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skullsinthestars

Crookes and the puzzle of his radiometer

This blog post is based on some early experimental writing that was done for my Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics book that was cut from the final draft! As you will see, it was much too long and too much of a digression to include in the book, so I’ve posted it here sorta as a preview of not-quite-the-book!

Some of the most fascinating physics demonstrations are some of the oldest. In my office, I have several versions of a device known as a Crookes radiometer, including...

Available for pre-order: Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics!

Big news from about my upcoming book, Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics: we have a release date — October 22nd — and a cover!!!

Furthermore, and perhaps most important, the book is now available for pre-order! You can order it through Amazon at this link or, if you prefer, you can order it directly from Yale University Press at their website!

The official blurb is as follows:

The question of how falling cats land on their feet has intrigued humans since at least...

A visit to Orchids by Hausermann

I haven’t written a blog post for over a month, so I thought I should stop in and do something!  I’ve had quite a few ups and downs in life over that month, as well as some travel and a lot of work to do — including reviewing the editor’s comments for my upcoming cat physics book! (I have mostly finished them now, thankfully!)

Two weekends ago, I ended up in Chicago for my sister’s 50th birthday party — oh, how time has flown! While I was there, I...

Last night’s “Super Blood Moon”: a photo essay

So last night was anopportunity for folks on the East Coast of the United States to see a relatively rare event: a lunar eclipse!  Hyped as a “Super Blood Moon” (we’ll get to that in a moment), it took place beginning late Sunday night and stretched into Monday morning.  At that time, the Moon was high in the sky, meaning that anyone could see the progress of the eclipse simply by looking up.

Why “Super Blood Moon”? Well, mostly hype. It’s...

Fake Book Titles Extravaganza!

I blame my twitter friend Bhaal_Spawn.  One Friday, a couple of months ago, she joined into a #FakeBookTitleFriday hashtag, in which one Photoshops new (and silly) titles onto covers of old books that are otherwise suggestive. Her thread can be seen here.

Of course, the concept of making fake book titles is not new, as Paperback Paradise has been posting hilarious covers for quite a while now, but I hadn’t felt the urge to try my hand at them myself.  But I was suddenly inspired...

An Ode to the “Tomb of Horrors”

Part of this feeling on my part is certainly nostalgia, but there really isn’t anything quite like the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and its associated published adventure modules. Recently on twitter, I’ve been reminiscing about “Old School Dungeons & Dragons” and discussing some of the classics of D&D and AD&D.

However, there are some adventures that deserve more than a handful of tweets to discuss. One of these, and...

Fake Book Titles Extravaganza #2!

You may recall the big post I did back in December in which I shared a bunch of fake book titles that I had made and shared on twitter? Well, I’ve kept doing those fake titles regularly ever since then, and I thought it was a good time to do a second mega-post compiling everything new I’ve done to date! So, without further ado, here is Volume 2 of my Fake Book Titles Extravaganza!

Original title: A Collection of Stories. I’m quite proud of the work I put in to remove the...

The Dragon Corps, by Natalie Grey

One thing I really enjoy about being on twitter is meeting and learning about authors that I might otherwise not have encountered in my rather limited experience.  These experiences are pretty much always rewarding, and the same is true with my most recent read, Natalie Grey’s The Dragon Corps (2018).

Across all of the planets of the Alliance, no military organization is more feared than the Alliance’s Dragon Corps, elite teams of soldiers who handle the difficult...

The City and the Stars, by Arthur C. Clarke

I have such a big backlog of books to blog about — even though I’ve been struggling to focus on reading for fun!  But there are so many good books that I’ve read, from a variety of eras and writers, that I am determined to get through some commentary on each of them.

One of those is another classic that I picked up as part of the SF Masterworks series, Arthur C. Clarke’s 1956 novel The City and the Stars.

As I’ve noted before, I have been playing “catch-up”...

History of the Conservation of Energy: Booms, Blood, and Beer (Part 2)

Part 2 of a trilogy of posts describing the history of the discovery of conservation of energy, inspired by my research on “Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics.” Part 1 can be read here.

In 1798, Count Rumford presented the first significant challenge to the caloric theory of heat, arguing that the seemingly endless amount of heat that could be generated by boring cannons was inconsistent with the idea that heat is a fluid that lies latent in all materials —...

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