links for 2008-12-29

  • "I’ve been thinking more about explaining what we mean by "insulators", in light of some of the insightful comments [on the last post]."
  • "CSI? Unrealistic? Hate to break it to you kids, but, yeah. At the very least, the speed with which our intrepid heroes get their results would make any cop, ADA, or defense attorney double over in laughter, when they’re not crying. DNA rape kits, appallingly, have as much as a six year backlog, according to a recent NY Times Op-Ed. That’s not just because of the volume of cases involved, but the time it takes to analyze and match DNA samples. "
  • Frank Wilczek is planning a mystery novel: "The idea is that two men and two women from Harvard and MIT collaborate and discover dark matter. It’s clear that they should win a Nobel Prize, but according to the rules of the prize, only three people at most can share."
  • "What seemed to have been an elaborate allegory about the emotional weather of high school actually turns out to concern the decisions one makes about how to be an adult, and the options Gaiman presents have a distinctly ’90s inflection: it may be Gen-Y’s gateway drug to high literature, but when considered in the company of Slacker, Before Sunrise, Reality Bites, Nevermind, Vitalogy, Wonder Boys and, yes, The Corrections, it’s every inch a Gen-X book, a compendium of slacker lassitude, dot-com ambition, Starbucks ennui and battle-0f-Seattle fury."