An alternative to New Year’s Resolutions
December 29, 2011
Instead of a bunch of New Year’s Resolutions I thought I’d mention four of my childhood mistakes. Without further ado:
- Ascension. I used to think that Ascension was to celebrate the 1969 moon landing. The error is somewhat less obvious in Dutch, as “Hemelvaart” —as it is known there— translates to “Heaven/Sky Flight”.
- Kissing. When actors kiss in movies, it surely must be some sort of visual trick because only people who are in love could possibly want to kiss each other and the odds that two professional actors randomly thrown together are in fact in love is diminishingly small.
- Adulthood. The best thing about being an adult is not —as I used to think— being allowed to do adult stuff. Turns out adult stuff is major league boring and frustrating. The best thing about being an adult is that you can do all the kids stuff you want and nobody is going to tell you to stop.
- Lasers. The only mechanism by which I could imagine lasers to work was for them to be funnels made of reflective material. I knew there was a mirror involved, just got the geometry wrong, after all, if it works for water, why can’t it work for photons? These days I do understand how the electron states are perturbed by passing photons, though I still have major problems understanding the basic principles of holograms.