Personal

Category archives for Personal

Way Less Scary Than Death

This week has been a particularly good one for highlighting how weird my career is. On Thursday, I gave a lecture for the Union College Academy of Lifelong Learning, talking for nearly two hours about Einstein (in Memorial Chapel, shown in the “featured image” above). On Friday, I drove clean across New York State (which…

SteelyKid, Galactic Engineer

“Hey, Daddy, did you know that in five or six million years the Sun is going to explode.” “It’s five or six billion years, with a ‘b.’” “Right, in five or six billion years, the Sun’s going to explode.” “Well, a star like our Sun won’t really explode. It’ll swell up really big, probably swallow…

The Pip is in a big superhero phase at the moment, and all of his games revolve around being a superhero of some sort. He has also basically memorized a couple of 30-page Justice League books, after demanding them over and over at bedtime. As I did with SteelyKid, I make a game out of…

Bright Lights and Up-Tempo Tracks

The folks on the Hold Steady fan board arranged a Mix CD exchange recently, and I agreed to take part, putting together a playlist of stuff and sending off a bunch of electronic files a couple of weeks ago (I don’t know if the drive on my desktop can even burn CD’s any more, even…

I was thinking about writing something about the 2015 Hugo Award nominations train wreck, but you know what? Life’s too short. So here’s a couple of cute-kid photos from this morning’s trip to the Children’s Museum of Science and Technology over in Troy. They have these awesome construction toys, consisting of wooden rods with holes…

Ethel Stevens, 1915-2015

A couple of years ago, we got a nasty shock when my 98-year-old great-aunt died unexpectedly. It’s happened again, with her sister Ethel (known to a lot of the family as “Auntie Sis,” because she had the same first name as her mother, my great-grandmother), who died in her sleep last Sunday night. She would’ve…

I hinted once or twice that I had news coming, and this is it: I’ve signed up to be a blog contributor at Forbes writing about, well, the sorts of things I usually write about. I’m pretty excited about the chance to connect with a new audience; the fact that they’re paying me doesn’t hurt,…

I keep forgetting to mention these, but I have two talks coming up: 1) Tonight, March 17, I’m talking about Eureka to the Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association on the campus of SUNY New Paltz. This is a version of the talk I gave in Bristol, UK over the summer, but with the soccer content replaced with…

The Typing Cure

One of the things I miss about not being able to follow college basketball these days is that I don’t really know enough about the state of the game to understand Mark Titus’s columns at Grantland. They’re kind of sophomoric, but you know, a little of that is sometimes good, and I always enjoyed reading…

Terry Pratchett, RIP

Sir Terry Pratchett, author of some mind-boggling number of books, mostly the comic-fantasy Discworld series, died yesterday. He had been diagnosed with a kind of early-onset Alzheimer’s back in 2007, a particularly cruel fate for a writer, but faced it with an impressive degree of grace, and kept writing almost to the end. And, indeed,…