Part III: Science Alert, Serious Wonder and Cosmos Up

Part III: Science Alert, Serious Wonder and Cosmos Up

[All three posts in this series have the same introduction, but I choose info from each of the four science compilation sites separately for each post. This post focuses on gleanings from Cosmos Up]

INTRO: I should have been a research scientist. I love science. I’m extremely intelligent, determined, creative, and organized. I coulda been a contenda for a Nobel prize. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Why am I not a scientist? I had a series of misogynistic (one of my teachers hated the four girls in my advanced science class so much he would pith [paralyze] the frogs by holding them in the air directly in front of one of us so that each frog would urinate on our blouses), anti-Semitic (another one wore his “John Birch Society” pin to school every day, displayed prominently on his lapel; there were three girls in my class and he insulted each of us daily), incompetent (in an lab accident at his “real” job, this poor man had lost most of his sight and drive and spent each class time mostly ignoring all of us) and otherwise horrible science teachers in 8th, 9th, and 10th grades.

With better teachers in those critical years, my life could have turned out very differently. Those terrible teachers turned me so far off science I only took one more “hard” science course (because it was required, in undergraduate college), despite many more years of education, through getting a doctorate.

As an adult, I became enthralled with quantum physics, health/anatomy, nutrition, child development/learning and the multiverse/astrophysics, so I read. A lot. I also watch documentaries. I am not even close to understanding some of the physics stuff, but the rest I got quite adept at utilizing. To “keep up,” I subscribe to many science-oriented blogs and curation sites.

My favorites are: Science Alert, Serious Wonder, Brain Pickings Weekly and Cosmos Up. I will excerpt from some of the “best of the best” of what I’ve recently perused.

Part III is all from Cosmos Up, which means this month’s offerings are all astronomical! I hope you enjoy! Go subscribe!

Cosmos Up logo

Astrophysics and Quantum Physics/Mechanics
1. Jan 11, 2015, “NASA Reveals Three Amazing Travel Posters for Earth-Like Planets”
“NASA has marked the discovery of potentially habitable worlds by its Kepler space observatory with a poster series imagining the ‘out of this world’ holiday options they may one day offer. Drawing inspiration from travel billboards of the 20s, 30s and 40s, the posters are the brainchild of NASA visual strategists Joby Harris, David Delgado and Dan Goods.”

NASA travel poster 1

NASA travel poster 2

NASA travel poster 3
“These posters are even available online and can be downloaded for free via JPL’s website. There are additional exoplanet posters in the works, NASA said.”

  1. January 14, 2015, “Rare Phenomenon In The Solar System, What Has Cassini Photographed?”
    “Cassini…captures a strange hexagonal formation present at one pole of Saturn. The diameter of the ‘hexagon’ is 30,000 miles. This formation is present at the north pole of the planet. Inside the formation…the wind blows up with a colossal speed [of] about 322 kilometers per hour. The center of this strange formation is actually a very powerful storm. Scientists say that…it isn’t present on any other planet in our solar system.”

    Cassini photo Saturn hexagon

  2. January 27, 2015, “Oldest Star System in Galaxy Discovered by NASA ‘could Point to Extremely Advanced Alien Civilisations’”
    “’There are far-reaching implications for this discovery [of a sun-like star with 5 orbiting planets ranging in size from Mercury to Venus],’ lead researcher Tiago Campante said in a statement. ‘We now know that Earth-sized planets have formed throughout most of the Universe’s 13.8 billion year history, which could provide scope for the existence of ancient life in the Galaxy.’
    “’Planetary systems around stars have been a common feature of our galaxy for a long, long time.’”

    Kepler 444 and 5 planets

  3. February 11, 2015, “New Crazy Theory: The Universe has ‘No End and No Beginning’”
    “They showed that quantum particles can never meet or cross paths.’As far as we can see, since different points in the universe never actually converged in the past, it did not have a beginning,’ Professor Saurya Das said.”

  4. April 14, 2015, “New Map Reveals Distribution Of Dark Matter At Cosmic Scale”

  5. April 15, “NASA: No Signs Of Advanced Alien Civilizations In 100000 Galaxies”
    “Either they don’t exist, or they don’t yet use enough energy for us to recognize them.”

MY VIEW: Or, they don’t use energy in the form we expect them to be using it, which is “high levels of mid-infrared radiation.” Why do earth-based scientists presume that signs of alien “intelligence” will be recognizable to humans from great distances or at all? We could be looking for “life” in all the wrong ways.

  1. July 7, 2015, “There Are Millions Of Hidden Supermassive Black Holes In The Universe, Scientists Says”
    The closest supermassive black hole to Earth is V4641 Sagitarii which is 1,600 light years away.
    “Astronomers have spotted five monster black holes previously hidden by dust and gas in space and they suggests that there might be millions more of them lurking around our universe.”

Look for Part I, published on June 1, which focused on info gathered by Alert.

Science Alert logo

Part II was published June 30, with info from Serious Wonder


and Brain Pickings Weekly.

