The Quantum Pontiff

Archives for October, 2009

No Trail Email

From the annals of high idiocy, I enjoyed this sequence of emails at BofA: “Unfortunately it’s screw the shareholders!!” Charles K. Gifford wrote to a fellow director in an e-mail exchange that took place during the call. “No trail,” Thomas May, that director, reminded him, an apparent reference to the inadvisability of leaving an e-mail…

LHC Not Mayan

You all scoff at me for subscribing to the RSS feed but on Oct. 12 it told me NO AND NOR WILL IT IN 2012 Aha! What will this do to the sales of 2012 end of world books? (Crap, yeah you’re right it will probably make them go up.)

Update 10/13/09: corrected for ice cream flavor and location, thus merging two related universes. There is a story about Richard Feynman that while he was at Princeton MIT he had a hard time with dessert. Apparently they always served either chocolate or vanilla ice cream and Feynman would agonize over which he wanted that night.…

CERN Physicist Arrested

A physicist at CERN has been arrested for suspicions of ties to Al Qaeda. Don’t worry I already checked and and both assured me that, so far, Al Qaeda has not managed to generate black holes that would consume the planet.

James Simons Retiring

James Simons, he of the Chern-Simons form, and also, of late, from the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies Corporation, is retiring. The infamous Medallion fund was up last year, apparently, only a mere 80 percent. Quite a feat, turning into

Nobel Peace Prize

Barack Obama has been awarded an honorary degree from Arizona State University the Nobel Prize in Peace for “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” I recommend a bag of popcorn, a big soda, and a nice recliner to watch the consternation and just plain craziness that will surely follow…

Tweeting Ski Resorts

Yes it’s that time of year. The nights are cooler and the days shorter and so all thoughts turn to…skiing, of course. Via @dannysullivan and @eric_hoffman, ski resorts on twitter. Who will be the first to tweet opening day?

Nobel Lit

The Nobel prize in Politics Literature has been awarded to Herta Müller “who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed.”

Nobel in Chemistry

The Nobel in Chemistry for 2009 has been awarded to Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas Steitz and Ada Yonath for “for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.” And because I am (or was, or am, or..whatever) a physicist, I will note that Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has a Ph.D. in physics 🙂 And today is even…


Confession of a classical sinner.