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Comment: Re:Assuming ... (Score 1) 150

by TMB (#45913947) Attached to: New Class of "Hypervelocity Stars" Discovered Escaping the Galaxy

Except that if the star was captured by the Milky Way, that already tells you that it was moving at less than the escape velocity, while these are moving faster than the escape velocity.

Still, it would be interesting to see if they share orbital elements with known satellites or streams...

[TMB]

Comment: Re:Can We Compete Against Them? (Score 2) 308

by TMB (#45632523) Attached to: Physicist Peter Higgs: No University Would Employ Me Today

I disagree - being an academic takes all your time, and being an administrator also takes all your time. I'd like my administrators to have enough time to be good administrators!

Now, I think that all administrators ought to have once been academics, otherwise they don't actually understand the problems that they need to deal with, but not that they still are active researchers.

Comment: Re:NSF not writing checks (Score 2) 1144

by TMB (#45058677) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?

Yes, indeed. Impacts on me:
    - My wife works for an organization that operates a federal facility on behalf of the NSF. She is on furlough. (actually, even worse - she has to work on a project that's deemed essential, but she's not going to get paid this month if the money from the NSF doesn't flow before payday. Yes, she will probably get back-pay, but that doesn't help when this month's bills are due!).
    - ...and lives in housing that is owned and operated by the agency. So there is no trash collection, and if anything goes wrong she's SOL.
    - Oh, and our daughter's daycare is also on-site. It is being run privately out of someone's house during the shutdown.
    - Processing of my green card application is on pause until after the department of labor is up and running again.
    - I am hiring a researcher with funds that are partly coming from NASA. Some of the money is in my account, but the next payment is expected in a week. Fortunately, some of the money for that position is coming from another source, so I can pay him for about 6 months before I need the NASA money, but if that weren't true it would be about 1 month.
    - I have grant proposals under review from both the NSF and NASA. The review process is on pause and no one knows how long it'll take before we know whether we can do research next year...
    - When I teach, I regularly make use of things on NASA websites, which are not running so my students have to listen to me instead of seeing examples.

So, yes, this is hitting my very directly in a lot of ways.

[TMB]

Comment: Re:They were greedy (Score 2) 320

by TMB (#44985197) Attached to: Two Years In Prison For Using Infrared Contact Lenses To Cheat At Poker

Casinos sell a product - entertainment. In particular, the thrill that you might win some (a lot) of money. People go and pay to experience that thrill. If you want to be entertained by something different, that's fine, but it's not stupid to like a little thrill and be willing to pay a little for it.

Comment: Re:Moo (Score 1) 273

by TMB (#44845437) Attached to: Study Shows Professors With Tenure Are Worse Teachers

That's certainly true, but some fraction of them will be good teachers innately or from additional training. Given the current job market, where there are far more highly qualified candidates than you can even short-list for any tenure-track faculty position at even non-prestigious research universities, departments can afford to be picky when they hire. In other words, don't expect to get hired today if you're only a good researcher but not a good teacher, because someone else who applied for the job will both be a good researcher *and* a good teacher.

As a consequence, the past 5 years of tenure-track hires at pretty much any university are, on average, much better teachers than average hires have been before.

FORTH IF HONK THEN

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