Happy Birthday, PZ!

By Sean Carroll | March 8, 2007 9:31 pm

PZ Myers — looming, hulking titan of the science blogosphere — turns an even half-century old tomorrow. Bloggers of all stripes are coming out to celebrate, with links being collected by John McKay, GrrlScientist, and Coturnix. (I’m not sure what’s the big deal about 50. The number only looks special because it’s the number of fingers on one hand times the number of fingers on both hands. A less parochially antropocentric anniversary would be 64, which is the square of the number of arms on a cephalopod. But I’m not in charge.)

I would like to give PZ a nice birthday present, as he played an important role in my life as a blogger: he gave me my first link ever. I could write him a poem, like Richard Dawkins did, but trust me you don’t want that.

So I had the great idea of sharing my favorite cephalopod-related video — this clip of a guy eating live octopus tentacles.

But then I thought about where I had actually seen this first — and, yes, it was on Pharyngula. Damn you, PZ! Still, if you’re in the LA area and are jonesing for some live tentacles, we’ll hook you up.

So finally I decided to give PZ something he’d really appreciate — his astrological chart.

PZ's Astrological Chart

The “interpretation” goes on and on about the implications that Pluto is in 28 degrees Leo, etc. (I guess they still think it’s a planet.) But here’s the punchline:

Rising Sign is in 03 Degrees Aries

You are a free spirit and you must be first at everything you do. Very energetic, self-assertive and active, things must be done your way. Even though you may feel calm and serene on the inside, you certainly do not act that way. You want to do everything full-tilt, 100 miles per hour! A great competitor, but a poor cooperator — you must learn how to lose more gracefully. Very self-confident, ambitious and passionate, you radiate positive energy. You are blunt and direct, but at times unfeeling and tactless, especially if anyone offers you any resistance. You fight for your beliefs, but your tendency to act first and think later often causes you much grief.

Man, I don’t know. Seems pretty darn accurate to me. I might become a believer, despite my principled misgivings.

Happy Birthday, PZ!

  • http://www.twistedphysics.typepad.com Jennifer Ouellette

    PZ was born in Kent, Washington? That’s literally a 5 to 10 minute drive from Renton, where I grew up. Hmmm…

  • http://www.domenicdenicola.com Domenic Denicola

    That poem you linked to was amazing. I think it changed my life.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/sean/ Sean

    We’re all about the life-changing, Domenic. I hope it was for the better.

  • http://theeternaluniverse.blogspot.com/ Joseph Smidt

    Happy Birthday to PZ. I enjoy his blog.

  • Alejandro Rivero

    It is noteworthy that they nowadays use the circular deploy for astrological charts. Kepler still used the babilonian square deploy when doing his official work of royal astrologer.

    On other hand, have you checked it against a serious sky plot program for the same day?

  • http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/ PZ Myers

    ASTROLOGY!!?! Noooooo!

    You were in Renton, Jennifer? One of the traditions in my youth was to get in the car on a Friday or Saturday night and drive up to Renton, cruising the Loop and looking for babes. You were probably literally a babe in 1975, or perhaps not even that much. If it weren’t for the unfortunate temporal displacement…

  • http://eclecticfloridian.blogspot.com Eclectic Floridian

    I couldn’t resist the urge to post this, sorry if it bothers anyone … just struck me funny.

    Two rules for men turning 50:
    1) Never waste an erection.
    2) Take care when you fart.

  • frodo

    Happy birthday PZ! Love your blog!

  • spyder

    From my favorite Pronoia prognisticator and astrological wiznut;
    this week’s reading for our Pisces hero:

    Molecular scientist Robert Bohannon knows a way to cram even more obscene gratification into a doughnut. He has discovered the secret to infusing pastries with a non-bitter version of caffeine. If his innovation is adopted by bakers, a doughnut would not only be able to have its usual sugary kick, but could also deliver the punch of two cups of coffee. Judging from the current astrological omens, Pisces, I’d say you’ll soon be able to find a healthy metaphorical equivalent to this pathological marvel for your own use. In other words, you’ll intensify your enjoyment of an already fine pleasure.

    The following are Pisces paradoxes:
    a. People are more willing to accommodate your longings if you’re not greedy or grasping.
    b. A good way to achieve your desires is to cultivate the feeling that you’ve already achieved them.
    c. Whatever you’re longing for has been changed by your pursuit of it. It’s not the same as it was when you felt the first pangs of desire. In order to make it yours, then, you will have to modify your ideas about it.
    d. Be careful what you wish for because if your wish does materialize it will require you to change in ways you didn’t foresee.

    Review your own life and identify experiences that exemplify these four principles.

    And oh to be 50 again, you are so (relatively) lucky and youth filled.

  • http://www.twistedphysics.typepad.com Jennifer Ouellette

    Yes, PZ, I was a bit young in 1975, but by the time I was in high school the loop was still the thing to do on a Friday or Saturday night. Renton wasn’t exactly a hopping place… :)

  • Jeff

    happy bday to PZ of course, And sean, I see you are once againq quoted in the paper of repute (NY times magazine, at least) on their big article on dark energy. Interested in your thoughts on the piece…



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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] cosmicvariance.com .


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