Sunday, August 8, 2010

He Will, He Will Rock You

Day 181...and a bunch of people are or want to be reading Bang! The Complete History of the Universe, co-authored by Brian May, of the rock band Queen, and/or A Village Lost and Found, May's latest book, about early 3D photography. Among those people are Chris and Kim, who heard a recent NPR story about May, and Bob, who posted a link on Facebook. Ah, how I love NPR, Wikipedia, and Facebook. Ah, how I love people who tell me about cool stuff to read.

A Village Lost and Found, co-authored with Elena Vidal, is subtitled An Annotated Tour of the 1850s series of stereo photographs "Scenes in Our Village" by T. R. Williams. It reproduces some wonderful photography and explains stereoscopy, a method of side-by-side viewing that produces 3D effects. It is similar to the stereopticon that delighted Emily Dickinson, and showed her places she'd never been! The book comes with a contemporary viewing device.

The earlier book, Bang!, co-authored with Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott, came out in 2006, and is indeed about the Big Bang theory of the universe. May studied astrophysics, and the NPR story explains how the "stomp stomp clap" effect in the recording of "We Will Rock You" was due to May's knowledge of sound waves. It got into the song at first by way of calculation, of a different sort, and inspiration at live performances, and then had to be recreated for the recording. (Read or listen to the NPR stories, linked above, to find out more! Or here.)

Now go stand outside under the starry night. It will rock you.

No comments: