Wind and Snow

Found on Ground

The Physics Tree

Complex Systems #171

One of the joys of the holidays and the University turning off the heating and locking us out, is that it provides time to catch up on things: papers, refereeing, recommendation letters, grading, syllabi, proposals, all the stuff one can rarely get to during actual working semester hours. And, sometimes, there is time for real…

Quanta

Happy New Year! I heard that Killing The Internet is a Thing, and apparently keeping more than a few hundred tabs open in Firefox will do the trick, so I’m doing some blog dumps to get the year kicked off: Quanta Magazine is an (editorially independent) publication of the Simons Foundation which has been doing…

In which Chris “Slick” Ford challenges me, and I accept. In turn, I challenge Valerie, Diddi and Stefan. You know who you are. h/t to Sir Patrick Stewart for illustrating how to properly take on such challenges.

say it like it is

good thing about Icelandic, it is phonetic, almost all the words are pronounced the way they are spelled, including Bárðarbunga the extra few letters are just what they look like. Fortunately Biggi Lögga is there to set you straight.

X-Volcanoes – Bárðarbunga

Bárðarbunga is arguably the scariest of the 30 or so active volcanoes in Iceland. Extreme volcanoes don’t always have extreme eruptions, but they are scary because they have the capability for extreme events, uniquely so. It is not the most active, it is not the tallest, it may possibly be the biggest in some sense,…

The Science of Inequality

Science had a very interesting special section this spring: The Science of Inequality – basically doing a summary and review of issues related to the stuff in Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century The section has a series of very interesting articles on a range of related topics: “Inequality in the Long Run” by…

Astrophotography

Astrophotography is the title of a gorgeous and very useful new book by Thierry Legault I had to taper off doing book reviews, much to the annoyance of all those lovely people who persist in sending me just the sort of books that I actually really love to read – it just got too time…

There was an interesting article in the Chronicle a few weeks ago: The Soul of the Research University by Nicholas Lemann. Lemann provides a very interesting discussion of the contradiction between the academic ideal of the research university and the political perspective of the vocational school of further education, including some healthy historical perspective on…