Chad Orzel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Union College in Schenectady, NY. He blogs about physics, life in academia, ephemeral pop culture, and anything else that catches his fancy.

175/366: Microdrifts

Random artsy shot of the moment: The wild see-sawing of the temperature has continued this week, so we got a little bit of snow, then it all melted, then more snow, then more melting, etc. This is from a couple of days ago, when it was cold, and I liked the way the light dusting…

It’s been a few weeks since my last summary of physics posts I’ve been doing at Forbes, so here’s the latest eclectic collection: — Football Physics And the Myth Of The Dumb Jock: In honor of the Super Bowl, repeating the argument from Eureka that athletes are not, in fact, dumb jocks, but excellent scientific…

March Appearances

I’ve been really, really bad about using this blog to promote stuff I have coming up, but I’ll be doing two public-ish appearances in the month of March, and I probably ought to announce those here: 1) Next week, on Wednesday, March 2, I’ll be giving the Physics Colloquium at the University of Illinois, on…

174/366: Crushing

As I’ve mentioned a few times, SteelyKid is part of an Odyssey of the Mind team through her school, working on a problem to build a structure from balsa wood and glue that will hold as much weight as possible. They’ve been hard at work the last several weeks, and completed a test structure last…

You Don’t Have to Like New Music

The tagline up at the top of this blog promises “Physics, Politics, and Pop Culture,” but unless you count my own photos as pop art, I’ve been falling down on the last of those. This is largely because, despite being on sabbatical, I’ve been so busy running after the kids that I don’t have much…

173/366: Art Bonanza

The Pip is in pre-school these days, and we have a running joke when I drop him off where I tell him to work hard, and he responds “No, grown-ups do work. You go to work. I’m going to the JCC to play with my friends!” Of course, his playing does involve a bit of…

The Pip’s Spec Script

I feel a little bad sometimes that I don’t really give the Pip his due on the blog. Back when SteelyKid was a toddler and pre-schooler, I had a lot more free time in which to transcribe the various conversations I had with her into super-cute blog posts. The Pip is in the same sort…

167-172/366: Another Batch

Another long photo-a-day gap, because the last week was crazy in a bunch of ways. The weather has slewed wildly between winter and spring; Kate had to go to The City to argue a case leaving me solo-parenting the sillyheads; and I’ve been fighting the onset of a rotten cold. That last has involved a…

On Faculty Mentoring

One of the evergreen topics for academic magazines like Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education is faculty “mentoring.” It’s rare for a week to go by without at least one lengthy essay on the topic, many of which recirculate multiple times through my various social media channels. The latest batch of these…

166/366: Overkill

It’s been a ridiculously mild winter here, with occasional bursts of extreme cold. The last few days, we’ve gotten about as much snow as we’ve gotten all winter, which is not a terribly impressive amount: These bushes sit right under the bow window in front of our house, and a few years ago snow sliding…