22 December 2010

NOvA's First Neutrino!

"It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out."- Proverbs 25:2

06 December 2010

"An Acquisition" A short play

Scene 1

[Interior, sparsely decorated kitchen with Roommate 1 sitting at a table eating cereal. A calendar on the wall indicates the date is Oct. 30]

[Enter Roommate 2]

Roommate 1: Morning

Roommate 2: Morning. The house seems warmer this morning.

Roommate 1: Yeah, it got cold enough last night that I finally turned on the heat.

Roommate 2: Okay...

Roommate 1: Don't worry; I only put the thermostat at 60. I'll still be able to pay my share of the gas bill.

Roommate 2: Thanks. By the way, we're low on toilet paper.

Roommate 1: Oh. [pause] I'll pick some up tomorrow.

Roommate 2: Thanks.

[End Scene I]

Scene 2

[Exterior, A scarecrow sits in a lawn chair near a tree in front of a house. Lit jack-o-lanterns are also present. Sounds of children trick-or-treating are in the background.]

[Enter several youths wearing mischievous grins and bearing toilet paper.]

Youth 1: [whispers] Ready?

Rest: [whisper] Ready.

[Several youths cock their arms to throw the toilet paper.]

Scarecrow: Hey you kids, get off my lawn!

[Scarecrow leaps out of chair brandishing a large menacing gun, pointed at the youths]

Youths: [Various profanities]

[Youths drop toilet paper and run off stage]

Scene 3

[Interior, same as scene 1]

[Enter Roommate 2 in full paintball gear]

Roommate 2: Morning.

Roommate 1: Morning.

Roommate 2: Have you seen my paintball gun?

Roommate 1: I put it back on your dresser.

Roommate 2: Ah, thanks.

[Exit roommate 2]

Roommate 2 [from offstage]: Oh, thanks for getting the toilet paper.

Roommate 1: You're quite welcome.

Roommate 2: How much do I owe you for it?

Roommate 1: Nothing. It was a donation ... of sorts.

Roommate 2: Okaaaaaaaaay.


23 November 2010

My Favorite Thanksgiving Verse

"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day."  - Deuteronomy 8:10-11

13 November 2010

And then there was one (physicist in Congress)

With the retirement of Vern Elhers, the defeat of Bill Foster, and the unsuccessful candidacy of Ruth McClung, only one physicist will be in the 112th Congress:  Rush Holt.

"From my experience let me say this: in today's world it is no bad thing for a politician to have had the benefit of a scientific background." - Margaret Thatcher

29 October 2010

Paris, Better Late than Never

From my lovely wife Kelly's blog:

 Paris was... delicious.  ;)  The definite highlight for me was trying new and interesting and even international foods!  Surprisingly, we ate at a Brazilian restaurant, Indian restaurant, a North African restaurant, Japanese sushi place, and an Italian restaurant while we were there, in addition to various cafes and such!  There's also a famous ice cream shop on the central island that I got to try.  Hopefully you can see the pics that we posted on Facebook from the trip; much of the food is chronicled there, such as the AMAZING desserts and yummy baguette sandwiches that we got from the bakery on the corner, the awesome cheese plate we had for dinner our last night there, and the escargot and steak tartare (which were the "new and interesting" foods of the trip, and both surprisingly delicious!)

We saw lots of things too... Luke dragged me through the Louvre while I was still mostly-asleep and exhausted from jet lag, but hey, he wanted to see it... We got an awesome tour of the Eiffel Tower!  We had a great tour guide, and we got to go underground to an old radio station and tunnel that goes under the tower and nearby area, and we also got to go up on a platform in the tower that isn't actually open to the public, so that was nice to get a non-crowded view of the city... and of course great views from all sides.  We also had a guided tour of the Marais, which is a very old part of town where they were surprised to find walls that were thousands of years old when renovating that part of the city in recent decades.  That was also where we had the escargot, and some of the best steak I've ever had... did I tell you the food was the highlight for me?  ;)

