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Showing posts from 2013

Another arbitrary milestone!

Yesterday marked the 8th anniversary of this blog, so it's another time for me to lament not blogging more here. I've figured out that part of the fall-off of posts is due to the fact that I started using Twitter and a lot of things that I would have posted here end up posted there. But I will still continue to try to post more!

Sherwood Forest Faire photo set finally up at Flickr!

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Well, I posted the photos on Flickr a while back, I'm just now getting around to posting about it here too.

More thoughts on education

I have posted before on some of my thoughts on college education and a great post by Carl Zimmer over at his blog "The Loom": An Open Letter to Science Students and Science Teachers has prompted me to think on it some more. His post sounded *very* familiar to me, and after reading comments on Twitter, very familiar to a lot of other people working in popular science and outreach. And if you substitute "history" for "science" this is also what I see a lot of through my Tudor History site as well. The post is a good example of why Carl is such a great writer; he managed to describe and sum up something I've been struggling to put into a words for quite a while now. I don't really have much to add to what he said, but there are definitely conversations to be had between professionals and students and teachers.

JWST and NASA at SXSW

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Northrop Grumman and NASA brought the full-scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope to the annual craziness in Austin that is South By Southwest. (For the record, I twitch uncontrollably when people abbreviate it to "South By" - if for no other reason in that it breaks the reference to North By Northwest, one of my favorite movies!) Working with one of our professors, they asked for volunteers to come down and help talk about the telscope and work at some of the tables in the NASA Experience tent, so I was down there for a while on Friday and all day Sunday. At the last minute I decided to throw my DSLR and my little travel tripod into my backpack since I knew that they were lighting the model up colorfully at night and that I had to get some photos. And I'm glad I did since I'm really happy with the way the photos turned out! Click on the photo at the top to go to the full Flickr set.

I had a great time talking about the telescope for the first part of the day…

Richard III news round-up

[I decided to cross post this from my Tudorhistory blog since the science is just as important as the history!]

As expected, the University of Leicester announced this morning that they have confirmed that the remains found last summer are indeed those of Richard III. (You can see my initial round-up from September here.)

Here is the re-launched site about the project from the university: The search for Richard III - completed.

You will find photos and information about all of the lines of inquiry that went into the identification there. The video of the press conference is supposed to be uploaded at some point as well. You can find the presentations by the speakers at the press conference here. They also mentioned on their twitter account that all of the research will be submitted to academic journals for peer review. (I'll stay out of the discussion of public and media interest vs. academic procedure, since I honestly don't know what the proper answer is. I've seen in t…

Seeing a conspiracy around every corner

... or at least I have to think that is how some people go through life.

This is something I've wondered about for a long time, especially when I see people like Alex Jones going on and on about FEMA camps, black helicopters, etc. - how do people end up with a mindset that they see conspiracy in EVERYTHING? And to narrow it down some, why are so many people either afraid or seeing conspiracy in everything in the night sky? Was is started by all the noise around 2012? No, these things have been around for a long, long time - from ominous portents to selling "comet pills" to prevent being poisoned by the tail of Halley's Comet in 1910. But I can't help thinking that the 2012 stuff has created a revival of sorts.

The latest thing that prompted this thought was an email that came in to one of our general addresses and was forwarded on to me. It was a question about the object next to the moon on Monday January 21, which is a common type of inquiry we get when somet…

Happy New Year!

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Here's hoping that 2013 turns out to have all of the awesome of 2012 and none of the crap.