Natural Sciences

Halloween Treats 2019

Time to continue what has been the longest-running tradition on this blog: posting a collection of classic (freely available) horror stories for folks to read during the creepy season!  The list of past posts is getting too long to share in full again, but you can search “Halloween Treats” on my blog to find past editions.  The 2018 edition included a recap of some of my favorite stories through the years.

But let’s get to it!

The Eyes, Edith Wharton (1910). ...

Haunted Houses from Valancourt Books!

It’s that spooky time of year, when I hunt down classic ghost and horror stories freely available on the internet and post them for your reading enjoyment! Currently working on that post, but I thought in the meantime I would draw some attention to my friends at Valancourt Books, who have been doing such an amazing job reprinting classic works of horror.

In particular, I thought I would mention the great job they’ve done in bringing some of the best haunted house books...

October reading: A Night in the Lonesome October

So I semi-regularly blog about books on this site, and my usual strategy is to read the book and then write a blog post about it.

For October, I’m going to be a little different! Over the month, I’m going to read Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October (1993), and I encourage y’all to read along!

This book is special because it is divided into 31 chapters, each representing one day of October, plus an introductory chapter. By tradition, or even intent...

Old School Dungeons & Dragons: Part 9

I have almost caught up with all the old school Dungeons & Dragons posts I’ve been doing on twitter! So, without further ado, here’s part 9!

Die, Vecna, Die! (2000), by Bruce R. Cordell and Steve Miller. This module has the curious distinction of being perhaps the last “old school” adventure ever published!

Die, Vecna, Die! was one of two mind-bogglingly epic adventures released with universe-spanning ramifications, allowing DMs to have a reason...

Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics in Five Languages!

Some exciting news to share: it turns out that my upcoming book on Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics will be translated into five languages so far!  In case you missed the lovely cover image before, here it is again, for the English edition:

Right now, it looks like it’s slated to be translated into: Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Chinese, and will also be available in audiobook format!  I will have more details on those translations when they get closer...

Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics, available now!!!

Unexpectedly, it turns out that my new popular science book, Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics, has been released earlier than expected! Folks are already getting their copies in the mail! So if you’ve been waiting to order it until it was actually available, now it is! Click the link above to get it from Amazon, or click this link to order directly from Yale University Press!

PS I should note that both the audible version of the book as well as the kindle version are...

Old School Dungeons & Dragons: Part 10

Okay, this post will catch me up with all my old school D&D posts that I’ve been doing on twitter! I’ll still be doing them, but will do them less frequently, only after I’ve got a handful from twitter to summarize. So until we meet again, here’s part 10!

S2: White Plume Mountain (1979), by Lawrence Schick. This one is one of the true classics! I think almost every old school D&D player has gone through it!

The second of the S-series after S1: Tomb...

What a Scientific Englishman thinks of Scientific Americans (1874)

Things are a little crazy here in the United States right now, so as a pick-me-up of sorts, I thought I would share this charming article that appeared in the January 30, 1874 issue of Scientific American: “What a Scientific Englishman thinks of Scientific Americans.”  It is a lovely reminder of how great we can be, when we put our minds to it!

R.A. Proctor (1837-1888).

The article was written by the English astronomer Richard Anthony Proctor (1837-1888), who is...

Effects of explosions on the ear (1887)

Here’s another blog post inspired, in part, by my work on my upcoming book on Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics

When we discuss our ideal impressions of science, we often imagine repeatedly doing laboratory experiments in which every variable is controlled and the fundamental phenomenon is isolated from all others.  However, in plenty of situations, especially involving biological specimens, such controlled experiments are impractical, impossible,...

Old School Dungeons & Dragons: Part 8

It’s a quiet night, and I’m feeling great, so here’s old school D&D, part 8!

Chronomancer (1995), by Loren ColemanChronomancer is one of the oddest AD&D supplements I’ve come across yet, and highlights how much TSR was willing to experiment to keep players engaged in the 1990s.

Chronomancer introduces a new wizard class, the Chronomancer, who has access to what is known in the book as “Temporal Prime,” the dimension of time....

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