Monday. More interesting stuff

This seems to be an easy thing for me to do, putting up these links to articles and stuff that are interesting and worth a look. I’m going to be doing this frequently till my D-day is past. Anyway, on to the stuff:

1) This past week saw truly groundbreaking achievements in Physics. One of them was the first Bose-Einstein Condensate of photons. I will readily confess that I know nothing of these things beyond the name. But as far as I could make out, photon BECs were either thought impossible, or were never actually synthesised until now. You might note that the people who first created a BEC won a Nobel for their work. The paper is available from arXiv.

The other is perhaps conjectural (I know less of this than the previous thing, if that’s at all possible) and is Roger Penrose’s work with cosmic background radiation and a theory that aims to explain what happened ‘before’ the Big-Bang. ‘Before’ the Big-Bang, you ask? Yes. Apparently, some parts of the cosmic background radiation is consistent with being from before the current ‘aeon’. And Penrose claims that this theory should replace Inflation. The paper is available from arXiv.

2) Srinivas points out that if you have some spare time, you might consider transcribing the 106 tapes of audio that seem to have taken the Indian media world by such storm. Did Barkha Dutt or Vir Sanghvi act as lobbyists for some political party? Well, go listen. (And type.)

3) Do you like radio? Are you also perhaps an open-source fan? Well, here’s Linux Radio, a site that reads out the Linux operating system’s kernel, one random file at a time! Asterisks and slashes and <includes> included! [Hat tip: Slashdot]

4) And finally, like always, we end with some intelligent comics; it turns out both have something to do with incredulity.

First, Abstruse Goose and the tendency science reporters have to misreport stories:



And finally, Jesus and Mo, on the selective skepticism (perhaps ‘hypocrisy’ is a sharper word to use) of organised religion:



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