Excellent Approximations and Lying to Children

In which I talk about the common complaint that we teach students physics that “isn’t true,” and the limits on that statement. ———— Frequent commenter Ron sent me an email pointing to this post by David Reed on “What we “know” that t’aint so…. and insist on teaching to kids!”: he science we teach is […]

Links for 2012-05-31

In which we look at creepy fairytales, the writing of science books, when overfishing is actually okay, and what it means to be an experimental physicist. ———— 10 Creepy Details Glossed Over By Modern Versions Of Fairy Tales A surprising number of these can still be found in SteelyKid’s fairy tale books. Making the leap […]

How the NBA Ruins Our Pick-Up Games

In which I get a little ranty about basketball. ———– Over at Slate, Matt Yglesias has a column about why everybody ignores the Spurs.: America—at least in its own imagination—stands for certain things. For the idea that hard work and sound judgment bring success, and that success deserves celebration. That winners should be celebrated as […]

What Does It Take to Evaluate Teaching?

In which we compare a couple of different systems for evaluating teachers, looking at what’s involved in doing a fair assessment of a teacher’s performance. ——– Another casualty of the great blog upgrade, in the sense of a post that was delayed until the inspiration for it has been forgotten by most of the people […]

Links for 2012-05-30

In which we look at the evolution of Republican attitudes toward higher education, the early days of nuclear secrets, the science of communicating science, the amazing things you find in textbooks, and the unwritten rules of science journalism. ———— Confessions of a Community College Dean: Thoughts on Romney and Higher Ed Over the past decade […]

The Vicious Cycle of Physics PR

In which I talk about why it is that particle physics and cosmology are so over-represented in popular physics, and why my own books contribute to that. [The too-short excerpts on the new front page are beyond my ability to change, so I’ll be doing Victorian-style “In which…” summaries at the start of posts as […]

Links for 2012-05-29

In which we look at relativistic rockets, scientific revolutions, and the mathematical connection between entanglement and nonlocality. The Relativistic Rocket Science fiction writers can make use of worm holes or warp drives to overcome this restriction, but it is not clear that such things can ever be made to work in reality. Another way to […]

Links for 2012-05-28

In which we post a new collection of random links in an effort to see if the RSS feeds actually work now but aren’t showing anything because I haven’t posted anything. Craig Sager’s Suits and Sideline Sartorial Disasters – Grantland You’ve been blown off your couch and knocked from your barstool with disbelief — even […]

Talking physics with Emmy

Ask Emmy Questions

The blog is recovering from the transition to WordPress, but I’m still not fully confident in it. So We’ll turn to another corner of the social media universe for my procrastinatory needs this morning: Having Emmy answer physics questions on Twitter. The same deal as when we’ve done this before: If you’ve got a physics […]