Vote 2012!

You may not be able to vote for Pogo, but you can vote for me!

I will be Off the Internet for a few days, and posting will probably be sporadic for the following week or two after that while I finish my book proposal. However, if I can make a blatant appeal, my post “Is Cosmology in Shambles?” (spoiler: no) is up for the 3 Quarks Daily Science Prize for best online science writing. There are a lot of good posts nominated, but if you like what I write here, I hope you’ll please consider voting for me (scroll down to “Galileo’s Pendulum” in the list). The polls close June 16 at 11:59 pm US Eastern time.

Now for some good writings around the Sciencey Interwebs:

  • A lot of people (including me) had a freewheeling discussion over the last two weeks about science communication and how it should be supported and nurtured. Lou Woodley and Sci Curious have roundups—it’s worth the time to read all of these posts! Lou also documented a conversation on Twitter from a meeting in New York last week, where a lot of the same points were discussed.
  • Despite many improvements, science research, teaching, and writing are still largely games for white dudes (like me). D.N. Lee, a strong voice for science education and a fierce advocate for diversity, has compiled a list of African-American science writers, including a fair number who are on Twitter.

And a few pieces of mine from other sites:

  • If your publishing house comes out with two separate “how to survive anything” guides for boys and girls in 2012, you should expect a bit of snark. Emily Willingham and I brought the smack down on that…nonsense over at Double X Science.
  • Only two worlds in the Solar System are known to have liquid seas on their surfaces: Earth and Saturn’s moon Titan. A new study has identified a potential new methane lake on Titan, which is in an arid region of the moon. That means the lake must be fed by underground sources, like a desert oasis. (Ars Technica)
  • The Kepler mission has found a huge number of exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars), enough that scientists can start doing statistics and looking for patterns. A group of astronomers showed that while big planets must form in star systems abundant in heavy chemical elements, smaller planets aren’t as picky. This means smaller, rocky planets may be very abundant in the galaxy. (Ars Technica)
  • Supermassive black holes are monsters: millions or billions of times more massive than the Sun, but smaller than our Solar System. So, what happens when one breaks out of its host galaxy? Sleep well, my friends. (Ars Technica)
  • In the interests of not boring you, I’ll send you to my Ars Technica author page for the other articles I wrote….
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