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skullsinthestars

Fake Book Titles Extravaganza #4!

Time for another round of Fake Book Titles that I’ve done, compiled from twitter!  You can see compilation 1, compilation 2 and compilation 3 at the links. Been struggling a bit more with inspiration the past few months, but let’s see how I did…

As always with these, content warning for language, innuendo, and politics!

Original title: The Eyes of Sarsis.

The classics never get old:

Original title: The Odyssey.

This one next will (hopefully) make no sense at...

Old School Dungeons & Dragons: Part 15

Time for another roundup of my twitter threads on old school Dungeons & Dragons products! Let’s jump right in:

The Complete Fighter’s Handbook (1989), by Aaron Allston. I haven’t yet touched any of the “handbook” supplements that were made for 2nd edition AD&D!

The Complete Fighter’s Handbook was the first in a long line of handbooks intended to expand the variety of options for characters, races and campaigns in 2nd edition...

The Anniversary of the Laser at Cambridge University Press – Part 1!

On May 16, 1960, Theodore Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories was the first person to create the now ubiquitous and important source of light that we know as the LASER – Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. This year marks the 60 year anniversary of this achievement, and for this occasion I wrote a blog post for Cambridge University Press on the history of the laser!

Please check it out over at the CUP blog! This is part 1 of 2, and part 2, which describes...

Old School Dungeons & Dragons: Part 14

Okay, time for a round of Old School Dungeons & Dragons, taken from my twitter posts! Things are moving a little slower due to the craziness of the world distracting me, but let’s look at a few classic items!

Cardmaster Adventure Design Deck (1993), by Rich Borg. One of the most fascinating categories of items in the pre-internet days is game aids, designed to help DMs run and organize adventures.  The Cardmaster Deck is one that I hadn’t heard of until I saw it...

How Not To Be Seen: the video!

Continuing my series of uploaded videos, tonight I recorded a version of my How Not To Be Seen: The history and science of invisibility seminar, which I’ve given and revised for probably close to ten years now!  I’ve shared links to versions before, but this is the most recent and up-to-date version, based on a lecture I gave at the University of Chicago last fall.

I was feeling a little scatterbrained during the recording, so I fumbled my speaking a couple of times;...

Jasmine: Journey Into Power coloring book

I haven’t been blogging much lately, because *gestures hands at everything* but I wanted to give a shoutout and a boost to a friend’s work today!

If you’ve been following for a while, you may remember that not too long ago I met Darlene, a very talented artist who was one of the early fantasy artists for TSR; one of her most famous works was the fantasy comic Jasmine which ran in Dragon Magazine for 12 issues starting in issue 37. (I have a physical copy of that issue...

The Anniversary of the Laser at Cambridge University Press – Part 2!

As promised, here’s the link to part 2 of my two-part series of posts at Cambridge University Press on the 60th anniversary of the laser! This post features a discussion of the basic ideas of how a laser works, like stimulated emission that can create an “avalanche” of photons:

Please give it a read! You can read part 1 here.

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The first news report of the laser (1960)

So this year is the 60 year anniversary of the invention of the laser, which was finally accomplished by Theodore Maiman on May 16, 1960 (mark your calendar!).  I recently wrote a blog post about the physics and history of the laser to commemorate the occasion; I will share a link to it when it appears.

But one thing I came across while working on the post? The first newspaper article announcing the discovery! The article, written by Ralph Dighton for the Associated Press, was syndicated...

Forgotten Milestones in the History of Optics: video!

Okay, here’s one more classic video from my regular seminar series: Forgotten Milestones in the History of Optics! This was one of the earliest semi-popular seminars I put together.

More videos and posts to come!

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Vortices in beams of light and vortex coronagraphy video!

I while ago, I shared slides from a talk I gave at the Charlotte Amateur Astronomy Club on “Vortices in beams of light and vortex coronagraphy.” Now that I, like everyone else, am more or less homebound, I thought I would record it as a video for folks to hear what I actually would say during such a talk!  This will be the first of hopefully a few more popular science videos I will make and share while social distancing.

Note: This one is based on a formal seminar I gave, so...