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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 »

This is totally not my field-- medicine-- but totally up my alley-- electronic gaming.  So here goes.  Doctors prescribed playing Nintendo games to cure a boy's blindness in one eye.  And it worked.

The boy had severe lazy eye syndrome in right eye (amblyopia, to be technical), which basically means that eye doesn't track at all.  Says his mother, "he could not identify our faces with his weak eye".

The cure?  "two hours a day playing Mario Kart on a Nintendo DS [... with] a patch over his good eye to make his lazy one work harder."
This interlude's theme is 'cynicism'.  Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal covers prehistoric skeptics:

and modern-day realism:

while Surviving the World looks deeply at the joy in academia:

and the use of substance abuse in science:
GPS will die, sending airplanes crashing and sinking boats.  Cell phones will fail, stranding travelers and resulting in people in remote areas dying due to exposure.  Worse of all, our TV may go out for a few hours.

These are some of the doomsday scenarios prophecied in the current "Chicken Little" coverage of space weather, as the sun ramps up towards Solar Maximum during the same decade that our society has become perilously dependent on advanced technology.

So where's the science?  The science is standing behind Chicken Little, simultaneously crying "pay attention to us" and "stop overselling us, you media hacks!"
Last night, while gym climbing with a science manager, I found he also did outdoor climbing, hiking, and yoga.  Yoga is a great exercise system.  Scientists need healthy bodies to match our super-healthy minds.  Yet a websearch on 'Yoga for Scientists' reveals nothing about how Yoga can help Scientists!  Well, except for "Yoga-- Naked Scientists Discussion Forum" (go ahead, I know you want to look).

NASA is dead.  Jedi killed it.

Used to be, growing geeks wanted to go to Space Camp.  To fly rockets, to mimic operating a shuttle, to #$^ing be an astronaut.  It was engineering and space heaven.  Based on an idea tossed out by rocket god Wernher von Braun and given life in 1982 by a state agency, it was all about to know what it’s like to train like an astronaut.

"We have band camp, football, cheerleading; why don't we have a science camp?" [von Braun]

'Hollywoood's job is not to educate but to entertain and inspire', but it turns out they find science inspirational.  In the Going Hollywood podcast, you can listen (or read) about just how scientists get to, well, Go Hollywood.

There are 3 ways for a scientist to enter that bastion of decadence we call "where I'd like to be".  The first is basically a dating service for Movie Makers and Scientists.  Since Nov 2008, Jennifer Oullette has run the "Science and Entertainment Exchange", a National Academies of Science program that is in LA, that tries to match scientists and writers.