Brain pickings logo

One-year Anniversary of *CHANGES* *conversations between authors* on 8/5/15!

CHANGES Episode 37, with teen author, Vartika Singh Sikarwar, and host, Sally Ember, Ed.D.

CHANGES Theme Image_3

For my one-year anniversary of the CHANGES conversations between authors show, I am proud to be hosting my first teen author guest, Vartika Singh Sikarwar, who is also a memoir writer, essayist and poet!

Vartika looking forward

We are LIVE on Wednesday, August 5, 10 – 11 AM EDT USA,
Google+  or

Vartika’s writing can be found: ,

Vartika Door

Watch conversations with my previous CHANGES guests any time:

CHANGES Trailer Image_3

Learn more about and get yourself on or recommend someone to be scheduled as a guest for CHANGES conversations between authors:

HOWEVER: I seem to be “running out of guests” for CHANGES conversations between authors. Coming up next week on its one-year anniversary and only have 2 guests scheduled after that; done by mid-Sept., at this point.

Should I close up shop?

Do you have ideas about whether or not to continue, and, if so, how to attract fascinating author guests?

Thanks, Crew!

Looking for reviewers who like utopian science-fiction, and seeking book bloggers

PLEASE SHARE! Vol III, This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change of The Spanners Series, ebook by Sally Ember, Ed.D., releases 12/8/15.

Looking for reviewers who like utopian science-fiction/romance with multiverse and psi elements, and seeking book bloggers to help with Volume III’s release. ARCs and info ready in late Sept. through early December.

Pre-orders: 11/1 – 12/7/15

Release date: 12/8/15

sallyember AT yahoo DOT com if you’re interested and available!

Cover art and logo by Aidana Willowraven:

This Changes Everything, Vol I, is a perma ‪#‎free‬ ‪#‎scifi‬ ‪#‎romance‬ ebook


Vol 2, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, is $3.99


Always love reviews for the first two volumes (free to reviewers), of course!

The Indie author help page questions

Tagging all #Indie #authors (most of my clan, here): consider sending in responses to any and all of these questions weekly!

readful things blog

For anyone who would like to answer these questions, feel free to copy them and send your responses to

For anyone who missed it the other day, Charles Yallowitz and I are starting a help page on both of our sites for indie authors who are new to the publishing arena. Nothing too complex, just asking authors the same set of questions and hoping to get answers from those who write across a broad array of genres. The answers will be posted to the blog once a week and then links to those posts will be put on a page where authors can go and refer back to them. We will also be listing sites that have useful info for authors about marketing and promotion both free and paid.

So if you’d like to take a moment and answer the questions, it would be much appreciated. Only thing we…

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His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama speaks to what would help reduce violence in this modern world: more women as political leaders.


Not a cure-all, but a great start.

IMHO: Make sure they’re also: compassionate, creative, independent (not bought by lobbyists or corporations), intelligent feminists who are also pacifists and socialists. THEN we’re on our way to somewhere great!

Ask a Bisexual: “Can Men and Women Ever Just Be Friends?”

Thank you SO MUCH!

I appreciate and admire everything about this post, especially because I am a lifelong #bisexual woman and also because I am a researcher, writer, sexuality educator and compassionate human being, as you clearly are, also.

Best to you,


The Lobster Dance

In this Feminist Friday post, I’m going to discuss bi1 erasure in social science research and news coverage. It’s bad enough having to do the closet hokey-pokey literally every single day of my life2, but when heterosexual/monosexual/cisgender social scientists and writers decide to pointedly ignore non-monosexual folks or write their thrilling conclusions about our personal lives without our input3, it very much affects us.

Edit: WordPress was supposed to embed posts from tumblr and didn’t. The head image is from this post.

Exhibit A: Erasure by Exclusion as Data 

This very scientific article from 2012 from Scientific American (the link is from donotlink, so click away) is here to sell you a pack of lies (which hurt het folks, too!):

[Image: Scientific American, Headline reads [Image: Scientific American, Headline reads “Men and Women Can’t Be ‘Just Friends'” NO.

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8 Books That Teach Kids About the Fluidity of Gender and the Importance of Acceptance

Great #childrenslit for #genderdiversity
You two should know each other! Lori Duron of “Raising my Rainbow” and Melita Noël Cantú of “Censored 2 Celebrated.”

Raising My Rainbow

Its-Okay-to-Be-Different“Transgender and gender nonconforming people (think Caitlyn Jenner or Ruby Rose) are gaining more visibility as they find the courage to come out and live publicly as the most authentic versions of themselves. Around his third birthday, my son started showing signs of gender nonconformity — wearing a dress, growing his hair out and only playing with dolls while insisting he was boy and preferring masculine pronouns.

9780618159895My husband and I have been committed to showing our son positive examples of differently gendered people in literature. We’ve read the following books countless times and always encourage an open dialogue about what it means to be a boy, a girl, a human. More importantly, we use these books to teach about love, acceptance, equality, empathy, and the beauty of diversity. Read these books to your child to help them better understand their gender identity and be a better friend to the boy who…

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