September 23, 2011

The thermodynamic miracle.

Watchmen. I can't remember the last time I read a book so engrossing. I love it. I missed that. I missed reading!

I found the following excerpt on Tumblr a few months ago and reblogged it because I loved it so much, completely unaware of the fact that it came from Watchmen. Jon brings Laurie to Mars, where he has escaped to. She tries to convince him to return to Earth, as it is chaotic and destructive with his absence, but he doesn't believe it's worth it. He believes life is meaningless, that she's meaningless. They fight. She cries. He realizes he's wrong. He says:

"Thermodynamic miracles ... events with odds against so astronomical they're effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold. I long to observe such a thing. And yet in each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg. Multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive, meeting, siring this precise son, that precise daughter ... until your mother loves a man she has every reason to hate, and of that union, of the thousand million children competing for fertilization, it was you, only you, that emerged. To distill so specific a form from that chaos of improbability, like turning air to gold ... that is the crowning unlikelihood. The thermodynamic miracle. But the world is so full of people, so crowded with these miracles that they become commonplace and we forget ... I forget. We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from another's vantage point, as if new, it may still take the breath away."
Chapter IX, p. 26

September 01, 2011

I should have become a watchmaker.

I love Watchmen. I've been reading it slowly -- usually just during subway rides. Today I read chapter 4 and, so far, it's my favorite.

I tend to be attracted to stories about the misunderstood "monster." And then of course there's science fiction: the supernatural, the manipulation of space and time. Finally, the essentials: love & loss, nostalgia & torment. You know, all the stuff that makes for good literature.

I found the chapter on YouTube. I think it's better to read it; the suspense builds more dramatically as your eyes move from scene to scene and your mind processes what is happening. But still, seriously amazing.

Watchmen Motion Comic, Part 1/3

Watchmen Motion Comic, Part 2/3

Watchmen Motion Comic, Part 3/3

"The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking ... The solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."
- Albert Einstein