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Swimming In The (astro) Pacific

As a newly minted, 1 year old professor, this is the deep end of the astronomy edu cation pool...

The Phantom Of The Laboratory

We are fortune here at Science20 to have come across an early work by Gaston Leroux.  This...

Engineering Roleplaying

Hey, you got simulation in my roleplay! Hey, you got roleplay in my simulation! Wait, it's two...

Stars That Ring Like Bells

Time to ring in a new year with pressure waves.  We can see, but not, hear true sonic waves...

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Alex "Sandy" AntunesRSS Feed of this column.

Read more about the strange modern world of a day laborer in astronomy, plus extra space science-y goodness.... Read More »

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As I wrote on facebook (for the sign of a professional writer is 'reuse words often'):
It's official! As of today I am Professor Antunes, an aerospace engineering assistant professor at Capitol College (capitol-college.edu), newest member of their full-time teaching faculty.

A professorship is perhaps the only job for which I'd leave freelancing. It's 1/3rd the hourly pay rate and 3x the work, and I couldn't be happier. They also agreed to a reduced teaching load for semester 1 so I can finish my O'Reilly satellite eBooks. Woo hoo!
Among the many congratulations was this trio of cautionaries:
As I am halfway around the world right now, using the magic of the internet and Science 2.0's 'scheduling' function, here is a fun little graphic of 'the universe'.  It shows various sizes of things in the universe, particularly how our planets measure against the Sun (hint: we're tiny) and how our Sun measures against other stars (hint again: we're tiny).

anyone know the creator?

Now, my main question is, anyone know the original creator of this work?

Alex
One fundamental myth of gifted education is "you can't put all the smart kids together, because the less-smart need the smarties around to challenge the others".  You can reword that as "it's okay to drag down the smarter kids for the sake of the group", but let's tackle the basic premise first.  Does the presence of smarter kids help the middle of the Bell Curve do better?
Antonio Carusone, describing himself as "a little obsessed with finding vintage design materials", has a look at NASA Graphic designs, circa 1970s.  Specifically, he hunted up this 1976 NASA Graphics Standards Manual.  Amidst the glories of clean modern design is the famous NASA 'worm' logo, which in 1992 was replaced by the somewhat controversial NASA 'meatball'.
Fact #1: There will be a solar event in the next five years that wipes out the electrical grid for the US.

Fact #2: Solar and space weather prediction is about as accurate as hurricane predictions-- lots of maybes and false warnings, but great after-disaster analysis.

Fact #3: It's hard to educate and convince at the same time, and the public doesn't know what space weather is, yet.

Query: Are we doomed?

In Solar Cosmic Katrina and Chicken Little, we find out that:
Life is hard when you're cutting edge.  Coming up with a good topic and title for a Science 2.0 article is not easy.  Today I tried to conceive of a unique and insightful piece about a little-talked about topic.  Specifically, the topic of the last space shuttle flight, which just occurred today.

But what title could really capture this epic yet unreported event?  'The Day America Cried'?  Or maybe 'The Day America Shrugged', or perhaps 'The Day America Clicked on FB for, like, the 50th Time Today' might work better.  But perhaps that issue itself is too niche.  In the end, I abandonded that topic in favor of a new article.  But what to write about?