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Showing posts from January, 2010

Picked up on oklo. w00t!

Greg Laughlin ( presents an excellent summary of the paper Kevin Apps and I published last year on the topic of the metal content of red dwarf stars and the associated implications for our understanding of exoplanets. Kevin and I presented these results in D.C. at the AAS meeting earlier this month. Science!

Are you ready for some (pixelated) football?

I got the old Playstation (first edition) out of the closet and Owen and I have been playing Madden '99 (yes, as in 1999). I've been letting Owen play the AFC Allstars and I've been the pre-Warner Rams. The graphics are pretty simple, but the game is still a lot of fun to play. Today, Owen beat me 35-28. On one of the plays the prerecorded John Madden remarked: "To effectively stop the running back you have to hit him on his side of the line of scrimmage." On a separate play, after a pass was broken up, he had this wisdom to offer: "To break up the pass you have to stop the ball from ever getting to the receiver." Funny, I don't remember Madden being that insightful in real life. Other highlights: Owen had no pass attempts but ran the ball 50 times for 427 yards with Terrell Davis setting the all-time NFL single-game rushing record.

More on strange math

As pointed out by Marshall in the comments, states without bans on gay marriage have shown much larger decreases in the divorce rate than states that have prohibited gay marriage. Of course, correlation does not equal causation, but as Nate Silver points out at , in the face of these data one certainly cannot say that gay marriage is detrimental to straight marriage. The evidence of society's imminent downfall are not in the stats... Not that there was really any doubt about this outcome. Straight people have been doing a perfectly good job of messing up marriages for years before gay people even thought about taking vows. Just ask Karl Rove. In case anyone forgot, Rove was the political strategist that put the fight over gay marriage at the forefront of the GOP agenda a decade ago as part of the "culture war." From his statement about his divorce: "the family requests that its privacy be respected." So when straight people get divorced, it's a pers

The strange math of marriage protection

I've been following along with the Federal Court case for marriage equity (Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 3:09-02292, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California). Since it's not on TV or even allowed on Youtube, I've been following along via a live-blogging session here . It's pretty riveting stuff. Here's a snippet of testimony from one of the plaintiffs: "In 2003 I proposed to Sandy without knowing that all this about gay marriage would happen in California. I wanted to propose because of how much I love her. We live in a hilly part of Berkeley. I took her for a walk. I sat down on a rock with her, took out a ring out and asked if she’d marry me. She said yes, but she said, “how will we do that?” So we had to invent a way to marry. We started figuring out the day, the place, who we’d like to have marry us... That was February 2004 for us." It all sounds like a pretty normal story about how "I met my wife." It's a personal story about tw