Entries from October 2012
October 30th, 2012 · Comments Off on Oh man, how stupid could I be?
Would you believe that I actually imagined that longtime GOP shill David Brooks aka (on Twitter) as @nytdavidbrooks was sincere in his many NYT columns expressing doubt about Mitt Romney, praise for Barack Obama?
Now, it happens that I am married to a certified (by the MacArthur Foundation and other folks) genius, who, when I expressed to him my fond hopes, argued that David Brooks would never endorse Barack Obama. All we were seeing, according to Frank Wilczek, was a momentary feint, a pretended diversion, from a GOP shill who would head back to show his true colors before the election. And boy was Frank right!
Well, duh Betsy, now that October is here, GOP’s concern trolls are opening raincoats, and what are we seeing? Could it possibly be that they are taking the path laid out by Karl Rove, pretending to be sadder but wiser previous Obama people?
Yes, that’s what we’re seeing.
In August: “Romney was a precocious and gifted child. He uttered his first words (“I like to fire people”) at age 14 months, made his first gaffe at 15 months and purchased his first nursery school at 24 months. The school, highly leveraged, went under, but Romney made 24 million Jujubes on the deal.”
In September: “Personally, I think he’s a kind, decent man who says stupid things because he is pretending to be something he is not — some sort of cartoonish government-hater.”
In October:”if Romney wins, we’re more likely to get bipartisan reform… He has more influence over the most intransigent element in the Washington equation House Republicans. He’s more likely to get big stuff done.”
Tags: politics · Wide wonderful world
October 10th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Woman Who Bought …
The woman who bought The Woman Who Died A Lot, a lot. That would be me. I had pre-ordered Jasper Fforde’s latest Thursday Next novel ages ago from Amazon.com. When I saw it was already out in an English edition, I quickly ordered it from Amazon.co.uk. I got home last night to find both editions had just been delivered. Hurray! Oh, whoops, was I supposed to be unpacking now?
Tags: England · funny · Wide wonderful world
October 6th, 2012 · 1 Comment
Back in 2005, Uppsala Castle hosted a gala physics dinner where two MIT physics professors, Frank Wilczek and Janet Conrad got into some jokey trash talk about the existence (or not) of Higgs particles. Years later, neither one could clearly remember all the details, but one scribbled notepad recorded details of a bet between Frank and Janet about when, whether, and at what energy, a Higgs particle would be found.
Frank bet Nobel chocolate medals, at 100 to 10 odds, that CERN would find a Higgs before the end of 2012 with a mass less than 150 geV. And in July 2012, ATLAS, CMS, and Fermilab all announced finding the same Higgs-like signature at about 125 geV. So Janet conceded and gave Frank his prize: 10 golden Nobel chocolates, at another lovely festive event at Uppsala Castle.
And I even got one of these pieces of chocolate for having suggested the second Uppsala Castle Higgs particle party, as recorded in this YouTube of Frank’s talk there.
Although Frank was dubious about this party idea, I sent email to Uppsala physicist Antti Niemi, asking if he didn’t think Uppsala might enjoy being part of the end of this story — and the rest was history, by which I mean hard work by Antti and by Uppsala University’s Tord Ekelof to bring this idea to fruition. A very good time was had by all the participants, including an audience of about 500 people who came to hear talks by Tord, Frank, Janet, and Fabiola Gianotti, the head of ATLAS at CERN.
Tags: Frank Wilczek · funny · Science · Wide wonderful world
October 4th, 2012 · Comments Off on Obama is my guy, and I am proud of him
I am really annoyed by the news bytes today that Obama “lost” to Mitt Romney in their debate. How sad that our current President has things to keep him at work on his day job besides debate prep and likeability-enhancement coaching.
Obama is my guy. I am proud of his work, even though I have often disagreed with him and screamed and hollered about his long efforts to work with Republicans whose only game plan was to make him look bad. News flash, dear Barry, if you are reading this, they don’t want our country’s problems fixed by you! They did their focus-group-directed best for the past four years to make things get as bad as they could possibly make them.
But did you stay classy? You did. I would not have, I admit this, but you did. And in spite of your self restraint, which at times drove me to frenzy…
Did you get our country out of not one but two wars? You did. And how about “Obamacare”, as its foes call it, a new health care law that is already saving lives? You did it. How about Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagen, now on the Supreme Court? You did that too. How about Osama Bin Laden? You finally caught him and then got our young soldiers out of that unwinnable horrible war.
For these reasons and more, you are my guy, Barry Obama, and I hope to heck that you win. And all the PAC dollars being poured into long ads about how we should be disappointed in you and therefore (incredible non sequitur) cast votes for Eddie Haskell, er, I mean Mitt Romney … holy baloney, talk about total insanity. As in maybe, oh your wife’s scrambled eggs weren’t unmatchably yummy this morning, why don’t you divorce her and marry somebody who hates your kids and would like to spend your total salary on Swarovski crystals and Jimmy Choo platform shoes?
Obama is my guy, and I am proud that he is.