We also saw a couple of the famous old churches: Notre Dame, of course, located in the very oldest part of the city, and Sacred Heart, which is on pretty much the only hill in the city.  You can get a very nice view of the city from the steps of the church, and we were there near sunset, which was nice.  However, it's also a place where beggars/pickpockets/etc. congregate and try to get tourists to buy their (whatever junk they happen to be selling) or just try to get money from tourists.  In some cases they are very aggressive... one guy tried to follow us and kept asking us something (I don't even remember what) but we were able to shake him.  It's definitely a conflict: how do you be kind to people who are chasing after you in order to cheat you out of your money?  The Eiffel Tower was another place we encountered this... people everywhere, all selling the same cheap plastic copies of the tower, and all kinds of trinkets.  Near Sacred Heart, though, was where we had French onion soup and cheese fondue... mmm :)

One cool thing we did at the end of the trip was go on a cruise of the Seine across the city.  It's just a recording, but they do tell you about the various buildings and bridges and their history.  

From our experience, stuff we have read, and people we have talked to, it seems that we really did avoid the "rude French" stereotype by just trying to speak a little bit of their language.  The more touristy places had signs and staff who spoke English, of course, but in bakeries and shops and restaurants (we tried our best to go to not-so-touristy places to eat) it was useful to just know a few words, and we were definitely carrying phrasebooks everywhere to look things up (like menu items).

It was nice being connected to the conference too.  Although I did not get to go, Luke got to hear the President of France (Nicolas Sarkozy) in person as he gave the opening address for the conference.  We also got to go to the natural history museum and their "Grand Gallery of Evolution", which has models and skeletons of oh so many animals, birds, butterflies, etc...  We were supposed to have a banquet there, but in the words of Luke's colleague, it was an "unmitigated disaster" as they were only serving (very few, at that) snacks to a huge group of people who were expecting dinner... we ended up leaving and finding the Brazilian restaurant, lol.   And the best event (well, tied with the Eiffel Tower tour, perhaps) in my book was visiting the Paris City Hall, which is more like a historic palace than an office building, and getting to see and hear a wonderful string quartet performance there.  It was extremely hot (there are very few air conditioned places in such old cities with old buildings!) and at intermission we ended up getting up and opening these huge old windows.  

I was so thankful for the hotel we found.  Since Luke's notice of acceptance to the conference came rather late, all of the reserved rooms were taken, and we had to find our own... no small task to find a room overseas in a country that speaks another language!  But we found a place, and it had a teeny elevator so we didn't have to lug suitcases up and down the small curved staircases, and-- it even had an air conditioner, which was so very welcome after walking up those four flights of stairs to get back to our room.  :)  It had a tv, but of course everything was in French, so we really didn't watch anything.


I am thankful to Annette who motivated me to write something about the trip (finally)!

22 October 2010

Who are these people!? (2010 Election Local Candidates)

For those of us who respond with the title of this entry when we see the proliferation of political yard signs this time of year, I have compiled a list of sources that I have found useful in deciding who to select in some of the less publicized races.

26 September 2010

Articles About NOvA

From next Thursday through Monday, Kelly and I will be in International Falls, MN for a NOvA Collaboration Meeting.  I thought I would share a couple of articles about the experiment that I had not posted before.  One is a good description of the experiment for the general public that appeared in the Washington Post.  The other is an article in the Minnesota Daily (the University of Minnesota's student newspaper) and quotes my supervisor Mark Messier.

16 September 2010

Big Decision Upcoming at Fermilab

Fermilab's directorate is currently deciding whether or not to extend the run of the lab's collider, the Tevatron, as described quite well in this story in the Beacon News. I have an obvious interest in this decision because I work on two of the experiments "involving neutrinos."

In the article, the caption to the photo above indicates accurately says, "a life-size photo of a cross section of the Tevatron hangs in the CDF building at Fermilab." Also in this photograph, the two long white objects in the foreground are part of a test stand for NOvA, one of the neutrino experiments. The lab's present and future captured in a single image.

