How to break in a new chalkboard

Step 1: Wipe writing surface with a clean dry cloth to remove dust or moisture. Then chalk the entire writing surface with the side of a piece of chalk:

How to break in a new chalkboard

Step 2: Work chalk into surface by erasing thoroughly with a felt eraser:

How to break in a new chalkboard

Step 3: Clean the board with a chamois or soft cotton cloth:

How to break in a new chalkboard

Step 4: Have fun! Your board is ready to use:

How to break in a new chalkboard

This economy does not compute

A few weeks ago, it seemed the financial crisis wouldn’t spin completely out of control. The government knew what it was doing – at least the economic experts were saying so – and the Treasury had taken a stand against saving failing firms, letting Lehman Brothers file for bankruptcy.

But since then we’ve had the rescue of the insurance giant AIG, the arranged sale of failing banks and we’ll soon see, in one form or another, the biggest taxpayer bailout of Wall Street in history.

It seems clear that no one really knows what is coming next. Why?

Continue reading at IHT, thanks Dave for the whistle!

Ilya Prigogine

Today, despite of the damn cold weather we have in this beautiful city called Brussels (< 0 ºC), I went with a friend (German, of course) to take a walk in Parc Duden. It is a large park located in the southwest of Brussels, on the right side of the Belgian’s Senne, where the height of some trees is probably the most remarkable thing to see.

And there, by chance, we discovered there is a small château dedicated to Ilya Prigogine. It’s been a sweet and unexpected surprise in a hard morning. Why him? Why there? The thing is that although he was born in Russia, his family emigrated abroad. First to Germany (of course), and then to Belgium. There he obtained the Belgian citizenship and studied Physics. Because he was a physicist. To be honest, this morning I wasn’t able to say if he was a physicist or a chemist. I guess I was a bit confused with the fact that he obtained the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1977.

He’s a famous example of one of these XXth century physicists who started connecting fundamental Science with classically unconnected issues like irreversibility, complexity and social modeling. Because of them, everything became a hell funnier, and more complicated.

And thanks to The Source Of All Knowledge I’ve found this video [8:30] where you can see him talking about that topics:

I realize now how much I miss working in fundamental Science. I stopped in February, and it’s already unbearable.