Tuesday. I sometimes wonder if that is supposed to be Two’s Day? After all, in our modern work-outside-the-home norm, Tuesday is the second day of the week. And if so, then we can view the first day as Mundane day, shortened to Monday?
Anyway, second day is an off day at the gym, most people evidently doing the MWF thing, operating on the idea that one needs to exercise thrice a week? I admit to being tempted to going some Freya’s day to see if there are more or less folks about than on Thor’s day.
The podcasts today were science episodes. I can honestly say I don;t remember much about the SCIENCE episode other than the rather noxious commercial for audio-books. Not that I have anything against them, except the exorbitant price. After all, I do the podcast thing. But I do get sticker shock and focus on the reduced retention of heard over seen. Besides, if I did audio books I would be able to get rid of my television and then how could I demonstrate I am an Amerikan?
There was a rather nice bit from Abe Flato and NPR on antibiotic resistant microbes. Made the best case I have heard yet for not using antispetics, especially ethanol based gels, outside of medicalist facilities. Undoubtedly this episode will be unpopular with educationalists who seem to use hand sanitizer more to promote auto-immune disorders and dispose of kids than to prevent disease? Or am I being too cynical? Clearly their teaching content indicates a counter-survival direction.
On a more positive aspect, I ran across an article [Link] with the wonderful title of “This Just in: Higgs Boson Still Boring”. I found this humorous although possibly not in the sense that the author intended. The title refers to the attitude of the general public – extrovert bogs in the main – towards the Higgs boson. Now that it has been observed, the boggerate is expecting great deed, like the generation of gravitational singularities that consume the planet, or flying cars. I am not sure which of those is the more frightening. The latter I think. The idea of the sky full of all those people who can’t drive cars competently, led by all the drivers of pickup trucks who are not only incompetent but homicidal as well, is enough to make one want to move to a third world country where there are no personal vehicles that are not propelled by muscle.
But this is one of the reasons I decided long ago to not pursue a path in particle physics. It’s a bit like astronomy. You have to live in some place that doesn’t like humans – not that Alibam is much better, mind you – and wheedle enormous amount of money from someone to build instruments and share those instruments with lots of other folks in a structure that is uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst to conduct experiments that are exciting only if they generate surprise.
That’s one of the differences between scientists and engineers, incidentally. Scientists get excited when things go wrong in a surprising way; Engineers get excited when things go right in a surprising way.
The HIggs, incidentally, basically hasn’t been a surprise.
My favorite direction, dissipative systems, give me surprises every day, because dissipation is sneaky and perverse. But sometimes amenable to being beaten into submission with physics. Which counteracts, at least locally, the sneakiness and perversion.
And that’s one of the things science is about.