Posts here have become an increasingly rare item. Here, in a nutshell, is what is going on. In January 2011 I became Associate Chair of the Department of Physics at UCF. In September 2011 I became Assistant Director of the Florida Space Institute. Meanwhile I’m directing the Center for Microgravity Research and Education at UCF as well as carrying on my regular research and teaching duties. Things have been going very well on all fronts, but posting here has fallen through the cracks a bit. On my “pending posts” list are reviews (now unlikely to ever be written) of movies seen several months ago, such as “The Descendants”, “Unknown”, and “Drive”.
In March our Microgravity Center got three important wins from NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program providing us with a week-long parabolic airplane flight campaign for one experiment and two suborbital rocket flights for each of two other experiments. Florida Space Institute’s new digs at the UCF Research Park are well into construction with an anticipated move from Kennedy Space Center in June. The Physics Department continues to modernize its teaching program with the development of a new modern “studio-mode” classroom to be built this summer, and I completed my first year of teaching the Algebra-based Physics 1 and Physics 2 cycle (physics for life sciences majors) just this week. Cassini, meanwhile, is getting ready to leave Saturn’s equatorial plane for more inclined climes this summer, providing us once again with dazzling views of the rings and me with a new flood of data to analyze.
And, finally, the astonished amusement phase of the presidential campaign now gives way to the obsessive panicky phase at the prospect that election-law tinkering, super-PAC spending, and propaganda will result in the dismantling of the American government.