My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

2 Articles Tagged with “physics”

  1. An argument for immersion

    Lately Merlin Mann has been helping Spark listeners build their "Digital You." Implicit in this new series is the fact that technology is now an ingrained part of us--how we appear online is as important as how we dress in public. Your online presence, like your personality, can be diverse: open and inviting, cold and formal--whatever works for you and gets you the audience you want.

    The era of ubiquitous technology is upon us. Smartphones are getting smarter, the Internet is (at least in places other than Canada!) getting faster. And thanks to this ubiquity, we can always be connected.

    Often people claim, however, that disconnecting is the best way to improve productivity. Close all those email programs; close the chat program; don't go on Facebook; don't update Twitter. Multitasking, after all, makes us lose focus and be less productive, right?

    Those people are right. When it's possible for anyone to reach you, anywhere, at any time, you've become too connected. I love technology, and I love the Internet, but there is a point at which immersion makes it harder to sit down and focus--or even just relax.

    But I said that this was an argument for immersion, so here…

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  2. Rap video about physics = BEST THING EVER

    Have you ever looked at someone who is walking down the street listening to an MP3 player and said, "Gee, I wonder if that person is listening to a rap song about physics!"((If the answer is yes, and you haven't heard of the Large Hadron Rap, then you may be a closet physicist. Don't worry, there's support groups for those now.))

    Because that's what I spent most of Monday and yesterday doing. Seriously.

    Today marks the first circulation of particle beams through the Large Hadron Collider. This is the largest particle accelerator ever built--27 km in circumference! Soon scientists will begin high-speed particle collisions, and thousands of scientists from around the world will analyze the results of these experiments to help us better comprehend the universe.

    I love physics. It interests me almost as much as math does. I'm also one of those people who believe that science, especially physics, doesn't need to be inaccessible to laypeople. While you may not be able to grasp the more esoteric mathematics behind the theories, it is possible to distill it down to the most basic points. Katherine McAlpine managed to do just that with her Large Hadron Rap. If you…

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