Thursday, April 8, 2010

Physicist Hugh Everett and the Eels

I have referred to myself, in past Blog entries, as being a music-head or rockologist as I was described in my youth. I used to read everything I could find about rock music. Rarely was I ever surprised to learn something new about rock music because I thought I knew it all. Now that I am older with other obsessions, it happens to me a lot. For example, a few months ago I learned that Norah Jones is the daughter of Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar. She was born Geethali Norah Jones Shankar. Who knew? I didn't. During my college years I used to listen to Shankar's Live in Monterey quite altered. I never would have thought his daughter would become a pop superstar ... but I guess it makes sense. At least they are both musicians. It is not everyday that you find out that one of your favorite musicians is the son of a famous physicist.

As a kid, I really did get engrossed in music. If I were young today, I think I'd be very happy because the rock and roll today is not only better than what I grew up to but more accessible. I have no doubt I'd be a file sharing nut because I had no money. Free music is so easy to find today legal or otherwise.

The Eels is one of my favorite newish bands. The lead singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist and sometime drummer of the band, Mark Everett aka E, is also the son of the famous physicist Hugh Everett III. For the non-geeks among us, Hugh Everett is the physicist who theorized the possibility of alternative universes aka many-worlds interpretation. You can't watch your television for very long without bumping into this theory: Star Trek, Fringe, Superman, Space 1999 etc. SciFi writers just love this theory. In it every event is a quantum branch point that causes a new string of quantum reality ... hence in everything you do or in every decision you act on, a new reality is born. I shouldn't really go on much more about this because I am sure I will butcher it. Mark Everett talks about how his dad was the typical bad-family-man-great-physicist like Einstein. This is going to make me interpret his lyrics very differently now.

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