Schrodinger’s Amoeba — Well Schrodinger’s Cat

Have you heard of Schrödinger’s cat? Possibly on a funny shirt or a internet cartoon that you didn’t understand?

It’s a quantum mechanics thing, but basically it involves a kitty in a box with some radioactive material and poison gas. It’s just a  thought experiment–no one’s actually putting cats in boxes with such things–but it basically shows that if you put the cat in a box it is both alive and dead at the same time.  As long as you never look in the box to know, it will always exist in both states: as both happy, living kitty playing in a box and as dead, poisoned, radioactive kitty.

My wife is carrying Schrödinger’s Amoeba.

Well, it’s my Amoeba, but in the way we’re doing our pregnancy, it could be called Schrödinger’s Amoeba. Mrs AmoebaMike and I are not finding out the biological sex of AmoebaJr before delivery.  Friends and relatives find this highly annoying. They want to know.

Of course, they all have their suspicions/predictions as well.

But there’s no way for them to know. We don’t know. Not even our doctor knows!

So until AmoebaJr arrives next month, AmoebaJr is both a boy and a girl at the same time. It is only by observing its sex that we force the universe into a single answer.

Schrodinger's Amoeba

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Sex(ism) in Science

‘Round the blogosphere the past few days there has been an interesting dialogue about sex in science and more to the point, sexism in society.

Seems a guy named Luke who runs an atheism blog, put together a list of “sexy scientists.”  I first heard about it when wellknown, respected–and yes, beautiful–scientist Sheril Kirshenbaum tweeted, “Should I be offended? Would you be? Hmmmm…” when she was included on the list.

Ms. Kirshenbaum promised a response on Monday (today) and over the weekend hundreds of comments were made on various blogs and via twitter about the sexy scientist list.  In the meantime, I asked or read the thoughts of a few other women.

The only other woman on the list I heard from, commented on the original post.  Abigail Smith, who blogs over at scienceblogs, only had 1 unapproving remark to make, “thats a crappy pic of me, LOL!” Continue reading

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