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We’re into admitted student season, that muddy period when large numbers of anxious high-school seniors visit college campuses all over the nation, often with parents in tow, trying to decide where to spend the next four years. As a result, I’ll be spending a good deal of time over the next few weeks talking to…

This Hugo nomination scandal continues to rage on, and much of what’s going on is just a giant sucking vortex of stupid. Standing out from this, though, is the guest post by Bruce Schneier at Making Light, which cuts through the bullshit to get to what’s really important, namely using this as an excuse to…

The editor at Forbes suggested I should write something about the re-start of the Large Hadron Collider, so I did. But being me, I couldn’t just do an “LHC, yay!” post, but talk about it in a larger context, as one of three major approaches to filling the gaps in the Standard Model: The big…

Last week, Steven Weinberg wrote a piece for the Guardian promoting his new book about the history of science (which seems sort of like an extended attempt to make Thony C. blow a gasket..). This included a list of recommended books for non-scientists which was, shall we say, a tiny bit problematic. This is a…

Actual Hugo Comments

So, as alluded to over the weekend, the Hugo nominations this year are a train wreck. The short fiction categories are absolutely dominated by works from the “slates” pushed by a particular collection of (mostly) right-wing authors and that prion disease in human disguise “Vox Day.” The primary purpose of the “slates” is to poke…

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…

A few years ago, I taught one of our “SRS” classes, which are supposed to introduce students to research at the college level– I blogged about it while the course was in progress. I taught it again in the recently-concluded Winter term, but didn’t blog much about it because I was mostly doing the same…

STEM Is Not an Alien Menace

Everybody and their extended families has been sharing around the Fareed Zakaria piece on liberal education. This, as you might imagine, is relevant to my interests. So I wrote up a response over at Forbes. The basic argument of the response is the same thing I’ve been relentlessly flogging around here for a few years:…

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,…