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The Afghan Whigs at the Beacon Theater

Saturday afternoon, I drove down to the city to see the reunited Afghan Whigs play the Beacon Theater on the Upper West Side. I saw them years and years ago in DC, around 1996 or so on the tour for Black Love, and that was a great show. They’ve always been one of my favorite…

The exciting news of the week: Eureka: Discovering Your Inner Scientist has gotten a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Woo-hoo! They’ve said nice things about my previous two books, but getting the star is a big deal. And it’s a really good capsule description of the book, with a great pull quote in the last…

Drumming for Fall

The JCC is closed today for Rosh Hashanah– and best wishes for a happy new year to those who celebrate it– so I’m spending the morning with The Pip before Kate comes home to take the afternoon shift while I teach my class. SteelyKid is in school today as usual, so don’t tell her, but…

Cash and Respect

The London School of Economics has a report on a study of academic refereeing (PDF) that looked at the effect of incentives on referee behavior. They found that both a “social incentive” (posting the time a given referee took to turn around the papers they reviewed on a web site) and a cash incentive ($100…

Fatherhood and Academia

Via a whole bunch of people on social media, there’s a new study of gender roles in academia, which the Washington Post headlines “Study: Male scientists want to be involved dads, but few are”. This is not inaccurate. Some quotes that jumped out at me: “Academic science doesn’t just have a gender problem, but a…

On Productivity

One of the weirder experiences I had at the Nordita Workshop for Science Writers a couple of weeks ago was having people ask me “How are you so productive?” (or the equivalent). That caught me off guard, because I don’t feel like I’m especially productive– in fact, I tend to feel like I’m falling behind…

Very Belated LonCon Write-Up

I’m up way too early with jet lag, looking over Twitter, and ran into Nick Falkner’s report on the TED panel I moderated at Worldcon, which reminded me that I never did write anything about the con. Late is probably still better than never, so here are some quick long-after-the-fact comments about my program items:…

Pubs in London

While I kill time waiting for it to be a reasonable time to call Kate and the kids back in the US, a list of most of the pubs I’ve visited during this trip to London. Because why not? In more or less chronological order: The Victoria in Lancaster Gate. Or maybe Paddington, going from…

Throwback Thursday

OK, the photo above is a recent picture of me– yesterday, in fact. But the spiral-carved rock I’m standing next to was carved that way a bit more than five thousand years ago, so that ought to count as a throwback… We’ve been in Dublin the last few days, and on Thursday we took a…

It’s the Little Things…

Small observations of things that have struck me as weird during our UK stay to this point: — There is no alarm clock in our hotel room. — There are no drinking fountains in public spaces. — The travel-on-the-left thing would be easier if it were consistently applied. About one stairway in three asks people…