Despite my chronic lack of time these days, I always manage to find ten minutes for a blitz chess game on the internet. It is a total waste of time and brain energy, but it never fails to provide some adrenaline shot in my veins. And at times some real satisfaction, when I play a good game and/or I get the better hand with a titled player.
Today I got a little of both, when I won with black against Grandmaster Lars Karlsson (elo 2466), a Swedish player. Not a super-Grandmaster, admittedly, but still a dangerous player with an expected score above 90% against me (I am rated in the 2050 range. Here is the game with minimal commentary.
Today I spoke at a conference on "QCD advances"
which is being held in Les Houches, an amiable small town near Chamonix, on the french slopes of Mont Blanc. The content of my talk is accessible from the conference web site
, but I guess that I should provide here a summary of what I discussed.
Finally, it looks like Silvio Berlusconi will be tried. The judge for preliminary investigations has accepted the request of an immediate trial, put forth by the magistrates who collected a large body of evidence on the recent crimes of the Italian premier. The trial will be held on April 6th... Unless Berlusconi manages to produce the umpteenth law to protect himself from the charges of unlawful conduct he has collected in the past 20 years, effectively putting him above Italian law.
The physics with LHC is becoming rapidly awesome, and being part of the CMS experiment and deeply involved in some technical aspects of the analyses (the statistical treatment of the data, and the control of the statistical claims of the scientific papers we publish) I find myself with more things to do in my agenda than I can possibly manage.
Embarassingly overdue, the slides of my talk on "Heavy Flavour and Quarkonia Production in 7 TeV pp Collisions", meant for the 2011 Les Houches meeting on "Recent Advances in QCD" to be held next week near Chamonix, France, are slowly coming together. Since these days I seem to be straggling my feet on the blog as well, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. So here you are going to get a short overview of recent measurements of b-quark production by CMS.
While providing the results for experts and beginners alike, I will try to make this discussion as simple as possible (but not simpler), something that lately I tend to forget. I do not like my blog posts to be too technical, but maybe I am getting old and my popularization powers are weakening. Let's see.
"I had the most remarkable experience this evening. While coming in here, I saw licence plate ANZ 912. Calculate for me, please, the odds that of all the licence plates in the state of Washington I should happen to see ANZ 912."