Skip to main content

Date me, I can explain general relativity

I was browsing through the pages of that excellent magazine, New Scientist, when I noticed this advert for 'New Scientist Connect'. Yes, now scientists have their own dating site where lovers of geeks and nerds can browse for a hot postdoc (with or without marshmallows).

I first became aware of this kind of thing a while ago when Classic FM started advertising a service called something like classic duets. (Geddit? Duets, classical music? Oh, for goodness sake.) I suspect they got too many complaints from people who thought it was a site to listen to, well, classical duets, not a dating site. But now it goes from strength to strength as Classic FM Romance.(It's interesting that the URL format of the two sites is similar. Surely it couldn't be the same company behind them?!)

I suppose the concept has some merits. You would know you had an interest in common. Or maybe not. Perhaps on the 'opposites attract' theory, New Scientist Connect is mostly browsed by beauty therapists and professional footballers.

It does make me wonder whether there also sites for, say, traffic wardens to get together (after all, who else could love them), or the Dawkins GeneSplice site where aggressive atheists can spend their time slagging off everyone else. And for that matter I also wonder who designed this ad, and really thought that someone dressed as Biggles, running across snow carrying a toy plane typified an attractive scientist...


  1. They should have called it CHEMISTRY, surely?

  2. Lovely idea, Henry, but I think like Classic FM's 'Classic Duets' it would suffer from complaints, in this case when chemistry teachers turn up expecting to see a periodic table and other such goodies.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Which idiot came up with percentage-based gradient signs

Rant warning: the contents of this post could sound like something produced by UKIP. I wish to make it clear that I do not in any way support or endorse that political party. In fact it gives me the creeps. Once upon a time, the signs for a steep hill on British roads displayed the gradient in a simple, easy-to-understand form. If the hill went up, say, one yard for every three yards forward it said '1 in 3'. Then some bureaucrat came along and decided that it would be a good idea to state the slope as a percentage. So now the sign for (say) a 1 in 10 slope says 10% (I think). That 'I think' is because the percentage-based slope is so unnatural. There are two ways we conventionally measure slopes. Either on X/Y coordiates (as in 1 in 4) or using degrees - say at a 15° angle. We don't measure them in percentages. It's easy to visualize a 1 in 3 slope, or a 30 degree angle. Much less obvious what a 33.333 recurring percent slope is. And what's a 100% slope