Friday, September 15, 2006

Finding Nima

Meet Nima Arkani-Hamed. My 9-year-old son brought him to my attn yesterday, waving his copy of Popular Science at me and saying, 'Mumma. I think you'll like this, you know, cause you like [he inserts air quotes] hot guys, and all. Isn't this the best-looking physics nerd you've ever seen?"

Well, yeah. But maybe this work-at-home thing is having a negative effect on my children. I mean, the last time he inspired my writing like this, it was with the SI swimsuit cover.

At 32, Hamed already is "making waves" with his approach to string theory. I’m guessin that means the Harvard physics prof gets lots of requests from cute nerd chicks for independent studies, and the less continental-looking experts in the biz are a little peeved.

Hamed says, "Things that seem incredibly different can really be manifestations of the same underlying phenomena."

Guess that makes us smarty-pantses, too, cause we feel the same about Romance Fiction and “Real Lit," and all look forward to --

Romance: By the Blog
“Back to School Week”
Sept 18 – 22

Monday, Sept.18, get ready for Eric Selinger of DePaul U! He teaches romance fiction as literature, but also created RomanceScholar Listserve.

Eloisa James of Fordham is here Wed. 20th!
Bill Gleason of Princeton visits Fri. 22nd!

It's Back to School time, Bellas, but don’t bother taking notes. You’re gonna need all your brain power to survive the fun these folks can serve up.

Who was that teacher or prof you crushed on back in the day?
Maybe you're crushin on one now?
Encore! robinl, you're Michele Hauf's winner, Bella. Email me at to score.
Encore due! What's better than a hot theoretical physisist? Chocolate and a sexy romance. Felicitazione, robinl!


Monica Burns said...

String Theory!! TOTALLY AWESOME!! Space-time dimensions that probably exceed our linear thought of time and dimensions!! COOL! A class would be totally beyond me, but I would love to just chat with a physics prof so that maybe I could get just a better understanding than my current level. Although cute nerds/geeks would distract me from actually learning anything. Hmmm, I could always go blindfolded, removing the blindfold when I needed a fix. LOL

Ever seen What the Bleep Do We Know? That thing boggles the mind! Great DVD about physics in layman's terms, but it's still deep.

Julie in Ohio said...

LOL. Kids say the darndest things...and duct tape doesn't work. :P

I didn't have any male teachers until seventh grade. But I remember he taught science and I didn't like that class but thought he was cute. He made us disect a baby piggy. I didn't like him after that.

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Mi spiace, Bellas. Blogger had a prob this am, so nothing posted, and I know you were beside yourselves with disappointment, not getting to crawl over here this am.

So, howza bout Nima? Espresso in class? Those dam liberal Massachusetts elitist intellectuals.

Gotta love em. Actually, he's Canadian. Oh, VIh-veeeee...

Prof crushes. Well, I'll not list names, but I did have a really good-looking art prof in college who wore these great French painter's jeans. I loved that he did so much board work. His wife is gorgeous, too, and I think she may have been a dancer. Not a pole dancer, or anything, a ballerina or something.

And I think I had a crush on my 6th grade science teacher, too. If you knew what a nerd I was, you'd totally understand.

Oh, and I think I told the story here before about the classical guitar prof and this British schoolroom-esque kind of fantasy I had about him?

Playground Monitor said...

You're back! You're alive and well and back on the Internet. I was beside myself when I logged in this morning to that gobbledigook and not your blog. Whew! You're safe.

Crushes? Well maybe my college statistics and physiology professor. He had long hair and this scraggly beard and was just about the coolest thing our psychology department had seen in years. He also had a cute (and wonderful) wife who wasn't much older than his students. Other than that my male profs were either too old, too uh... not good looking or too nasty for me to care about even if they were hot.

My dh majored in education but never taught. Given that he's all dark and has a goatee and is all buff, I wonder if he'd have had high school girls all a-flutter over him in business class.


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

You're a lucky woman, Marilyn! Isn't it always the maverick prof that is appealing to co-eds? Only someone my age would use that term. I swore I wasn't going to, I swore it.

I agree, Julie0, that would have turned me off, too. I don't know how I managed to avoid the piggy in all the science I took.

Mon! Figures you know all about physics. You and your husband have a cool relationship. And I'm not even including the KKremes fetish.

Don't you think this guy would be a little bit of a distraction if he were prof? I'd still be giggling at 41 if he were teaching a course. I think I need to go back to school...

Rach said...

He is quite the yummy one! And a nerd to boot =). I LOVE a good nerd!!

I bet if he were a prof, his physics classes would be LOADED with young, fresh faced co-eds ;oP.

My crush? Well, it was on the teacher that taught across the hall from me my first two years. So tall, great butt, and SOOOOOOOO sweet and wonderful with the kids. His wife is now one of my good friends (as is he) so I let that crush go.

Jules, I SO hear ya on the piggy. Thank the good lord I didn't have to do that one. I had earthworms and frogs.

Anonymous said...

I had two crushes in my senior year in HS--my Calculus and my Physics teacher *sigh*

Very sad because neither topic stuck with me--I'm more of a biology person. *grin*

Julie in Ohio said...

I could tell you a story of what happens when a teacher reciprocates the crush but you probably don't want to hear that...

Rach, it'd take worms and frogs over Miss Piggy any day. The teacher even made us name them. How demented is that?

Playground Monitor said...

I never had to dissect a pig, but cool professor mentioned above had us doing surgeries on lab rats. And if your rat died, you flunked that module. So... I've opened up a rat, identified its internal organs and sewed it back up again. I've castrated a rat. God, that was fun! I've performed an adrenalectomy on a rat (and poor thing, he died). And I implanted a canula in a rat's brain (if he survived, he had to ride the short bus to school afterward). I was a whiz with anesthesia too (a shot of sodium pentathol straight into the liver -- had 'em out in no time and if they started rousing, we used a mason jar with an ether-soaked cotton ball. Just slip it over their little nose til they were snoozing and remove). To this day I think my DH has a wierd sort of respect for me because I showed him the rat balls in the jar of formaldehyde. LOL!


Laura Vivanco said...

I'm going to be pedantic here, but I suppose that's allowed since we're talking about being academic. Eric didn't create the Romance Wiki. It belongs to Kassia Krozser, who's the editor (as mentioned in the 'About' pages). She suggested that those of us on the listserv could add the Romance Scholarship pages to the Romance Wiki, so the creation of those pages has been a collaborative effort.

Eric started the Romance Scholar listserv and the Teach Me Tonight blog.

Stacy~ said...

No cute teachers for me :( But I like this guy. Kudos to your son for helping you with work - now he sounds like a smart boy. Maybe he'll be someone's cute professor one day.

ev said...

I am so glad it wasn't just me having problems yesterda. whew!!

I never dissected anything. Got a pass on taking Biology- I have no desire to cut into any once living thing. Much less a cat or pig. ick.

Julie in Ohio said...

Marilyn- I have a weird sort of respect for you for being within scalpel distance to a rat...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Well, Julie0, you know I'm gonna bite on that one. Do tell...

Gosh, Marilyn, I was a vet nurse for a while in a spay/neuter clinic, but I never actually castrated the animals. Hmm, I'm thinking your husband respects you also for your handiness with a scalpel. Thanks, oh thanks for sharing. :)

Hey, ev. Good for you. And hey, thanks for visiting us lately. Wasn't that a freaky day yesterday?

My bad, Laura. Thanks for the update, Bella. You see, we first learned of the Wiki through Eric's project and are are so glad we did.

We always like to give credit where it's due. And even when "talking about being academic," we keep things supportive and positive here.

It's why the rep of this community of ours has grown so quickly among romance readers, writers, and industry professionals; RBtheBloggers set the tone.

I am so proud of what you've made of this community of ours, Bellas!

Here at RBtheBlog, we welcome, nay, embrace pedantic discourse, whether it concerns attribution, romance fiction, snaxy guys...We all have our talents and areas of expertise. :)

And we all care deeply about romance fiction and have lots to be said and listened to when defining our beloved genre, sometimes for ourselves, mainly for those who as of yet don't know and appreciate us.

Julie in Ohio said...

My freshman year of high school we got a new english teacher. I unfortunately didn't have him. I got the old stuffer guy that's been there for 50 years. Well, he was fresh out of college and as adorable as could be. He found a certain senior cheerleader to be quite cute. As the story goes, they participated in a little extracurricular activity both on and off campus. Please remember I live in a small town. This was big news and a huge scandal.
The girl graduated but wasn't allowed to participate in the commencements. She was both a cheerleader and homecoming attendant so this hurt her alot. He was of course fired and I believe moved to Michigan. I know for a fact that he isn't allowed to teach in Ohio any more.

Lesson of the day, Bellas: Looky but no touchy... :o)

Michelle, you keep giving us the credit and, well, we have a big enough head as it is... :P
You keep forgetting that you are the Queenie around here. If you weren't here, neither would we be. You are the one who brought us together. We just like to gab and you give the most snaxy things to gab about and the most wonderful people to gab with... :o)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

[blushing] I totally didn't write that for the compliment. But thanks.

You know, Jules, there's a Sandra Brown romance re that same subject. Young teacher, senior over-achieving girl. I think they share a kiss. Then, she goes back to college after divorce and, guess who's the new prof? He ends up accused of getting a co=ed pregnant. "A Kiss Remembered."

Then, of course, there's always the Police song, "Don't Stand So Close to Me," which was the soundtrack for my college prof fancy, even though the song was, as Sting says, Nabakovian.

Has anyone read Nabakov? "Ada?" "Lolita?" Dig the Nster. Oops. I didn't just wax literary there, did I?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

BTW, saw the Romantic Times story re Nathan Kamp. They interviewed some of our faves, Lori Foster, Teresa Medeiros, Pamela Clare, and I think, Angela Knight, who talked about his being more in line with their vision of heroes.

Rach said...

I read that Sandra Brown, Michelle, I really enjoyed it.

I agree with what Julie said. You certainly set the tone for what you wanted on your blog--we just followed your example. Thanks again and again and again...for creating such a fabu community of friends =).

Julie in Ohio said...

YAY, Nathan!! I'm glad people are seeing him for more than his ever so snaxy bod. He is a true romance hero, inside...and out. :o)

Michelle, that was an awesome interview you did with him.

When can we expect you interview with Canna?
You can make it a series. Let's call it "He's more than just a pretty face". :o)

Julie in Ohio said...

Michelle, is the "Lolita" that you are referring to the same as the movie with Jeremy Irons?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Yep, Jules. Jeremy Irons, who I love to begin with, played Humbert Humbert. there's an earlier version, too. It's a really funky book, especially when we read it with today's sensibilities about child sexual abuse. Gotta wonder about Nabs. He's like all incest and pedaphilia.

Hey! Happy subjects for a Sat afternoon! Glad I could lead us there.

But since we're on the subject, I loved "Damaged" w/ Jeremy I, too. But I talked (grumled)before. about my feelings about it's reception here in the states.

Oh, God! An interview with Canna? You know it would be so, like, "so where did you meet your wife? Where does she buy your kids' clothes; they're so cute." I really couldn't get into the meaty stuff like," so why are footballers constantly exposing each others' genitalia in play?"

Inquiring Bellas want to know...

Playground Monitor said...

Since I have everyone's wierd admiration *g* let me say that I haven't wielded a scalpel since that class. I did, however, wield a fairly sharp knife today and sliced ham for sandwiches for lunch.

We're keeping our 3 month old granddaughter and I'm beginning to remember why young people have babies and not 55 year old women. Well, lately there have been some women my age and older who have done it but what on earth are they thinking??? And that nifty carsear/infant seat/stroller seat is well... nifty, but the damn thing weighs a bazillion pounds! And I'm going to have to pack up all this paraphernalia by myself on Monday and take her back home cuz the DH found out he has to leave on a business trip Sunday evening.

So far so good. She slept until about 4AM, took a couple ounces of formula and went right back to sleep until 8:30. I think she woke up cause her schedule was messed up last night. We had to meet the kids halfway to pick her up and it ended up being a later night than usual. Needless to say, Grammy didn't sit at the computer writing til 2:00AM like she sometimes does.

Oh yeah... nearly forgot. Did I read correctly that your 9 year old son reads Popular Science? Kewl!

Julie in Ohio said...

LOL, Michelle! Do you suppose they have a baby Gap in Italy? How many situps does he do each day? Does he need a workout partner?

Marilyn- I love the 3 month old stage. They are smiling and just plain happy to be alive. Well, as long as you remember to feed them when *they* think it is time and change them as soon as she deems it necessary. aahhh, I am envious...

Rach said...

How fun, Marilyn! =) Little Bit is no longer a sweet, docile, just stay-where-you-put-her kinda gal now that she is almost 9 months old. I miss three months soooooo much...

Julie in Ohio said...

Nine months is sweet, too. The way they imitate a drunken relative(we all have one) as they learn to walk. Or their nonsensical worbles as they learn to talk. And they have the cutest pudgey cheeks that just beg to be eaten and the giggles that follow...*sigh*

Goodness, I could really scare my hubby with this talk. :P

Kati said...

Hi Bellas! I've been MIA the last few days. My assistant has been out of the office (on his honeymoon) and I've been covering both of us, so it's been nuts!

I miss you guys!

Marilyn - I totally know what you mean about little ones. A few years ago I went to about 6 weddings in 9 months. Now all of those couples are procreating, which is fantastic, but it adds a whole new dimension to everything. I find myself having conversations that start with, "Jack pooped four times yesterday!" and my response being, "Wow, you go Jack!" LOL! I remember when we used to talk about boys in a WHOLE. OTHER. WAY.

