May 03, 2009

Einstein and this blog

Er, no actual relationship there. But

a) This is one of the most wonderful short articles I have ever read. It's about one journalist's brief but enormously rich encounter with Einstein.

b) My hypothesis in my previous post has turned out to be correct; when I type my name into Google, I am the top hit again.

May 3, 2009 in Science, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

March 08, 2008

Predicting personality based upon musical tastes

Interesting research showing very positive correlations between musical tastes and certain predicted personality traits:

While videos and photos are good for assessing conscientiousness and extraversion, music preferences beat them in allowing observers to predict the participants' own ratings of their agreeableness, emotional stability, and openness to experience. In all, observers' ratings of participants were positively correlated with 14 different personality traits, including those listed above, as well as others such as forgiveness, imagination, and positive affect. [Cognitive Daily]

March 8, 2008 in Music, Science, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 04, 2007

Math Joke

Theorem: Consider the set of all sets that have never been considered. Hey! They're all gone! Oh, well, never mind... [Dr. David Batchelor, hat tip to Eric Postpischil]

September 4, 2007 in Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 28, 2006

Funny story about Kurt Godel; Einstein makes cameo

Disclaimer: This is probably only funny for people with an interest in math, because Godel's name regularly comes up in those circles and hardly ever comes up elsewhere.

The following is quoted from Hao Wang, Reflections on Kurt Gödel, p. 115f:

In connection with the interview for his US citizenship, he once told me that for this occasion he had studied how the Indians had come to America. Einstein and O.Morgenstern were his witnesses, and Morgenstern has told different people about aspects of the event. The following account is given by H-Zemanek and E.Köhler (see Zemanek's report, Elektronische Rechenanlagen, vol. 5, 1978, pp. 209-211). Even though the routine examination G was to take was an easy matter, G prepared seriously for it and studied the US Constitution carefully. On the day before the interview G told Morgenstern that he had discovered a logical-legal possibility of transforming the United States into a dictatorship. Morgenstern saw that the hypothetical possibility and its likely remedy involved a complex chain of reasoning and was clearly not suitable for consideration at the interview. He urged G to keep quiet about his discovery.

The next morning Morgenstern drove Einstein and G from Princeton to Trenton. Einstein was informed; on the way he told one tale after another, to divert G from his Constitution-theoretical explanations, apparently with success. At the office in Trenton, the official in charge was Judge Philip Forman, who had inducted Einstein in 1940 and struck up a friendship with him. He greeted them warmly and invited all three to attend the (normally private) examination of G.

The judge began, 'You have German citizenship up to now.' G interrupted him, 'Excuse me sir, Austrian.' 'Anyhow, the wicked dictator! but fortunately that is not possible in America.' 'On the contrary,' G interjected, 'I know how that can happen.' All three joined forces to restrain G so as to turn to the routine examination. [Hat tip to Torkel Franzén.]

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June 28, 2006 in Science | Permalink | Comments (4)

March 29, 2005

Running octopus

A brief video of an octopus running along the ocean sand on two legs. Check it out. Apparently there are two species that can do it.

March 29, 2005 in Science | Permalink | Comments (1)

November 29, 2004

Lethal mutation?

""We [the human race] do not have much time to prove that we are not
the product of a lethal mutation."

-- Science 263: 181, 1994"

Noticed here.

November 29, 2004 in Current Affairs, Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 17, 2004

John the Baptist

Obviously it may be an error or hoax, but it also appears quite possible that the actual cave of John the Baptist has been discovered. See the article at CNN's site. Pretty cool.

August 17, 2004 in Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 11, 2004

The Dutch tulip bubble wasn't so crazy after all

Sounds like a bubble. But it wasn't, asserts Thompson, who is working on a history of bubbles. Tulip-bulb investors were neither mad nor delusional in 1636 and 1637. Rather, he says, they were rationally responding, in finest efficient-market fashion, to overlooked changes in the rules of tulip investing. [Slate, thanks to Ben]
A very interesting and fact-based argument that the tulip craze, usually considered to be the world's most ignoble predecessor to the dotcom bubble, was not a bubble at all but a completely rational economic response.

August 11, 2004 in Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 29, 2004

Why I wouldn't want to be a male Osedax worm

"Initially we were puzzled why every worm was a female," Vrijenhoek said in a telephone interview. He said Rouse took some worms to his laboratory for study and discovered tiny male worms living inside the females.

There were as many as 50 to 100 males within each female, Vrijenhoek said.

The males still contained bits of yolk, as if they had never developed past their larval stage, but they also contained large amounts of sperm. []

July 29, 2004 in Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 15, 2004

The absolute best Venus transit photo

Thanks to Astronomy Picture of the Day. Be sure to click on it to get the full version.

June 15, 2004 in Science | Permalink | Comments (0)