Sunday, September 28, 2008

Social... me?

The past two weekends have been rather social. Last weekend, Carl came to visit. He'd never spent much time in California, so I enjoyed introducing him to cheap Mexican seafood and izakaya food. We also designed a history of physics course while eating sandwiches on the beach. Hope you had a good time, dude!

This weekend, Greg was a guest at Conjecture, and I tagged along. Greg does a great job on panels, although I might be a wee bit biased. The people were friendly, and we had a nice lunch with Zak, Sharon, and Dave. All-in-all, it's been a fun two weekends.

Alas, Monday, you come too soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Larger Perspective

As Sean over at Cosmic Variance has pointed out, $700 billion corresponds to a few dollars for each of the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. I've felt vaguely nauseated ever since I read that.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


During class, one of my astronomy students asked me about the LHC. As I was responding to the question, I noticed another student in the back corner grinning maniacally and bashing his hands together, mouthing "boom boom". I approve.

I'm fascinated by images showing a road to the Milky Way:

Driving to work today, I saw a lone man waving a flag against the background of skyscrapers. It was quite moving. It's hard to believe seven years have passed.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Ah, that's better

It seems that a good method for soothing my rage is sharing dinner at Tito's Tacos with Greg, followed by a glorious Nine Inch Nails concert. I hadn't been to a NIN concert since 2006 and had forgotten how soul-cleansing it is. My back is no longer tense, my pulse is no longer pounding. I am floppy and content. Hmm, there is a NIN concert in Vegas in December, right before finals. I think I owe it to my students to go, don't you?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Suggestions, please

Between vitriolic speeches and driving in southern California traffic, I'm finding myself to be a little more ragey than usual. I can feel my blood pressure increasing on a daily basis. I'm more easily irked, too. Besides continuously imbibing hot chocolate, what can I do to soothe my rage? Help me!

I'm going to see Nine Inch Nails tomorrow. That should make me happy!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Science-y Stuff

Nothing really coherent to write about today, just a few tidbits for your amusement:

I always enjoy starting the semester with the good ol’ “The Sun wasn’t really IN that constellation on the day you were born so why do you keep looking it up in the newspaper”-discussion. Even a previously quiet class, like my daytime astro lecture, comes to life. Whew.

Jennifer Ouellette at Cocktail Party Physics does a thorough job reviewing the science policies of both major presidential candidates. I recommend y’all read it.

Physics Today is doing election coverage as well. Go read!

I have been remiss in my pretty astronomy image duties, so here are a few.

The Moon transits the Earth, from Deep Impact and Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Gravity works - Tiny moon Prometheus and Saturn’s F ring, from Cassini: