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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 »

Behold true tales of procrastination!  Learn whether to get a PhD!  Or just kick back and enjoy fall.  Enjoy another science webcomics interlude!  The first two are 'long form', so follow their links to get the full story.  The last, a poetic commentary on the new Fall season, stands on its own.

First, an overlap of Science and Comic-Con-- the full comic has the entire tale.
We all avoid different things. I avoid polyester clothing. They avoid talking about death.  (Lisa Daxer)

Projects on SETI projects look for extraterrestrial signals from space.  Work with dolphins, elephants, even chickens seeks to see if these animals are intelligent communicators.  In all this, we take for granted that we understand how we humans, as social creatures, think and react.  But our understanding of communications and social interaction relies on some unusual assumptions.
Fix can mean to repair or to gimmick, as in 'the fix is in'.  I'm not going to tell you how to repair science journalism.  A few wingnuts stalwarts here at Science 2.0 beat that to death.  Their suggestions include sack the journalists, and also rehire journalists.  Be like ESPN.  Be ISO9000 (say what you'll do then do what you say).  Possibly, don't fix it.


Aug 13 2010 | comment(s)

Over at the NASW.org archives, their cybrarian did a summary of science blog sites.  And in case "Science2.0" isn't hot enough, we find science3point0.com (yes, that's their moniker):

Another social networking site with appended blogs is Science 3.0, which "combines the hypothesis based inquiry of laboratory science with the methods of social science research to understand and improve the use of new human networks made possible by today's digital connectivity."
Ever been stuck in an airport? A foreign country? Try being stuck in orbit! Poor Air Force Major Abacha Tunde plus a colleague were trapped on a Soyuz in orbit for over 14 years. Fortunately, thanks to email, they were (presumably) able to get help getting down. Here is their tale.

As related by Steve Johnson and verified using teh Internets, "the writer claimed to be an astronaut on the International Space Station who couldn't return from space due to a revolution in his country putting a halt to its space program. Fortunately, his rich uncle had just died, and if you'd let him use your bank account to route the money to China (for which you'd of course be rewarded), the Chinese would sell him a spot on their space shuttle."
As a freelancer, I ran into a pay issue with Human Resources, that worked like a bad Star Trek episode.  Distilling down the two weeks of back-and-forth, we get this mess:

Me: My pay is short-- is it hours, pay rate, or deductions?
HR: You worked X hours.  Denied.
Me: Okay, is it the rate?
HR: We payed the right rate.  Denied.
Me: Is it... deductions?
HR: Yes, we did deductions.  Resolved.
Me: How can I find out what you deducted?
HR: Your paystub.  Resolved.
Me: How do I get a paystub?
HR: VPN link #4 -> MyCompany -> Newsletter -> Quicklinks -> Paychecks.
Me: That's... intuitive.
HR: Answer invalid.  Try again.