Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wilczek's Grid

I'm still trying to muddle my way through Nobel Prize winning physicist Frank Wilczek's latest book about the nature of mass and trying to get clear about his notion of the Grid (and it's distinction from Lattice Quantum Gravity). The basic argument for mass is that the quarks cause a disturbance in the gluon field and that the localization energy it would require to exactly position an anti-quark to zero out the disturbance involves too much energy expenditure, therefore the net nonzero energy involved generates the mass (say, of a proton). The hand-waving necessary in a popular science book (and this is a very well-written one) has to do with

-two suggested explanations of dark matter (which seems to halo all exisiting galaxies) with very light minimally-interacting particles.
- the connection to SUSY and SO(10) and the ways the symmetry theories fold into a master theory of symmetries

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Don't Fear the Mini Black Hole

In honor of CERN's Large Hardron collider, a round-up of stories explaining how mini black holes, if they are created by the high energy collisions, do not pose a threat:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

RIP Don LaFontaine: The Voice

750,000 television spots, 5,000 movie trailers, 1 voice, Don LaFontaine has the most recognizable voice in the game right now. Here is the legend's story told by none other than the legend himself. RIP, Don, the moviegoing world will miss you.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Just Stop!


One of my designer colleagues sent me this link which was posted on Ugly Doggy and refers to very funny design firm humor about designing the Stop sign.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Too many decisions making you tired?

This explains the feeling I get in restaurants when the menu spans several pages: Tough Choices: How Making Decisions Tires Your Brain

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Faux Vintage plug-in design case study

This "tube delay" plug-in has the simulacra vintage texture/knob UI down pat: there's scratches in the vinyl covering, shading and some wear on the faux wood finish, bakelite knobs, fake cables and switches. Audio plug-in designers take note! They really should start teaching this

From the Harmony Central press release:
Softube is now shipping the Tube Delay plug-in for VST, AU and RTAS. Tube Delay is available today at the Softube web shop ($99 excl. VAT).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

TV converter box discount coupons

I'm not really convinced by the TV converter box coupon program and I think that's what the cable companies and the TV manufacturers are counting on. People like us who only watch PBS for a few minutes each evening are not exactly anyone's cash cow. At least ABC streams Lost episodes the day after being initially broadcast.