Friday, 30 September 2011

The odd couple: part 3.

Touche, old man. You have closed the door and turned up the heating in the office. And on a particularly hot day. Touche.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

People who should not be allowed to publish.

Those who think the Dirac equation should be written with the \alpha and \beta matrices.

The phantom of the....

...yes, that. The arXiv is flooded with papers about sterile neutrinos (did they pass through South Korea? Zinnnnnger!) going faster than light, or not, or clocks not being synchronised properly or yawn.

I love it. A hundred peope jumping onto a bandwagon. If opera's results hold up/fall down then maybe one of them will have found a good explanation/good explanation. Hello TopCite. On the other hand, even if it ultiamtely all fades away, those papers will gather citations at a pleasing pace while the hullabaloo continues. We like citations.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The odd couple: part 2.

Today I turned down the air conditioning in the office by 5 degrees C. Take that, you old bugger. We'll see who gives up first. If you want it to warm back up in here, then I want the door open. Otherwise you will be freezing your scrawny arse off by the end of the week. It's up to you!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The odd couple.

I am away on a research visit.

I share the office with a Russian so bent and hawk-nosed that with sufficient speed and incentive to inhale I could give the room a thorough vacuuming.

The office is not cold. I arrive early and prop the door open with the remains of a chair. The Russian arrives. There is an awkward pause while he surveys the new arrangement.

"Do you want it like that?" he asks.

"Yes, if you don't mind."

He shuffles toward the door. "We can do it like this." he says. His dry twig fingers flake and crack as he acts out his idea of compromise. He drops the latch, so the door will not lock. And then he closes it.

Two weeks of this left.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Copy editing, part 2.

Let me be clear. I would not cross the street for a physical review copy-editor if they were on fire.