Once our first few inches of snow fell, campus took on a distinctly, almost Rockwellian, winter ambiance. In this case, while waiting for a bus to Thanksgiving Dinner #2. 2005:11:25 17:33:57

7 - 9 inches of snow forecast by this time Thursday. My lab skips town en masse Sunday, so it feels like the ol' north wind has decided to make sure we know it's winter before we escape. Woo!

Okay, so it's been a while since I've done a link-propagation post. Besides prepping for the collaboration meeting next week and for my oral exam (now set for January 18), let's see what's piled up in the stuff-to-highlight department ... read on, if only for gratuitous Zim.

The Nobel lectures make good reading many years. This was no exception:

Harold Pinter, Nobel Prize for Literature:

I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love. It's a winner. Listen to all American presidents on television say the words, 'the American people', as in the sentence, 'I say to the American people it is time to pray and to defend the rights of the American people and I ask the American people to trust their president in the action he is about to take on behalf of the American people.'

It's a scintillating stratagem. Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words 'the American people' provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don't need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it's very comfortable.

Mohamed ElBaradai, Nobel Prize for Peace:

A good start would be if the nuclear-weapon States reduced the strategic role given to these weapons. More vthan 15 years after the end of the Cold War, it is incomprehensible to many that the major nuclear-weapon States operate with their arsenals on hair-trigger alert — such that, in the case of a possible launch of a nuclear attack, their leaders could have only 30 minutes to decide whether to retaliate, risking the devastation of entire nations in a matter of minutes.

A local inventor gets his "Eureka!" moment, and subsequently makes it big in the toy biz. On the invention of the colored bubble.

It's common knowledge that a sheet of paper can't be folded in half more than about eight times, since it would be as thick as a telephone book by that point. Except that if you think about it, you could fold a telephone book just fine if only it were big enough. Demonstrating the wisdom of double-checking the seemingly obvious, a high-schooler worked out a formula for the length of paper needed to make any number of folds possible. Gallivan then proceeded to fold an immensely long strip of, apparently, ordinary butcher paper 11 times. Her local historical society even put out a booklet documenting the feat.

And in closing, I direct you to an image in which Beyerstein gets into the true spirit of the War on Christmas.

Jolly Boots of Doom!

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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on December 13, 2005 9:43 PM.

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