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Watch Men save the planet March 17, 2009

Posted by Sarah in random, women.
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I saw the film Watchmen last week, the adaption of a classic in the graphic novel genre with the same title by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. It’s pretty enjoyable, especially if you’re in the mood for some great visual effects and gore. Lots of blood and bone-crunching. I’ve never been a big comic or graphic novel fan but I decided to read the book and in fact it’s really good! The drawings are beautiful and the writing is very imaginative with lots of depth. So if you want to know what the hype is all about but aren’t a fan of severed limbs and arteries then I recommend the book. I do want to say something about the female characters though.

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Wednesday Food for Thought January 14, 2009

Posted by Sarah in women.
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I’m currently reading The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. I have many thoughts about this book, some of them good and others not.

At one point she cites German philospher Friedrich Engels, who claimed that:

“When a woman displays scientific interest, then there is something out of order in her sexuality”.*

I’m going to sit here, at my desk, in a world-renowned astronomy department and be a little bit thankful.

*I’m not sure of the exact source of the quote. Wolf refrences it as cited in Ann Oakley, Housewife: High value/Low cost (London, Penguim Books, 1987), pp. 46-47

An Early Universe 101 December 23, 2008

Posted by Sarah in science.
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I’ve been learning a bit recently about dark matter, dark energy and the history of the Universe, which are all fascinating. Mark over on Cosmic Variance has writted this interesting post on preheating in the early Universe. This proposed phenomenon has important consequences for the formation theory of dark matter, amongst other things.

While I’m on the topic, one of the best books I read this year was The Inflationary Universe by Alan Guth. I admit I don’t read as many popular science books as I should, and I finish even fewer – but this one is a cracker. Guth builds an excellent story about how he arrived at the theory, in collaboration and in conflict with other scientists around the world. It’s a fascinating account of a great scientific discovery, told in such an anecdotal style that it’s super easy to read. It’s completely rekindled my interest in fundamental physics and cosmology, which explains some recent posts (here, or here) on the topic 🙂