Science

The Quantum Pontiff

Category archives for Science

I grew up in the small town of Yreka, CA (“Yreka Bakery” backwards is…) that sits just minutes south of the Oregon-California border on Interstate 5. Yreka, population a little over 7000 brave souls, is the county seat of Siskiyou county. Siskiyou county is “god’s country” meaning, yes, (a) it votes strongly Republican and (b)…

Google Hella Cool

Fellow Yrekan Austin Sendek’s quest to get “Hella” the official prefix for 1027 has scored a Googol-sized success. Err I mean a Google-sized success: Austin also writes to inform me that there is an official petition, which can be found here. Also I’m amused to note that the google-monster also recognizes smoots.

Singularity University GSP

The Singularity University is crazy. I like crazy. If I were a grad student with copious time on my hands (trust me, in comparison, you have copious time, dear GradStudent) I’d apply to attend the Singularity University summer school: SU’s Graduate Studies Program (GSP) is a 10-week summer program (June 19 through August 28) located…

Sonnet 59

In the New York Times today there is an interesting article about Helene Hegemann whose debut novel, “Axolotl Roadkill,” drew wide praise. You know this story: turns out that the book contains plagiarized passages (plagiarism: check, sales rising: check.) What I find fascinating about the story, however, is not this rehash of a tried and…

arXiv Funding

Missed this over the break: a facebook note about the future of funding of the arXiv. The post points to two documents of interest, the first a statement about support: …We intend to establish a collaborative business model that will engage the institutions that benefit most from arXiv — academic institutions, research centers and government…

Everday Orthogonality

Another one from Michael, who spotted an article about one of my favorite mathematical words to use in everyday speech (much the chagrin of non-scientists) used in the Supereme Court of the United States: Supreme Court justices deal in words, and they are always on the lookout for new ones. University of Michigan law professor…

Stuff to read while you wait around for finals and the Christmas holidays: Via alea one of the odder invocations of NP-completeness: Rowing and the Same-Sum Problem Have Their Moments An update on the status of US science funding for the next budget year at Computing Research Policy Blog An interesting paper is out on…

Science Fiction Prototyping

Last Friday I went to at talk by Brian David Johnson from Intel. That sentence sounds like any other that an academic could write–always with the going to seminars we acahacks are. That is until you hear that Brian David Johnson is a “consumer experience architect” in the Digital Home – User Experience Group at…

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 more…

Helmet Heads Hijacked?

How did I miss this one from 2005? And how come no one told me to take off my tinfoil hat? Via @kmerritt, “On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study” by Ali Rahimi, Ben Recht, Jason Taylor, and Noah Vawter. Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective…