The Theorist vs. the X-Ray Astronomer

Usually blog wars make me sad. People get angry and cranky at each other, feelings are hurt, no one really wins or learns anything. I don’t like blog wars. Except, for this one. May I introduce to you,


Pictures courtesy of XSEDE, NICS, Bob Rood, and wherever the heck Dan got that fly.

Pictures courtesy of XSEDE, NICS, Bob Rood, and wherever the heck Dan got that “butterfly”.

So here is the backstory. My good friend, Dr. Jake Simon, writes some insightful stuff about science, skepticism, and politics over on his Facebook page. Realizing that his posts were generating quite a bit of discussion, he decided to try his hand at blogging, a move that I applaud.

However, there was a disturbance in the Force. My other good friend, Dr. Dan Wik, took exception to Jake’s blogging and started his own in rebuttal, threatening various things with a soldering iron that should probably not be mentioned and calling out Jake’s research methods. Jake defends his purely theoretical research, claiming that Dan has data-envy. Dan fires back with his thousands of x-ray photons, but Jake has a Kraken-sized super computer at his disposal. Most recently, Dan has rebutted with a picture of a fly on butter which makes me worry about his sanity a bit, but I suspect that this argument is far from over.

For those of you who may be sarcasm-challenged, these guys are best of buds and former roommates now separated by two post-doctoral positions several hundred miles apart. It’s a shame, really, when such a bromace is long-distance. And they used to bicker like this in person all the time. Though the feud may not be real, the science that they discuss IS very real. I think they’ve stumbled upon a very entertaining and novel way to introduce aspects of their scientific research to the public. I encourage following this blog war down whatever strange rabbit hole they go. You’ll be amused AND learn something along the way.

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