December 13, 2007


  • Bad Astronomy cooked up a wicked awesome top ten list of astro pictures from 2007. The image above is supercluster CL0024+1652, superimposed with the distribution of dark matter inferred through gravitational lensing.
  • An Austrailan ad company stole physicist Scott Aaronson's writing about quantum mechanics to make a conversation between models in their Ricoh commercial seem more realistic (of course!). When Australians plagiarize me, I think 'large cash settlement.' Dr. Aaronson thinks 'medium cash settlement donated to an Australia science education group.' Evidently, suing people in other countries is time-consuming. He is "gratified that this sordid southern-hemisphere tale of sex, plagiarism, quantum mechanics, and printers could be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, without the need for a courtroom battle, and that schoolkids in Torres Strait Island might even learn some physics as a result." So Australia steals our intellectual property and is rewarded with several thousand dollars? Lame. Better education is only going make the next generation of Australians better at ripping us off.
  • Al Gore won some kind of prize recently. His acceptance speech is online here. Somehow, despite not being a cosmologist, he managed to invoke Frost's "Fire and Ice." I don't know how to deal with hearing that poem in a non cosmological situation, but considering that Earth has ice ages too, I guess it works.

    You know those stories based around alternate historical timelines? Like where the South wins the Civil War or the Nazis develop the atom bomb? Seeing Gore do non-presidential stuff always gives me the feeling I'm living in the "bad" timeline.