this week i

parked d2, flew to raleigh with its carolina blue, foster's mac and cheese, steel string beer.  teresa replaced pita with naan, weighty chess pieces replaced starcraft.  ben folds composed an impromptu symphony, howard's bohemian rhapsody better tho.  we hiked rhododendron trail and chilled

read about a dakota digsite's purported snapshot of life at the moment of chicxulub (the kt boundary)

stripe of black about the thickness of a notebook

a ct technician scanned it for free in the middle of the night, when the machine was idle.  inside the nodule was a broken tyrannosaur tooth; the hadrosaur had been bitten by a tyrannosaur and escaped

any cretaceous mammal burrow is incredibly rare..but this one is impossible - it's dug right through the kt may have been born in the cretaceous and died in the paleocene..and to think - sixty-six million years later, a stinky monkey is digging it up

read the pleasure of finding things out by richard feynman

to not know mathematics is a severe limitation in understanding the world


lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is so far as i can tell.  it doesn't frighten me


dehoffman is just the kind of guy to use a mathematical constant for his safe combination.  so the other important mathematical constant is e.  so i walk back to the safe, 27-18-28, click, clock, it opens


there is enough room on the head of a pin to put all of the encyclopaedia brittanica 


this bone box of mine


phosphorus that is in the brain of a rat (and also in mine, and yours) is not the same phosphorus as it was two weeks ago..all of the atoms that are in the brain are being replaced, and the ones that were there before have gone away.

so what is this mind, what are these atoms with consciousness?  last week's potatoes!  that is what now can remember what was going on in my mind a year ago - a mind which has long ago been replaced.

that is what it means when one discovers how long it takes for the atoms of the brain to be replaced by other atoms, to note that the thing which i call my individuality is only a pattern or dance.  the atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, then go out; always new atoms but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday

omni: are physical theories going to keep getting more abstract and mathematical?  could there be today a theorist like faraday in the nineteenth century, not mathematically sophisticated but with a very powerful intuition about physics?

feynman: i'd say the odds are strongly against it.  for one thing, you need the math just to understand what's been done so far.  beyond that, the behavior of subnuclear systems is so strange compared to the ones the brain evolved to deal with that the analysis has to be very abstract: to understand ice, you have to understand things that are themselves very unlike ice.  faraday's models were mechanical - springs and wires and tense bands in space - and his images were from basic geometry.  i think we've understood all we can from that point of view; what we've found in this century is different enough, obscure enough, that further progress will require a lot of math


tukey and i discovered that what goes on in different people's heads when they think they're doing the same thing - something as simple as counting - is different for different people