Does anyone/anything ever really live up to expectation? Having been to one too many movies with excitement brimming, only to be let down and curse the precious two hours lost from my life, I would say, generally, no, it is not a frequent occurrence. So imagine my surprise today, when I saw a talk given by Sean Carroll. Yeah, sure he can write and write well, but that doesn't portend he actually gives good talks too, even though I am sure we all secretly assumes that he does. Well, let me be the person to put your mind at rest, he lives up to expectation. He gave an excellent talk at Caltech on Dark Energy – anyone who can explain the slide at right must be a good speaker. He even threw in a few clever little jokes, you know, the kind that irritate you because you know you wouldn't be so clever. And finally, the whole "preposterous universe" thing makes sense (FYI: a little riff off of Greene's Elegant Universe and the universe being not so elegant from a cosmologist's point of view). On a side note, I always felt bad for cosmologists knowing how often they must explain at cocktail parties that no they do not study make-up.
So after Sean's talk, I feel a little bit more at ease with a physics topic that is well outside my research, which, when you think about it, is exactly what a colloquium is supposed to do. Why does it seem like so few speakers got that memo?