Remembering Sputnik

The Soviet Union surprised the world 50 years ago today by launching Sputnik 1.  Even though there have been lots of commentaries and rememberances, I wanted to mark the occasion here for a couple of reasons. First, there was the reaction in the US.  There was the total shock that the Soviets could be us … Continue reading Remembering Sputnik

Good Old Edmund

Growing up as the son of the local school principal had its problems (some taunting by classmates, etc) but it also had some perks. For example, my brothers and I would often grab Dad’s keys to the gymnasium. We would go at night and leave the lights off, then throw a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee in the … Continue reading Good Old Edmund

Star Party

Saturday night the Roper Mountain Astronomers and Furman University’s Physics Department hosted a star party at the Furman observatory near Cleveland, SC. I decided to load up my telescope and head on up that way. I arrived to find the party in full swing. Jerry Polsinelli had brought the club’s 14in Dobsonian and had it … Continue reading Star Party


That was one of the terms used by a panelist on the discussion program following Discovery’s "The Tomb of Jesus Revealed" to describe the program. We watched the entire two hour program and found the ideas intriguing, albeit not "compelling" as Simcha Jacobovici, the filmmaker, contends. I found it to be about as intriguing as … Continue reading Archeoporn

Nobel Chemistry

Sometime back I took one of these cutesy online tests – this time it was a "Nerd Test" to see how nerdy I am.  I don’t dare give you the score, but look at it this way – I keep a blog.  That should say enough.  As I read the questions, it occured to me … Continue reading Nobel Chemistry