Restoring Scientific Integrity

Today President Obama signed an executive order effectively lifting the ban on stem-cell research. While that line of research will remain controversial, and I’m not going to comment on it directly, there were other things that the president said that were very encouraging. CNN perhaps puts it best… Bush’s critics argued the former president allowed … Continue reading Restoring Scientific Integrity

Copenhagen @ Furman

This is the “Year of Science” at Furman, and many activities have been planned to highlight the sciences, including dedication of the new Townes Center for Science later this season. One of the activities is a production of Michael Frayn’s “Copenhagen” at the Furman Playhouse. We (and about half of the chemistry faculty) went to … Continue reading Copenhagen @ Furman

Sky, Moon, and Mars

Google has taken its Google Sky functions and made them available on Google Maps as well as Google Earth. Google Sky for Maps features much of the same space imagery as its Google Earth counterpart. You can zoom in (out?) for a closer view of deep space objects and stars. There are also links that … Continue reading Sky, Moon, and Mars

Lunar Eclipse

Last night the weather was perfect for observing the lunar eclipse, and we had a great location for viewing. Laura’s Chemistry Techniques class was having an end-of-term party at the Hanks-Veas estate north of Travelers Rest. The skies up there were certainly darker than our downtown location, so I loaded up telescopes, cameras, and binoculars … Continue reading Lunar Eclipse

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