Friday, January 7, 2011

Inspiration in Science

The beginnings of semesters are always interesting times.  One of the great aspects about academia that tends to get lost in the outside world:  the sense of a new beginning.  Back when I was in college, no matter how hard or bad a semester might have been, there was always that next semester which presented an opportunity to take a breather, get up, dust off and get ready to prove the world wrong.  Its a view I try to impress on my engineering student's at each semester's start.

This semester, one student in particular asked me about inspiration, and where I would find it at such times.  I find that inspiration in life with vary from person to person.  Part of if comes from having a passion about what you are doing.  However, even though that passion may exist, its still usually not enough to get through a lot of the work and tedium that may come with even the most adventurous or exciting jobs (even rock stars have to worry about stuff like legal contracts, management and business).

So besides my own interest in is usually one of my greatest sources of inspiration.  Now, in my own personal opinion, today's music is at an all time low when it comes to quality, depth and creativity (my apologies to those who hear me complain about it way too much).  However, there are bright spots still out there.  

Postrock, Mogwai in particular, is an example of a band who always gets my science side going.  

Besides paying tribute, Mogwai's video for "stanley kubrick" is a rare feat of being wondrous, creepy, mysterious, historical and humorous all at the same time:

And one the best songs ever composed:  New Paths to Helicon Part 1:

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