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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 »

Princeton researchers found that high-fructose corn syrup-- the basic sweetener is sodas and just about everything-- causes more weight gain that sugar.  Calorie for calorie, rats got fatter on the corn syrup than on sugar.

And at the same time, PepsiCo has released 'Throwback' products-- Pepsi sodas made with sugar instead of corn syrup.  So if researchers are saying sugar is better for you, we need to check which tastes better-- corn syrup or sugar?
Anyone can help discover new stuff in Galaxy Zoo- but why do people bother in the first place? In the podcast "Why Go to the Zoo?", Jordan Raddick responds with some unexpected insight into why people donate their time for open science.

Anyone can contribute to science these days-- and you don't even need to know any science!  You can run the SETI@home screensaver, to help try to tease out potential alien signals in radio data.  You can do protein folding, hunt for comets, search for solar flares, all from the comfort of your home.
After judging my fifth science fair (for this year), I've decided to share my secrets of a science-fair-judging scientist.  Appropriately, I made this as a Science Fair 3-fold poster.  At the risk of alienating Hank, the much put upon ScientificBlogging editor, I'm going to see if my poster breaks this article software.

But then again, I did say these were secrets.  So making them hard to blog about sort of fits!

.... oh, but I do put a pure-text version at the end.   Enjoy!

The Bud Light commercial about astronomers is astoundingly accurate.  Details they get right include:
  • we like celebrating just about anything, good or bad
  • we drink beer in large groups
  • we sometimes make mistakes but, hey, that's science
  • playing with fire extinguishers is fun
  • science chicks are hot (seriously... brains, cuteness and ability to stay up late = win!)
Here are the top ten science headlines ripped, raw and bleeding, from this month's huge AAAS uber-science meeting. The National Association of Science Writers sponsored 10 undergraduate science journalists. Here is their coverage, arranged using my own arbitrary ranking from harder science down through the squishier marshes of policy and ending at the meta-topic of science education.  (Or follow this this link for the full stories.)

Comp Sci
Simulations make earthquake hazards less shaky ELIZABETH STOREY

Did you ever wonder why some people become astronomers?  I asked random astronomers at last month's AAS meeting, and in my latest 365DOA podcast, you can find out what each said-- and how each explained their research in 30 seconds or less.  For the big picture, the stories of why ordinary, sane people become astronomers, it turns out we get bit by the astronomy bug early.

Either in elementary school, we've already decided, or in high school, we get inspired.  By the time people hit college, the ones who want to be career astronomers have already decided that's their path.