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link dump for the past few months

I've been kind of lazy about doing these lately. And I still haven't had a chance to catch up and read the stuff posted while I was away at Burning Man (spent several hours this evening catching up on this past week). But here ya go... interesting stuff I've found in the past 3 or 4 months:

Dr. Horrible, shadow casted (hopefully this will become the new generation's Rocky Horror!):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1PVk2a8J9g
http://community.livejournal.com/dr_horriblesing/162362.html

Masculine women and feminine men--a cute song from the 1920's or so:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zKnOV16WuQ

News reporter walks into a pole:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPWZ7ASnhiE

Sean Carroll's predictions on what we'll see at the LHC:
http://cosmicvariance.com/2008/08/04/what-will-the-lhc-find/
I agree with almost all of his numbers to within 5%, although I'm somewhat puzzled by his dark matter estimate of 15%, I would have said more like 30%. My prediction for SUSY still stands at 55%... although it will drop quickly if we don't see any bumps early on (like within the next couple months!). Motl and Carroll have both recently said 60%, and Arkani-Hamed says "greater than even odds" so it looks like we're all in the same ballpark.

[update: I take back the comment above about "within the next couple months"... seeing suspicious artifacts before winter shutdown was probably more of a long shot than I realized to begin with... but after these latest delays, the chances are even smaller of us knowing anything before then. So my expectations shouldn't really change much over the next couple months.]

Stuffed particles:
http://www.particlezoo.net/individual_pages/shop_theoreticals-pack.html

Moral performance enhancers:
http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/09/gandhi-pills-ps.html

Joe Biden's war on drugs:
http://www.theagitator.com/2008/08/23/biden/

Flip-flopping on the gender card:
http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=184086&title=sarah-palin-gender-card

A good rant by Matt Damon on Sarah Palin (overall she scares me a lot more than Joe Biden):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anxkrm9uEJk

The importance of low wages:
http://distributedrepublic.net/archives/2008/08/28/in-praise-of-low-wages

Why Socialism? An Essay by Albert Einstein (for some reason I never realized he was an outspoken socialist before... I've never really understood socialism, but I've been reading up on it lately and making an effort to figure out why so many smart people buy into it)
http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/Einstein.htm

Godel's secret fettish:
http://xkcd.com/468/

Unbelievably realistic CGI (interview with image-capture of "Emily"):
http://www.awntv.com/videos/image-metrics-emily-project
http://blogs.pcworld.com/gameon/archives/007483.html

Principal goes on lesbian witch-hunt, gets sued by ACLU:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26316235/
http://shemale.livejournal.com/111438.html

Step-by-step instructions for Deep Throating [obviously, NSFW]
http://www.zilledefeu.com/spank/instructions-deep-throat-blow-job/
http://tdte.porkyhost.com/instruction.htm

Teenage "Joker" copycats charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism:
http://donttasemeblog.com/2008/08/two-teens-charged-with-terrori.html

Video of a monkey controlling a robotic arm with its brainwaves:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/video/2008/may/28/monkey

The Matrix vs Carl Sagan:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlpyGhABXRA

Pac-Man the movie:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZWYwYqbfuM

Bush's most embarassing press conference ever (I suspect at least part of this, maybe most of this, is editted... but it's put together pretty well and is pretty funny):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyvIdlW6ZbM

Bush "It's never been stay the course":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sulDYYAiCU&NR=1

Bush admits lying to the press about Rumsfeld:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSBgGXoNgrQ

(sorry for all the Bush links, I just happened to click on one, and then stumbled onto the rest)

Freudian slips...
But he's gay... I mean blind:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVR1JunnuGE
Hilary Clinton says "home boners":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhsM-IqpqgA
Double penetration:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vn3T5yIXA5M
City => shitty:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARCEXnesa7g
Much penis going on here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCS_4bizDUw
Top cop => top cock:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O68nzP2wNbM
Nice pussy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyJ0khfWrCU
George HW Bush "I've been his partner... we've had some sex, uh... setbacks.":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiPzM98h7NA

