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The Cold Legacies

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

I have an essay titled “The Cold Legacies” that just went up over at Lightspeed Magazine.  This is based in part on an old blog post and lesson plan for my “Science in Science Fiction” course I’ve taught at the University of Wyoming.  Anyway, it’s about Tom Godwin’s story “The Cold Equations,” some controversy concerning […]

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On Taking Criticism

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Scientists and writers take on a burden few others do (although a few other professions have it as bad or worse).  They accept that in order to have success in their careers, or just to maintain a longterm career, they will experience intense and frequent criticism.  That criticism, when done professionally and with insight, can […]

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The Scientific Method

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Over on his blog, Jay Lake posted a link to this flowchart showing the scientific process. LOVE IT! It’s funny because it’s true… Every astronomer I’ve shared it with has loved it (one I overheard laughing out loud two offices away). And I just finished working on a NASA proposal to study the hot dust […]

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The Roger Ebert of Science Fiction Movies

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Apparently it’s me: Call Michael Brotherton the Roger Ebert of science fiction movies. Known for his work relating to the study of supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies, he also diligently pursues another passion: checking if the science is right in movies. An associate professor of astronomy at the University of Wyoming, Brotherton […]

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Challenging Science Fiction Reads

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

This is the subject of a new Mind-Meld post over at sfsignal.com, which I contributed to: Mike Brotherton Mike Brotherton is the author of the hard science fiction novels Spider Star (2008) and Star Dragon (2003), the latter being a finalist for the Campbell award. He’s also a professor of astronomy at the University of […]

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Ten Iconic Science Fiction Movie Posters

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

I just finished redecorating my student computer lab, replacing my old Demotivator posters from despair.com (great but have been up for 8+ years) with science fiction movie posters: It occurs to me I should have used the power of the internet to get some other ideas, although I like my choices.  I’ve still got a […]

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Follow Up on Martin Gaskell’s Lawsuit of the University of Kentucky

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

I’ve had some time to read more about what is going on and think I’m getting a clearer picture.   Let me restate the basic issue with greater understanding than I did before. Martin Gaskell is an astronomer in my subfield, and a pretty good one, and someone I consider a friend.   He’s also pretty religious […]

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Rejected Astronomer Suing University of Kentucky over Religious Discrmination

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

I was going to write about something else today, but saw this story about Martin Gaskell, a friend of mine.   There’s also a blurb at the Chronicle of Higher Education with a few really interesting comments.   Atheist blogger PZ Meyers has a post about the story, most of which I agree with, frankly, but I […]

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Thoughts and Advice about Landing Faculty Jobs in Astronomy

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

We’re in what I hope is the home stretch of a faculty search for a tenure-track astronomer to join our Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Wyoming.   I probably should have posted something a couple of weeks ago after the first couple stages of the process were complete, or wait until it’s […]

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How to Deal with the Irrational: The Wisdom of Sitcoms

Friday, November 5th, 2010

I was relaxing last night after my talk, after a dinner party at the University President’s house, and was catching 30 Rock, one of the more clever sitcoms out there in an age of the declining sitcom. One of the characters (Liz Lemon played by Tina Fey) had a problem with her father, and her […]

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Top Ten Science-Based Movies (that won’t insult your intelligence too much, even if you’re a scientist!)

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

I’m giving a university talk today “Science in the Movies.”   I decided I wanted to be able to leave the audience with a list of good science-based movies to watch, whether science fiction or not.   I not only want the science as good as possible, I want to see a realistic and generally positive portrayal […]

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15 Most Memorable Stories

Friday, October 1st, 2010

So I just succumbed to one of those facebook memes: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen short stories (or novelettes or novellas) you’ve read that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends, including me, because I’m interested in […]

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