Gonzo106

Jonathan Downes


Published on November 29, 2014

2 49927 Dear Friends, Welcome to another issue of this peculiar little magazine which I started for fun, and which, like most things I start for fun, has got completely out of hand. I still claim to be a scientist, although sometimes it seems that my artistic endeavours overshadow my scientific ones to a greater or lesser degree, but I have to admit that I see no real difference between art and science. The tradition of ‘Artists who do Science’ and, indeed, ‘Scientists who do Art’ is a long and honourable one; it is well known, for example, that Queen guitarist Brian May has a Phd in Astrophysics after submitting his thesis in August 2007 (one year earlier than he estimated it would take to complete). As well as writing up the previous work he had done, May had to review the work on zodiacal dust undertaken during the intervening 33 years, which included the discovery of the zodiacal dust bands by the IRAS infrared astronomical satellite. After a viva voce , the revised thesis (entitled A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud) was approved in September 2007, some 37 years after it had been commenced. It also works the other way. A science fiction author of whom I am rather fond is the late Leó Szilárd who was a Hungarian-American physicist and inventor. He conceived the nuclear chain reaction in 1933, patented the idea of a nuclear reactor with Enrico Fermi, and in late 1939 wrote the letter for Albert Einstein's signature that resulted in the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb. The Friday before last I did something that I really should have done for a long time. As regular readers will know, we stream several weekly radio shows on Gonzo Web Radio, and write about them here on The Gonzo Weekly . For weeks, nay months, I had been intending to sit in on the chat room and 3