I meant to put this out yesterday, but the supernova post took a bit longer to write than I was hoping. Anyway, here's a list of interesting links.
- Last week I linked to a paper by Moni Bidin, Carraro, Mendez and Smith that claimed to have detected no evidence for dark matter affecting the kinematics of stars in the solar neighbourhood. I mentioned that this was not without controversy, and indeed this morning there was a new preprint by Bovy and Tremaine on the arXiv, who claim the Moni Bidin et al result is due to a key assumption that is not supported by the data. I haven't had time to read the paper yet, so I'll just quote from the abstract:
"We show that this result is incorrect and that it arises from the invalid assumption that the mean azimuthal velocity of the stellar tracers is independent of Galactocentric radius at all heights; the correct assumption -- that is, the one supported by data -- is that the circular speed is independent of radius in the mid-plane."
- Suppose you have three upturned cups, and you are 90% certain that there is a ball under one of them. You turn two of them over and find no ball — how confident are you that the ball is under the third cup? Philip Gibbs gives a nice little argument illustrating Bayes' theorem, and uses it to argue that we shouldn't give up on SUSY yet.
- At Cross Sections, Rhys demonstrates that although neutrinos don't travel faster than light, they don't go a whole lot slower either.
- Last week would have been Richard Feynman's 94th birthday. Quantum Diaries carried a nice birthday tribute, and here's another, featuring a video of the great man himself.
- The Guardian carried a pretty shocking report, called The wrong Carlos: how Texas sent an innocent man to his death.
- In the New York Review of Books, Jared Diamond reviews a new book by Acemoglu and Robinson on what makes countries rich or poor. Excellent reading.
- I recently discovered Simon Wren-Lewis's economics blog Mainly Macro, which I can highly recommend. Wren-Lewis is a professor at Oxford, in fact at my old college, Merton (though that isn't why I'm recommending his blog, and I don't think I ever even met him while I was there). Anyway, he asks Is it all Gordon Brown's fault? He also has several other interesting and well-argued pieces on economic policy here, here, here and here.
- Back in the Guardian, George Monbiot on more myths about marriage.