"I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of ... all who are in authority" - I Timothy 2:1-2

The ARRA in Action

Whether you spport it or not, I thought you would want to know that the ARRA (a.k.a. the Economic Stimulus) is partially supporting NOvA, one of the experiments on which I work.

12 September 2010

Did the whole world share this ... 44,000 times?!

Look closely at how many people shared the stories of the Colorado wildfire and a woman's "regenerated fingertip." I know our population is growing, but this is ridiculous! This is a screen shot from CNN on Sep. 10, 2010 at 14:55:06 CDT.

30 August 2010

Softball Update

We (the Boomers) were eliminated from the playoffs on Aug. 12 with our second loss. Our opponents in that second loss, the Big Bangers, went on to loose the championship game to the Lighting Rods.

Though the season is officially over, we still hope to have a few informal games while the weather allows.

I had fun this season, learned a lot about how to gracefully handle loss and keep my own performance in proper perspective. I am able to share in one of Kelly's favorite passtimes, and I also am better at playing softball than I ever have been :)

Heads Up Friends in Columbus: Travel Plans for the rest of 2010

  • Sept. 3 - 6: We plan to be in Columbus, OH for the wedding of our friends Jesse and Mollie.
  • Sept. 30 - Oct. 4: We plan to fly to International Falls, MN for a NOvA Collaboration Meeting.
  • Thanksgiving: We plan to visit my family in Wisconsin.
  • Christmas/New Year's: We plan to visit Kelly's family and our friends in various cities in Pennsylvania, including Clarion and Pittsburgh.

10 August 2010

Softball Playoffs

Our Fermilab Softball League Team (the Boomers) start in the league playoffs tomorrow (Aug. 11) if weather permits. We go in as the fourth seed with a 3-8 record.

05 August 2010

Who wants to show off their engineering or problem solving skills?

If you look at this picture carefully, you will notice something odd. Specifically, the antenna cable is plugged into the wall rather than a TV. This is because our TV is in our living room on the first floor, but the best reception is obtained with the antenna on the second floor. Since previous occupants of our house had cable and satellite TV, we were able to use coaxial cable they left here to connect the antenna to the cable jack as seen above, run a cable from that jack to another one downstairs, and finally, run a cable from that jack to our TV. It's amazing what one will do to get good TV without paying for cable!

The problem alluded to in the title is that this antenna (a Terk HDTVa) receives almost all of the broadcast channels from Chicago that we want to see. One channel is missing.

MISSING: Channel 2
Call Letters: WBBM
Network: CBS
Frequency: VHF Ch. 12 (204 - 210 MHz)
Broadcast Power: 8 kW
Distance: 34.2 mi
URL: http://cbs2chicago.com/
Why Wanted: Steelers Games and The Big Bang Theory

For various reasons, we would rather not try to put an antenna on our roof.

So, if anyone wants to demonstrate their technical prowess and give ideas for receiving WBBM, please do so.

Thank you in advance.

ICHEP 2010 Summary

Given the size of ICHEP, my experience is only a small sample.

Overall, I got the impression that neutrino physics is an extremely active field with a large number of experiments either collecting data or being constructed. The only real disappointment at the conference with neutrinos was that NOvA did not get a talk and that not many abstracts from MINOS were accepted.

I also was personally glad to see that my thesis work on B→ τ ν was mentioned several times and is a source of tension with the Standard Model. See slides 21-23 of the plenary Rare B Decay talk and slide 31 of the plenary CKM review talk.

As expected, the LHC experiments showed their first results. They are rediscovering the SM quite quickly. I was surprised at how many analyses had results ready for the conference.

The only other disappointment came in the form of the Conference “Dinner.” The quotation marks are very deliberate. The reality is described in part on an ICHEP 2010 blog entry. It was not a dinner; it was a cocktails and appetizers with too many people, too little food, and too little space. It was, in the words of one of our colleagues, an “unmitigated disaster.” To the organizers’ credit, they did give 50% refunds of the accompanying person fee.

