Laurie Anderson's theory of punctuation is that "instead of a period at the end of each sentence, there should be a tiny clock that shows how long it took you to write that sentence".
October 31, 2010
October 29, 2010
The (first ever) NeuroCooking Subtitle of the Year Award is hereby bestowed upon Harvard's Prof. Steven Shapin, for his new book, "Never Pure: Historical Studies of Science as if It Was Produced by People with Bodies, Situated in Time, Space, Culture, and Society, and Struggling for Credibility and Authority".
Supposedly, a prefiguration of the spin echo was rejected by Boltzmann, who, when told that a system that had recently departed from non-equilibrium conditions could be returned to such conditions by reversing all the particle velocities, responded with: "Go ahead, reverse them."
Some years later, Erwin Hahn showed that we could do just that.
October 28, 2010
A followup on funding for Alzheimer's Disease research: Our understanding is that for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the National Institute on Aging, which funds most Alzheimer's Disease research in the United States, is predicted to have a "payline" of three percent, meaning that 97% of all research grant applications in this area will not be funded.
Just one sentence from "The Age of Alzheimer's" by the Hon. Sandra Day O'Connor, Dr. Stanley Prusiner, and Dr. Ken Dychtwald, from the Op-Ed page of today's New York Times:
"As things stand today, for each penny the National Institutes of Health spends on Alzheimer’s research, we spend more than $3.50 on caring for people with the condition."
October 27, 2010
October 26, 2010
October 25, 2010
October 22, 2010
October 21, 2010
This is a brief note about an odd footnote in a thoughtful paper.
In a "Technical Note" last year in NeuroImage entitled "Functional imaging of the human superior colliculus: An optimized approach", Matthew B. Wall, Robin Walker, and Andrew T. Smith cite a 1992 paper by D. Poncelet et al., entitled "Production of alginate beads by emulsification/internal gelation".
Why? Well, presumably because they meant to cite the 1992 paper by B.P. Poncelet et al., on "Brain parenchyma motion: measurement with cine echo-planar MR imaging".
Same year, same first-author surname, but otherwise, rather different.
[Yes, people really do read citations!]
October 20, 2010
We've seen road bikes with components that are drilled (to remove material in order to reduce weight), but never before one that's drilled and bejeweled.
[The full page devoted to that 16.4 lb drilled & bejewelled beauty from 1974 is here.]
October 18, 2010
October 17, 2010
There are 277 million cellphones in the USA; about one quarter of US households do not have a landline.
Most modern political polling is done via telephone, but without calling cellphones; the result appears to be a poll bias towards Republicans of 5 to 6 %.
October 16, 2010
October 15, 2010
"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
– Daniel J. Boorstin (1914 – 2004)
I respectfully submit that the greatest puzzle of our time is how we managed to eliminate ignorance while elevating nonsense.
If I ask you, say, how old Buddy Holly was when he died, then, using the same device you are using now to read this, you can find the answer to that question. You cannot not know how old Buddy Holly was when he died, once you've been asked, because getting the answer is just a matter of touching your smartphone or tablet or laptop or what have you the right way, and the answer will be yours.
So, we have, in a sense, eliminated ignorance. But how is it then that there so much nonsense? How is it then, that a substantial fraction of the population believes that our President's religion, or birthplace, or even nationality, are different than the truth? How does such nonsense thrive?
Dear NeuroCooking friends, I do not have an answer. I just think this is perhaps the most interesting – and pressing – question of our time. How is it that we have, simultaneously, managed to eliminate ignorance while elevating nonsense?
October 14, 2010
With that in mind, we'd like to direct your attention to some excitement that will take place this Saturday!
October 13, 2010
October 12, 2010
That blue icon – it indicates the transit option on google maps – is it a train, or a streetcar?
Not that it matters in our neighborhood, because google maps doesn't know about the DC Metro system. Busses, yes; Metrorail, no. Google won't put you on a train.
Look what happens when you ask for directions from the Bethesda to the Grosvenor stations. That's five minutes on the Red Line – but google puts you on a bus for more than half an hour:
Maybe they should use an icon of a bus, if that's what they mean.
Same rose, different
day. Make that night.
[A little before 9 PM last night, by the light of a pocket flashlight – i.e., a D700 camera with 'micro' 60 mm f/2.8 lens in my right hand, & a Fenix LD01 in my left hand. 1/60 s, f/8, ISO 1600.]
October 11, 2010
October 9, 2010
October 7, 2010
Einstein showed that time is relative. Maybe you've heard of the twin paradox? That is a thought experiment, in which someone who goes on a high-speed rocket journey returns to Earth younger than their stay-behind twin.
Well, time dilation has been well-demonstrated, but generally only at fairly high speeds; we've never thought of it as something that's relevant or detectable in everyday experience (for those of us who don't ride rocket-ships).
In a recent paper in Science, researchers at NIST used novel "optical clocks" to detect time dilation at everyday speeds, and, perhaps most spectacularly, due to one foot of elevation: They showed that their clocks can be used to detect the difference in the rate of passage of time due to a change in one foot in elevation with respect to the gravitational field of the earth!
October 5, 2010
We were out back, trying to shoot our autumnal rosebud, and at one point we "squeezed one off" just to confirm that the off-camera flash was actually firing, and we got this:
[Yes, those are heptagons.]
October 4, 2010
October 1, 2010
Last night we braved the downpour (sans umbrellas, per Secret Service) to attend a very special evening event at Constitution Hall. The featured musical guest was B.o.B:
And the featured speaker was President Obama:
"To move forward, you put the car in D – To move backwards, you put the car in R."
- ► 2014 (44)
- ► 2013 (87)
- ► 2012 (121)
- ► 2011 (227)
- A theory of punctuation.
- Subtitle of the year!
- "Go ahead, reverse them."
- Mirror, mirror, on the wall...
- Spare a(nother) penny? Or two?
- Mid-week dog-blogging!
- "m" is for "memory"
- The "WM" bits can be white or grey.
- Just add water!
- What do alginate beads have to do with brain motio...
- Do jewels make it faster?
- Our favorite prefix?
- The polls are wrong.
- Photo-blogging autumnal blossoming, VI.
- Happy Birthday!
- The most pressing question of our time?
- Time-traveling, again.
- Photo-blogging autumnal blossoming, V.
- On rails?
- Photo-blogging autumnal blossoming, IV.
- Photo-blogging autumnal blossoming, III.
- Photo-blogging autumnal blossoming, continued.
- Everyday time dilation.
- Photo-blogging autumnal blossoming!
- Photo-blogging autumnal blossoming: Whoops!
- What's it all about?
- "To move forward..."
- ▼ October (28)