Charles Brian Orner
SOSTENUTO - A Novel

Notes

Interested readers will discover additional details here in a wide variety of areas, including the arts, astronomy, business, culture, environment, gaming, geography, language, history, literature, music, mythology, philosophy, politics, religion, and science. Spend a little time with the notes; it'll pique your interest. Then buy the book. Most notes have been taken from public sources such as Wikipedia. The remainder are given attribution.

Chapter 33

1    The fundamental interactions, also known as fundamental forces or interactive forces, are the interactions in physical systems that appear not to be reducible to more basic interactions. There are four conventionally accepted fundamental interactions—gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear—each understood as the dynamics of a field. The gravitational force is modeled as a continuous classical field. Each of the other three is modeled as a discrete quantum field, and exhibits a measurable unit or elementary particle.
2    Musica universalis (lit. Universal music, or music of the spheres) or Harmony of the Spheres is an ancient philosophical concept that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies—the Sun, Moon, and planets—as a form of musica (the Medieval Latin term for music). This “music” is not usually thought to be literally audible, but a harmonic and/or mathematical and/or religious concept. The idea continued to appeal to thinkers about music until the end of the Renaissance, influencing scholars of many kinds, including humanists.”
3    A second of arc (arcsecond, arcsec) is 1⁄60 of an arc minute, 1⁄3,600 of a degree, 1⁄1,296,000 of a circle, and π⁄648,000 (about 1⁄206,265) of a radian. This is approximately the angle subtended by a U.S. dime coin at a distance of four kilometers (about 2.5 miles).
4    About 6,600 satellites have been launched. The latest estimates are that 3,600 remain in orbit. Of those, about 1,000 are operational; the rest have lived out their useful lives and are part of the space debris. Approximately five hundred operational satellites are in low-Earth orbit, fifty are in medium-Earth orbit (at 20,000 kilometers), the rest are in geostationary orbit (at 36,000 kilometers). Most satellites have a lifespan of just five to ten years. As a result, more than half of all active satellites have been launched since 2008. Only thirty-three active satellites were launched before 1995, and 395—about one third—from 1995 to 2005.
5    Crofton House School, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is a private, university-preparatory school for girls that is constantly placed at the top of the Fraser Institute’s school rankings in years past.
The Squamish people are an indigenous people in southwestern British Columbia, Canada. In 2012, there was population of 3,893 band members registered with the Squamish Nation. Their language is the Squamish language, considered a part of the Coast Salish languages, and is categorized as nearly extinct with just ten fluent speakers as of 2010. Today the Squamish people live mostly in seven communities, located in West Vancouver, North Vancouver, and within and nearby to the District of Squamish.
6    Meth’álem q’á:mi translates as ‘arrogant girl’ from Halq’eméylem, one of the Coast Salish languages of various First Nations peoples in British Columbia.
7    The Kermode bear (Ursus americanus kermodei), also known as a “spirit bear” (particularly in British Columbia), is a subspecies of the North American Black Bear living in the Central and North Coast regions of British Columbia, Canada. It is noted for about 1⁄10 of their population having white or cream-colored coats. This color morph is due to recessive genes common in the population. They are not albinos and not any more related to polar bears or the “blonde” brown bears of Alaska’s “ABC Islands” than other members of their species. Sometimes a black mother can have a white cub. The kermodei subspecies ranges from Princess Royal Island to Prince Rupert, British Columbia on the coast, and inland toward Hazelton, British Columbia. It is known to the Tsimshian peoples as Moksgm’ol. It is estimated that there are fewer than 400 Kermode bears in the coast area that stretches from Southeast Alaska southwards to the northern tip of Vancouver Island; approximately 120 inhabit the large Princess Royal Island.
8    “Angel” is a song by Vancouver musician Sarah McLachlan that originally appeared on her 1997 album Surfacing. “Angel” was one of the first songs written for Surfacing. It was inspired by articles that she read in Rolling Stone about musicians turning to heroin to cope with the pressures of the music industry and subsequently overdosing. She said that the song is about “trying not to take responsibility for other people’s problems and trying to love yourself at the same time.”
9    A bhikkhu is an ordained male Buddhist monk.
10    In physics, the graviton is a hypothetical elementary particle that mediates the force of gravitation in the framework of quantum field theory. If it exists, the graviton is expected to be massless (because the gravitational force appears to have unlimited range)
11    In the days following the 9/11 attacks, New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani provided his own suggestion to those not directly involved in emergency operations. Praising residents of his city as “the best shoppers in the world,” he called on them to start spending money on food, entertainment, and consumer goods again. In a speech two weeks after the attack, President George W. Bush encouraged Americans to “get on the airlines, get about the business of America.” As the years passed and the list of official foreign enemies grew, that message persisted. In a news conference in late 2006, Bush assured Americans that his administrations and the Pentagon had gained control in both the War in Iraq and a dispute with Iran. Therefore, he said “I encourage you all to go shopping more.”
12    A Moreton wave is the chromospheric signature of a large-scale solar coronal shock wave. Described as a kind of solar “tsunami,” they are generated by solar flares. They are named for American astronomer Gail Moreton, an observer at the Lockheed Solar Observatory in Burbank who spotted them in 1959.
“13    The Twinkie defense is a derogatory term for a criminal defendant’s claim that some unusual factor (such as allergies, coffee, nicotine, or sugar) diminished the defendant’s responsibility for the alleged crime. The term arose from Herb Caen’s description of the trial of Dan White, who was convicted in the fatal shootings of San Francisco mayor George Moscone and city supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978. During the trial, psychiatrist Martin Blinder testified that White had suffered from depression, causing diminished capacity. As an example of this, he mentioned that White, formerly a health food advocate, had begun eating junk food.
14    Unbihexium has an atomic number of 126. The heaviest naturally-occurring element in the crust of the Earth is Uranium, which has an atomic number 92.
15    In nuclear physics, the island of stability is a set of predicted, but as-yet undiscovered, heavier isotopes of transuranium elements which are theorized to be much more stable than some of those closer in atomic number to uranium. Specifically, they are expected to have radioactive decay half-lives of minutes or days, with some optimists expecting half-lives of millions of years. Klaus Blaum, the Director at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany, expects the island of stability to occur in the region near 300Ubn

Brian Orner