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Now in our sixth calendar year
PCR #289  (Vol. 6, No. 40)  This edition is for the week of October 3--9, 2005.

Haunted Pinellas, Part 1
 by William Moriaty
 by Mike Smith
Punk's Roots, Part 2
 by Terence Nuzum
Alchemy. In Theory and in Truth.
 by Dylan Jones
Goodbye Don Adams & Nipsy Russell....Let's Stick a Fork in Music Videos...."The Fog" is Coming....Terence on Punk....Mike's Challenge
 by Andy Lalino
"The Corpse Bride"....The Green Lantern Corps Recharged....Axis and Allies
 by John Lewis
Passing On....Super Hero News....The Top 10 List....Speaking of Science Fiction....Jaws: The Story, Part 36
 by Mike Smith
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Dylan Jones

Alchemy. In Theory and in Truth.

When you here the word Alchemy what is the first thing you think of? Do you think of the old tale of trying to turn scrap metal into gold? Do you think of the "Panacea", a remedy that supposedly would cure all diseases and prolong life indefinitely? Or do you think of that kick-ass anime Fullmetal Alchemist? Well whatever it is that you think when you here it I have some info about it.

Alchemy is a big mixed bag of things. It combines elements of chemistry, physics, astrology, art, semiotics, metallurgy, medicine, and mysticism.

It is the marriage of Science and Magic. What's that you say? Science and Magic can't exist together? Well your half-right. Science is a way of talking about the universe in words that bind it to a common reality. Magic is a method of talking to the universe in words that it cannot ignore¹.

Science is magic, not in the way you see on television or when playing Dungeons and Dragons. You know a car works and a light turns on when you flip the switch. But it goes so much farther then that. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic².

Just think, many many years ago when someone came up with the flashlight, no one knew what that was! People try to add an answer to anything they don't understand. I know how to assemble a computer, I have no real idea how all those parts and things make it actually work. For me, that's magic. It's magic when you start your car or turn on your TV or make coffee. Alchemy is science, science is Alchemy. Alchemy is about creation, be it making a car or turning lead into gold. As of 2005, a universal panacea remains elusive, though futurists such as Ray Kurzweil believe sufficiently advanced nanotechnology may prolong life indefinitely. Some say the third goal of alchemy has been fulfilled by IVF and the cloning of a human embryo, although these technologies fall far short of creating a human life from scratch.

Ah yes, creating life... making a Homunculus, the little "man" made by Alchemy. To truly play god, to create life without life. This is very hard to do. The rule that is the foundation of Alchemy law: To gain, something of equal value must be lost. It could be interpreted as Conservation of mass in modern day chemistry, or more precisely, the law of relativity by Albert Einstein, conservation of mass-energy (E=MC˛). (As it is, "Equivalent Exchange" is sometimes directly translated as "Conservation of Mass".)

For now I shall leave you to think about this info I have revealed to you. And if you think you can add any more light onto this, don't be afraid to drop us an e-mail.

The Drow

1 The Phantom Stranger, in BOOKS OF MAGIC #1
2 Arthur C. Clarke, "Profiles of The Future", 1961 (Clarke's third law)

"The Drow" is ©2005 by Dylan Jones.   All graphics, unless otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.