Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category
This webcomic of “romance, sarcasm, math and language” is written by CNU physics graduate (there’s one plus) Randall Monroe, who used to work at NASA’s Langley Research Center (another plus!) working on robots (goal!). While frequently NSFW, he’s got a lot of great stuff in the above topics (plus a scattering of physics and other science) in relatively simplistic, but effective, artwork (stick-figures, black & white).
If you are using Firefox, be sure to get the Long Titles extension so you can read his mouseover comments without having to do gymnastics with the properties option.
I have many strips that I like, but this one is good:
One of the more interesting comic sites I have been redirected to (this one from the Bad Astronomer) was to PhD Comics, a strip devoted to the life of a grad student. From what I have seen, PhD is, like Dilbert, all too accurate, even where it seems like it should be hyperbole. I find it very humorous, even though it makes me worry about my own potential future as a grad student!
Astronomy Cast is a weekly podcast by Fraser Cain (of Universe Today) and Pamela Gay (from SIUE). They cover all aspects of the universe from just above our atmosphere to far, far away, from the very beginning to the theorized end. A tour of our Solar system. Dark Energy. Birth of the Universe, Galaxies, Stars, Black Holes. Tidal forces. Relativity. Monster telescopes. No astronomical topic is too large, too small or too complex for them to handle.
Each episode is about 30 minutes long. The format is very easy to listen to – Fraser and Pamela essentially have a conversation about the current week’s topic. In general, he asks questions and she answers them using very little jargon – no math (well, not counting the Drake Equation episode)! Occasionally, Fraser will branch off and try to rephrase an answer in a different mode to give users another chance at understanding some of the really complex issues they ably handle. Pamela is a master at getting across astrophysical concepts without coming across as talking down to anyone. Additionally, she has one of the most awesome speaking voices I have heard in many years. I could listen to her for hours in a lecture hall (come to GMU and guest lecture, Pamela!).
I have listened to all 76 episodes (plus a few bonus tracks) to date and it sits at the top of my list – if there is an Astronomy Cast episode to hear, it doesn’t matter what I am in the middle of listening to, I switch to that.