Times change!

I'm having 10 over tomorrow night to watch the 'Skins play the Cowboys. Hopefully I'll end up happy, but from what everyone's saying probably not. But I've decided to just make a bunch of appys instead of dinner.

I've been on a Nora tear and just re-read the BORN IN...series. I love them. Murphy Muldoon is one of my favorite heroes!

What's everyone else reading?! Michelle, I'm so looking forward to Eloisa coming next week! She's fantastic and always writes the very best blogs.

Kati said...

Oh, one more comment, JR Ward was over at the Squawk today. LOL! The Cellies were out in full force over there too. I checked the blog this morning at like 8:15 ET, and there were already 80 comments!

And I thought I was a big fan!

That's totally not a criticism, just amazement that her fans are so, well, fanatical! ;o)

amy kennedy said...

Yikes--I've missed so much...
Marilyn, I can't seem to get over the "castrating a rat" thing. Was it a tiny scalpel?

Hey Monica--I never saw What The Bleep Do We Know--but they amde it into a book and I read that.

I love physics--I love the idea of physics, and if I had any time it would be something I would want to learn about. But Monica, I so get the whole just wanting to chat about it with a prof.

Love the nerdy prof--I'm sure I'd be paying such close attention in his a non-chearleady way.

Michelle--never read Lolita, but saw the "old" version, when I was kinda young--I wasn't quite sure what was going on...of course eventually I figured it out.

Marykate--I always picture you as such an urbanite--were you on Sex and the City?

Rach--our 7 year old started to walk at 9 months--yikers. Love the staying on the blanket stage. But Julie, LOL imitating the drunken relative--that's perfect.


Stace--you're too quiet today.

Ev--how the heck didja get a pass in biology? And I know--I hated get that Sorry screen yesterday.

amy kennedy said...

Michelle, did RT get an interview with NK?

Ooh Monica, have you read Emma Holly's Strange Attractions--you'd dig the physics in there.

MK I'm reading Anne Gracie's The Perfect Rake. I've never read her before, but it's delightful. Do you read Nora's JD Robb books? Or did we already have that discussion?

Playground Monitor said...

I can't remember how big the scalpel was. But you know, they always say the memory is the first thing to go. *g* We're talking about 1972-73 here.

We've survived the first full day, complete with a bath in the kitchen sink. Gosh I love that lavender baby bath and gel oil stuff. I might just use it myself. I'm ready to turn in and it's only 10:00.


Monica Burns said...

Marilyn, Remind me not to let my girls read your rat story. LOL Oldest is considering becoming a vegetarian. Ok with me, but man I know I'd MISS beef. LOL

Michelle, yep that's me brainy, nerdy romance writer of erotic sex. ROFL

Three months, nine months, whatever. I SOOOO do NOT miss those days. Hell there are times when I want to lock myself up in my office and forget the kids are in the house. Everyone keeps saying I'll miss them when they're gone. Ummm, I don't think so! I'll see them a couple hours a week and that will sustain me. LOL

Ames, was the "What the Bleep..." book any good? I really liked the movie. And it would be cool to talk to Nima, he looks like he would be fun to talk to. And I'll mark Emma's Strange Attractions on my TBBL

You know I didn't mention my school teacher crush. I was in 7th grade I think There was this student teach called Mr. Gray. Pretty hot, or so I thought at the time! LOL Anyway, I wrote this really dreadful love note, and brazenly walked into the office and left it in his mailbox. When I finally came to my senses a couple hours later, I was sick to my stomach at the thought that he'd actually find out it was me. Then I remembered something!...I'd forgotten to sign the letter. ROFLMAO. I just love it when the universe plays with my head. It's no wonder I'm so screwed up. ROFL

Kati said...

LOL Ames! I'm about as Urbane as a country hick! I live about 10 miles outside of DC, and do work downtown, but my idea of big night out is a dinner and a movie. I do occassionally eat at fancy restaurants downtown, and my job (because I do meetings) means that I stay at some swank hotels, but in my life, I drive volkswagon and live in the burbs.

I wish I was like one of the ladies of SatC! Especially, I wish I had one of their bods!

I have read all the IN DEATH books. As evidenced by every comment I've ever made, I think Nora Roberts is pretty much the living end, so I'd read a menu if she wrote it!

I really enjoyed the Anne Gracie books. She was quite a find for me!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Ames: Nope.

