Monday, 18 October 2021

Category » Non-Muse news

Good News, v.2015-2016

By popular request, here’s an antidote to the Rants and Complaints thread: a place to talk about things you’re happy about. We could all use a little good news.

Continued from the original thread.

In Memoriam: Terry Pratchett


-Terry Pratchett, 1948-2015

In Memoriam: Leonard Nimoy

In my heart
Is the seed of the tree
Which will be me.
Nourished by understanding
Warmed by friends
Fed by loved ones
Matured by wisdom
Tempered by tears.

–Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)
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Happy National Chocolate Day!

Who decides these things, anyway? Congress? Maybe this is one of those rare cases in which ignorance really is bliss.

(By the way, National Oatmeal Day is tomorrow, October 29.)


Photo on 2014-10-13 at 16.28



Fiddler: In celebration of Fireh and Fiddler kokonvening, here is a picture to prove that it happened and (as evidenced by our big smiles) is great fun! ((Also proof that the both of us are Real Human Beings as opposed to robotic music nerds spamming the lot of you from somewhere in the cybernets-fireh))

And for those dying to know the itinerary of this kokon, it was a meet up at the Chocolate Lounge last night, and then attending one of Fiddler’s classes (Appalachian Music and Dance, appropriately). Next up: anything goes. Probably involving food and giggling.


Fireh: Last night meeting Fiddler for the first time was awesome; she was easy to spot as she was wearing bright orange shorts in the Muserly tradition of being unique and mildly eccentric. She got a Pumpkin Spice Creme Brule (SP? I don’t really care) ((Fiddler: “IT HAS TWO Es”)) and I of course made the obligatory comment about blowtorches and the appropriate white-girl-stereotype jokes. I got a cold chocolate drink with coconut milk, which was awesome. Like hot chocolate, but NOT! My chalumeau/pocket clarinet got here right before I left TN, so I had the entire car ride to mess with it and play with it so of course I figured out how to play “What Do You Do With An Errant Muser” as sung by the massive Kokon of a few years ago in preparation for this. I played it for Fiddler. It was glorious.


Fiddler: Also, it’s SUPER DUPER FUN explaining “hello this is my friend from the internet” to your roommates and professors. I’m not sure what it says about me that I’m fairly used to it by now though. (I think it means that MB is the best and I’m very lucky. We’ll go with that one.)

Pollyhymnia Sighting!

Robert writes:

Polly Shulman came down from New York yesterday for the retirement party of our friend and frequent editee, the renowned geoscience writer Richard Kerr. Here’s a picture of Polly, Dick, and me in Dick’s strangely bare and reverberant office.

Polly, Dick, and Robert

Polly was her usual ebullient self. Her latest book in the Grimm Legacy series has just gone off to her editor, and she’s pondering new projects — maybe something a little different. More news as it becomes available…


Happy Spring*!

The vernal equinox is occurring right…now! Is everybody ready?

*Or autumn, if you live in the Southern Hemisphere, of course.

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Happy Friday the Thirteenth!

Friday the Thirteenth, as we all know (or ought to) (or at any rate ought to agree to pretend to), is a lucky day for the inveterate contrarians on MuseBlog. We eagerly await your tales of outrageous [good] fortune.

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What I Learned Today, 2013-2016

Piggy’s description:

We could share factoids we’ve read, advice from personal experience, observations about the world, what-have-you. Everyone learns something new every day, and I’d like a place to share.

Continued from v. 2012.

Happy Pi Day*, Everybody!

Pi Day poster from Robert's office

*(That’s 3/14 in USA date format, for those who write it the other way around.)

This photo from the employee lounge on Robert’s floor at Science magazine shows why geek-rich environments are great places to work.

Where will you be at 1:59?

Attention, Oceanography Fans!

Those of you with online access to Science magazine should definitely check out this week’s news feature “A Sea Change for U.S. Oceanography” at www . sciencemag . org/content/339/6124/1138 .

Short version: As research budgets shrink and technology improves, oceanographers are spending less time at sea and relying more on data from remote sensing.


Endeavour Refuels

Space shuttles need to eat, too, it seems. Here’s Endeavour last night on its way to the California Science Center:

Space shuttle Endeavour at doughnut shop in Los Angeles

The Mars Science Laboratory, aka “Curiosity”

Lander descending, seen from orbit

We can’t stop talking about it, so here’s a special place to continue the conversation that started on the Random thread.

Sally Ride, 1951-2012

We’re saddened to learn and sorry to report that Sally Ride, the first American woman in space and an honorary Muser if there ever was one, has died of pancreatic cancer at age 61.


Scariest Thing We’ve Seen All Year

Cat’s Eye sent it with the note:

I was recently surfing the Internet and I happened to stumble upon this photo. Shortly afterwards, I found out that it was taken in my area; the statue/mural in question is in San Francisco. In light of this, I thought I would send it in to be observed and recorded by the general MuseBlog community, and perhaps ask for a small prayer on my behalf.

Read more »

Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012

The gentlest and most poetic of the classic science-fiction writers lived in the October Country:

“That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.”

GAPA in the News

Editors work behind the scenes, but every now and then we accidentally catch a piece of spotlight. One of Robert’s recent projects is getting a little attention this week. It’s called Mysteries of Astronomy, and you can read about it here:

www. msnbc. msn. com/id/47637714/ns/technology_and_science-space/


Swedes Hack Their Own Grammar

Swedes, it appears, love to tinker with their language. A few decades ago, they decided that their formal pronoun Ni (the equivalent of Spanish usted, German singular Sie, and French singular vous) sounded too stuffy, so they abolished it. Just like that, the Swedes became knights who formerly said “Ni.”

Now reformers there are trying to introduce a gender-neutral pronoun to supplement the standard han (he) and hon (she). A couple of writers have produced a children’s book that uses it exclusively to refer to all the characters.

Cover of

The pronoun is hen.

Hm… Why does that sound familiar? Have the Swedes been reading MuseBlog?


What I Learned Today, 2012

Piggy’s description:

We could share factoids we’ve read, advice from personal experience, observations about the world, what-have-you. Everyone learns something new every day, and I’d like a place to share.

Continued from v. 2011.2.


In the News

A thread for discussing things that are happening, as they happen.


Veterans/Remembrance Day, 2011

We’ve been at war for most of your lives, yet here at home it’s scarcely noticeable. So here’s a MuseBlog poll: Anybody know any soldiers?


“Occupy” Protests

Requested by Castle. They’re in the news, and some of you have seen them up close. What are your thoughts?


Happy Tau Day (June 28)!

Rhymes with cow? Rhymes with law? Never mind. The important thing is that tau equals two pi, and two pies are better than one.

You’ll find a more extensive explanation here.

Many Happy Returns of the Season!

The summer solstice (or winter if you live in the southern hemisphere, as MBers sometimes do) occurs today, June 21, at 12:16 p.m. MuseBlog time.

So, how’s it going?


Just for the Record

In the United States, at least, today (and the first Friday of every June) is National Doughnut Day.

We knew you’d be thrilled.