Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Pluto day

For those of us who are space-program tragics, ten years of watching and waiting comes down to today, as New Horizons arrives at Pluto. It has already passed the (dwarf) planet, and in just over two hours NASA will receive an “I'm still here” signal if the spacecraft has, in fact, survived the fly-by. And then then data will come, reams and reams of it, and the snapshot shown here — incomparably better than the few-pixel images we've had in the past — will look low-res.

UPDATE: New Horizons is alive and well after the fly-by!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Persecution and the Black Church in the US

Ross Douthat, the younger of the resident conservative commentators at the New York Times, has posted an excellent reflection on Persecution and the Black Church in the United States. Bracing, sobering, and hopeful.

UPDATE: And here's the sequel: For the South, Against the Confederacy; a critique of Confederate nostalgia that can only be offered by a conservative. I haven't spent much time in the South, but quite long enough to see the appeal he talks about here, and to see the difficulty of putting it in the right perspective.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

What I wish my pastor knew about the life of a scientist

A fine series of posts — 1, 2, and 3 — by the husband of a physicist, reprinted over at BioLogos.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Good luck, Cameron

Since late 2010 I've had the privilege of working with a very good research student, Cameron Cuthbert, on “hidden-beauty” states at the Large Hadron Collider. A journal paper based on our work, “Search for the Xb and other hidden-beauty states in the π+ π Υ(1S) channel at ATLAS”, was published late last year.

After six years with the ATLAS experiment, in a variety of roles — most recently as a research assistant here at the University of Sydney — Dr Cuthbert has decided to call it a day. This morning, he begins his new career as a quant.

Good luck, Cameron. You'll be missed.