28 February 2009

Jindal vs. the Volcano Monitors

In the Republican response to President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress, Gov. Jindal of Louisana criticized the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a "magnetic levitation" line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called "volcano monitoring."
I will not comment on the other projects he listed, but the attack on volcano monitoring caught the attention of myself and many others, including Mayor Royce Pollard of Vancouver, WA, which is near Mt. St. Helens. I suspect Gov. Jindal would have a difficult time explaining his words to Mayor Pollard, the citizens of Vancouver, or the residents of Pompeii.

27 February 2009

FW: video of "Islam and Science" colloquium

Dear Colleagues,

In case that you missed Pervez Hoodbhoy's colloquium on "Islam and Science - The Quest for Rapprochement" last week, a video-taped version is available at


[Note: After you open the link search for "Islam"]

The talk starts about 4 minutes after the start of the recording, so you may want to skip over the first few minutes of "open mic" time.

24 February 2009


On Friday, Feb. 20, I proposed to my girlfriend Kelly on the East Bank of the Olentangy river on the Ohio State Campus. She said "yes," and thus became my fiancée. More details of the proposal, the resulting delighted squeals of our friends, and more pictures are coming soon.

04 February 2009

An object in motion will stay in motion...

Monday (Feb. 2) was not a good day for me. Only one thing went wrong, but that was slipping on the ice and falling backwards. I landed on my head and apparently gave myself a mild concussion. A nice woman named Judy found me and helped me back to my apartment. At least, I think she did; I remember most of the hour after the fall as if it were a dream.

I was scheduled to drive to Fermilab this morning to take a training class, but when the man (Tyler) from Enterprise arrived to pick me up, I did not even remember that I had ordered a rental car. I asked him to take me to the medical center on campus instead of the rental car
lot. He loaded my luggage and drove the me there.

I was able to see the doctor fairly quickly, and she examined me.  While I did not do an serious damage to my brain, she said that I should not be doing any long distance driving today. I walked to my office from the medical center and made several phone calls to rescheduling everything I had planned to do for the next two days.  That was quite easy; its amazing how much sympathy an injury like this will provoke.

My neck and back are still quite sore.  I am currently at Fermilab, and I am recovering as the doctor said I would.  At this point, I am suffering more pain from embarrassment than anything else.  I am grateful for the kindness of those who helped me, and I will be more careful in the future.