Remembering the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster (1986)

Space Shuttle Challenger Destroyed (my reflection on the 28th anniversary in 2014) I was in my final semester of high school. I remember Principal Burch came over the loudspeaker to announce that the Challenger “blew up on the pad,” which I knew wasn’t true because I was watching a TV… probably in the library. Years later, I was teaching an advanced technical writing class, and we studied the documents related…

Earth doesn’t need more ‘successful people’.

The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage wiling to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as our culture has defined it.…

Studying STEM Isn’t The Career Boost We Think

Turns out, getting a STEM education may help you get a good job early but if you want a good career, you’re better off in liberal arts lane.  In other words, even if you’re only measuring money, a liberal arts education is probably worth a ton more than most people may think. […] [B]y the time STEM degree holders reach 40 years of age, more than half of them aren’t in…

The grandmaster diet: How to lose weight while barely moving

Fascinating article about how the extreme stress of chess tournaments affects the bodies of grandmasters. At 5-foot-6, Caruana has a lean frame, his legs angular and toned. He also has a packed schedule for the day: a 5-mile run, an hour of tennis, half an hour of basketball and at least an hour of swimming. As he’s jogging, it’s easy to mistake him for a soccer player. But he is…

2

Where Silence Has Lease (TNG Rewatch: Season 2, Episode 2)

Rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation after a 20-year break. The Enterprise spends a lot of time in a budget-saving black void, where the crew scans things, searches databases, launches a probe, navigates in circles, gives up, sets a self-destruct timer, philosophizes about death, shuts off the timer, and warps away. I had never seen this episode before, so technically for me this isn’t a “rewatch.” I found the opening…

The first ever photograph of light as both a particle and wave

There’s so much I don’t know! When teaching rhetoric, I often use “Is light a wave, or is it a particle?” as an example of a false dichotomy. My high school physics teacher (Rear Admiral Edward Metcalfe Peebles) set up a lecture giving us the “pro-wave” evidence and the “pro-particle” evidence and inviting us to take sides, then sprung the “wavicle” at us (a thing that sometimes acts like a…