Saturday, June 30, 2012

Deceased--Horacio Coppola

  Horacio Coppola
July 31st, 1906 to June 18th, 2012

"Horacio Coppola, Evocative Argentine Photographer, Dies at 105"


Denise Grady

June 30th, 2012

The New York Times

Horacio Coppola, whose black-and-white photographs of the cafes, side streets and neon-lit boulevards of Buenos Aires in the 1930s, and of ordinary objects like a typewriter and a doll, introduced avant-garde photography to Argentina, died on June 18 in Buenos Aires. He was 105.

His death was confirmed by Michael Hoppen, a gallery owner in London who deals in Mr. Coppola’s work. Mr. Hoppen donated a Coppola photograph to the Tate Modern museum in London, where it was put on display just a few weeks before Mr. Coppola’s death.

The Museum of Modern Art owns six of Mr. Coppola’s photographs, which aren’t currently on display, and hopes to obtain more for a show in 2015 of his work and that of the photographer Grete Stern, who was his first wife. “The museum has a directed a lot of attention toward the acquisition of work by Latin American artists, and Coppola is at the top of that list,” Sarah Meister, a photography curator at MoMA, said.

In 1930, the writer Jorge Luis Borges, a friend, launched Mr. Coppola’s career by using some of his photographs to illustrate a book about the poet Evaristo Carriego, according to Amanda Hopkinson, a literary translator and specialist on Latin American culture who teaches at City University London and the University of Manchester.

Mr. Coppola is not well known outside Argentina, but his works, particularly his nighttime images of Buenos Aires, are on par with those of more renowned photographers from his era, like George Brassaï, known for images of Paris at night, and Bill Brandt, celebrated for portraits and night scenes in London, Ms. Meister said.

One Coppola photograph at the Museum of Modern Art, perhaps his most noted, is “Egg and Twine,” taken in 1932 when he was studying at the Bauhaus in Berlin with the photographer and teacher Walter Peterhans. The picture is a still life of an egg in its shell, resting on a wood surface alongside a looping, curling length of twine. A print of it is hanging in the Tate.

“It is spectacular,” Ms. Meister said, adding: “The very close-up view was characteristic of work being done when Walter Peterhans was directing the photography program at the Bauhaus. The idea of describing surface textures and the quality of light in a uniquely photographic way was something Peterhans championed. This is a particularly well-accomplished example of that, in terms of the composition, the layering of light and dark. It’s a very shallow space, and yet the range of light is impressive.”

Mr. Hoppen said he had chanced on one of Mr. Coppola’s photographs at a gallery in Berlin around 2000 and was instantly captivated.

He tracked down Mr. Coppola and spent a week with him in Buenos Aires examining his work. Mr. Coppola, then in his 90s, still remembered where and how he had taken every picture, Mr. Hoppen said. He bought about 50 photographs — half of what Mr. Coppola had on hand — including night and day cityscapes, abstractions, nudes and the coronation of King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth.

“Nobody knew about him,” Mr. Hoppen said. “It was a strange sort of backwater.”

The photographs sell for an average of $6,200 to $7,800. Horacio Coppola was born in Buenos Aires on July 31, 1906, the youngest of 10 children. His parents, Italian immigrants, were well off, and he studied art, music, law and languages. He was about 20 when he began taking pictures.

He traveled to Europe in the 1920s and ’30s, and was excited by the modernist movement. Photography was coming into its own as an art form, with pictures being shot from odd angles and cropped for effect.

He met Ms. Stern in Germany; they married in London. There, he took portraits of famous artists, and worked on a book about Mesopotamian artifacts in the Louvre and the British Museum. The couple went back to Argentina in 1936. That year, he was commissioned to photograph Buenos Aires for its 400th anniversary, and produced evocative streetscapes that captured the romance, vitality and squalor of a great city.

He and Ms. Stern had a daughter, Silvia, and a son, Andres. They later divorced. In 1959 Mr. Coppola married Raquel Palomeque, a pianist. Ms. Stern, Ms. Palomeque and the two children died before him.

Deceased--Anthony J. Wiener

Futurists Herman Kahn, left, and Anthony J. Wiener in 1967.

Anthony J. Wiener
July 27th, 1930 to June 19th, 2012

"Anthony J. Wiener, Forecaster of the Future, Is Dead at 81"


Douglas Martin

June 26th, 2012

The New York Times

Einstein said he never thought about the future because it comes soon enough. Anthony J. Wiener thought about it deeply and influentially.

In 1967, Mr. Wiener, a self-described futurist, collaborated with Herman Kahn to write a 431-page book brimming with forecasts for the year 2000. Home computers? Check. Artificial organs and limbs? Check. Pagers and “perhaps even two-way pocket phones?” Why, yes!

But the millennium turned without noiseless helicopters replacing taxis. Artificial moons still do not illuminate huge swaths of the Earth. And are you, too, still waiting for that predicted 13-week vacation?

Mr. Wiener — no relation to the former congressman with a similar name — died on June 19 at his home in Closter, N.J., at 81. His wife, the former Deborah Zaidner, said the cause was cardiac arrest.

The book he and Mr. Kahn wrote was “The Year 2000: A Framework for Speculation on the Next Thirty-three Years,” and its publication was a milestone in the futurism fad of the 1960s. The book combined multifarious elements, from the insights of Aristotle to sophisticated statistical analysis, to create what the authors called “a framework for speculation.”

About half of its 100 predictions panned out — not including 150-year life spans or months of hibernation for humans.

But accuracy mattered less than what Mr. Wiener called “reducing the role of thoughtlessness” in making societal choices. Clarification, not prophecy, was the goal.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences helped finance the study, sponsored by the Hudson Institute, for which both authors worked.

Ken Weinstein, president of the institute, said Tuesday in an interview that the book was remarkable for its sophisticated methodology at a time when advanced computer modeling was still far off. More than simply extrapolating from trends observed in the 1960s, it tried to calculate “the complex and unexpected ways the future was going to be different.”

Anthony Janoff Wiener was born on July 27, 1930, in Newark and grew up in Maplewood, N.J.

He set up a public address system in his high school. He and a friend once took apart a car and then rebuilt it, just to see if they could do it. He graduated from Harvard and Harvard Law School.

