Saturday, May 10, 2008

The fun parts

In contrast to the previous post, there have been some fun parts of the job lately. Today was commencement, which is always amusing - I get to play dress-up and look like a real academic. If only point 4 in this list was true, then commencement would be much more exciting.

In the lab we've had some genuinely weird data come along, and that can be fun, too. In one kind of structure we're observing a phenomenon that is completely reproducible but for which we have essentially no sensible explanation. We've been messing around with this for a month, and every time we come up with a plan, thinking we know what's going on, nature turns around and proves us wrong. Whatever is going on, it seems interesting. When we figure it out enough to write it up, I'll discuss it further here.

Lastly, after a trip to the movies last week I had the shocking realization that Rice is now partnering with Stark Industries. Sweet. I need to get one of those flying suits.

6 comments:

sylow said...

You need to hire Pepper Potts as your assistant. I am afraid you are not a billionaire playboy though!

chad said...

Seeing as how many superheroes (and villains!) have received their powers in lab accidents, maybe you should try hanging around next to the big magnet with a flask of mercury during a lightning storm. Something cool is *bound* to happen.

Doug Natelson said...

Sylow - my wife might object to that....

Chad - that's the great thing about Tony Stark. No superpowers. Just the intellectual ability needed to invent a fist-sized fusion reactor using scrap while held prisoner in a cave in Afghanistan. Of course, there are other possibilities. Now where did I put my supersoldier serum....

chad said...

I'm still waiting to hear back about my application to join the Green Lantern Corps.

Bernard said...

If only I could get over my fear of (radioactive) spiders...

Bernard said...

Regarding #4:
I don't know about swords. But the legend at CUA was that the Provost Marshall -- a position that, at universities, dates back to the University of Paris and their near-continual student riots and orgies (ah, the good old days) -- included an actual mace, used to club students into submission during graduation and other ceremonies. In fact, Dr. Paul Meijer (one of our graybeards) allegedly lobbied for the purely-ceremonial position of Provost Marshall just to get to wield the mace...