Author Archives: skullsinthestars

Physics demonstrations: The Phantom Lightbulb

Some of the most spectacular physics demonstrations rely on surprisingly simple science.  Throughout history, for instance, very simple optics has been used to great effect to terrify and amaze audiences (see, for instance, Robertson’s Phantasmagoria).  I recently came across such … Continue reading

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How many quarks would a charm quark charm if a charm quark could charm quarks?

Fundamental physics is having quite a spectacular season.  In mid-March, the collaborators of the BICEP2 telescope announced the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation, answering a long-standing question about the beginnings of the universe. Now, on the heels of that … Continue reading

Posted in Physics, Science news | Leave a comment

The House of the Wolf, by Basil Copper

I haven’t been reading much fiction as of late, thanks to work and a desire to catch up on a lot of science reading.  This past week, however, I jumped back into the fiction, picking up Basil Copper‘s 1983 novel The … Continue reading

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My appearance on WCNC television!

Today I appeared on NBC Charlotte on “Larry’s Look” to promote our upcoming UNC Charlotte Science and Tech Expo and show off some science demos!  You can check out the video at this link.  Don’t ask me what I thought of … Continue reading

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The Curse of “Asshole Ra”

Updated with even more assholeness of Ra! Twitter is a great place to waste time, but it is also a great place to get inspired with really ridiculous ideas.  After I pointed out that a sequel to the movie Prometheus … Continue reading

Posted in Silliness | 13 Comments

Curves… in… spaaaace! (1890)

One of the tragedies of STEM education is the seemingly eternal perception by the general public that mathematics is boring and repetitive.  Most people, of course, end their math education with algebra at most, though some work their way through … Continue reading

Posted in Mathematics | 3 Comments

John Blackburn’s The Cyclops Goblet

Another new Valancourt Books edition of a classic John Blackburn book has been released, and it includes another masterful* introduction by me!  This time, the book is John Blackburn’s 1977 novel The Cyclops Goblet. John Blackburn (1923-1993) was a prolific … Continue reading

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The Open Laboratory 2013 is out!

While I was at ScienceOnline 2014 last week, I received some great news: the 2013 edition of “The Open Laboratory,” an anthology of the “best science writing online,” was published! It is available as an e-book from The Creativist, and … Continue reading

Posted in Personal, Science news | 2 Comments

1895: Cats meddle in geophysics

Updated slightly to add even more cat goodness! The more I research, the more it becomes clear that cats caused all sorts of mischief in the scientific community in the late 1800s!  The source of this mischief is the feline … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, History of science, Physics | Leave a comment

Larry Blamire’s Tales of the Callamo Mountains

One of the things I love about using Twitter is the opportunity to connect with people whose work I admire, from writers to scientists to artists to actors to musicians.  Those connections can then lead you to new “discoveries” that … Continue reading

Posted in Horror, Robert E. Howard | 4 Comments