Always nice to be appreciated and I am beginning to warm up to that experience. Today, I had to take a severe blow to my confidence and courage in terms of my current tight life situation. In fact, the latest turn of events was apt to toss me back into a vegetative-like state of panic and shock - but luckily didn't.

So, it felt all the nicer to find another permission request for usage of one of my images (the one to the left) in my e-mail inbox. It turns out, the Editorial assistant at Routledge Francis & Taylor Group, in particular the philosophy section of the publishing house, is asking permission to use this image as cover illustration for an upcoming book. AND - they are offering compensation. So... this is nice and I don't see any reason to decline that.

On a different note, I was most impressed with the cover story in Spiegel 27/2008, titled like "The Initial Moment" (rough translation of the German title "Die Sekunde Null") and reporting on the Atlas at CERN, an experiment and part of what is going to be the fastest and biggest particle accelerator of all time, the Large Hadron Collider at Cern. It will do no less than emulate the beginning of the universe and emulate conditions at the "time" of the Big Bang. Initiation of the project is being met with much criticism, as scientists basically can't really say, what's going to happen as soon as they have reached the full amount and speed of particles needed to induce 'controlled' clashes of particles, which then will produce an amount of energy that is likely to produce effects and other particles, which are known as the missing links of the most popular universe theories so far. To put it simply: The collective of no less than 2,700 scientists at CERN create the required conditions and "ingredients" for an event, which they hope to come as close as possible to the real Big Bang. B.t.w. - have I mentioned that CERN invented the World Wide Web, the very same media many of us are using on a near daily basis? But this experiment is so gigantic, so unpredictable in its outcomes and their effects on all universe theories that even the team and board members as well as celebrity bystanders can't help to be in awe (or so says the article).

To me, this means that many ideas being presented in Stanislav Lem's science fiction books, which I loved reading at age 16 and then passionately discussing with my physics teacher, are on the verge of becoming a part of our reality - or will they redefine that very reality by allowing us a true and unmistakable look all the way down the rabbithole? I wish I could be a part of the that experiment or at least be there, when they initiate the project...