Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

  • Imagine you are sipping tea or coffee while discussing various issues with a broad and diverse network of students, colleagues, and friends brought together by the common bond of physics, graduate school, and the physics GRE.

User avatar
InquilineKea
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:07 pm

Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby InquilineKea » Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:15 pm

There are plenty of discussion forums, subreddits, and IRC channels for physics.

But for astronomy, almost all of them are focused towards the more popular "pretty" stuff. Unfortunately, it's not the type of astrophysics that I'm into.

Does anyone know any other places? And what are the differences between the r/astro, r/astronomy, and r/space subreddits?

User avatar
sphy
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:23 am

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby sphy » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:39 pm

InquilineKea wrote:There are plenty of discussion forums, subreddits, and IRC channels for physics.

But for astronomy, almost all of them are focused towards the more popular "pretty" stuff. Unfortunately, it's not the type of astrophysics that I'm into.

Does anyone know any other places? And what are the differences between the r/astro, r/astronomy, and r/space subreddits?

Any simplified version of this question?
Anyone here....
:?:
May be WhoaNonstop can put it in simple terms.

User avatar
InquilineKea
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:07 pm

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby InquilineKea » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:50 pm

Mostly talking about online forums/places where they hang out - physics students usually hang out in places like physicsforums, #physics on IRC, and other physics-specialized websites.

The main issue with astro students is that they're quite diluted. Some of the astro people go to pure physics websites, while others go to popular astronomy ones. And the planetary scientists - they're absolutely nowhere to be found (it's interesting since physics does seem to be the major with more web penetration than any major other than computer science).

User avatar
sphy
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:23 am

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby sphy » Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:58 pm

InquilineKea wrote: And the planetary scientists - they're absolutely nowhere to be found .

I think they must be found in University.

User avatar
HappyQuark
Posts: 762
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby HappyQuark » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:27 pm

Astronomers, as a general rule, don't have friends and as such don't hang out in any form.

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby grae313 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:53 pm

HappyQuark wrote:Astronomers, as a general rule, don't have friends and as such don't hang out in any form.


This is because they smell bad. All of them.

User avatar
HappyQuark
Posts: 762
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:21 am

grae313 wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:Astronomers, as a general rule, don't have friends and as such don't hang out in any form.


This is because they smell bad. All of them.


This is a common misconception. While it is true that they all smell of burning garbage and skunk spray, it's not true that their lack of friends is a direct result of this. In fact it's precisely the other way around; astronomers smell bad because they have no friends and, as such, have no incentive to maintain even a moderate level of personal hygiene. Plus, I've heard that they fear the water, which I suppose is only one of the many attributes they share with feral alley cats.

CarlBrannen
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby CarlBrannen » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:42 am

HappyQuark wrote:In fact it's precisely the other way around; astronomers smell bad because they have no friends and, as such, have no incentive to maintain even a moderate level of personal hygiene.


As I've gotten older, I don't care much if I smell bad. What's the point? And men don't have such good noses to begin with. An older nose doesn't work as well. And time is more valuable to old folks. And our memories aren't necessarily perfect. So now you know. We smell bad because we wear our clothes over and over without washing them.

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby grae313 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:03 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:In fact it's precisely the other way around; astronomers smell bad because they have no friends and, as such, have no incentive to maintain even a moderate level of personal hygiene.


As I've gotten older, I don't care much if I smell bad. What's the point? And men don't have such good noses to begin with. An older nose doesn't work as well. And time is more valuable to old folks. And our memories aren't necessarily perfect. So now you know. We smell bad because we wear our clothes over and over without washing them.


You really do have a way with the ladies, don't you Carl?

If all you want to do is physics, go ahead and smell bad. However, if you ever want to have a life, friends, or god forbid a partner and family, or hell, even the odd encounter with the opposite sex, you need to change your clothes.

