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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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The best way to discover whether someone is full of crap or not is to look at their past predictions.  If you're digital media expert Jim Griffin and you put your rep publically on the line predicting internet video in 2002, you're probably on the side of 'smart and right'.

Jim Griffin (onehouse.com) made a wager at LongBets that “A profitable video-on-demand service aimed at consumers will offer 10,000 titles to 5 million subscribers by 2010.”  He won, donating the $2000 prize to the EFF. Was this futurism, the random picking of potential paths by a random pundit? In his own analysis on a private list,
A good science fair project typically takes less time and is more interesting to do, than a bad one.  Does this make sense?  Do you want to spend extra time having less fun?  As a sequel to last year's "Secrets of a Science Fair Judge", I present to you my suggestions for making your science fair project go faster, be more fun, and still get you a higher grade.

Choose an Interesting Question

This week I agree to give an invited talk at the AGU, soldered some more of my satellite, advised a student, gave several short lectures, and edited some papers.  All of these are things professors get paid for-- except the editing.  Yet, ironically, the editing was my only paying work.

I am a reverse professor.  I do many of the career tasks an academic does, but I only get paid for the private sector component.  And that's the part that a 'true academic' would do for free.

In practice, this means I have traded any form of job stability for complete academic freedom.  I can research anything I wish, write about any topic from any stance, and speak freely.  I have 'virtual tenure', only with no paycheck.
Sex On Mars

Sex On Mars

Oct 22 2010 | 2 comment(s)

I enjoy a good romp in the hay as much as the next space scientist, and I'd love to go to Mars, so it's nice to see that researchers are tackling both issues simultaneously. Further, there are few things as satisfying as a good review article. A review article is one that simply summarizes the current thinking and theories on a topic. In this case, the topic is Sex on Mars.
Hi all, I'm giving an invited talk at the AGU this year and would looooove to hook up with other Science2.0-ers.  Anyone else going to be there, or in San Fran, Dec 13-17?  I'll be there on the 16th and probably stay the weekend.  Would love to meet up, go to a talk, give a talk, something science-y and interesting.

Alex
Plutonomicon

Plutonomicon

Oct 15 2010 | 0 comment(s)

Over at 365DOA, I bring tales of early Pluto, the original controversy, and of things we can no longer discuss, for fear it will drive us mad.  Enjoy the podcast of Plutonomicon.  Pluto is no stranger to controversy. Let us ignore the current planet/no-planet nonsense and look at the heady early years of its discovery.  I found a monograph by a 1920s professor, who attempted to correlate some early ‘Planet X’ discoveries with Pluto. It being October, I thought a trip to the way-back machine would be useful in understanding just how unusual Pluto is, both now and when it was discovered.  Give it a Halloween-season listen!