Science

Eric Schlosser signs my copy of Command and Control

Eric Schlosser, author of Command and Control, at KPCC last night

I went to the Crawford Family Forum at KPCC last night to see a conversation between Eric Schlosser and former NPR reporter Mike Shuster in conversation. The topic was the safety of controlling nuclear weapons. Always, conversations like these are unsettling. Humans are the ones in “control” of an unforgiving and unwieldy force. Schlosser’s new […]

Transit of Venus (Telescope), viewed with eclipse glasses

Venus Transit!!!!!

This Venus Transit story begins with Christmas, I suppose. I was presented with a huuuuuge box — actually a few huge boxes. I had NO idea what was inside them; they intimidated the hell out of me. It was a telescope. Wow! A total surprise. There’ve been some great nights viewing this year. And, for […]

Path of the Annular Eclipse in Western United States

How to view Sunday’s Annular Eclipse

This Sunday, May 20, there’s an annular eclipse — a ring-around-the-moon not-quite-a-total eclipse. I’m traveling to an area where it’s as total as possible this weekend (the SW corner of Utah), but here’s instructions for how when to view it where you are. The Exploratorium has a how to view it post. The Goddard Space […]

Above Earth, Fixing Hubble Credit: STS-125 Crew, NASA

Atlantis on the ground in California

I awoke suddenly this morning around 8:30 or so. Later I learned that Space Shuttle Atlantis landed in California. Did we hear the sonic boom? Well, no. But the signature boom-boom happened right around the time I woke up, so maybe I slept through it and wakened immediately afterwards. Direct YouTube link This was a […]

XKCD on the difference

This explains it all.

Releasing Hubble from the Shuttle

I’ve been following but not blogging (till now) the Space Shuttle and Hubble telescope progress (I’ve been tweeting it, tho). I just watched this video taken from the Shuttle crew window of the release of the Hubble telescope, which is back in “flagship condition” and is expected to remain in operations until 2020. (we’ll call […]

High above Spain

This is so cool. Boston.com’s Big Picture has photos from a weather balloon that floated high above the ground in Spain. On February 28th, a team of four Spanish teenage students and their instructor from IES La Bisbal school in Catalonia launched a weather probe they designed and built themselves. Their helium-filled balloon carried a […]

Debate between Lessig and Conyers

Larry Lessig and Michael Eisen call out a bill in congress that’d restrict publishing of government scientific research to subscription-only journals. Representative John Conyers is a sponsor of that bill. “The law would forbid entities like the NIH from requiring that recipients of government grants make the product of their research openly accessible. (The current […]

Home, sweet home

Reactions to John Holdren (Science Advisor)

John Holdren on David Letterman [via AAS Blog] Chris Bowers: Hooray for Holdren… John Holdren has spent his career trying to save the planet: recently, that’s meant doing everything he can to stop global warming. Bowers saw Holdren speak and wrote to a friend about it: I saw John Holdren speak last night on global […]

John Holdren to be White House Science Advisor

ScienceInsider posts the news (well, the “strong indications” of news) that physicist John Holdren will be Obama’s Science Advisor. [via Ben Smith] Holdren is well known for his work on energy, climate change, and nuclear proliferation. Trained in fluid dynamics and plasma physics, Holdren branched out into policy early in his career. He has led […]