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Seventeen years

  Congratulations, LIGO! Gravitational waves have been directly detected for the first time. Hulse and Taylor won a deserved Nobel for indirect detection, a measurement 13 years in the making. LIGO was longer in the making than that. This is such an impressive measurement! The first experiment I've worked on with a non-null result. I […]


There are few things more dangerous than a mom with a mobile in a minivan and a moppet at 7:45.

Credit where due

the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually […]

I welcome the House investigation of Brennan’s AOL account

Coming any minute now, one assumes. After they finish with Hillary's email server and Benghazi. Brennan is, after all, a man of such moral rectitude that I am sure he welcomes a full and open investigation.  

What are we going to do tonight?

Moore’s Law of Mad Science: Every eighteen months, the minimum IQ necessary to destroy the world drops by one point. –Eliezer Yudkowsky   Soon enough, it will be genetically modified mice we have to worry about hacking into OPM. I wonder if this takes into account the Flynn effect – IQ scores rise ~3/8 point […]

As Seen On TV!

TIL: Sticking your fingers down your throat is not a reliable nor particularly easy way to make yourself vomit (don't ask). Darn you, TV! Once again you have lied to me. I am looking at you, Burn Notice. In my youth, I learned that hanging on to the hood of a moving car ASOTV is […]

Cognitive dissonance

It's remarkable that it seems the same people who hold the view that, on Earth, self-driving cars will make the human driver obsolete are largely the same people who claim that, on Mars, self-driving science robots are so much worse than humans.


I’ve been off climbing in one of my favorite places in the world. I might have some pix – I haven’t uploaded them yet to see, but given that it was pretty cloudy and wet and I was with someone who was completely and actively uninterested in my desire to make art, I didn’t take […]

Putting things away

Not putting tools away says: I don’t respect others’ work. You’re saying, “The work I’m doing is important. I know where the tool is for the next time I need it because I know where I left it. However, the work you’re doing is not important. Because it’s not important, it’s ok for you to […]


I installed a new car stereo this weekend [1], which has Bluetooth audio and phone and is in every way superior to the standard Toyota stereo [2]. Except that it looks like the sound system from a 1977 shag-carpeted pleather-lined van doubling as an on-call mobile cathouse. All the other ones in the Crutchfield catalog […]

Double yolked

I just went through a carton of a dozen TJ’s eggs, and 11 of them were double-yolked. There must be some folklore about that…


This fellow gets fined an undisclosed amount for tagging a boulder in Joshua Tree. When the story is reported, you always see this photo: These folks are just super upset about this. As are these. Holy cow! Some furriner tagging the natural landscape in a national park! Get a rope! Of course there is no […]


Will the Apple Watch not scratch the bezel of my MacBook Pro? Because my Tag-Heuer does. That's the reason I stopped wearing it. Because I kept taking it off to work, and that, my friends, is a recipe for me losing an expensive bit of kit that I love, but no longer wear on a […]

Caught up

I am finally up-to-date on New Yorkers. One in the gym bag for boring knee-induced elliptical sessions, and one on top of the toilet. And that’s it. This is the first time since two weeks after the first issue arrived. That’s it. No back stash for plane trips, no pile for taking on climbing trips. […]


I have an alarm clock (which I love) which wakes me up by turning on a daylight spectrum light, dim at first, then brighter, and then by playing the sounds of birdsong, quiet at first, then louder. But in a completely foreseeable turn of events, now I wake up whenever it begins to get light, […]