Tuesday, July 08, 2008


  • I went Google searching a colleague in order to find info on his latest unpublished work and came across his page on RateMyProfessors. Keep in mind, this guy is widely and highly regarded, and is a nice guy. So I'm not sure what it says about me personally that it gave me some pleasure reading all the very negative comments about his teaching. My own comments reflect that I'm a bit tough, but otherwise good (with a few scatterings of negative reviews just to ensure I don't appear too easy).
  • These physics toys might be of interest.
  • Do you play the lottery? Your odds may be even less that than you think. I don't quite get the lottery. State governments mandate a state-sponsored monopoly on gambling, presumably with some justification along the lines of, "Well, if the people want gambling, we'll provide a safe and secure way." And then they go and advertise it? Do they want to generate more gambling? If so, then why not just legalize it for non-state sponsored gambling. If not, then "provide" the lottery, but do not advertise it.
  • Gizmodo link dump:

  • Is it just me or does the physics blogosphere seem a bit boring lately?


Anonymous said...

The lottery: a tax on hopelessness.

Anonymous said...

> does the physics blogosphere seem a bit boring lately?

I think the (hot)air came out quite a while ago...

Anonymous said...

*Is it just me or does the physics blogosphere...*

How about some comment on the QG conference in the UK?

Did you go? or have you heard any reaction from those who did?

Anonymous said...


State lotteries are a politically popular way to raise revenue. After all, it's not an involuntary tax on the rich, but a voluntary entertainment for the poor.

I grew up in New Hampshire, which was the first state to have a state lottery in the modern era. New Hampshire doesn't have a sales tax or an income tax, so it raises money from lottery tickets and state liquor stores. (Kind of like buying booze in communist Russia)

Now I live in New York and I find it shocking that we've got $20 scratch tickets. I can't understand why people gamble, but it's popular with many people.

Anonymous said...

I think some of us, at least, are suffering from summer doldrums, maybe even a bit of blogger burnout -- plus lots of folks are on vacation. There's bound to be a lull now and then. I predict with great confidence that things will pick right up again in the fall.

Angry said...

Paul: I get why people gamble, I like to myself (and my experience is that, from a group of physicists, maybe only a fourth are willing to gamble with money, and probably only about half as many who know how). But the point here isn't about the purpose of the lottery, but instead why a state-sanctioned monopoly on gambling should spend money to advertise.

Your "great confidence"...are you just a complete optimist or are you being coy about some sort of inside information?

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Lottery winners said...

Interesting post. I agree with Paul, State lotteries has always been a politically correct way to raise revenue. Nobody is forced to purchase the tickets, its a voluntary source of entertainment for people of all status. And when things get legalized people would definitely do that with more confidence.

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