In the Open Lab 2010

It occurs to me that I’m kind of dropping the ball on my shameless self-promotion because I haven’t mentioned that one of my posts made the cut for this year’s fifth edition of the best-of-science-blogging anthology The Open Laboratory. The post included is Science Is More Like Sumo Than Soccer, a discussion of the importance of avoiding jargon.

I was a little surprised at that one, but re-reading it to copyedit the text for publication, I guess it is pretty good. It wasn’t one of the top posts of last year, traffic-wise, but I think it’s useful, and am happy to have it included.

(It’s interesting, though, that every time I’ve been included (three times so far), it’s been for this sort of meta-science article, rather than any of my physics explanations (which I generally regard as more important than the meta material). I’m not sure that means anything, though.)

There’s a bunch of good stuff on that list, and if you’re looking for something good to read, you could spend a lot of time getting through it all.

Comments

  1. #1 Gordon Tatro
    January 11, 2011

    Dear Chad Orzel: Read your “doggy” book…and now reflecting.
    On page 18 you mention sound waves bending around corners and that that is why we can hear things behind a chair or wall (etc). Have you ever been inside an anechoic sound chamber? I did that once while I was in the military and it was enlightening. IN fact, I’ve never ‘heard’ such silence. It felt like when I spoke that the sound waves (my words) just dropped off my bottom lip and fell to the floor…my voice would not travel…not even 3 inches! I could also hear the blood gushing through my arteries because of the solid medium of my body more than anything else. SO I was thinking that if inside one of those chambers and a chair was place between you and the sound source that also the sound would NOT bend around the chair and reach your ears. If the ‘cones’ from the chamber are absorbing the sound waves even before they get but 3 inches from my lips then why would they travel around a chair (solid object)? You should go into one and test this out!!

  2. #2 Wilson
    January 11, 2011

    It’s interesting, though, that every time I’ve been included … it’s been for this sort of meta-science article

    It may mean that your meta material is more accessible to more people. I like science, and I don’t think I’m especially dumb, but I have trouble following many of your physics explanations, except the ones where you’re talking to Emmy (which, oddly, you haven’t posted as many of lately), just because I don’t have the necessary background.

    I get farther into some than into others, but rarely all the way to the end. I’ve been assuming that the audience for those posts are people with a deeper science background than mine. (I.e.: Lest it seem that way, I’m not complaining, just providing a science observer’s – as opposed to practitioner’s – perspective.)

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