links for 2009-06-30

  • "Last weekend, travelers at a rest stop in Minnesota became alarmed when a group of college kids pulled up in a U-haul truck, carefully unloaded a large, sleek object from the back, and set to work on it with power tools. About the length of a person, it was painted white and resembled a torpedo. Fearing the worst, someone called the police."
  • "Now that acute socioeconomic suffering has hit home or threatens to hit home among university faculty -- not only English Department instructors and adjuncts, but even some tenure-track and tenured professors are facing or anticipating economic difficulties that make the poverty issue less academic, less other.

    This is a terrible moment for many people, and it has reminded many of us, in the most painful way, that socioeconomic suffering is not merely the othersâ problem. Letâs take this crisis as an opportunity to put poverty on the front burner in our profession, along with race and gender."

  • "I believe âwriterâs blockâ is a harmful term that justifies laziness and encourages self-deception. But to be unable to write the next scene in your story, your screenplay, or even a new menu item to make something new out of all that arugula and eggplant in your walk in, this is an important part of your ongoing commitment to one of the greatest, and most difficult, human compulsions, to create something where there was nothing."
  • "The First Biennial John Stewart Bell Prize for Research on Fundamental Issues in Quantum Mechanics and their Applications is awarded to Prof. Nicolas Gisin for his theoretical and experimental work on foundations and applications of quantum physics, in particular: quantum non-locality, quantum cryptography and quantum teleportation. With sources of single and entangled photons at telecommunications wavelength, he has implemented these quantum effects on a commercial optical fibre network in the 10-100 km range. "
  • "Now the Dalai Lama hopes that, with help from Emory [University, in Atlanta] and other programs, science will become part of a new curriculum, with science textbooks in Tibetan and specialist translators, leading to a generation of monastic leaders that are scientifically literate."
  • "The 42 questions listed below were given in 2005 in the only comparable exam given by INFN in the past. Two hours were given to answer these questions -a really short time, which forced candidates to make tough choices on which questions to address first. Note that the total score of each of the four batches of questions is given, in order to provide guidance on which questions to try and answer first -or to just freak out the candidates further."
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