Telephone sanitation and the Cosmic Microwave Background

March 24, 2007

On Thursday Andrew Jaffe from Imperial College was up giving us an excellent seminar on the CMB, and what the strange low-l anomaly could mean. Andrew has an excellent blog called Leaves on the Line, from which I learned that just before he came up from London he cleverly locked himself inside his own house. So for more reason than one we were pleased to see him.

In the pub afterwards, when there was a temporary pause in the arguments about Bayesian statistics versus frequentism, John Peacock mentioned that the other day he noticed his ear was sticky after using his phone. Apparently our cleaners spray some sort of gharrsly disinfectant on them every so often. So I guess they are telephone sanitation operatives, and Douglas Adams knew more than we realised. Maybe deep inside Cheyenne Mountain they are secretly building the B-ark as I write …

So I googled “telephone santitation” and entry number one was United States Patent 4819264 for a telephone sanitation device involving a disinfected foam pad. Damn. Why didn’t I think of that.