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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 »


Super-massive black holes in the universe vary in mass from about one million to 10 billion times the size of our sun, and they're continuing to grow. Now astronomers from Tel Aviv University say that the era of the "first fast growth" of these phenomena occurred a mere 1.2 billion years ago — only about half of what was previously believed — and that they continue to grow at a very fast rate.
How much actual on-task work do you do on a typically work day? The myth is everyone produces 8 hours of useful, targetted work in an 8.5 hour work day (with unpaid lunch). Staying in the office extra hours, likewise, produces more useful work. I suggest you should measure this for yourself. Here's how to find out-- but you may want to hold off telling your boss quite yet.

As a freelancer, I have no salary or set work hours. I bill only for time spent on task. I use an electronic timer-- a stopwatch, really-- to track my time. Starting on a task? Timer on. Pause to check personal email or Facebook? Timer off. Back to task? Timer on.

You can read this story two different ways.
Enjoy science and beer, the combination meant to be together.
Unpaid scientists give lectures at pubs, and don't even get free beer.
Science pubs?.

Sign me up, for audience or speaker!

it is what it is


Tuesdays at The Satellite Diaries and Friday at The Daytime Astronomer (twitter @skyday)
Over at the Journal of Cosmology, an engaging open journal I've discussed before, there is a controversy over their book, "The Human Mission to Mars: Colonizing the Red Planet".  Namely, Eurekalert refused to accept their press release.  Says the JoC:
EurekAlert has refused to issue a paid-for press release announcing the publication of the book edition of The Human Mission to Mars. Over 120 top scientists, including 4 astronauts who walked on the Moon, co-authored this text.
Last week I told you how to get your degree.  Now it's time to look at the life of a working scientist.  It's time for me to answer oft-asked questions like:
  • What is a scientist's regular day at work like?
  • What do you do?
  • Where do you do it-- office, home, et cetera?
  • Do you work alone or with others in the same enviornment?
  • What got you interested in science?
  • Was it easy to get a job?
  • Around how much can i expect to earn?
  • How many hours do you work a day?
  • Do you feel you have enough time to spend with your family?
Are you thinking about majoring in science or engineering?  Want to get into a good college and leap out into a job?  Here's some advice for science-curious students in high school.

As a HS junior, take HS Physics, Biology, or Chemistry-- whichever matches your major.  For engineering or physics or astronomy, HS Physics.  For biology, HS Biology and Chemistry.  For chemistry, HS Chemistry.  For pre-med, heck, take them all.

You should also take any and all Advanced Placements (all topics-- Sci, Math, English). AP gives you free credits, so you can go right into stuff you want and sprinkle your electives more freely during your four years-- or even graduate in 3.5 years.