Books

Category archives for Books

Read Science! on Dog Physics

As noted earlier, I was a guest on the Read Science! hangout on G+ earlier today. If you weren’t able to watch it live, the video is available at that link, and I’ll embed it here: There were some feedback problems with the audio for a little while– annoyingly, it only got bad once the…

Rhett and I haven’t done Uncertain Dots for a couple of weeks due to scheduling issues, but that doesn’t mean I’m neglecting the multimedia side of things. In fact, I’ll be doing a hangout today, as a guest on the Read Science! hangout hosted by Joanne Manaster and Jeff Shaumeyer. The event page is here.…

One of the very best treatments of the scientific method in fiction that I’ve read– I suspect it may be the best, but years on the Internet make me want to hedge everything– is the Steerswoman series by Rosemary Kirstein. The main character, Rowan, is a Steerswoman, a member of an order dedicated to collecting…

This coming fall term, I’ll be teaching Astronomy 052, “Relativity, Black Holes, and Quasars,” because the guy who has traditionally taught it (a radio astronomer who studies active galactic nuclei) has to do other courses instead. But I said “Well, hell, I’ve written a popular audience book explaining relativity. I can teach that.” And since…

Last week’s talks were using sci-fi space travel as a hook to talk about relativity, and my original idea for the talk was to explain how faster-than-light travel ultimately ends up violating causality. Some observers will see effects happening before the events that cause them, and that’s just weird. In How to Teach Relativity to…

My Thursday presentation here in Houston went well, though it was a pretty small crowd. I’ll be doing it again today before running to the airport to get home. I didn’t really have an opportunity to do shameless self-promotion regarding the new book, but I did get a copy of the official cover for it,…

One of the pop-physics books I’ve read recently was Amanda Gefter’s much-discussed Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn. I was going to post a review of it back in March, but literally the day I was planning to write it, I got email from an editor at Physics Today asking if I had any books I’d like…

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…

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…

Given the academic circles I run in, it’s not surprising that one of the most repeated stories crossing my social media feeds yesterday had to do with the changes to the SAT. Starting in 2015, the essay section will no longer be mandatory, and they’re going to reconfigure the reading and math sections to emphasize…