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One Does Not Simply Science Into Mordor

I recently shot a bunch of video of myself in front of a green screen, for something that will be revealed in due time. Of course, if you have green-screen footage of yourself, you’re pretty much obliged to do something silly with it, so here’s a quick GIMP-ing of a still from the video (also…

Big Draw LA

The Big Draw LA event downtown today (in Grand Park) was a lot of fun! There were all sort of stations of activity, and lots of people were jointing in with drawing in various media, including making masks (so drawings and cut-outs) and making drawings on the concrete plaza area using strips of tape, which I thought was rather clever. Show More Summary

‘CERN People’ series tells it like it is

A new video series about scientists at CERN pulls back the curtain on what it’s like to be a physicist during a pivotal time in the field. American director and documentary film maker Liz Mermin has traveled from beauty schools in Afghanistan to Bollywood movie sets in India filming people at their work. Show More Summary

Uncertain Dots 24

If you like arbitrary numerical signifiers, this is the point where we can start to talk about plural dozens of Uncertain Dots hangouts. As usual, Rhett and I chat about a wide range of stuff, including the way we always say we’re going to recruit a guest to join us, and then forget to do…

Expo Line Chain Lady

So I looked up from my notes and saw this striking person in a remarkable, and presumably deliberately forthright, amount of chain-based jewellery. She had a heavy looking gold chain that started from one ear and stretch over to the other, with the slack resting on her chest. Show More Summary

Science Hack Day

Astrophysicists inspire space-related projects at a 24-hour hack-a-thon in San Francisco. As the space flick Gravity plays on large monitors in the open office space of a San Francisco tech company, nearly 175 people fight off sleepShow More Summary

Make Your Mark!

You know I'm a fan of mark-making. I think it is an important tool, as well as a fun thing to do. Taking the time to draw an idea, or your surroundings, brings a certain pace to the whole relationship that enhances it. You really have...Show More Summary

Nobel Prize for a Bright Idea!

The Nobel Prize in Physics this year is to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura, for the blue LED. Seems like a small thing, but it is hugely important for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the issue of producing energy efficient light sources for everyday use. Show More Summary

Nobel Prize for Blue LEDs

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura for the development of blue LED’s. As always, this is kind of fascinating to watch evolve in the social media sphere, because as a genuinely unexpected big science story, journalists don’t have pre-written articles based on an early…

500-mile neutrino experiment up and running

Construction is complete for NOvA, the longest-distance neutrino experiment in the world. It’s the most powerful accelerator-based neutrino experiment ever built in the United States, and the longest-distance one in the world. It’s called...Show More Summary

Nobel Season 2014

With this morning’s announcement of the 2014 Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine, the annual Nobel season is upon us. I didn’t do a betting pool post this year, because when I announced last year’s winner, I was reminded that I had never paid off the prize to the previous year’s winner. So I think…

Airline Routine

Since it has been a busy semester so far, I welcomed the flights to and from Ann Arbor (on Thursday and on Saturday) as opportunities to get in a bit of sketching practice. One must keep in shape, especially for work on the graphic book...Show More Summary

The Afghan Whigs at the Beacon Theater

Saturday afternoon, I drove down to the city to see the reunited Afghan Whigs play the Beacon Theater on the Upper West Side. I saw them years and years ago in DC, around 1996 or so on the tour for Black Love, and that was a great show. They’ve always been one of my favorite…

Weekend Plot: Stealth stops exposed

This weekend we admire the new ATLAS limits on stops - hypothetical supersymmetric partners of the top quark: For a stop promptly decaying to a top quark and an invisible neutralino, the new search excludes the mass range between m_top and 191 GeV. Show More Summary

On the Road, with Whiskey…

I'm on the road. I gave a seminar at the University of Michigan yesterday, and spent the working day chatting with various physicists at the department there, exchanging ideas, catching up on what people are up to, etc. The seminar itself went ok. Show More Summary

CicLAvia Tomorrow!

There is a CicLAvia tomorrow! I'm out of town right now (see next post) but I hope to make it back in time to enable me to go along at least for a little while. It looks like a fun route (see snap of map to left; click to enlarge), although it will be quite hot, so if you go, take it easy. Show More Summary

Eureka: “Fun, Diverse, and Accessible”

The exciting news of the week: Eureka: Discovering Your Inner Scientist has gotten a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Woo-hoo! They’ve said nice things about my previous two books, but getting the star is a big deal. And it’s a really good capsule description of the book, with a great pull quote in the last…

To catch a gravitational wave

Advanced LIGO, designed to detect gravitational waves, will eventually be 1000 times more powerful than its predecessor. Thirty years ago, a professor and a student with access to a radiotelescope in Puerto Rico made the first discovery...Show More Summary

Speaking Truth to Parallelism at Cornell

This week I was at my alma mater, Cornell, to give a talk at the 50th anniversary celebration of its computer science department.  You can watch the streaming video here; my talk runs from roughly 1:17:30 to 1:56 (though if you’ve seen other complexity/physics/humor shows by me, this one is pretty similar, except for the […]

Uncertain Dots 23

Our semi-regular video hangout returns. In this episode, I’m wearing a tie, because I gave the department colloquium this week, and for psychological reasons I always dress up a bit to give talks. This was recorded under an hour after my talk, which probably explains why I’m a little more punchy than usual… I’m not…

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