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This article reminds me of a website I read about 8 years ago: This redefined the way I drive, since it illustrates quite nicely how one person can potentially eradicate a traffic wave or jam at the expense of a few minutes of commute time. In essence, altruistic driving taken to its most logical conclusion. Also, it doesn't hurt that it increases fuel efficiency significantly.

You are clearly advocating that we become mindless ant-people.

I usually resist going to meetings at UCLA because of traffic in I-10 and rarely do so. You might consider surface streets (Olympic or Pico Blvd). I shaved 30 minutes by doing that on one trip.

An unexpected bonus that morning was getting lost in Beverly Hills while trying to find Sunset Blvd. I didn’t know precisely where I was and didn’t really care. I had that saved time and the neighborhoods were amazing.

There you go again, politicizing da science. :)

And Ken, thanks SO much for spilling the beans on my secret route; Pico is the best by far. But now EVERYONE's going to be taking Pico. :)

A very enjoyable article. These are the answers to the questions I have when I get stuck in traffic (which thankfully is very rare)

Here's a video of the Nagoya University experiment.

Yet another reason Ants are freaking awesome. Dawkins gives a mind-blowing explanation of ants and other hive insects in "The Selfish Gene" and shows how "hive mentality", which is seemingly counter intuitive to the idea of natural selection, is actually one of the BEST functioning ways of ensuring one's own genes pass on to the next generation. The perfect nexus of socialism and selfishness. It's really a good thing these bastards are so small or they would seriously rule the earth.

You should read "Traffic" by Tom Vanderbilt! ( is the blog.) I picked it up at the library a few weeks ago, and it's one of those books that you babble about at everybody for a while thereafter. Lots and lots of stuff about why building more roads makes things worse, the psychology of merging, the role of corruption in bad traffic, etc., etc.

(And is there no public transportation option? I took the bus to school in Altadena/Pasadena when I was in high school, when it was still the RTD, and my kid sis took the Gold Line from Pasadena to CSU Northridge.)

Thanks for the book recommendation... And no, there is not really a workable public transportation option that would be preferable to me daily commute. The Gold Line is great, but goes only to very limited areas...

Buy a motorbike :)

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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.