Why Astrophysicists Shouldn’t Build Things

Astrophysicist Daniel Reardon

Australian astrophysicist Daniel Reardon thought he’d turn his inventiveness to help humanity by inventing a device to help people learn not to inadvertently touch their faces.  His idea was to build a necklace with sensors which would respond to magnets worn on the wrists and buzz to alert the wearer when their hands approached the face.... [Read More]


Contest! Do the Right People Care About You in This Crisis?

As of today, I have received email messages from the following, assuring me that my health and well-being, the well-being of everybody I love, including the dogs and cats, is the tippety-top thing on their minds; that they are totally committed to doing their part to ensure whatever; that the foremost thoughts of all on their teams is guarding me from contagion:

the LP gas delivery company;... [Read More]


TOTD 2020-3-14: State of Emergency

One can never be too cautious so please make sure and wash your hands after reading posts especially by some members. (There is no need to state the obvious and mention the names.) Also please keep a good distance when making comments. Try to leave enough blank comments as not to catch the virus. Social distance on social media is important at this time. I will be coming around in a HazMat Sock to take some culture samples for testing and just good old fun. If I like you, you will test negative. If not, it will be three weeks on the Ratburger Cruise. So you won’t be bored we lined up some of your favorite speakers from 2016. Hillary Clinton will even sign books.



—I have frequent wardrobe mishaps. For instance, I might swivel my head to look at you, and suddenly a lens from my sunglasses will fall away, leaving one eye freakishly staring out from an empty frame. Today, I did the thing with the extra long sweater I found at the thrift store: I once again shut it in the car door, so that a piece of my clothing was fluttering in the cold morning air while the rest of me was in the heated car. The first time this happened, I had to go in the bathroom and wash mud out of a section of the garment. Fortunately, today, no follow up was required. I should know now to check when I get in the car, but I never think of it.

—Colleagues at my new job want to friend me on Facebook. I am a passive FB friender, and I had no plans to blend my personal account with work. I’ve visualized myself explaining my reluctance to accept friendship requests, and the imaginary me comes off as petty, all explanations sounding like lame excuse-making. A request has already come through, so I hit on a plan to make everyone happy: I would create an FB account just for my work friends and post a few key pictures on it. Bad idea. FB discouraged me from creating a unique name, and what’s more, wrested a phone number and work e-mail from me. I’m sure this new account is going to bob up on friends’ suggested people list, and my new, pale FB silhouette is going to be bombarded with friend requests. I’d like to delete the account, but don’t see a way to do so. FB has already sent three messages to my work e-mail. Make it stop! And now I’m not any farther in my quest to not offend anyone at work.... [Read More]


Lesbians Riot Over Immigrants

Lesbos Island (Greece) (AFP) – Greek riot police on Tuesday fired tear gas to disperse angry locals on the islands of Lesbos and Chios protesting against the planned construction of controversial new migrant camps.

Sappho could not be reached for comment. Her publisher responded, paradoxically, with... [Read More]