I see a lot of clueless, stinky dudes running around in the sciences and engineering. They want a girlfriend and don't know why they have no luck with women. If there is anyone out there identifying with this, let me give you some sage advice:

Take a shower every day. That's right, every day. Wear deodorant every day. Brush your teeth every day. Wear clean clothes every day. If you haven't been doing any one of these things and you start doing it now, I can *guarantee* your social interactions on all fronts will improve immeasurably. Always remember, other people will smell you long before you can smell yourself, and holy ***, you stink.

This has been a PSA by grae313. Thanks for listening.

User avatar
HappyQuark
Posts: 762
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby HappyQuark » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:03 pm

grae313 wrote:
CarlBrannen wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:In fact it's precisely the other way around; astronomers smell bad because they have no friends and, as such, have no incentive to maintain even a moderate level of personal hygiene.


As I've gotten older, I don't care much if I smell bad. What's the point? And men don't have such good noses to begin with. An older nose doesn't work as well. And time is more valuable to old folks. And our memories aren't necessarily perfect. So now you know. We smell bad because we wear our clothes over and over without washing them.


You really do have a way with the ladies, don't you Carl?

If all you want to do is physics, go ahead and smell bad. However, if you ever want to have a life, friends, or god forbid a partner and family, or hell, even the odd encounter with the opposite sex, you need to change your clothes.

I see a lot of clueless, stinky dudes running around in the sciences and engineering. They want a girlfriend and don't know why they have no luck with women. If there is anyone out there identifying with this, let me give you some sage advice:

Take a shower every day. That's right, every day. Wear deodorant every day. Brush your teeth every day. Wear clean clothes every day. If you haven't been doing any one of these things and you start doing it now, I can *guarantee* your social interactions on all fronts will improve immeasurably. Always remember, other people will smell you long before you can smell yourself, and holy ***, you stink.

This has been a PSA by grae313. Thanks for listening.


I agree with everything you said with the exception of the following sentence,

"if you haven't been doing any one of these things and you start doing it now, I can *guarantee* your social interactions on all fronts will improve immeasurably."

Because I've never met an experimental physicist worth his/her salt that considered any phenomena to be incapable of quantification. Immeasurable? Tsk tsk...

CarlBrannen
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby CarlBrannen » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:23 pm

grae313 wrote:I see a lot of clueless, stinky dudes running around in the sciences and engineering. They want a girlfriend and don't know why they have no luck with women.


Another solution for them is to wait until they reach my age. It turns out that women have a "sell by" date t_0. Before that time, the chemical potential is in the female's favor, after it the situation is reversed. And so the probability of finding an available female depends on age:

P(t) = \frac{\exp((t-t_0)/\mu)}{1+\exp((t-t_0)/\mu)}

where t_0 and \mu are appropriate parameters, and some corrections are made so as to take into account local laws on sex with "'underage" females (which changes from year to year and place to place).

By the time you reach my age they thrust money at you and beg you to take them out.

Shhhhh! I'll let you in on another little secret. Most of them are just pretending that they "want a girlfriend". Or at best, they want a girlfriend less than they don't want to have to do all the stuff involved.

And yet another observation is that pretty much anyone can find a girlfriend at any age, if they're just willing to lower their standards sufficiently.

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby grae313 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:09 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:Another solution for them is to wait until they reach my age. It turns out that women have a "sell by" date t_0. Before that time, the chemical potential is in the female's favor, after it the situation is reversed. And so the probability of finding an available female depends on age [...] By the time you reach my age they thrust money at you and beg you to take them out.
You make some good points, and I smile because you are a humorous guy and you clearly know what you want and what you need to be happy, but then...

CarlBrannen wrote:Shhhhh! I'll let you in on another little secret. Most of them are just pretending that they "want a girlfriend". Or at best, they want a girlfriend less than they don't want to have to do all the stuff involved.
I feel bad that you are so cynical and jaded about women. Most people aren't worth much, male or female, but there are some good ones out there. Believe it or not, there are some good women out there too. There are meaningful connections to be made with other people and I've met many men who strive for this above all else in their life. Perhaps it's not for you, and that's OK. But don't assume that everyone else feels as you do. Perhaps the majority of men would be happy with meaningless sex with whores they meet at the VD clinic, but the ones worth knowing are looking for a bit more.

