Archive for the ‘Just for Fun’ Category

Moving on…


Hi everyone — I’ve still been getting a trickle of comments on this blog, which I find a little heart warming, but I wanted to let people know that this blog is now officially closed and there will be no further posts. My adventure in the UK ended in June and I’m now midway through […]



A few thoughts on my adjustment back to the US… “There are three things you can’t do in life. You can’tr beat the phone company, you can’t make a waiter see you until he’s ready to see you, and you can’t go home again.” -Bill Bryson, Notes from a Big Country. I’ll never get tired […]

LaTeX Etiquette


Here’s another post that I wished I could flesh out more had time permitted. A few subtler points of LaTeX etiquette… Quotation marks: use ` and “ instead of ‘ and ” for opening quotations, or else your quotes will look silly. Bras and kets: use \langle, \rangle instead of less-than, greater-than Align your equations! […]

Just a random thought for the day: I spent a couple of years as an undergrad doing research in a cond-mat/materials science building. It was the only place where people would consistently wash their hands before they went to the restroom.

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 […]

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’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 […]

Consider the gauntlet thrown, Cambridge. In his new Cosmology text, Steven Weinberg twice misspelled the name of DAMTP professor Gary Gibbons as “Gary Gibbon,” effectively making a monkey of the accomplished general relativist. Innocent typo, or the latest manifestation of the deterioration of trans-Atlantic relations? Ok, ok. I guess I’m just getting reacquainted to the […]