Steinn Sigurðsson

Professor of Astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University, Science Editor at Astrophysical Journal. Icelandic. Herder of Cats.

“Standing down on this one” – was the first line of the email I read at about 7 am this morning as I rolled over and grabbed my phone, having had about 4 hours of sleep. After staying up past 2 am to run some numbers, we would, after all, not be submitting a request…

random pretty math pics

tab clearing: A collection of maths GIFs posted purely for aesthetic reasons. Simple Fractals Minimalist Posters of MathematicalObjects…

Not entirely coincidentally the general topic of misogyny, microaggression and harassment was featured on the Women in Astronomy blog recently: Fed Up With Sexual Harassment: Defining the Problem Fed Up With Sexual Harassment: Survival of the Clueless Fed Up With Sexual Harassment: The Serial Harasser’s Playbook Fed Up With Sexual Harassment: Power to Speak Up…

Senior Review is out: summary – Swift #1, then NuStar. K2 gets partial funding. Spitzer is terminated. Panel recommends not cutting off the bottom but balancing fields. NASA Response to the 2014 Senior Review for Astrophysics Operating Missions – Final Version for Release (5.16.14) – this is an edited update of the NASA response that…

Why you might sometimes care about the sex lives of strangers. A snarky comment over on an evanescent social media site lead me to shoot back from the hip, but on reflection, unusually enough, I decided I liked the retort enough to preserve it in more permanent intertoobz form. The discussion was on oligarchy and…

The Eeyores of Academia

“The wonderful thing about Tiggers Is Tiggers are wonderful things…” Tigger was my favourite on the Hundred Acre Campus. “…bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!” Recently I was at a meeting, and a comment was made about how someone was being negative. Not only was this a bit of a bummer, total…

Why Fortran Lives

Julia is a nifty new language being developed at MIT I stole this plot from github, it shows Julia’s current performance on some standard benchmarks compared to a number of favourite tools like Python, Java and R. Normalized to optimized C code. And, there, in a single plot, is why Real Programmers still use Fortran…!

Distant Cousins: Kepler-186f

Big Eyed Beans from Venus – Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band! Cool. Literally Comparable to Mars in effective temperature, bit larger than Earth, probably slightly more massive than Earth (mean density could be lower), atmosphere unknown. Might well have extensive surface regions with persistent liquid water.

Purty Vacant

It goes like this… The Kingswoods Best Punkabilly ever finally on youtube! The Original “Pretty Vacant” for reference, for you young ‘uns…

Backreactions

A frightening fraction of my open tabs are some of Bee’s posts at Backreaction – so to save my browsers, I dump them here for further future perusal: Are irreproducible scientific results okay and just business as usual? Shut up and let me think Should the Nobel Prize be given to collaborations and institution? Women…