It’s bitterly cold outside today. I’m not exactly sure what the high was, but I’ll bet that I could count it with my fingers. And the wind is a searing whip of pain that cuts through all types of clothing, even those labelled wind-proof or wind-blocker. I’m prepared though, having spent 4 years in Chicago as an undergraduate, and my experience has led me to all sorts of wonderful, futuristic materials (most anything that ends in ene, tex or max). Despite all of this, I’ve still been saying to myself quite a bit today, "goddamn it’s cold! But I’m sure it was colder in Chicago…"
In November of 2001 the National Weather Service changed their calculation of the long time standard wind chill index to diminish the effect of wind on perceived temperature. Apparently their original tests were based on empirical studies done on a glass of water while new tests were conducted on real humans in a chilled wind tunnel. The new formula, for those who care:
Wind Chill (°F) = 35.74 + 0.6215T – 35.75(V0.16) + 0.4275T(V0.16)
where T = air temperature (°F) and V = wind speed (mph)
National Weather Service: The wind chill index
Over the MIT Independent Activities Period (IAP) I’ll be teaching a course about the recent trend of power laws in various academic disciplines and applications, from disease propogation to weblogs. The course will be held over the month of January and include a few guest lecutures by researchers doing some of the most important work in this area. The course webpage can be found here:
Power Laws: Hype or Revelation?
Furthermore we’re hoping the site will become a repository for papers on the topic and the debate over what place power laws have in the grander academic world.
This past year was a great year for music, and consequently the cause of a few arduous weeks of consideration for this year’s top 10. In the past two lists I’ve struggled to come up with enough to make a list at all, but this year I could have had a top 30 without hesitation. So without further ado, the overstated top 10 albums and movies of 2003:
click for a good time
Some other 2003 lists I endorse: Carson Reynolds, Ben Recht, James Seo, Jameson Rollins, Adrienne Massanari, more soon…