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Uncertain Principles

Physics, Politics, Pop Culture

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Get Your War On

I tend to label mix tapes with some sort of phrase that reminds me of when and where it was made. They tend to be a little cryptic in the usual album title/band name manner: "Geographic Vagaries" refers to a time when I seemed to have a gift for meeting attractive, interesting women who lived a very long way away from me; "Bronfman Two Twenty" is the room number of the lab I worked in as an undergrad; "Fines Doubled in Work Areas" is a tape I made to listen to on the long drive across Pennsylvania. Occasionally this produces really odd results-- another tape is labelled with the spectroscopic designation of a particular transition in rubidium (as getting a laser locked to that transition was my concern at the time), which leads to much bafflement whenever I have an atomic physicist in the car...

The post title, then, refers not to the profane clip-art comic, but to the most recent tape I made. It's not exactly the Poor Man's party-killer, but the title was sort of unavoidable given recent events. As usual, it's skewed toward things I've acquired relatively recently (which doesn't necessarily mean recent albums).

Lacking better blogging inspiration, I'll list off the songs, and a comment or two on each. If I were ambitious, I'd provide links to MP3's or something, but I don't have time for the RIAA, so take what you can get:

Side One:

Side Two: (And, just as an aside, it's probably only a matter of time before side distinctions become a thing of the past, in this era of recordable CD's...)

There you go. I have no doubt set myself up for all kinds of mockery of my strange taste in music, but, hey, it's not about basketball... Physics posts next week, definitely.

Posted at 10:09 AM | link | follow-ups | 15 comments

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Back to Back

Syracuse won the national championship. I'm not quite prepared to claim that this was one for the ages-- it was a little too ragged in the second half, with all those missed free throws, and most of the players looking like they'd stayed out late on Bourbon Street-- but it was a very entertaining game. All too entertaining, actually-- it would've been easier on my heart if Syracuse had managed to hold more of their early 18-point lead, rather than letting it all slip away and providing some bad Derrick Coleman flashbacks in the closing minute-- but Kansas is a great team, and fought to the bitter end.

Having suffered through the '87 title game, I'll still grimace whenever Keith Smart is mentioned, but this takes some of the sting out of that. Jim Boeheim finally got the title he's been chasing for all these years, and this should seal his reputation as an excellent coach.

It's a pity the win had to come at the expense of Roy Williams, who was so upset that he actually cursed on live tv after being pressed about the North Carolina job. (Those who don't follow college hoops may not find that surprising, but this is a man who uses the word "goldarn" without irony. Saying "I could give a shit about North Carolina," for him, is the equivalent of throttling Bonnie Bernstein with the microphone cord for any other coach in the business.) Nick Collison's description of him as "the best man in college basketball" isn't far off the mark, and I hope for his sake that he wins a championship of his own soon (and not at North Carolina...).

He can't have this one, though.

I could wibble on about the game for a long time-- Carmelo Anthony ROOLZ-- but that tends to generate sarcastic comments here and elsewhere, and anyway, I have a class to teach. Sports-haters can rest assured that there will be less hoops in the immediate future-- we're entering the Great Sports Desert now, and ESPN won't be worth watching until September or thereabouts.

I will note, though, that I've inexplicably stumbled onto some good sports karma in recent years. Three years in a row with one of my teams in the Final Four, and back to back titles. And the Giants haven't completely sucked, either. This is unprecedented. For a small fee, I'm willing to root for an NBA or NHL team of your choosing, and boost them over the top-- post offers in the comments. Other sports may be neogtiated, though I draw the line at NASCAR or bowling.

Of course, my current championship karma is partly balanced by things like Charles Kuffner posting a link to the lyrics of 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game', and getting that insipid tune lodged in my head. I don't even like baseball, dammit. You'll pay for this you bastard...

Posted at 10:41 AM | link | follow-ups | 1 comment

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Greetings From the Nineteenth Century

The power is still out.

When it failed to come back on by lunchtime yesterday, we headed to my parents' house in Scenic Whitney Point. It's a sad statement when you're forced to flee suburbia for Mayberry in order to get working heat, electric light, and Internet access.

Niagara Mohawk's current estimate is that the power should be back on by "late Monday." What's particularly irritating about this is that the people across the street from us never lost power, so they're all fine. Bastards.

Anyway, since it's about forty degrees Fahrenheit inside the house, we're going to a hotel for the night. Kate and I both have to work tomorrow, and it's hard to put together a decent physics lecture when you're battling hypothermia...

Posted at 5:17 PM | link | follow-ups | 2 comments

ΔxΔp ≥ h / 4 π

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