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« mummy sings the blues | Main | makes me wanna yodel »


Good post. I enjoy reading eclectic topics like this.
BTW a sort of apology to Janet Blumberg--I wasnt calling HER
an innumerate humanist, but since she liked the moniker, she
can have it. Someone on The Reference Frame called me "The Master of
the Universe"---hmmm, I think I'll claim that one before Mr Deity ( of Cosmic Variance and youtube) adopts it.

Nit pick in an otherwise excellent article:

Different instruments playing the same note can be identified by the different mix of overtones (often harmonics of the fundamental, but not always) characteristic of that instrument. So it is not the pitch of the note being played (which is the same for each instrument, say middle C), but rather the pitch(es) of its overtones that tell us a violin is not an oboe, or that an electric guitar is not an acoustic guitar.

FYI, the coolest brain-hearing effect I know of is "binaural beats". (Not sure of the spelling.) You can hear "beating" between two nearby frequencies even if they are fed separately into your two ears.

Nice article, I agree.

Nit pick on the nit pick:

Pitch refers to the placement of the sound on a scale as being either high or low, like musical notes are placed on a musical scale. So, a sound can have a pitch, which the fundamental frequency is often associated with that pitch (e.g. A4 is tuned to 440 Hz) but it does not have more than one pitch. We talk about the frequencies of the partials (often in harmonic relation).

What you described was the timbre of the sound, which is closely associated with the sound's spectrum.

Speaking of NDE and personal ones, have you ever written about your own near drowning on the Green River and almost lost your rescuer?

interesting article..first time visitor here..
There is a chance I could get smart if i continue to visit..
Why hold a conference in Salt lake..Boring town unless you ski..:)
probably got a good rate..

Nice strata.

Lab Lemming wrote: "Nice strata."

Aren't they, though? And they're even more impressive in real life. The photo I found doesn't quite do them justice. For one thing, the rocks are a more brilliant rust color...

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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.