Reader Request Thread

I’ve hit a point in the book-writing where I’m sort of spinning my wheels: waiting for beta-reader comments, fiddling with figures, looking at dog pictures for potential illustrations (my contract calls for me to provide some number of reproduction-quality pictures of the dog). This would be the perfect time to do some blogging.

The problem is, there’s nothing jumping out saying “Blog me! Blog me!” at the moment. I’ve got some longer-term ideas, and I may start those over the weekend, but there’s nothing coming to mind for immediate blogging.

So, let’s throw this open to the wisdom of crowds:

What should I blog about?

Leave your suggestions in the comments. I don’t promise to respond to all (or any) of them, but if anything sparks a response, I’ll write about it.

If there’s anything that you’ve been dying to know my opinion about, here’s your chance.


  1. #1 First non-responder
    July 25, 2008

    If you haven’t got anything to say, don’t say it!

  2. #2 Uncle Al
    July 25, 2008

    In keeping with the Red Books, can your canine be captured playing the bongos?

  3. #3 Chris Granade
    July 25, 2008

    Can you speak to Michael Nielsen’s post on collaboration in the sciences? It’s been generating a lot of traffic over on his FriendFeed page, but I’d like to see what some of the Sb community has to say about his thoughts.

  4. #4 cisko
    July 25, 2008

    A list: “5 SF/F novels or series that you should read, but probably haven’t.” Similar for movies, TV shows, music.

    When in doubt, pop culture.

  5. #5 Alex M
    July 25, 2008

    You should blog about some new, badass physics research!

  6. #6 Wilson
    July 25, 2008

    Well, in the books thread, I did wonder why you didn’t finish some of the books you didn’t get through, particularly A Christmas Carol and Sherlock Holmes. I assume that different books had different reasons and it might be enlightening to hear some of them.

    It’s not deep, and it probably belongs in that thread, but it’s a better request (in my own opinion) than either of the two (at this writing) respondents so far.

  7. #7 Jonathan Vos Post
    July 25, 2008

    Triadophilia: A Special Corner in the Landscape

    A plot of the Hodge numbers of the Kreuzer-Skarke list. ….. populate
    the tip is to seek Calabi-Yau manifolds that are free quotients, with
    a nontrivial …

    “Looking at the tip of the landscape it is hard not to speculate that there may be a physical mechanism allowing transitions between what appear classically to be different vacua thereby permitting the
    universe to trickle down to a very special corner of the landscape, an oasis where only very few Calabi-Yau manifolds reside.”

  8. #8 Miles
    July 25, 2008

    I’m sure there aren’t many others who will agree with me on this, but I’d love to see a sort of “Basic Concepts”-series style approach to the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, specifically as it was described in Feynman and Hibbs. Although it might be somewhat niche, I personally love the stuff; it’s like the other quantum mechanics, and on first seeing it, it’s nothing short of black magic. But maybe that’s just me.

  9. #9 Colin M
    July 25, 2008

    As I understand it, crackers have become popular lately.

  10. #10 Bob O'H
    July 25, 2008

    How about threatening to desecrate a tasteless snack?

  11. #11 Chris Granade
    July 25, 2008

    @Colin M and Bob O’H:
    C’mon. That was amusing for a while, but I for one am enjoying a cracker-free feedreader for a while.

  12. #12 Chad Orzel
    July 25, 2008

    You should blog about some new, badass physics research!

    Yes, but what?
    I haven’t seen anything recently that seemed exciting enough to post about, but I’ve been preoccupied, and might’ve missed something.

    As I understand it, crackers have become popular lately.

    I can quite honestly say that the whole “cracker” episode has not changed my opinion of any of the participants one bit. Other than that, I don’t think I have anything to add to what I already said to the dog.

  13. #13 Matt
    July 25, 2008

    How about blogging about a study in some field of science that you’re unschooled in but still interested as an outside observer?

  14. #14 Janne
    July 25, 2008

    Pictures! It’s science, it’s art! It’s what you’re supposed to deliver with your dog!

    More seriously, what do you as a physicist consider a good (as opposed to merely illustrative) science picture? And not astronomy (that’s too easy), but in hard to imagine fields?

    If we talk about general publication, when does a journalist cross the line – when the colored gels show up, when you’re asked to wear a lab coat?

    Or to take a different tack, what constitutes an honest, truthful image in a journal paper, and what is fraudulent?

  15. #15 perry
    July 25, 2008

    tell us how you really feel about Dick Vitale, or how the ACC is overrated…..

  16. #16 mollishka
    July 25, 2008

    You should have a baby and then tell us lots of funny baby stories. Or maybe a post wherein you explain to The Queen where said baby came from …

  17. #17 tcmJOE
    July 25, 2008

    I’m a physics undergrad about to begin my final year, and while I’m still thinking of physics grad school, I’m starting to feel less and less inclined to go into academia. Would you talk some more about career options for physics students outside of academia/pure research?

  18. #18 Ian
    July 25, 2008

    I’d like to hear what you think we’ll learn (if anything!) when the LHC comes online next month.

  19. #19 Kate Nepveu
    July 25, 2008

    You should have a baby and then

    That would be another thing where we’re sort of spinning our wheels . . .

  20. #20 Mary Kay
    July 25, 2008

    I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on becoming a father. Both before and after the actual event. And, of course, you *will* post baby pics as soon as humanly possible.


  21. #21 Moshe
    July 25, 2008

    So, what do you think about graphene? the next big thing, or just the latest fad?

  22. #22 Jonathan Vos Post
    July 25, 2008

    “So, what do you think about graphene?” — be sure to write down your answer with a #2 pencil.

  23. #23 Margaret
    July 26, 2008

    I come to this blog for the dog stories. I expect to enjoy the baby stories, too, so I hope there will be some. I had some babies once. One of them is a physics student now!

    On a different topic, let me take this opportunity to say that I received my books from the fabulous book giveaway. Thanks very much, Kate!

  24. #24 Johan Larson
    July 27, 2008

    Should negative results be publishable? Where?

  25. #25 cooljulie
    June 1, 2009

    If you don’t have anything to blog about then don’t! It’s all about being yourself, and its not you if you force yourself right? But if you insist, why don’t you blog about fundraising/benefit events. You could do some good in this world by joining and promoting fundraising events for a good cause. You not only have a blog post, but you also get to help other people!