february 1982


Happy Birthday, Queen (11th February, 1982)

People say to me, you like to play strong women. I like to say: I like to play women who are terrified, but they find a way through their fear. That’s what the tat on my arm is about. We all feel fear. Fear is a part of human nature; it’s a necessary emotion. The secret is not not feeling it, it’s pushing through it. You know?


On this day in music history: January 6, 1982 - “Let’s Work” by Prince is released. Written, performed and produced by Prince, it is the ninth single release for the singer, songwriter, musician and producer from Minneapolis, MN. Originally written as “Let’s Rock” after the popular dance “The Rock”, the song is initially to be released as a stand alone single following his self-titled second album. When Warner Bros. nixes the idea, Prince reworks the song and re-titles it “Let’s Work”. Released as the second single from Prince’s fourth album “Controversy”, it quickly becomes another hit on the R&B chart and on the dance floor. It also is issued in extended form as his first commercially released 12" single six weeks later on February 17, 1982 (featuring “Gotta Stop (Messin’ About)”, the first of the artists’ numerous non-LP single B-sides on the flip side). “Let’s Work” peaks at #9 on the Billboard R&B singles chart on March 27, 1982, also hitting number one on the Billboard Club Play chart (paired with “Controversy”) on November 14, 1981. The extended 12" mix of “Let’s Work” makes its belated CD debut when it is included on the double disc compilation “Ultimate Prince” in 2006. “Gotta Stop (Messin’ About)” is released on the triple CD set “The Hits/B-Sides” in 1993.


Why doesn’t our Universe have magnetic monopoles?

“So he built this device and waited. The device wasn’t perfect, and occasionally one of the loops would send a signal, and on even rarer occasions, two loops would send a signal at once. But you’d need eight (and exactly eight) for it to be a magnetic monopole. The apparatus never detected three or more. This experiment ran for some months with no success, and was eventually relegated to being checked up on only a few times a day. In February of 1982, he didn’t come in on Valentine’s Day. When he came back to the office on the 15th, he surprisingly found that the computer and the device had recorded exactly eight magnetons on February 14th, 1982.”

The laws of electromagnetism could have been incredibly different. Our Universe has two types of electric charge (positive and negative) and could have had two types of magnetic pole (north and south), but only the electric charges exist in our Universe. At a fundamental level, between electricity and magnetism, nature is not symmetric. But it could have been! Magnetic charges could move and make currents; a changing electric field could induce them; north and south poles could be separated an infinite distance. Magnetic charge could even have been a fundamental property of black holes. In 1982, Blas Cabrera announced the first detection of a long-sought-after magnetic monopole event, and the physics world went crazy. But nearly 35 years later, a second monopole has never been found. Despite our dreams, it looks like nature isn’t symmetric after all.