Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Monday Nothing, Tuesday Nothing, Wednesday and Thursday Nothing...

Some of us have trouble storing things and then retrieving them effectively, whether they be pair of socks or relatives' birthdays. I am therefore extremely impressed by the physicists who successfully stored nothing, and then successfully retrieved it. I feel an IgNobel coming on, though of course when this stuff turns into the basis of every computer in the world maybe they'll get a real Nobel.

Anyone remember which group had a cult hit (I doubt it ever charted) with the song Nothing which provides my title?

And no post on the topic of nothing would be complete without John Cage's 4'33". The idea of the piece, of course, is to bring to the audience's attention all the "background noise" we experience along with a piece of music in a concert but simply don't pay attention to (subway and traffic rumbles, people coughing and turning programme pages, air conditioning, the phone downstairs in the box office). The title is rather neat as well. If you read it as "273 seconds", it is intended to call to mind the temperature of minus 273 Celsius, otherwise known as.....Absolute Zero.