Flavio Matani (flavius_m) wrote,
Flavio Matani

Through the wall of sleep and beyond the cosmic microwave background...

For a long while I have had some difficulty falling asleep. Maybe a consequence of the passing years, I don't know. Also have had a mild case of tinnitus, with a background of white or pink noise in my head that is more noticeable when I'm trying to fall asleep. So I have resorted to various things to try to counteract those things. At first and for a long while, an app playing surf (as in waves crashing on the shore, not as in early '60s rock'n roll!) noises would work, masking the white noise in my head and allowing me to sleep. Eventually, though, you get used to it and its efficacy diminishes. So, in the last couple of years, I've been listening to podcasts -in the case of YouTube podcasts, sound only with the screen off when it allowed such things (it now doesn't, as well as interrupt what you're listening to with adverts at twice the volume of the podcast). These worked well for a while... listening to (mostly PBS) podcasts on astrophysics and quantum mechanics and on palaeontology, with the volume low so I couldn't get too engrossed in what they were actually saying. Problem is, these things become very interesting after a while and, in the case of the physics and cosmology podcasts, give you the illusion that you are actually understanding what you're hearing. Which I do... as long as it is in prose, not having the mathematical tools to really understand the substrate of what I'm hearing being said. So, I can probably explain to you the Schródinger equation -in prose- whilst not really having an idea what I'm talking about and not being able to decipher the mathematics in it.

The podcasts I've been (half) listening to:

PBS Space Time  Cosmology, quantum physics, astronomy, space exploration and whether Roger Penrose may be a Jedi ninja.
PBS Eons. on what we know of the history of life in this planet
It's Ok to be Smart  wherever curiosity seems to lead Dr Joe Hanson
Fermilab Sub-Atomic Stories
Sean Carroll's Mindscape  where he interviews people on fields far beyond physics.
also occasionally various podcasts by Prof. Jim Al-Khalili 

I'm on Dreamwidth at http://flaviomatani.dreamwidth.org/ -do follow me there if you can.
Tags: life of flav, podcasts, tinnitus, trying to sleep

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