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The Manti Te'o of Physics 101

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the international-man-of-intrigue-by-night dept.
theodp writes "When it comes to tales of fake girlfriends, Manti Te'o can't hold a candle to theoretical particle physicist Paul Frampton. In November 2011, writes the NY Times' Maxine Swann in 'The Professor, the Bikini Model and the Suitcase Full of Trouble,' Frampton met who he says he thought was Czech bikini model Denise Milani on Mate1.com. A Yahoo Messenger romance bloomed, at least in the 68-year-old Frampton's mind (Frampton's ex-wife was a self-described 'physics groupie'). But before starting their perfect life together, fake Denise asked Frampton for one little favor — would he be so kind as to bring her a bag that she had left in La Paz, Bolivia? Yep, bad idea. The UNC Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy soon found himself in a Buenos Aries prison, charged with transporting two kilos of cocaine into Argentina. Currently serving a four years and eight months sentence under house arrest, Frampton reportedly continues to supervise his two current PhD students by phone, and still finds time to post to the Physics archive."
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The Manti Te'o of Physics

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  • by Press2ToContinue (2424598) * on Saturday March 09, 2013 @02:08PM (#43126829)

    let the personal Indictments on evidence presented by media coverage begin .... now!

    (You may write below. Judging morals and boob-based motivational jokes are encouraged.)

    • by jhoegl (638955)
      Everyone knows women dont exist on the internet.
      Therefore, you should know it is a hoax if they are interested.
    • Sure, if she'd been "fifteen", she'd have been a cop, but there are other kinds of trolls out there.

    • Clearly here is one guy who lacks the sense of curiosity that is supposed to be the hallmark of all physicists. What is in the bag? Is the cat in the bag alive or dead?

      --
      This comment will not be saved until you click the Submit button below.

      • by cffrost (885375)

        Clearly here is one guy who lacks the sense of curiosity that is supposed to be the hallmark of all physicists. What is in the bag? Is the cat in the bag alive or dead?

        Brad Pitt: Aspiring Physicist [youtube.com]

      • by Locke2005 (849178) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @11:30AM (#43131429)
        He knew damn well what was in the bag! After being warned by a friend that it probably had drugs sewn into the lining, he opened it up and (supposedly) decided it was empty. Then he filled it with his own clothes to make it look less suspicious. Kinda hard to miss 2Kg of coke, isn't it? This is a guy that was so delusional he actually thought if he smuggled coke for this Milani chick, that she was going to fall in love with him and marry him... despite the fact that he had never spoken to her in person.
        • Without knowing much about the truth, I originally suspected exactly what you are saying. Seems to me that when ur caught with kilos of coke, the first thing you do is make up excuses as to why you are not responsible and someone else is. This story sounded exactly like the wild tail someone caught in crime will tell.
    • The biggest surprise for me is that physicists have groupies! Do you have to be a rich successful physicist or just a competent physicist? Because it's not too late for me to change careers.

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Saturday March 09, 2013 @02:15PM (#43126875) Homepage Journal
    It's hard to believe that he could really be that oblivious to how the real world works. The messages he sent from Bolivia where he talks about the value of cocaine, and evading authorities, don't help his case, either.
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @02:50PM (#43127087) Journal

      What would be odd, though, about the 'it was deliberate' case is that(at least going by popular accounts and a rough survey of people who get caught) being a coke mule is kind of a shitty job. Lots of surplus value in the supply chain as a whole; but not a terribly compelling slice(especially given the legal, and in some methods lethal, hazards involved) of that actually goes to the peon doing the carrying.

      I'd assume that squeaky-clean white Americans are rather more desirable mules than 'impecunious locals who don't have a convincing story for how they even bought a ticket', because they are less suspicious and more likely to bring the package to its destination, unless the sniffer dogs get them; but unless the premium paid is pretty good, it still seems like a strange career move, particularly for somebody sharp enough to hack it as a physicist.

      It wouldn't be the first time that somebody did something moronic; but 'coke mule' is not high on the list of fantasy dream jobs...

      • by seyyah (986027)

        He may still have been manipulated by the 'woman', but knew a little more about what he needed to do (ie carry a suitcase full of cocaine rather than her sentimental suitcase) to get her.

