Archive for November, 2007

Update: Candace (another ‘American Physics Student in England’) has written a nice Eee review, and Theo also points out the OLPC. The laptop that carried me through my undergraduate years is slowly dying, and it’s time to start thinking about a replacement. Picking a new computer is a big deal. As a theorist it’s the […]


In a previous post I discussed the application of information-aggregation sites to the arXiv. (See also Daniel’s excellent links in the comments.) This post highlights a different underpinning of the Web 2.0: tracking and tailoring to user behaviour. Link for a larger mock-up. Amazon.com doesn’t administer the arXiv. (Cornell does.) But as one of the […]


A nice quote from Sarah Vowell from episode 174 of the charming radio programme, This American Life. It is curious that we Americans have a holiday—Thanksgiving—that’s all about people who left their homes for a life of their own choosing, a life that was different from their parents lives. And how do we celebrate it? […]


Bee, a stalwart for arXiv evolution, left a nice comment on a previous post. Since that post generated a blip of interest, I thought I’d share some of my [less flippant] thoughts on the future of the arXiv. This will be the first of three posts on the topic. (And then I have some posts […]


Just for fun: how big is the hep-ph community? Let be the total number of researchers in the hep-ph community. This includes students/postdocs, faculty, and emeritii. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that students/postdocs, and older faculty don’t publish at an appreciable rate. Instead, let us assume that all of the arXiv’s e-prints come […]


I’ve been holding my tongue since I first heard the “be a Brit different” adverts promoting UK tourism. But a controversial ad for the Eurostar has me wondering if I’m missing the point of tourism altogether. The Belgian advert portrays a “tattooed skinhead urinating into a china teacup.” Am I the only one that is […]


Lately I’ve had my nose to the grindstone, so not many substantial physics posts. (I have a few in pipeline.) But, in a spare moment, I had a very nice chuckle reading comments on this paper on E8 unification, provocatively titled `An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything.’ The title is a play on the `exceptional’ […]