The coffee break food and beverages were quite good with large fruit baskets being part of most of the coffee breaks.

The conference had two big surprises. The biggest surprise for most people was that “opening” talk given on Monday by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France! I thought his speech was very good, even though he made one historical error (Galileo did not go to prison). He talked much about the need to defend and promote science to the general public. He also announced a large proposed funding project for Saclay. The speech was interpreted into English in real time via headsets; that led to some interesting artifacts like people laughing at two different times to the same joke and the English interpreter consistently referring to members of our field as “physicians” rather than physicists.

The biggest surprise for me was winning the First Prize Poster award. Thank you for your help, and I thank God for giving me the opportunity and ability to do so. My poster is available online as a PDF.

This entry is intended a summary of the conference in Paris. Details about the rest of our trip will come when we have finished sorting through the hundreds of pictures we took!

12 July 2010

A Dialogue on Origins

THEIST: If the Universe had a beginning, as science now seems quite sure, who began it?

ATHEIST: I presume you would like me to answer "God."

THEIST: Ideally.

ATHEIST: You answer that question with "God," but then I must ask the obvious question "who made God?"

THEIST: God is eternal and has always existed. He had no beginning and thus no need for a beginner.

ATHEIST: Well, as Carl Sagan said, why not just save a logical step and say that the Universe is eternal and has always existed. It had no beginning and thus no need for a beginner.

THEIST: As I said, the overwhelming scientific evidence points to the Universe having a beginning.

ATHEIST: Then, your "evidence" for a god or gods becomes dependent on scientific understanding, which is, by definition, subject to change. Suppose science finds that the Universe is oscillatory. This Universe ends and another begins in an infinite cycle into the future and the past.

THEIST: So, crudely we could imagine time being bent into a circle in your picture of the Universe.

ATHEIST: Yes, although I prefer the image of a Mobius strip.

THEIST: Whatever geometry you choose, I still ask who made the circle or strip?

ATHEIST: Whatever answer I give does not solve the problem, it only moves it around; the question still remains: Who made the maker?

THEIST: Well, I believe God is eternal; he has always existed. We know our observable Universe well enough to know that everything here has a beginning, but God is transcendent. He is outside of our Universe, so we cannot just assume that he had a beginning.

ATHEIST: So are you telling me that you are so desperate to cling to the idea of God that you are willing to forsake even cause and effect?

THEIST: Yes! That's it! This is an exciting realization, not desperation. I believe in a God that is so thrillingly different from anything in nature, from anything I know that even the rules of cause and effect may not apply to him.

12 June 2010

We're going to Paris!

I just learned that my abstract was accepted for the International Conference on High Energy Physics 2010 in Paris, France! Kelly and I plan on traveling there in July.

28 May 2010

Minnesota's Governor Pawlenty on NOvA

Courtesy of Symmetry Magazine, one of the experiments on which I work (NOvA), received a visit from Gov. Tim Pawlenty during the Minnesota Fishing Opener.

"It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out."

17 May 2010

Traveling to Bloomington and Columbus

Currently, Kelly and I are back in Bloomington, IN for a MINOS Collaboration Meeting at Indiana University. While the weather has mostly been wet and grey, I have had a productive meeting, and we have enjoyed sampling several of Bloomington's fine restaurants. We will be meeting some friends from the IUGFM group tonight!

On the weekend of July 2-4, we will be back in Columbus, OH for the wedding of our friends Jon and Sara.


As a way to stay fit, enjoy the summer weather, and just have fun, Kelly and I have joined the Fermilab Softball League! We had our first two practices already, and our first game is this week.

The league consists of four teams (one more than 2009), and we are on the Boomers. We have even ordered our own jerseys; Kelly is #1, and I will be #42. We were scheduled to play the Lightning Rods on Wed. May 12th at 5:30 pm, but the game was cancelled due to rain. No word yet on when the game will be rescheduled.

Our games are at the corner of Che-Che-Piqua St. and Blackhawk Blvd. on the Fermilab Site. Feel free to come to cheer us on!

