Spherical Cows

There’s a classic joke in physics, which according to Wikipedia goes like this:

Milk production at a dairy farm was low so the farmer wrote to the local university, asking help from academia. A multidisciplinary team of professors was assembled, headed by a theoretical physicist, and two weeks of intensive on-site investigation took place. The scholars then returned to the university, notebooks crammed with data, where the task of writing the report was left to the team leader. Shortly thereafter the farmer received the write-up, and opened it to read on the first line: “Consider a spherical cow…”

This was the first thing that sprang to mind* after reading the excellently named Cosmic Variance’s recent post “Blogs That Should Exist“. “Spherical Cow” could have been an excellent name for a blog, and I was very tempted to rename this fledging blog as such. Tragically, the .com address is already registered, but is completely unused! The .net domain – the second choice for a top-level domain on the internet – is also registered, but at least that’s used for physics education (albeit underused).

So, at least for now I’ll stick with using my real name as the name of the blog (assuming I end up writing enough for this to count as a proper blog). For those of you that want a physics or astronomy blog but don’t want to use your real name, here’s a few suggestions**. Note that I haven’t googled them, so some (or even all) may already exist.

  • Heisenberg’s Uncertainty
  • Big Crunch (perfect for these apparently uncertain times)
  • Cosmic Dust
  • Inflationary Times
  • The Galactic Bar
  • Spinning Science

Or, if nothing appeals, make up something with an “X” in the name. That always seems to go down well.

* although perhaps “Spherical Moose” should have sprung to mind, considering I’ve spent the evening watching Northern Exposure whilst making pretty plots for a paper

** No guarantees as to their originality or humour are made. They might not even make sense.

One thought on “Spherical Cows”

  1. I know seem to be a follower of ‘The Error Bar’, a blog whose content should apparently write itself. We’ll see how long that lasts 🙂

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