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Attempted Mpemba Effect

One of my favorite modern tales of scientific discovery is the Mpemba Effect, named after Erasto Mpemba, a schoolboy in Tanzania who noticed while making ice cream that hot mix put in the freezer solidified faster than cold. This counter-intuitive result has been replicated a bunch of times, and physicists and chemists continue to debate…

165/366: Wintry Science

It was bitterly cold over the weekend here in the Northeast, with daytime high temepratures in the single digits Fahrenheit. This has little to recommend it in terms of, you know, leaving the house, but it did provide an opportunity to try some SCIENCE! Unfortunately, I left the notepad with the data (such as it…

163-164/366: Recurring Themes

This weekend’s photos were mostly of the kids, and mostly had other people’s kids in them, as they did a double play-date on Saturday afternoon. I’m going to lump two days together, because they’re really just repeating previous themes. Here are the kids eating dinner at the Union women’s basketball game Friday night: (They went…

162/366: The Love Fishtank

SteelyKid was sent home on Wednesday with strep throat, and so needed to be home thursday as well. she was very disappointed to be missing school, as her class was preparing for a Valentine’s Day party on Friday. I picked up a bunch of work for her, including a heart-shaped paper pouch to hold the…

161/366: Mobile Office

Some time back, I posted a photo of my usual spot at the Starbucks in Niskayuna. When I was in Newport News earlier this week, of course, I had to find a different space from which to rant about Twitter. Here’s that spot: As you can see, the principal difference between the two is that…

160/366: Nice Crowd

I did bring my good camera with me to Newport News, and took it on the tour of Jefferson Lab yesterday, but despite the existence of DSLR pics, you’re getting a cell-phone snap for the photo of the day: That’s the audience about 10-15 minutes before my talk last night, so it was a good…

As I go through my daily routine, I find myself sort of out of phase with a lot of the Internet. My peak online hours are from about six to ten in the morning, Eastern US time. That’s when I get up, have breakfast, and then go to Starbucks to write for a few hours.…

159/366: Thanks, Manitoba

I’m in Newport News, VA, to give a talk tonight at Jefferson Lab, and they’re putting me up at the on-site Residence Facility. The rooms at this are apparently sponsored associated with institutions that use the facility, with big signs on all the doors. Here’s mine: So, I guess my stay is in some sense…

158/366: Fort

Since our recent trip to Vermont, SteelyKid has been obsessed with building blanket forts. These have mostly been in the living room, leading to a bit of angst at the end of the day when we need the blankets back. So i did a little reorganizing in the basement, and dug some sheets out of…

I’ve been remiss in my self-promotional duties, but I’m giving a public lecture tomorrow night in Newport News, VA, as part of the Jefferson Lab Science Series. This will be my traditional “What Every Dog Should Know About Quantum Physics” talk, with the sad addition of a slide honoring the late, great Queen of Niskayuna…