Pop Culture

Category archives for Pop Culture

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…

I have a couple of things in the mental queue for this week, but I’m still playing catch-up from my trip to Texas, so instead you get a really quick comment on last night’s Cosmos. This one was all about the history of the Earth– continents moving, climate changing, mass extinctions– stuff that I know…

Space Travel, Einstein, and GPS

Below you’ll find the slides from my Physics Day presentations at Space Center Houston, embedded via SlideShare. I was doing the TED-style minimal text thing, so they’re probably not all that comprehensible on their own. The event was supposed to have a pop-culture connection, so I decided to use space travel and extrasolar planets as…

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…

Messing With Texas

I had hoped to have another post or two scheduled for the end of this week, but The Pip got some kind of stomach bug, and threw everything into disarray. And tonight, I’m flying to Houston to give a couple of talks as part of Physics Day at Space Center Houston. Life being what it…

Cosmos and the Women

Back when the first episode of the Cosmos reboot aired, somebody put together a composite of the cartoon people who flashed on screen, and we played a guessing game on Twitter. The image above is from a blog post by Meg at True Anomalies, and I think it was probably her, but the ephemeral nature…

The finalists for the 2014 “Flame Challenge” have been selected, three written entries and three visual entries. None of these is my entry, alas, but it was worth a shot. I watched the videos last night, and it was sort of interesting to compare what ended up working well with the test audience of 11-year-olds…

Guardian Emmy

“DAAAAADDDDDYYYYY!!!!” “What’s the matter, honey?” “I don’t like being alone.” “Well, I’m sorry, honey, but I have work to do, and it’s time for you to go to sleep.” “But when I’m alone I get scared.” “Well, I can put on some music if you like. You can listen to that, and it might give…

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…