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Femion » 2007 » October

In case you wanted a taste of life in my dorm room…

October 27th, 2007

Then play these two songs as loud as possible, leave the door open and go into the room right next to it. Then imagine having to listen to that every single day, from noon until 2 in the morning.
Yes, dear friends and relatives, these are apparently my neighbor’s two favourite songs:


Now imagine trying to do topology or second year calculus homework in that environment. Luckily, I have a best friend and boyfriend with quieter rooms.
Ugh. It’s starting up again.

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Gazette #26 - Lisa Randall Speaks

October 23rd, 2007

Tying quantum Strings

This was a summary of the annual Guptill lecture. String theory may be weird and interesting, and Randall may be charismatic, but I don’t want to go into particle physics.

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Gazette #25 - Up the Knee of the Curve

October 12th, 2007

Everything is Exponential

This week covers The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil. Next week will cover the Guptill lecture, which was given this year by Lisa Randall and was about string theory and dimensions. It was a really good lecture, especially entertaining for the questions. On guy got up and said, “I don’t want to sound like the village idiot, but I happen to have actually experienced three or four extra dimensions, and I understand some of what you’re saying, but some of it doesn’t make sense… So I’m wondering: Do I need to learn from you or should you be learning from me?”

Randall’s answer: “Why don’t you ask the people you meet in those dimensions?”

On another note, I had my first midterm today. My first midterm ever. I think it went pretty well. I studied for it! I’ve also started to volunteer for Andrew Rutenberg’s research group. Sounds like I’m going to be using C to develop some computer models to explain how which cyanobacteria in a filament know that they have to turn into nitrogen fixers (essentially commit suicide for the good of the colony). I’m interested in it because it’s sort of like nanotechnology in that Rutenberg’s lab is treating the bacteria as little machines. I’m not getting paid for it, but I’ll probably learn some good skills and I might get another publication out of it.

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Gazette #24 - Law of Attraction

October 7th, 2007

Thinking your way to the top

An investigation of the Law of Attraction. There’s a motivational speaker who charges 45$ to talk in Antigonish and Halifax about his bullshit about the Law of Attraction. Dalhousie even pays him to come in and do seminars for the profs.

I called him over the phone, told him I was a writer for the Dal Gazette, but didn’t tell him that I wrote the skeptic column. Protip: you can tell it’s pseudoscience if you ask for what scientific theories and evidence support his claims, and he points you to a book by Deepak Chopra.

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