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. 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’ […]

It seems that Tesco made it to Southern California before I got back. The UK grocery-and-everything-else superstore has opened up”Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets” in SoCal, Nevada, and Arizona. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times has a very positive review, comparing the new stores to California’s beloved Trader Joe’s. Fresh & Easy markets, […]

Congrats P.N.!


Since this summer I’ve been mentoring a senior undergraduate at my alma mater for her Marshall Scholarship application. She’s been working really hard revising drafts, preparing herself for the interview, and otherwise polishing an already sparkling CV. Today the news came in that she was offered a scholarship! Fig 1. Congrats from the 2006 Marshall […]

I made a big fuss earlier this summer about SPIRES supporting RSS feeds, but I hadn’t realizied until now that now the arXiv also has its own subject-area feeds. I have no clue when this happened, but the update isn’t listed on their `what’s new‘ page. They don’t provide cute little RSS icons to click […]