Redux: Finding Peter Ganz

This first appeared in December 19, 2013.  I run it again now because I’ve been reading David C. Cassidy’s new book, Farm Hall and the German Atomic Project of World War II, subtitled, “A Dramatic History.”  Cassidy is an historian of physics, so the “history” part of the subtitle is not unexpected.  But he also […]

Loving Explosions

Years ago, talking about the persistent rumor that the Hubble Space Telescope was an off-the-shelf spy satellite retrofitted for astronomy*, I told a NASA employee that I was pretty sure academic astronomers were culturally anti-military and they wouldn’t be crossing lines and dealing with spies or the defense department.  The NASA employee looked at me […]

Redux: Johnny and Oppie

So.  Everybody got excited about gravitational waves coming from the mergers of neutron stars and black holes.  My Facebook feed which is full of scientists and science writers got further excited about a newish phrase everybody used, “multimessenger astronomy.”  My Facebook feed agreed that “multimessenger astronomy” is an all-around dreadful phrase.  Not only does it sound corporate and […]

GRANDMOTHER? Really? and Subsequent Thoughts

Last week I had a couple of snakebit days, the kind that are my fault entirely – like leaving (almost) the house with no makeup and no shoes.  On one of these days I took a package to an UPS store, found out I would pay $50 to send a $50 present, decided what the […]

Arguing with the Finkbeiner Test

Apparently we’re feminine/ist this week, or so far Emma and I are.  I want to argue about the Finkbeiner Test.  The test began with a heroic vow:  I would write a profile of a woman scientist without the clichés that litter these profiles.  The test took off when Christie wrote a post about my post […]

Moors: Love or Hate? Discuss.

Helen: Ann, we’re here because you said you hate moors. I am currently having a love affair with moors, so I want to know: Why? Also, we’re here because I suspect this will give us an opportunity to talk about how much we hate Wuthering Heights. Unless you like Wuthering Heights. Do you like Wuthering […]

Corvid Redux Week: An Argument About Crows

This first ran March 9, 2011.  I haven’t changed my mind.  Crows take care of each other, talk constantly, have their enemies lists, are smart, are wicked, and remind me a lot of the rest of us.“Light thickens, and the crow makes wing to the rooky wood.”  MacBeth is talking, telling his wife it’s a […]