Skip to main content

happy birthday, val logsdon fitch

note:  today i am beginning a new recurring theme here at the unlikely orange, in which i will occasionally offer a random person a happy birthday.  i will scour the internets for someone you may not have heard of who is celebrating a birthday that day, and tell you a little about them.   its just for fun, so don't be so serious about it.  but it is also to meet some new people, to discover even more of the width and breadth of this breathtaking world and its stunning diversity.  


happy birthday, val logsdon fitch.

you were born in nebraska on a cattle ranch on march 10, 1923.  you served our country in world war II, learning a great deal about experimental physics at the time.  in 1964 you and your partner jim cronin discovered what you called cp violation (charge parity violation), for which you and jim won the nobel prize in 1980, and which continues to help astronomers and physicists understand the dominance of matter over antimatter in the universe, among other things.

also, you name is val.  which reminds me of this guy,


who played a really awful batman, so, in the battle of the val's, i'm giving the nod to you, mr. nobel-prize winning physicist.  thank you for helping other particle physicists better understand weak interactions.  also, you worked in princeton, nj, which is one of my favorite towns in the world.

so happy 91st, birthday, sir.  i hope you don't have any weak interactions trying to blow out those 91 candles.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I love this!
well, thank you very much! glad you enjoyed it! more of these to come...

Popular posts from this blog

an open letter to my sons' elementary school principal

here's the thing...i feel like the world needs more affirmation and encouragement.  the world needs more positivity, more joy, more love.  and while i can't change "the world," i can change the way i act and the things i do.  so i have decided to start telling people how awesome they are.  and i think it is important to do some of that in a public way.  so, here is a (slightly edited) letter i sent to our sons' elementary school principal.  he is awesome.  i hope it inspires you to tell someone how awesome they are, too.  and be awesome, yourself. 


Mr. Feldman,

I wanted to send you a quick note just to offer some affirmation, gratitude, and maybe even encouragement.  I believe that SCASD is a great school district, but I also know that being in public education can be a tough gig these days.  I admire teachers and administrators, especially when they do their job as a vocation, with passion and conviction.  This I see in you.  I will name three things I have per…

"follow me"

so here's the thing: i call myself a Christian.  actually, i don't even use that word as much anymore, because it ends up being a wedge between me and many other people as soon as i use it.  instead, i like to say that i'm a Christ-follower (which is closer to the way the very first Christ-followers talked about it anyway).  to be a Christ-follower is to - wait for it - follow Christ.  i know, surprising, right? 

well, it shouldn't be a shock to us that being a Christ-follower, or a Christian, means following Christ, but in America in 2018 calling yourself a Christian often has far too little to do with actually following Jesus.  when people call themselves Christians in america today, they may mean any number of things, such as:
-i went to a church sometimes when i grew up;
-i once got 'saved' at a christian camp or crusade;
-i believe in God;
-i am in favor of traditional american evangelical political positions;
-i say merry christmas instead of happy holid…

joy! this woman was born!

my friends, this unparalleled woman is celebrating a birthday today, and i cannot help but stop and say thanks that she was born.  every once in a while i imagine my life without her, and it is a dark and grim vision.  in this vision, there are no children living in my house, no voices singing opera from the shower, no kids books strewn across the living room.  in this vision, i eat spaghetti-o's from a can for dinner every night, and i am stuck in every rut i've ever gotten into.  in this terrifying vision the color of everything is gray, music sounds like a monotonous drone, and everything feels like long, cold nights. 

but she was born!

and somehow our paths were blessed to cross, and somehow i was able to convince her that spending her life with me wouldn't be as awful as it might have seemed, and somehow these last 19 years feel like the blink of an eye; like a colorful, melodic, sun-drenched, joy-filled, broken-but-blessed blink-of-an-eye journey.  all because on th…