Things You Should Read On the Internet

By Sean Carroll | November 4, 2006 4:03 pm

Collected links, moldering in my bookmarks:

  • Eszter Hargittai writes about a new book by her father, István Hargittai, called The Martians of Science. It’s a heartwarming tale of five Jewish-Hungarian kids who studied physics and changed the world: Theodore von Karman, Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, John von Neumann, and Edward Teller. (Okay, so I’m guessing that the Teller story isn’t completely “heartwarming.”)
  • Coturnix announces a Science Blogging conference to be held in North Carolina on January 20, 2007.
  • Rob Knop gives an example of egregious scientific male misbehavior, in case anyone was skeptical that any such examples existed. The truth is, the number of senior male physicists who regularly hit on attractive younger women physicists is … well, it’s a very long list. And that’s only one kind of misbehavior. I once had a professor who wondered out loud (to a group of male students in his class) why the female students were doing better than they were on the problem sets. The possibility that the female students in that particular sample were just smarter, and that this was not really cause for a news bulletin, had apparently never occured to him.
  • An archive of the Top 100 Images from the Hubble Space Telescope. This one is my favorite:
    V838 Monocerotis
    but this one and this one ain’t too shabby. The big news this week was that there will be a servicing mission to HST, which should keep it alive for several more years. I have slightly mixed feelings about this. HST has been an amazing instrument, and I was pushing to save it from my earliest blogging days. It does cost money, though, and NASA is in the midst of a budget crisis that is leading it to dismantle much of its astrophysics program. I was part of the committee that set up the original Beyond Einstein program, which proposed a program consisting of five near-term and mid-term missions: Constellation-X (an X-ray satellite), LISA (gravitational waves), Dark Energy Explorer (using either supernovae or weak lensing), Inflation Probe (looking for tensor modes in the CMB), and Black Hole Finder. Now we have a National Academies panel that will be looking over all of these to decide which one of them to actually go forward with. Still, the money spent on science is not a zero-sum game, so I’m happy to see Hubble saved for a while.
  • Best Google search to ever lead someone to Cosmic Variance (and there have been some doozies, let me tell you): sex. Apparently we are about the 320th best place to look on the web for information about sex. Whereas, for information about “physics,” we’re not in top 500 or so (I stopped looking). A lot of you suspected this, but now Google has provided incontrovertible proof.
CATEGORIZED UNDER: Internet, Miscellany

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About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] .


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