His first wife, the former Helga Susanna Gerschenkron, died in 1977. He is survived by a son, Jonathan, and a daughter, Lisa Juckett, from that marriage.

In addition to his wife, survivors include their son, Adam; his sister, Carol Seaver; and three grandchildren from his first marriage.

In 1961, Mr. Wiener was a founding member of the Hudson Institute, a research center known for Mr. Kahn’s investigations of nuclear weapons strategy. Mr. Kahn was outspoken in urging that society grapple with the consequences of nuclear war with “thinking the unthinkable.”

Mr. Wiener consulted on the future with clients as diverse as the Stanford Research Institute, NASA and Shell Oil.

He worked for two years in the Nixon White House on urban policy and was a longtime editor of the journal Technology in Society. He taught for many years at what is now Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

Mr. Wiener died before his grander predictions — like finding life on other planets or settling undersea colonies — could be fulfilled. But his prophecy that fax machines would become office workhorses by 2000 hit the mark, at least until e-mail displaced them.


 The Year 2000: A Framework for Speculation on the Next Thirty-three Years

ISBN-10: 0025604406
ISBN-13: 978-0025604407

Deceased--Kinsey A. Anderson

Kinsey A. Anderson
September 18th, 1926 to June 11th, 2011

"Pioneering space physicist Kinsey Anderson has died at 85"


Robert Sanders

June 29th, 2012

UC Berkeley

Kinsey A. Anderson, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and an international leader in the field now called space physics, died June 11 in an assisted living facility in Pinole, Calif. He was 85 and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

For four decades, Anderson built experiments that flew on balloons, rockets and satellites and helped explain the nature of Earth’s aurora, or northern lights; solar flares and solar energetic particles; the solar wind sweeping through space; and the structure of Earth’s magnetic “tail.”

While a graduate student at the University of Minnesota in the early 1950s, he was a member of the group that first developed balloons that could take experiments to high altitudes in order to study cosmic rays and X-rays that are blocked by the atmosphere. He used these balloons, and later sounding rockets, to study high-energy cosmic rays and particles from the sun.

At UC Berkeley, he designed and built more advanced instruments that flew on over two dozen satellites. He convinced NASA that the Apollo 15 and 16 missions, which landed on the moon in the early 1970s, should carry subsatellites that could be left in lunar orbit. The goal was to measure the shadowing of energetic electrons by the moon to determine the motion of Earth’s magnetic tail, but he and former student Robert Lin, now a UC Berkeley professor of physics, discovered that electron detectors could also be used to measure the magnetic field on the surface of the moon. Lin subsequently built instruments for the Lunar Prospector and Mars Global Surveyor that used this technique to map the surface magnetic fields of the moon and Mars.

“It was a time of great discovery in space, and Kinsey opened up the entire field of space physics, helping to understand new phenomena that had never been seen before,” Lin said. “It was a very exciting time.”

In 1986, he and Lin also built detectors that flew aboard the European Space Agency’s Giotto spacecraft to sample gases coming off Halley’s Comet.

Anderson served for 10 years (1970-79) as director of UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL).During that time, the laboratory became a world leader in space research, said Lin, who subsequently served as SSL director.

Born in Preston, Minn., on Sept. 18, 1926, Anderson graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota in 1949 with a B.A. in physics and joined the University of Minnesota group that conducted the original research and development of balloons later used for high altitude research. He was awarded a patent for a novel method of measuring stresses in balloon material for different shapes of balloons.

For his Ph.D. thesis under University of Minnesota professor John Winckler, he used the balloon technology to measure cosmic rays at various latitudes and altitudes, even launching balloons from a U.S. aircraft carrier in the South Pacific. After completing his thesis in 1955, he accepted a post-doctoral position at the University of Iowa, where he subsequently joined the faculty in 1958.

Piqued by unexpected X-rays that he and Winckler had discovered emanating from the atmosphere above Northern Canada, Kinsey focused on X-ray detectors and established, by direct observations at high altitudes, that intense fluxes of very energetic protons are emitted by the sun during solar flares.

He joined the UC Berkeley physics department in 1960 and switched to the then-new technology of satellite instrumentation to study particles and X-rays from the sun. During the next 10 years, he and his students successfully flew instruments on more than a dozen spacecraft, “which may be a record number for any individual or research group,” Lin said. The space vehicles included IMP (Interplanetary Monitoring Platform) 1-6, Explorers 33 and 35, OGO (Orbiting Geophysical Observatory) 5, and the Apollo 15 and 16 subsatellites.

“A characteristic of this work was Kinsey’s unselfish leadership, which enabled his students to manage all aspects of their own research programs,” said SSL colleague Forrest Mozer, UC Berkeley professor emeritus of physics. “This approach produced scientists who are world leaders in research fields initiated by Kinsey and colleagues who appreciated Kinsey’s assistance in establishing their own research programs.”
Anderson with IMP instrument.

As SSL director, Anderson initiated a senior fellow program that allowed research scientists to become principal investigators, thus able to handle the administrative and technical burdens associated with the special needs of space flight programs.

Kinsey was an author of approximately 200 papers and trained 24 graduate students on such diverse topics as instrument design; auroral, solar and cosmic x-ray emissions; energetic particles from the sun, Earth’s bow shock, magnetosphere and tail; the plasma physics of Halley’s Comet; and remnant magnetic fields of the moon and Mars.

His research achievements resulted in his election as a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He also received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Space Science Award from the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics, a NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, the Alexander von Humboldt Award, fellowships in the American Geophysical Union, the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Toulouse. Upon his retirement from UC Berkeley in 1990, Kinsey received the Berkeley Citation for distinguished achievement and notable service to the university.

“Kinsey is remembered not only as a preeminent scientist, but as a humble, curious and witty man whose interests in art, music, nature and culture enriched the lives of all who knew him,” said SSL physicist George Parks.

Anderson is survived by his wife, Lilica Anderson (née Vassiliades) of El Cerrito; daughters Sindri Anderson of El Cerrito and Danae Anderson of Truckee, Calif.; and five grandchildren.

