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17 July 2017
Jorge Cham will likely be known to most of the folks who read this blog as the cartoonist behind the spot-on examination of grad school called Piled Higher and Deeper / PhD Comics. If you’ve read this comic, you’ll know that Cham’s visual style is simple and engaging, and his sense of humor is terrific. In a new book about the unknown territory of physics that we still need to …
25 April 2017
I haven’t yet seen the blockbuster movie Hidden Figures, but I’ve heard great things about it. This post is about the book it’s based on, also called Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly. It chronicles the work of numerous African-American women at NASA and its predecessor organization, NACA, through the middle of the last century. The book is a robust documentation of these women’s childhoods, educations, motivations, and lives. It …
13 February 2017
A new edition of “science and nature question and answer.” This week: why Massanutten Mountain isn’t longer, and why you’re never going to walk on the Sun.
31 January 2017
Cosmology, evolution, and ethics for the four-year old set? It can be done! Join Callan for a brief review of three excellent books for children.
23 November 2015
At first, I thought the titular Seveneves referred to fragments of the Moon. It blows up on the first page of the novel – or disaggregates anyhow, into seven big chunks. But these start knocking into one another, breaking off smaller pieces, and these bang into each other, making more pieces. Soon, there are a lot of pieces. Spoilers galore follow, as I feel obligated to outline the scope of …
19 October 2015
There’s a lot of talk about this book lately, since they just made it into what I’m told is a very good movie. I heard the scuttlebutt and watched the preview for the film, and when the protagonist/narrator said “I’m going to have to science the shit out of this,” I knew this was probably a story for me. I was lucky to score a copy of the audiobook from …
8 October 2014
A selection of “moon shots” from this morning’s lunar eclipse is presented.
19 December 2012
I got The Planets from the Fort Valley library a few weeks ago, because Dava Sobel wrote it. She wrote the excellent Longitude, and that was enough for me. Also, I’ve been really into astronomy lately. Watching the meteor shower earlier this week was stunning, and I loved training my binoculars on nebulae and stars numerous beyond imagining, littering the dark sky. Plus, the book’s cover was beautiful, and enticing. …
27 August 2012
Here’s the link to the book on Amazon.
17 May 2011
Hot on the heels of my discussion of yesterday’s “end is nigh” prophecy, here’s another one, an example that more plausibly wears the cloak of pseudoscience. A cousin sent me a link to this video via Facebook, and asked me what I thought. I sat through it (ten minutes of my life I’ll never get back), and now you can too: If you don’t have the patience to sit …