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This is the last blip before Scienceblogs.com/thescian fades into the background. I am no more a blogger. The past few years has been a memorable journey and your company was wonderful. A big thank you to you, the readers, and to Scienceblogs who made this a great experience for me. Please visit TheScian.com to relive those old times. I am publishing, as text and audio, the best posts of this blog since 2006 along with reader comments. The articles and audio will go online every friday starting today. You can subscribe to it via iTunes and other apps. I am in the process of revamping…
So, wife asked me what's with connectedness of the stuff in this world, synchronicity and such. Well, there is much to say. Let's take this, for instance: Place the picture of a BZ reaction snapshot and a CMB picture side by side. One is a chemical reaction in a small dish, the other is a seven year long snap of the universe. Why do they look similar. Such strangeness, like galactic superclusters are waves of matter... (just a wee bit bigger than our lab reactions). Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction CMB Image of the Sky
I find myself scrubbing (my own person, that is, please read on) vigorously without being aware only to realize later that I am listening to a fast-paced music while bathing. Most of you would have experienced the connection between music and pace of physical action. Amateur observations made while listening to music during bathing, driving and writing software have naturally led me to wonder about the kinds of resonance between brain's biochemical processes (a.k.a rhythms) and music. The new year's edition of New Scientist supplied a word for this that I had not known before: Entrainment.…
Go here. There's a search box to look for organs. Quite neat.
A remarkable and inspiring presentation of data. Dr Rosling, of course, has been pioneering this for a while now. There is a recent piece in the Economist which I found informative as well. More vidoes linked here.
The thing is, it is dark, but wait, actually, it is not. I mean...
That's Narayanan Krishnan, who has dedicated his life to feeding the poor in Madurai. You can vote for him at CNN Heroes 2010. He could use the prize money.
So, there's a new heavier neutron star that has been found. Here's a question: How close can we physically get to it while still keeping most of the atoms in our body intact? We seem to be OK at 3000 light years. Would we be fine at 10 light years, 1 light year, 5000 miles? I suppose if we figure out a few things, we are ready to head straight to the nearest neutron star. Year 3000, package tour to PSR J1614-2230, spins at 317 a second, come come and have a go yourself! Things the tour company has to sort out: the enormous gravitational attraction and the fact that this is a rapidly…
NYT should be ashamed of itself. The readers know a shit piece when they see it and they make it known in no uncertain terms. Here's a recent interview with John Le Carré at Writers & Company where he discusses the backdrop (Deep State, as he calls it) and the strangling effect it has on civil and democratic society. He is alarmed and so should we be. Update: Glen Greenwald covers the NYT piece
Ed Witten, the physicist whom many consider a man of genius, has had remarkable early years. Below was linked at Hacker News.How long will you need to find your truest, most productive niche? This I cannot predict, for, sadly, access to a podium confers no gift of prophecy. But I can say that however long it takes, it will be time well spent. I am reminded of a friend from the early 1970s, Edward Witten. I liked Ed, but felt sorry for him, too, because, for all his potential, he lacked focus. He had been a history major in college, and a linguistics minor. On graduating, though, he concluded…
Man can only have a certain quantity of hair, teeth and ideas. There comes a time when he necessarily loses his teeth, his hair and his ideas. -Voltaire.
Real High Definition as it is called [link]. Allows you to see Leonardo da Vinci's genius at close range. At this range the canvas appears to be quite like human skin--the colors, shadows and cracks on the canvas, extraordinary. Looking at this, I had one of those moments inside my head when the separation between art and life disappears. This is no more an imitation of life.
In cases of unclear legal grounds, a proper court judgement is one that leaves all parties mildly dissatisfied. The Ayodhya verdict may be one such judgement and that is a good thing.
There much ado about like at Beebs after actress Thompson was, like, very upset by, like, words and such. This comment by a reader named Colin was very clever.Comparing "like" to "um" and "ah" as a filler/thought pause is okay, but there's one major difference. The listener can easily filter out the "um" and "ah" because they have no meaning. But "like" does, so the listener has to process "like" in the sentence's context to determine if it's relevant or not. This hinders comprehension because it has to be done before the full sentence is known. "I smell like a rat" means what? I stink, or I…
What does it mean to me? Mostly, I am annoyed. There are more annoyed people commenting at beebs. This is a state visit. If you are wondering which state the Pope hails from, it's the state of Vatican and it's a monarchy. The Pope is the monarch of Vatican. Seriously. What should we do in UK, welcome him to the 21st century, maybe.
Audio at The Guardian. Great fun listening to them talk so freely, especially the last minute when Attenborough shares a good laugh with Dawkins.
So, I was taking a trip down memory lane (via a data backup CD created 8 years ago) and found this poem saved up for later reading. Not sure why I had this particular one saved. Anyho, here it is. My young son asks me Bertolt Brecht My young son asks me: Must I learn mathematics? What is the use, I feel like saying. That two pieces Of bread are more than one's about all you'll end up with. My young son asks me: Must I learn French? What is the use, I feel like saying. This State's collapsing. And if you just rub your belly with your hand and Groan, you'll be understood with little trouble.…
Here's the thing about Google Instant: it's a rather nifty thing but that's not what is important. What is crucial is the introduction of 'a new kind of "conversational" search interaction'. So, now you can talk to the search engine. Microsoft tried this paradigm some years ago, I think, with some eminently forgettable avatar character and it was a fine failure (to be fair, the technology and research was not mature then). Google is now poised, I believe, to succeed. A few key technical things have come together to make Google Instant happen, particularly speed and the ability to predict…
A NY Times article on the remarkable and inspiring response of two women who lost their husbands in the September 11 attacks.The woman, Susan Retik, has pursued perhaps the most unexpected and inspiring American response to the 9/11 attacks. This anniversary of Sept. 11 feels a little ugly to me, with some planning to remember the day with hatred and a Koran-burning -- and that makes her work all the more exhilarating. In the shattering aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, Ms. Retik bonded with another woman, Patti Quigley, whose husband had also died in the attack. They lived near each other, and…
This recent research is a significant finding on what could be the cause and potential cures.