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08/24/2009

The best thing I ever learned in a physics class was one of the very first things: keep your units straight. When doing complex problems that contain multiple steps, there’s nothing more important. The key is writing everything out long-hand. We all know that Velocity is distance per time. Let’s call it METERS per SECOND.… more

08/21/2009

Healthcare debates are all the rage right now, but as a sci-fi writer I’m more interested in the arguments we might be having fifty, or a hundred years from now. Namely, that we aren’t all Volvos. First, think about what insurance really is: collectivized risk. A major disaster (home flooded, car wrecked, heart attack) could… more

08/18/2009

My publisher and I were talking last night about the uncanny habit science has of catching up with developments first mentioned in science fiction. We both agreed that this seems to happen quite often, but after giving it more thought, I’ve changed my mind. I’m not really sure that’s the case. Of the billions of… more

08/06/2009

I’ll never forget the realization that came with my first foray into astronomy: we are much too small to matter, or to understand anything. Deep within The Reader, I’ve stumbled upon a series of clues. Taken together, they suggest that I was quite right to lament our stature, but wrong to think that we are… more

07/26/2009
06/28/2009

Another revelation from The Reader (the device that houses my Molly Fyde source material) has shaken me to the core this week. It’s rare that anything can upstage the events of Molly’s life; but this tidbit, revealed through a conversation Molly preserved in her journal, is as big as it gets. And it explains two… more

06/22/2009

Instantaneous communication. From anywhere in the universe. And it really works. I watched an adorable Japanese cat jumping in and out of a box on YouTube, and I must be millions of light years away from Earth. I’m not a particle physicist, so explaining Bell’s Theorem is probably best left to the experts, but I’ll… more

06/17/2009

How about those header images? Aren’t they gorgeous? Most of them are nebulae, the massive clouds of elementary particles and plasma that coalesce into solar systems like our very own. If it weren’t for stars, and the fusion of lighter elements into heavier ones that occurs in their constant explosions, we wouldn’t exist. The carbon… more

06/13/2009

I meant no offense in correcting you today in front of my fellow cadets. As per your request, I’m writing up my argument for submission tomorrow morning. Excuse the typographical errors and sloppy diagrams, I’m having to put this together under my bunk as we spent all afternoon in the simulators and it’s now Lights… more

06/08/2009

Long before Thomas L. Friedman argued that the world was metaphorically flat thanks to the globalization of economics, there was a brilliant piece of English satire written as if the world was literally flat. Edwin Abbott Abbott wrote FLATLAND in 1884 to make fun of a rigid social hierarchy (in the book, the number of… more