Astronomy for JJ!

22 11 2006

The power of story — on a really big stage. 🙂

Plowing through the electromagnetic spectrum

One of the many things I love about astronomy is the uncovering of a mystery. As someone once said (nuts, I can’t find the reference) Isaac Asimov once said (paraphrased) science isn’t moved forward when someone yells “Eureka!”, it gets that nudge when a scientist looks at the data and says, “That’s funny…”

Mysteries are everywhere, if you just know where to look. And their solutions can be found, if you know how to look.

. . .

galaxy.jpg

There’s your complete picture. Any one of these images is interesting, even provocative, but none by itself presents the complete picture. Astronomers need many eyes to look into space, and see what there is to see. And what a canvas the Universe reveals… Power on unimaginable scales! Destruction a million light years across! Monsters lurking in the deep cores of galaxies, central engines capable of wreaking such havoc!

Yeah, that’s why I love astronomy. Sometimes it’s the mystery, and sometimes it’s the solution. But always, always, it’s the story behind the images.

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Teach Your Parents Well

22 11 2006

A “deeply ambitious” parent education program in Florida seems to be making a difference for kids.

My peevish question as always, though: why didn’t these urban public schools reach these same blue-collar parents when THEY were the students? It would have made ever so much more sense. And are they managing to reach the current crop of future parents any better than the last generation, or will they have to wait for the Parent Academy to teach them anything useful about academic learning and parenting THEIR kids?