My Photo


  • 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")
Blog powered by Typepad
Bookmark and Share

« fermentable frivolities | Main | the legend of finn mccool »


The game of spotting a physicist (or more appropriately in my case, an astronomer) at the airport while heading to a meeting is common amongst our kind. I am quite good at it, as is my wife, in fact. I call this innate ability "nerdar".

Of course, this would be the year I skip the March meeting, and thus miss another chance to meet you in person!

On the plus side - it's nice to have a week free of seminars and meetings, as many of my colleagues are in Denver. Now to get into the lab and get ahead of them!

I'll be in DC at the end of April, to give a talk as part of the DOE's sponsored National Science Bowl competition. If you're around then, please say hey.

and Phil - "nerdar" - excellent!


So, how much for an airline ticket for Jen-Luc Piquant? Does she travel light?

As i recall, Hobbes always went for free when Calvin traveled. Two for the price of one. Well, Calvin's folks paid for the whole trip. So, maybe there's a free launch after all.

Ah, yes, spot the physicist. At my very first APS meeting in Crystal City VA (Washington DC) in the mid-eighties, my wife and toddler daughter came along. After checking in at the hotel, I didn't know what to do next. My wife said, "Why don't you ask that guy over there? He has a beard and a plaid shirt." Of course he was able to point me toward the meeting registration. I myself, though bearded, was attired in a suit, so of course nobody could possibly have identified me as a physicist... right.

So, did the meeting participants miss the abstract book, or did they manage OK without it? I'm on the APS cmtte for meetings (how obscure is that?) and was the one who argued to do away with the abstract book. So, thanks for any feedback!

I'm adding "nerdar" to my lexicon.

Jim: Alas, I am moving to Los Angeles permanently on April 25. one of these days we'll both be in the same city at the same time!

As for the March Meeting Bulletin changes, I can't speak for the meeting attendees, but my fellow science writers/reporters sorely missed the pocket session guide...

Hmm, spotting a scientist on a plane. Sounds easy enough. But can you tell the scientist from the serial killer?

I found this a few years back and your posting reminded me of it. I know it's about computer scientists and not physicists, but the species are very closely related, are they not?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    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.