Woe to the famous actor who dares to write a novel or start a band or design a line of clothing. The public can be awfully snobby about such extracurricular pursuits. We reward our children for cultivating a wide range of interests, but heaven forfend a celebrity who wanders away from the accepted script.[...]
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In 1931, Caltech invited Albert Einstein to spend some time on their campus, with the hopes that he might eventually join their faculty.
The Templeton Foundation asked some heavy-hitter thinkers to answer the question, “Does the Universe Have a Purpose”. Some said “Yes” and “Certainly.” Others concluded “Unlikely” and “No.[...]
Full disclosure: On my 7th grade report card, a sympathetic science teacher tempered a shockingly low grade with a handwritten note to my parents. Something to the effect of it being her opinion that my interest in theater would, ultimately, serve me far better than any information she was attempting to ram through my skull.[...]
If you never quite got a hang of quantum mechanics, you can take another run at it by watching four animated Ted-Ed primers, created by Chad Orzel, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Union College. He’s also the author of How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog.[...]
Last Friday saw the launch of The Digital Einstein Papers. Hosted by Princeton University Press, the web site gives web users free, online access to the The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein.[...]
If you’ve taken a good art history course on the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, you’ve inevitably encountered Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 masterpiece “Starry Night,” which now hangs in the MoMA in New York City. The painting, the museum writes on its web site, “is a symbolic landscape full of movement, energy, and light.[...]
I have no idea whether there’s intelligent life out there in the universe. But we can at least confirm that there’s a little intelligent life on Facebook, seeing that Stephen Hawking, the world’s best known theoretical physicist, began posting there yesterday.[...]
You’ve heard it before. A power ballad from the 1970s or 1980s is playing and there, smack in the middle, is a face-melting guitar solo that seems to go all over the place before blowing your mind with sheer awesomeness. Think Jimi Hendrix. Think Eric Clapton. And especially think Eddie Van Halen.[...]
Last fall, we let you know that Caltech and The Feynman Lectures Website joined forces to create an online edition of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. They started with Volume 1. And now they’ve followed up with Volume 2 and Volume 3, making the collection complete.[...]