So Do We Need a New Planetary Mnemonic?

So you’ll recall that when we thought we had twelve planets we started trying to think of new mnemonics to help people remember the planets’ ordering. For example, from Yvette: My Very Educated Mother Can’t Justify Someone Using New Planetary Conventions… oh no, they haven’t named the last one yet!!! … Click to continue reading this post

Why I’m Sometimes Sure We’re Doomed

Some days I’m optimistic, and I think we’ll change our behaviour in time. We’ll be able to stop destroying our environment quite so recklessly. We’ll stop our dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. We’ll stop fighting ridiculous wars over such fuels…. etc. Other days, stuff like this happens, and … Click to continue reading this post

More Scenes From the Storm in a Teacup, I

Aaron Bergman has written an extensive review of Peter Woit’s attack-book on string theory. I’ll let you read the thoughtfully written 11-page pdf document linked there. I think that Aaron deserves some sort of medal or other award for making the effort. Peter responded here. Note from the title that … Click to continue reading this post

Visions and Voices

This year, there’s going to be even more to do on the USC campus to broaden your mind, and several events which link USC with off campus venues such as theatres, museums, and performing arts centers. The (then) new Provost, Max Nikias, announced his “Arts and Humanities Initiative” in his … Click to continue reading this post