A magnificent city. So many people everywhere. The air thick with heat. Streets cracking open. The traffic almost like a dance, cars weaving across lanes trying to get somewhere fast faster fast. Yellow cabs and black cars. Scaffolding cloaking buildings. Bodegas with grimy windows. So many restaurants. So many people. Skyscrapers, one after the other as far as the eye can see. Everyone dressed fashionably. Dark, raw denim and hard leather shoes. Business suits, tailored to fit. Women in sheath dresses and high heels. Teenagers in basketball shorts. The smell of shit and piss, hot, inescapable. Crowded sidewalks. Everyone moving fast faster than me, always standing out in the crowd, trying to hide in plain sight and stay out of the way. Food carts, steaming on the steaming pavement. Hotdogs of suspicious provenance. No appetite. Construction workers and other men who work with their bodies standing in clumps of three, dirty tshirts stained with sweat and paint and who knows, worn work boots, voices heavy with that New York accent, jawing about everything and nothing and then it’s back to work. Jackhammers. Cranes high in the sky with cables dangling. So many people everywhere. Three days in a radio studio. Interviewing fancy people. Trying to create something. Women in workout clothes with perfectly chiseled bodies and angular faces. Everyone wearing headphones. At night, the air still thick with heat, cooling too slowly. Easier to breathe, though. A steakhouse, crowded, young professionals with impeccable and expensive haircuts drinking expensive drinks and boasting of exploits real and imagined. Brown people everywhere, so many kinds of brown. So many languages moving through the air. Huge strollers. Crowded parks. Lunch in a church sanctuary. Cold hotel room. Huge bed. No sleep, staring at that empty space. Writing a hundred letters I can’t send. I might send. Like a vital organ is missing. Slick hotel bar, rooftop, stylish, weathered leather couches. Cocktail servers in identical tight minidresses. Gin. Each day I count the hours I need to wear a mask, play pretend and then when I can be how I feel, the relief of my shoulders and face falling. So much quiet. Nothing to say. Olympics and strange sports and amazing athletes doing things I don’t even dream of. A Brooklyn bar. Over capacity. Sweating. Sweating. Reading about Ina and Channing and teaching. Autographs. Compliments that are kind and baffling. A grand old building, also in Brooklyn. Sold out crowd of people who want to…. hear me? Long signing line. A moment to forget. And then it’s over. And I don’t want to forget anyway. Holding on from a distance. Because I can’t, despite all efforts, do otherwise. It’s allowed. Black car. The airport. Crowded, chaotic, filthy, damp. Home. And then if I don’t change my mind on to another magnificent city, likely someday will be home city. You, everywhere.
Scully sits on the edge of her bathtub, her head hanging down between her knees, trying to take slow, measured breaths. Her head is swimming, and she feels as though, at any moment, she may vomit what little breakfast she’s been able to manage. She tells herself that the nausea doesn’t mean anything, that it’s just because she’s upset, that it’s too early for a little upset stomach to mean… she can’t complete the thought, not even in her mind.
For a solid material, ice is strangely slippery. While Olympic skiers and children on a snowy hill may or may not care why their favorite winter activities are physically possible, the question has bedeviled scientists for more than a century. Ice is “one of the most complicated” materials, said physicist Bo Persson of Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany. “It behaves strangely compared to other materials.”
A new study published by Persson in the Journal of Chemical Physics provides a mathematical foundation for hypotheses that a liquid-like form of water on the ice surface accounts for its slickness.
The finding could aid designers of winter sports gear who want to increase sliding on ice, and tire designers who want to minimize it. It could also help experimental scientists who have measured ice friction but have not been able to fully explain their results.