Our next scheduled game is on Thur., May 20th at 5:30pm vs. Final Force. The schedule for the remaining games is available at the team captain's website.

06 May 2010

National Day of Prayer

Let us remember in our thoughts and prayers those suffering from natural disasters in Haiti, Chile, and elsewhere, and the people from those countries and from around the world who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to render aid. Let us pray for the families of the West Virginia miners, and the people of Poland who so recently and unexpectedly lost many of their beloved leaders. Let us pray for the safety and success of those who have left home to serve in our Armed Forces, putting their lives at risk in order to make the world a safer place. As we remember them, let us not forget their families and the substantial sacrifices that they make every day. Let us remember the unsung heroes who struggle to build their communities, raise their families, and help their neighbors, for they are the wellspring of our greatness. Finally, let us remember in our thoughts and prayers those people everywhere who join us in the aspiration for a world that is just, peaceful, free, and respectful of the dignity of every human being.

The Bible Exploration for Lunch League organized a prayer meeting today. We prayed for the laboratory, economy, military, and government. We also prayed much about the as yet unnamed young woman who died in the Wilson Hall atrium less than two hours earlier.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ...

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

02 May 2010

Blogcaster Test #2

If you can see this on Facebook, this test worked!

30 April 2010

Testing Blogcaster on Facebook

This is a test. This is only a test. This is a test of the app I just installed on Facebook to allow my blog posts to be automatically "blogcasted" on Facebook. Had this been an actual blog post, it would have been (I hope) at least mildly interesting.

07 April 2010

A Little Bible Quote Quiz - Answers

As David correctly deduced in a comment to the quiz I posted a few days ago, the quotes were inspired by a segment of The Colbert Report. The four quotes can be found between 1:02 and 1:30 in the video clip below.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Mary Matalin
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care reform

The four quotes and the answers to the quiz are...

1. "I will make you fishers of men." Colbert correctly quoted these words of Jesus, found in Matt. 4:19 when he is calling his Apostles.

2. "Teach a man how to fish..." This, as Darius said, is an "old, wise proverb." Maitlin incorrectly attributes it to Jesus. As far as I know, it is not in the Bible anywhere.

3. "If you don't work, you don't eat." Maitlin claimed that Jesus "preached" this; however, it is actually from a letter written by Paul. Specifically, is a reference to II Thessalonians 3:10, which the NIV translates as "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." One could argue, as Darius did, that all the words of the Bible are form Jesus because he is the Word (see John 1:1-18); however, he did not preach these words directly.

Colbert also incorrectly attributes this to Cool Hand Luke, which I have never seen.

4. "Sell everything you have and give the money to the poor..." Colbert quotes this from what Jesus told to a rich young man asking about how to obtain eternal life in Mark 10:17-22. The NIV translates the command as "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven." Note that Colbert incorrectly quoted the last part of the statment; Jesus spoke of treasure, Colbert spoke about the Kingdom of God.

So, the answers are: #1 and 4 are the words of Jesus, #3 is also from the Bible, and #2 is neither.

31 March 2010

My Second Journal Article!

My Ph.D. dissertation has now officially produced two publications! The first was the one I wrote about earlier (Phys. Rev. D 76, 052002).

The review process was slowed by my graduation, my moving to another experiment, and the other main author also moving to another institution. However, it was finally officially published yesterday as Phys. Rev. D 81, 051101(R). You can read the preprint online for free.

The subject of the paper is the same as my dissertation, which was an expansion on the work in the previous paper. We were searching for three rare decays of a particular subatomic particle called the charged B meson. We found some evidence of one decay, which is consistent with what other experiments have found. We did not find evidence of the others (also consistent with other experiments), but our search method had not previously been used for these two decays.

27 March 2010

A Little Bible Quote Quiz

Below are four quotations. Of the four, which are from the Bible or at least approximately so? More specifically, which are the words of Jesus? More than one may be correct.

