Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dry humour; periclone

Professor Susskind begins his lecture by stating that Quantum Field Theory can in principle predict all physical phenomena except gravity; however, in practice, the computations are too difficult except in the simplest cases. We can use QFT to explain the Hydrogen atom, he continues, but an atom such as Boron is way too complicated.

 And then, at one minute, he says dryly, "certainly studying human beings is well beyond the capacity of any quantum field theorist that I know."

 And no-one laughs.


In certain science-fiction plots, the villain keeps a clone of himself (it's always 'he') which is used to harvest spare parts for transplantation. Now we have pig-to-man transplants coming along, the best results will surely be to engineer the pig to express the same organ genetic markers as you yourself (the brain excepted - obviously!).

This tailored pig, so much like you, needs a generic name: I propose it be called a periclone (Greek prefix peri-), a word which now exists in English on Google for the first time.

When I mentioned this happy thought to my sister, she replied that I'd find it hard to use the gym equipment with trotters.

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