Archives for February, 2008

Experimental Physics for Morons, #47

I spent the bulk of yesterday afternoon doing vacuum system work, specifically working on the system to feed gas into the atomic beam source. My feelings about this can be inferred from the Facebook status message I set at the time: “Chad Orzel abhors a vacuum.” The apparatus I’m building uses laser cooling to decelerate…

The First Church of the Best

After reading my LiveJournal friends list, I wander downstairs to talk to Kate. “I have an important question. Are we going to let FutureBaby read those agonizing kids books where the dog dies at the end?” “I certainly hope not!” says the dog. “We don’t like those books. Books where the dog dies. We don’t…

links for 2008-02-29

The Mentoring Gap for Women in Science :: Inside Higher Ed :: Jobs, News and Views for All of Higher Education “[W]omen do not perceive that they are receiving the same level of advising and mentoring as men.” (tags: academia science social-science psychology) On being a scientist and a woman : Where, oh where, can…

Yesterday’s cheery hypothetical came about because I’ve agreed to do a guest lecture in a Science Fiction class in the English department. I’m going to be talking about Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life,” whose connection to the hypothetical should be obvious to people who have read it, but is a spoiler for those who…

Earlier Alcohol Prevention?

EurekAlert tossed up a press release from the University of Minnesota yesterday with the provocative title: “U of Minn researchers find primary alcohol prevention programs are needed for ‘tweens’” and the even more eye-popping subtitle “Study recommends that prevention programs occur as early as third grade.” What, you may ask, is the problem this is…

Buckley

William F. Buckley is dead, and Patrick Nielsen Hayden is glad to see him go. I can’t say I’m all that broken up, either. I saw Buckley speak once, when I was in college. I remember very little about the context– not even what year it was– but he came to campus at the invitation…

links for 2008-02-28

Confessions of a Community College Dean: Ask the Administrator: Suggestions for Research? What should people be studying about community colleges? (tags: academia social-science economics science) Buying a Spot on the Syllabus :: Inside Higher Ed :: Jobs, News and Views for All of Higher Education “The gift in question was $1 million to Marshall’s business…

Hypothetical Scenario: Love and Death

Say you were offered the chance to be introduced to the great love of your life, your absolute perfect soul mate. The two of you will be perfect together– compatible personalities, the same taste in movies and books, sex so good you’ll temporarily lose the power of speech– but you’ll only be together for five…

It Snows In Detroit, Right?

I’m very happy with my 2007 Ford Freestyle, but there’s one major design flaw that drives me nuts. It’s only a problem in the winter, though, which makes me wonder what the hell the folks in Detroit are smoking. If you look at the picture, you can just make out the antenna, on the passenger…

The State of Science Blogging

We haven’t had a good navel-gazing kerfuffle around here in a while, but not to worry– Bayblab comes to the rescue with a broadside against the current state of science blogging, as epitomized by ScienceBlogs: If you examine the elephant in the room, ScienceBlogs, the trend is maintained: politics, religion books, technology, education and music…