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  • Jen-Luc Piquant sez: "They like us! They really like us!"

    "Explains physics to the layperson and specialist alike with abundant historical and cultural references."
    -- Exploratorium ("10 Cool Sites")

    "... polished and humorous..."
    -- Physics World

    "Takes 1 part pop culture, 1 part science, and mixes vigorously with a shakerful of passion."
    -- Typepad (Featured Blog)

    "In this elegantly written blog, stories about science and technology come to life as effortlessly as everyday chatter about politics, celebrities, and vacations."
    -- Fast Company ("The Top 10 Websites You've Never Heard Of")
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I really like the long-form posts. But of course, I don't have, like, a job or anything. rb

I hope your new venue works out well for you!

Oddly enough, the only "helpful advice" I've received is from a couple people who said I should change the color scheme of my blog -- this AFTER at least many people said they liked the moody-gloomy ambiance my theme had given it. (One of the voices of approval came from an astonishingly beautiful young woman, red-haired and a writer herself; I'd be a liar if I said that didn't help. Darn it, a scholar's life should be free from such distractions.) The most popular posts I've done, in terms of traffic, links and kind remarks, have been longer pieces. I guess it just confirms the hypothesis that you can't please everybody all the time.

Speaking of cosmology, did you know they've lost a star? A white dwarf.
I like the long ones and the short ones and the fat ones and the skinny ones.
Your blog is the greatest.

I've been a reader for at least a year, and for my first comment, I can say that I consistently enjoy the long posts. I am a grad student though, which is like being unemployed.

I have to say I love the long posts! I always save your blog until last when going through my feed reader because it's such a treat to get a well thought out and longish post, in comparison to other blogs which just spit out a couple of lines. That said, I'll still be adding your new blog to my reader!

Jennifer, please, please don't ever change your blog. I love it just the way it is. And I do have a job! :)

The length of your blogs let you develop the conversation to examine ramifications and some sidebands, things I think are necessary to effective communication. My favourite science writers are yourself and Olivia Judson (The Wild Side; a NY Times blog). Both of you examine your subject mater in depth, and I like that.

It also helps that both of you are classy writers, something I merely aspire to be! :)

I wasn't actually fishing for affirmation, but thanks to everyone who doesn't mind the lengthy posts. :) I should have said that I realize regular readers appreciate the length; that's why you're regular readers. And this will remain the place where I explore those interesting sideroads and tangents.... The new blog will be good place to try a different style, is all.

A well-known writer once said that he could have made it shorter if he had more time. Keep writing the way it comes out here; practice terseness on your other blogs.

Speaking of crossbows - I saw the latest Narnia movie. In the battle scene, the Telmarines use a kind of giant trebuchet - but with a continuously-rotating arm with slings at both ends. The power source was not shown.

There's a fair bit of physics involved with these nasties: mv^2 all over the place, centrifugal force, throw distance as a function of weight and release angle, &c, and how you optimize the parts for maximum range and accuracy.

People still build large-scale trebuchets, to see how far they can throw things like pianos. That may be a too big for classroom demonstration, but maybe someone has built a little one that can do no more than throw a small boy across the lecture hall.

I love Jennifer's long posts, too, but her all-new short ones also kick butt! And writing short is definitely a challenge.
Anywho, thought I'd stop by and drop this link for all to see:
Feel free to tell everyone and their's brother's grandma about it :)

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.