Summer plans

What are you doing for the summer? Like most academics, I’m asked this question regularly, by people envious of our holidays. I sometimes think they’re more interested in my holidays than I am myself.

But what will I do? I used to head back to my alma mater Trinity College as soon as term ended, doing experimental work in the magnetic resonance lab. These days, I find myself doing more and more writing about science, and less and less labwork. Truth is, I always liked writing papers more than getting the results…

This summer, I intend to make a start on a short book on particle physics, aimed at the layman – The Story of Atoms. I’ve noticed that while there are lots of good introductory books on cosmology, there are fewer such books on particle physics. Also, I’ve always had an interest in the area and l teach an introductory course in high-energy physics. Of course, particle physics probably doesn’t have quite the popular appeal of cosmology – but there’s enough convergence between the two fields to draw in plenty of readers. Plus, it’d be great to get a simple introductory book on particle physics out in time for expected dramatic results at CERN sometime next year. (I’m sure no-one else has thought of this – Ed).

Apparently one needs an outline, chapter headings and at least one full chapter to get a publisher interested. I think I’ll use the summer break to get the structure organised and bang out the first chapter, ready to send off to a few publishers by the time term starts up again.

‘Course I won’t spend the entire summer on it – all work and no play makes Albert a very dull boy. I intend to travel, and hole up somewhere where I can surf in the mornings and work in the afternoons (and socialize in the evenings). Anywhere really, so long as it’s outside Ireland, for God’s sake.

Garret Lisi, the surfer dude with the exceptionally simple theory of everything, has already been in touch with a list of suitable surf spots in California as long as your arm – thanks Garrett!

Mind you, I suspect what Garrett considers ‘suitable’ is probably life-threatening.

Tip – try not to land on the board when you wipeout

So that’s the summer plan.

1. Get started on a pop science book that will eventually make me rich and famous

2. Get back surfing

3. Meet someone nice. You’d be amazed how many academics are single, it’s frightening. All I ask is that a girl can surf and handle complex equations…

Good luck with all that – Ed


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11 responses to “Summer plans

  1. . Meet someone nice. You’d be amazed how many academics are single, it’s frightening. All I ask is that a girl can surf and handle complex equations..

    Hey doctor:
    There is a huge discussion on the internet about global warming..Can i direct some of the traffic here?I’d like to hear some of your input..
    ( don’t worry..I’ll just post some of the opinions and allow you a low key review of the numbers..)
    enjoy your summer…

  2. cormac

    Hm…there is far too much uninformed opinion (noise) on this subject on the web. I wish people would leave it to those who know the area to slog it out..

  3. cormac

    Hoosier – I forgot to say I already have a post on GW a few weeks back….feel free to direct people there

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  5. Ginger

    Not too great surfing on the North Carolina coast…too bad wouldn’t mind having you visit. Of course, you are welcome.

    Actually I am studying Magic, Science and Religion at Duke (am a grad student — probably am older than you, bummer!) and was wondering if I and our class could get a hold of a copy of your talk on The Big Bang & The Mind of God — sounds like exciting stuff and right up or alley.

    As for meeting a smart, surfing gal — there are plenty to be had here (and I know a few of them). Can’t figure out why you’re unattached. You’re a hottie. Pardon the boldness.

  6. cormac

    Hi Ginger,many thanks for kind comments.
    The slides from the talk are on this blog, just click on the ‘My Files’ tab.
    I do have a CD of the talk, have to persuade one of my students to cut it up into small sections and stick it on Youtube!

  7. Cormac surfer dude,

    Thanks for the mail the other day. As to the surfing and writing books I strongly recommend combining the two. In many ways it is cheaper to leave IRL and write abroad especially if it is a cheap and Beautiful surf-town. I recommend Paname where your Euro will stretch very very far.

    PS if you are interested in my recent writing on the env.
    They are here in English and Spanish:


  8. cormac

    Tnx Tony, great to hear from ya!
    I’ll check out that weblog, been concerned about aviation emissions for some time…defnitely the elephant in the room..

  9. dvd

    hey cormac great catching up with u sunday..nice chats..check this link..some interesting characters in here all in discussion with mr kreisler at berkeley..
    ..have a look through the a-z..all topics up for your perusal..chin chin..

  10. cormac

    Hiya Dave, great having a chat with someone who realises politics affects us all..
    Tnx for the links, will have a good look

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