maandag 14 maart 2011

Solar

Na De Avonden in de versie van Dick Matena te hebben doorploegd, kunnen we stellen dat die van Egters zijn vijzen eens moet laten aandraaien.
Omdat Nederlandstalige literatuur alleen mijn honger niet stilt, ben ik eindelijk begonnen in Solar, van Ian McEwan. Dat is één van de tientallen boeken die ongelezen in mijn boekenkast staan. Maar we werken aan een systeem om verloren tijd te minimaliseren, waarbij een keukenwekker een onmisbaar element vormt.

Om u te tonen hoe de Britse schrijver er altijd zo fraai in slaagt kennis in zijn literatuur te stoppen, citeer ik u een lekker lapje, dat we op pagina's 16 en 17 vinden van de hardcoverversie.

At the political level, a new minister had been appointed, an ambitious Mancunian, with a populist's touch, proud of his city's industrial past, who told a press conference that he would 'tap the genius' of the British people by inviting them to submit their own clean-energy ideas and drawings. In front of the cameras he promised that every submission would be answered. Braby's team - half a dozen underpaid post-doctoral physicists housed in four temporary cabins in a sea of mud - received hundreds of proposals within six weeks. Most were from lonely types working out of garden sheds, a few from start-up companies with zippy logos and 'patents pending'. 
In the winter of 1999, on his weekly visits to the site, Beard would glance through the piles sorted on a makeshift table. In this avalanche of dreams were certain clear motifs. Some proposals used water as a fuel for cars, and recycled the emission - water vapour - back into the engine; some were versions of the electric motor or generator whose output exceeded the input and seemed to work from vacuum energy - the energy supposedly found in empty space - or from what Beard thought must be violations of Lenz's Law. All were variants on the perpetual-motion machine. These self-thaught inventors seemed to have no awareness of the long history of their devices, or how they would, if they actually worked, destroy the entire basis of modern physics. The nation's inventors were up against the first and second laws of thermodynamics, a wall of solid lead. One of the post-docs proposed sorting the ideas according to which of the laws they violated, first, second or both.


Goed hé!

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