Archive for July, 2006

I flipped on CNN today as I grabbed a quick lunch in my apartment and noticed that the weather map looked strikingly similar. Here’s a map from Weather.com: And here are some maps from a University of Michigan page displaying the results of the 2004 US presidential election (blue is democrat, red is republican): County […]

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Yesterday I had the special chance to meet Tony Blair–ahem, pardon me, the right honorable Tony Blair–at a reception hosted by George Shultz, a fellow at the Hoover Institution. The event was coordinated by the British Consulate in San Francisco, which has always been exceptionally friendly with its Marshall scholars. An ice sculpture of sitting […]


Continuing my previous post, I wanted to mention more of my favorite (and least favorite) physics book covers. I should mention a couple of things: Book cover judgements are independent of the content of the book. However, if the book cover is indicative of being part of a series of books, then part of its […]


I guess this is what passes for physics humor. Ralph Alpher, a student of George Gamow, did his PhD thesis on big bang nucleosynthesis. In 1948 Alpher wrote a paper with Gamow titled “The Origin of Chemical Elements” (Phys. Rev. 73 1948). Gamow, however, had a humorous side, and invited Hans Bethe (pronounced “beta”) to […]


Libraries and bookstores are some of my favorite places–they are repositories of information, perhaps a coffee shop, and are filled with the smell of books (and perhaps coffee). I’ve spent a good part of my summer visiting new libraries (Santa Monica, Berkeley, San Francisco) as well as many of Berkeley’s characteristic used bookstores, and have […]


Trying to learn the renormalization group. There goes the summer.


One of this summer’s quiet movies is Who Killed the Electric Car?, a film that has gone under the radar with Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth taking the label of the summer’s environmentally-friendly film. As a summer student at SLAC four years ago, one of out invited speakers showed us his EV1 after his presentation […]


I just caught a quick commercial for the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week Marathon,” featuring a fictional “Bight University” (it’s a pun). As a native Southern Californian who enjoys the science sections of university bookstores, I immediately recognized that the actual university at which the commercial was filmed was none other than Caltech. (For those not […]


In a move whose immediate implications for me remain unclear, the United Kingdom has merged its Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) with its Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CLRC). The new entity will be called the Large Facilities Council, a nod to the trend that cutting edge experiments in astronomy and particle […]


Two nights ago I had a dream that I broke a glass. And guess what happened yesterday? Background: “Spooky action at a distance” was a term coined by Einstein when describing quantum entanglement. Entangled particles are funny applications of quantum mechanics such that the observation of one of the entangled particles of a pair determines […]