Archive for April, 2012

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God, (I don’t k)No(w)!

Monday, April 30th, 2012

I just finished reading Penn Jillete’s new book God, No!  It’s a fun, interesting read and I recommend with only minor reservations.  He uses a loose structure based on an atheist version of the Ten Commandments to tell a bunch of personal stories.  He’s an interesting, opinionated, smart guy and so are the stories.  I […]

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Through a Sunday (Starlinks) Darkly…

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Let’s start with a bunch of dark matter links.  Apparently it’s shooting through us all the time but not causing cancer (heh).  There may be some issues to resolve about dark matter, what it is, how it works, but those are good puzzles to have and there’s lots of evidence the stuff is there, even […]

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Scientist Assholes

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

I feel like ranting a little tonight.  I’m not depressed, and there hasn’t been a big blow up with anyone, but I’m a little irritated with some of my fellow scientists.  And to be fair, my rant isn’t about scientists only, but a particular kind of smart but oblivious person who cluelessly mistakes their own […]

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To Long for the Endless Immensity of Space

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

In light of yesterday’s positive post about “I can” and shedding limitting beliefs, let me propose that we can go back to the moon, on to Mars, the asteroids, and any other destinations in space that we want to. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it’s expensive. But also yes, we can be the first species to […]

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We Limit Ourselves and Need to Stop

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

I was watching Stephen Colbert interview Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works. He said something that was very powerful for me, that everyone is creative. It’s one of our species’ better qualities. Lehrer amplified this statement by describing how nearly all second graders describe themselves as creative, but this fraction drops dramatically with […]

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Stealth Religion Trying to Undermine Science

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

I got an email recently from the University of Chicago advertsing some large astronomy grants available: The New Frontiers in Astronomy and Cosmology International Grant Competition is offering opportunities for innovative research on the following topics: (I) What was the earliest state of the universe? (II) Is our universe unique or is it part of […]

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Sunday Starlinks

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Let’s start this week with how some high schools are restricting student speech, about their news of getting into college, to keep other students from feeling bad.  This is evil bullshit.  I mean, imagine you just got into Harvard — or one of many other colleges a lot better per tuition dollar — and you […]

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Squid in Stereo

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

This isn’t going to be a very in depth entry, but I have to wonder about so many of the Giant Squid shows I watch on TV.  I love cryptozoology, exploring extreme environments and searching for the extreme animals that live therein…but I’m tired of the shows with the underwater cameras where they can’t tell […]

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Semi-Local UFO — Any Ideas?

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

We’ve been contacted in our department about a UFO seen near Lander, Wyoming: “We have received a couple of calls from DM who lives in Lander.  It seems she and several others are seeing a strange light in the sky to the west of the Lander/Riverton area.  They have seen it between 9-10 at night […]

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Launch Pad Applications…Be Patient, Please…

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

We’re finalizing acceptances and the wait list now, but we had a record number of applicants and while I do this in collaboration with Jim Verley, I do the final replies myself.  They’re coming in the next day or two, with a chance of shifting positions.  We’re also looking at our budget very closely and […]

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The Martian Menagerie

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Once upon a time, Mars had canals: Then it was a “face” and “pyramids.” Then bigfoot:   And a now (and a couple of years ago but recently noticed again), a monolith: And the elephant (thanks Patty and Russ for reminding me…I remembered there was something else, but remembered “dragon.”  Heh!): You know, I actually […]

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Cabin in the Woods — No Spoilers!

Monday, April 16th, 2012

I saw the movie over the weekend and wanted to say how much I enjoyed it.  Smart, funny, scary, self-aware.  It’s a sophisticated but accessible movie, too. It’s probably better seen knowing as little as possible in advance, as writer/producer Joss Whedon (of Buffy and Avengers fame) has suggested.  If you like, check out Carol […]

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