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The Afghan Whigs at the Beacon Theater

Saturday afternoon, I drove down to the city to see the reunited Afghan Whigs play the Beacon Theater on the Upper West Side. I saw them years and years ago in DC, around 1996 or so on the tour for Black Love, and that was a great show. They’ve always been one of my favorite…

The exciting news of the week: Eureka: Discovering Your Inner Scientist has gotten a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Woo-hoo! They’ve said nice things about my previous two books, but getting the star is a big deal. And it’s a really good capsule description of the book, with a great pull quote in the last…

Uncertain Dots 23

Our semi-regular video hangout returns. In this episode, I’m wearing a tie, because I gave the department colloquium this week, and for psychological reasons I always dress up a bit to give talks. This was recorded under an hour after my talk, which probably explains why I’m a little more punchy than usual… I’m not…

Yes Virginia, There Are Quantum Jumps

In a weird coincidence, shortly after I wrote a post about “quantum leap” as a metaphor, I was looking up some stuff about John Bell and ran into mentions of a paper he wrote called “Are There Quantum Jumps?” Bell is borrowing a title from Schrödinger, who wrote a pair of articles (really, one article…

Eureka Publicity: Blurbs and Talks

Eureka: Discovering Your Inner Scientist has officially been sent to the printers, so we’re at the phase of things where I don’t have anything to do but think about publicity. There are some reviews forthcoming, at least one of which I’m very happy about, but I’ll share more about that when it becomes public. I’ve…

Metaphors and Style

Two language-related items crossed in the Information Supercollider today: the first was Tom’s commentary on an opinion piece by Robert Crease and Alfred Goldhaber, the second Steven Pinker on the badness of academic writing. All of them are worth reading, and I only have small dissents to offer here. One is that, unlike Tom and…

Finding Extrasolar Planets with Lasers

On Twitter Sunday morning, the National Society of Black Physicsts account retweeted this: Using Lasers to Lock Down #Exoplanet Hunting #Space http://t.co/0TN4DDo7LF — ✨The Solar System✨ (@The_SolarSystem) September 28, 2014 I recognized the title as a likely reference to the use of optical frequency combs as calibration sources for spectrometry, which is awesome stuff. Unfortunately,…

Drumming for Fall

The JCC is closed today for Rosh Hashanah– and best wishes for a happy new year to those who celebrate it– so I’m spending the morning with The Pip before Kate comes home to take the afternoon shift while I teach my class. SteelyKid is in school today as usual, so don’t tell her, but…

Trains of Clocks

My Gen Ed relativity course has mostly been me lecturing about stuff to this point, so on Wednesday I decided to shake things up a bit and convert a chapter of David Mermin’s It’s About Time. The idea was to get students up and moving around a bit, and actually making some measurements of stuff.…

On Putting Words in Einstein’s Mouth

Modern media being what it is, I should get out in front of this, so: I am guilty of putting words in Einstein’s mouth. I mean, go watch my TED-Ed video on particles and waves, or just look at the image up top– that very clearly shows Einstein saying words that he probably never said.…