Natural Sciences

Superoscillations: imaging beyond the limits of diffraction

This past week I gave a virtual talk to the Charlotte Amateur Astronomy Club about a fascinating development in wave physics and imaging called “superoscillations,” and I thought I would record a version that I could share here!

Hopefully the video makes sense — I throw in a little history about the wave theory of light in addition to the discussion of modern developments.


Halloween Treats 2020!

I almost forgot to do one of my oldest blog traditions: sharing a series of classic ghost and horror stories to celebrate Halloween! The list of past post is too long to share these days, but you can search “Halloween Treats” on my blog page to find my past posts.

This year, I thought I would go with a theme for my stories. At first, I thought about doing a theme of “disease,” but… that is a bit too topical! So my second choice? Horrors of the sea! So many...

Old School Dungeons & Dragons: Part 17

Since I’m behind in compiling my old school D&D posts from twitter, here’s another post!

Operation Seventh Seal (1985), by Evan Robinson. Let’s look at an adventure from another TSR roleplaying game, Top Secret!

Top Secret was introduced in 1980 as a contemporary espionage roleplaying game, designed by Merle M. Rasmussen and published by TSR.

Looking back on playing Top Secret as a teen, I’m struck at how strange it is: it is effectively “spy...

Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay

My apologies for the long delay in writing — the chaos in the world and the busy nature of life has left me rather drained!  But I have managed to start reading some fiction again, and I thought I would share thoughts on one of my recent reads, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock (2016), by Paul Tremblay.

One night Elizabeth Sanderson awakens to the call that every parent fears: her son, 13 year old Tommy, has disappeared into the wilds of a Borderland State Park while hanging...

Presentation tonight on “Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics!”

Hi all! For those who might be interested in watching, I’ll be doing a live presentation about the history of falling cats and science, based on my Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics book, as a Science Cafe for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences! You can read about the event, and find the YouTube link to it, at this link.

I assume that there will be a recording, and I will also post the link to it when it becomes available!


Some of my favorite horror video games!

So Halloween may be done, but I’m not quite done with Halloween! I was sitting around thinking about horror-themed video games, and decided that I wanted to put together a list of some of my favorites!

Such a list is, of course, a personal one and is not intended to be some sort of list of the “absolute” best, as I haven’t played many of the most well-known. I wasn’t gaming during the early PS “Resident Evil” era, so I missed a lot of those...

I am now an OSA Fellow!

I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately thanks to a combination of lots of work, lots of D&D games during the week, and just stress about the world! Hoping to get back to a more regular schedule in the near future, but in the meantime, I wanted to share the news:

I am now a Fellow of the Optical Society of America for 2021!

Fellows are members of the Optical Society that have been recognized for their accomplishments in the field. I have been recognized “for contributions...

Old School Dungeons & Dragons: Part 16

Been a while since I’ve compiled my twitter threads on old school D&D, so time to catch up a bit!

Reunion (1998), by Jackie Cassada and Nicky Rea.  Here we look at a rather unusual specimen from the Al-Qadim line of “Arabian Adventures.”

Reunion is a rather unusual adventure for a number of reasons. Though it is one of the Al-Qadim “Arabian Adventures” line produced by TSR, it came out some four years after that line had been officially ended!...

Presentation on “Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics!”

Okay, so I did a video presentation at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences tonight on “Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics!” Due to COVID restrictions, it’s the closest thing to a book event I’ll be doing for a while, so I’m grateful to have had the opportunity.

Watch the video for a fun walk through the basic history of the falling feline problem in science, as well as a couple of brief demonstrations by me on a spinner, showing how angular momentum...

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...