Saturday, February 10, 2007

Neolithic Romeo and Juliet

Prehistoric lovers unearthed near Verona
by Ariel David, Associated Press
ROME — They died young and, by the looks of it, in love.

Two 5,000-year-old skeletons found locked in an embrace near the city where Shakespeare set the star-crossed tale "Romeo and Juliet" have sparked theories the remains of a far more ancient love story have been found.

Archaeologists unearthed the skeletons dating back to the late Neolithic period outside Mantua, 25 miles south of Verona, the city of Shakespeare's story of doomed love.

Buried between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago, the prehistoric pair are believed to have been a man and a woman and are thought to have died young, because their teeth were found intact, said Elena Menotti, the archaeologist who led the dig.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Updated LaTeX CV Example

SEE ALSO - I have just posted the LaTeX source for an entire book (i.e., a thesis). This may be an interesting example for those who are in need of CV's.

I've updated my LaTeX Résumé/CV example so that things like paper size and margin widths are easier to adjust. I think the new version is pretty easy to use and may even serve as a good learning tool.

Putting ass in public schools

This was taken from a "word list" posted in the public school that I give science help to as part of my fellowship.

It's really nice that the "ass" list is the one with the heart shape. Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Do (Reuters) reporters know absolutely nothing about everything?

UPDATE: It was pointed out to me by a post on Nanotechnology Today that the Professor who heads up the research group that built the "demon" said (speaking about J. C. Maxwell):
"As he predicted, the machine does need energy and in our experiment it is powered by light. While light has previously been used to energise tiny particles directly, this is the first time that a system has been devised to trap molecules as they move in a certain direction under their natural motion. Once the molecules are trapped they cannot escape."
Again, what's going on at Reuters?! This quote is EXACTLY the opposite of their summary (quoted below).

It's just silly that the article "1867 nanomachine now reality" has gone the extra mile to be completely worthless. It's also silly that CNN has decided to put this in their "Offbeat news."

The experiment described in the article involves Maxwell's Demon, which is a thought experiment involving a "paradox" of statistical thermodynamics. However, nowhere in the article is this paradox ever mentioned. In fact, they go so far as to say this:
His mechanism traps molecular-sized particles as they move. As Maxwell had predicted long ago, it does not need energy because it is powered by light.

Now, I'm guessing that the scientists involved said that Maxwell's paradox was a paradox because his little demon did not require additional energy. However, this device doesn't cause any paradox because their demon DOES require additional energy IN THE FORM OF LIGHT. As I explain to my fourth graders, light is energy. Nearly all of the things that end in "cycle" in the study of earth and life science are driven by the energy brought from the sun in the form of light.

Anyway, the article completely misses the point and is filled with lots of misunderstandings and statements which could generously be called wrong.

Do they have editors at Reuters? To cut costs did they just fire them all and hire the cast of Who's the Boss? instead?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Carlos Rubio's Salsa Lessons

So when I get a chance, I go to these salsa/meringue dance lessons here in Columbus:

Carlos Rubio's latin dance lessons

Carlos is a good instructor. The public lessons are $2 for OSU students. It's a pretty good deal -- $2 for 2 hours. $5 for everyone else. Beginner lessons on Saturdays, Intermediate/Advanced on Mondays and Wednesdays.

The lessons involve everyone periodically switching from partner to partner, so there's no worries about going alone.

It's a nice thing to pick up.

Just putting that out there.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sending valentines by way of Fidelity post office

Evidiently, people have been sending valentines from all over the nation to the post-office in Fidelity, Illinois, just so that they can get stamped with the Fidelity postmark (see the NPR ATC story).

Isn't that cute?

$130 for a picture that I don't own...

I was just offered $130 from a German postcard maker for this picture that I posted on Flickr a long time ago (click for better view):

The tragic thing is that that picture was sent to me in an e-mail a long time ago. It was just one of those e-mails that people forward on and on and on that usually does more harm than good. I thought the picture looked neat and posted it on Flickr. Evidently it has gotten a lot of attention. It has a bunch of comments too.

Unfortunately, I do not own the rights to the photo. I have no idea where it came from. I responded saying as much.

Isn't the Internet/Web 2.0 grand?