Troops give 6 times as much money to Obama as McCain:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2SSuvhaSj0

White & Nerdy in legos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh9mVsBKwYs&NR=1

Sexuality a continuum (study finds that at least 90% of the population is somewhat bi):
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=smooth-thinking-about-sex

AI beats poker champs at poker:
http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=208802992

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
easwaran
Sep. 14th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
I hadn't remembered Biden's association with the war on drugs. However, that link you posted was a little weird, because while about 80% of the things the author attacked Biden for were things I disliked about him, about 20% were things I liked about him. I suppose it's a very libertarian perspective in that post anyway. I had liked Biden because he seemed intelligent and thoughtful - his involvement in the war on drugs is a bit of a shock for that, though it sounds like he's mellowed on medical marijuana at least. The biggest issue I had heard before with Biden (which is also something I learned only recently, and wasn't mentioned in this link at all) was his extreme involvement with bankruptcy "reform" - which is mainly in his role as Senator from MBNA (as in, all the credit card companies that use Delaware as a tax haven).
onhava
Sep. 14th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
When you say you're 55% confident, do you mean these are the odds you would take on a bet? (I'm just never sure what people mean when they say things like "the probability of observing SUSY at the LHC".)

Also, what do you mean by "bumps"? I don't know of any bumps I would expect to see in early data given SUSY.
spoonless
Sep. 14th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)

When you say you're 55% confident, do you mean these are the odds you would take on a bet?

It refers to my expectations... how much I would be surprised to see it or not see it. Or to what odds I'd take on a bet in the limit of a small amount of money compared to my net income and/or assets and for zero overhead cost. Since I've already taken a bet for 50-50 odds, I consider it at this point a slightly "worth it" financial decision but mostly for entertainment. At the time I made the bet, I knew a bit less about the situation so my personal expectation was only about 50%... so it's a bet I would not have taken if it were a serious amount of money, and it was entirely for fun purposes rather than for the expectation of making money.

I'm just never sure what people mean when they say things like "the probability of observing SUSY at the LHC"

What else would you have thought they meant?

Regarding bumps, maybe that's not the right word because honestly, I don't understand much about how the experimentalists will process the data. I just hear that if it's there, there's a good chance it will stick out like a sore thumb from the Standard Model background. (I'd be really curious to hear your thoughts on this.)
onhava
Sep. 14th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
What else would you have thought they meant?

Well, obviously frequentist probabilities don't make sense in this context; it's not like we would see different things by running the machine more times. But I don't know how to put a numerical value on my confidence about things. I'm not sure what it would mean to say I have a 40% expectation of SUSY vs. a 70% expectation of SUSY, precisely. What odds I would be willing to take in a bet is at least a concrete question, but the answer would vary depending on mood, which papers I've read recently, how much alcohol I've consumed....

I just hear that if it's there, there's a good chance it will stick out like a sore thumb from the Standard Model background. (I'd be really curious to hear your thoughts on this.)

That's a strong claim. A lot depends on how SUSY breaking is mediated, what the spectrum of superpartners is, how long it takes the experimentalists to properly calibrate missing E_T measurements (hint: more than a couple of months).... If the spectrum is in the corner of mSUGRA parameter space that people have worked on most, with light sleptons, you might see an edge-like structure in a dilepton mass distribution pretty quickly. But that's very optimistic. If there's gauge mediation and the NLSP has enough bino content, there's also a hope of a strong excess in diphotons early. There are some other possible "smoking guns". But there's also the possibility of ambiguous and difficult-to-measure excesses that take a while to figure out.

If the LHC discovers SUSY I'm guessing the first reliable indications will come in 2010, with lots of confusing and contradictory hints before that.
spoonless
Sep. 15th, 2008 12:44 am (UTC)

If the LHC discovers SUSY I'm guessing the first reliable indications will come in 2010, with lots of confusing and contradictory hints before that.

