HotAIR - AIR Vents 36-3-b


Further AIR Vents

exhalations from our readers


The chart on page 41 of your most recent issue contained an error. The value in column 4, row 16 was listed as 392411115.000000000000000118. It should be 392411115.000000000000000117.

K. Bloom, Ph.D
The Shaw Institute
Phoenix, Arizona



There is an error, probably typographical, in the chart on page 41 of your most recent issue. The number in column 4, row 16 should be 450, not 392411115.000000000000000118.

Megan Lester, Ph.D., M.D.
Skrock Associates, Ltd.
New York City, New York



Some of your readers may not be aware that your new issue presents a most interesting number.

The chart on page 41 (see column 4, row 16) contained the value 392411115.000000000000000118. This is a most fascinating number! This single number contains: (a) the value of Plankk's [sic] constant; (b) the average distance in meters between the moon and the earth; (c) the characteristic frequency of the distress call of the worker ant of the species Aphaenogaster rudis when it is deprived of Sanguinaria canadensis, its favorite food; and (d) the molecular weight of silicon.

And to think that some people wonder what there is to love about science!
Pelham Grenville
Wodehouse, New Zealand



Dear Sir:

I am the ghost of Sir Issac Newton. I have never heard of Adelbert Gruner, M.P. of Crewe, England. Please so advise him of this fact.

Sir Isaac Newton (dec.)
ex-Cambridge, England



I wish to correct an impression that your readers may have drawn from my former student Karen Ix's letter. Professor Ix's letter has nothing to do with muskmelons (and muskmelons, as I pointed out in my previous letter, have no connection, at least on a metaphorical level, with leptons). Nor has her letter any connection with the ongoing theoretic disagreement between my colleagues (Schank, Bandsenhoffer, Aaaibdoy, deSelby, Hansbury-Tinglehoff, Chou, etc.) and myself.

Professor Ix's letter is not, to use her own words, "untinged with personal malice." Ix writes that I have "much to answer for." This is an allusion to my refusal several years ago to share private living quarters, and privates, with her. I was not, and am not, that kind of boy.

I hope this puts the matter to rest.

Lennox Linklater
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, Scotland



As an audio engineer and a lifelong aesthete, I was delighted to read Kevin Kelly's clear, thoughtful expression of his views about contrapuntal diphasic atonal composition. Doubtless he speaks for a large majority of listeners who share his inability to find much satisfaction in this music.

But the fact that contrapuntal diphasic atonal music has little appeal for the great majority of listeners is not the decisive, or even a relevant, measure of its worth. If the music provides an intense and moving experience for even one listener -- even if that listener is hypothetical -- than the music will have demonstrated its enduring cultural value.

As contrapuntal diphasic atonal music leaves Mr. Kelly and his fellow human beings, so Mozart's quartets, no doubt, left those "reasonably experienced listeners to modern music untouched and shamefully eager for intermission."

Phil Schlafley
Communications Director
Association for Audio Engineering and the Public Good
Washington, DC



I am greatly disappointed that you chose to publish Reginald Penna's. Mr. Penna was indeed a neighbor of ours during the 1950's. My personal memories of Mr. Penna are necessarily vague, as I was a very young child at the time (see "Titular Dominance in 'I Love Lucy'"). As to the nature of Mr. Penna's relationship with my mother, that is a matter unsuitable for a public discussion in a scientific research journal. Readers who wish to examine the relevant sociological facts would be better served by consulting my recent book "Lucy And The 1950s Shift In World Culture."

Richard Reginald Ricardo, Ph.D.
New School for Social Research
New York City, New York



I realize you have no control over your readers, especially your younger readers. But I would be very grateful for any influence you might bring to bear on the science students who persist in writing "Long Live the Annals of Improbable Research" on all our restroom stalls and walls.

Grace B. Van Owen, J.D., Ph.D.
Dean of Students
Brady University
Anaheim, California

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