Christmas came early to US banks, says the New York Times, when Treasury Secretary Paulson decided to use the first installment of the $700 billion bailout money to recapitalize banks instead of buying up their toxic securities. That would be, he claimed the fastest way to get banks making loans again. If Congress didn’t hand over the money at once, recession would hit us!
What wonderful news that Yoichiro Nambu finally got a Nobel Prize! Frank and I were just beaming at each other when the announcement came. It felt like having the Red Sox win the World Series, although minus the cars honking and people screaming in Harvard Square.
I’d like to mention specifically a trio of physicists whose work was particularly important in leading to ours, and who have not (yet?) received a Nobel Prize for it. These are Yoichiro Nambu, Stephen Adler, and James Bjorken. Those heroes advanced the cause of trying to understand hadronic physics by taking the concepts of quantum field theory seriously, and embodying them in specific mechanistic models, when doing so was difficult and unfashionable.
In fact, Nambu won the prize yesterday for a different part of his work, which just goes to show how brilliant and creative he is. I hope he will have as lovely a time in Stockholm as we did; it is a wonderful party.
Meanwhile, I quickly uploaded my own snapshot of Nambu to Wikipedia. And that photo soon went to the front page of Wikipedia, which delighted me. But it also soon went up all over the Google News with a credit to Reuters instead of to Betsy Devine and/or Wikipedia. That is a violation of the photo’s license, and I think that Reuters should be ashamed of itself.
This Dutch dentist’s window is full of no-nonsense examples of what a dentist can actually do for you. I love this, and this is so Dutch. Teeth that human beings might have or might want to have or might need to get help with.
No glossy photos of impossibly retouched glamor teeth.
This is just one example of why I love the Netherlands and the people who live here.
Hortus Haren, just south of Groningen, is the largest botanical garden in the Netherlands, but flowers were not the main attraction yesterday.
Just beyond its greenhouses is the insectarium, a small one that specializes in really big creepy things, e.g. tarantulas, a scorpion, stick insects, and cockroaches the size of dinner plates. OK, maybe I’m exaggerating on that last point. Cockroaches big enough to make Sarah Palin reach for the gun she uses when she’s hunting moose.
I learned a bit of Dutch when we lived here ten years ago, and one of the Dutch words I think is much better than its English equivalent is “kakkerlak,” which means “cockroach.” Another word where Dutch is better is “kikker,” for “frog.”
The “mystic” time tunnel, the Celtic tree horoscope, the rescued parrots, and the traditional Chinese teahouse that serves delicious traditional Dutch sandwiches are also fine features of the Hortus Haren. I recommend it! (But go with a Dutch friend or at least a Dutch dictionary–signs are all in Dutch.