Sunday, February 11, 2007

This and That

Research has been moving slowly the last weeks, but the blog is developing a life on its own. Some random things:
  • Last week I received an email from Martin Griffith with a pdf version of his article in the January issue of Physics World: "Talking physics in the social web", which quotes me with a remark about spots on noses, and which prompted me to write this earlier piece about physics blogs. The pdf version has an entertaining side box with quotations of scientist's opinions about blogging etc. that I must have missed previously. E.g.

    “Physics blogs will explode in popularity, but rather than replacing science publishing, they will be used for informal communications between researchers, and as a way to interact with the public.” ~ Sean Carroll, California Institute of Technology

    “Generally, I don’t trust the physics I read in blogs at all, and I don’t think it was a good idea to put trackbacks connecting them to” ~Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute in Canada

    “There are a bunch of string-theory-oriented blogs out there, but I’m fairly disgusted with their antics at the moment, so I’m not currently reading them.” ~ Chad Orzel, Union College, New York

    “No. I’m 47.” ~ Gary Hinshaw, NASA’s Astrophysics Science Division, when asked whether he uses 'social tagging' sites
    In this regard, see also Mark's yesterday's post at Cosmic Variance How Can We Best Use Blogs?

  • Some days ago I received an email from Jennifer Ouellette who asked whether I'd give permission to use my post Water in Zero Gravity in the monthly newsletter of the APS. I was of course very flattered and said yes. I have to admit though that I've never ever read more of the APS news than the first page. So, last weekend, I actually opened one, and voila, they have indeed a column called 'Zero Gravity' - The Lighter Side of Science.

    I expect that from now on people don't only greet me with 'AAAh, you're the one with the bloo-oo-og!' (the three syllables in the last word seem to be kind of essential there), but probably with 'Oooh, you're the one sleeping on the ceiling!' I am considering handing a copy to my landlord though. And of course I promise to read the APS news from now on. If only the lighter side of it.

  • The inspiration-series which we've posted every Sunday evening for a month now is going very nicely. We have a couple of upcoming contributors that include: Yidun Wan, Anne Green, Peter Steinberg, Clifford Johnson, Simone Speziale, Bill Zajc, JoAnne Hewett, Amruta Mishra and Huang Mei. So, stay tuned.

  • And just in case you haven't yet noticed, this blog has one of the most popular buts in the internet - see sidebar.

  • Update: The Globe and Mail has an article about Nima Arkani-Hamed's last week's public lecture here at PI

    Physicist's guiding star put universe at his feet

    [...] the long-haired physicist, in his black pants and black untucked shirt, took the stage to deliver a mind-bending public lecture called The Future of Fundamental Physics.

    "I realize this is a rather modest title," Dr. Arkani-Hamed said to laughs from an audience dotted with scientists from Waterloo's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, which played host to the event [...]


  1. I'm sort of bemused that of the thousand-odd posts I wrote last year, they latched onto that one quote of mine... I don't know that I really want to be remembered primarily as "that guy who's ticked at string theorist blogs."

  2. :-) You think mine with the spot on the nose is better?

  3. And just in case you haven't yet noticed, this blog has one of the most popular buts in the internet - see sidebar.

    ah, your readers care about what you write ;-)
    I was just wandering how comes that the but count had gone up so much since yesterday :-)

  4. Hi Bee, I know you love bubbles too
    in case you haven't seen it here just 4 U
    MIT researchers have developed a computer chip that runs on microbubbles like these. (Photo courtesy of Manu Prakash)
    Flowing Bubbles Mimic Computer: Work Could Boost Capabilities Of 'Labs On A Chip'


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