Archive for July, 2008

One of my favorite sources of background noise is Chicago Public Radio’s This American Life. The show recently replayed a nice episode called “A Little Bit of Knowledge,” which included a really nice piece on a physics crackpot (without being condescending). The piece starts at around the 31:10 mark. Here’s the blurb: Bob Berenz had […]

[Kudos if you got the Schoolhouse Rock reference.] I’ve gotten a few messages now about the Graduate Junction, a social networking site developed to help postgraduate students. After noting it was endorsed by Durham, I decided to give it a try to see what it’s all about. Update: see Dan’s comment below for further discussion. […]

Only in America: According to the “Dallas City Hall Blog,” a Dallas County administrator was reprimanded after calling a collections office a “black hole” for losing papers. A judge and commissioner on hand deemed the commend racist, apparently. To make the story even better, they instead suggested that the office be called a white hole. […]

It seems like the powers-that-be at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center are considering changing the lab’s name. Besides reflecting the broader spectrum of science done at the lab since its 2005 reoganization, apparently there’s some issue with the DOE registering for ownership of the lab’s title. Stanford University, who operates the lab, objects to anyone […]

The good folks at the Guardian have put together a nice interactive presentation about the LHC. Unfortunately, they continue to deny that ‘CERN’ is an acronym by spelling it as ‘Cern.’ [edit:see comments.] If you’re willing to forgive their editor, the presentation is a really nice introduction for non-physicists.

I’ve gone on–and–on about wikis in the past, and so I was very happy to see (via OpenWetWare) a very nice article in the May 08 issue of MAA Focus by Ethan Duckworth (see page 17). Dr. Duckworth describes how he set up a -enabled wiki for his abstract algebra course to have his students […]

Richard recently asked for instructions for enabling wmv files to be played on Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron). This is important since TASI has uploaded its summer school videos in wmv format. After reinstalling Ubuntu, I followed the instructions at Ubuntu Geek and that seems to have worked well. Here’s a summary. First enable “Universe” and […]

I’m going to miss people referring to shops like “Woolies” or “Marks and Sparks.” The only shops here that have such widely-accepted nicknames are fast food joints: “Mickey-D’s” or “Jack-in-the-crack.” … though that last one might only exist for undergrads who have the late-midnight munchies. Perhaps what I’ll miss most are the pub names. Cheers […]