Author Archives: freakofnature

Particle physicists unwilling to call election

Mainstream media outlets around the world have declared Barack Obama the victor in yesterday’s US presidential elections, but particle physicists at CERN say that the race is still too close to call. With every state except Florida reporting, the New … Continue reading

Posted in Silly | 35 Comments

Plutonium, fun for the whole family!

A few weeks ago on Twitter, a Japanese guy named Yukari Takasugi pinged me (and a lot of other journalists) with an incredible video. Without another word of comment, I give you Pluto-kun of plutonium:

Posted in Nuke geekery, Science (sortta) | 4 Comments

Time for a tour of Fukushima’s Unit 4

I’ve made a little photo slideshow of the work that’s gone on at Fukushima’s unit 4 reactor for the past several months. For obscure web reasons, it has to be hosted on tumblr. Click on the photo below to have … Continue reading

Posted in Nuke geekery | 1 Comment

Why is Curiosity’s secret a secret? (Answer: it isn’t.)

Today I have a piece on Slate entitled “Curiosity’s dirty little secret” about the rover’s nuclear power supply. The piece traces the plutonium-238 it uses back to the US and Soviet nuclear weapons complexes and discusses the environmental mess left … Continue reading

Posted in Nuke geekery | 2 Comments

Why watching an Olympics loser was more inspirational than the gold.

I doubt many people were watching the opening round of the Olympic welterweight Taekwondo on Saturday morning, but I was. It was my last little taste of the games before it all came to an end. It was great. I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Why do scientists…?

This morning, my colleague Dan sent me a hilarious map of America that shows some common stereotypes as revealed by the autocomplete feature of Google search. It was such a good idea, decided to try it for scientists, using a … Continue reading

Posted in Science (sortta) | 1 Comment

Jonah Lehrer’s decline effect

I’ve got nothing to say about Jonah Lehrer. His alleged actions speak for themselves, as does the statement released by his publisher. I’m more interested in the media feeding frenzy. Everyone’s got an angle. My favorite so far is a … Continue reading

Posted in Science journalism | 3 Comments