John Hoyer Updike (18 March 1932 – 27 January 2009) was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic. Updike’s most famous work is his Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and Rabbit Remembered). Both Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest received the Pulitzer Prize. Describing his subject as “the American small town, Protestant middle class,” Updike was widely recognized for his careful craftsmanship, his highly stylistic writing, and his prolific output, having published more than twenty-five novels and more than a dozen short story collections, as well as poetry, art criticism, literary criticism and children’s books. Hundreds of his stories, reviews, and poems appeared in The New Yorker, starting in 1954. He also wrote regularly for The New York Review of Books. His work attracted a significant amount of critical attention and he was considered one of the most prominent contemporary American novelists. Updike died of lung cancer on January 27, 2009.
Current knowledge and scientific discovery help to align our thinking. They help us to recognize what had been “set in stone” in literature, as a passing thought in that day of poetry creation. So every progression in terms of knowledge has it’s predecessors, and from that, the old and the new contrast each other. We know a little more.
Cosmic Gall by John Updike-Telephone Poles and Other Poems, Knopf, 1960
Neutrinos they are very small.
They have no charge and have no mass
and do not interact at all.
The earth is just a silly ball
To them, through which they simply pass,
Like dustmaids down a drafty hall
Or photons through a sheet of glass.
They snub the most exquisite gas,
Ignore the most substantial wall,
Cold-shoulder steel and sounding brass,
Insult the stallion in his stall,
And, scorning barriers of class,
Infiltrate you and me! Like tall
And painless guillotines, they fall
Down through our heads into the grass.
At night, they enter at Nepal
And pierce the lover and his lass
From underneath the bed – you call
It wonderful; I call it crass.
(italicized added for emphasis)
STATEMENT: EVIDENCE FOR MASSIVE NEUTRINOS FOUND by Dave Casper
By classifying the neutrino interactions according to the type of neutrino involved (electron-neutrino or muon-neutrino) and counting their relative numbers as a function of the distance from their creation point, we conclude that the muon-neutrinos are “oscillating.” Oscillation is the changing back and forth of a neutrino’s type as it travels through space or matter. This can occur only if the neutrino possesses mass. The Super-Kamiokande result indicates that muon-neutrinos are disappearing into undetected tau-neutrinos or perhaps some other type of neutrino (e.g., sterile-neutrino). The experiment does not determine directly the masses of the neutrinos leading to this effect, but the rate of disappearance suggests that the difference in masses between the oscillating types is very small. The primary result that we are reporting has a statistical significance of more than 5 standard deviations. An independent measurement based on upward-going muons in the detector confirms the result at the level of more than 3 standard deviations.