“Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.”
Last month, I was informed of the passing of Martyn Wells. Martyn worked as an optical engineer at the UK ATC as part of the Royal Observatory, Edinborough. Martyn had contributed to many different projects with arguably the most significant being the lead Optical Designer for the very successful MIRI instrument on JWST.
I’ve spent most of my professional career with some aspect of remote work. As a graduate student, I remotely observed for a good portion of my thesis. As a researcher in South Africa, most of my scientific collaborations were remote. In my previous job, our teams were split across two buildings. These were only a mile apart, but they may have well been in different states.
This film had fantastic acting and cinematography, but it should have come with a content warning for mental health, animal cruelty, suicide, and repression. Based on the trailer, I was not prepared for the depths of despair and depression that this film would deal with. I think I was prepared for a dark comedy, but the rapid transition to a tragedy was shocking. I should have better remembered how I felt at the end of In Bruges.
For the second time in the past year, we discovered used needles during our morning dog walk in Patterson Park. The first time this happened, I called 311, but I was directed to 911 to report it. In both cases, the Baltimore police responded rapidly and within 20 minutes, there was a patrol officer there disposing of the used needles.
While following this crab cake recipe for New Years, I managed to rediscover some ancient family lore (re-confirmed by my Mom while telling her this story):
Why do I use social media? I started using Twitter because I discovered that people were tweeting from conferences. Working in South Africa at that time and the idea of virtual conferences was essentially non-existent, people tweeting from conferences made them far more accessible. I was able to see the highlights and discovery work that I should check out even if I wasn’t able to be there or take part. When I then went to a conference, I tweeted to share what I saw, but I also discovered it was a great way to connect with other people at the conference. It was possible to have those hallway conversations while listening to a talk!
I was recently asked about the limitations in my job, in particular, if “red tape” limits what we can do. This was a great question as I work to enable Open Science at NASA and to ensure that the research we produce is widely shared. While we have several different mechanisms including supporting technology to enable Open Science and grants to support sharing of results, removing the barriers to open science is one of the most important aspects of my job. We are currently on the precipice of removing some of those barriers, and I thought it was a great time to reflect on the question.
One of our favorite things is to go hiking with Tycho, and we have spent much of the last two years in different parks. While we regularly go to the parks nearby to Blatimore, I realized that we still haven’t been to many of the state parks around Maryland. So I thought I’d post a few of the places that we have been so I could track where we have or haven’t been:
Today was the first day of Detecting the Unexpected, a conference all about what we don’t know about. How do we find new things in data sets which are too big to look at? What new tools will we use with the next generation of surveys? As conference chair Josh Peek pointed out, these are questions that have been around for awhile – at least since the big data projects of the turn of the last century:
A recent series of tweets have been reporting the disappearance of sea ice and the record low in global sea ice. It was mainly spurned on by the graph in the tweet below showing an extreme low in the global sea ice levels:
_ These are a few random thoughts and opinions about my day. As today, they are not even really about ADASS although being at ADASS along with recent events has focused a few of these thoughts. _
An important test of galaxy evolution theory is to connect populations of galaxies that we see in the past to galaxies observed in the nearby Universe: What were the progenitors of the spiral, elliptical, and dwarf galaxies that we observed today? The most numerous type of galaxy observed are dwarf galaxies. They are believed to be the basic building blocks that form larger galaxies. In the largest structures in the Universe, dwarf elliptical galaxies are the most numerous type of dwarf galaxies. These galaxies are small and dead: they have lost all of their gas and are no longer forming stars. But how did they end up in clusters and in this state?
Almost everything can be saved by git, and while a recent rebasing fiasco is fresh in my head, here are some of the steps I recently took in order to ‘save’ a pull request. These are mostly gleaned from stackoverflow pages and google searches, and this is generally what ended up working but there is no guarantee that this is the best possible practice as this is completely learning from experience/the internet.
In a recent Jayson Stark article and about lessons in hall of fame voting, he mentions the following three assumptions about the Baseball Hall of fame voters after a significant number of non-active voters were eliminated:
I will be moving my blog and other writing over to here as it has has started to include a wider variety of different topics and written in different medium. It will still mostly cover science, but also might start to include some different things as well.