Well, hereâ€™s an amusing response to Weird Al Yankovicâ€™s video* (see my earlier post on the issues I had with it). He makes his point with charming clumsiness, butâ€¦ he makes the point.
â€¦and YouTube links here, and here. (Watch them in order for maximum hilarity.)
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So I heard something on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip just now. (This is the new show written by Aaron Sorkin that I instinctively started to watch a couple of weeks ago because I like his writing, and it is actually a drama about the process of writing, so whatâ€™s not to like? -Ok, Iâ€™m a bit bothered by the overall annoyingness of the lead actressâ€™ performance, but I imagine sheâ€™ll get better.)
I caught a line that went something like â€œweâ€™re not looking for a girl with a phd inâ€¦ string theory or anything, ok? Thereâ€™ll be at least half a dozen women there whoâ€™ve […] Click to continue reading this post
So I actually had no idea that Weird Al Yankovic was still doing his, er, particular brand of music. (Singular, one might say.) I actually thought it stopped a long while ago, not long after the Thriller parodies. Well, not long ago he did a video/song called â€œWhite and Nerdyâ€. I looked at it, and so can you, on Myspace video (wow, I had no idea they had a video service). Here is the link.
Among the things featured in the videoâ€™s visuals are Schrodingerâ€™s equation, Stephen Hawkingâ€™s BHOT, M C Escher (Itâ€™s a rap video, soâ€¦) Here are some stills (click for larger):
I laughed, Iâ€™ll admit. I find his fresh-faced and cheerful style quite funny at times. But then I got thinking. I canâ€™t decide whether I should be depressed at the potency of the stereotypes he is playing with, or just carry on giggling. For example, why did the guys who were representing the complete opposite of being nerdy (and into science, reading, and the like) have to be cast as black? Worse than that (or at least equally as […] Click to continue reading this post
Spotted on Hollywood Boulevard:
(Click for detail.)
On a serious noteâ€¦ It is still scary to think that this might still be the most common sort of image of a scientist in many peopleâ€™s mindsâ€¦ Weâ€™ve a lot of work to do.
-cvj Click to continue reading this post
Yesterday, I forgot to point you to the press release from the observatory itself. There, you will find more information about the opening, on November 3rd, and about how to actually get there. They are forbidding access to the parking lot, and so you either take a shuttle bus, or you walk or cycle. It is depressing to me that people are already complaining about having to walk up a small hill from the picnic sites below (people who walk up are generically referred to as â€œhikersâ€, in the press release, which would give someone the impression that you need special equipment or something just to walk up the hill. Sigh.).
Anyway, some chatter from the press release. Letâ€™s start out with 4th District Councilmember, Tom LaBonge, a veritable Paul Dirac of understatement and wall-flower-hood: […] Click to continue reading this post
Believe it or not, the SEA (Scientists and Engineers for America), about which I blogged recently, was on the Colbert Report last night! Video here […] Click to continue reading this post
Well, hereâ€™s a bit of news. For one reason or another, I have been invited to a preview, later this month, of the soon-to-be-reopened Griffith Observatory, and so will get to see it before it opens to the very general public. (Library photos, by E. C. Krupp, by the way.) I will try my best to bring you a full report on the splendiforous contentsâ€¦ assuming they […] Click to continue reading this post
I’ve previously mentioned examples of the manipulation or suppression of scientific information by organisations such as the Bush Administration. See for example a recent post on hurricanes and global warming. Various scientists have made it their business to speak out against these types of wrongs, either as individuals in the line of fire, as individuals noticing it in the news and blogging about it to as many as care to read, and as part of organisations here and abroad.
Well I’d like to point out a new organisation I heard about* called “Scientists and Engineers for America”, and I am pleased to share with you that their website says:
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As mentioned before, I am really excited about the re-opening of the Griffith Park Observatory. See this earlier post. [Update: See post about my viisit here.] [Further Update: After reading the rest of the post, be sure to read the comments (starting here) for some commentary on the planetarium show … Click to continue reading this post
Anton Kapustin, yesterday, in the middle of what he called (not seriously) “the scary statement” of the Geometric Langlands duality…. Part of the audience, receiving the news…. The SCSS is going well. More later. Must go get my bus now so that I can start the Saturday session… -cvj
This is the Bush Administration’s war on science, I mean. There’s lots we don’t hear about, I’m sure, but there has been a new discussion ignited by an article in Nature yesterday. I found this article on Associated Press by Randolph E. Schmidt. Seems that there was a report being prepared at NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospherica Administration) about hurricanes:
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So I think maybe I died and went to cvj heaven. Let me explain. I mentioned to you a while ago the freshman seminar entitled “The Art and Science of Seeing and the Seeing and Science of Art”, for which there was an enrollment snafu. Well, […] Click to continue reading this post