Ask Me Uncomfortable Questions

It hasn’t been a roaring success, but LBMango on LiveJournal has a twist on the questions meme that I like:

Everyone has things they blog about.
Everyone has things they don’t blog about.
Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don’t blog about, but you’d like to hear about, and I’ll write a post about it.

It may not work here, either, but what the hell. Let’s shake things up a bit– if nothing else, it’ll give me the chance to practice glib and non-responsive answers to difficult questions, in case I ever lose my mind and run for office.

(I blog about a wide enough range of things that it may be somewhat difficult to identify what, exactly, I don’t blog about. If you’ve been reading for a while, though, you’ve probably got some idea, or you can figure out a few candidate areas from comparing me to my colleagues here at ScienceBlogs.

(I should also note that the fact that I blog under my own name puts some constraints on the kind of questions I can answer. You can ask “What do you really think of [some specific colleague]?” but it’s not going to get a serious response. I may or may not be able to make not answering that amusing, or I may just tell you to piss off.)


  1. #1 LBMango
    March 17, 2008

    To be fair, it wasn’t my idea. I stole it from other people’s blogs…

  2. #2 Stephen
    March 17, 2008

    Why do you try to hide your secret desire to be a high-energy particle physicist?

    /no one said that snark couldn’t be a two-way street

  3. #3 J-Dog
    March 17, 2008

    So, how come you don’t blog more about Rugby?

    I would also like to see stuff about the physics of baseball.

  4. #4 chezjake
    March 17, 2008

    OK, try this one on for size. Do you have a bias against cats? We know that you have Emmy, and therefore you like dogs, but is there a reason you don’t also have a cat?

    You might want to carry this into the science realm. Would it have made a difference if Schrodinger used a dog? What if Pavlov had studied cats?

    On an entirely different subject, how about some posts evangelizing the Capital District/Northeastern NY as a place attractive to academics?

  5. #5 Adrienne
    March 17, 2008

    Why, when you apparently are an agnostic or atheist, did you get married in a church? And are you going to baptize your baby? Raise him/her in a religious framework?

  6. #6 HP
    March 17, 2008

    I think you should blog about 17th century dance styles. What’s the difference between a gavotte and a gigue, and why is it important to know? What’s the connection between knowledge of dance as a social marker and the emergent post-feudal bourgeoisie in places like Delft?

    Also, I would like your input on the current Nigerian video industry, with particular attention to the direct-to-VCD market in neighboring West African nations.

  7. #7 Eric Lund
    March 17, 2008

    Do you have any comments on the Eliot Spitzer scandal/resignation?

    I realize that we may be talking about Kate’s former boss (or at least her boss’ boss) here. If I’ve understood some of your earlier posts correctly, Kate works in the Attorney General’s office, and Spitzer was AG before he became Governor.

  8. #8 Kate Nepveu
    March 17, 2008

    Eric: yes, I work in the Attorney General’s office and Eliot Spitzer is my former boss.

  9. #9 A
    March 17, 2008

    Given the chance, would you take a job at a major research-university, or do you enjoy teaching a lot and doing some research at your small liberal arts college?

  10. #10 Anon_student
    March 17, 2008

    You seem to enjoy teaching most of the time, but what traits/habits in students absolutely infuriate you?

  11. #11 Wade Walker
    March 17, 2008

    Not to be a contrarian, but I kind of prefer the non-uncomfortable questions, at least if “uncomfortable” means “political”.

    Many of my usual science news sources have gotten more politically strident in the last few years, or have started adding more editorial content (I’m looking at you, Scientific American and Physics Today). I very much enjoy places like this blog, where the controversies are usually more scientific than political.

  12. #12 Johan Larson
    March 17, 2008

    Well, education questions are always popular, so here goes…

    How would you change the requirements and coursework for the undergraduate Physics major?

    Think big! (No, bigger!)

  13. #13 mollishka
    March 19, 2008

    Hey! You skipped #6!! I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for days for that one!!

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