Monday, February 11, 2008


I love to see scientists, particularly physicists, interacting with the broader culture. And vice versa, of course. That's why I was tickled to flip on Conan last Friday and see MIT physics professor Peter Fisher entertaining the crowd with science and wit.

No, I'm not joking; he was actually funny. See for yourself.

[EDIT: See bottom]

From this we can conclude:

  1. Physics is hilarious. And useful for everyday things. Seriously, I hope people have their curiosity aroused by this kind of demonstration and think, "Hey, these random questions I ask and then immediately forget about, I can actually find answers to them by using science!"

  2. The writer's strike is wreaking havok on the regular flow of programing. For the better.

Oh, and nutating is a cool word.

UPDATE: Well, NBC has asserted its right to not have its videos hosted on YouTube. That's fine: they do hold the copyright to these recordings and if they decide their property should not be hosted on a popular website then the videos should be removed. I just wish they would do a little better about allowing an approved legal way to embed videos.

If you're so inclined, you can go the the Conan video site, choose Friday, February 8, and watch the second chapter of the episode. I know it's cumbersome, but for now that's the way it has to be. I knew these videos would be removed eventually (and verification that I predicted this is borne in this page's url), but I didn't think it would happen within a few hours of me posting them. Perhaps if someone hadn't put them on his wildly more popular site, they'd still be enjoyable by us all (but probably not).

Thanks to commenter PJ.

UPDATE 2: Thanks, Blake, for pointing the way to new videos. Those didn't exist when I looked, but the shifting sands of the interweb have tricked and confused many men before me so it's no shame I missed them. That's what I'll keep telling myself.


PJ said...


The 2nd and 3rd videos are no longer available. You might want to repair those broken links.


Blake Stacey said...

Yeah, that's my superpower: ruining everything I touch. Look quickly — re-uploaded copies of those videos may or may not exist on YouTube, and I may or may not have found them.