I love playing tennis. I am an avid bridge player (a card game if you have not heard of it - it was more popular in the past!). I like to tour interesting things with my kids like power plants, garbage dumps, the Large Hadron Collider, Antarctica, missile Silos (Arizona)....
--Bill Gates on Reddit, answering questions today. Someone asked him what he does for fun.
...our chief intellectual exercise was the Letter Game: word-making and word-taking. At this we became practically professional....Any dictionary word was allowed, but no proper names, and a word could be stolen only by adding a letter and changing the meaning... This had been a Down game originally...[Down was Charles Darwin's house].
Then there was the story of my grandfather (C.D.) [Charles Darwin] who, on seeing the word MOTHER on the board, looked at it for a long time, and then said, "Moe-ther; there's no word MOETHER." I feel that the Psychologists might get a great deal of fun out of this anecdote--I beg their pardons, I don't mean fun, but Important Information; clues to the conception of the Origin of Species on the one hand, or to his ill health on the other; both of which developments could doubtless be proved by this story to be the direct consequences of the early death of his own MOETHER.
--Gwendolen Darwin Raverat (1885-1957), Charles Darwin's granddaughter, in her memoir Period Piece: A Cambridge Childhood (1952), chapter XII, Sport. The whole Darwin family sounds wonderful
Because of an editing error, an essay on Page 11 this weekend, about the religious beliefs of Republican presidential candidates, misstates the proportion of Americans who believe that extraterrestrials live among us. It is about a third, not a majority.
--Correction appearing in the NY Times, 28 August 2011
Pliny the Elder (XXXVI.195) recounts the story that in the reign of Tiberius a method of glassmaking was invented which rendered it flexible and thus unshatterable. "The artist's workshop was completely destroyed for fear that the value of metals such as copper, silver and gold would otherwise be lowered. Such," adds Pliny, "is the story, which, however, has for a long period been current through frequent repetition rather than authentic." In Petronius's version, in Satyricon51, the inventor is beheaded. Dio Cassius (LVII.57) tells the same tale.
it is, boys." The mass of equipment that met their eyes vaguely
resembled a medico's office x-ray gear. Beyond the obvious fact that it
used electrical power, and that some of the dials were calibrated in
familiar terms, a casual inspection gave no clue to its actual use.
"What's the principle, Doc?"
He stepped up to one of the reporters. "Suppose we take you as an
example. Your name is Rogers, is it not? Very well, Rogers, you are a
space-time event having duration four ways. You are not quite six feet
tall, you are about twenty inches wide and perhaps ten inches thick. In
time, there stretches behind you more of this space-time event,
reaching to perhaps nineteen-sixteen, of which we see a cross-section
here at right angles to the time axis, and as thick as the present. At
the far end is a baby, smelling of sour milk and drooling its breakfast
on its bib. At the other end lies, perhaps, an old man someplace in the
"Imagine this space-time event that we call Rogers as a long pink
worm, continuous through the years, one end in his mother's womb, and
the other at the grave..."
"Now think of our long pink worm as a conductor of electricity. You have
heard, perhaps, of the fact that electrical engineers can, by certain
measurements, predict the exact location of a break in a trans-Atlantic
cable without ever leaving the shore. By applying my instruments to the
cross-section here in this room I can tell where the break occurs, that
is to say, when death takes place."
There are a lot of countries investing in making universities stronger,
especially in Asia...And now Saudi Arabia, with its
very huge investment to build a university of science and technology.
There will be more competition for American universities. Europe, I
think, has fallen by the wayside.
The largest genetic study of African populations reveals a greater diversity among the continent's cultural groups than previously known....the new research shows that "no single African population is representative of the diversity of the continent," says study coauthor Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Tishkoff and her colleagues analyzed particular DNA sequences... from more than 3000 people from 121 different populations scattered throughout Africa....
To reach remote groups, such as the Pygmies of Cameroon and the hunter-gatherers of Tanzania, researchers drove off-road and set up makeshift labs with equipment powered by their car battery.
..."We knew that African populations were diverse in culture, art, religious ideas," says Roy King of Stanford University School of Medicine. "Now we see that genetic diversity goes along these same lines"....
It turns out that the San bushmen of southern Africa have the most distinct, and therefore oldest, genetic sequences, the team reports....
Genetic information from African-Americans living in three U.S. cities and an additional state was also collected and analyzed. On average, African-Americans inherited 71 percent of their DNA from western Africa, 8 percent from other locations in Africa and 13 percent from Europe, the team says. Most of the African-Americans in the study had mixed ancestry from different regions of western Africa, which made tracing ancestry to particular ethnic groups difficult....
The researchers are quick to point out that the data set is incomplete. "We analyzed 121 populations out of a possible 2000," Tishkoff says....
Newspaper science reporters are more endangered than black rhinos or giant pandas. TheLos Angeles Times and Newsday and have dismantled their once-sizable staffs of expert science journalists. In February the Boston Globeclosed its science and health section. Recently CNN disbanded its science unit, dismissing one of America's preeminent TV science journalists, Miles O'Brien. One newsmagazine, having cut some of its best science writers, now runs stories on its website provided by the government, disguised as news. At a science journalism awards ceremony, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting last month in Chicago, the winners in the newspaper category both noted that they no longer had jobs.