A conversation with my dog

“Macey! Look, it’s spring! Let’s go outside, it’s time to go poop.”

Macey: *sits*

“Macey. You have the whole backyard to yourself.”

Macey: *lays down*

“Macey. Go sniff something. Go run around! You’ve been wanting to all winter.”




#FirstYearProf Comes to an End!

Tomorrow, I’ll be walking at graduation, but not my own. Nevertheless, it’s a momentous occasion for me. My first year as a professor has come to a close! It really felt over last week when I submitted all my final grades. But, it’s still nice to do the fancy dress up and, sadly, say goodbye to our departing seniors as they embark on their careers.

A couple of weeks ago, to celebrate, I posted a fun little gif-ful post on School of Doubt, “A First Year as a Professor, in GIFs.” Check it out if you’re into that sort of thing.

For now, I’m re-shifting my focus to deal with summer tasks, which is very different from my semester-long race to make my astronomy classes as cool as possible. I’ll check in soon!

A Selfie a Day

I’ve never expected that I’d take on a challenge that expects me to do something every day. I’m not the best at consistency, you see. But I saw this one, and I had to give it a try.

Late last year, a piece went up on Jezebel decrying the selfie as anti-feminist. As a “cry for help.” Interestingly, before that piece, I had’t considered selfies much at all, except to be glad for front facing cameras so I can take silly pictures with my friends.

Having some #tinyfun with Liz in Boston

But the response to that article made me appreciate selfies in a new way. Turns out, selfies can be a way of framing your own identity, of saying that you control your own standard of beauty, and as a way for underrepresented groups to see images like themselves out there in the world. (Amy Davis Roth wrote a great post in rebuttal, but you might not be able to read it today because of a bullshit DDOS attack on several feminist blogs.)

And these, I think, are all positive things. And besides, selfies aren’t even a new thing.

Possibly the first selfie, by and of Robert Cornelius in 1839
Possibly the first selfie, by and of Robert Cornelius in 1839
A woman's selfie from 1900
A woman’s selfie from 1900

Right before the new year, blogger Veronica Arreola issued a challenge: how about we take one selfie a day to celebrate ourselves? And so the #365feministselfie project was born. You can join in with the twitter hashtag or on Flickr. I just plunked a bunch of mine on the group.

Despite sometimes forgetting, I’ve managed to equal the number of days so far with selfies. It was really weird at first, and I was quit self-conscious. But the more I photographed myself, the less I cared how I looked. It is still, however, a challenge to come up with something interesting every day. I’d like to have a little fun with it, you know?

Maybe you’re not up for a year long challenge? Then you definitely want to check out #OperationFlawless, started by Elyse Anders, for a new no-filter, no-makeup picture every day for a month. (Assuming the cowardly DDOS attack os over and you can see the page.) This is just ladies being ladies without having to conform to the popular standards of beauty. It was easy enough to join that when I’ve had a month of practice.

I am encouraged and happy to see so many women putting out their pictures, their selfies, and their unedited selves. Heck, men can be feminists, too, so I wouldn’t mind seeing some men join in as well! So thanks for the support on Twitter, and I hope I can at least continue to amuse and entertain as I try and come up with a new self-portrait everyday.

9 February 2014 - This is my blogging face.
9 February 2014 – This is my blogging face.

October Roundup

CosmoQuest and craters at the DIY Science Zone at GeekGirlCon.
CosmoQuest and craters at the DIY Science Zone at GeekGirlCon.

October has come and gone with prolonged warm weather and the end of my business travel for the year. With the Boulder Science Festival and GeekGirlCon done, I don’t have to get on a plane again until I see my family at Christmas. Yay! I like travel, I really do. But sometimes it is nice to just stay put for a while and really get some work done.

Here’s what I wrote or recorded in the month of October. The bold ones are those I’m most proud of, so if you read anything, please read those.



With Fraser Cain taking over all the Weekly Space Hangout duties again, I’m putting out less video on my YouTube channel, but then I also have one less weekly responsibility. And of course, Fraser can pull in an audience that I can only wistfully dream of having time to engage. I still try and make it on Fridays when I can!


The Next Big Thing (and Aug/Sept Round-Up)

Welcome to my noisy world from the last two months! To be honest, last month was an odd blur. August, however, was much more productive. I was especially excited to be a part of Dragon*Con once again!

As usual, I’ll round-up what I’ve written or video-ed in the last two months. Even though I don’t write much here anymore, I’m still out there blogging and videocasting somewhere.


  • This one technically posted this month, but it was made in September so I’d love to share it now! This is the video produced by Amanda Bauer and me at dotAstronomy5, a little teaser for what we hope will be a lovely series of interviews with some amazing people in astronomy.


Now it’s on to October with cozy sweaters and more travel. I’ll be in Boulder this weekend and Seattle next, so say hi!

BONUS: Death by Puppets produced a video in which I get interviewed by a rocket. Yes, really.

Around the Interwebz (and US) in July

The sheer randomness of CONvergence is amazing.
The sheer randomness of CONvergence is amazing.

Well since August is almost over, I should post my July links, huh?

July was a busy month of travel for me. I went to CONvergence in Minneapolis, did a brief stint in the Poconos with Tim and family, attended a virtual conference from home while I was sick, then went to San Jose for the meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, THEN Chicago to Delevan, Wisconsin, for Skeptics Under the Stars! And finally, I got home for my birthday, which ended out July. Phew. I’d suggest you check out pictures of CONvergence and Skeptics Under the Stars through the lens of fantastic photographer Jamie Bernstein, who also organized the latter event. Meanwhile, Georgia Bracey and I wrapped up some of our ASP experiences on an episode of Learning Space.

With all that, there were still a few blogs and videos that came out during July to share:

Continue reading “Around the Interwebz (and US) in July”

Come say Hi in July!

I travel quite a bunch for this job, as many of you know. So I thought I’d share my upcoming trips as I know I’ll be running into a lot of good friends as I go!

  • July 4-7 – Minneapolis, MN – CONvergence – Part-vacation, part science outreach, I’m going to CONvergence to be a part of Skepchicon and all the science-y goodness that goes on at this Midwestern sci-fi/fantasy convention. See the full CONvergence schedule or see what panels I’ll be on. Hand-On Astronomy will be fun for all ages, and I’m really excited to dish on British Sci-fi with some of my favorite people!
  • July 8-13 – Poconos, PA – I’m spending the week with family, but I’ll be swinging through a good chunk of PA to get there and back, since the cheapest flights were through Philly.
  • July 20-24 – San Jose, CA – Astronomical Society of the Pacific – Georgia Bracey and I will be presenting educational results from CosmoQuest at the ASP’s annual meeting. Come see our talks/posters if you are in attendance, or let us know if you’d like to meet up in the area. The meeting now has a mobile app and website for building a schedule. We’ll also have more information on a special citizen science session coming sooooon.
  • July 26-28 – Delavan, WI – Skeptics Under the Stars – I’m so thrilled to be invited back to this star party/camping trip hosted by Women Thinking, Inc. Find out more information and get your tickets at WomenThinking.org.

Sooo…. yeah. I won’t be home much but I’ll still be online (and working) all through July. This does cut down on my live Hangout on Air hosting, however, since it’s hard to find a quiet place with good internet while on the run like that. But that means I can supplement with a bit of pre-recorded video using Glass to do some science demos. Maybe I can even convince Tim’s nieces and cousins to do science with me? 🙂

If only I was going to space instead...
If only I was going to space instead…