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Author Topic: EP275: Schrödinger’s Cat Lady  (Read 23369 times)

Equalizer

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Reply #25 on: January 21, 2011, 02:37:20 AM
I laughed soooooooo hard when I heard "I save the cats from the boxes. People put them in there." Funniest EP I've ever heard!  :D

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Devoted135

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Reply #26 on: January 21, 2011, 05:16:48 AM
Besides, I'm a biologist not a physicist.

Surely you meant to say "Dammit" rather than "Besides"? ;-)


ou, we gotta joker here! :D Though I suppose that would work too, in a Dr. McCoy sort of way...

By the way, I read your flash fiction piece that was linked above and got a real kick out of it :)



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Reply #27 on: January 21, 2011, 07:34:48 AM
By the way, I read your flash fiction piece that was linked above and got a real kick out of it :)

Why thank you :-) Glad you liked it.


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Reply #28 on: January 21, 2011, 02:06:52 PM
I was thinking of Michael Vick too as the story ended.  ;D



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Reply #29 on: January 21, 2011, 05:47:48 PM
I didn't know that not liking cats would make one a pariah among nerds... I thought hating on Firefly did that.

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Reply #30 on: January 21, 2011, 06:39:54 PM
I didn't know that not liking cats would make one a pariah among nerds... I thought hating on Firefly did that.
Dislike 'em all you want. Just don't kill or torture them for no good reason.  ;)



yicheng

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Reply #31 on: January 21, 2011, 07:02:24 PM
This one was a dud for me.  The attempts at Quantum Physics Humor were about as funny as Quantum Physics Humor sounds: chuckle-worthy at some spots, but mostly just caused me to cringe.  And in my opinion, nothing against Mur, but her voice isn't very well suited comedic delivery.  It came across as a bit of a flat delivery, on a story that was also just as flat.

BTW: @blueeyeddevil, completely agreed.



stePH

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Reply #32 on: January 21, 2011, 09:31:25 PM
I didn't know that not liking cats would make one a pariah among nerds... I thought hating on Firefly did that.
Dislike 'em all you want. Just don't kill or torture them for no good reason.  ;)

Just to be clear, I lurvz teh kittehz... I have five of them myself. It's Firefly I don't like.

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Reply #33 on: January 22, 2011, 01:28:43 AM
*brushes cat fur off keyboard*

Ahem. First, let me just say I was incredibly relieved to see a cat-lady who not only wasn't flinging cats at neighbors and or harming them through hoarding. As a potential future cat-lady myself I am happy to have such a rewarding example to live up to!

Reminds me of deconstructionist fairy tales, the kind that try to capture the capriciousness of fanciful beings with surreal, fantastical powers that operate according to idiom rather than the normal constraints of the world

I completely and utterly agree. I just enjoyed it for that, did not think to much on whether the physics was correct because frankly, its been to long and fluff is fluff, Tribbles not withstanding. A great little tale that I'm glad my cats didn't hear. As for the ending, as I regarded Mrs. S much as NoNotRogov described, it seemed perfectly fitting.

“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”
Ursula K. LeGuin


kibitzer

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Reply #34 on: January 22, 2011, 11:04:00 AM
Just to be clear, I lurvz teh kittehz... I have five of them myself. It's Firefly I don't like.

Complete opposite for me ;-)


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Reply #35 on: January 24, 2011, 04:31:02 PM
Just to be clear, I lurvz teh kittehz... I have five of them myself. It's Firefly I don't like.

Complete opposite for me ;-)

You have five Fireflies?



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Reply #36 on: January 24, 2011, 04:32:20 PM
Oh, I forgot to mention that I liked Mur's comparison between someone with a dozen cats getting legal action against them, but dozen kids getting a TV show.



customcartoons

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Reply #37 on: January 25, 2011, 01:07:59 AM
Firstly, I wanted to say thanks to Mur for her diplomatic way of phrasing which she "camp" she belongs to, without stroking anyone's fur backwards. Well played. :)

Quantum mechanics aside, I was just grateful to hear the rare "ailurocentric" story, putting cats in a positive light for once. Ever since that Bond villain and his Persian, movies (more so than books) seem stuck in the trope of casting cats or cat owners in the role of badguy, or basically, "dramatic foil", to the good guy and his dog again and again. It gets a lil old, and hearing a cat story for cat people feels really good. I think the last cat-as-hero story I recall on EP was His Master's Voice, which even still, centers on a canine protagonist, but hey. (I still play that one over and over.)

