Assorted comments

Victor aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jul 12 22:38:15 UTC 2009

James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at> wrote:
>>> A classmate of mine once insisted that "speed"
>>> and "velocity" were just as synonymous. яПН I tried to disabuse him by pointing
>>> out that "velocity" was far more prevalent in more technical contexts; in
>>> addition, I believe it has certain technical connotations and nuances that
>>> "speed" does not. яПН Naturally, he shrugged off my objections.
> The nuance is very simple.  "Velocity" refers to speed in a given direction, e.g. you can have a speed of 100 km/hr, but a velocity of 100 km/hr due north.  John W. Campbell Jr. of Analog Science Fiction gave an interesting mnemonic---a friend of his was ticketed by a "velocity cop"---for going the wrong way on a one-way street.
There is a broader distinction, aside from the scalar/vector one,
although "velocity" is almost always a vector or pseudo-vector (save for
"terminal velocity", even though there is an obvious direction in that
case). You can also have angular velocity (a vector that is collinear
with the axis of rotation), areal velocity (the vector representing the
sweep that the radius-vector makes as a point moves along a curve), etc.
Angular speed, on the other hand, is merely another term for angular
frequency (or simply "frequency"). And speed is often used in situations
where velocity makes little sense, e.g., film speed, speed of reaction,
etc. On the other hand, it is quite common for students at all levels to
either confuse the two terms or use them interchangeably, no matter how
technical you make the distinction.
>> Generally, there are several sources that collect "conservative"
>> columnists. The two largest (and largely overlapping) are
>> and regurgitation receptacle. I can't really
>> think of a comparable source on the left.
> the Huffington Post?
HuffPo is a source of opinion pieces, of course, but I am not sure I
would consider the situation comparable to I suppose, if
you know in advance which pieces are actually syndicated columns, it
makes more sense.
>> On the other hand, if print sources are desired, Washington Times and
>> WSJ editorial page are great sources of bias in one direction. Boston
> Please.  An editorial page that is not "biased" is not worth reading.
I would not dispute that editorial pages have biases. But I did
distinguish (as did others) between WaTimes, which has biased reporting,
and WSJ that has very strong and obvious biases in its editorials and
opeds. But this can be contrasted with other papers that have biased
opinion pieces on the editorial pages, but at least try to be more
balanced by inviting columnists that often take opposite sides. WaTimes,
Boston Herald and NYPost are particularly notorious exceptions because
their reporting is nearly as slanted as their editorials and columns.


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