I feel rather ambivalent about Snow. All his work seems to centre on how much cleverer he is than everyone else. Strangers and Brothers has rather aptly been described as "A Dance to the Music of Time written by Widmerpool."
I am afraid that both halves of that metaphor went flying over my head. I've only read one of his novels. It seemed to me to be a strikingly clear portrayal of a very small group of people in a very specific time period in an extraordinarily restricted setting. Their behaviour was beautifully consistent and quite human within this limited scope, but I was left feeling rather dissatisfied and also slightly chilled, as if I'd sat in one position staring into a snow globe for too long.
Well that could be pretty much any of the novels set in Cambridge!
It could just be the mood I'm in, but this made me a bit weepy. Yay Trevor and Andre! Yay for the last name "Beek." (Beek! Beek, beek, beek! Say it many times! Beek!)
And also yay for space research!
Also, could they *be* any cuter? I wish to wrap them in bubble wrap and keep them for later.
Yes! They're lovely. It is a happy place to be, standing with a glass of wine in hand and listening to those two tell old stories.
The whole audience at MIT used to wince aloud when Mitch scoffs in Real Genius "Let the engineers figure it out".
Edited at 2009-11-20 07:26 pm (UTC)
Physicists think physicists are better than every other kind of scientist or engineer. And every other kind of scientist and engineer would agree: physicists do indeed think they're better than every other kind of scientist. ;-D
What if you're both like me? Then again, not sure if you'd count a BS in Physics as a physicist. Then again, I don't really use most of what I learned in engineering, either....
Trevor seems to be a popular name for unsung engineers. So does Ray: The BBC Radiophonic Workshop was blessed with two Rays (Ray White and Ray Riley), both essential to the work; both rarely mentioned in publicity.
My Dad's names, interestingly enough, are Raymond and Trevor, in that order. He used to work for Phillips Service, back in the days when domestic video recorders were first introduced (and hellishly expensive, and rather temperamental), and only rich people (or the lucky families of Phillips Service staff!) had them. But does internationally famous muso Rod Stewart ever acknowledge the man who kept his VCR working in the mid 70s? Does he hell... =;o}
Edited at 2009-11-21 05:22 pm (UTC)
You know, I look forward to the day when you write your Unsung Engineering Heroes of the BBC & Beyond biographic series. And if you don't plan to, you should.
I have a lot of thoughts about this having made more than half my career as the technical link between phd geologists and licensed engineers. But I will leave it with a toast to an engineer even I should have heard of before.
Aw, you shouldn't have heard of him before. That's the whole idea! And I haven't told him about this journal post - he'd be dreadfully embarrassed.
You post reminds me of Ken Libbrecht, unsung master of all things electronic, heliospherical, and snow-related.
Ooh, I'll have to see if I can get hold of his books. Thanks!
PS Have you picked a job yet?
Yeah, I'm going to USC to work with some oceanographers. Just got the official offer letter yesterday. More details when I finally 'announce' it. Also turned in my thesis on Monday! woot.
Awesome! Congratulations. Look forward to hearing the details.
2009-12-11 17:16 (UTC)
I think it ought to be known that after the utter disaster that was Cluster 1, the power supplies that Trevor designed and built for the magnetometer still worked after surviving an Arianne5 explosion and a month in a swamp in French Guianna. Now that is engineering..
And he's my mate!
Someone should write his biography. I believe it would be fascinating.