Issue 73: April is the Cruellest Month

This month’s title is pulled from the first line of The Waste Land, the long form poem by T.S. Eliot and hailed as one of the greatest and important poetic works of the Twentieth Century. I suppose that I’ll be labeled a cultural degenerate when I say that I really don’t care for The Waste Land. Yes, I’ve actually read it and invested time in deciphering it. I’ve listened to lectures analyzing its content against the wider cultural content pre-WWII England. Still I don’t like it – except for that first line and its unusual spelling.

That said, I am all for poetry. Robert Frost’s work pleasantly suite my mood, especially Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. <a href=”″>Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley is also a favorite and William Butler Yeat’s The Second Coming has secured a permanently place in my mind. Other poems spring to mind and I could go on and on citing modern and traditional works. In the final analysis, my dislike of The Waste Land springs mostly from the my belief that obscurity doesn’t equal profundity and that length doesn’t equal quality – being clear and concise is a thing of beauty.

Speaking of clear and concise writing, this month’s issue has another spate of though-prvoking articles.

How much control should the government exert on the economy? When should it intervene on the behalf of one company against another? These questions have been debated as long as there have been economic concerns. This months, Common Cents looks at this question in the contect of Apple file for corporate divorce from Imagination Technologies, its primary supplier of the GPU-based technology for iPhone and iPad.

Ask most people about philosophy and they will invariable tell you that it is a difficult and esoteric subject practiced by brilliant, aloof people who can’t relate to day-to-day life. Indeed, the modern conception of a philosopher is a far cry from someone who welds parts together, or solders circuits, or manufactures hardware. And yet, deep philosophical questions can lurk even in industrial settings. Aristotle To Digital examines the intersection of troubleshooting and philosophy by way of an unusually-named modern tool of quality engineering – the fishbone diagram.

The power of the Lagrange method of mechanics can hardly be overstated. The use of generalized coordinates opened doors for solutions to problems that the older Newtonian approach struggles mightily to solve. The Lagrange approach even set the stage for the advent of non-Euclidean geometry and the invention of General Relativity. Unfortunately, with great power sometimes comes great confusion. Under The Hood begins a multi-part exploration of generalized coordinates the resulting relationship between energy and the Hamiltonian.

If you have ever opened a Golden Age comic, the first thing you probably notice is that the look and feel is obviously ‘old-fashioned. Regardless of the publisher, character, or focus, these Golden Age comics have a distinct look that visually identifies them as belonging to a classic era. The same can be said for Silver Age books and, to a lesser extent, also for the Bronze Age. The Modern Age books operate differently. About Comics looks at the evolution of the comics zeitgeist from the late 1930s to present day.