Fake Banner
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...

User picture.
picture for Hank Campbellpicture for Heidi Hendersonpicture for Bente Lilja Byepicture for Patrick Lockerbypicture for Mel. Whitepicture for Patrick Adair
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 »

Next week is the winter 215th AAS meeting, this time in D.C..  I'll be there presenting there Thursday on Project Calliope, the ScientificBlogging music satellite I'm building in my basement for a 2010/2011 launch, and tweeting about the meeting in general.

To usher in the new year, I'll close with 2 haikus from Cosmic Haiku:
Microwave Background
Photons remember a time
When they were hotter

Is what I’m told is my Job
Title. Whatever.

Happy New Year!

Alex, the Daytime Astronomer
To wrap up the year, I'm listing my 4 worst columns.  Or, at least, the four columns that got outstandingly terrible readership.  I searched for a pattern or justification for why people stayed away in droves, but darned if I can spot one.  If you've got any ideas on why some columns sink while others swim, feel free to speak up.
Here's a pleasant Christmas thought-- why are rocket launches like holidays-- infrequent, big productions that tend to always be the same?  A New York Times op-ed, Faster, NASA, Faster, puts forth an idea that, really, resurfaces at least once every few years.  It's a good idea.  It says, hey, let's do more launches with higher risk.
As 2009 closes, we can look at the state of sci-fi gaming.  You might wonder why a science site cares, and the answer is that science fiction is one of the best gateways to science careers.  For one generation of astronomers, pretty much, either you'd watched Star [Trek/Wars] or you got to peek through a telescope at the real thing.  Or both.
I'm forwarding on this call to action!  Over at Universe Today, editor Nancy Atkison announces:
Calling all podcasters! The award-winning 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is proud to announce the project will continue for another 365 days, and is now accepting sign-ups for participants for 2010
If you pod on astronomy, sign up!  If you're an astronomer (amateur or pro) and you don't podcast-- sign up.  Learn.  Deliver.
Consider this an open letter to Hank, not as an act of aggression but because, hey, I'm due a blog post for today anyway.

We need a "Computational Science" section.  It's okay for stuff that relates to a science subfield to go there-- computational biology in Biology, galaxy crashing in Space, genome breaking in Medicine.  But there are some comp sci things that really belong in their own area.  Just sticking it in Culture->Technology doesn't work, because it's not about culture or stuff, but bonafide science.