Personal

Category archives for Personal

Graduation 2015

Commencement was today, the 14th of those that I’ve been to as a faculty member. As usual, the procession was led in and out by the Schenectady Pipe Band; I realized that after many years of this, I’m coming to associate “Scotland the Brave” with graduation… This was a really unpleasant year for me in…

What a Difference a Year Makes

Back in October or so, SteelyKid’s first-grade class started a weekly journaling exercise. Every Monday, we were supposed to send in a sheet with some prompts on it– words about something interesting that happened over the weekend, and the kids started the day writing about… whatever it was. I was a little dubious about having…

Over at Wired, Rhett has a post providing mathematical proof that he takes too many photos. As is traditional, he includes homework at the end of the post, specifically: Now it is your turn. Find the number of photos you have taken each year. Is it possible for you to detect changes in your life…

On Toys in Science

The big social media blow-up of the weekend was, at least on the science-y side of things, the whole “boys with toys” thing, stemming from this NPR interview, which prompted the #GirlsWithToys hashtag in response. I’m not sorry to have missed most of the original arguments while doing stuff with the kids, but the hashtag…

Kids Keep You Young

A week or so ago, this statistical analysis of listening trends in pop music got a bunch of play on Twitter and Facebook, but I was too busy to do anything with it. The headline result, reported with all the accuracy you should expect of such things is people stop listening to popular music at…

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…