Friday, December 24, 2010

The littlest things can drive you nuts

I hope that our readers (and Russ Hobbie and I do value and appreciate all our dear readers) find the list of references at the end of each chapter in the 4th edition of Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology useful. We tried to include books and articles that you would enjoy, and that would help you understand the material in our textbook better. But, you may wonder, what do I see when I look at those lists of references? The first thing I see—the thing that jumps out of the page and screams at me—is that in each list, the first reference is not indented like the rest!!! As I recall, it is some issue in LaTex that is difficult to fix. I think it is related to the policy of not indenting the first paragraph of a section (a practice that I don’t care for).

I suppose what really should worry me are the errors that creep into the book. But at least we can correct those in the erratum, available at the book website. For some reason, I can live with those errors (que sera, sera) but the indentation issue is killing me. You can find a lot of other useful information at the book website, including an interview with Russ Hobbie published in the December 2006 issue of the American Physical Society Division of Biological Physics newsletter, a movie of Russ Hobbie explaining how radiation interacts with tissue based on his Mac Dose computer program, an American Journal of Physics resource letter that Russ and I published last year, and other supplementary material.

Let me use this post to update you on a few issues mentioned previously in this blog. In an October post, I talked about tanning and skin cancer. A recent article in the online newspaper suggests that the problem is not getting any better, especially in the midwest, and that “people are still not recognizing that indoor tanning use is linked to skin cancer.” An article in reports that “supply shortages of molybdenum-99 could become commonplace over the next decade unless longer-term actions are taken.” I discussed this issue several times before: here, here, and here. Felix Baumgartner’s attempt to jump out of a balloon at the edge of space and break the sound barrier in free fall has been put on hold, apparently because of a law suit over who owns the rights to this idea. Finally, you can watch online a series of lectures about the physics of hearing and cochlear implants delivered at the University of Michigan.

I wish you all a peaceful and happy Christmas Eve. If you are lucky, you will wake up tomorrow morning to find that Santa has left the 4th edition of Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology in your stocking. For those unfortunate few who received something else from Santa, I suggest

Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. Santa did leave the 4th Edition for me in fact.
    Thank you very much for your elf-author-ship.
    E Franck