Category Archives: Writing

My First Article for Sky & Telescope


Things are in a very busy place right now in PhD Student World, so if you want to read something by me I encourage you to head out to your local news stand (remember those?) and pick up a copy of the January 2013 Sky & Telescope (I believe they do a digital edition as well these days).  My first article for them appears in the issue, all about the Dwingeloo radio telescope which I’ve mentioned here before.

This was a fun article to write, and I got to talk to a lot of lovely people while researching it.  It’s also a good one because saying you’ve been published in Sky & Telescope impresses a lot more geeks than saying you’ve written for Astronomy– it’s much more technical a magazine, and many people don’t realize the latter actually has a larger circulation.  Frankly I’m just amazed to see my name there at this stage, and reading my words in such professional circumstances seems bizarre to me.  I certainly never thought I’d be writing an article about a Dutch radio telescope!

Ok, back to busy PhD Student World.  Will re-emerge after my first-ever conference talk which will happen this coming week…

On Astronomy and Improv

While waiting for my code to compile, a few notes…

The December 2011 issue of Astronomy is currently out at all major newsstands and bookstores, and you should check it out because my second article for them appears in it!  Specifically the article is “Visit Southern California’s Top Astronomy Sites” on p. 61, and is a sequel to my article in the July 2011 issue.  And I’d say more, but I’m currently busily writing my third article that is due next week (my first feature, on cosmic rays!) and 2,200 words don’t write themselves!

In other news, I’ve been taking an improv comedy course of late and my first set is this Friday, November 25!   In short it’s at the Crea at 11:30pm after the regular show and will last a half hour or so, and is FREE!  It should be a good time- there is also a “proper” show starting at 10:30pm, and that will cost you 5 Euro (and an 8:30pm show that runs an hour that’s 10 Euro, but you can see both for 12 Euro).  Details are here.

Mind this set is primarily practice for my class’s “real” Improv show that will be on Dec 9 at 10:30pm and run an hour, also at the Crea.  If you can only make one that will be the one to see- I’m not saying this Friday will be awful or anything, it’s just shorter and later obviously.  It’s 5 Euro to go to this show and reservations are recommended.

It should be super fun times, and I hope to see you all there!  And if you’ll excuse me, my code’s done running…

As Seen in Astronomy Magazine

I just accomplished an old dream of mine: I went to my local bookstore, found the July 2011 Astronomy magazine on the rack, and purchased a copy that has an article written by me in it.  Just like that.

Ok, well not quite just like that- I sent the query article about a year ago, had to write and then do some changes on the thing, and then paid attention to other things until my parents wrote to me a few weeks ago saying a few issues of Astronomy and a rather nice check had arrived at their house (the issues were unfortunately waterlogged a little en route hence me buying new ones, but I would’ve wanted to go buy one myself anyway for novelty purposes).  But for someone who read the magazine religiously as a young teenager- seriously, they fell apart!- it’s honestly jarring to look at my own words there and how professional they look.  Strange thing to quip, it’s not like I want a hundred thousand people to read something that looked bad, but I suppose this is the advantage of editors who know better than you.

So if you have a moment over the next few days pop over to your own bookstore, library, or Nook and check out the Astronomy July 2011 issue.  My article is on page 50, “Visit Northern California’s Top Astronomy Sites.”  (Yep, an astronomy travel article- gotta write what you know!) I’m rather proud of it, though it makes me wonder which kid reading my words over and over will be the competition a decade from now…