        • That would be more plausible than doing it for cash directly(though it would also make him a veritable poster child for any of the various 'sugar daddy' "dating" websites that allow older guys with money to go out of their league without ending up in cushy Bolivian prison...)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Reading the text messages he sent, not only does it look like he clearly knew he was transporting coke. It looks to me like he still thought the girl was real and wanted to run off with the coke or something. The cops probably saved his life. What a moron.

    • by bitt3n (941736) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @02:59PM (#43127151)

      It's hard to believe that he could really be that oblivious to how the real world works. The messages he sent from Bolivia where he talks about the value of cocaine, and evading authorities, don't help his case, either.

      I'm struck by the astuteness of your observation. As a nubile lingerie-model, I've been looking for someone like you to help lift me up out of the downward spiral to which I've been doomed by my slightly unwholesome good looks and improbably bountiful bosom. I know it's beyond all reason to hope that some stranger on the internet might condescend to lift me from out of this maelstrom of sexually depraved antics and obscene luxury, but is there any chance that someone of your pronounced intellect and homespun charms might be able to love a poor thing like me? Bonus points if you have a peg leg and are too fat to fit in one of those backscatter machines.

    • by dywolf (2673597) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @03:14PM (#43127221)

      http://www.boobpedia.com/boobs/Denise_Milani [boobpedia.com]

      Man has good taste

      • by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Saturday March 09, 2013 @04:37PM (#43127649)

        Man has good taste

        Perhaps it was just intellectual curiosity. As a physicist, he may have thought they could account for the Universe's missing mass.

         

      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        And of course, if you receive a picture of someone who has literally hundreds of photographs of themselves freely available on the internet, it obviously came directly from her... it couldn't possibly by that somebody else downloaded one of those pictures and posed as her, no sir-ee!
      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        As much as I hate to go against the predominant "more is always better!" mentality, I have to say yes, Ms. Milani's tits are too big. I prefer my women to be proportional, not gross caricatures of what some immature boy thinks the perfect woman would look like. Kate Upton is proportioned just about perfectly.
    • by jjohnson (62583)

      Hans Reiser is the template for this sort of thing. His basic flaw is narcissism, which makes him a perfect dupe. He's genuinely unsurprised that a supermodel would want to make babies with him, a distinguished physics professor in line for a Nobel. And just like Reiser, he's genuinely shocked that the court didn't believe his "I'm aspie!" defence in court that he was just joking about those tweets.

    • It's hard to believe that he could really be that oblivious to how the real world works.

      There are more than a handful of people who grow up in affluence or are sheltered most of their lives from the denizens of seedy places that might prey on others. Ergo, they have little recourse, mostly in the form of previous experience or tales from their associates, to guide them in such matters.

      I know that, in my case, it was not immediately apparent that I was a potential drug mule target, when I was accosted, late one evening, by a buxom, beautiful, crying woman in Ybor City. The only factors that u

    • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @03:58PM (#43127433)

      It's hard to believe that he could really be that oblivious to how the real world works. The messages he sent from Bolivia where he talks about the value of cocaine, and evading authorities, don't help his case, either.

      My impression of the story the author was telling is that the guy really was catfished, but he knew he was a drug mule. He just thought that muling was something he needed to do for the woman, to prove his love or to provide a comfortable life for her, something along those lines. He also thought that he was smarter than the cops and that if he got caught, he would be able to get off by pretending to have been fooled.

      The guy probably never dealt with the legal system before, much less criminal legal system in a 3rd world country, and had the typical nerd belief that it was all just a system of rules, like theoretical physics or computer programming, and if he could just set up the 'equations' the right way the result would be the outcome he expected (I think the author hinted at that when she focused on his statements about how great it would be to have his theoretical predictions validated by a real experiment.)

      Now, that is the story I think the author was telling, who knows how true that is to what really happened.

      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        Agreed. He knew what he was doing, he was just delusional enough to think it would get him laid by Denise Milani... which does seem to indicate an extremely poor understanding of how the real world works.
    • by Shinobi (19308)

      Eh... Academia tends to have a lot of people who are the epitome of "extremely smart, but not wise at all", living in a sort of bubble. And this one was in theoretical physics, compounding the issue.

      Let's just say that I'm not very surprised...