When I said "if we don't see any bumps" what I meant is if we don't see anything that sticks out as odd or confusing at all. Any kind of excess that looks suspicious, even if it's highly ambiguous, would keep my expectation up at 55%. I'm not expecting to see a reliable indication that early either. If, after they shut down for the winter, we haven't seen *anything* out of the ordinary... then my expectations will go down a lot (20-30%? I don't know, I'll have to think about that one).

I've been working on gauge mediation intently for the past year, and more indirectly before that... and it seems pretty compelling to me, at least the general framework. But even there, I realize it depends on the parameters and there are plenty of ways it could hide.

I think it's also possible we'll see a dilepton excess in gauge mediation... unless there is some reason why that's more difficult to detect than mSUGRA.
onhava
Sep. 15th, 2008 01:35 am (UTC)
There will be suspicious-looking excesses even if there's no new physics beyond the Standard Model. That's why it takes time to know whether there's anything real there.

Gauge mediation could also give a dilepton excess, yes. The photons are more striking, though (less background). Non-minimal gauge mediation models can have all sorts of other signals.
spoonless
Sep. 15th, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)
Huh. I'm kind of surprised that there is more background from lepton decays... I would have thought more stuff decays to photons.

I should learn more about these backgrounds.
spoonless
Sep. 15th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)

What odds I would be willing to take in a bet is at least a concrete question, but the answer would vary depending on mood, which papers I've read recently, how much alcohol I've consumed....

Mine varies with mood and all of those things as well... but if it were a significant sum of money, I would stop and think about it before I committed to the bet... averaging out my different moods, and making sure I was sober when I made the final decision. This is what I'm trying to estimate with these numbers, and I find that it remains remarkably stable for me in the long term.
anima_engine
Sep. 15th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC)
Great links! Thanks for sharing. Way, way better than the Republican propaganda spam emails that somehow wind up in my inbox. :)
spoonless
Sep. 15th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
Heh... I get some Republican spam in my inbox too :)
(Deleted comment)
spoonless
Sep. 15th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
The odds that it creates any kind of black holes I'd say are about 1 in 1000.

Odds of it creating a black hole that engulfs the earth are 0 (to high enough precision that it's not worth even considering)... in addition to it being completely impossible according to known laws of physics, the earth is bombarded by much higher energy rays all the time and black holes of that kind are not created. This machine is not doing anything new that does not happen in the atmosphere every day. The new thing is that we'll be able to examine what's happening in a controlled way, to understand what's going on.
spoonless
Sep. 15th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
When I say "0" that's an approximation... it's never possible to be 100% certain of something. But I would say the odds of it creating a black hole that engulfs the earth are roughly the same as the odds of monkeys flying out of my ass and attacking the earth.
geheimnisnacht
Sep. 16th, 2008 10:07 am (UTC)
Frickin' Einstein. Up until this point I've been a big fan of his writings, but encountering this tempers that considerably. My initial reaction is that he absorbed a certain amount of rhetoric from Marxists and hasn't considered all angles. I'm willing to admit that growing up in America in an economically capitalist family may be leading me to make the mistake I'm accusing Einstein of making here. However, as we were discussing before I left the country, and which I think Einstein fails to recognize, is that while 100 million Einsteins might make a great socialist nation, my estimate of today's society suggests capitalism as a better fit to people's biological and (current) societal motivations.

PS I was thinking about flagging "biological" with a "(current)" as well. It will be an interesting time if/when geneticists locate the genes governing motivation/morality. With the ability to potentially induce "ethics" naturally, will people remain against genetic modification?
spoonless
Sep. 16th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think we're on the same page there. Although knowing that Einstein was a socialist does make me stop and question more whether it really does make more sense than capitalism.

Did you see the other link I posted about "moral performance enhancers"?

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/09/gandhi-pills-ps.html
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