A memorial service is being planned for September.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Scientists' stereotypes

This is going to be difficult to alter. Scientists are loners, wear white coats, have thick glasses, and just plain nerdy.

"Why the Scientist Stereotype Is Bad for Everyone, Especially Kids"


Michael Brooks
June 15th, 2012


To many – too many – science is something like North Korea. Not only is it impossible to read or understand anything that comes out of that place, there are so many cultural differences that it’s barely worth trying. It’s easier just to let them get on with their lives while you get on with yours; as long as they don’t take our jobs or attack our way of life, we’ll leave them in peace.

That’s very frustrating to scientists, who often bemoan the lack of public interest in what science has to say. They’re right to be frustrated: all our futures are dependent on proper engagement with science. So, how to solve this problem?

In recent years, like fervent evangelicals, scientists have begun to instigate outreach programs. If people could only hear about how exciting science is, the thinking goes, they’ll be converted. Then we’ll finally be able to get on with tackling climate change, creationism in the classroom, stem cell research and so on.

The trouble is, those who are already fans of science lap it up while everyone else shrugs – and nothing has really changed. That’s because the problem doesn’t lie with the science. It lies with the scientists. Or rather the myth the scientists have created around themselves.

Just over a decade ago, a cadre of researchers carried out an interesting experiment at an elementary school in Raleigh, North Carolina. They showed the students a gallery of 10 portraits and asked them to identify which ones were scientists. The portraits were all scientists, in fact. However, the children “showed a decided tendency to identify the smiling pictures as not being scientists.” Clearly, scientists are not people who smile.

Then there’s the ongoing and ever-entertaining “Draw A Scientist” experiment. It’s been done in various ways since 1957, and the result has always been pretty much the same. Ask children in second grade and upwards to draw a scientist, and you are presented with a white male wearing a white lab coat, glasses and an excess of facial hair. This stereotype persists: when Seed magazine asked adults in New York’s Madison Square Park to take the test, they came out with the same stereotype. Hilariously, even scientists do it.

But this comical spectacle takes a more sinister turn when you ask children to draw a second scientist. In one fourth grade class set this task, almost half the children drew images containing danger and threat: Frankensteins, bombs, poisons and even one scientist holding a test tube high over his head while shouting, “With this I destroy the world”.

We are not consciously aware of it, but we have a deeply-rooted suspicion of scientists. They are not like us. They are not fun, they are not well turned-out human beings, and if pushed, we will admit we think they are dangerous. To find where this came from, we have to visit the post-war period of our history.

In a piece written for the January 1956 edition of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists the geneticist Jacob Bronowski makes a rather shocking claim. “People hate scientists,” he says. “There is no use beating about the bush here.”

This attitude arose, Bronowski said, as people learned about some of the recent achievements of science: atomic bombs, rocket-powered missiles, nerve gas tests carried out on unwitting soldiers and civilians and gruesome experiments on prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates. No wonder Winston Churchill declared in 1951 that it was “arguable whether the human race have been gainers by the march of science beyond the steam engines”.

The scientific establishment’s reaction to this sentiment has shaped our picture of science in the ensuing decades. Institutions such as the National Academy of Sciences in the US and the Royal Society in the UK had begun working on their image as soon as the war was over. The major strategy was to convince governments and the public that science had at its disposal a safe, efficient, controllable method that, given enough resources, would create a better world. It worked: by 1957, 96 per cent of Americans said they agreed with the statement that ‘science and technology are making our lives healthier, easier and more comfortable’. Across the Atlantic, the Royal Society implemented a program of controlling scientists’ image on broadcast media, offering the BBC only the safest of its scientists to collaborate with program makers. Memos from the Society to the broadcaster reveal earnest efforts to get the “perils and dilemmas angle” of science dropped in favor of programs that celebrate “the great solution wrought by the introduction of the experimental method.”

In a supplementary effort, more and more scientists began to expunge their humanity from the process of science. A 1957 editorial in the journal Science noted that some scientists believed use of “I” or We” “inserts a subjective element” into their reports of research; hence the growing practice of writing up research in the passive tense.

Some efforts to retain science’s humanity were made: one chemist’s reply to the editorial pointed out that “human agents are responsible for designing experiments, and they are present in the laboratory; writing awkward phrases to avoid admitting their responsibility and their presence is an odd way of being objective.” But the steamroller rolled on, and we slowly came to accept the cover-up. Scientists, we now unwittingly assume, are safe, dull, slightly inhuman and, it seems, unsmiling. That’s why, at the dinner party, everyone wants to sit next to the artist, not the scientist.

The sad thing is, they’re missing a treat. The pursuit of discovery provokes passionate, anarchic behavior from people desperate to be first to a breakthrough, and makes science more rock ‘n’ roll than the Rolling Stones. Scientists get into fights with colleagues (step forward Nobel laureate Werner Forssmann), take drugs to “open their minds” (Carl Sagan, Kary Mullis), follow through on ideas received in dreams or visions (August Kekule; Nikolai Tesla), fudge data and proofs to suit their argument (Einstein; Newton; Galileo), disregard their own personal safety and the strictures of ethics committees (Barry Marshall; Forssmann again). Scientists are much more interesting than they have been letting on.

Unfortunately, the suppression of the reality of science has had unintended consequences. The worst of these is in students’ engagement with science education. After all, what child would aspire to possessing a white coat, a glum demeanor, glasses and too much facial hair when there are pop singers, sports stars and artists to emulate?

The most important thing scientists can do for our future, to provoke an appropriate reaction to climate change research or to help future generations find a way out of the energy crisis, is not to moan about Congressional funding for physics, the lack of understanding about climate change or the rise of creationism. It’s much simpler than that. They need to step out of the lab and into the classroom.

Go into a school and ask “is science fun?” and some children will give you an outright no. Let them interact with a real working scientist, and their perception changes. Look at the “before” and “after” pictures, and the comments from seventh-graders who spent time with physicists from the Fermilab accelerator facility. They quickly realized that a white coat, facial hair, glasses and a penis isn’t standard issue – and neither are the scientists mad, bad and dangerous to know. It might not seem like much, but it might just be enough to safeguard all our futures.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosov's paper on Venus' atmosphere

Key figure of Russian Enlightenment, polymath Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosov (1711—1765) had discovered atmosphere of Venus during its transit over the Sun’s disc in 1761. This paper contains the first full English translation of his report (originally published in Russian in July of 1761 and in German in August of the same year), commentaries and extensive bibliography.

