Silliness

Category archives for Silliness

Proving that you can find physics in everything, Sean Carroll points to a strange anomaly in the Super Bowl coin toss: the NFC has won 14 coin tosses in a row. The odds of this happening seem to be vanishingly small, making this a 3.8-sigma effect, almost enough to claim the detection of a new…

Incredibly Serious Sunday Poll

Like many Americans, I’m going to be hugely preoccupied today. Thus, a poll for your blog-like entertainment needs: The Super Bowl is today. Who’s going to win? If you choose the last option, please arrange to have contacted me in the past to tell me who to have laid a significant bet on so I…

Academic Poll: Day One

It’s the first day of class today (for me, anyway– classes technically started yesterday, but I don’t teach on Tuesdays this term). This, of course, means that something will go horribly wrong. The question is, what? What will go wrong on the first day of class today? This is a class for first-year students, so…

It May or May Not be 2012 Somewhere

A while back, a reader from Bulgaria sent me a photo of a highly topical bottle of local spirits: You can either know where you are, or how much you’ve drunk, but not both… Having spent my last day of 2011 taking SteelyKid to the mall for bouncy-bounce and midway games, and then having her…

And what happened then? Well, in Who-ville they say That the Grinch’s small heart Grew three sizes that day. And then the true meaning Of Christmas came through And the Grinch found the strength Of ten Grinches, plus two – Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas It’s nearly Christmas, so SteelyKid keeps demanding to…

“I work around the clock– 1043 Planck times per second– providing the gravitational attraction to hold this galaxy cluster together. And some baryonic cosmologist wants to explain me away as a modification of Newtonian gravity? “I have been silent for 13.7 billion years, but no more. “I AM THE 96%” (Original Pandora Cluster image from…

Sing Along Time

Twinkle, twinkle Have you any wool? H I J K L-M-N-O-P Up above the world so high One for the little boy who lives down the lane Now I know my A-B-C’s Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full

Academic Poll: Pronoun Trouble

I’ve moved on to the second of three academic writing projects I wanted to work on this summer (yes, I know I’m rapidly running out of summer…), which is a sort of review article on which I will be the only author. This creates an awkward situation in the introductory material, because it just feels…

Quantum Politics

In the “ideas I wish I’d thought of first” file, the Canberra Times has an op-ed comparing politicians to quantum objects, because they seem to hold contradictory positions at the same time, and are impossible to pin down. It garbles the physics a little, and is very specific to Australia, though, so let’s see if…

Via Bee, we have the BlaBlaMeter, a website that purports to “unmask without mercy how much bullshit hides in any text.” Like Bee, I couldn’t resist throwing it some scientific text, but rather than pulling stuff off the arxiv, I went with the abstracts of the papers I published as a grad student, which I…