The Quantum Pontiff

Archives for January, 2008

Look, I’m on physicsworld.com! Sometimes I have a vision that references on the world wide web which form a cycle lead to a runaway internet. You know…looping self-referentially forever and ever and resulting, of course, in a break in the space time continuum. I’m guessing the above link won’t do that. But if it did,…

More on the Science Funding Disaster

From a letter sent to APS members by Michael S. Lubell the Director of Public Affairs for the American Physical Society some due outrage: The Omnibus Bill is a disaster for the very sciences that our political leaders have repeatedly proclaimed essential for our national security, economic vitality and environmental stewardship. Several reports have suggested…

No Dice?

From a New York Times article describing the Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s production of “No Dice:” “Poetics,” for example, was choreographed using dice. Each face on the die represented one of six possible gestures, and each appendage — two arms, two legs and the head — got its own roll of the dice. Dice determined…

Minority Report Like Interface

As we move ever closer to the day where using a computer involves flapping your hands around in the air:

Probability Intuition

Last quarter I taught discrete math. One component of the class was to cover some basic probability theory. On one of the homeworks we asked the following two questions about random five card poker hands: Given that the hand contains an ace, what is the probability that the hand contains another ace? Given that the…

Off the Queue and Into the Neurons

Books conquered during the holiday resting season: “Learning the World” by Ken MacLeod, “The Crack in Space” by Philip K. Dick, and “Washington Wines and Wineries: The Essential Guide” by Paul Gregutt.

Happy New Year! Welcome 2008!

Happy New Year! Seattle’s fireworks at the space needle had some technical difficulties (and the pyrotechnicians had to light them by hand…yeah I wrote that just to use the word “pyrotechnician”), but were still beautiful as ever: Welcome 2008! 2008 is the international year of the potato, the international year of planet earth, and the…