Tuesday, September 15, 2009

This and That

  • Did you know that next Thursday, Sep 24th 2009, is the first "Postdoc Appreciation Day?" I'm not kidding, the US Postdoctoral Association was apparently fed up with America having an "Appreciation Day" or "Remembrance Day" for about all and everybody - except postdocs. Tomorrow for example is "National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims of Hurricane Katrina," and on Thursday is the "Sneakers at Work Day." The "Postdoc Appreciation Day" will also fall into the "National Farm Safety and Health Week" and the "Prostate Cancer Awareness Week." In any case, the Association suggests you organize for example a coffee hour, a happy hour or a Karaoke night.

  • Jörg Schlatterer, Postdoc at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, suggests to found an International Postdoc Forum (IPF). Though I just escaped the postdoctoral life, I am totally in favor of this idea - just that it seems to me like I've heard similar suggestions several times before and nothing ever came out of it. There would definitely be a huge benefit from an international association of postdocs that could provide e.g. advice on national differences and difficulties with settling in a foreign country, fractured retirement options and absence of unemployment insurance. One of the problems is if you're not in your home country you have no voice neither at home (because hey, you left, now good luck) nor in the new country (because hey, you work here but please don't have an opinion).
    Together with a colleague Schlatterer wrote a brief article for the newsletter of above mentioned US Postdoc Association:
    "Although many characteristics of postdoctoral research positions vary between disciplines, institutions, and nations, some challenges are universal. Poorly defined roles and responsibilities, unstable and uncompetitive salaries, lack of benefits, variable mentorship quality, and access to courses and career development programs are common complaints. It is important to consider how research communities around the world can meet these challenges, and what an International Forum for Postdocs (IFP) might contribute."

    It is however very hard to get academics to organize in any way. They are typically primarily work-oriented and community involvement that isn't CV suitable is distraction and a waste of time. In any case, I wish the IPF good luck.

  • From my research life: Three weeks ago, there was a paper on the arXiv by Manuel Hohmann and Mattias Wohlfarth, offering a "No-go theorem for bimetric gravity with positive and negative mass". I yesterday posted a reply showing the no-go theorem does not apply to my model.

  • Something to look at: Viruses of Glas:

    Via Matt Brown.


  1. You don't have to introduce bi-metrics just fine tune the cosmological constant and get over with it:-)

  2. ΛCDM has more issues than the finetuning of the CC, see eg this paper. There's definitely something lacking in our understanding of the universe, and dark matter along won't help. Either way, the emphasis of my paper isn't so much on the bi-metric, but on the exchange symmetry. Best,


  3. Hi Bee,

    I was looking over the website for the Post Doc Appreciation day and thought their list of suggested events could use some clarification with having links attached :-)

    Suggested Events

    Coffee Hour
    Sporting Event
    ice cream Social
    A regular PDO or PDA event designated in honor of this day

    Happy Hour
    Live concert/music
    Karaoke Night



  4. Since gravity is mediated by a spin-2 field, like charges attract and unlike charges repel | The introduction of the second connection suffices to describe the motion of anti-gravitating test-particles in a background field.

    Big Bang the universe into a soup of g- and h-metric particles with only gravitational interaction between them. Does h-metric matter cool, photon emission or otherwise?

    Presumed dark matter distribution is hot thermal spherical in galaxies (star velocity vs. radius) and cosmic filamentary (for galactic groups). Does that still obtain given an additional h-metric component of similar absolute value mass?

    Unless there is a robust asymmetry in effective mass or abundance, h-metric particles cannot be excluded - there is nowhere for them to disappear (extruded into another set of dimension?). Gravitational effects would be reciprocal, g- and h-metric particles, yes?

  5. The h-particles behave exactly as the usual ones. In the simplest case, there's an h-parter for every g-particle, a funny electron, a funny photon, a funny swhatever. The h-matter couples only graviationally to usual matter, thus it doesn't emit photons, it emits h-photons.

  6. Hello,
    could anybody tell me, what
    "sneakers" and prostate (cancer?)
    have in common?
    I tried to find out, no result.

  7. I hope you are settling in well in Stockholm, other than tunnel blasting and banks that only take numbers. It is Canada's loss.
    You may want to update the location in your Twitter profile.

    Enjoy changing the world.

  8. Michael: I had to delete your comment. It was off-topic and contained a link with the only purpose to advertise your site. Please do not repeat that. It is pointless, I will delete all similar attempts. This blog is to discuss solely what is in our posts. Best,


  9. Bee, I cannot see a link to the paper you are referring to. Could you put a link?

  10. The papers I was referring to are




    I don't know why you can't see the links.

  11. Bee, he is probably talking about your reply to my comment. There is no link to the paper you are referring.

  12. sorry, it should have been this paper


  13. There should be a day for what all life MUST do.....produce gas.


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