Year: 2023
Original Format: mp3

Until I went to see Oppenheimer the other week, I was not aware that Oppie (as they repeatedly insist on calling him in the film) was involved in an argument with Einstein over the existence of black holes.

In 1939, Einstein would attempt to prove that black holes were impossible in his publication “On a Stationary System with Spherical Symmetry Consisting of Many Gravitating Masses,” using his theory of general relativity to defend his argument. Months later, Oppenheimer and his student Hartland Snyder would provide the Oppenheimer–Snyder model in their paper “On Continued Gravitational Contraction,” which predicted the existence of black holes. In the paper, which made no reference to Einstein’s recent publication, Oppenheimer and Snyder used Einstein’s own theory of general relativity to show the conditions on how a black hole could develop for the first time in contemporary physics. (Wikipedia)

Oppenheimer won. That had to feel good.


Solar Wind Sound NASA
“During its first few years of exploring the Sun, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe recorded six strange but amazing sounds of the solar wind. The solar wind is a stream of charged particles released from the Sun’s upper atmosphere, known as the Corona. Scientists have studied the solar wind for more than 60 years, but they’re still puzzled over some of its behaviours. However, by listening to the pressure waves it produces, we can hear the bizarre sounds of the Sun.” —V101 Space

Into the Sun Geoffrey McGivern & Simon Jones
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (live) Pink Floyd
“[‘Set the Controls’] gave Douglas Adams the idea for a rock band called Disaster Area, in his book The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe. The band planned to crash a space ship into a nearby star as a stunt during a concert.” —Wikipedia

The Weight of Love The Black Keys
”This song is what happens when you try to cover Pink Floyd’s ‘Breathe’ and Neil Young’s ‘Down By The River’ at the same time.” —YouTube commenter brianmathews2926

Truth Is Heavy Benjamin Booker
After releasing the album this is on (Witness) in 2019, Booker more or less dropped out of sight. (He has lately posted a few experimental things on YouTube.) I fear he is simply too sensitive a person for the Long Plastic Hallway; but he is tremendously gifted, and I hope he finds some way to have a career.

Rocket Machine Opal
I remember this song playing as I walked into a record store in Santa Cruz one afternoon. The album went home with me that day, and neither of us has ever regretted it.

In, Through, and Beyond Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins
Lately I’ve been contemplating rewatching The Black Hole, which I haven’t seen since it came out in 1979. It was awful then and I’m sure it’s awful now, but there might be some entertainment value in that.

Under the Lights Shriekback
The inner sleeve of the Jam Science album — which I acquired in Cambridge, MA one glorious day in 1984 (or was it 1985?) — helpfully includes diagrams of the instrumentation of each song. Here’s the one for “Under the Lights”:

Don’t Be Light Air
The beginning of this is so glorious I let myself use it in both parts of this mix. That violates one of the Rules, but fuck it, who’s gonna care? This time the whole song gets to play out.

Their Journey of the Mind Percy Rodrigues
Born in 1918 in Montreal, Rodrigues was of Afro-Portuguese heritage. He had a long and distinguished career on stage and screen. Here he is with William Shatner in the 1967 Star Trek episode “Court Martial”; probably not the highlight of his career, but a memorable moment nonetheless:

In the Eighties he stopped appearing on camera and became known as “The King of Voiceovers.” Narrating Walt Disney Productions’ Story of The Black Hole was probably not the highlight of his career either, but he was a pro and did his best.

Blackstar David Bowie
“A black star is a gravitational object composed of matter. It is a theoretical alternative to the black hole concept from general relativity. The theoretical construct was created through the use of semiclassical gravity theory. A similar structure should also exist for the Einstein–Maxwell–Dirac equations system, which is the (super) classical limit of quantum electrodynamics, and for the Einstein–Yang–Mills–Dirac system, which is the (super) classical limit of the standard model. A black star does not require an event horizon, and may or may not be a transitional phase between a collapsing star and a singularity.” —Wikipedia

The Black Hit of Space The Human League
Last time this song appeared on the blog, I posted a fan-made video I found “pretty nifty.” It has since been yanked from the YouTube. Possibly this is the same one — honestly I can’t remember, but I dig.

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