Well, Chad’s back, and I guess that means that this guest-blogging stint has come to an end (free! I’m free!). I want to thank Chad again for the opportunity to play in his sandbox for a few weeks. I didn’t get the chance to write every post I had planned. Real life — or at […]

The Loss of Night

I remember the last time I saw the milky way. I was at my aunt’s house in the foothills of the Sierras, and late at night the dense river of stars emerges. But that is still not the true milky way, or so I hear. And, in more urban areas, the detritus of our incandescent […]

The Job Hunt

Now that I’m back in College Station, it’s time to start getting applications ready for the great job search. I don’t know how it is in other fields, but in math/physics, this generally involves three to four letters of recommendation, a CV, a research statement, sometimes a teaching statement and maybe an annotated bibliography. In […]

Flying Things

Steinn reports that the NRC has made its recommendations for NASA’s Beyond Einstein program. The winners appear to be LISA, a gravity wave observatory, and JDEM, a competition of dark energy focussed satellites. Steinn has lots of links to the various projects. The executive summary of the report is availabe here (pdf). I know next […]

New Toys

Well, I’m back in Texas and just in time for Steve Jobs to introduce new toys I can’t afford. At the risk of turning Chad’s blog into an Apple advertisement, every time I pass an Apple store, it takes significant willpower to not walk out of there with a new iPhone. I find it endlessly […]

Hugo Winners

The Principles proprietor is currently at WorldCon where the Hugo awards are given out. This year’s winners are available (among many other places, I’m sure) at Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s blog. I wasn’t a huge fan of Rainbows End myself. I did like “The Girl in the Fireplace”, a Doctor Who episode. The writer, […]

Arithmetic and Music

Taking a break from all this physics, I thought I’d talk a little about music and some related mathematical coincidences. One of the fundamental concepts of music is that of consonance and dissonance. Consonant things sound nice when played together and dissonant things do not. For example, if you play two Cs together on a […]

Sky, Full of Stars

If you’re on the west coast tonight and are willing to stay up late or wake up early, you have the chance to see the Aurigid meteor shower. This shower is fairly unique because it arises from a comet with a period of around 900 years. Some people have even claimed that there’s a chance […]