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…



Megan’s Wedding Ring

short form: My wife and I are very happy with the custom made ring made by Edward’s Jewelry and Imports in San Francisco. I spoke with Jean Paul Tchamourlian there. I showed them some photos and talked about what I wanted and they made it for me! We got exactly the ring we wanted for about the same price as a ring made on spec! I got the sapphire from Andrew at, a cutter in San Diego. The stone is magically beautiful. Seriously.

ring from wedding website


Long form (it’s pretty long, all my wedding ring research!)

Jean Paul Tchamourlian
Edward’s Jewelry and Imports
Gift Center and Jewelry Mart
888 Brannan St
Showroom 160
San Francisco, CA 94103

Jean Paul was really super great. If you go, definitely say “hello” from me, I’m sure he’ll remember me. He gave me exactly what I wanted at the best price I found. At other stores, I found many not-custom rings that were similarly priced to my custom ring.

The San Francisco Gift Center and Jewelry Mart is definitely worth browsing. There are about 5 big jewelers and 10 small jewelers in this underground mall. You need to be on the guest list to get into the place (security is tighter since it’s all jewelry stores). Just call Edwards Jewelry (or any of the others) and they’ll have a pass waiting for you at the security desk. The Gift Mart website doesn’t look like much but it’s definitely worth visiting.

I also got a Sara and Jane Wishbone Necklace in Sterling Silver for Megan so she could take her ring off and safely keep it on her neck. It totally works but it turns out that Megan doesn’t use it. There are similar ring holders online, this is is a very good one. You can search online for “wedding ring holder pendant” “charm holder pendant”


I got the sapphire wedding stone for her wedding ring from I ordered 3 stones and returned 2. As the website says, all of the gems look different from the photos. That’s the thing about gems, you can’t capture their glistening in a photo or in all the types of light. I thought I wanted one stone from the photos but when they arrived, I ended up completely falling in love with another stone. So when you look at your stones, try them in sunlight, incandescent, overcast daylight… etc… Again, see it with your own eyes before committing to it. I spent about $100 mailing gems around with insurance and it was worth it.

Inspiration for our Ring
* Show me some Van Craeynest
* Van Craeynest Facebook
* discussion of putting a sapphire in a VC 1020

Lots of articles,

The first CAD design for our ring:

There are no official names for sapphire colors. Here is one website’s attempt at naming the colors. When asking around with these names, I got a lot of blank stares. Gemfix tries to put Pantone color names on their stones and that works better than saying “it’s more of a Camelot Blue than a Prince of Wales Blue…” heh.  sapphire_color_chart

Here’s some good sapphire guides. But screw all the guides! Hold the stone in your hand and see if you love it.
* stones by location

Places to buy sapphires
* (many stones have videos which is nice)
* (only open to the trade)

Gem sizing comparing millimeters to carats in round stones. (Via. This site has comparisons of lots of different shaped stones)
5mm = .46 carat
6mm = .84 carat
7mm = 1.28 carat
8mm = 2.04 carat

Styles of rings often have names, and often they don’t. I found abunch of buzzwords that helped in my search somewhat.
Antique / Vintage, filigree, Edwardian which is a subset of Victorian. Maybe Art Nouveau, Art Deco
Not: Georgian (kinda bubbly), Victorian (crowns and royalty, Edwardian, Art Nouveau and the Art Deco

If you’re getting a diamond, I hear that you want to buy:
Color: I or better (D, E, F, G, H, I)
Clarity: SI2 or better

Dumb tip I learned:
White gold is usually electroplated with rhodium to make it more white. This coating wears off, which is stupid. Jewelers recommend replating it every 1-2 years. Some people get it replated on special anniversaries…

White gold can be made from nickel alloys. Caution, they might cause allergic reactions.

More Sites to shop for rings:


Suggestions for Bay Area local dealers and ring makers

  • “ If you are still wanting to have a custom piece made or if you guys want to make them I can help you out with either of those requests.” David Casella
  • Make your own ring in SF from aerin
  • low cost diamond wholesaler from Michael Kearney
  • You could make them in silver in a Crucible intro jewelry class at Crucible from Denise Taylor
  • Bay area jeweler from Hilary Engelman
  • Bay area jeweler from Mark A. Watson
  • “If you are looking for specific ring design or have your own design in mind I can definitely assist you with that project.” from Bonnie Heras
  • “The 14 Karats on College ave. John and Lilly have been a pillar of the community for a long time” from Grant
  • “If you are interested in creating your own wedding bands together, I have had a number of students do that in my Wax to Silver Casting class at The Crucible. People have had a lot of fun designing their rings together, regardless of whether one person takes the class and makes them both or the couple takes it together. If you’re curious about going the make the bands yourself route, just let me know and I would be more than happy to chat with you at The Cru and show you both examples and options!!” from Kim Mirus
  • If they want something real clean and modern with a big stone they should meet with David.” David Cole from Chrissy K
  • Carmen Q – from Yelp
  • from a couple emails
  • Lorah Gross’ friend Kate who teaches jewelry craftsmanship and design for a living. She might be interested or know someone who is.
  • use precious metal clay to make your jewelry from Carol Dacanay
  • I’ve spoken a bit with Wilfy McManus, Celtic Inheritance, 1778 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley 510-841-8702. He can make or pour or help with us making a ring. He gave me the ring tools.
  • Go to Otto Frei in Oakland for DIY ring making supplies.
  • for inexpensive options (and comparison shopping)


Phew. That’s enough talk about rings!

For the wedding plans, I’d be happy to talk to you about what we did. I’ve got spreadsheets and all kinds of things!

I made a couple posts on my blog about the wedding. Take a look. I’m happy to chat about any aspects.

Another great hint: It worked perfectly! See our honeyfund here: (