Thursday, January 31, 2013

Interna

January has been busy, as you can probably tell from the frequency of my posts. Lara and Gloria are now in half-daycare for 4 hours weekdays. The transition went fairly well, and I think they like it there. The nanny clearly has more time and patience to play with the kids than I, and the place is also better suited than our apartment where computers, books, pens, and other stuff that you don't want in your toddlers' hands, are lying in every corner. The nanny is from Spain and so the kids learn some Spanish along the way. They seem to understand a few words, but don't yet speak any.

We now replaced the baby cribs with larger beds that the kids can get in and out on their own. This took some getting used to. They wake up in the night now considerably more often than previously, and sometimes wander around, so recently we haven't been getting as much sleep as we would like to. That explains half of my silence. The other big change this month was that, now that the kids are two years old and we have to pay for their flight tickets, we've given up commuting to Stockholm together, and this is the first month of me trying to commute alone. Stefan has support from the babysitter and the grandparents while I'm away, but we're still trying to find the best way to arrange things. It's proved difficult to find a good solution for our issues with non-locality.

I have a case of recurring sinus infection which puts me in a generally grumpy mood, and the kids have a permanently runny nose, for which I partly blame myself and partly the daycare. Besides this, I am in the process of writing a proposal for what the European Research Council calls the "Consolidator Grant" and it's taking up a lot of time I'd rather spend on something else. My review on the minimal length scale got now published in Living Reviews in Relativity. I have been very impressed by how smoothly and well-organized their review and publication process went. Needless to say, now every time I see a paper on the arXiv on a topic covered by the review, I'm dreading the day I have to update this thing.

The girls are finally beginning to actually convey information with what they say. They ask for things they are looking for, they say "mit" (with) to tell us what we should take along, they complain if they're hungry and have learned the all-important word "put" (kaputt, broken). We haven't made much progress with the potty training though, unless naming the diaper content counts.

16 comments:

Giotis said...

Bee, I'll be in Stockholm for 3 days or so . If I see you in the street I'll say hello:-). It's cold up there?

Bee said...

Changes by the day. Last time I came dressed for - 17 C and half a meter snow, and it turned out to be +1C and raining. When will you be in Stockholm?

Giotis said...

Around mid February...

Arun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arun said...

Improved comment (I hope):

Dear Bee,

By thought experiments only is it possible to deduce a length scale for QCD? Is the basic result of thought experiments that any self-interacting field carries with it a length scale. This length scale may limit the resolution one can obtain in measurements with the field?

Thanks!
-Arun

Arun said...

I have a deep discomfort related to the thought experiments.

a. We are trying to deduce fundamental properties of nature by what we are (not) allowed to measure.

b. Our physics however admits of universes where (forget about us) anything that qualifies as a measuring apparatus, even a straightforward agglomeration of matter, may not be able to exist.

E.g., can we say that "a universe with dark matter only" is nonsensical, not because of any anthropic principle, and not because it doesn't match our empirical experience, but simply because anything resembling a "measurement" is virtually impossible? Or takes virtually forever? (What is the decoherence time is a universe of appropriate density of a decent dark matter candidate?)

If you admit such universes then the "inability to perform a measurement" cannot tell you about any fundamental limit in physics.



jail_them_all said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous Snowboarder said...

Bee - glad to see the family is doing well. On a lighter note, we both know what time of year it is! Ours are getting bad now, we had -18F two nights last week and then +55F yesterday. The heaves are not fun and it goes 0 again tonight! The stimulus completely passed us by too.

ps - any thoughts on the Rim/Blackberry news?

Bee said...

Giotis,

I'll be in Stockholm around mid February. Why don't you send me a note when you're around if you have the time/feel like dropping into my office. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Snowboarder:


Last thing I read was the new BlackBerry might turn things around. Not that I know very much about these issues.

Here the temperature increased by 15 degrees within a few days and all the snow and ice is gone. Much of a relief for me.

Best,

B.

Giotis said...

Sure Bee, I have a tight schedule but if I found the time I'll send you an e-mail coordinate...

I guess your mail is in the Web page of Nordita?

Uncle Al said...

Re sinusitis. Ask your doctor about a course of azithromycin (not erythromycin) - unless you are allergic to that class of antibiotics (below). Azithromycin concentrates in white blood cells. When they rush to an infection, local azithromycin concentrations can be 80X average body concentration. It is remarkably effective against sinus infections. Go through a physician, do not dose yourself. Wet cold winters in Southern California move a lot of Zithromax Z-Paks. Half-life is 11-14 hrs for a single 500 mg dose, 68 hrs after multiple doses.

Talk with your doctor, especially since you are petite. Large scale administration exposes low statistical incidence side effects:

http://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/zithromax-z-pak
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5522450_zpack-side-effects.html

Uncle Al said...

http://relativity.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrr-2013-2/fulltext.html
"This necessitates a modification of general relativity, whose exact nature is so far unknown."

What "useful" non-classical gravitation theory naturally reduces to GR? The Shroud of Turin is duplicated with a bas relief sculpture, a kitchen oven, and heavy white cotton cloth. Forgery trumps miraculous suspension of projective geometry. Physics has one or more subtly incomplete founding postulates. Rigorous derivation thereafter cannot locate the defect(s). Falsification must be external, by contradictory observation. Is physics bedeviled by symmetry breakings? Who can find Green's function in GR? Squared terms force mirror symmetries where there are none. Socks do not care, shoes do. Shoes are accommodated with symmetry breakings – and one more will forever be required.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,


Nice pics of the girls as they look happy and healthy, which tells me mom and dad, despite the hectic pace and all the turmoil must be doing a good job. I've had a look at your review and think it a wonderful thing for you to have spent the time to create something that will serve to be as good reference specific to the topic. I also like your choice of an open journal for I find it the most appropriate place for such a work.


Best,

Phil

Bee said...

Hi Giotis,

My email is hossi at nordita dot org. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi Phil,

Thanks for the kind words, though I have to add it was more that the journal chose me rather than the other way round. Best,

B.