"Lomonosov’s Discovery of Venus Atmosphere in 1761: English Translation of Original Publication with Commentaries" by Vladimir Shiltsev

 Mikhail Lomonosov [Wikipedia]

Congratulations to Bruna P. W. de Oliveira

At long last she has secured her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Southern California.

Ph.D. Dissertation:

Modeling Nanodevices: From Semiconductor Heterostructures to Josephson Junction Arrays


In this thesis we study the physical properties of two distinct physical systems. First, a generalized propagation matrix method is used to study how scattering off local Einstein phonons affects resonant electron transmission through quantum wells. In particular, the parity and the number of the phonon mediated satellite resonances are found to depend on the available scattering channels. For a large number of phonon channels, the formation of low-energy impurity bands is observed. Furthermore, an effective theory is developed which accurately describes the phonon generated sidebands for sufficiently small electron-phonon coupling. Finally, the current-voltage characteristics caused by phonon assisted transmission satellites are discussed for a specific double barrier geometry. In the second part of this thesis we numerically investigate the complex interplay between frustration and disorder in a magnetically frustrated Josephson junction array on the square lattice with site dilution, modeled by the fully frustrated classical XY model on the same lattice. This system has a superconducting ground state featuring a vortex crystal induced by frustration. In absence of dilution this system is known to exhibit two thermal transitions: a Kosterlitz- Thouless transition at which superconductivity and quasi-long-range phase order disappear, and a higher-temperature transition at which the vortex crystal melts - the two critical temperatures delimit a chiral phase. We find that dilution enhances the width of the chiral phase, and that at a critical dilution superconductivity is suppressed down to zero temperature, while chiral order survives - the corresponding ground state of the system becomes therefore a chiral phase glass. At an even higher dilution chiral order disappears in the ground state, leaving the system in a vortex and phase glass state. We reconstruct the complex phase diagram via extensive Monte Carlo simulations, and we investigate the main signatures of the various phases in the transport properties (I-V characteristics).

The dissertation is not yet available.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Room for all...China sends a woman into space

"China sends first woman into space"

June 2912


China launched its most ambitious space mission yet on Saturday, carrying its first female astronaut and two male colleagues in an attempt to dock with an orbiting module and work on board for more than a week.

China's first female astronaut Liu Yang, waves during a sending-off ceremony Saturday before the launch of the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft rocket.
Sponsored Links

The Shenzhou 9 capsule lifted off as scheduled at 6:37 p.m. (1037 GMT) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert. All systems functioned normally and, just over 10 minutes later, it opened its solar panels and entered orbit.

The launch was declared a success by space program chief Chang Wanquan, a People's Liberation Army general who sits on the ruling Communist Party's powerful central military commission — underscoring the program's close military ties.

Female astronaut Liu Yang, 33, and two male crew members — mission commander and veteran astronaut Jing Haipeng, 45, and newcomer Liu Wang, 43 — are to dock the spacecraft with a prototype space lab launched last year in a key step toward building a permanent space station. All three are experienced pilots and officers in the Chinese air force.

Two of the astronauts will live and work inside the module to test its life-support systems while the third will remain in the capsule to deal with any unexpected emergencies.

China is hoping to join the United States and Russia as the only countries to send independently maintained space stations into orbit. It is already one of just three nations to have launched manned spacecraft on their own.

Another manned mission to the module is planned later this year, while possible future missions could include sending a man to the moon.

The space program is a source of enormous national pride for China, reflecting its rapid economic and technological progress and ambition to rank among the world's leading nations. The selection of the first female astronaut is giving the program an additional publicity boost.

On a state visit in Denmark, President Hu Jintao congratulated everyone connected with the mission.

"I urge you to carry forward the spirit … and make new contributions to advance the development of our country's manned space mission," Hu said in a statement read to technicians at Jiuquan.

The astronauts are expected to reach the module, called Tiangong 1, on Monday. Now orbiting at 213 miles above Earth, the module is only a prototype, and plans call for it to be replaced by a larger permanent space station due for completion around 2020.

That station is to weigh about 60 tons, slightly smaller than NASA's Skylab of the 1970s and about one-sixth the size of the 16-nation International Space Station.

China has only limited cooperation in space with other nations and its exclusion from the ISS, largely on objections from the United States, was one of the key spurs for it to pursue an independent space program 20 years ago.

China first launched a man into space in 2003 followed by a two-man mission in 2005 and a three-man trip in 2008 that featured the country's first space walk.

In November 2011, the unmanned Shenzhou 8 successfully docked twice with Tiangong 1 by remote control.

Shenzhou 9 is to first dock with the module by remote control, then separate and dock again manually in order to fully test the reliability of the system. The astronauts are to conduct medical tests and various other experiments before returning to Earth after more than 10 days.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Responsible scientific research

On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research

Maybe a copy should be given to all science graduates.

About the book...

The scientific research enterprise is built on a foundation of trust. Scientists trust that the results reported by others are valid. Society trusts that the results of research reflect an honest attempt by scientists to describe the world accurately and without bias. But this trust will endure only if the scientific community devotes itself to exemplifying and transmitting the values associated with ethical scientific conduct.

On Being a Scientist was designed to supplement the informal lessons in ethics provided by research supervisors and mentors. The book describes the ethical foundations of scientific practices and some of the personal and professional issues that researchers encounter in their work. It applies to all forms of research--whether in academic, industrial, or governmental settings-and to all scientific disciplines.

This third edition of On Being a Scientist reflects developments since the publication of the original edition in 1989 and a second edition in 1995. A continuing feature of this edition is the inclusion of a number of hypothetical scenarios offering guidance in thinking about and discussing these scenarios.

On Being a Scientist is aimed primarily at graduate students and beginning researchers, but its lessons apply to all scientists at all stages of their scientific careers.

Here is a free copy...

