Another Plea for Legible Flight Reservations

Another Plea for Legible Flight Reservations
We’ve been at this whole commercial flight thing for about a hundred years. You would think that the airlines would be able to create a simple, clear flight plan for me. EVERY trip I have made for the last 20 years I have had to translate their gobbly-gook flight reservation into something legible. The relevant data is always the same. Could someone in the airline industry please recognize this? Give me a calendar item that I can copy and paste into my life!

Here is what I put in my calendar. Short. Readable. Useful.

Flight Ref: XXXX

Monday November 21st
depart SFO at 10:35am on AA flight 556
  arrive Chicago ORD at 4:55pm
depart Chicago ORD 8:30pm on AA flight 4308
  arrive Nashville 10:00pm

Friday November 25th
depart Nashville 4:30pm on AA flight 661
  arrive Dallas DFW at 6:40pm
depart Dallas DFW at 9:20pm on AA flight 1575
  arrive SFO at 11:05pm

and here is what American Airlines sent me. It is freaking impossible to read. Sure it contains all the relevant data but I challenge you to understand my flight info in less than 5 minutes!

It doesn’t need to be like this. Make it simple. Make it say what it needs to say. Then put the nitty gritty details at the bottom or something. Bonus points awarded if they put a “Add to Google Calendar” icon next to the reservation so I don’t even have to copy-paste. But hey…

I originally mentioned this in 2011 and it burns my buns every time I fly that flight reservations are still universally impossible to read. I use parts of this blog post as a template before I fly.

Gravitational Waves

Huge science news today!
Gravitational Waves Discovered from Colliding Black Holes
The LIGO experiment has confirmed Albert Einstein’s prediction of ripples in spacetime and promises to open a new era of astrophysics.

How big is this news?
We all know about sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. Well, humanity literally just got a new sense!

OK Go – Upside Down & Inside Out

OK Go continue to be musical and performance heroes of mine. They just put out a new video that has me soaring. Watch it and share the joy!

I hear it’s only on Facebook so here’s the link:

Mark Rosin Receives 2015 AAAS Early Career Award

I am pleased to say that Mark Rosin is a friend of mine. He’s recently been honored…

Mark Rosin Receives 2015 AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement With Science

Mark Rosin Receives 2015 AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement With Science
8 February 2016
Andrea Korte
Mark Rosin, a physicist who has directly reached more than 15,000 members of the public through his playful and inventive public engagement events, has been chosen by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to receive the 2015 Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science.

Rosin is assistant professor in the Department of Math and Sciences at Pratt Institute in New York as well as director and co-founder of Guerilla Science, an international science engagement organization that creates dialogues between members of the scientific community and the public. He was honored by AAAS for “his broad range of creative and sustainable public engagement strategies that target audiences who may not be actively seeking science information.”

Rosin is an “extraordinarily talented and passionate” practitioner of public engagement in science, wrote nominator Russel Caflisch, professor of mathematics at UCLA and director of the National Science Foundation’s Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics. “He organizes and participates in a huge range of interactive live activities and events for members of the public. These diverse activities are effective, wide-reaching, and truly engaging,” said Caflisch, who supervised Rosin’s postdoctoral work.


As part of his work with Guerilla Science, which he cofounded as a graduate student, Rosin has mixed science with art, music, and play to reach members of the public in places that science might be unexpected, such as on the street, in museums, and at art and music festivals.

Rosin reached 4,000 visitors with the Intergalactic Travel Bureau, which explores the possibilities of space tourism by allowing members of the public to meet with an astronomer to plan a space vacation. Rosin also brought more than 2,000 people into touch with math at the inaugural National Math Festival in Washington, D.C., using math-based game shows and obstacle courses.

He also led the creation of the world’s first multi-tube fire organ to demonstrate the relationship between math and music: when music is played, the changing acoustic waves cause flames to change size and shapes. Rosin has brought the instrument to festivals like Burning Man Precompression and Maker Faire to help audiences truly visualize sound.

A frequent public speaker committed to engaging listeners through audience participation and dialogue, Rosin has also worked with more than 100 scientists to engage public audiences.

Rosin was recognized in 2013 for his contributions to public engagement with his election to the American Physical Society’s Committee on Informing the Public. He also sits on the advisory board of a proposed National Science Foundation Advance Informal STEM Learning project.

Rosin’s scientific work in the field of applied mathematics and plasma physics has included most recently the development of an advanced multi-scale algorithm for computational physics problems, which has the potential to revolutionize the simulation of plasma collisions. He earned a Master of Science degree in physics from the University of Bristol and earned a doctorate in plasma physics from Cambridge University’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in 2010. After receiving his Ph.D., he completed a postdoctoral appointment with UCLA’s Department of Mathematics. His research has been recognized with awards from the Cambridge Philosophical Society and Bristol University.

The AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science was established in 2010 to recognize “early-career scientists and engineers who demonstrate excellence in their contribution to public engagement with science activities.” A monetary prize of $5,000, a commemorative plaque, complimentary registration to the AAAS Annual Meeting, and reimbursement for reasonable travel and hotel expenses to attend the AAAS Annual Meeting to receive the prize are given to the recipient.

The AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science will be bestowed upon Rosin during the 182nd AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., 11-15 February 2016. The AAAS Awards Ceremony and Reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, February 12, in Palladian Ballroom of the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

He wrote with humility on Facebook

I was lucky enough to win an award from AAAS for Public Engagement with Science. It’s a real honor. Thank you!
However, the article implies it was more of a solo effort than it in fact was. The real credit belongs to the amazing people at Guerilla Science (Jenny Wong, Jenny Jopson, Louis Buckley, Olivia Koski), the amazing scientists/artists/musicians/actors who were also part (Jana Grcevich, Zach Walker, Zach Kopciak, Zarinah Agnew, Karola Kreitmair, Steve Mould, Tim Chartier, Lee Sonko, Michael Kearney, and many more), and many other excellent folk (Kate Marvel, Zoe Cormier, Richard Henry Bowdler, Becky Lawson). I would love to buy you all a drink.

Improved Pain Scale

Bees? Bees!


Improved Pain Scale

I found this on “the internets”. Wish I knew the author.

Judgement Day

This probably wouldn’t make a very good sci-fi-action-thriller movie but sure would be a kinder Judgement Day / Singularity in the real world…