July 28th, 2013
Out of the habit of blogging, but with my schedule loosening up, at least until courses resume at the end of August, things should pick up soon. Trying to get the research habit reinstated first, which I’ll need as I’m transitioning from too many grad students to two finishing up (after two others last summer) and one just starting. Well, the many links below indicate I really do need to buckle down on the research in any event! Or maybe it was a really interesting week…
First, let me provide a link to Christian Ready’s summary of Launchpad related blogging from participants. I’ll make a post or two myself soon. In short, it was great again, and I’ve got a lead on funding for 2014. Christian also has a nice post about so-called false-color images.
And there are perhaps new planets left to discover in our own solar system. This would not shock me.
And some new analysis suggests that it’s easier than thought for aliens to visit Earth, thus giving support to the Fermi Paradox. Not to say that it’s easy easy, just easier…
Matter does indeed seem to warp space time in the particular ways that Einstein predicted. Cool NASA experiment reported on here.
An elevator to the moon in 8 years? I’d love to see this happen.
20 Extraordinary and Inspiring Facts about the Universe. Some pretty good ones.
It’s not Obi Wan Kenobi. It’s technology (our best hope). In your face, naturalistic fallacy! It’s going to be risky to control things ourselves, which should open up a lot of room for good science fiction at least. And there will be real costs associated with things like climate change. Some of them involving law suits.
Demoting the uncertainty principle. Yes, abused!
That’s no plot hole! Let me explain… If the explanation makes sense, I prefer they give it. I also prefer they try to provide it without exposition when possible.
What Nate Silver has in common with scientists — objectivity without quote marks around the word. On the right and the left, some people continue to have problems understanding prediction and other quantitative approaches to reality.
But there are worse offenders — Wanted: Young Creation Scientists. Need have quotes around “scientists” there, I’m afraid. These people don’t actually know what science is, or if they do, they don’t seem to care.
NPR’s top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels. I’ve read 61. Kind of weird list, but worth checking out.
The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister. Makes sense — the novels are tl;dr after all.
Star Wars vs. Game of Thrones…how cute.
The new movie Gravity looks like it’s going to be pretty cool! [Disclaimer: former Launch Pad guest instructor Kevin R. Grazier is a consultant on the film.]
First porn shoot with google glass. Not exactly safe for work, but amusing in a science fiction kind of way.
Michael Burstein on Man of Steel. I feel similar.
On the” big gay panic” associated with Ender’s Game and Spider-man. With the latter, I have a similar problem as with Man of Steel. There’s source material, and changing things too much can detract from the adaptation.
David Brin on adapting to the new world where technology continues to reduce or eliminate privacy. When I first came across his views on this topic, I found them shocking. Now I just find him ahead of the curve as I struggle to learn and adapt.
Issues about MOOCs (big online college classes). I do want to check out one offered by coursea on cosmology by a Caltech prof I know. If so, I will report back…
Nobel prizes: where are the women? There are a few, but not very many, probably for a variety of reasons.
A look back on one professor’s approach to getting tenure. Interesting and inspiration, but perhaps also some survivor bias to be aware of.
Let’s finish with Brian Cox on why science is essential to a modern democracy. Yes!
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