Links for 2010-04-13

  • "I'm currently working my way through the book The Master of Light: a Biography of Albert A. Michelson (1973), written by one of his daughters, Dorothy Michelson Livingston. I typically find the beginnings of biographies to be rather slow-moving, with some sort of statement like, "There was little to indicate in his/her childhood what a great scientist he/she would become," but this is definitely not the case for Michelson -- his life story is interesting starting pretty much at birth!

    I thought I'd share another anecdote from the book that I found fascinating: Michelson's meeting, at a young age before he was famous, with the President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant!"

  • "I just finished my last final exam. But for the first time in 25 years I wasn't grading those papers; I was writing them. At age 58 I just completed my first semester at New York Law School. And while I may not be the oldest One-L in America, I'm certainly one of the very few to take on the challenge after two-plus decades as an adjunct professor of marketing and management at several graduate programs."
  • "Throughout his career, singer-songwriter Warren Zevon penned ballads and rockers grounded in specific types: the outlaws, addicts, creeps, and misguided romantics he often ran with himself. Zevon made up some of these; others were real. All were given the benefit of Zevon's wry humor and his unique combination of cynicism and compassion."
  • "You might be walking the dog or taking the dog to the dog park, and your beloved Border Terrier (or whatever) meets another dog. They carefully inspect each other. They sniff each other's butts, because that's what dogs do. And then the fight begins.

    But is it really a fight? Is it just rough play? How can you tell the difference between play and true aggression? When is it okay, and when should you pull your poor dog out of there? And - forgetting about you for a moment - how does your DOG know whether or not he or she is engaged in play or in a brawl? Seems like pretty important information to know. "

  • "Archaeological evidence indicates that dogs were already a part of human society around the end of the Ice Age. Small dog skeletons have been unearthed in human communities as far back as 6- to 12-thousand years ago in Europe, the Middle East, and China. The jawbone of a domestic dog was found in a late Paleolithic grave in Germany, and dated to around 14 thousand years ago. And there is the famous site at Ein Mallaha (Eynan, in Hebrew), in Northern Israel where an elderly human and a 4-5 month old puppy were buried together, 10- to 12-thousand years ago."
  • "I believe the answer is a resounding Yes --- Science could use a jingle.

    We are nearing the end of the USA Science and Engineering Festival jingle competition and have had dozens of wonderful submissions. I must admit that when I hear a jingle like the following one it does stir in me a grand, passionate feeling about science."

  • "The main result of that CDF study is plotted on the right. The dashed red line is a prediction of monte carlo simulations, while the solid green line is just a line drawn over the data points to make us feel secure. As you can see, the data are well described by simulations up to transverse momentum of order 20 GeV. However, around 100 GeV there is a huge, some 3 orders of magnitude discrepancy!"

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