Reaching into the Low Orbit Frontier

Reaching into the Low Orbit Frontier

One of the great things about working on Astronomy Cast is that sometimes I get to learn about things that I just didn’t fully appreciate in the past. Today I’m preparing for an episode on amateur/community spacecraft. I knew this was something that was going on, but I hadn’t appreciated the sheer diversity of missions that are in the works. In order to try and get my notes straight for today’s episode, I am going to summarize things here so that they are a resource for all of us. I’m sure this will be out of date very quickly, but hopefully it will help you appreciate everything as much as I now do. (image credit: NASA) ARKYD: The actual first public space telescope!  This project raised $1,505,366 with 17,614 backers, exceeding...

Read More

Catching up on wishes – my bucket list

Catching up on wishes – my bucket list

Holy expletive, Batman – I just logged into my old Livejournal account to look up a 2004 bucket list that I posted. (copied here) I was looking it up because I wanted to see how my goals have changed, and see where I’ve succeeded in the nearly 10 years since I wrote it. All in all, I have to admit, I’ve done not too bad. Bucket List from March 2004 First there are the practical goals: 1) Pay off all my credit cards 2) Pay off my car (completed 12/10/2004) and outfit it with the “toys” I want (skid plate, fog lights, roof rack, solid doors, new paint). 3) Buy a house or condo (purchased 07/03/2006) Then there are the desires that may require money, but also require even more work on my part 1) I want another horse(bought 12/2008), and I want to...

Read More

Why I stay (2 of 2)

Why I stay (2 of 2)

This is the second part in a two-part essay on why I stay in academia. As I did with yesterday’s post, I wanted to start with an infographic, but I couldn’t find one communicating what I wanted to say. Astronomy is a rich field, doing and discovering amazing things, but we are a field where budgets are modest, and the overall dollars that are available is going down or staying flat (depending on your sub-field). I wanted to find an infographic that somehow expressed that. When I talk about why I stay, I have to address the question of “Why do I stay given the current funding crisis?” I thought about making an infographic, but it hurt too much. Maybe another day? Here’s what I know: NASA and NSF aren’t getting a lot of astronomy...

Read More

Why I stay (part 1 of 2)

Why I stay (part 1 of 2)

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how to articulate why it is I keep doing what I do. Anyone who has been around me knows that between the stress of budgets and the overall climate against women in STEM, my career isn’t one that makes me happy at the moment. The thing is, my profession is one that I value, and I am doing things that I am proud to see through to completion. There are problems, but … would it be better to have a job that I was neutral toward, but paid more and required fewer work hours? I want to do things with meaning, and I am striving to do that with my career, and right now, as a woman in astronomy, that means I’m choosing – my choice – the prospect of creating something I’m proud of over the...

Read More

DHS adds stigma to mental health issues

DHS adds stigma to mental health issues

When it comes to somethings, I still go old school, and one of those things includes getting a daily summary of SlashDot highlights. In one of these quick summaries of all that’s new, I stumbled across a story that broke me on many levels. Here is the summary from SlashDot: [Trigger Warning: Story discusses problems faced by woman with depression.] Jah-Wren Ryel writes In 2012, Canadian Ellen Richardson was hospitalized for clinical depression. This past Monday she tried to board a plane to New York for a $6,000 Caribbean cruise. DHS denied her entry, citing supposedly private medical records listing her hospitalization. From the story: ‘“I was turned away, I was told, because I had a hospitalization in the summer of 2012 for clinical depression,’’...

Read More
Now live! Expect the Unexpected.
Currently offline.