19 January 2009 - 20:17They let me off with a warning


On the way back from buying more Tequila (never a good start to a sentence when the law is involved) I was stopped by one of Santa Fe’s finest. He wanted to see both my license and Dave Bacon’s, who wasn’t even driving. But the officer was very nice and let us be on our way when he determined we didn’t have any outstanding warrants and weren’t (yet) drunk. Thanks to us, the QIP2009 after party was saved!

No Comments | Tags: personal, physics

7 August 2008 - 23:35I can haz new camera out of my face?

Kali looking cute

I finally got my new camera. It’s a Panasonic TZ5. I ordered it with some trepidation from buydig.com but it came in less than twenty four hours. No tax, free shipping. Can’t beat that!

1 Comment | Tags: cats, personal

7 July 2008 - 12:17Mad photoshop skillz?

1 Comment | Tags: personal

22 May 2008 - 15:35Where in the world is John?

Currently in: Israel

my eye looking silly

Ok, so I’m actually back home now. I got distracted and never managed to actually post this while I way away. Pictures to come soon.

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3 April 2008 - 11:36Would have me as a member?

Below is my application to join the LFHCfS. I sent it in a week ago and have heard back nothing at all. I thought perhaps the email got lost since the attached picture was quite large so I wrote them a reminder yesterady—still nothing. Several other members have appeared since my application. I feel so unloved.

I would like to join the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists. The attached photo should attest to the luxuriant flowingness of my hair. I am a physicist working for IBM Research on quantum information theory. My scientific credentials are demonstrated by this url, which lists my papers archived on the quant-ph archive: http://arxiv.org/find/quant-ph/1/au:+Smolin_J/0/1/0/all/0/1. I was also the 2006 Time Magazine Person of the Year.

My application is somewhat urgent, as a colleague of mine has vowed to cut my hair for me if I do not do it myself as of tax day (April 15) 2008. Though I cannot be sure if this would-be Delilah will make good his threat, I feel I should join the LFHCfS while I am still able.


John A. Smolin

(A note on my mustache: The mustache was produced by the expedient act of shaving off the rest of my beard. This has done as a “costume” for a Yacht-rock Karaoke night representing my best attempt to look like a 1970s porn star. Though its tenure was brief, it did, for one brief shining night, flow luxuriantly forth from atop my upper lip.)

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22 December 2007 - 19:20Back from India

Taj Mahal with cart

I’m back from India, where I was for QIP2008. (click on the picture to see the full width until I figure out a wordpress setup that is wider)

Aram Harrow had a good bad idea when we were discussing the preference for boy children and the abortion of girls. We had just seen a sign advertising ultrasound imaging, and someone said they thought that had been made illegal in order to prevent such sex-based abortions. This doesn’t make much sense as the procedure is important for many other diagnostic reasons and I don’t think it’s true, based on a quick googling. Though it may be illegal for the doctor to tell you the sex of the fetus, something which is true in Korea anyway, coincidentally coming up in a New York Times article just today on how things are starting to balance out there.

Aram’s idea is to adapt technology used to blur out the naughty bits in airport screening X-rays which can see though your clothes to prenatal ultrasounds. Silly as it sounds, it might actually be a good idea. Though I doubt this could work–any blurring of the image would risk missing important diagnostic information. Of course, it is claimed that the airport security screeners won’t miss any concealed weapons compared to the unblurred images. This also seems unlikely. A penis shaped gun doesn’t seem like much of a stretch.

No Comments | Tags: idea, personal, politics