Posts by willb

an amherst college retrospective

i wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. My fairly constant refrain during my time in undergrad was “I just...

DELvE: my new game about feelings and d&d

I've just published my new game! DELvE is a short text-adventure that moves between first and second person perspective, a reflection on a dungeons and dragons game I've been running for my friends since the beginning of college.

talkin’ the talk (and presenting the poster)

talkin’ the talk (and presenting the poster)

In which I give a handful of talks and present some research at an exoplanet conference UMass Astronomy Club, 4/20/2021...

before the next steps, looking back on my grad school application experience

prologue: This past weekend I announced my acceptance of an offer of admission to a Ph.D. program in astronomy. I...

turnover: 2021

a lovely someone recently shared with me an 104 year old article, written by political theorist Antonio Gramsci, titled “I...

Ending: Inconclusive

So, the semester has come to a close. For how long I’ve spent operating under a semesterly school system, it...

Interview: Feng Long (Planetary cradles: UMass/FCAD colloquium speaker presents ALMA view of early solar systems)

Solar systems like ours begin as pancakes of dust and gas left over after a star forms. Over time, the dust within these "circumstellar disks" coagulate into planetesimals that will eventually form planets like the Earth. During this early stage of solar system evolution, these circumstellar disks are called "protoplanetary disks" because planets have not fully formed within them. Feng Long, the Submillimeter Array (SMA) Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), spoke at the Five College Astronomy Department (FCAD) Fall 2020 Virtual Colloquium hosted by UMass Amherst on Thursday, October 29. She discussed her recent publications and the implications that these incredibly detailed observations have for our understanding of solar system formation.

these are no Pyrrhic victories

The resounding left victories in Latin America lay bare the farce of the United States' most popular television program. You can feel good about it all you want, but Joe Biden's victory (or any conceivable outcome of the 2020 election) is not a victory, by any measure, for the American left.



The old english “whelmen” was paired with the prefix “over” sometime 600 years ago, and “overwhelmed” overtook the base word...

anticipating failure

anticipating failure

As trite as I think it is to discuss time and the perception of time (especially in the context of...