Friday, September 28, 2007

Enough talk, can we just please go drink?

So, I have spent the entire day at the American Center for Physics, a semi-circular 3-story building in College Park, MD. I am hear attending the national council meeting of the Society of Physics Students & Sigma Pi Sigma. And it has been going on and on and on and on and on and on...

I should not be too mean - the American Institute of Physics pays for me to be here, and there are a lot of improtant things that SPS tries to do. I represent Zone 10 - Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, western Tenneesee - and if there is a region of the country that needs active student physics groups, this is it.

But the meeting started at 9:30 am, it is now 6:00 pm, and there is no sign of an end. We broke for lunch, and they are going to feed us dinner in a few minutes, but then it is back to the conference room for more discussions. One item that I know will be contentious tonight is the planning report for next year's quadrennial congress of Sigma Pi Sigma at Fermilab. I am on the congress planning committee, and even a small group tends to proliferate ideas for plenary speakers and discussion topics; with the full complement of 40 or so council members, the number of ideas will go up by about 40 factorial.

Still, it is nice to get an annual trip to Washington, D.C. We meet in the morning at the hotel (Marriott in Crystal City, VA - not bad, huh?) but then we are free to roam around Washington for thee afternoon.

I plan to ramble at some point by the World War II memorial, and think about H.L. I owe this blog, I owe myself, a lengthy article about H.L. Maybe tomorrow.

So I guess I'll Start Typing Again

No one is reading this, I am sure, but maybe I can convince some folks to come/come back.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Mapping Music  

The article Mapping Music in Harvard Magazine (January-February 2007) describes a technique that uses non-Euclidean geometry and ideas from string theory to map chords. Very cool. This may provide some insight into the question of why certain note combinations are percieved as dissonant or consonant, and why some chord progressions "work" while others do not.

The guy behind this, Dmitri Tymocko, has a website here that includes the paper he published in Science on this (the first musicoloy paper in Science's history) along with movies and software to plot chords yourself. I am definitely using this the next time I teach acoustics!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

This just in: Soy will turn your kid into a fey girly man with a very small penis. Also: God hates vegans

OK, I really need to catch up after being out of contact over the holidays. But first things first: I just have to make note of the latest foul plot that has been unearthed by G*d-fearing members of the Christian (tm) Right: Tofu Will Make You Gay!