Princeton Offense

There’s a nice article about former Princeton coach Pete Carril and the motion offense popularly associated with his teams: Carril has not been a college coach for 11 years. But he is wearing a Georgetown cap, and people keep calling to talk about the precise pass-and-cut offense that he supposedly invented but never called the […]

Bad News for the LHC

As you undoubtedly already know, the Large Hadron Collider suffered a setback this week: The start-up of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN could be delayed after three of the magnets used to focus and manipulate the accelerator’s proton beams failed preliminary tests at CERN earlier this week. The magnets were built at Fermilab […]

Philosophia Naturalis

Just a quick note that everybody’s favorite physics-oriented blog carnival is now up: Philosophia Naturalis #8. Once again, I forgot to submit anything, but Sujit was kind enough to include one of the things I wrote anyway. There’s a lot of good stuff there, so go check it out.

Pop Music Friday

It’s Friday, and the new academic term starts on Monday (I’ll be teaching at 8am– shoot me now), so it seems like a good time to try to forget about our troubles with pop music: The Onion’s AV Club has a list of great story songs, topped by “A Boy Named Sue.” I was amazed […]

Superheroes of Academia

The Dean Dad takes up a critical and shamefully neglected question about the academy: Which superhero would make the best dean at a community college and why? It’s not really my genre, but there are some good suggestions, including Batman (“His whimsical dilettante cover would make him non-threatening to members of the establishment but his […]

Cold Fusion Never Dies

Weird ideas never die, they just go underground, and return with new names. “Cold Fusion” is now “Low Energy Nuclear Reactions,” and was the subject of a day-long symposium at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society. It’s not clear how much credence to give this. It can’t be entirely kookery, because this was […]

Hugo Nominations 2007

The Hugo Award Nominees for 2007 have been officially announced. The one award I usually watch closely is Best Novel, and this year’s nominees are: Eifelheim, Michael Flynn (Tor) His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik (Del Rey) Glasshouse, Charles Stross (Ace) Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge (Tor) Blindsight, Peter Watts (Tor) Kind of a mixed bag, really. […]

Posted in SF

Thursday Night Dog-Blogging

It’s hard to be the Queen. This is actually from Tuesday night, and shows Queen Emmy the Mopey pining away for Kate, who was in Rochester for a trial. I meant to post it then, but I started to feel kind of light-headed not long after taking this, and opted to go to bed instead…

Posted in Dog

Labs vs. “Real” Courses

One final Steve Gimbel note. Toward the end of his anti-lab post, he writes: If you want to see a science professor get angry, just tell them that they teach all those labs to get out of teaching real courses. You’ll see faces get flush, veins pop out of heads and necks, and receive a […]

Labs and Naivete

In addition to the argument that labs are pedagogically bad, which I don’t buy, Steve Gimbel offers some more reasons to get rid of lab classes on sort of procedural grounds. There are a bunch of interrealted things here, but the argument boils down to two main points: Labs are very time-consuming, and students would […]