Merry Blogmas

By Sean Carroll | December 21, 2008 12:33 pm

‘Tis the season to be giving link love to new blogs. Beats coming up with content on your own.

My favorite recent new blog find: On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess, by Dr. Isis. She manages to say important and interesting things without being so all-fired serious all the time, a skill I wish I had mastered myself. Also, shoes. As a gesture of cross-gender solidarity, here’s a pair of cool shoes for you guys out there to contemplate with desire.

Fig. 1: Jo Ghost Men’s Lima Shoes. $877 at Amazon. No, I don’t own anything like this; I’d be too afraid to wear them.

Eric Drexler, author of the book Engines of Creation that helped spark interest in nanotechnology, has started a blog: Metamodern. Expect knowledgeable commentary about all things nano-, but also on broader issues at the intersection of technology and society.

Ted Bunn has a blog! Who knew? It’s called Ted Bunn’s Blog. Ted is a cosmologist at Richmond. He wrote an interesting post on entropy and evolution, in response to this paper by Daniel Styer, which I first noticed at Pharyngula. I haven’t gone through the issues myself, but it seems like an interesting attempt to attach some quantitative ideas to the blindingly obvious claim that evolution is not incompatible with the Second Law.

I know you’re already all reading Resonaances, but just in case, you really should check out Jester’s recent post on anomalies in astroparticle physics. If you’d like to delve deeper into the experimental puzzles Daniel mentioned a while back that may or may not be hints of dark matter, this is the place to go.

Also not really a new blog, but now that you’ve read this far, you’re helpless: the National Academies are doing a survey concerning what kinds of educational materials would be most useful to put on the Web. Their blurb:

What topics in science, engineering, and medicine matter most to you? The National Academies are interested in developing useful and engaging print and web-based educational materials on the topics that you’d like to learn more about. They invite you to participate in a brief survey. You can find that survey here.

In the 2-minute survey you’ll be presented with a list of topics and asked to select the five that matter most to you. At the end, you can see how your answers compare with the results so far. And you can enter a drawing to receive a National Academies tote bag!

Let the National Academies know what topics you think they should focus on so they can be sure to provide you with materials that are informative and useful. Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Now, I love the NAS and all that, but when they list their topics you might possibly care about, things like “Physics,” “Astrophysics,” “Cosmology,” and “Mathematics” are nowhere to be found. Happily, there is a write-in box, so this is the chance to give them a piece of your mind.

Also: tote bags!

  • Mark

    Whee! I agree Sean, you should take some less serious approaches to conveying the information.

    I’m thinking you could hit the gym and then do a nude presentation on the morphology of black holes.

    Or maybe a slow, circular exploration of the delicate topology of the CMB.

    At seminars, you could even play an interactive game 0f find the dark energy.

  • spyder

    The only possible useful footwear at this time are UGGs indoors and Sorel winter boots for outdoors!! All other footwear are pointless, useless, and wasteful. Personal favorites are the Ugg Classic or Ultra Short and the Sorel Caribou Reserve since it has been in the very cold (-FÂș) here. For $877 i could also get a new Antarctic down parka, several new polypro layers, and awesome snow pants; all new from Sierra Trading Post.

  • Charon

    Wow. Those shoes are hideous.

    But as aesthetics go, I’d rather have people with strange taste in shoes than in buildings. Ugly buildings are horrible, and prominent, and long-lasting…

    I’ll second a vote for Sorel boots, although I’m not in a climate that needs them at the moment. When I’m in very cold temps I’m in the mountains, and then need plastics to wear crampons.

    And I could pretty much replace my wardrobe for $877. Not including outdoor gear, though.

  • Pingback: Eric Drexler has blog « Mirror Image()

  • John Preskill

    What .. you mean you were *serious*?

  • Isis the Scientist

    Those shoes are fantastic! Consider yourself a new member of Dr. Isis’s harem!

  • Markk

    I got no chance for a write in box at that NAS survey. I did do it several weeks ago, maybe they changed. I thought he choices were garbage personally, very much slanted to odd things.

  • Ted Bunn

    > Ted Bunn has a blog! Who knew?

    Practically nobody. It’s mostly a form of write-only memory. Thanks for helping to change that!



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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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