Saturday, February 06, 2010

one step behind

A busy week filled with the likes of Mozart and Mahler, Lin, Lunin and Maldacena, a touch of hanzi, some couchsurfing, plenty of mathematica, pondering over entropy and density matrices, causality and Greens functions, a little genetics from MIT (an incredible online course that I would recommend to anybody who wants to know the fundamentals of modern genetics and more besides - Eric Lander is an inspiring lecturer!), organising conferences, postdoctoral seminar groups and journal clubs, and a little more besides. Consequently as I continue with an admixture of the above today I shall leave you with a link to an article I wrote for a Taiwanese online magazine after a former couchsurfer asked if I could contribute something related to new results on planetary formation models. Given that I'm no expert on this subject I figured it best to discuss only the basics of the result and to focus on what generalities can be drawn about the scientific approach as a whole. The article can be found here.

P.S. A public acknowledgment of a linguistic weakness: I'm finally up to 1000 individual Chinese characters (that's taken me around a year's serious study with three previous years studying passivly). This so far adds up to around 2000-3000 composite words, but there are still a few similar characters that in simplified Chinese are so close I keep tripping up on these basics. Today I've been struggling withand . (cheng (completed), huo (maybe), xian (salty)). These three along with 同,间,向,何,问,珂 are my current personal Chinese demons.

3 comments:

toomanytribbles said...

i'm puzzled how you can possibly confuse such obviously different symbols!
;-)

Jonathan Shock said...

As I had hoped, simply taking the move to write them in the blog has helped and I think I'm on top of all these (including the xiang, tong, wen, he, ke etc.) characters now!

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Ghazala Khan
The Pakistani Spectator
pakspectator.com