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Superheroic Science!

Monday, November 18th, 2013

I took the weekend off the big proposal deadline Friday. I’ll do a starlinks post soon, but in the meantime, the video of my recent talk in Gillette, WY, on the science of superheroes is now available. Enjoy! Comments welcome. Share/Bookmark

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Walt Whitman Listened to, but did not Hear, the Learn’d Astronomer

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

In my opinion, anyway. Here’s the poem, When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer (and “heard” does rhyme with “Learn’d” better than “listened to”), from Leaves of Grass. WHEN I heard the learn’d astronomer; When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me; When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, […]

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Should the Big Bang Theory have a Mission? Should Science Fiction?

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

A friend sent me a link to an article at Physics Today about The Big Bang Theory.  The premise of the article was to ask if the comedy could do more than make people laugh, and to propose it could educate them at the same time.  Here is the lead: Could scientists help the cause […]

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The Ten Best Modern Monster Movies and Why SyFy Movies Suck

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

By monster, I’m talking generally about non-human, non-supernatural creatures that want to kill you and/or eat you, so this excludes vampires, werewolves, Freddy Kruger, and the like.   I’m really biased toward giant monsters, or alien creatures from under the water or from outer space, although it’s hard to draw the line on these.   By modern, […]

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Walking on the Moon? Don’t Be Stupid….

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

I got an email from a professor I know. I know a lot of professors, and I won’t say who or where, but this should be more broadly known: This past week I helped grade midterm exams for Calculus I…One of the problems involved an astronaut on the lunar surface throwing a rock vertically into […]

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Is Inception the Best Science Fiction Movie of All Time?

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Better than Star Wars?   Better than Blade Runner?   Better than Back to the Future?   Better than Alien?   Better than the Matrix?   Better than 2001? I don’t think so, even though I enjoyed the movie very much, but the reviewers at IMDB disagree. Top Rated “Sci-Fi” Titles Rank Rating Title Votes 1. 9.0 Inception (2010) 200,923 […]

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Do Physicists Believe in God?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

We’re going to treat astronomers as a subset of physicists here. Sure, some do.   A lot don’t. One time I went camping with a group of guys I didn’t know too well.   They came from a wide range of backgrounds, and a lot of them were Christians of various fundamentalist stripes.   One of these guys […]

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Science Fiction Food and Drink

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Inspired by this list of the scariest foods (many of which I’ve eaten, including balot and rocky mountain oysters), I was thinking about scary science fiction foods like those live worms that the Klingons eat and decided to try to think of the really distinctive foods and drinks I’ve come across in science fiction.   Not […]

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Ten Mainstream TV Shows or Movies that are Science Fiction or Fantasy “Light”

Friday, June 18th, 2010

A few days ago I blogged about mainstream stories that I thought could be categorized as light versions of fantasy or science fiction.   To qualify, the stories had to fail to reflect reality in some fundamental way without being obviously science fiction or fantasy.   When that failure was over-the-top and great liberties are taken with […]

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It’s Got to be Tough to be an Astronaut (Poll on Future of Manned Space Program)

Friday, June 11th, 2010

I have mixed feelings about the path Obama has chosen to take with NASA.   I hate it when discussions develop along mindless political lines, like how some conservatives say that private industry is always better than the government (it is sometimes but not other times), how some liberals and libertarians think that the government has […]

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The Sound and the Fury about Stephen Hawking’s Alien Warning

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Last night I caught the much discussed Discovery Channel episode of Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking dealing with aliens. The initial clip on the website is “Fear the Aliens” which is the controversial bit.   Hawking, unlike Carl Sagan, apparently thinks that we would have much to fear from technologically advanced aliens and that we […]

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Ten Actors Who Look Like Aliens

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Maybe this is in bad taste.   I don’t know.   I don’t care too much.   There are some weird looking actors out there who have gotten a lot of work over the years.   They’re not ugly.   They’re “Hollywood Ugly” which means you don’t scream when you see them and there’s something about the way they look […]

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