In Which I Read Hard Science Fiction

Astonishingly, in the last few weeks, I’ve actually found time to read some– gasp– novels. In particular, I finished two books that probably belong in the “Hard SF” genre: A Darkling Sea by James L. Cambias and Lockstep by Karl Schroeder. Both Jim and Karl are people I’ve met many times at cons; I’ve enjoyed…

As I’ve mentioned here before, I do a lot of work these days in my local Starbucks. This is slightly ironic, as I don’t like coffee– instead, I order tea, which I put in an insulated travel mug. I tend to get the tea, carry the mug back to the table, and let it steep…

Uncertain Dots, Episode 12

The last couple of days have been ridiculously hectic, but Rhett and I did manage to record another episode of Uncertain Dots, our twelfth: This time out, we talk about labs, undergrad research, kids doing chores, weather, student course evaluations, and I didn’t really rant about superheroes. Relevant to the weather thing, I offer the…

Superheros are Anti-Science

I’m not really a comic-book guy, but I’ve watched a bunch of comic-book movies recently. Kate was really fired up for the new Captain America movie, so I finally got around to watching the first one as background for that, then when I was sleep-deprived last week I watched the second Thor movie via on-demand…

Cosmos Reboot Gets Small

A diabolical psychologist brings a mathematician in for an experiment. The mathematician is seated in a chair on a track leading to a bed on which there is an extremely attractive person of the appropriate gender, completely naked. The psychologist explains “This person will do absolutely anything you want, subject to one condition: every five…

Union College Hockey, NCAA Champions

One of the weird quirks of Union college, where I teach, is that the hockey teams compete in the NCAA’s Division I, something that doesn’t usually happen for a school with only 2200 students. That might seem like a ridiculously terrible idea, but last night, it worked surprisingly well: Union beat perennial hockey power Minnesota…

This was kind of a dispiriting week in a lot of ways, but as mentioned in yesterday’s links dump, Kate and I had tickets for the Hold Steady in Albany last night. And since schools are closed next week, we packed SteelyKid and The Pip off to Grandma and Grandpa’s, and went to a rock…

Friday Tab Clearance

This has been a pretty brutal week– classes are in full swing, and we had a candidate interview for our visiting faculty position which always eats up a bunch of time. And then Kate was out of town for work Wednesday night. So I haven’t had time for substantive blogging, and don’t really have the…

Music Writing and Science Writing

No, this isn’t another blog post lamenting the fact that music writing gets far more attention than science writing. If anything, it’s a bit of an argument that science writing ought to be less like popular music writing. On Twitter this past weekend Jim Henley, one of the few bloggers I consider “old school” (the…

Uncertain Dots, Episode 11

We took a week off last week because Rhett was away on a Secret Mission, but we’re back and better than ever this week. More uncertain! More dotty! Or something! Topics for this week include oblique references to Rhett’s mission, some discussion of the Geocentric Janeway debacle, good and bad places to have a conference,…