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Chad Orzel
12,724 followers
12,724 followers
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SteelyKid was thrown out at first because she didn't know to "tag up" on a fly ball in her softball game last night. Our discussion of the rule in question turned to some weird hypotheticals, which in turn led to this blog post for Forbes. So it's all good...


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New post at Forbes: A calmer version of the angry Twitter rant I posted last week in response to yet another article placing all the blame for breakdowns in science communication on scientists, and ignoring the role of the general public. 

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Prompted by an exchange on Twitter last week, some big-picture thoughts on what's really essential for an undergrad physics major.


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Prompted by a couple of blog posts on Giordano Bruno, a look at some of the modern concerns that lead writers to connect current scientific ideas to historical roots that really don't quite fit. New blog post for Forbes.

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The kerfuffle of the moment in my social media feeds is that doubt-sowing op-ed about climate change, which is founded in a misunderstanding (or misappropriation) of probability and uncertainty in science that is sadly popular regardless of ideology. At Forbes, I attempt to explain why rhetorical invocations of uncertainty and probability on a purely qualitative level are fundamentally flawed.


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Prompted by an article on science in the Arabic world (thus the file photo of a mosque in Oman), some thoughts on different things people mean when they say "science" and how they're more or less vulnerable to rising and falling.


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Some thoughts about why working too hard to design math and science classes to appeal to "humanities" majors may risk undermining the whole point of liberal education. Which sounds pompous written out like that, but you know, doing the "public intellectual" thing requires a certain amount of grandiosity...


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The sillyheads are staying with my parents this week, which gave me a little extra time this morning to finish writing a thing for Forbes about quantum computing, and why it's only a big win for a limited set of problems. 

I asked this on Twitter, but experience suggests there may be more people with Opinions reading here, so I'll break my non-promotional G+ silence for a question:

My laptop appeared to be completely dead yesterday, though that seems to be some issue with the battery not seating properly. It's from 2011, though, and while it's still working well in most respects, the battery life is definitely an issue, and it's likely to go belly-up soon. But I don't really want to throw cash at a new laptop just yet.

I might, however, be willing to part with Crhomebook-ish levels of cash for something that I can take to Starbucks without worrying that I'm going to jiggle the battery the wrong way and kill it. I'm still a bit uncertain about that, though, especially as most of the work I do on the laptop involves editing Office documents of various types. Also, the entirely cloud-based thing makes me uneasy; are you able to do anything with them in places with no wi-fi?

So, anybody have experience with these? The reviews I read of the high-end Samsung Chromebook seem sort of attractive, but I'm not sure. Anybody know anything useful about these in real-world situations?


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A new one from the "quantum physics is really strange" file: an experiment that takes a single photon and puts it in a superposition of "operation-A-then-operation-B" and "operation-B-then-operation-A." Which is plenty weird, but I don't think it actually messes up causality. I'm glad I wasn't the grad student who had to align those optics, though...


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