CarlBrannen wrote:And yet another observation is that pretty much anyone can find a girlfriend at any age, if they're just willing to lower their standards sufficiently.
What you are talking about here is a sex partner. I'm talking about a girlfriend.

CarlBrannen
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby CarlBrannen » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:29 pm

grae313 wrote:I feel bad that you are so cynical and jaded about women. Most people aren't worth much, male or female, but there are some good ones out there. Believe it or not, there are some good women out there too. There are meaningful connections to be made with other people and I've met many men who strive for this above all else in their life. Perhaps it's not for you, and that's OK. But don't assume that everyone else feels as you do. Perhaps the majority of men would be happy with meaningless sex with whores they meet at the VD clinic, but the ones worth knowing are looking for a bit more.


Regarding who you can meet at the free VD clinic. In fact, I think that all of God's creatures are sacred and holy. I also think that most of them are, by nature and nurture, mean and dangerous as well as kind and gentle.

I've spent several years working with the type of people you find at that clinic. You might think of them as whores (drug users and criminals would be more accurate) but I've talked with them for weeks. I know their internal contradictions. I understand their sacrifices and the limitations in which they live their lives. I don't see them in any way inferior to physicists except in their calculational skills. We are all the descendants of people who were many times more evil than ourselves.

I think that I'm easier on the human race, both male and female, then most humans are. I'm amazed that people are as well behaved as they are. There are biological imperatives that are fundamental to any living creature but to some small extent, humans overcome them.

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby grae313 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:05 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:Regarding who you can meet at the free VD clinic. In fact, I think that all of God's creatures are sacred and holy. I also think that most of them are, by nature and nurture, mean and dangerous as well as kind and gentle.

I've spent several years working with the type of people you find at that clinic. You might think of them as whores (drug users and criminals would be more accurate) but I've talked with them for weeks. I know their internal contradictions. I understand their sacrifices and the limitations in which they live their lives. I don't see them in any way inferior to physicists except in their calculational skills. We are all the descendants of people who were many times more evil than ourselves.

I think that I'm easier on the human race, both male and female, then most humans are. I'm amazed that people are as well behaved as they are. There are biological imperatives that are fundamental to any living creature but to some small extent, humans overcome them.


Well Carl, you've shamed me into apologizing. I'm sorry I called them all whores -- I know they're not all whores.

... just most of them.

I KID!

In fact I was stereotyping the women who frequent the VD clinic only in that it provided a convenient vehicle to distinguish between people of two different ilks. Some women (and people) lie frequently, manipulate the people they claim to love, are selfish and care very much about superficial things. Some women would like you to buy them food and drinks and nice things and if you spend enough, they might "reward" you with sex.

I think the depth of a relationship one can have with such a woman is limited.

I think deep relationships are not what everyone is looking for.

For those that are looking for deep relationships, please shower. :P

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby grae313 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:06 pm

Where do those astro students hang out, anyway?

CarlBrannen
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby CarlBrannen » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:52 pm

grae313 wrote:Some women (and people) lie frequently, manipulate the people they claim to love, are selfish and care very much about superficial things.


I think this kind of thing is quite common. I, for one, lie constantly, manipulate the people I (claim to) love, am selfish, and care very much about superficial things. I make some efforts to minimize these but without a heck of a lot of luck. Especially the superficial things. And give up lying? Never!

grae313 wrote:Some women would like you to buy them food and drinks and nice things and if you spend enough, they might "reward" you with sex. I think the depth of a relationship one can have with such a woman is limited.


It's really odd, but as a male, I find that I have an apparently natural impulse to give things to women. I assume that a lot of men have that impulse and that it's part of our primate heritage.