  • by ShaunC (203807) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @02:15PM (#43126877)

    Do you, you... Feel like I do?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Woke up this morning in a Buenos Aires jail.

      What jail?

      Whose jail?

      Where the hell is my bail?

  • I'm having trouble understanding this. He is an educated man, a Ph.D. no less. He is a man of maturity with a lifetime of experience. And yet he somehow thinks that a white bikini model wants his 68 year old shriveled cock? How do you even get to that point? Educated people don't do this. Did we fact-check this story for a hoax, because it's a good chance that it is.
    • He is an educated man, a Ph.D. no less.

      So is Kurt Wise. And his Ph.D. in geology somehow doesn't show. There's a *correlation* between being educated and not suffering from cognitive lapses, *not* causality.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This just happens that anyone can be the victim social engineering; regardless of how smart you are...
      All they have to do is find your weakness... even if you are street-smart, you'll still fall for it!

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Nowak [wikipedia.org]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_reiser [wikipedia.org]
      Are a couple of examples that spring to mind.

      Being very smart, especially if you're somewhat sheltered from the real world can lead to really, really bad decisions.

    • Hugh Hefner. 86 years old. Don't want to speculate about his cock though.

      • by Shavano (2541114)

        Hugh Hefner. 86 years old. Don't want to speculate about his cock though.

        Hefner has a lifetime of experience telling him that beautiful women are really interested in his money.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      Wisdom and knowledge are two separate things. Lots of really smart people do really stupid things.

    • by jjohnson (62583)

      Ad D&D tells us, Intelligence and Wisdom are two separate stats.

    • He is an educated man, a Ph.D. no less.

      And geeks and street smarts always go together, of course.

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      I had a friend who was really bright, an Electronics Engineering student who was Engineer of the Year at my college... and yet he couldn't install a car stereo in his own car without help. "Educated" and "Understands how the real world works" are as different as Theory and Practice.
  • This is a sad tale -- but a good example of how being book smart doesn't translate into being street smart. :-/

  • Rand Paul, start another filibuster about legalizing drugs.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      Drugs aren't legal because we have to take care of idiots after they fuck themselves and their lives and their children's lives up. If we could let people live with the consequences of their actions then I'd fully agree they should be legal. Eventually most of the real idiots would die but noooooooo! We have to care for them and make sure they get treatment and counseling. That's why they are illegal.

      • One might argue that is a lower price to pay than the cost of law enforcement and the enrichment of criminal gangs with ensuing civil disruption.

        • by amiga3D (567632)

          You could argue that. I don't know that you'd be right though I can see your point.

          • One could argue lots of other things too.

            People should be free to fuck themselves up with drugs, just like they're free to fuck themselves up with other things. Why should drugs be special?

            People fuck themselves up with alcohol (OK it is a drug), but many more people can use it responsibly and legally.

            People are free to drive as much as they want even though it is a huge cause of injury, disablement and death. Yet we support them.

            Likewise people are free to do many dangerous recreational activities (mountai

      • by Shavano (2541114)

        Drugs aren't legal because we have to take care of idiots after they fuck themselves and their lives and their children's lives up. If we could let people live with the consequences of their actions then I'd fully agree they should be legal. Eventually most of the real idiots would die but noooooooo! We have to care for them and make sure they get treatment and counseling. That's why they are illegal.

        But if we could identify that certain drugs are just too damaging and addictive for people who have kids and serious responsibilities, we could get people to have themselves sterilized in exchange for the right to take whateverthehell drugs they want.

        • by amiga3D (567632)

          I'm okay with that but it'd never fly in the Nanny State. You can't interfere with peoples' rights to bring children into the world that they are totally incapable of raising.

      • Nice theory, but counterfactual. Drug use has not changed much since around 1906, when the law required canners and bottlers to disclose what's in their products. Cocaine and opium use plunged once people knew what they were taking. We did not then and we do not need now to take care of remaining users, unless you are talking about tobacco and alcohol, truly harmful substances. Since then, the lives of millions have been ruined by a violent war on those who use drugs. This is true even of methamphetamine,
        • by amiga3D (567632)

          What facts are wrong? I don't disagree that most people will not poison themselves knowingly. The problem is that we do have to care for the people that do. They show up at emergency rooms and we take care of them. It's a simple fact.

