Posted tagged ‘Fun’

Palate Cleanser

April 14, 2016

Here’s some tunes I reached for this afternoon, all to get the texture of Kasich’s narishkeit in Brooklyn out of my brain.

First up: Itzhak Perlman’s got some swing:

 

Next, for a bit of joyous culture mixing, check out the Barcelona Gypsy Klezmer Orchestra, here doing a killer take on Djelem Djelem:

And last, because where would we be without people with too much time on their hands constructing glorious improbabilities, enjoy this (h/t @joi_the_artist):

And with that: top of the evening, all!

‘Cause We All Need A #GOP Respite…

March 8, 2016

This is how you deliver an admission letters:
 

What makes this even sweeter, from my point of view, is that the video was made by a current student and alum in my department.

Take this as an opportunity to ponder anything but Trump (and the rest of those luzers).

Happy Mole Day

October 23, 2015

Yo! Avogadro fans!

Today is our day!

I’m a little late getting this post up, as Mole Day ends at 6:02 p.m

Remember:  that equal numbers of molecules of a gas occupy equal volumes under the same temperature and pressure is not just a good idea.

IT’S THE LAW.

…for which insight Amadeo Avogadro received the honor of having his name attached to the number of molecules that make up one mole of a substance, a number set by convention as the number of carbon 12 atoms that add up to 12 grams of the substance. That number:  6.02*10^23.  Hence, Mole Day, running from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m on 10/23.

In Avogadro’s honor, a tune:


Geek out, my friends.

Start The Week With The Lord God Bird

September 8, 2014

66_Ivory-billed_Woodpecker_(Duke_of_Portland_Audubon_edition)

A nice start to what might be a tolerable week* comes in the form of a message from Harvard’s rare books collection, the Houghton Library.  Its collection of 114 early J.J. Audubon drawings is now online in high resolution.  Among the treats, a depiction of two Ivory Billed Woodpeckers, the “lord god bird,” having their way with a tree.

According to the announcement, these early drawings are rare/of heightened interest because of Audubon’s practice of destroying sketches and alternate versions after selecting what he saw as the best of any subject.  The earliest images in this collection date back to when Audubon was 18, and, says Harvard, they probably survived Audubon’s rolling erasure of his tracks in the hands of one of his patrons.  In any event, the images are gorgeous, and there for the gazing.

That said, the image above is a later Audubon not from the Houghton collection, as Harvard requires permission from the curator before reusing their images. I’m asking for same; if I get it, I’ll add one from this trove.

*Hah! Who am I kidding.  There are still Republicans with actual power!

Image:  John James Audubon, Plate 66 of Birds of America, depiction of the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, 1838.

Take Notes, Children

July 30, 2013

Let’s keep the night alive with this gem:

So what off-coloratura* ripostes do y’all go going tonight?

[Signed]

Yr. Bargain Counter Tenor*

*stolen, brazenly, from the great Herr Doktor Peter Schickele/PDQ Bach, and the cast list from his half-act opera, The Stoned Guest.

Friday Brain Candy: Puppetmaster comeuppance edition

March 26, 2010

Because I’m too lame to figure out how to embed this, you’re just going to have to click on the link.

It’s worth it.

Trust me.

Image: F. A. Philips: Spielendes Kind mit Kasperpuppe, 1878.

For a Good Time in Pasadena: Newton and the Counterfeiter Edition…

October 29, 2009

Thanks to physics blogging major domo Sean Carroll, I’ll be chatting tomorrow at Caltech in a presentation prompted by my recent book (I’ve mentioned it once or twice), Newton and the Counterfeiter.  (Amazon, Powells, Barnes and Noble,Indiebound and  across the pond at Amazon.co.uk, Waterstones, Blackwells, Borders,John Smith & Son)

I’ll be speaking about what  Isaac Newton’s work as a currency cop, investigator and prosecutor can tell us  about the scientific revolution as lived experience, and not just as some disembodied sequence of ideas and discoveries.

Reckless finance; seventeenth century sex toys; the experimental method and more.  If you are in the neighborhood of 201 East Bridge on the Caltech campus tomorrow at 4 p.m., stop on by.