Bad Science Poet

Time for a further sampling from the journals of Bad Science Poet. Remember: “It’s not the science that’s bad—it’s the poetry!”™ ODE TO AN ANTARCTIC FRIEND Penguin, oh penguin, you’re so black and white. Your colors remind me of both day and night. For six months a year you live without light, Like butter inside a fridge that’s […]

The Last Word

February 2 – 6 Ann gave us a posthumous profile of Charles Hard Townes, whom you can thank for astronomers being able to peer inside the centre of the Milky Way, and for conscientious physicists advising the US Defense Department without being muzzled. Fancy a moth in maroon velvet? Grotesque ripple-lines? Giddy exclamation points and […]

11:59:59:59:59:59:59….

In the 1992 documentary A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking describes what we would see if we were observing an astronaut nearing a black hole’s event horizon—the barrier beyond which gravitation is so great that not even light can escape. He invites us to imagine that the astronaut is wearing a watch, and that […]

Hiding in Plain Out-of-Sight

If you haven’t seen the movie Interstellar, you might not recognize the image above. It’s the black hole that figures prominently in the climax. But even if you have seen the movie, chances are excellent you still don’t know what you’re looking at. I didn’t, anyway, at least the first few days I spent staring at […]

Thumbs Up! Don’t Shoot!

Like millions of other Americans, I’ve spent some time in the last week wondering whether the grand jury proceedings in the shooting death of Michael Brown were a perversion of justice from the get-go. I don’t claim to have had any great societal insights as a result, but I can claim a personal one—the kind of […]

Both Our Houses

The congressional session that begins in the New Year, according to the incoming leaders of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, will do nothing to address anything. Although Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the presumptive majority leader of the Senate, and John Boehner of Ohio, the Speaker of the House, did not make that promise explicitly, it is […]

Bad Science Poet

Time for another visit from Bad Science Poet. Remember: “It’s not the science that’s bad—it’s the poetry!”™ A LESSON IN HUMILITY FOR SCIENTISTS Bunsen had a burner. Ike had Tina Turner. And which became president?  

Off Our Meds: Physician, Screw Thyself (Or, Um, Not)

This week LWON presents “Off Our Meds,” an examination of some scary issues in medicine. We won’t resort to fear mongering, because we don’t have to. Medicine is scary enough as it is. The doctor was sitting in a chair next to the window, gazing out. His features gave nothing away, save serious thought. I watched him […]