Category: Columns

The Space-Time Continuum: “Dammit, Jim, I’m a storyteller, not a social worker!”

My latest “Space-Time Continuum” column from the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild‘s newsletter Freelance… *** This column I want to return to the World Fantasy Convention held in Toronto last November…and a panel that rubbed me the wrong way. Entitled “The Changing Face of YA Fantasy,” the panel was described this way: “Fantasy works for young adult …

Continue reading

Not enough readers, not enough time: the end of my regular science column (for real, this time)

All right, this time it’s for real: I’m pulling the plug on my weekly science column (I haven’t written one for about a month anyway). And it’s all MailChimp’s fault. MailChimp is actually a great way to send out nicely formatted HTML newsletters, and I’m very glad to use it for that purpose. However, MailChimp …

Continue reading

The science of tall trees

[podcast]https://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/uploads//2013/01/Tall-Trees.mp3[/podcast] Sometimes science is focused on really big questions: where did life come from? How did the universe begin? But sometimes, the focus is much smaller. Sometimes, researchers set out to answer a simple question, one that many people have perhaps asked, but no one has ever set out systematically to answer. A question, for …

Continue reading

Planets, planets everywhere

[podcast]https://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/uploads//2013/01/Planets-Everywhere.mp3[/podcast] You don’t have to be very old to remember a time when we didn’t know if there were any planets anywhere else in the universe beyond those in our own solar system. Oh, sure, scientists and science fiction writers had long assumed these extrasolar planets existed, but the stars were so distant it seemed …

Continue reading

The science of calendars

(A slightly updated version of a New Year’s perennial of mine…) It’s almost 2013, which means it’s time to take down your old Harry Potter calendar and put up your new one (if you’re my 11-year-old daughter). Okay, so maybe you have a Teddy Bears calendar instead, or a Glee calendar. The point is, for …

Continue reading

A Christmas tradition: ‘Twas the Nocturnal Time of the Preceding Day to the Day We Call Christmas

There’s a great song called “Christmas Cliches” in which the singer expresses a love of all the Christmas things that come ’round year after year, from plywood reindeer on the roof to Johnny Mathis on the radio. One of the reasons we love Christmas (those of us who do, and you can certainly count me …

Continue reading

The science of Rudolph’s red nose

Long-time readers of my column will be aware of how closely I like to keep tabs on aerotarandusdynamics, the shamefully under-studied science of flying reindeer. I am pleased to note that there has been a small but significant development in aerotarandusdynamics research this year, but before I get to that, perhaps I should recap some …

Continue reading

Circadian desynchrony and the blue light special

[podcast]https://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/uploads//2012/12/Circadian-Deosynchrony-and-the-Blue-Light-Special.mp3[/podcast] We’re coming up on the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere: at the latitude I live at, in Regina, Saskatchewan, that means that today the sun rose at 8:49 a.m. and will set at 4:54 p.m. We’ll lose a few more minutes yet before the winter solstice. That’s not a lot …

Continue reading

The case for coffee consumption

[podcast]https://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/uploads//2012/12/The-Case-for-Coffee-Consumption_01.mp3[/podcast]I first wrote about coffee in a science column back in the dawn of time, so long ago that it began, “Let’s get one thing straight.  I don’t drink coffee…” Since as I type this I am on my second…or maybe third… good-sized cup (oh, all right, mug) of the stuff, something has clearly changed …

Continue reading

Go see Tafelmusik’s The Galileo Project…

…if you have the opportunity. We did, last night, and were blown away. The music, the playing, the images, and the text were all fantastic, and pretty much exactly in line with the things that interest me most: science and the arts, mingled together. Tafelmusik is, of course, one of the world’s premiere period-instrument orchestras. …

Continue reading

A solution to the world’s food problems?

[podcast]https://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/uploads//2012/11/Sundrop-Farms_01_01.mp3[/podcast] If I told you something has been built in the Australian outback in the past couple of years that can be solidly argued is one of the most important technological advances in decades, would you have a clue what I was talking about? You wouldn’t? Well, I wouldn’t have either until this past weekend …

Continue reading

Butterfly buildings

At the end of August and beginning of September, I and my wife and daughter were in Chicago for the World Science Fiction Convention…and a fair bit of touristy sightseeing, including taking in the (highly recommended) architectural river tour offered by the Chicago Architecture Institute. In the little over a decade since the last time …

Continue reading

Easy AdSense Pro by Unreal