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Expert Witness - Deflategate with Steward PhD alumnus Charles Liu

In the NY Times' extensive discussion of the New England Patriots and Deflategate, one of the newest articles has extensive quotations from Steward PhD alumnus Charles Liu, now on the faculty at the College of Staten Island and an Associate at Hayden Planetarium. The article can be found HERE.

A couple of pithy quotations from the article follow:

"... “Just because you’re not a scientist does not mean you can’t know what to do,” Liu said. “It’s kind of like saying, Well, I see somebody about to burn down your house, but since I’m not a firefighter, I don’t know whether I should stop them or not.”

...“If you let out 2 p.s.i. from the ball, it is as if you removed 400 pounds of force pushing outward from the football,” Liu said. “If you let out 1.5 p.s.i. from the ball, it’s as if you removed 300 pounds of force pushing outward from the football.”"

"Liu mentioned Muhammad Wilkerson, a 6-foot-4-inch, 315-pound defensive lineman for the Jets, to illustrate the point. If Wilkerson were to stand on a ball, the leather would bulge out on the ball’s sides, growing taut, and would be much harder to grip. Take Wilkerson off the ball, and it would become easier to grip. “That is what letting 1.5 or 2 p.s.i. out of the ball means,” Liu said. (I tried the experiment in the office with a basketball, with an editor gripping the sides of the ball. He agreed that it was easier to hold on to once my 220 pounds had hopped off.)..."

Finally, the Boston Globe published a Boston-based view of the same HERE.

Bill Nye the Science Guy weighed in HERE.


UA College of Science Lecture Series Overview and Schedule

The tenth UA College of Science Lecture Series is about to begin. This year the topic is "Life in the Universe" and involves Stewardites Chris Impey and Laird Close, LPL-ites Tim Swindle and Dante Lauretta, Vatican-ite Guy Consolmagno, and Evolutionary Biology Professors Anna Dornhaus and Brian Enquist. All lectures are at 7pm, beginning Jan 26, in Centennial Hall.

For more information, look HERE and HERE. Watch the Kepler Orrery (confirmed exo-solar planets orbiting their stars to Wagner) HERE. While this series is happening, the Steward Monday Public Evening series found HERE is in abeyance.

Cloud and Weather Behavior on Brown Dwarfs

A group of scientists led by Daniel Apai, who holds a joint appointment at Steward and LPL, are observing brown dwarfs at several wavelengths to learn about the weather (akin to storms on the Sun's gas-giant planets) and clouds (akin to the belts and bands). Read about their project HERE, in an article written by David Flateau. Professor Apai also has a blog entitled Distant Earths

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

University of Arizona Announces Large Gift to Giant Magellan Telescope

On Dec. 15,  President Hart announced a $20 million gift from Astronomy Board Member Richard Caris. This generous contribution will help fund Steward and the Department of Astronomy’s contribution to the Giant Magellan Telescope project and secure the next generation of astronomical research excellence at the University of Arizona. This is a landmark gift from Richard, who has supported UA Astronomy for many years – his philanthropy has been significant for the Mirror Lab, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, and faculty research. More information will be added here in the next few days, including press releases. The Arizona Daily Star artcle can be found HERE. The UA press release can be found HERE. The GMTO press release can he found HERE. At this moment (Dec 27 and before) it's one of the four featured articles at

Photo: Left: Roger Angel and Richard Caris (Credit: Sid Leach). Right: GMT artist's conception (Credit: Carnegie Institution for Science).

Arizona Daily Star article about Evan Schneider's research

Tom Beal of the Arizona Daily Star has published an article talking about Evan Schneider's research and research colloquium. Hit "go" for article.

Follow the Exploits of Craig Kulesa and David Lesser at Ridge A in Antarctica

A grad student at the University of New South Wales is part of a group working on the HEAT telescope in Antarctica. He's providing a blog for you to follow along as Craig Kulesa and David Lesser work on the telescope. The HEAT telescope is a collaboration of UA and UNSW, with principals Craig Kulesa and USNW's Dr. Michael Ashley.


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