Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

An ordinary Sunday evening

May 6, 2012

It’s 6 pm on Sunday evening in Trieste. I am walking by the train station, almost at the end of the long (about 90 minutes) walk from the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, of which I am a guest this Spring, to my downtown apartment. The end of my European stay is quickly approaching; I am about to spend my last month here frantically trying to finish all the projects that I started — that’s how things always go.
In a week, however, I shall be visiting a collaborator in Strasbourg. I am going there by train.
That reminds me, I do not have my train ticket yet… might as well get it now.

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Does not get much sillier than this…

June 14, 2011

… aka, the xkcd wikipedia meme

All right, it has been a while since last time I did this kind of stuff. I saw it at VWXYNOT? (where else, eh ?), who got it through Drugmonkey via WhizBang!
I figured I would give it a shot too — it is Summer after all (almost), so blogging is slow. So, here we go:

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Quiz: What university administrator are you ?

September 7, 2010

What kind of university administrator would you be ? The type who lets a lot of resources go to waste on unproductive activities, allows faculty to slack off, and ultimately oversees an inefficient use of taxpayers’ money ?
Would you aggressively seek to rein in frivolous expenses, steadfastly make the necessary cuts (even deep ones), and keep employees (faculty, that is) on their toes ?
Would you deliver inspiring speeches, be relentless in your appeals to an unwavering pursuit of excellence ?
Well, look no further — here is a simple test aimed at giving you the answer to that very question. It is structured in the form of a multiple-choice test, just to make grading simpler.
Try and answer each question truthfully and find out at the end: do you have what it takes to administer me ?

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The beautiful game

June 10, 2010

I would like to quote from Wikipedia:
The phrase “The Beautiful Game” is a synonym for European football.
Gotta love Wikipedia. Simple. To the point. Splendidly accurate.

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Not to brag or anything, but…

May 12, 2010


Hello,

I’m pleased to announce to you that your blog Exponential Book; just entered at number 207 in Wikio Sciences top blog ranking.
Wikio is an information portal with a news search engine that searches press sites and blogs.
As you are now part of Wikio’s ranked blogs , we offer you the opportunity to set up a badge , which is automatically updated each month (the 5th), that displays your blog’s position in your Top Blog category. The badge is the simplest way for your readers and yourself to follow your blog’s evolution.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions or if you want me to send your badge’s HTML code directly via email.
Have a nice day,

[name omitted]
Community Executive @ Wikio US

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Spam

February 15, 2010

Am I the only one who is getting like, two or three of these a day ? I keep unsubscribing and yet I keep getting them…. I don’t know if they just change the name of the journal each time, but…. Publisher, can you please stop this ? Thank you.

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Nerdy stuff

June 21, 2009

I thought that the nerdiness of the Perimeter Institute‘s bar (named hbar) and restaurant (named Pi) could not be topped. Alas, I was wrong. The Physics Department at University of Manchester (UK) can give the Perimeter Institute a run for the money. Check out their own bar:

The "Error Bar"

Their own advertisement reads “there are no mistakes in our coffee”, which I guess betrays a somewhat limited and confused understanding of what an “error” is in physics… but hey, it is the thought that counts, right ?
Can it get any geekier than this ?

Just toss it, Sir

June 16, 2009

It’s 11 am on Tuesday, and I am at the Piccadilly train station in Manchester (UK), headed toward London and about to board the train to Reading. Train leaves at 11:27 so I think, oh, what the hell, I shall have something to eat. I purchase a hot cocoa with a croissant, sit on a bench and consume the food — hey, it is not even that bad, by British standards — but, I digress.
I stand up and look for a trash bin, to dispose of my paper cup and bag. Hmm…. funny, I do not see any. I figure, there must be one somewhere, I shall look for it — after all, the train station is spotless clean.

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End of the week…

May 15, 2009

Some random thoughts to end the week:
1) Why is it that in 2009 one still has to pay to get an internet connection at home, at the hotel, at the airport, everywhere ? Why is wireless connectivity, paid for by taxpayers, not available in all major cities, regions, countries, much like public transportation or any other kind of infrastructure ? Are communication companies that powerful ? Why is it still unavailable on trains and airplanes ?

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An exclusive interview with the blogger

February 9, 2009

In one of my ever more frequent moments of self-adulation, I gave in to ScientistMother’s apparently harmless interview offer. Why not, I thought — it is an easy way to produce a post. After all, what kind of questions could possibly be coming my way… “What is your favorite ice cream flavor ?”… “Do you think the name of the soccer player belongs on the back of his jersey ?”… “emacs or vi ?”…
Alas, the interviewer (a shrewd, career-minded reporter, eyeing a spot on some prime time investigative TV show) decided to go on the offensive, doubtless trying to land her big scoop by exposing to the public some yet unknown trait of my multi-faceted personality… I know these people, nothing is ever off limits when dealing with a celebrity…
Now I have to answer really sticky questions, each one fraught with danger; only my experience of consumed bullsh… I mean, blogger, can save me… Well, I say bring it on, young lady — my weapons will be my wit, my cowardice and my legendary lameness.

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