Also a positive spin on the cat lady! I was not bogged down by the Fairy Catmother's powers or where she gets them, anymore than I am about Santa Clause's powers. (Hmm, same powers.) This is a simple what-if fable about where stray ideas go (like stray cats), and of course, what happens to naughty villains.

I did not see the ending as a "dark turn" or ugly, I was a bit surprised by people's reactions to it. It was your standard bad-guy-gets-his ending. Besides, it stands to reason that, with all the imaginary cats she's been pulling out of imaginary boxes, she would have loads of leftover imaginary radioactivity-triggered poison assemblies just lyin around her imaginary inside-out cat mansion in the sky. Me like!



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Reply #38 on: January 25, 2011, 02:07:57 AM
FWIW, I don't like "bad guy gets his" stories much in general.  I dislike violence and violent conflict, and I find them to be poor tools of conflict resolution.  A story that is light and whimsical which ends with the gleeful murder of guilty parties makes me uncomfortable, because I don't regard that sort of thing as light or whimsical and it makes me uncomfortable to see it presented as such.

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Reply #39 on: January 25, 2011, 02:28:04 PM
Cat stories shouldn't be too hard to find.  I haven't done a tally, but they seem more frequent than dog stories.  Just a couple suggestions in case you're looking:  What Fluffy Knew, here on Escape Pod.  And the novel Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams.  I know there are plenty of others but they're not immediately coming to mind (probably because I tend to prefer the dog stories).  :)

Firstly, I wanted to say thanks to Mur for her diplomatic way of phrasing which she "camp" she belongs to, without stroking anyone's fur backwards. Well played. :)

Quantum mechanics aside, I was just grateful to hear the rare "ailurocentric" story, putting cats in a positive light for once. Ever since that Bond villain and his Persian, movies (more so than books) seem stuck in the trope of casting cats or cat owners in the role of badguy, or basically, "dramatic foil", to the good guy and his dog again and again. It gets a lil old, and hearing a cat story for cat people feels really good. I think the last cat-as-hero story I recall on EP was His Master's Voice, which even still, centers on a canine protagonist, but hey. (I still play that one over and over.)

Also a positive spin on the cat lady! I was not bogged down by the Fairy Catmother's powers or where she gets them, anymore than I am about Santa Clause's powers. (Hmm, same powers.) This is a simple what-if fable about where stray ideas go (like stray cats), and of course, what happens to naughty villains.

I did not see the ending as a "dark turn" or ugly, I was a bit surprised by people's reactions to it. It was your standard bad-guy-gets-his ending. Besides, it stands to reason that, with all the imaginary cats she's been pulling out of imaginary boxes, she would have loads of leftover imaginary radioactivity-triggered poison assemblies just lyin around her imaginary inside-out cat mansion in the sky. Me like!



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Reply #40 on: January 25, 2011, 02:59:56 PM
There's also 'His Master's Voice', Episode 227. :)

Slightly dog-centric but the cat's alright. :P And it gets to wear armor!



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Reply #41 on: January 25, 2011, 05:30:50 PM
There is *cough* "Fetch" over in Podcastle.  (Although you can make a case that the cat there is slightly sinister.)

If you're okay heading outside of the podcasts, Kij Johnson has done several cat stories, including the novel "Fudoki," which was just lovely, in my opinion.

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Max e^{i pi}

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Reply #42 on: January 25, 2011, 08:39:06 PM
I loved this.
Mur (and Marjorie, I suppose) had me at "some even seemed to come straight out of the walls."
Of course, that was when I knew exactly where this story was coming from and where it was going (but not how fast). Now it's just a matter of how silly it will get.
And it was perfect. Not too silly to completely reduce the quality of the writing, but just silly enough to make the nascent physicist in me gasp in mock horror. I loved seeing all the effects of quantum mechanics on a macro scale. Quantum tunneling, the uncertainty principle, even quantum entanglement!
And I especially like the idea of our thoughts having real power, and manifesting real objects. Did this story take place on the Discworld?
Although, my favorite part was the multiverse effect of infinite Schrödingers evoking infinite thought experiments with different animals.
"See? Let's take a box. And in the box we'll put a Loch Ness monster. (It's a really big box). Now nothing can enter the box or escape from it. In the box we put a jar of poison that will be released when a certain amount of a radioactive material decays. Now the thing is, we won't know if Nessy is dead until we open the box. But until we do, Nessy is both alive and dead at the same time."
Deal with that Mrs. S.
Also I liked how there are more around the end of the semester because the students all need to study....
It's funny for me because I'm a student and I have exams now.

