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Loafing Around

13 hours agoAcademics / Physics : Asymptotia

Yes... I do still try to find time to make sure I slow down and make a batch of bread, roughly every week. The process of slowly kneading the dough, rolling and squeezing and folding again and again, is a good meditation. Then there's the reward of a house full of the smell of baking bread... [...] Click to continue reading this post ?

Reading the heavens with your phone

Two groups have released early versions of apps to turn your smart phone into a cosmic ray detector. Cosmic rays, most of which come speeding through the Milky Way from outside of our solar system, crash into the Earth’s atmosphere at...Show More Summary

Breakthrough Prize Ceremony

There’s a story in Variety this afternoon announcing that Seth MacFarlane will be the host this year for the ceremony in Silicon Valley announcing the 2015 Breakthrough Prizes. MacFarlane was the host of the 2013 Oscars. Other celebrities there to … Continue reading ?

Weekend Plot: Bs mixing phase update

Today's featured plot was released last week by the LHCb collaboration: It shows the CP violating phase in Bs meson mixing, denoted as ?s, versus the difference of the decay widths between the two Bs meson eigenstates. The interest in...Show More Summary

Podcast on “Beyond the University”

That podcast from the Bedrosian Center series that I contributed to is now live! I mentioned it here, remember, and talked a bit about the book we discussed, "Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters", by Michael S. Roth....Show More Summary

Conceptual Physics Halloween Costumes 2014

A fine if somewhat intermittent tradition hereabouts has been the offering of high-concept Halloween costumes for people interested in physics, surfacing in 2010, 2012, and 2013. I’m a little too fried right now to do anything all that deep, but I’ll try to offer a few suggestions; see also these particle-physics suggestions from Symmetry magazine,…

Interstellar Discoveries

I'm a fan of Chris Nolan's work so I've been looking forward to Interstellar. I've also been fascinated by the McConaussance - the transformation of Matthew McConaughey into an actor of considerable stature in a series of excellent films...Show More Summary

Reading Storm…

For a while back there earlier this week I was in a storm of reading duties of the sort that I hope not to see again in a while. A lot of it had to be put off at the end of the week before because I wanted to prepare my talk for Sunday, which took a little more time than I'd planned since I wanted to do some drawings for it. Show More Summary

I Dare!

(Click photos for larger view) Yes. I dare to show equations during public lectures. There'll be equations in my book too. If we do not show the tools we use, how can we give a complete picture of how science works? If we keep hiding...Show More Summary

Secrets of the Earth

My guess is that most of you don't know that you can find original science programming on the Weather Channel. (Just like, say, 8 years ago most of you would not have been tuning to the History Channel for original science programming...Show More Summary

Sunday Assembly – Origin Stories

Sorry about the slow posting this week. It has been rather a busy time the last several days, with all sorts of deadlines and other things taking up lots of time. This includes things like being part of a shooting of a new TV show, writing...Show More Summary

Scientists mull potential gamma-ray study sites

An international panel is working to determine the two locations from which the Cherenkov Telescope Array will observe the gamma-ray sky. Somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, about 100 state-of-the-art telescopes will dot the otherwise empty landscape for half a kilometer in every direction. Show More Summary

Particle Fever and Modern Art

As mentioned last week, I was the on-hand expert for the Secret Science Club’s foray into Massachusetts, a screening of the movie Particle Fever held at MASS MoCA. This worked out nicely in a lot of respects– it gave me an excuse to visit the newly renovated Clark Art Institute in Williamstown and check out…

TEDx goes to CERN

Inventors, educators and scientists inspired audiences at this year’s TEDxCERN. It’s not every day you see entrepreneurs, engineers and particle physicists breaking it down to an electronica remix of recordings from CERN’s air conditioning...Show More Summary

Uncertain Dots 25: The Lightning Round

I got the time for the regular hangout wrong, and then we had some weird computer difficulties, so we only had ten minutes for Uncertain Dots this week. Which was enough time for me to say disparaging things about comic book movies, so, you know, if that interests you… Here’s the making of Interstellar story…

On Not Talking, for the Right Reasons

Over at Backreaction, Bee has a nice piece on our current age of virality. Toward the end, she discusses some of the ways this applies to science, specifically a quote from this Nature article about collaborative efforts to measure “big G”, and a story about a Chinese initiative to encourage collaboration. She writes of the…

Yet More News

Charlie Munger, the billionaire business associate of Warren Buffett, has donated $65 million to the KITP at UCSB for the construction of a residence for visitors. For more on this, see a UCSB story, a New York Times article, and … Continue reading ?

Cosmic Inflation

Cosmic inflation refers to a period of rapid, accelerated expansion that scientists think took place about 14 billion years ago. Cosmic inflation refers to a period of rapid, accelerated expansion that scientists think took place about 14 billion years ago. Our universe has likely never grown as quickly as it did during that period. Show More Summary

Australia’s first dark matter experiment

A proposed dark matter experiment would use two underground detectors, one in each hemisphere. Physicists are hoping to hit pay dirt with a proposed experiment—the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere—that would search for traces...Show More Summary

Costumes to make zombie Einstein proud

These physics-themed Halloween costume ideas are sure to entertain—and maybe even educate. Terrifying, we know. So you haven’t picked a Halloween costume, and the big night is fast approaching. If you’re looking for something a little funny, a little nerdy and sure to impress fellow physics fans, look no further. Show More Summary

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