recalls that this conversation had deep impact on his development of uncertainty principle. Another point of discussion Heisenberg recalls is that statistical nature of quantum reality arises because of our incomplete knowledge of a system. Einstein was steadfast in his conviction that it is not statistical even though in 1918 he introduced such statistical concepts. There is an interesting routine interaction with Einstein and Bohr during the well known 1927 Solvay conference, and how he use to come up with his little thought experiment and beaten by Bohr. The Einstein's watchword was "God does not play at dice" and the response by Bohr (less-known in literature) was; "But still, it cannot be for us to tell God, how he is to run the world." Heisenberg concludes that physics is a reflection on the divine ideas of creation, therefore physics is divine service.

1. Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science (Penguin Modern Classics)
2. Uncertainty: Life and Science of Werner Heisenberg
3. Copenhagen in Debate: Historical Essays And Documents on the 1941 Meeting Between Niels Bohr And Werner Heisenberg

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