1. "I will make you fishers of men."

2. "Teach a man how to fish..."

3. "If you don't work, you don't eat."

4. "Sell everything you have and give the money to the poor..."

24 March 2010

Return Visit to Columbus

Those of you in Columbus probably already know this, but Kelly and I will be visiting Columbus, OH (the city where we first met) this weekend (Mar. 26-28). We are free the afternoon and evening of Saturday and Sunday.

18 March 2010

Responses to "Can a Biologist Trust an Evangelical Christian?"

As an indicator of how incendiary these issues can be, even on this small blog, my entries on a panel discussion about Christianity and evolution prompted some controversy in the comments on my original entry and the entry with a link to the audio of the event.

In other words, it will consist of a one-sided dialogue on the topic? No opposing views from scientists who haven't "been convinced"? So much for building trust...
We were trying to build trust with the non-Christian academic community at Indiana University, and we realized that could cost us the trust of some of our fellow Christians.

I count myself among the scientists who have been convinced by the evidence for evolution and often wrestle with how this evidence and my faith can work together. I cannot speak for the other organizers of this event, but one of them signed a letter to the editor of the Indiana Daily Student in preparation for the panel discussion.

A large volume of evidence exists in favor of evolution from paleontology, genetics, and multiple other fields. If we are to make any progress on shining Christ's light into the corridors of academia, we cannot ignore, mischaracterize, or mock this evidence or the people who have spent their careers researching it. To advocate intelligent design would, in my experience, immediately vaporize any credibility or trust we had built.
To be fair, I wouldn't like it if a bunch of intelligent design supporters had a "panel discussion" under the guise of promoting trust between science and Christians. It's not helpful on either side of the debate to do this sort of "let us explain how you're wrong" thing.
Our goal was not a debate; our goal was to reach across the gap that currently separates many in the scientific community form the Kingdom of God.

In practical terms, if we wanted to find a scientist who was "not convinced" by the evidence for evolution, I think we would have wanted someone who is doing active, high-quality research in biology like Dr. Jeff Hardin, our panelist from the University of Wisconsin.

I don't know of any scientists who fit that criteria other than Michael Behe, and I doubt we could have afforded is honorarium on our budget. Campus Crusade had a philosopher rather than a scientist argue for "yes" in answer to "Is Intelligent Design Viable?" This debate was their contribution to the themester; it was much larger than ours.
Well, it didn't start out terribly well in the opening comments:

"The stereotypical evangelical Christian culture is deeply anti-intellectual and forces its members to choose between their faith and good science, like biological evolution."

Already, a bias against and uncharitable understanding of the other side is introduced here. While some evangelicals are certainly anti-intellectual, I have found this to be largely the exception and not the rule. Evangelical Christians are some of the most intellectually honest thinkers in society, particularly the leaders of Evangelicalism. Also, you say that biological evolution is "good science." I know of many scientists and other bright minds who would disagree strongly with that view. Are they being "anti-intellectual?" It seems a bit unfair to call anyone who disagrees with you "anti-intellectual"...
In my comments, I was simply acknowledging that, for better or worse, the stereotype I described exists and is believed by many members of the academic community, probably including many members of the audience. Darius' opinion of the intellectual prowess of evangelical leaders is not shared by a large number of my colleagues, and that is a painful reality for me. It is a reality that we had to address directly in our discussion, and that is what I tried to do in my comments.

If any of you have suggestions for how to better overturn this stereotype in the minds of my scientific colleagues, I welcome them.
I haven't listened to the rest yet, but already this is set up with certain prejudices already assumed. I think it would be good to do a panel discussion on "Can an Evangelical Christian Trust a Biologist?" :)
We talked about that. It is an excellent idea and a logical compliment to the event we held. We decided to keep our focus narrowly on reaching into the academic community. However, this is the sort of event I would like to see happen as the science community tries to reach into the evangelical Christian community.