Mon: I'm kinda in your camp. I felt cranky and out of my element when the kids were young young. As they get older, I find them much easier to communicate with. Plus, you can't throw babies in front of the computer or GameCube for 12 hours a day.

Yeah, Everybody talks about poop once they have kids. At some point, you realize, "My God. I used to talk about sex and politics friends, etc., and now I talk about time, quantity, color of excrement. yipee."

When I realized that, I started repeating in my mind (until I believed it, which took a couple years) "I didn't give up being a woman when I became a mother."

Marilyn! You're awesome.

MK, welcome back.

Worry if I'm not saying individual hi's to all. Gotta run. Making myself work today. Got some cool stuff coming up and wanna psyche up for it, rather than just be stressed.

Also, gotta feed the damn kids before mass. What, couldn't they just eat the wafer and be satisfied? It's very filling.

Laura Vivanco said...

Also, gotta feed the damn kids before mass. What, couldn't they just eat the wafer and be satisfied? It's very filling.

Yes, and after all, it says in the Bible that 'man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God', so a wafer and a sermon should keep them full. On the other hand, a wafer doesn't count as bread after transubstantiation so...

Stacy~ said...

Happy Sunday everyone. What a gorgeous day it is out there :)

Julie, when I was in high school I had a teacher who, years before, ended up divorcing his wife and marrying a student when she was old enough. I don't remember all the details but he was still teaching, so they were either very careful or nothing happened until after she graduated.

Michelle, I saw the older version of "Lolita" and the girl was just perfect, but both men were creepy whereas I think Jeremy Irons might have lent a more...intriguing element to the role. I never read the book though. "Damaged" hot.

Marilyn, oh how cute! Hope you had fun with your grandbaby, even if she did wake up at 4am.

Rach, your little ones are so precious. I love when you show new pix so we can see how they look now. Just adorable.

Monica, I have the Bleep book. Makes me feel stupid, but I try to understand it LOL.

Amy, yesterday I was at the Celtic fest at Grant Park in Chicago. It was fun. Sadly none of the bagpipers were cute, but they had bands playing, one from France, and they were amazing. I love that music. And those Irish & Scottish accents make me swoon! Though listening to Irish music from someone with a French accent was pretty hot, too.

I didn't care as much for Holly's "Strange Attractions", but I loved "All U Can Eat" and "Beyond Innocence" - the 2nd being a historical. Both are very hot - have your man at the ready LOL.

Um, the poop talk stops here for me LOL. Not something I care to contribute to *g*

I plan on going to a movie and dinner with some girlfriends - we want to go see "The Black Dahlia" - has anyone else seen it? Get me a little Josh Hartnett...

Julie in Ohio said...

MK, I'll be interested in hearing your take on "Black Dahlia". I have heard mixed reviews.

Stacy- That is funny about your teacher because we had another teacher who married a student of hers after he graduated. It was never proven whether they had an affair while he was her student and she is still a teacher in the high school.
That Celtic Festival sounds great...

My cousin also said that I could have her children until they turned one because she couldn't deal with babies. I LOVE BABIES! I keep threatening dh that I want another but then he reminds me that they grow up and become hormonal 10 year olds... :P

Monica Burns said...

Oh make me homesick for the Windy City! I'm betting you had a great time there. Nothing like a great festival in Chicago to totally rock the house. I wish my sister hadn't left that area (she's in Green Bay WI now), I loved going to visit her and heading into the city for shopping and sight-seeing. We always had fun doing that.

JulieO - if I threatened the DH with that, he'd KNOW the aliens had supplanted his real wife again. I love my girls, but I sooo am not interested in going the baby route again. I also threatened Oldest during the sex talk, that if she got herself in trouble, she'd have one of three choices, abortion, adoption or she could get a job and take care of the baby on her own, cuz MOM has already done her turn at that kiddie buffet. *grin*

Ok, I've got to stop playing and go write. Later Bellas

Julie in Ohio said...

Whenever I give the baby threat, really that's all it is. I just like to see his face turn a pretty shade of white. Hey, a girl's gotta get her kicks where she can...

But I do love babies. And snag a baby fix where and when I can.

Kati said...

I totally had my baby fix tonight! My BF brought her nine month over tonight. I'm not kidding, this kid should be doing Gerber ads! He's unbelievably cute and looked great in his Redskins gear(Auntie MK provided, of course!) and then other good friends brought their brand new baby (born on the 5th) over tonight. So I got both my rambunctious baby and my sweet cuddly baby fix. I had a blast!

I'm looking forward to "Back to School Week" here at RBtB. Maybe I'll learn some new good stuff! If nothing else, I can't wait to hear what EJ has to say about P4P!