One of the strange things about me is that people tend to tell me a lot about themselves. At least they do this unless I can find a way of avoiding them. And I've had more than my share of women tell me their life story. One of the common themes goes something like "I could have had a great life with lots of money if I'd married for money (or in the lower classes, been a more effective prostitute), but I didn't and now I'm poor."

When I hear these things, even though they are couched in a claim of superior morals, there always seems to be a sense of lost opportunities, especially if the situations date to a time from her salad years. I'm left thinking "the lady doth protest too much". (Too much Shakespeare, sorry.)

One thing that people seem to appreciate more as they grow older is that marriage (and therefore love) is very much about money. If you want to hear a woman say "you owe me" (for sex, having children, etc.), the best place to go is not the red-light district. Instead, drop by divorce court.

grae313 wrote:I think deep relationships are not what everyone is looking for. For those that are looking for deep relationships, please shower. :P


Interesting. The funny thing about bathing is that it's a modern innovation. I think it's highly overrated. The same applies to underarm deodorant (1950s), brassiers (1890s), tooth paste (1800s?). As far as love and sex goes, the human race got along just fine before these things were invented.

Supposedly Napoleon wrote to Josephine something like "I return in three days. Do not bathe until I came back," but I can't find a decent source. And I have no doubt that our current insistence of cleanliness is the cause of the modern epidemic of allergies. Hmmm. There was a time when Europeans didn't trust the Moslems because the Moslems were considered too clean, I wonder if they were afflicted with allergies.

Maybe this is the quote, though I'd like to see the whole letter in its original French. (Napoleon's letters are quite hot and make great St. Valentine's Day reading.) "I will return to Paris tomorrow evening. Don't wash."
The 'Dirt on Clean' in an Oversanitized World
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... d=16305411

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: Where do astro students hang out, anyways?

Postby grae313 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:23 am

CarlBrannen wrote:I think this kind of thing is quite common. I, for one, lie constantly, manipulate the people I (claim to) love, am selfish, and care very much about superficial things. I make some efforts to minimize these but without a heck of a lot of luck. Especially the superficial things. And give up lying? Never!


I don't mean to raise my nose and bask in a smug sense of moral superiority here. I recognize that everyone including myself succumbs to this to some degree. But I value honesty probably more than any other virtue and I strive to never knowingly tell a lie (beyond things like answering "good" when people ask me in passing how I am and I'm having a shitty day and stuff like that). I think honesty starts with myself and I try to examine and understand my feelings and motives, and then be upfront about them with the people I care about. I'm not trying to claim that I'm free of moral blemishes, only that I see a distinction between people that attempt to live their life according to a moral code and those who never think about it.

CarlBrannen wrote:It's really odd, but as a male, I find that I have an apparently natural impulse to give things to women. I assume that a lot of men have that impulse and that it's part of our primate heritage.
It's really odd, but as a female I recognize that I could easily have men give/buy me things, but I still pay for myself (unless it's my birthday, then somebody better buy me dinner :) ). I guess I'm fortunate that I'll never have a lack of money, with or without a husband. I have no problem with the traditional gender roles with the man as the provider and the woman as the family/home caretaker, but ideally there is an honor and mutual respect in that relationship that is usually absent in the types of encounters you describe. I certainly detect none of it in your writing. Perhaps some women end up feeling like something is owed to them in the divorce court because, though they worked very hard at home, that type of work doesn't draw a paycheck and so in terms of a paper trail, the man is overrepresented in the life and assets it took two to build. Or perhaps she's a money-grubbing lazy bitch. I don't think all women are worthy of respect.

CarlBrannen wrote: "I will return to Paris tomorrow evening. Don't wash."
This is actually one of my favorite historical quotes. Look, I'm not trying to claim that showering is somehow fundamental to the whole process or debate its merits. Yes, part of love and sex is cultural. A big part. I'm just saying that, for whatever reason, for good or for bad, something has changed since that time. Smelling someone's strong body odor was once sexy. Today, it makes me want to vomit.

My simple advice remains: for young men today, your luck with women will improve if you don't reek.




Return to “Physics Lounge”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest