Science literacy

The Christian Science Monitor has a quiz going around that allows you to test your science literacy. The 50-question quiz was not a particularly easy one. It covered a wide range of sciences including biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, meteorology, and mathematics. I took the quiz and ended up answering 43 out of 50 questions […]


Great opinion piece by Martin Robbins in the January 30 New Scientist, "Overdosing on nothing", which takes an intelligent, rational approach to the problem of homeopathy.  I agree with the argument put forth, which I think can be condensed to 3 salient points: The "logic" of homeopathic remedies is severely flawed. Double-blind studies of homeopathic […]


I have recently completed my first year as a subscriber to NEW SCIENTIST.  I read every single one of the 51 issues cover-to-cover.  Sometimes I got behind a few issues, but I would always manage to catch up, and I always enjoyed every single issue.  At the same time, I have been a subscriber of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN for […]

Simulating the universe in a lab

Physicists seem to be constantly simulating the universe in the lab. As a software developer who has written some basic simulations, I wonder how the heck they do this. As a layperson in physics, I wonder what they heck this looks like. For instance in a NEW SCIENTIST article called "From Big Bang to Big […]

Einstein was right

According to French physicists, Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc2 is correct after all.  An article in SCIENCE details how they confirmed this.  Apparently, it’s the first time the theory has ever been confirmed, which is funny.  I always thought it was confirmed on July 16, 1945.

Question about “magnitude”

There is something that has always bugged me about the evolution of the measurement of the brightness of a star, also know as it’s apparent magnitude. I understand, in principle, the notion of both apparent and absolute magnitude. What troubles me is the evolution of the idea. As I understand it, Hipparchus was the first […]

Catching up on science

I’m three months behind on my SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN reading, but that’s not really news, it’s status quo these days. On the train ride home this afternoon, I tried to correct that, working back from most recent with the May 2008 issue. A few items to note: Page 36 has an in memorium for Sir Arthur […]

Leap day

Today is my ninth leap day (1972 was a leap year, but I was born after February 29 so I don’t count that one. Leap day always makes me think of the history of leap day, which in turn gets me thinking about the intricacies of calendars and of keeping time in general. Man, the […]

Boskone, day 1

Almost midnight and I’m back from my first day (well, evening really) as Boskone. It’s been a lot of fun. I attended two panels. The first was “Selling What You Write” and it was interesting, but I realized that it was probably not something that I needed to attend, having made one sale already. This […]

He bends spoons with his bare mind!

I can’t believe I haven’t posted about this yet but I’ve been so busy with life that it keeps slipping my mind.

If I could go back in time, I’d sleep in later this morning…

This evening, I will start reading Joe Haldeman’s new book, The Accidental Time Machine. Time travel has been a staple of science fiction since H.G. Wells The Time Machine and Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Now some scientists think that building a time machine might be plausible in the distant future.

Up From Dragons

I finished Up From Dragons by John Skoyles and Dorian Sagan, on Wednesday night, but haven’t had time to say a few words about it. It was one of those books that really surprised me. I had started to read it five years ago, but only got through a dozen pages or so before I […]

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