Author Archives: Josh Witten

Science for the People: Science & Shakespeare

sftpThis week, Science for the People looks at the way science influenced the work of the greatest author in English, and what modern scholars think about its origins. We’re joined by journalist and author Dan Falk, to talk about his book The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright’s Universe. And we’ll speak to Shakespeare scholar and blogger Stanley Wells, for his perspective on the question of who actually wrote Shakespeare’s works.

*Josh provides research help to Science for the People and is, therefore, completely biased.

Spamalot

Sometimes, life is more fun when one’s email spam filters are just a wee bit leaky*.

Dear Sir/madam,

I would like to purchase a large quantity of goods with good quality from your company.Kindly get back to me with a price list I wait for your immediate response.

If I had any belief that there was someone on the other end of this metaphorical (but also kind of literal) line:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I regret to inform you that we sell very few goods and that they are of embarassingly poor quality. We charge a flate rate of one billion dollars.

*There is also the whole false positive/false negative issue. If you don’t want significant false positives (ie, missing an email about an important meeting), then you usually have to live with a few negatives (see above).

Protein Folding

I am contractually obligated to discuss the basics, the very basic basics, of protein folding with my class over the next week or so. This strip from Randall Munroe’s xkcd will be appearing in the lecture.

xkcd by Randall Munroe (CC BY-NC 2.5)

I will be watching closely for looks of recognition, which will allow me to evaluate how cool my students are. You decide which direction the “cool” runs on that one.

Pristine Beauty

MBanks-002_m

…the artworks have a pristine beauty, but warn of a polluted future.
-Mark Jenkins writing about Voyage of Discovery in the Washington Post

Science of the Lambs

Screenshot 2014-10-20 11.56.43To help get us in the mood for Halloween, our most recent SCInema target was the psychological thriller The Silence of the Lambs.

Some participants may have found the ease with which they could put their thesis advisor’s words into the mouth of a psychopathic killer a bit disturbing, that should not take away from your enjoyment of the sciencified quotes one bit.