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Uncertain Principles

Physics, Politics, Pop Culture

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Theology Answers

In the end, all but three songs from my mix tape post were explicitly identified in comments on one site or another, though two or three were identified only indirectly ("That song by barenaked ladies..."), and one only by extensive Google searching. Not too shabby.

Here are the answers. You might be saying "Isn't this just a cheap way to squeeze another blog post out of this same tape?" You might be right.

Side One:

Side Two:

Posted at 9:35 PM | link | follow-ups | 5 comments

"I Just Assumed He Was Dead!"

Via a post (now vanished) by somebody on Kate's LiveJournal friends list: Anton Chekov signs books in Union Square:

The man pictured above was one of a handfull of folks who noticed the first sentence on the back cover of the play which read, "The Cherry Orchard was first produced on Chekov's last birthday in January 29, 1904. This meant exactly 100 years and one month had passed since his "last birthday". I informed anyone who brought up this point that it was in fact a "very embarassing typo" made by Dover Publications.

Some people have way too much free time... And that's a good thing.

Posted at 7:19 AM | link | follow-ups | no comments

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

It's Turtles All the Way Down

Sean Carroll posted a list of popular misconceptions, mostly having to do with cosmology. It's worth taking a look at, to give you an idea of the kind of things physicists have to deal with when trying to talk about our work in public (above and beyond "I hated physics in high school.").

In addition to Sean's cosmic-scale list, I'd add a few misconceptions that are just as large, but operate on a smaller length scale:

I could come up with a few more, but I'm already late for work, so this will have to do for now.

Posted at 8:56 AM | link | follow-ups | 6 comments

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Quantum Update

Kathryn Cramer has an update to the quantum mechanics story I blogged about recently. She got a note from Shahriar Afshar, explaining that publication of the results described in the original post is forthcoming, along with a Web site, pop science article, and a possible seminar on the "Bohr-Einstein debate," though it's not entirely clear what that would mean (that's probably a reference to the EPR paradox and related issues, but who knows).

Kathryn posted a link in the comments thread on my original post, but it's slipped so far down the front page that I'm not sure anyone's still looking at it, so I figured I should give the update more prominent publication.

Posted at 8:50 AM | link | follow-ups | 6 comments

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Three Hour Theology

I'm going to be extremely busy for the next couple of weeks-- we're hitting a busy part of the term, and I've got a conference coming up at the end of the month-- so blogging will be fairly light. In more ways than one, because what little I do post will mostly be fluff.

I almost feel bad posting lightweight pop culture items these days, given the seriousness of what's going on in the news. I'm going to anyway, though, because I really don't have anything to add to the discussion in terms of content, and more posts expressing shock and horror over Abu Ghraib aren't really going to help. And anyway, were it not for the actual news, I'd be in a really good mood right about now, having just gotten a very positive report on my third-year reappointment review (the first step in the tenure process). So, since everybody else is talking about depressing things, here's some useless fluff.

This is a mix tape I made a couple of years ago, now, around the time Kate and I got married. The title refers to a mandatory discussion of Catholic doctrine that we had to go to in order to get married in a church. I made the tape, and then left it in the tape deck of my parents' minivan, which we had borrowed for one or another of the post-wedding moves. My dad really liked the tape, so I let him keep it, and until now, I haven't gotten around to making a copy.

Because I'm bored, and because most of these songs are reasonably comprehensible, I'll do this LiveJournal style, and post lyrics rather than song titles, and anyone who care can try to guess the titles and artists. I don't expect this will have much success, given that some of the songs are a little obscure, but I'm easily amused, and this is all about me.

Side One:

Side Two:

(Most of these are from memory, with a few things checked by Googling. I can't claim 100% accuracy for any of them.)

Posted at 5:01 PM | link | follow-ups | 16 comments

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