Sunday, 19 August 2007

Divination solved?

Wandering through one of the largest Polish Internet bookshops I have found, in the physics section couple of books on divination, pendulums and rods. Well, I know that there are publishing houses that would publish anything, but my habit of checking the sources and trying to find the roots kicked in. I had no intention of making the authors richer (there are enough people for this) I searched the WEB for the original works. And, indeed I did find some. For example I have found a publication in a Polish language Fizyka i Przyroda (Physics and Nature), by Piotr Tyrawa, titled "How I solved the rod and pendulum phenomena"

Wow! There is thus ONE person in the world who has solved the phenomenon! I went through the paper (in Polish, unfortunately) and it is as far from a solution as possible.

You might say - just another crank, just another esoteric WEB site and publication. But it is not so: the Fizyka i Przyroda is sponsored by the Polish Academy of Sciences Institute of Physics and Institute of Nuclear Studies. It promotes physics competitions. The publications include some very good - though elementary - texts, such as a study of radioactive properties of granite by a high school student. Hardly surprising - but solid piece of intrioductory experimental work.

And I wonder how would the two Institutes feel to be associated with absurd divination studies.

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