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Max e^{i pi}

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Reply #43 on: January 25, 2011, 08:47:12 PM
Argh. Another story mis-interpreting Schrödinger's thought experiment.

Still, cute and fluffy.
Cats generally are.
Falcons though, that's a whole other story. Don't ever try to pet a falcon.

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wakela

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Reply #44 on: January 26, 2011, 01:49:54 AM
Meh.  Not enough to bite onto for me.  Cop goes to cat lady's house, is confused.  Goes back, is confused.  Goes back, is confused, author ascends soap box regarding dog fights, cop is confused, criminals might die.  I found I could drift in and out of the story and not miss anything, and it seemed like the author needed a way to stop it, so she introduced the dog fighting near the end (please let me know if the dog fighting was introduced earlier during one of the parts where I was spacing out). 

I felt a little impatient since I knew the deal with the cats because I'm familiar with the Schrodinger thought experiment and I'm listening to an SF podcast, but I had to wait for the MC to catch up.  It's natural that the MC would take longer to catch on than the average listener, but I felt frustrated that the trick was clear to me, but not to the character I'm supposed to identify with. 

It needed some kind of tension beyond the MC struggling to understand something that is obvious to the listener. 



tinygaia

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Reply #45 on: January 26, 2011, 09:44:21 PM
I married a physicist (10 years last week!), so I found myself appreciating this story from a unique perspective. My husband and I attended college together, albeit in different programs, so I was often in the company of hordes of physics majors and their professors. While other listeners are commenting on cats in boxes and what they thought of the plot, I can't get over how the author perfectly captured the personality of a room full of physicists.

I could recommend this story to all of my physicist friends, but I won't. If you've ever watched a movie with one, you know what I mean.



tinygaia

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Reply #46 on: January 26, 2011, 09:51:29 PM
And I especially like the idea of our thoughts having real power, and manifesting real objects. Did this story take place on the Discworld?

In the study of his dark house on the edge of Time, Death looked at the wooden box. PERHAPS I SHALL TRY ONE MORE TIME, he said.
He reached down and lifted up a small kitten, patted it on the head, lowered it gently into the box, and closed the lid.
THE CAT DIES WHEN THE AIR RUNS OUT?
‘I suppose it might, sir,’ said Albert, his manservant. ‘But I don’t reckon that’s the point. If I understand it right, you don’t know if the cat’s dead or alive until you look at it.’
THINGS WILL HAVE COME TO A PRETTY PASS, ALBERT, IF I DID NOT KNOW WHETHER A THING WAS DEAD OR ALIVE WITHOUT HAVING TO GO AND LOOK.

From The Last Hero



Max e^{i pi}

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Reply #47 on: January 26, 2011, 11:06:10 PM
I could recommend this story to all of my physicist friends, but I won't. If you've ever watched a movie with one, you know what I mean.
Oh yeah. Definitely. I'm running out of people who: a) I want to see a movie with and b) want to see a movie with me.
Also, that scene from The Last Hero did come to mind. :P

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kibitzer

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Reply #48 on: January 27, 2011, 01:49:32 AM
...I can't get over how the author perfectly captured the personality of a room full of physicists.

Err... you mean the cats? Or Mrs S?


tinygaia

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Reply #49 on: January 27, 2011, 02:44:39 PM
...I can't get over how the author perfectly captured the personality of a room full of physicists.

Err... you mean the cats? Or Mrs S?

Just the tone of the piece. You think you know where the story is going, and then you have cats running through walls.

Also, some have commented that the ending came out of left field, but I've heard a Society of Physics Students meeting break out into Ogden Edsl's "Dead Puppies Aren't Much Fun" - I'm telling you, the ending was perfectly in keeping with the rest of the story.