Disturbing the Universe

David L Clements, science and science fiction


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Sasquan reading – requests?

So – I’m doing a reading at Sasquan. I don’t have much time so won’t be able to read more than one longish piece or two short ones.

What do you want to hear?

I can read some of my fiction or non-fiction, something already published or something new, a short piece or an excerpt from something longer – possibly even something from the novel in progress.

Let me know if you have any thoughts on this, or any specific requests!


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My Sasquan Schedule

I’m going to be at this year’s Worldcon in Spokane. Needless to say there are others on most of these panels, but I’ll leave it up to them to name themselves.

This is my schedule:

How to Moderate a Panel

Wednesday 12:00 – 12:45, 300C (CC)

Tips and tricks for a successful panel. How to get the quiet members of your panel to speak, and control someone else from hogging the microphone. How to deal with disruptive audience members. Making sure that everyone gets heard appropriately.

Pluto in Your Rear-View Mirror

Thursday 11:00 – 11:45, 302AB (CC)

Pluto has always been the planet…errhhh…dwarf planet of mystery.  On July 14,  the New Horizons spacecraft whizzed past Pluto and its satellites 9 years after blasting off from Earth. Find out what science has learned in 2015 about the worlds on the solar system’s frontier, and where the New Horizons will journey next.   This panel will open with a presentation on the New Horizons spacecraft mission by Bill Higgins and will include a discussion among the panelists

What’s New in Astronomy

Thursday 13:00 – 13:45, Bays 111B (CC)

What are the latest atronomical discoveries? What are the upcoming events in the exploration of the solar system? Find out what is happening out there and what we are doing about it.

100 Years of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity

Friday 13:00 – 13:45, Bays 111C (CC)

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the theory of relativity by exploring what physicists have been doing for the last 100 years, the status of the theory today, and what might change in the future.

Reading – David Clements

Sunday 11:00 – 11:30, 301 (CC)


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The Renewed Threat to STEM

davecl:

Arts have plenty of trouble as well, but this clawback of money looks designed to create chaos in STEM.

Originally posted on In the Dark:

A couple of years ago, soon after taking over as Head of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) at the University of Sussex, I wrote a blog post called The Threat to STEM from HEFCE’s Funding Policies about how the funding policies of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) were extremely biased against STEM disciplines. The main complaint I raised then was that the income per student for science subjects does not adequately reflect the huge expense of teaching these subjects compared to disciplines in the arts and humanities. The point is that universities now charge the same tuition fee for all subjects (usually £9K per annum) while the cost varies hugely across disciplines: science disciplines can cost as much as £16K per annum per student whereas arts subjects can cost as little as £6K. HEFCE makes a small gesture towards addressing this imbalance…

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Science for Fiction: Day 1 with added haiku!

Day one of this year’s Science for Fiction is over.

It was fun! Among other things, my colleague Roberto Trotta ran a ‘choose your own talk adventure’ using dice with haiku (or near haiku) composition as a penalty for a bad die roll. This produced some interesting poetry, including the work below. I won’t list the authors, but will admit to the last being me.

Oh spinning galaxy
why is your speed
so darkly constant?

Dark matter I don’t
understand much at all
explain if you can.

In the Universe
dark matter heading my way
I must be a wimp.

Dark matter protons
wimps on rolling of the dice
who can roll a six?

I was hoping to
roll a six but never mind
talk about the stars

The night sky is so bright
why is this matter so dark
and haikus so hard?

Dark matter matters
wimps aether or
quantum gravity is math.

Gravity constant
through curves despite the distance
Roman ships help us.

I’m born
the universe abides
I think and die
knowing nothing.

Missing dark matter
Pioneer anomalies
All lost in the heat.


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TV Stardom: Arise News TV

Last week I had the privilege of a visit to  New Zealand House here in London for an interview by Arise News TV about the astronauts returning from International Space Station. Arise is trying to be the al-Jazira of Africa and seem to be doing a great job so far. Their operation in London is rather smaller scale compared to some of the other places I’ve been interviewed, like the BBC, so I got to see a bit more of the bustling action behind the scenes of a 24 hour news channel. I’m not sure I could take the stress myself, so all credit to those that do!

They were kind enough to send me a copy of the interview. Once I’ve sorted out how to upload it (WordPress doesn’t like mp4s for some reason) I’ll provide a link so you can judge for yourselves how I did.

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