Archive for October, 2012

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The First Thing Disney Should Do…

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

…now that it has acquired Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise. They should reissue the original version of Star Wars on DVD/Blu-Ray, in which Han shoots first, but fix the really wrong* part: the reference to the “fast” Millennium Falcon being able to make the Kessel Run in “less than 12 parsecs.” *Yeah, I know […]

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50 Ultimate Genre Match-Ups

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

I remember watching an episode of Cheers long ago in which they were arguing about Addams Family vs. The Munsters. And I was just reading a thread on Fark which was largely dominated by Star Wars vs. Star Trek. So I thought it would be fun to make a list.  A lot of them are […]

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Sunday Starlinks

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Still in Brazil, but in the airport waiting for the first leg of the trip to start.  I think I’ll avoid the possible “Frankenstorm” on the flight back tonight. Thoughtful article about using geoengineering to tackle climate change.  We’re probably going to need it.  Much better to avoid a problem through prevention rather than surgery…diet […]

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At a Science Meeting, Lamenting the Treatment of Science…

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

So I’m spending the week on science in one of the more time-intense ways a scientist can: attending a meeting that features 6-8 hours a day of talks, lunches filled with talking science, coffee breaks in front of science posters talking science, etc. And the news stories I see are “Skeptic receives death threat over […]

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Sunday Starlinks

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Or, as I am in Brazil, Domingo Starlinks… Article about Obama and Romney’s favorite books.  Obama comes across as a snobby reader to me, with lots of serious books that are important in intellectual circles but not that popular otherwise.  I mean, I’m a fan of (the abridged) MOBY DICK, but light reading it is […]

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What’s a Professional Science Meeting Like?

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

As I posted earlier, I’m out of town at a science meeting at a mountain resort town in southern Brazil this week.  Yeah, being a scientist does have some advantages, if you overlook the 20+ hours of travel each way.  Science is international, and organizers pick desirable locations to try to improve attendance.  A lot […]

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Big Science in Brazil

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

I’m flying out to Porto Alegre, Brazil this weekend to attend an astronomy meeting, Galactic Nuclei and their Connection with Stars and the Environment, a conference in honor of Miriani Pastoriza, an important figure in the study of galaxies and their nuclei.  I’ll be speaking this coming Thursday about improving our estimates of fundamental quasar […]

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Science Fiction in the Age of Exoplanet Discovery

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

From discovering the new planet in the Alpha Centauri system, to the “diamond planet,” to “Tatooine,” this is an exiting time in astronomy.  We’re finding planets orbiting stars beyond our own solar system in ever increasing numbers and with ever increasing diversity.  When I started graduate school to get my PhD, we didn’t know of […]

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Majorly Exciting Exoplanet News!

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

I was going to blog today about a planet found by the citizen science project planethunters.org, where anyone can sign up, sift through Kepler light curves, and help find planets.  Humans are still competitive with computers in some ways and pattern recognition is one of them. Well, my iphone app Exoplanet (which also lets you […]

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Why Science Literacy Is Important No Matter Your Field

Monday, October 15th, 2012

No one can know everything, and you’ll go crazy trying.  There’s way too much information on an infinite number of subjects, and these days with the internet and google it’s easier to look things up rather than knowing them in the first place. Still, let me submit that our basic K-12 education and college degrees […]

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Monday Morning Starlinks

Monday, October 15th, 2012

This post would have happened last night, but my local internet provider was not cooperating.  A bunch of interesting things going on… Do Blingons live there?  Planet made of diamond.  I got a lot of questions about this at the end of last week.  First of all, this is VERY speculative and almost certainly wrong […]

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How much are you willing to work for a PhD?

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Another busy, stressful week.  I know I need to give myself some time off to cut down on the stress and worry, but a lot has to get done, too.  I’ve got one big thing in particular that has to be done really well, and it’s not coming together easily, but it is gumming up […]

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