The week in review (September 15-21): Patrick Stewart edition

Who knew that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan were fans of Bowler Hat Science?

Another light week for publishing, but you’ll see the fruits of my labors soon! In the meantime, I note that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan are also bowler hat connoisseurs.

  • Three years of black holes and “yo momma” jokes (Galileo’s Pendulum): Monday marked the third anniversary of my first post at Galileo’s Pendulum, or rather “Science Vs. Pseudoscience” as it was known then. Since then, I’ve published more than 500 posts on the blog and who knows how many words. (I is wordy, yo.)
  • The Big Bang model is successful for a reason (Galileo’s Pendulum): A lot of cosmology can seem mysterious or even arbitrary, so many people criticize or try to find alternatives to it. However, they often end up attacking the most successful features of the Big Bang model, an enterprise almost inevitably doomed to failure.
  • Measuring the rotation of Earth (Galileo’s Pendulum): This week marked the birthday of Léon Foucault, best known for the huge pendulum he constructed in the Panthéon in Paris. (Google celebrated the occasion with a Doodle animation of the pendulum.) In my post, I explained how Foucault’s pendulum works — and what it has to do with spinning black holes. I also made a bunch of animations to demonstrate how a pendulum can measure the rotation of Earth.