A quantum leap for blogging!

M* is proud to welcome prolific Bloggernacle commenter Ben Pratt as the newest permablogger. Interestingly enough, Ben has ties to the original Millennial Star (see Ben’s bio for details).

Ben and I served together as Youth Guides at the Arizona Temple Visitor’s Center prior to our missions and I am thrilled that he has consented to join us at M*. 

 Here is how Ben describes himself:

I am married to a brilliant and lovely woman. Our union has produced two brilliant and lovely daughters! We enjoy reading, going for walks and bike rides, and Friday night pizza picnics in the family room. Descended from Parley P. Pratt (founding editor of this blog’s namesake), Charles Henry Wilcken, Zachariah Bruyn Decker, Jesse N. Smith, Frederick G. Williams, and a host of farmers, missionaries, colonizers, businessmen, and pilots, I was raised in Chandler, AZ. I have degrees in physics from both Brigham Young University (BS) and the University of Washington (MS). Currently on leave from the UW physics PhD program, I live in south King County, WA, where I am (for now) a stay-at-home-dad. My recently rediscovered dream is to work on fundamental theoretical physics where quantum mechanics and general relativity collide.

9 thoughts on “A quantum leap for blogging!

  1. I’m wondering if it’s a coincidence that Ben Pratt is joining us the same time a new James Bond movie is coming out with the title of…wait for it…”Quantum of Solace.” (What the heck does that mean anyway?).

  2. Geoff –

    In the original Bond tale of that name (no idea if the movie is faithful at all), “Quantum of Solace” referred to the idea that, as a spy, you had to find those tiny bits of solace where you can. Life as a spy was brutal, hard, and alienating, so you grabbed whatever “quantum of solace” you could whenever you could.

    (the Ian Fleming Bond wasn’t as happy go lucky as the older movie bonds. If anything, Casino Royale was the most faithful movie in tone to the original books).

  3. After seeing the movie last night, I couldn’t find much that had to do with the original story, it actually continues on from Casino Royale. Maybe they just wanted to use an Ian Fleming name?

  4. Personally, I find the title “Quantum of Solace” extremely awkward. A quantus in Latin means “how much” (In Spanish, cuanto as in “cuanto cuesta?” or “how much does it cost?” in Portuguese “quanto?”) Or in English, “quantity.” Of course quantum physics discusses the smallest possible particles, which is probably where Ian Fleming got the word. But in general English usage quantum seems to me to deal primarily with the issue of a “specified amount” of something or “quantity.” See the preferred dictionary meanings here:


    So, it doesn’t really mean “the smallest amount of solace” but instead “a measured, specific amount of solace,” which is really an awkward title. Is a spy really looking for “a measured, specific amount of solace?” If I were Ian Fleming’s editor, I would have said, “Ian, could you please come up with another title?” But that’s just me.

  5. Thanks, everybody!

    My neighbor used to tease me, saying that I (the physicist) bought the gas grill I did only because its model name is “Quantum.”

    Marketers, authors, and movie-makers just can’t resist borrowing words from science without bothering to include the science itself. Then there are my brothers, who used to construct random strings of technobabble. The one I remember is “beaconflux.”

  6. Maybe it’s because you either have a grill or don’t. It doesn’t come in degrees but in discrete quantums of grills. (Usually called boxes)

    As for the movie, I liked it but didn’t love it, mainly due to how it was edited together. I do like how Quantum as the modern version of Spectre is being put together.

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