Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Academic Nomad

As you might know, the pre-faculty academic life can involve a lot of moving around. For me, I went from an undergraduate institution in California, to grad school in New Jersey, to a postdoctoral fellowship in England. And just a month an a half ago I moved to a second postdoctoral fellowship in Melbourne, Australia.
I actually went around the other direction. Image source.
All the moving and settling in has kept me pretty busy lately, but I'll try to write some more posts soon. Meanwhile, here's where some of my writing has appeared elsewhere on the Internet in the last few months:

  • American Physical Society Physics, "Focus: Magnetic Fields Explain Lunar Surface Features" (20 August 2012)
    Why are there swirly white blotches all over the Moon? They come from miniature magnetic forcefields. And they might some day lead to Star Trek-style deflector shield technology, at least to protect spacefarers from the Solar Wind.
  • Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) Blog, "Losing Neil Armstrong"
    (3 September 2012)
    The death of Neil Armstrong hit me kind of hard. Here I share some thoughts about what the human spaceflight program means to me, and I tell the story of how my grandfather played a part in saving the Apollo 11 mission astronauts from certain death.
  • The Economist "Babbage" Science and Technology Blog, "Becoming an astronaut: Frequent travel may be required"
    (6 September 2012)
    I recently applied to the NASA astronaut program. I made the first cut (and I'm still waiting to hear if I'll make the second). If you've ever wondered what the astronaut job application process is like, check out this piece. (Note: In case you're not familiar with the Economist style, the tech blog posts are all in the third person, with the correspondent referred to as "Babbage.")
I should be able to write more actual blog posts in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!