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Showing posts from February, 2014

Guest post: Please don't play the socioeconomic trump card!

Today's guest blogger is Caitlin Casey, a McCue Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Irvine who studies galaxy formation and evolution, including discovering and characterizing diverse types of starburst galaxies and how they relate to more "normal" spiral galaxies in the early Universe. Caitlin recently cowrote, along with Kartik Sheth, a NatureJobs article entitled The Ethical Gray Zone, based on an extensive community poll on ethics and diversity. She is also involved in STEM outreach and mentoring within her department and throughout astronomy.  

This post was originally published at Women in Astronomy

I recently found myself in a heated internet debate on the concept of white, male privilege and whether or not affirmative action was necessary. The person I was arguing with -- who happen to be a white male, let's call him "Joe" -- was explaining to me that he hates the term "privilege" since everyone has privileges of different types and it's next t…

Fish Car!

Have you ever wanted your fish to be able to move around your house without filling your house with water? Who hasn't?! Well, finally there's a solution:



It looks like there's some hysteresis built in, since the fish occasionally turns around but the car doesn't immediately respond. I can imagine the fish setting up accidental resonances that cause the water to slosh around and spill. Silly fish!

All up on the Twitters

I was featured this week in Symmetry Magazine's #FollowFriday: Physicists to follow on Twitter. A quick excerpt from a quick feature:

Tell us about yourself in 140 characters or less. Finder of exoplanets, typist of things, one who professes professionally, figurer of things out, player of basketball, abuser of language.

Ef Double-you Eye Double-you

Have you noticed that people sometimes write FWIW? I didn't know what this meant for a long time, but thanks to the Urban Dictionary, I know it's an abbreviation for "for what it's worth." BTW, that's pretty useful, IMHO. At least for writing. However, people also now say the abbreviation, which is, IMHO, really dumb because it requires more syllables than the original statement.

For what it's worth = 4 syllables
Ef Double-you Eye Double-you = 8 syllables

Saying the acronym takes twice as much time as just saying the words. Doesn't this defeat the purpose of an abbreviation [1]?

People, just say the words!




[1] While I'm at it, why is "abbreviation" such a long, hard-to-spell word? I'm going to just start writing Abv.