Wonders of the Nemethsphere


I’ve always been interested in science, media and music. In my experience, it’s been difficult for some proponents of science to understand how or why media and music have become such significant parts of my life, but they are there, and they aren’t easily suppressed. I should know…I’ve tried! When it really mattered, of course, I managed to commit the required resources to the completion of my thesis, and I’d have been tremendously disappointed if I hadn’t. However, almost as soon as the thesis had been submitted, I committed to an extra weekly radio show on Off The Chart Radio, took on more gigs with Henry Marten’s Ghost and Thistledown, and even started making enquiries about playing bass with a band.

While I was bogged down in thesis writing, I was harbouring ideas for blog posts, getting spontaneous ideas for show playlists, and wishing I was on the stage instead of sat behind a computer. Naively, I believed that there’d be nothing better than to plough myself into music (and radio) once university finally came to an end.

However – fortunately or unfortunately – my triad of core interests like to coexist in harmony, and the further I push in one direction, the more I’m pulled in the other two. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying my much-needed brain-break from physics; the fiddle-playing is going fantastically, and is even earning me just about enough to break even (after a good few months, and following severe austerity measures regarding my gadget-buying). Now, though, I find that I am actually starting to miss academia!

There is someone who has seemingly managed to strike the perfect balance (in my opinion) between these three interests: Brian Cox. I rarely identify with a public figure to such an extent that I’m willing to call them an ‘idol’. In fact, I generally shy away from expressing strong opinions, as many will know when they hear me ‘critiquing’ music (basically, I hate saying anything bad about anything). On the other hand, if something’s really good, my getting up from the metaphorical fence (that I often like sit on) should be enough to let you know that I’m being genuine. He’s the “rockstar physicist”, and whilst I don’t really seek fame, I quite like the fantasy idea of becoming the folk-world equivalent.

After reading a couple of tabloid interviews with Professor Cox, I started to wonder exactly how well we compared. He’s 44, I’m 26…but in my (not exactly scientifically rigorous or exhaustive) comparison chart, we seem to match up on quite a few things already. We inhabit different echelons in terms of notoriety, perhaps, but I was struck by the fact that neither of us wear watches, and would respond in exactly the same way if asked why. (I wonder, if pressed, whether Brian would reveal he also found it irritating to wear a watch when playing an instrument or writing, so simply dispensed with wearing one at all?)

Dr. Jamie Nemeth Prof. Brian Cox
PhD in intense-field atomic physics PhD in high-energy particle physics
Plays violin Plays keyboard
Presents a radio show Presents numerous radio and TV shows
Likes to lie in Likes to lie in
Puts simple things complicatedly (sometimes) Puts complicated things simply
Doesn’t wear a watch
(“No, I just use the clock on my mobile.”)
Doesn’t wear a watch
(“No, I just use the clock on my mobile.”)
Opposes university ‘top-up’ tuition fees Opposes university ‘top-up’ tuition fees
Inspired by space and astronomy Inspired by space and astronomy
Regularly watches The Sky At Night Has been on The Sky At Night

(I’ll probably keep adding to this list…)

Has been on the set of a Doctor Who episode Has been on an episode of Doctor Who
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About Jamie Nemeth

Physicist, fiddler/violinist and radio presenter, who dabbles in blogs and graphic design...

Posted on May 22, 2012, in General, Physics. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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