Showing posts from May, 2011


Dear God,
When it comes time for my 8-yr old son to take the SATs, in about nine years from now, could you please do me a favor and make sure it includes the word “trebuchet”? He has not sat down at the piano willingly to practice at any time this year, except for 7:30 the morning…after his 12-year old sister’s sleep-over party…when the girls had gone to bed at 3 am. When this failed to impress the girls, he and his twin moved on to streaking.

However, he has a very impressive knowledge of medieval siege engines due to many school bus hours playing Age of Empires, Age of Kings on the Nintendo DS. I believe this is teaching him some basic notions of cash flow, as well. Recently, he learned that his feudal village rents were not bringing in enough income to support his war-mongering proclivities. He has an impressive smattering of Roman military knowledge (Thank you Astérix! ) and can describe the Siege of Gondor (Lord of the Rings) at length.

Sometimes we non-tiger mothers need a break.

Musing about Physics: Feynman and time dilation

Special Relativity is one of those topics that looks simple on the surface of things but gets really really complicated once you get under the hood.
The math is simple, trivial even, but the meaning gives a normal person headaches. What are we to make of "slowing clocks, contracting length" and other oddities that come once you accept the basic premise that c is a constant for every inertial observer.
Of course I have time, and since I started thinking about "Spring Theory" I decided to revisit classics see if I could make progress. Working on the Feynman book, I rediscovered basic SR.
I still stumble somewhat at the Dingle paradox, which is a version of the twin paradoxes. For those initiated with the paradoxes, I am OK with twin paradoxes (which involve acceleration) but still struggle with inertial versions of the twin paradoxes. (2 clock in inertia with V relative intersect, what do they read, assuming they were synchronized at some point, what do they read?…

Dear Sexist Media,

Can we please have more photos of these fellows shirtless please?

Cause when you look like this,

and you’re not as smart as him (Dial a hooker),
then maybe you have to stoop to assaulting the woman who cleans your toilet and changes your bed linens.

In the words of French electropop singer and sometime philosopher Yelle:

…Alors les filles on se promene
Ouais on va aux chippendales
On navait pas prevu de passer la soiree avec des rigolos
On voulait voir des pectoraux, des mecs montes comme des taureaux...
Yelle, Je Veux Te Voir

Difference in French, American Attitudes comes to forefront in DSK Arrest

It's hard to miss the culture clash in the differing coverage the American, British and French press give the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK), the French IMF-head who was arrested in New York city after allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel maid.

The French journalists and public are particularly upset about the perceived lack of dignity with which Strauss-Kahn is being treated. They feel the pictures of him, unshaven and unkempt and handcuffed after his night in jail, are degrading to his individual dignity. They proudly point to French laws that forbid photographing suspects before they have been formally convicted of a crime. They feel that allowing journalists in the courtroom, undermines the legal process and turns the proceedings into a media circus.

The Americans, and to a lesser degree the British, feel the French press is to blame for a so-called "conspiracy of silence" that protected a "sexual predator." The French respond that the private sex li…

Jeff Mills moves to Paris, a Translation

Jeff Mills gave a great interview in "Le Parisien". It is full of insights and worth a translation from its french only roots.

You're welcome.

Original here.

Jeff Mills, the pope of techno, moves to Paris.
Jeff Mills, the american musician, and one of the inventors of techno has decided to move to Paris. He will be performing at the "Cite de la Musique" Tuesday night. Here is the full interview he gave us in a "cafe" of the 7th district.

By Sebastien Ramnoux.

The american Jeff Mills is one of the founders of techno music. Born in the mid 80s (sic) in Detroit. The artist is already booked at the cite de la musique, where he will perform live the movie score to the SciFi classic of the 60's "the fantastic voyage".

At 48 years, he is fascinated by the collision of arts and has decided to move to Paris.

Q: Why move to Paris when everything that has to do with electronic music happens either in Paris or Berlin?
Jeff Mills: because here I am no…