15 March 2010

About My Readers

I was pleasantly surprised by the response to my curiosity about my readers for three reasons.
  1. I cannot count you on only one hand!
  2. You follow this blog from four countries on three or four (dependent on how you count Europe and Asia) continents!
  3. Some of you explicitly encouraged me to write more!

10 March 2010

I am now trained as a Radiological Worker at Fermilab

Despite my bike having a flat tire (I took the van), I arrived at the class on time for an 8am start. After the six hour class and a 40-question test, I am now trained as a Radiological Worker at Fermilab.

08 March 2010

Listen to "Can a Biologist Trust an Evangelical Christian?"

The audio from panel discussion on biological evolution and Christianity that I helped organize at Indiana University last November has been posted online, along with a nice summary written by the InterVaristy staff leader for our group, Paula Puckett. You can hear the audio from all three panelists opening remarks and the introduction to the discussion by yours truly!

I thank God for the opportunity to participate in this event, and I think it was very successful. It was a good step in reaching out from the Kingdom of God to academia at Indiana University.

26 February 2010

I am curious about my readers.

If you are reading this, I ask you to leave a comment. It can be as long or as short as you like; I am just curious about who reads my blog and how many of you there are.

25 February 2010

My Apartment in Indiana was Rented

As you may have read, I was advertising for someone to take over the lease on my apartment in Indiana. Thank God that he provided someone in late January; it was a big weight off of our shoulders.

19 February 2010

What Happens to Losers Merchandise?

Have you ever noticed that after a Super Bowl win (or other professional sports championship), the hats, shirts, and other merchandise proclaiming the winner are already being worn by the winning team at the end of the game? That means they must have been manufactured before the winner was known; therefore, merchandise proclaiming he other winner (e.g. Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII) must also have been made.

I've often wondered what happens to it. Well, I finally found the answer; the "misprinted" merchandise is given to World Vision.
The international Christian humanitarian aid group works with Major League Baseball, the NFL, and the NBA to collect misprinted merchandise and distribute it to people living in impoverished nations.
I can't help but wonder if the confused look on the little girl's face means she knows that her T-Shirt is wrong, but I'm glad the merchandise doesn't go to waste.

09 February 2010

Richard Lidnzen At Fermilab

Richard Lindzen, who is arguably the most credentialed and respected sceptic of anthropogenic global warming, will be giving a colloquium here at Fermilab on Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. If you are in the area, you can come; the colloquium will be in Wilson Hall, 1 West. I hope to have an opportunity to ask a question; any suggestions about what I should ask?

I will briefly discuss why this is a peculiar issue, and illustrate this with various examples of how the issue is being exploited and portrayed. In particular, I will show how much of the science and phenomenology being presented is contradicted by both logic and data. Although there is a profound disconnect between the commonly cited IPCC conclusion and the various projections of catastrophe, it is nonetheless worthwhile to examine the basis for the IPCC attribution of recent warming to man because the arguments are profoundly at odds with normative scientific logic. Even so, the claimed result, itself, is consistent with low, and hence unworrisome, climate sensitivity. This talk will discuss how one can ascertain the sensitivity. Most approaches are faulty in that they use observed temperature behavior and assume its cause. We show how this trap can be avoided. There are several approaches, and they each lead to the conclusion that current models are substantially exaggerating sensitivity. However, because of the peculiar nature of this issue, it seems unlikely that either this or the evidence of data mishandling will serve to diminish the commitment of many individuals to the seriousness of the alleged problem.

First Blog Entry as a Married Man

It has been a long time since I wrote something in this blog. As you can see from previous entries, I have been very busy with a wedding, holidays, and moving to Illinois. You can see (and post) photos of our wedding here!

Of course, I don't have enough time to write about all of that, but I hope to start posting photos in the coming weeks. I am settling in to my new location at Fermilab, though I am still working for Indiana University. My wife (that still sounds strange) and I are settling in to our new home and life together.

In these first (almost) two months of marriage, we have been doing a lot of learning. We have been learning how to communicate, how to cook together, how much fun it is just to finally be together, and overall, how to love each other.

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."