Archive for April 20, 2017

Important Announcement

Posted in Uncategorized on April 20, 2017 by telescoper

Right now. Pay attention, everyone.

In view of a sudden and unexpected increase in visits to this blog arising from specific Google searches, I feel that in order to avoid potential disappointment I should make it clear that the Anthony Garrett who comments regularly on posts here is not this Anthony Garrett:

Moreover, as far as I am aware,  the Anthony Garrett who comments on here has never been a professional photographic model nor has he ever lived in Miami.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

P.S. If the other Anthony Garrett would like to get in touch with me privately, he is most welcome to do so.

Interview with Daniela Saadeh: winner of the IOP Gravitational Physics Group (GPG) thesis prize

Posted in Uncategorized on April 20, 2017 by telescoper

On a much happier note, here is an interview with Daniela Saadeh, who won this year’s IOP Gravitational Physics Thesis Prize.

I’m reblogging this one as I happened to be external examiner for Daniela’s PhD!


Daniela SaadehDaniela Saadeh – UCL Astrophysics Group

CQG is proud to sponsor the IOP Gravitational Physics Group (GPG) thesis prize. This year the prize was awarded to Daniela Saadeh, who we have interviewed below. Congratulations Daniela!

Can you tell us a little bit about the work in your thesis?

A fundamental assumption of the standard model of cosmology is that the large-scale Universe is isotropic – i.e. that its properties are independent of direction. Historically, this concept stemmed from the Copernican Principle, the philosophical statement that we do not occupy a ‘special’ place in the Universe. In physical terms, this idea is converted into the assumption that all positions and directions in the Universe are equivalent, so that no observer is ‘privileged’.

However, assumptions must be tested, especially foundational ones. General relativity – our standard theory of gravity – allows for many ways in which spacetime could be anisotropic: directional…

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Punched Out

Posted in Mental Health on April 20, 2017 by telescoper

A tragic and harrowing  last blog post from an academic who took his own life yesterday. I suspect his thoughts resonate with many academics. They certainly do with me. But don’t get the wrong idea about my reasons for reblogging the article. I am not, and never have been, suicidal.  I just thing it is important to at least try to understand why.

Please read the article, and then read some of the comments following it and despair.

‘What a piece of work is Man.”

Will Opines

Assuming I did not botch the task, by the time this posts I will have been dead via suicide for several hours.  Nope, that’s not a setup to a joke.[1]

Why would someone who is healthy, employed, has every outside appearance of success, and so on, take their own life? In my case the answer is simple enough: I was done, but my body wasn’t.  But that answer isn’t satisfying, so, for those who are aggrieved, upset, saddened, etc., let me do my best to try to explain.

And lest you imagine me some sort of sad human whom you should pity, I have never had that view of myself (aside from the occasional pity party, of course).  I did struggle with that self perception on and off as an adolescent and teen.  But since becoming a young adult I came to understand myself as a remarkably privileged human…

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