I always wanted to be an astronomer, from the first time I heard about the possibility of alien life right up until I realized that someday I’d be expected to specialize. Rather than limit myself to just one solar system, I took up science writing.
I got my BA in astronomy from Cornell in May 2008, and headed straight to UC Santa Cruz’s amazing science communication program. Right now I’m interning at Science News. I get to write about everything from the Large Hadron Collider to toxic algae to what makes chili peppers spicy. I couldn’t be more excited. The world is my candy shop.
About this blog
Some years ago, I was struggling with an article about the mammoth radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory. I asked a friend to help me come up with a metaphor for how a radio telescope works (a bucket collecting raindrops? Something like that), and he responded, “A radio telescope is like a ball of string: kittens like to play with both.”
The Radio Telescope Game was born.
We’ve come up with dozens of radio telescope jokes since then (my favorites are at the bottom of this page–suggest your own!). Some make more sense than others.
This blog is a lot like a radio telescope: scanning the universe for interesting abnormalities. It’s mostly a place for me to geek out about science (particularly astronomy/space exploration), writing (particularly about science, including poetry), feminism/gender issues, and their intersections (which are numerous!).
Without further ado: A radio telescope is like…
- a high school teacher: constantly (and fruitlessly) searching for intelligent life.
- Tarot cards. It takes a lot of studying and at least as much blind faith to understand what they’re saying.
- Pluto. It’s not a planet.
- the Holy Roman Empire. It’s not holy, it’s not Roman, and it’s not an empire.
- a Chicago pizza. It has a deep dish.
- a thin-crust pizza. It’s not as tasty as a Chicago pizza.