          • Oh, you mean they're broke and their lives are ruined? Could it be because they don't don't buy their heroin from Bayer, which invented and introduced the product, but from the only kind of distributor able to stay in business under the current regime -- a monopolistic gang of greedy murders?
            • by amiga3D (567632)

              So you think the high cost is the only problem? If it were cheap and legal that everything would be all nice and problem free? I lean toward Libertarian concepts but although I'd like to see the drug war end I know that all those junkies would be the taxpayers' responsibility. If legality included provisions to make sure that people who chose to ingest that stuff were on their own to deal with the repercussions I'd say fine. Never gonna happen though.

              • by fafalone (633739)
                What exactly are those repercussions, that don't arise only as a consequence of legal status? Here's a hint, they're about the same as those of people taking high doses of other opiates prescribed by physicians; and those under heroin maintenance programs in Europe: virtually nil.

                Pick another drug to make that comment about, because medically speaking, opiates (which includes heroin) are among the safest drugs out there when used legally.
                And before you bring up 'liver problems', remember that is a conseq
                • by amiga3D (567632)

                  The problem with illegal drugs is more the dosage than anything else. If you get a prescription for pain killers then you take them say one or two pills every 4 to 6 hours. When they are gone they are gone. This means that you take enough to help with the pain which is of course what they are for. If you buy them off the street then generally people take them as they want them. The only limit is how much money they have. More money, more drugs. Now they are damaging their bodies. Long term use resul

  • In order to really understand this story, you need to Google Denise Milani.
    Here are a few results:
    http://www.denisemilani.com/ [denisemilani.com]
    http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Denise_Milani's_breasts [wikia.com]
    http://www.fhm.com/girls/covergirls/denise-milani [fhm.com]

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      Good point. That's enough to kill off all cognitive functions. I guess the little head just had to take over.

  • There is no fool like an old fool.

  • Textbook example of why you need to be cautious of geniuses in their specialty field preaching in fields outside their specialty.

    One of the academically smartest people I've ever personally known, simply seems to be missing the social intelligence processor.

    • Yeah, this is yet another example demonstrating that intelligence does not imply wisdom or even common sense.

      It's funny, though, how many faculty just always assume that their idea or concept is the only one that matters on any topic because they are (in their own view) the most intelligent person participating in the conversation. I work with faculty, and it is amazing to see just how breathtakingly disconnected from reality some of them are.

      • I posted the above before reading the article - typical of most of us Slashdotters. However, now having read the article... it's hard to believe his claims. Yes, he does seem to be a real world idiot... but I think it's likely he was knowingly smuggling cocaine, but thought he could get away with it because he's so much smarter than everyone else.

  • As Paul Frampton has now learned.

  • Distrust is the biggest hog of brain resources. Followed by self-doubt. In this unspeakable snob, both modules are reduced to vestigial place-savers.
  • AN OMG moment (Score:3, Informative)

    by MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @05:14PM (#43127835)

    I did not meet Frampton but In the 80's I knew several of his students. So that's 2 degrees.
    All I can say is wow.
    This guy not only was a professor, he was one of the guys inventing the thing that eventually became String Theory only at the time it was called Dual Resonance Models. He also wrote a book on QFT that was generally on everyone's suggested reading list. Virtual every high energy physicist has heard of him.

  • First, all the men on here know the men who say he is stupid are lying.

    For the women, if you believe that Frampton is stupid or that the men who say he is stupid really believe that. Let me explain something to you.

    1. Men will screw anything. If the only alternative is a female gorilla, he will jump at the chance once she presents her but. Even of her 800 lb gorilla boyfriend is about 20 feet away and bearing down on him, he will jump at the chance. He will just hope to outrun the gorilla.

    2. Take every male

  • Yeah, we make jokes and all, but remember, at least in the Manti Te'o case, a girl who never existed, is dead.
  • That's the story I'd use if I was to start muling cocaine across the border like it was 1983 and there was no Patriot Act.
  • No wonder he's so naive and creduous.

    Not, by the way that anyone deserves punishment for fooling around with drugs. He's naive - punishing people for production, sales, or use of drugs is genuinely evil!

A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program in than some that do. -- Dennis M. Ritchie

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