Monthly Archives: August 2010

The Cinch Review

Christopher Hitchens on Ricks, Bob Dylan and Bach

In a previous post I mentioned the writer Christopher Hitchens, who is suffering from some serious cancer, and posted a clip of an interview with him which was bookended by Bob Dylan’s song “Gates of Eden.” Thanks to Sue who responded with a note titled “The Two Christophers”: Continue reading Christopher Hitchens on Ricks, Bob Dylan and Bach

The Cinch Review

Universe to End as “Cold, Dead Wasteland”

Earth (for now)That’s it. The end. For real and forever. Now that you know, how does it make you feel, exactly? As published in the journal Science, and summarized below by the BBC:

Astronomers used the way that light from distant stars was distorted by a huge galactic cluster known as Abell 1689 to work out the amount of dark energy in the cosmos.

Dark energy is a mysterious force that speeds up the expansion of the universe.

Understanding the distribution of this force revealed that the likely fate of the universe was to keep on expanding.


Eventually it will become a cold, dead wasteland with a temperature approaching what scientists term “absolute zero”.

Professor Priyamvada Natarajan of Yale University, a leading cosmologist and co-author of this study, said that the findings finally proved “exactly what the fate of the universe will be”.

Hmmm. And how does Professor Natarajan feel about that, I wonder? She seems happy enough to be the messenger, and I suppose it is quite the feather in her cap.

You would think that this news about the ultimate fate of the universe and everything that it has ever contained — including all of our lives, legacies and dreams — would be getting more attention, and indeed perhaps it will once it filters out through the rest of what’s going on in the headlines today, like the baseball player Roger Clemens being indicted for perjury and the salmonella-induced recall of 340 million eggs in the United States. Continue reading Universe to End as “Cold, Dead Wasteland”

The Cinch Review

Hitchens at the gate

Jeffery Goldberg of The Atlantic conducted an interview with Christopher Hitchens — the well known writer who is suffering from some very serious cancer — and some of it is posted at this link, and embedded here below. This part of their discussion, which also has some contributions from the writer Martin Amis, deals with the cancer itself as well has the notion of deathbed conversion and belief in God generally. It’s interesting, and it also happens to be book-ended by audio clips of Bob Dylan singing “Gates Of Eden.”

Though I disagree with him on many if not most things these days, I like Christoper Hitchens as a writer and personality quite a lot — and who doesn’t? (Alright, Dr. Kissinger: please don’t bother writing in.) Continue reading Hitchens at the gate

The Cinch Review

Pete Stark: The banality of evil

At a town hall meeting, Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA) answers a voter’s concerns about the constitutionality of ObamaCare, and the implications of this kind of power grab by Washington, by wearily asserting that, “The federal government can do most anything in this country.”

Just live with it: that seems to be his message. All that stuff about “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,” blah blah blah, well, that’s just stories for children. We’re grown-ups now. Welcome to the United States of America in 2010.

It’s not your father’s republic anymore.