On Being a Scientist

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Einstein, religion, science

"The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science." --Albert Einstein


In recent centuries the world has become increasingly dominated by empirical evidence and theoretic science in developing worldviews. Advances in science have dictated Roman Catholic doctrine such as the acceptance of Darwinian evolution and Big Bang cosmology. Albert Einstein (1879-1955) created an indelible impact on the relationship between science and religion. The question is whether or not his work was deleterious for church doctrine or whether it was compatible with, or even advanced, church dogma. It’s my contention that Einstein revived the relationship between science and theology and did not create a bifurcation between the two. Despite his personal religious beliefs, his work has helped to reinforce the harmonious conjunction of science with religion, which cannot be ignored by succeeding scientists and theologians. 

Einstein--Gutkind letter...SOLD!

Einstein's "religious" letter...two essays


Friday, June 8, 2012

Deceased--Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury
August 22nd, 1920 to June 5th, 2012

"Ray Bradbury dies at 91; author lifted fantasy to literary heights"

Ray Bradbury's more than 27 novels and 600 short stories helped give stylistic heft to fantasy and science fiction. In 'The Martian Chronicles' and other works, the L.A.-based Bradbury mixed small-town familiarity with otherworldly settings.


Lynell George

The Los Angeles Times

Ray Bradbury, the writer whose expansive flights of fantasy and vividly rendered space-scapes have provided the world with one of the most enduring speculative blueprints for the future, has died. He was 91.

Bradbury died Tuesday night in Los Angeles, his agent Michael Congdon confirmed. His family said in a statement that he had suffered from a long illness.

Author of more than 27 novels and story collections—most famously "The Martian Chronicles," "Fahrenheit 451," "Dandelion Wine" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes"—and more than 600 short stories, Bradbury has frequently been credited with elevating the often-maligned reputation of science fiction. Some say he singlehandedly helped to move the genre into the realm of literature.

"The only figure comparable to mention would be [Robert A.] Heinlein and then later [Arthur C.] Clarke," said Gregory Benford, a UC Irvine physics professor who is also a Nebula award-winning science fiction writer. "But Bradbury, in the '40s and '50s, became the name brand."

Much of Bradbury's accessibility and ultimate popularity had to do with his gift as a stylist—his ability to write lyrically and evocatively of lands an imagination away, worlds he anchored in the here and now with a sense of visual clarity and small-town familiarity.

The late Sam Moskowitz, the preeminent historian of science fiction, once offered this assessment: "In style, few match him. And the uniqueness of a story of Mars or Venus told in the contrasting literary rhythms of Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe is enough to fascinate any critic."

As influenced by George Bernard Shaw and William Shakespeare as he was by Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Bradbury was an expert of the taut tale, the last-sentence twist. And he was more celebrated for short fiction than his longer works.

"It's telling that we read Bradbury for his short stories," said Benford. "They are glimpses. The most important thing about writers is how they exist in our memories. Having read Bradbury is like having seen a striking glimpse out of a car window and then being whisked away."

An example is from 1957's "Dandelion Wine":
"The sidewalks were haunted by dust ghosts all night as the furnace wind summoned them up, swung them about and gentled them down in a warm spice on the lawns. Trees, shaken by the footsteps of late-night strollers, sifted avalanches of dust. From midnight on, it seemed a volcano beyond the town was showering red-hot ashes everywhere, crusting slumberless night watchman and irritable dogs. Each house was a yellow attic smoldering with spontaneous combustion at three in the morning."

Bradbury's poetically drawn and atmospheric fictions—horror, fantasy, shadowy American gothics—explored life's secret corners: what was hidden in the margins of the official family narrative, or the white noise whirring uncomfortably just below the placid surface. He offered a set of metaphors and life puzzles to ponder for the rocket age and beyond, and has influenced a wide swath of popular culture--from children's writer R.L. Stine and singer Elton John (who penned his hit "Rocket Man" as an homage), to architect Jon Jerde who enlisted Bradbury to consider and offer suggestions about reimagining public spaces.

Bradbury frequently attempted to shrug out of the narrow "sci-fi" designation, not because he was put off by it, but rather because he believed it was imprecise.

"I'm not a science fiction writer," he was frequently quoted as saying. "I've written only one book of science fiction ["Fahrenheit 451"]. All the others are fantasy. Fantasies are things that can't happen, and science fiction is about things that can happen."

It wasn't merely semantics.

His stories were multi-layered and ambitious. Bradbury was far less concerned with mechanics—how many tanks of fuel it took to get to Mars and with what rocket—than what happened once the crew landed there, or what they would impose on their environment. "He had this flair for getting to really major issues," said Paul Alkon, emeritus professor of English and American literature at USC.

"He wasn't interested in current doctrines of political correctness or particular forms of society. Not what was wrong in '58 or 2001 but the kinds of issues that are with us every year."

Benford said Bradbury "emphasized rhetoric over reason and struck resonant notes with the bulk of the American readership—better than any other science fiction writer. Even [H.G.] Wells ... [Bradbury] anchored everything in relationships. Most science fiction doesn't."

Whether describing a fledgling Earthling colony bullying its way on Mars (" -- And the Moon Be Still as Bright" in 1948) or a virtual-reality baby-sitting tool turned macabre monster ("The Veldt" in 1950), Bradbury wanted his readers to consider the consequences of their actions: "I'm not a futurist. People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it."

He long maligned computers -- stubbornly holding on to his typewriter -- and hated the Internet. He said ebooks "smell like burned fuel" and refused to allow his publishers to release electronic versions of his works until last year, when he finally agreed so that Simon & Schuster could release the first digital copy of "Fahrenheit 451."

Ray Douglas Bradbury was born Aug. 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Ill., to Leonard Spaulding Bradbury and the former Esther Marie Moberg. As a child he soaked up the ambience of small-town life — wraparound porches, fireflies and the soft, golden light of late afternoon — that would later become a hallmark of much of his fiction.

"When I was born in 1920," he told the New York Times Magazine in 2000, "the auto was only 20 years old. Radio didn't exist. TV didn't exist. I was born at just the right time to write about all of these things."

The cusp of what was and what would be -- that was Bradbury's perfect perch. "He's a poet of the expanding world view of the 20th century," Benford said. "He coupled the American love of machines to the love of frontiers."

