Archive for November, 2012

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New Quasar Extremes

Friday, November 30th, 2012

In case you didn’t know it, my specialty in astronomy is active galaxies, primarily the most extremely luminous type, known as the quasar.  These are objects in the centers of distant galaxies, likely accreting supermassive black holes inside a region the size of our solar system, that outshine their hosts (consisting of trillions of stars) […]

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Bad Science Journalism Attacks Mars

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

A few days ago I posted about possible exciting news about Mars and Bigfoot, and was skeptical about the bigfoot news and optimistically patient about the Mars news… I placed half my bets in the wrong column. The news from Mars, which sounded like it would be about organic molecules and life, was a misunderstanding. […]

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Is it Evil to Love this?

Monday, November 26th, 2012

A little horrific prank, Brazilian style…not speaking Portuguese won’t matter a bit.  Now if only I could figure out how to do a version of this for Halloween, my life might be complete… I don’t believe in ghosts, but somehow I’m not sure I’d fare any better than these poor souls.   Share/Bookmark

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Sunday Starlinks

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Let’s hit on this a bit more…Paul Krugman on why Marco Rubio’s gaffe about the age of the Earth really matters, touching on climate change and the problems many Republicans have when reality doesn’t conform to their preexisting beliefs.  And just how old is the Earth really?  According to geologists, not theologians.  Related to this […]

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Big News about Mars and Bigfoot…Maybe, Maybe Not

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Science is deliberate and careful, governed by peer review not press release.  We wait for the papers to come out and embargo the press release until that that happens.  When things aren’t handled that way, we get something like that Cold Fusion circus that has left that area of research tainted ever since.  Let’s look […]

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Thanksgiving Thoughts and Memes

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

It’s a good day to remind myself that I can be rationally optimistic, that I’ve got things pretty good, and that my problems are “first-world” problems and problems of success.  I’m overweight and in more credit card debt than I am happy with.  I’m too stressed and busy, also, but because I’m recognized for my […]

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Monday Starlinks

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Don’t know why, but I got tired and was in bed by 10pm last night.  That NEVER happens.  Except when it does, apparently.  Some kind of rare black swan event, unforeseeable and terrifying.  My grandfather goes to bed around 8:15pm!  What if that’s my future?!  I think I’m still a little screwed up by the […]

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Tired Tonight…

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

…think I’ll do Monday Morning starlinks. Share/Bookmark

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Leonid Meteor Shower this Weekend

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Here’s some information about when/where to look, but you’ll do best in the hours before dawn (2-5AM) looking east tonight and tomorrow.  Look toward the constellation Leo if you know it.  I think the weather will actually be good here for a change and will try to take a look using my secret weapon: gen […]

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Ten Classic Hard SF Novels over at the SFWA Blog

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

I did a list for SFWA, all of which feature physics and/or astronomy.  Without all the introductions and discussion, here’s the list: 1. Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement 2. The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke 3. Ringworld by Larry Niven 4. Dragon’s Egg by Robert Forward 5. Timescape by Gregory Benford 6. The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle 7. Tau Zero by Poul Anderson 8. The Moon […]

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Sunday Starlinks

Monday, November 12th, 2012

I’ve been procrastinating this weekend on the hard work of revising two grant proposals, and I’ve read that procrastination is often about perfectionism.  It’s been getting tougher to get grants with tighter budgets, and after a lot of early success I’ve been having trouble the last few years, and the stakes are high for me […]

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Happy Carl Sagan Day!

Friday, November 9th, 2012

A poet and visionary, and while we are worse off without him today, we are by far better off for him having been with us as long as he was. “Those worlds in space are as countless as all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the Earth. Each of those worlds is […]

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