Alan Alda Takes On Marie Curie
Jun01

Alan Alda Takes On Marie Curie

Alan Alda, the actor and author, has added another credential to his CV: science playwright. Tonight his first play, "Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie," is being read as part of the opening night festivities of the World Science Festival at Alice Tully Hall in New York City. The play focuses on the eight years of Curie's life between winning her Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 and her Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911. Actors Maggie Gyllenhaal, Liev Schreiber, David Morse, Bill Camp, Allison Janney, and Mireille Enos are among those lending their talents to this evening's reading. "I’ve worked hard to make the science in Radiance as accurate as possible, and I’m always grateful when a scientist can help me make it even clearer," says Alda in a Q&A over at DOE's Energy Blog. "But I try not to have a single line of science (or anything else) in the play that isn’t dramatic, moving the story forward by having a character actively trying to achieve his or her objective." If any Newscripts readers are planning to check out tonight's event, we'd love to hear what you think. The tickets, which start at $250, were out of the Newscripts gang's...

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Nothing Says Valentine’s Day Like Marie Curie
Feb11

Nothing Says Valentine’s Day Like Marie Curie

My apologies for not writing this post earlier—at a time when it might have been  more helpful to you—but I would be remiss not to share some possible science nerd Valentine’s Day gifts with you that Newscripts has been alerted to recently. At this point, you might not be able to order them in time to give to that special scientist in your life on the big day, but there’s always next year or the old “better late than never” approach. You might even try muttering something about the space-time continuum and see where that gets you. My personal favorites are a set of “Science Valentines” being sold on Etsy.com by stephoodle. If you’re like me, you still sometimes hand out little cardboard valentines in February in an attempt to keep the memory alive of your crush on the little boy who sat next to you at snacktime in Kindergarten. I would totally have won his heart had he received one of these babies. The pack of eight includes famous scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Alan Turing, and each valentine contains little notes that allude to what the person is famous for. For instance, Marie Curie’s reads, “My heart radiates for you.” The physical chemist in me is also drawn to Werner Heisenberg’s “I’m certain about you.” Classic. Or is it classical? Newscripts fan Cathy Bloedorn recently wrote in to point out beaded necklaces that she sells, also on Etsy. But these aren’t the typical chemistry nerd necklaces that bear little wire molecules on them, these are atomic emission spectra necklaces. “Did you ever look at those lists of elements’ emission spectra in high school and think ‘Wow! How pretty!’? ,” Bloedorn asks on her website. “Well, I did, and I decided to replicate the emission spectrum of the most important element for life, carbon, in black and colorful Swarovski crystals.” The former chemistry teacher also sells a hydrogen variety of the choker. Bloedorn also points out another emission-spectra-based gift for that special nerd in your life. Becky Stern sells Emission Spectrum Scarves  at sternlab.org. Warm AND scientifically accurate. Happy Valentine’s Day, Newscripts...

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