In the meantime, a handful of items that have cropped up:
- If you go to the APS meeting, you can swing by the Cambridge University Press table, and pre-order my nano textbook for a mere $64. It's more than 600 pages with color figures - that's a pretty good deal. They will have a couple of bound proof copies, so you can see what it looks like, to a good approximation. If you teach a senior undergrad or first-year grad sequence on this stuff and think you might have an interest in trying this out as a text, please drop me an email and I can see about getting you a copy. (My editor tells me that the best way to boost readership of the book is to get a decent number of [hopefully positive] reviews on Amazon....)
- On a related note, you should really swing by the Cambridge table to order yourself a copy of the 19-years-in-the-making third edition of Horowitz and Hill's Art of Electronics. I haven't seen it yet, but I have every reason to think that it's going to be absolutely fantastic. Seriously, from the experimental physics side, this is a huge deal.
- This is a fun video, showing a "motor" made from an alkaline battery, a couple of metal-coated rare-earth magnets, and a coil of uninsulated wire. It's not that crazy to see broadly how it works (think inhomogeneous fields from a finite solenoid + large magnetic moment), but it's cool nonetheless.
- Here's an article (pdf) that's very much worth reading about the importance of government funding of basic research. It was favorably referenced here by that (sarcasm mode = on) notorious socialist organization (/sarcasm), the American Enterprise Institute.