Category Archives: Words

That’s Just What They Would Say

The announcement we wait for every year has finally come in, and the American Dialect society has chosen their Word of the Year! That word is: “they”. It beat out other finalists such as “ammosexual.” You might think that dubbing … Continue reading

Posted in Words | 45 Comments

Cosmic Maelstrom

I was doing some end-of-the-year housecleaning on my computer, and stumbled across this poem — an unrhymed sonnet on symmetry breaking in the early universe. (Always aiming at the least common denominator, what can I say?) I have no misconceptions … Continue reading

Posted in Words | 20 Comments

Reading List

Now that The Big Picture is complete, I have more time for fun things like blogging, but I have a bunch of research to catch up on before I can return as normal. So in the meantime, here’s another teaser … Continue reading

Posted in Big Picture, Words | 33 Comments

The Big Picture: Table of Contents

Greetings, surface-dwellers! I have finally emerged from the secret underground laboratory where I have been polishing the manuscript for The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. We pushed up the publication date to May … Continue reading

Posted in Big Picture, Philosophy, Science, Words | 40 Comments

The Big Picture

Once again I have not really been the world’s most conscientious blogger, have I? Sometimes other responsibilities have to take precedence — such as looming book deadlines. And I’m working on a new book, and that deadline is definitely looming! … Continue reading

Posted in Big Picture, Personal, Philosophy, Religion, Science, Words | 59 Comments

Einstein’s Papers Online

If any scientist in recent memory deserves to have every one of their words captured and distributed widely, it’s Albert Einstein. Surprisingly, many of his writings have been hard to get a hold of, especially in English; he wrote an … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Words | 35 Comments

Unsolicited Advice: Becoming a Science Communicator

Everyone who does science inevitably has “communicating” as part of their job description, even if they’re only communicating with their students and professional colleagues. But many people start down a trajectory of becoming a research scientist, only to discover that … Continue reading

Posted in Advice, Science and the Media, Words | 32 Comments

Discovering Tesseracts

I still haven’t seen Interstellar yet, but here’s a great interview with Kip Thorne about the movie-making process and what he thinks of the final product. (For a very different view, see Phil Plait [update: now partly recanted].) One of … Continue reading

Posted in Math, Time, Words | 35 Comments

How to Communicate on the Internet

Let’s say you want to communicate an idea X. You would do well to simply say “X.” Also acceptable is “X. Really, just X.” A slightly riskier strategy, in cases where miscomprehension is especially likely, would be something like “X. … Continue reading

Posted in Humanity, Words | 23 Comments

Does Santa Exist?

There’s a claim out there — one that is about 95% true, as it turns out — that if you pick a Wikipedia article at random, then click on the first (non-trivial) link, and keep clicking on the first link … Continue reading

Posted in Humor, Philosophy, Words | 15 Comments