Sunday, March 29, 2009

An MD in China

I learned this past week that one of my own family didn't know the story of my seeing a doctor while on the China trip in October 2007. It's a good story and I wrote about it on my work blog. The best details are in the comment.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Freeman Dyson

Richard Feynman is one of my heroes. Feynman is no longer alive, but one of the many interesting people who intersected with him is: Freeman Dyson. (Freeman Dyson wrote the Foreward to The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman.)

The New York Times Magazine has a long article about Freeman Dyson: The Civil Heretic. It is well worth reading.

What is science? Dyson's answer (in the NYT article) is similar to Feynman's (here): Science is doubting the experts.

In 1966 Feynman said: "There is a considerable amount of intellectual tyranny in the name of science." (source) I think Dyson would agree that is still true today.

UPDATE: The NYT Magazine article on Freeman Dyson hit a nerve. Here are two followup NYT blog posts (with numerous links and comments):

John Tierney: Tragedy Is Not Freeman Dyson’s Business

Andrew Revkin: Some Inconvenient Thinkers

FURTHER UPDATE: See also Freeman Dyson in his own words and If it hadn't been for the war...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sugar on Snow

Yesterday Bill hosted a sugar on snow party at the sugarhouse. Travis, aka Aquaman, was visiting from Hawaii. (Hollie, sorry you couldn't be here, too!) All of our children were home for the weekend, and it was a chance for many of the cousins to get together. Alas, Jen was the only one of the Cole cousins around this weekend. Clockwise, from the bottom of the stairs: Travis, Laura, Brian, Andrew, Jen, Jason, Pager, Emily and Jerry:

Well, it wasn't just sugar on snow. We had a delicious dinner, too:

The kitchen crew:

That's Bill, Donna, Nancy and Emily above. Somehow I managed not to get a picture of Beth, who helped Nancy with dinner.

And here's what we came for, sugar on snow:

Brian seems to like that T-shirt, do you think? (See the last photo at that link. The T-shirt is from Hatchland Farm in North Haverhill, NH, the home of "Wicked Good!" milk. Sugar on snow is wicked good, too!)

There were two articles about sugaring in today's Burlington Free Press:

Vermont's sweet season in full swing
The real March madness? Sugaring.

Bill reports a good sugaring season so far, with perhaps half a crop made to date. That is good for this point in the season. We had pretty much lost our snow, but last night we had a couple of inches fall, which is good for sugaring.

Next weekend is the Vermont Maple Open House Weekend. Bill's sugarhouse will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday.