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Archive for the ‘HUMOR’ Category

Happy Earth Day

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Clay Bennett – Chattanooga Times Free Press

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April 22, 2012 at 10:07 am

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The brain behind TV’s The Big Bang Theory

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Brad Hooker talks with David Saltzberg, science advisor to The Big Bang Theory

For those who live, breathe and laugh physics, one show entangles them all: The Big Bang Theory. Now in its fifth season on CBS, the show follows a group of geeks, including a NASA engineer, an astrophysicist and two particle physicists.

Every episode has at least one particle physics joke. On faster-than-light neutrinos: “Is this observation another Swiss export full of more holes than their cheese?” On Saul Perlmutter clutching the Nobel Prize: “What’s the matter, Saul? You afraid somebody’s going to steal it, like you stole Einstein’s cosmological constant?”

To make these jokes timely and accurate, while sprinkling the sets with authentic scientific plots and posters, the show’s writers depend on one physicist, David Saltzberg. Since the first episode, Saltzberg’s dose of realism has made science chic again, and has even been credited with increasing admissions to physics programs. Symmetry writer Brad Hooker asked the LHC physicist, former Tevatron researcher and University of California, Los Angeles professor to explain how he walks the tightrope between science and sitcom…..

Read more: symmetrymagazine.org

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March 4, 2012 at 9:30 am

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Top five tips on women for Stephen Hawking

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by Jean Hannah Edelstein – guardian
The scientist who explained the mysteries of the universe confesses to being mystified by women. Here are a few pointers

Stephen Hawking has confessed that women are a mystery to him. Photograph: Murdo Macleod

 Newscientist: What do you think most about during the day?
Stephen Hawking: Women. They are a complete mystery.

When I was young, I really struggled to learn to tie my shoelaces. Though I was intellectually on track with my peer group in most other respects, it was not until I was 12 that I conquered the double knot – and only after much shame, trial and error, and pairs of Velcro trainers.

It was this formative experience that made me feel great empathy for Professor Stephen Hawking, leading elucidator of the universe, when he confessed to having his own intellectual kryptonite. Women, he said in an interview with New Scientist, were a “complete mystery” – one that he now devotes much of his time to contemplating. Time, I assume, that he might be applying to M-Theory – an actual mystery that Hawking is uniquely qualified to investigate.

But all is not lost. Because just as Hawking was able to explain the universe to those of us who were mystified by it in A Brief History of Time, it is my pleasure to be able to explain women to those who are mystified by us in a A Brief List of Five Obvious Points About Women Using Helpful Scientific Similes.

1. Much like individual fundamental particles, women and men are different, but also the same. Which is to say: women are unique, complicated, intellectual, emotional, sexual. We respire and we digest. Sometimes we are lovely. And sometimes we are horrible. This has less to do with our intrinsic womanliness and more to do with the fact that we are human.

2. Much like quantum physics, communication between men and women can be complex and confusing. Maybe it’s because of the way our brains are wired; maybe it’s because of the particular ways we are socialised to communicate. Probably it’s a combination of the two. Regardless, the challenges of communicating with the sex opposite to yours can most often be overcome by being clear about what you are communicating, and asking questions about what you don’t understand. Much like doing science.

3. Much like black holes, women do not destroy everything.Unfortunately, there are a lot of conservative people in the world who still believe that women – and particularly, their sexuality – are dangerous and destructive. Realising that this is wrong is a great first step to understanding that women are not so baffling after all. Allying with those who are working to combat the rampant human rights abuses that arise from this kind of ignorance is even better. Think of it as getting your PhD in women.

4. Much like physicists enjoy arguing, women enjoy sex. They just don’t get precisely the same kind of enjoyment from it that men do. Still perplexed? Ask the women you have sex with to talk to you about it. Or ask a woman who you are not going to have sex with, but who is sympathetic to your mystification, to explain it to you. Read a book by a woman about sex. Examine a useful diagram in an anatomy textbook. Do not watch pornography online: when it comes to understanding women’s sexuality, internet pornography is about as useful as a as an arctic geography textbook is for understanding multivariate calculus.

5. Much like scientists think creationists are lazy-minded, women aren’t keen on men who make sweeping generalisations about our “mysteriousness”. It’s one thing to say that you have trouble understanding particular women you interact with, or to admit that you find romantic relationships challenging. But to say that we are all a mystery could be taken as someone positioning himself to dismiss and marginalise us; to imply that our opinions and ideas don’t matter because we’re intrinsically inexplicable. And that would be a disgrace. In future, if you are going to make a sweeping generalisation about women, try phrasing the sentence with the word “people” in place of “women”. Does it make you sound daft? Maybe a little bigoted? It’s OK. Few experiments work the first time.

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January 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Posted in COSMOLOGY, HUMOR

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Video: Robot Avatar Brushes Cat Remotely in Virtual Reality

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January 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Posted in HUMOR, TECHNOLOGY

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A Physicist’s Christmas

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By Bob Englehart – courant.com

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December 27, 2011 at 8:57 am

Posted in High Energy Physics, HUMOR

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Eiffel Tower as a plant

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December 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Posted in BIOLOGY, HUMOR

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2012: a transition to a new era, not the end of the world

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… according to Sven Gronemeyer

A scene from the film 2012, which refers to the idea that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world. Photograph: SONY/Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar

“….Gronemeyer has been studying the stone tablet found years ago at the archeological site of Tortuguero in Mexico’s Gulf coast state of Tabasco.

He said the inscription described the return of the mysterious Mayan god Bolon Yokte at the end of a 13th period of 400 years, known as Baktuns, on the equivalent of 21 December 2012. Mayans considered 13 a sacred number. There is nothing apocalyptic in the date, he said.

The text was carved about 1,300 years ago. The stone has cracked, which has made the end of the passage almost illegible.

Gronemeyer said the inscription referred to the end of a cycle of 5,125 years since the beginning of the Mayan Long Count calendar in 3113 BC.

The fragment was a prophecy of the then ruler Bahlam Ajaw, who wanted to plan the passage of the god, Gronemeyer said.

“For the elite of Tortuguero, it was clear they had to prepare the land for the return of the god and for Bahlam Ajaw to be the host of this initiation,” he said.

Bolon Yokte, the god of creation and war, was to prevail that day in a sanctuary of Tortuguero.

“The date acquired a symbolic value because it is seen as a reflection of the day of creation,” Gronemeyer said. “It is the passage of a god and not necessarily a great leap for humanity…..”

Read more: guardian.co.uk

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December 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm

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Video: math problem

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November 28, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Posted in HUMOR, MATHEMATICS

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