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Hammerspace should not be confused with Hammertime.

[taken from Hammerspace]

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Science again! I said science again!


So, guess who has an autographed copy of Sean Carroll’s new book The Making of the Fittest?

OK, considering where you’re reading this, you can probably hazard a guess. But wouldn’t you like to know how I got one? No? Too bad.

The Carnegie Institution down in D.C. has a roughly-monthly free science lecture series. Go ahead, click that link; I dare you to find one that doesn’t sound interesting.

Wednesday’s lecture was given by, you guessed it, Sean Carroll, wherein he talked about all sorts of evidence of evolution we’ve discovered thanks to our newfound ability to study genomes. The talk had everything: fish with antifreeze for blood, rodents living in desert lava flows (a domestic version of the famous peppered moths, birds that see ultraviolet light so they can find vole urine trails, Monty Python, and more! He even managed to hold off plugging his book until the Q&A session that ensued.

Needless to say, he was on hand to sign copies of his book, an opportunity I availed myself of.

Also, for the record, last month’s talk on supersymmetry was also very interesting. Dr. Gates did a great job explaining how supersymmetry relates to both “normal” particle physics and string theory and how experiments at the LHC will test it, and doing so in a way that didn’t presuppose any familiarity on the subject in the audience. (How does one pull off such a feat? Lots of animations helps.)

As an added bonus, you get to walk past the Iraqi embassy on the way from Dupont Circle to the Carnegie Institution. You know, in case you want to pick up a contact insurgency.

If the quality of the talks I’ve attended so far is any indication, if you have even the slightest interest in science, it’d be well worth it to check them out.

(Note to the junk mailers in the audience: yes, I learned about these talks from somehow getting on the Carnegie Institution mailing list. Just because I made an exception for them doesn’t mean I’m still not going to put any of the junk you want to send me directly into the shredder.)