Field of Science

Presence of absence is not absence of presence

The proximate cause of my absence from this blog has been the tribulations of settling down in the most lawless state in the country. Just kidding, but two things about the Garden State are axiomatic truths:

A: The shortest route from A to B is most generally not the shortest route from B to A. Heisenberg would have been pleased. Traffic circles, one-way streets, deer roadkill on Route 202 gradually disintegrating for three days, drivers who must be thinking they are competing in Formula-1 and potholes on roads that seem like they are designed to retain 1920s charm all make the picture endearingly complete.

B: If you are in Princeton you should expect to see photos of Einstein eating ice cream, Oppenheimer licking his fingers after eating buffalo wings at Chuck's and John von Neumann balancing a paper cone filled with popcorn on his generous belly.

Ok, I made the last two up, but I did see the first one; Einstein somewhat disinterestedly licking an ice cream cone in one of those small, family-owned ice cream stores on Nassau Street whose name I will have to look up again. Actually this fact about Einstein should not surprise one at all: the man took as much pleasure in ice cream and all the simple joys of life as in tensor calculus. In the 1950s, according to his own admission, Princeton was a "quaint ceremonial village, occupied by demigods on stilts". The quaintness still somewhat lingers but the stilts have definitely given way to big cars that block traffic and pedestrian access. As for the rest of the state, what was George Merck thinking?

I hope to explore more of the village on the weekend, after I have finally moved into an apartment. I also hope to get a bite of the Apple and of some docking and chlorine-pi interactions. Work and the postdoc has started and all I can say is that it involves trying to model what are currently seeming to be unmodelable (?) proteins.


  1. Glad to see you're familiarizing yourself with your new surroundings. I'm not sure I can believe there is a place in the US where people drive crazier than Atlantans. Your accounts strike me as spurious. If such a place actually existed- traffic simply wouldn't work!

  2. Maybe it's just because I have not really commuted to work in Atlanta. See, I keep hearing that drivers in Atlanta are the worst and yet I feel there was at least a measure of Southern politeness in their style. Here the road seems to be up for grabs. I have to admit that I was never so frustrated when driving inside the city in Atlanta. But then again I lived in Decatur...

  3. Modeling proteins is a waste of one's mind and computing resources ;-) Too little predictive power ... most of the stuff is post-hoc. May turn into a respectable career if you are lucky but a waste of time nevertheless.

    Good luck anyway!

  4. We need to try if a field has to progress, don't we? ;)


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