Random and Off Topic

First the Random: Today I did an interview with the undead. Specifically with Chuck and Kreg of Technorama, which, despite the rumors, is not actually dead. I’m not sure when the show will air, but I’ll let you know! May 31 I’ll be at AstroZone in St Louis, and I am planning to take live questions in person and over the internet via uStream There will be a New Media meet during the AAS/ASP conference June 1-5. If you are a podcaster and will be there, let me know so I can get you on the “Who you can meet?” announcement. If you are interested in coming, keep an ear out for more information! June 6, I will sleep a-l-l day. And now onto the off topic. When I started keeping this blog, my personal and for friends blog died. I only have...

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Carnival Time!

Check out carnival 54 on Altair VI 🙂

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Falling out of a Cluster: The history of the Sun

Falling out of a Cluster: The history of the Sun

One of my favorite things to do with students in the late fall is to take them outside and point first to the Orion nebula, then to the Pleiades, and finally to the Hyades cluster, saying “these are snap shots in the evolution of open clusters.” Each of these systems is the home of young stars, but while the Orion nebula is very much a stellar nursery, with stars just 10 million years old or younger, the Pleiades, is more like a day care center with stars 100 million years old or younger. At the same time, Hyades is more like an afterschool program for stars 730 million years old or younger. All these systems are filled with celestial children. In their youth these stars still gather in clumps. But, as they age, the stars will drift apart until, as...

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The First Day of Summer Not-a-Break

There is a fascinating myth that academics get their summers off to play in the Sun. While the only time most of us are allowed to take vacations is in the summer, we generally work just as hard from the last day of spring semester to the first day of fall semester, as we do the inverse selection of days. The work we do is just different. Tomorrow morning, the first Monday morning of summer class-break, marks the beginning of grant reporting and seeking season, and research season. Armed with high-end processors we’ll be hunting publications and public funding. I have two grants to write my summary reports for, a grant and a contract that I need to complete the work on, and a bunch of funding that I need to seek in between my pursuits of galaxies and...

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Detritus of a Geeky Childhood

Detritus of a Geeky Childhood

When my husband and I moved to Illinois we packed all our belonging in two PODS with some (but not much) room to spare. When my parent’s sold their house 3 months later, they shipped me my childhood in a PODS-sized space inside a classic moving truck. It took two months for my husband and I to unpack our belongings. It has taken me the past 18 months to sort thru my childhood’s 60 plus boxes of treasure and trash (and teeth. Bleh. Parents, do not keep your child’s baby teeth. Ewww. Yuck. Do not keep!) As of today’s final Goodwill run, I think I can say I have beaten the carnage down to 4 boxes of papers that I just don’t know what to do with. My God, I was a nerd. This long process has been a learning one. My parents never threw out...

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