NGC 1232 is a barred spiral galaxy of about 200,000 light-years across (almost twice the size of our Milky Way), located some 61 million light-years away in the constellation of Eridanus (The River). It shines with the light of 50 billion stars like the Sun and is about 2.2 times as bright as the Milky Way.
It is dominated by millions of bright stars and dark dust, in spiral arms rotating about the center. Open clusters containing bright blue stars are sprinkled along these spiral arms, with dark lanes of dense interstellar dust between. Less visible are dim normal stars and interstellar gas, producing such high mass that they dominate the dynamics of the inner galaxy. Not visible is matter of unknown form called dark matter, needed to explain the motions of the visible material in the outer galaxy.
NGC 1232 is moving away from us at approximately 1603 kilometers per second. (from Hitchikers Guide to the Universe, aka Wikipedia)
Welcome to Resonance, the Nexus 1 of Art & Science. In this place, we aim to re-kindle wonder. Imagine the wonder of the ancient greek astronomers2 as they gazed into the heavens and realized we were on a relatively small spinning rock in a vast sea of space and stars, not a static land with a changing sky. Or Einstein’s “happy thought” to realize that if we plummeted to our death, we felt no gravity 3 Or young Isla’s wonder as she discovers the fundamental force of magnetism.
In Resonance, we intend to re-capture that sense of wonder, to put it in a glass bottle, label it “Wonder”, and store it away in the shed. This is the place for all of us Sciency-Artsy nerds, and surprisingly there’s many of us, who waffled between arts and science, and had to choose one or the other. Well, now you can have both, with a fair heap of gut-splitting humour to boot. It’s the trifecta of culture, or as Conan O’Brien recently put it “I can have my cake, eat it, and sh** it out too!” 4
This is an experiment.
And in the nature of all experiments, we don’t know how it’s going to turn out. We have our hypothesis, our methods, but we have not written this paper yet. The idea is this: throw some quasi-sci-fi in with some irreverent, often ill-advised, likely offensive humour, simmer, and sell some t-shirts. This is an Arts & Science commune. If you have a science or arts piece you’ve got to get off your chest, send it to me. I’ll talk to some people, see what we can do. But mostly we want to sell t-shirts and other cool stuff.
As a first attempt, please enjoy Tales from Fathomland: The Next Wave Part 1 and Part 2. This is an organic (meaning incomplete) work that is changing as we speak. Here’s a sample of what you’re in for, delivered by the Method Man himself, Dr. Steven Weijs as The Mountain Man:
Steven actually hiked to a mountain hutte and stayed there for 1 week without internet, food, or friends, and this is what he came down the mountain with.
Travelers have contributed their voices to the story, artists their art, musicians their sounds, and God herself has guided my fingers to create this piece. Please engage in the divine (and buy a t-shirt, but not the hoodie, we don’t make enough on the hoodies).
- Cool word
- Timothy Ferris’ Coming of Age in the Milky Way is a great story about how we got to this place in human understanding of the cosmos
- The young physicist was sitting at his desk in the patent office at Bern when this thought occurred to him: If a person fell freely from the roof of his house, he would not feel his own weight.
- Expect more irreverent quotes to follow. No apology offered