Category Archives: Astronomy

Astronomy and the History of Common Knowledge

How far away are the stars? and How has the cosmic distance records progressed over time? My speculations about how people throughout history have perceived the size of the world; Veritasium’s person-on-the-street interviews reveal that many people have no clue … Continue reading

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Items about Science, Math, and Philosophy

There are always looking glass items, as I described topics in yesterday’s post, but for today let’s look at more substantial items. It’s been 100 years since Hubble discovered that our own galaxy wasn’t the entirety of the universe; Steven … Continue reading

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Another Orion Photo

Plus: The wackadoodle conspiracy theory about Taylor Swift and the Super Bowl; Items about why Trump is blocking the border deal; how Trump would destroy the American-led world order; why Republicans are killing the border deal; and a handy guide … Continue reading

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Adam Frank, THE LITTLE BOOK OF ALIENS

Here’s what looked like a fun, occasional book: a popular summary of a popular topic that’s well-known among followers of science and of science fiction. I bought it to glance through, not necessarily read through. But then I heard the … Continue reading

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Orion, and Tribal Politics

What Orion would look like if we had better eyes; The Iowa landslide for Trump reveals evangelicals for who they really are; The country needs a dictator; Sobbing woman begs Trump to save her; Conspiracy-monger set the fires himself; Nikki … Continue reading

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People Prefer a Softened Reality

A Big Think piece about over-hyped science and astronomy claims from this past year; Adam Lee on Benjamin Franklin’s “noble lie”: that people need religion in order to behave; And an Endpiece about current holiday activities. I’ve mentioned before that … Continue reading

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The Extent of the Universe, and Our History of Understanding It

NY Times with a photo spread of images from the James Webb telescope; Big Think with a timeline of our history of understanding our universe. —— NY Times, Kate LaRue, 5 Nov 2023: The James Webb telescope is a giant … Continue reading

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Planets, Scientific Certainty and Placebos, and Peter Gabriel

Phil Plait on the history of planetary discovery, since 1992; Flossing and the quest for scientific certainty; How placebos sometimes work; Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street”. – – – Good summary of the past thirty years’ discoveries of new planets. Phil … Continue reading

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A Crisis in Cosmology?

NY Times, Adam Frank and Marcelo Gleiser, 2 Sep 2023: The Story of Our Universe May Be Starting to Unravel This is a piece about some of the fall-out of the photos from the James Webb Space Telescope, and the … Continue reading

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More About Who’s to Blame for Trump

A Slate writer responds to NYT’s David Brooks about how the “elites” are to blame for Trump culture; A David Brin post; Some quick links with comments… Phil Plait on seeing the Milky Way; And George Michael’s “You Have Been … Continue reading

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