Friday, April 20, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (v32)



--1--
First, a belated congratulations to Dr Megan Creasy, who has successfully defended her PhD thesis last Friday. And it only took 6 years, which is reasonably quick for a physics doctorate these days. So congrats, Meg! May your postdoc be swift and your career happy.

--2--
Speaking of Phd's in physics, I may complete mine next year, if all goes well (and if nothing breaks). So wrote my adviser to my PhD committee in my 12th semester review. He said summer 2013, and I've been targeting fall of that year. Let's hope that actually happens (e.g. no more "the laser is down all semester" as was the case this last fall). I do, in any case, have a very clear (and theoretically straightforward) path to completion. Right now, I'm a bit bogged down by not having the parts I need (and most of the vendors/manufacturers I've talked to can't make such parts, or at least said they'd need 4-6 months and $20k-25k "ballpark"). It's not like it will be the end of the world if it takes the extra time, but I'd rather finish sooner than later.

--3--
Speaking of the end of the world, here is an e-card was passed my way:
As for Dick Clark, may he rest in peace.

--4--
For some good dog-gone puns (and a couple of jokes besides), refer to Mr Nathanael Blake's recent post about this election cycle (and how doggedly persistent are the candidates and pundits in their ridiculousness).

--5--
In one of the footnotes in The Science Before Science, Dr Anthony Rizzi notes that the word "modern" was coined in the middle ages. However accurate that statement is, the terms "medieval" and "middle ages" were certainly coined in the modern times. And ours is the supposedly forward-looking age.

--6--
Most Christians love a good conversion story, and we Catholics are no exception. However, I've often thought that those of us who were "cradle" Catholics (or cradle Christians in general) often downplay our own faith stories. It's as if the only way to have had an interesting life is to have left home (the Church) and then returned. Alternatively, starting somewhere else and then discovering "home" also makes for a good story. It's only the person who chooses to stay home whose story is thought boring, not least by the person himself. I wonder how much of this is the modern conditioning that life must be lived away from the home if it is to be meaningful, that staying home and having a good family life is a wasted or worthless use of life, or at the very least requires no amount of work (see, for example, the recent flare up between Ms Hilary Rosen and Mrs Ann Romney) and contains no adventure.

--7--
Well, I have office hours today, and students are starting to peek in the door as I finish this. I guess that means it's time to quit writing.

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Seven Quick Takes Friday is hosted by Mrs Jennifer Fulwiler at her Conversion Diary blog.

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