Category Archives: Random

Canons of good spin

Dan Dennet’s canons of good spin (heard in Reverse-engineering Religion): It is not a bare-faced lie You have to be able to say it with a straight face It has to relieve skepticism without arousing curiosity It should seem profound

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GPS and relativity

In order for GPS to work correctly, the software must explicitly take into account both special relativity and general relativity. Adjustment for special relativity is needed because satellites fly around the Earth at approximately 8 km/s, which by itself results … Continue reading

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Literature: fantasy vs. realism

…judged by the standards of fantasy, modernist realist fiction, with its narrow focus on daily details of contemporary human affairs, is suffocating and unimaginative, almost unavoidably trivial, and ominously anthropocentric. (Ursula K. Le Guin, The Critics, the Monsters, and the Fantasists)

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April Fool Day on

Here’s what looks like today: Note the picture of camel.  I wonder if this is a joke by the server’s operators or a friendly prank by someone in the Perl community…

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A Quantum Theory of Mitt Romney

Generally, I tend to stay away from political commentary.  But this is way too funny, not to mention that it brings back fond memories of QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter… From New York Times:

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BMJ goes myth-busting

The British Medical Journal recently did some serious myth-busting (see part one and part two). Apparently, all of the following are myths: Sugar causes hyperactivity in children Suicides increase over the holidays Poinsettia is toxic Not wearing a hat causes … Continue reading

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Dani Rodrik’s academic fantasy

Dani Rodrik writes: I once had a fantasy. I would devote a whole year, perhaps a sabbatical, just to reading and thinking, and would not write anything. I mean really nothing: no papers, no articles, no op-eds, no contributions to … Continue reading

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Another dispatch from the Central Coast

The fire is said to have spread to the area of 5,400 acres and shows no signs of abatement…

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California’s Central Coast on fire

Well, not all of it, if course… The photo above was taken today in Goleta, CA, from approximately this location:

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