Archive for May, 2009

Updated About Page

I’ve just updated my About page, so if you want to know more about this blog and/or the person who posts all this stuff, take a look.


Random Quotation

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.

Robert Frost (Title of poem)

Policemen Hugging Cyclists

This is a  film of a joint campaign between the Danish police and a Danish cyclist association to encourage cyclists to wear helmets.  The slogan is ‘Wear a bike helmet, because he/she/I love you’.

Not sure why no women get free helmets though…

A Scientific Joke

One day, some of the world’s famous scientists and mathematicians decided to get together for a party:

  • Everyone gravitated toward Newton, but he just kept moving around at a constant velocity and showed no reaction.
  • Einstein thought it was a relatively good time.
  • Coulomb got a real charge out of the whole thing.
  • Cavendish wasn’t invited, but he had the balls to show up anyway.
  • Instead of coming through the front door Josephson tunnelled through.
  • Cauchy managed to integrate well with everyone.
  • Pauli came late, but was mostly excluded from things, so he split.
  • Pavlov brought his dog; which promptly chased after Schrodinger’s cat.
  • Witten bought a present all tied up with superstrings.
  • Feynman got from the door to the buffet table by taking every possible path.
  • The food was beautifully laid out by Mendeleyev on the buffet table.
  • Thompson enjoyed the plum pudding.
  • Pascal was under too much pressure to enjoy himself.
  • Bernoulli was less pressurised – his secret was to move quickly.
  • Ohm spent most of the time resisting Ampere’s opinions on current events.
  • Hamilton went to the buffet tables exactly once.
  • Volta thought the social had a lot of potential.
  • Hilbert was pretty spaced out for most of it.
  • Heisenberg may or may not have been there.
  • The Curies were there and just glowed the whole time.
  • van der Waals forced himself to mingle.
  • Wien radiated a colourful personality.
  • Millikan dropped his Italian oil dressing.
  • de Broglie mostly just stood in the corner and waved.
  • Hollerith liked the hole idea.
  • Stefan and Boltzman got into some hot debates.
  • Everyone was attracted to Tesla’s magnetic personality.
  • Compton was a little scatter-brained at times.
  • Pauling wanted to bond with everyone.
  • Bohr ate too much and got atomic ache.
  • Watt turned out to be a powerful speaker.
  • Hertz went back to the buffet table several times a minute.
  • Faraday had quite a capacity for food.
  • Oppenheimer got bombed.
  • Bequerel was beaming with activity
  • Hall probed into everything on the buffet table.
  • Celsius just went for the ice and steam.
  • Kelvin had absolutely zero intake.
  • After one bite Chandrasekhar reached his limit.
  • Gamow left the party early with a big bang while Hoyle stayed late in a steady state.
  • Rontgen saw through everybody.
  • Watson and Crick danced the Double Helix.
  • While Fermat sang, ‘Save the Last Theorem for me.’

Escher in Lego

A picture is worth a thousand words, so to save me thinking of ways to say how cool this is, just take a look:

Escher's Relativity in Lego by Andrew Lipson

Escher’s Relativity in Lego


Escher's Relativity

The original woodcut


Escher’s Belvedere in Lego and woodcut


These amazing Lego sculptures were made by Andrew Lipson and Daniel Shiu.  More Escher constructions can be found at Andrew’s website here.

Megan Whalen Turner

Megan Whalen Turner is not a prolific writer but her books The Thief, The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia are almost unbelievably good.

The Queen of Attolia contains one of the most affecting and and surprising romances I have ever read – even if you start reading the book knowing these two people will get together in the end. (I read a review that contained spoilers before I brought a copy of The Queen of Attolia.)

Similar to Diana Wynne Jones, Megan Whalen Turner’s books are multi-layered and will stand up to re-reading for the rest of my life; but more importantly, they contain what I think of as Truth.  That is, when I finish reading them, I come away feeling that I understand some part of human relationships/interactions better than I did before.  All of my favourite books, the ones I will never get rid of, no matter how my tastes change, contain some kernel of Truth.

Whalen Turner’s first published book was a short story collection called Instead of Three Wishes.  I haven’t managed to find a copy to read yet, but one of the stories is featured on her website in full.

Instead of Three Wishes:  A young woman does a favour for an elf prince who offers her three wishes.  When she turns the wishes down, he must find something that she will accept so he is no longer in debt to her.

Real Life Romance

One of my favourite authors is Robin McKinley.  I think all of her books are lovely, but I particularly adore The Blue Sword and Sunshine.

Since I discovered her blog last year, reading her latest entry has become a daily pleasure, and I mentioned previously on this website that  Pollyanna’s Booklist is the place to go if you need book suggestions. (Not that I need any – the TBR pile keeps growing, not shrinking!)

Yesterday, I read the entries that tell how Robin met and married fellow author Peter Dickinson:

I was emigrating to England to marry Peter Dickinson after slightly less than forty eight hours in each other’s company and a few moderately agonised phone calls

Part 1 and Part 2

Scarey though it would have been to take such a massive chance, it’s so lovely to know that romance doesn’t just exist in books.

Random Quotation

It was absolutely marvellous working for Pauli. You could ask him anything. There was no worry that he would think a particular question was stupid, since he thought all questions were stupid.

Victor Weisskopf

Some amazing 3D street art from German artist, Edgar Mueller.

If you want to see how he works, a short video of him painting ‘The Crevasse’ is at the bottom of this post.

Washing the Street Away, Germany

Waterfall, Canada

The Crevasse, Ireland

Wolf Chasing Pig

At first I photographed stop motion animation. And I displayed the photographs in my room and photographed it again. I used 1,300 printed pictures.

I can’t imagine having the patience to do this – but I’m glad someone does!