For the past six or so years, I’ve practised a martial art called Shorinji Kempo. Like many other arts, it incorporates several philosophies and concepts. One of these, The Three Teachings of Ken, concerns one’s progression in learning the various techniques. Simply put, it describes three stages of mastery: shu – learn & copy, ha – adjust & adapt, ri – master & break free. Continue reading “On acquiring skills – shu, ha, ri”
This is the time of the year when I start to reach out to as many undergraduates in physics (and similar subjects) as possible. My yearly mantra for them: “Apply to summer internships!” I cannot emphasize how much my two internships shaped my life and career, from fortuitously having breakfast with a Nobel laureate, the living legend Jack Steinberger (and maybe a story to tell in another post) to hands-on work in physics analyses for the LHC and making friends from all across the globe. Continue reading “Plans for next Summer? Start a career in particle physics!”
My activity as a chessplayer has seen a steady decline in the past three years, due to overwhelming work obligations. To play in chess tournaments at a decent level, you not only need to be physically fit and well trained for the occasion, but also have your mind free from other thoughts. Alas, I have been failing miserably in the second and third of the above requirements. So I have essentially retired from competitive chess, and my only connection to the chess world is through the occasional 5-minute blitz game over the internet.
Recently a friend pointed me to a site, chess24.com, which has a rather nice interface. I soon started to play a few games per week there, realizing that my strength in quick games has not decreased that much. So I occasionally Continue reading “A Trivial Two-Mover”
This post is a summary of my experience last Friday at the European Researchers’ Night event in Padova. It was an interesting experience and gave me some insights regarding public outreach in these type of events which might be worth sharing and discussing here.
So, it’s been a while since my last post, apologies for that, but the summer has been both busy and eventful, so let me summarise what’s been happening. Continue reading “Summer activities at LIP-Lisbon”
Today I had a very full day. It started with a working meeting (an informal meeting of the people working on some analysis) for planning how to improve the EWkino analysis (one of the searches for new physics we are involved in) with the new data CMS is taking. I then went on to the UniOvi CMS group weekly meeting, in which we all meet in the large common office (plus some people connected in videoconference from CERN) to discuss the various topics the group is involved it. Let me delay to another occasion my rant on the amount of CMS meetings we are subjected to!
Then, after some quick and frenetic coding work, I Continue reading “«Es chulo», or «This night, I almost cried»”
If I am alive, I probably owe it to my current very good physical shape.
That does not mean I narrowly escaped a certain death; rather, it means that if I had been slower there are good chances I would have got hit by lightning, under arduous conditions, at 4300 meters of altitude.
So, after this dramatic introduction, I hope I have hooked as many of you as possible, and I can start from the beginning the tale of what was meant to be a half-day excursion with no particular ambitions. I am spending a week in Quito, Ecuador, where I have been lecturing graduate students in astro-particle Continue reading “A Narrow Escape”
Two weeks ago I was honoured to become a father for the second time. My wife happily gave birth to our first son. I was deeply moved by this emotional moment. For a long time to come I’ll have memories of my wife relaxing with a newborn in a swimming pool in the middle of our living room. Continue reading “Home birth”
This post is the result of a self-imposed free-writing exercise while crossing on a plane, therefore it differs in format and content from my previous compositions. My aim was to write what I was thinking, without editing or overthinking. Here you go!