As a child, Bradbury was romanced by fantasy in its many forms— Grimms Fairy Tales and L. Frank Baum (the author of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"), the world's fairs and Lon Chaney Sr., Buck Rogers and "Amazing Stories."

But with the magic came the nightmares. Bradbury spoke often of the night visions that kept him sweating and sleepless in the first decade of his life.

Writing became a release valve of sorts. He often told, and elaborately embroidered, the story of the epiphany that led him to become a writer. A visit to the carnival at 12 brought him face to face with Mr. Electrico, a magician who awakened Bradbury to the notions of reincarnation and immortality.

"He was a miracle of magic, seated at the electric chair, swathed in black velvet robes, his face burning like white phosphor, blue sparks hissing from his fingertips," he recalled in interviews. "He pointed at me, touched me with his electric sword—my hair stood on end—and said, 'Live forever.' " Transfixed, Bradbury returned day after day. "He took me down to the lake shore and talked his small philosophies and I talked my big ones," Bradbury said. "He said we met before. 'You were my best friend. You died in my arms in 1918, in France.' I knew something special had happened in my life. I stood by the carousel and wept."

From then on, he spent at least four hours a day every day, unleashing those night visions in stories he wrote on butcher paper.

After a series of moves, the Bradbury family settled in Los Angeles in 1934. Ray dabbled in drama and journalism, fell in love with the movies and periodically sent jokes to the George Burns and Gracie Allen radio show. He read constantly and his writing output steadily increased and improved. While at Los Angeles High, Bradbury became involved with the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society where he met and got critiques of his work from science fiction writers Heinlein, Henry Kuttner and Jack Williamson.

"It's a wonder that he survived because we were all ready to strangle him," the late Forrest J. Ackerman, a founder of the society, said in a 1988 Times story. "He was such an obnoxious youth -- which he would be the first to admit. He was loud and boisterous and liked to do a W.C. Fieldsact and Hitler imitations. He would pull all sorts of pranks."

Bradbury graduated in 1938, with not enough money for college. Poor eyesight kept him out of the military, but he kept writing.

His stories began to appear in small genre pulps. Among the first was "Hollerbochen's Dilemma," which was published by Imagination! magazine in 1939. That year he also began putting out his own mimeographed fan magazine, Futuria Fantasia. In 1941, Bradbury sold his first story, "Pendulum," a collaboration with Henry Hasse that appeared in Super Science Stories. Soon his solo work found buyers: "The Piper" appeared in 1941 in "Thrilling Wonder Stories," followed by a string of sales to other pulp magazines.

In 1945, "The Big Black and White Game," published in the American Mercury, opened the doors to other mainstream publications including Saturday Evening Post, Vogue and Colliers. "A young assistant [at Mademoiselle] found one of my stories in the 'slush pile.' It was about a family of vampires [and] called 'The Homecoming.' " Bradbury told the Christian Science Monitor in 1991. "He gave it to the story editor and said, 'You must publish this!' " That young assistant was Truman Capote, whose own "Homecoming" brought him renown.

Bradbury married Marguerite McClure in 1947, the same year he published his first collection of short stories — "Dark Carnival" (Arkham House) — a series of vignettes that revisited his childhood hauntings.

His first big break came in 1950, when Doubleday collected some new and previously published Martian stories in a volume titled "The Martian Chronicles." A progression of pieces that were at once adventures and allegories taking on such freighted issues as censorship, racism and technology, the book established him as an author of particular insight and note. And a rave review from novelist Christopher Isherwood in Tomorrow magazine helped Bradbury step over the threshold from genre writer to mainstream visionary.

"The Martian Chronicles" incorporated themes that Bradbury would continue to revisit for the rest of his life. "Lost love. Love interrupted by the vicissitudes of time and space. Human condition in the large perspective and definition of what is human," said Benford. "He saw ... the problems that the new technologies presented — from robots to the super-intelligent house to the time machine -- that called into question our comfy definitions of human."

Bradbury's follow-up bestseller, 1953's "Fahrenheit 451," was based on two earlier short stories and written in the basement of the UCLA library, where he fed the typewriter 10 cents every half-hour. "You'd type like hell," he often recalled. "I spent $9.80 and in nine days I had 'Fahrenheit 451.' "

Books like "Fahrenheit 451," in which interactive TV spans three walls, and "The Illustrated Man" — the 1951 collection in which "The Veldt" appeared — not only became bestsellers and ultimately films but cautionary tales that became part of the American vernacular.

"The whole problem in 'Fahrenheit' centers around the debate whether technology will destroy us," said George Slusser, curator emeritus of the J. Lloyd Eaton Collection of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Utopia at UC Riverside. "But there will always be a spirit that keeps things alive. In the case of 'Fahrenheit,' even though this totalitarian government is destroying the books, the people have memorized them. There are people who love the written word. That is true in most of his stories. He has deep faith in human culture."

Besides books and short stories, Bradbury wrote poetry, plays, teleplays, even songs. In 1956, he was tapped by John Huston to write the screenplay for "Moby Dick." In 1966, the French auteur director Francois Truffaut brought "Fahrenheit 451" to the screen. And in 1969 "The Illustrated Man" became a film starring Rod Steiger.

Bradbury's profile soared.

But as he garnered respect in the mainstream, he lost some standing among science fiction purists. In these circles, Bradbury was often criticized for being "anti-science." Instead of celebrating scientific breakthroughs, he was reserved, even cautious.

Bradbury had very strong opinions about what the future had become. In the drive to make their lives smart and efficient, humans, he feared, had lost touch with their souls. "We've got to dumb America up again," he said.

Over the years he amassed a mantel full of honors. Among them: the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters (2000), the Los Angeles Times' Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award (1998), the Nebula Award (1988), the Science Fiction Hall of Fame (1970), O. Henry Memorial Award (1947-48) and a special distinguished-career citation from the Pulitzer Prize board in 2007, which was "an enormous nod of respect from the mainstream media," Lou Anders, editorial director of the science fiction and fantasy imprint PYR, told the New York Times.

Bradbury helped plan the Spaceship Earth at Disney's Epcot Center in Orlando, Fla., as well as projects at Euro Disney in France. He was a creative consultant on architect Jerde's projects, helping to design several Southern California shopping malls including the Glendale Galleria, Horton Plaza in San Diego and the Westside Pavilion in Los Angeles.

Even in his later years, Bradbury kept up his 1,000-words-a-day writing schedule, working on an electric typewriter even when technology had passed it by. "Why do I need a computer ... all a computer is is a typewriter."

Though he didn't drive, Bradbury could often be spotted out and about Los Angeles. A familiar figure with a wind-blown mane of white hair and heavy black-framed glasses, he'd browse the stacks of libraries and bookstores, his bicycle leaning against a store front or pole just outside.

A stroke in late 1999 slowed him but didn't stop him.

He began dictating his work over the phone to one of his daughters, who helped to transcribe and edit. In 2007 he began pulling rare or unfinished pieces from his archives. "Now and Forever," a collection of "Leviathan '99" and "Somewhere a Band Is Playing," was published in 2007 and "We'll Always Have Paris Stories" in 2009.

His 90th birthday, in 2010, was cause for a weeklong celebration in Los Angeles.

"All I can do is teach people to fall in love," Bradbury told Time magazine that year. "My advice to them is, do what you love and love what you do. … If I can teach them that, I've done a great job."

Most Americans make their acquaintance with Bradbury in junior high, and there are many who revisit certain works for a lifetime, his books evoking their own season.

In an interview in the Onion, Bradbury chalked up his stories' relevance and resonance to this: "I deal in metaphors. All my stories are like the Greek and Roman myths, and the Egyptian myths, and the Old and New Testament.... If you write in metaphors, people can remember them.... I think that's why I'm in the schools."

Benford suggests something else—at once simple and seductive.

"Nostalgia is eternal. And Americans are often displaced from their origins and carry an anxious memory of it, of losing their origins. Bradbury reminds us of what we were and of what we could be," Benford said.

"Like most creative people, he was still a child, His stories tell us: Hold on to your childhood. You don't get another one. I don't think he ever put that away."

Bradbury is survived by his daughters Susan Nixon, Ramona Ostergren, Bettina Karapetian and Alexandra Bradbury; and eight grandchildren. His wife, Marguerite, died in 2003.

"Ray Bradbury, Master of Science Fiction, Dies at 91"


Gerald Jonas

June 6th, 2012

The New York Times

Ray Bradbury, a master of science fiction whose imaginative and lyrical evocations of the future reflected both the optimism and the anxieties of his own postwar America, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 91.

His death was confirmed by his agent, Michael Congdon.

By many estimations Mr. Bradbury was the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream. His name would appear near the top of any list of major science-fiction writers of the 20th century, beside those of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein and the Polish author Stanislaw Lem. His books have been taught in schools and colleges, where many a reader has been introduced to them decades after they first appeared. Many have said his stories fired their own imaginations.

More than eight million copies of his books have been sold in 36 languages. They include the short-story collections “The Martian Chronicles,” “The Illustrated Man” and “The Golden Apples of the Sun,” and the novels “Fahrenheit 451” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”

Though none won a Pulitzer Prize, Mr. Bradbury received a Pulitzer citation in 2007 “for his distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy.”

His writing career stretched across 70 years, to the last weeks of his life. The New Yorker published an autobiographical essay by him in its June 4th double issue devoted to science fiction. There he recalled his “hungry imagination” as a boy in Illinois.

“It was one frenzy after one elation after one enthusiasm after one hysteria after another,” he wrote, noting, “You rarely have such fevers later in life that fill your entire day with emotion.”

Mr. Bradbury sold his first story to a magazine called Super Science Stories in his early 20s. By 30 he had made his reputation with “The Martian Chronicles,” a collection of thematically linked stories published in 1950.

The book celebrated the romance of space travel while condemning the social abuses that modern technology had made possible, and its impact was immediate and lasting. Critics who had dismissed science fiction as adolescent prattle praised “Chronicles” as stylishly written morality tales set in a future that seemed just around the corner.

Mr. Bradbury was hardly the first writer to represent science and technology as a mixed bag of blessings and abominations. The advent of the atomic bomb in 1945 left many Americans deeply ambivalent toward science. The same “super science” that had ended World War II now appeared to threaten the very existence of civilization. Science-fiction writers, who were accustomed to thinking about the role of science in society, had trenchant things to say about the nuclear threat.

But the audience for science fiction, published mostly in pulp magazines, was small and insignificant. Mr. Bradbury looked to a larger audience: the readers of mass-circulation magazines like Mademoiselle and The Saturday Evening Post. These readers had no patience for the technical jargon of the science fiction pulps. So he eliminated the jargon; he packaged his troubling speculations about the future in an appealing blend of cozy colloquialisms and poetic metaphors.

Though his books, particularly “The Martian Chronicles,” became a staple of high school and college English courses, Mr. Bradbury himself disdained formal education. He went so far as to attribute his success as a writer to his never having gone to college.

Instead, he read everything he could get his hands on: Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway. He paid homage to them in 1971 in the essay “How Instead of Being Educated in College, I Was Graduated From Libraries.” (Late in life he took an active role in fund-raising efforts for public libraries in Southern California.)

Mr. Bradbury referred to himself as an “idea writer,” by which he meant something quite different from erudite or scholarly. “I have fun with ideas; I play with them,” he said. “I’m not a serious person, and I don’t like serious people. I don’t see myself as a philosopher. That’s awfully boring.”

He added, “My goal is to entertain myself and others.”

He described his method of composition as “word association,” often triggered by a favorite line of poetry.

Mr. Bradbury’s passion for books found expression in his dystopian novel “Fahrenheit 451,” published in 1953. But he drew his primary inspiration from his childhood. He boasted that he had total recall of his earliest years, including the moment of his birth. Readers had no reason to doubt him.As for the protagonists of his stories, no matter how far they journeyed from home, they learned that they could never escape the past.

In his best stories and in his autobiographical novel, “Dandelion Wine” (1957), he gave voice to both the joys and fears of childhood, as well as its wonders.

“Dandelion Wine” begins before dawn on the first day of summer. From a window, Douglas Spaulding, 12, looks out upon his town, “covered over with darkness and at ease in bed.” He has a task to perform.

“One night each week he was allowed to leave his father, his mother, and his younger brother Tom asleep in their small house next door and run here, up the dark spiral stairs to his grandparents’ cupola,” Mr. Bradbury writes, “and in this sorcerer’s tower sleep with thunders and visions, to wake before the crystal jingle of milk bottles and perform his ritual magic.

“He stood at the open window in the dark, took a deep breath and exhaled. The street lights, like candles on a black cake, went out. He exhaled again and again and the stars began to vanish.”

Now he begins to point his finger — “There, and there. Now over here, and here ... ” — and lights come on, and the town begins to stir.

“Clock alarms tinkled faintly. The courthouse clock boomed. Birds leaped from trees like a net thrown by his hand, singing. Douglas, conducting an orchestra, pointed to the eastern sky.

“The sun began to rise.

“He folded his arms and smiled a magician’s smile. Yes, sir, he thought, everyone jumps, everyone runs when I yell. It’ll be a fine season.

“He gave the town a last snap of his fingers.

“Doors slammed open; people stepped out.

“Summer 1928 began.”

Raymond Douglas Bradbury was born Aug. 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Ill., a small city whose Norman Rockwellesque charms he later reprised in his depiction of the fictional Green Town in “Dandelion Wine” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” and in the fatally alluring fantasies of the astronauts in “The Martian Chronicles.” His father, Leonard, a lineman with the electric company, numbered among his ancestors a woman who was tried as a witch in Salem, Mass.

An unathletic child who suffered from bad dreams, he relished the tales of the Brothers Grimm and the Oz stories of L. Frank Baum, which his mother, the former Esther Moberg, read to him. An aunt, Neva Bradbury, took him to his first stage plays, dressed him in monster costumes for Halloween and introduced him to Poe’s stories. He discovered the science-fiction pulps and began collecting the comic-strip adventures of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. The impetus to become a writer was supplied by a carnival magician named Mr. Electrico, who engaged the boy, then 12, in a conversation that touched on immortality.

In 1934 young Ray, his parents and his older brother, Leonard, moved to Los Angeles. (Another brother and a sister had died young.) Ray became a movie buff, sneaking into theaters as often as nine times a week by his count. Encouraged by a high school English teacher and the professional writers he met at the Los Angeles chapter of the Science Fiction League, he began an enduring routine of turning out at least a thousand words a day on his typewriter.

His first big success came in 1947 with the short story “Homecoming,” narrated by a boy who feels like an outsider at a family reunion of witches, vampires and werewolves because he lacks supernatural powers. The story, plucked from the pile of unsolicited manuscripts at Mademoiselle by a young editor named Truman Capote, earned Mr. Bradbury an O. Henry Award as one of the best American short stories of the year.

With 26 other stories in a similar vein, “Homecoming” appeared in Mr. Bradbury’s first book, “Dark Carnival,” published by a small specialty press in 1947. That same year he married Marguerite Susan McClure, whom he had met in a Los Angeles bookstore.

Having written himself “down out of the attic,” as he later put it, Mr. Bradbury focused on science fiction. In a burst of creativity from 1946 to 1950, he produced most of the stories later collected in “The Martian Chronicles” and “The Illustrated Man” and the novella that formed the basis of “Fahrenheit 451.”

While science-fiction purists complained about Mr. Bradbury’s cavalier attitude toward scientific facts — he gave his fictional Mars an impossibly breathable atmosphere — the literary establishment waxed enthusiastic. The novelist Christopher Isherwood greeted Mr. Bradbury as “a very great and unusual talent,” and one of Mr. Bradbury’s personal heroes, Aldous Huxley, hailed him as a poet. In 1954, the National Institute of Arts and Letters honored Mr. Bradbury for “his contributions to American literature,” in particular the novel “Fahrenheit 451.”

“The Martian Chronicles” was pieced together from 26 stories, only a few of which were written with the book in mind. The patchwork narrative spans the years 1999 to 2026, depicting a series of expeditions to Mars and their aftermath. The native Martians, who can read minds, resist the early arrivals from Earth, but are finally no match for them and their advanced technology as the humans proceed to destroy the remains of an ancient civilization.

Parallels to the fate of American Indian cultures are pushed to the point of parody; the Martians are finally wiped out by an epidemic of chickenpox. When nuclear war destroys Earth, the descendants of the human colonists realize that they have become the Martians, with a second chance to create a just society.

“Fahrenheit 451” is perhaps his most successful book-length narrative. An indictment of authoritarianism, it portrays a book-burning America of the near future, its central character a so-called fireman, whose job is to light the bonfires. (The title refers to the temperature at which paper ignites.) Some critics compared it favorably to George Orwell’s “1984.” François Truffaut adapted the book for a well-received movie in 1966 starring Oskar Werner and Julie Christie.As Mr. Bradbury’s reputation grew, he found new outlets for his talents. He wrote the screenplay for John Huston’s 1956 film version of “Moby-Dick,” scripts for the television series “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and collections of poetry and plays.

In the mid-1980s he was the on-camera host of “Ray Bradbury Theater,” a cable series that featured dramatizations of his short stories.

While Mr. Bradbury championed the space program as an adventure that humanity dared not shirk, he was content to restrict his own adventures to the realm of imagination. He lived in the same house in Los Angeles for more than 5o years, rearing four daughters with his wife, Marguerite, who died in 2003. For many years he refused to travel by plane, preferring trains, and he never learned to drive.

In 2004, President George W. Bush and the first lady, Laura Bush, presented Mr. Bradbury with the National Medal of Arts.Mr. Bradbury is survived by his daughters, Susan Nixon, Ramona Ostergen, Bettina Karapetian and Alexandra Bradbury, and eight grandchildren.

Though the sedentary writing life appealed to him most, he was not reclusive. He developed a flair for public speaking and was widely sought after on the national lecture circuit. There he talked about his struggle to reconcile his mixed feelings about modern life, a theme that animated much of the fiction and won him a large and sympathetic audience.

And he talked about the future, perhaps his favorite subject, describing how it both attracted and repelled him, leaving him with apprehension and hope.

Ray Bradbury [Wikipedia]

Ray Bradbury...a writer...a science fiction writer

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