The Lumber Room

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Posts Tagged ‘science

Murray Gell-mann

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Talks. See TED video.

Notice him pronouncing Coulomb, Yang, and even Einstein.

Update: Some context: A NYT article.

Even Murray Gell-Mann’s credentials — a director of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, adviser to the Pentagon on arms control, collector of prehistoric Southwest American pottery, amateur ornithologist, to name a few — can’t prepare a visitor for the full extent of his erudition. He pronounces “Chagas” as it is heard in Brazil. He has been known to correct the Ukrainian pronunciation of native Ukrainians and disparage the Swahili of Kenyans.

Written by S

Sun, 2007-12-09 at 08:27:46 +05:30

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Bitching about science

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For those who haven’t noticed:
“Science”, XKCD #54 and PHD #941 are in direct disagreement.

The point about the COBE mission, explained by Randall Munroe, is that it gave an amazing fit between theory and data.

And I remember something about the theory itself being somewhat normalized against the data… or was it? I can’t find it now…

But this (admittedly impressive) coincidence is all they have to go on.

Much of “science” isn’t really.

Written by S

Mon, 2007-12-03 at 03:22:07 +05:30

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Biovisions at Harvard: The Inner Life of a Cell

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Old news, but I was just digging up old files (specifically, I was going through my music collection, and found this mp3 file I had ripped from):
This stunning, breathtaking, enchanting animation (or here). The music is great too, but I have not been able to find out what it is see below.

The animation was created by a company called XVIVO, commissioned by Harvard University’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. (Look here.) Also look at XVIVO’s site, for stuff like this.

An article here. An interview here:

We had to figure out how to take a cell that is so packed with molecules and to edit out visually about 90 to 95 percent of those molecules.

The entire video depicts what goes on inside one white blood cell

a cellular-motility theme and what happens to a white blood cell patrolling the capillary when there’s an inflammation outside the capillary

The full 8-minute video, with explanation, is here. Scroll down on the main page and look at some other (less polished) animations too.

Oh, and David Bolinsky, one of the founders of XVIVO, gave a talk at TED.

Update: I finally know what the music is, thanks to (of all places) a YouTube comment. It was composed by the company Massive Productions, specifically Matt Berkey. This music won an award (no surprise), a 2006 Telly award for Best Music Composition for a Non-Broadcast Film or Video. (Click here and scroll down, or look here.) Further Google-searching after knowing this led to this guy, who has been similarly interested. There’s a link on that post to here, which has a ripped-from-Youtube version of it. He contacted the composer and got a response (the music was available for $25), and an ad-filled mp3 of the song, and, in one of the comments, a higher-quality rip.

Written by S

Tue, 2007-10-09 at 00:36:46 +05:30

Nutritionism

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An article called Unhappy Meals in the New York Times Magazine. Nearly 10000 words, every one of them worth reading.

Something (possibly unrelated) Freakonomics quorum on the obesity epidemic.

And Dean Ornish’s TED talk and an article.

Some more links I haven’t carefully read: Is nutrition science not really science?, Junk Food or Junk Science?, Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus.

Also, What if it’s all been a big fat lie?, and (heh) The Physics diet.

Written by S

Wed, 2007-01-31 at 00:25:06 +05:30

String Theory

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Between this and this and my reading of Feynman’s Rainbow today, I must say that my opinion of String Theory isn’t really‚Ķ :-)
Update: Also (noting it down because I’m too busy/lazy to read the entire thing now): A Slashdot review of Smolin’s book mentioned above.
Another update: A reply by Joe Polchinski

PHD comics on astrophysics, largely the same.

And until I file this away in the proper place (along with Murphy’s laws, etc.), here is Tumbling toast, Murphy’s Law and the fundamental constants (not available), and the misanthropic principle.

Written by S

Wed, 2006-11-22 at 13:46:10 +05:30

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