Last night I walked across the stage as a student for the last time, receiving my PhD in aerospace engineering and getting hooded by my advisor in a tradition with roots back to medieval scholars. Even more so than the defense, it marked an official end to my PhD. None of that is really fluid dynamical, but I wanted to use the opportunity to thank each and every one of you who read and support FYFD. This blog began on a whim while I was a graduate student waiting for an opportunity to do the experiments I needed. I never could have predicted at the time the impact it would have on my life. FYFD became a part of my daily life, and thanks to you, readers, it became a source of inspiration and motivation for me as I pursued my studies. I have learned so much more about fluid dynamics in writing FYFD and answering your questions than I would ever have on my own. I have had opportunities to travel, to communicate and even meet with people from all corners of the globe who share some of my enthusiasm for the subject. It has been a wonderful experience so far, and I hope for many more ahead. Thank you all for being a part of it! (Photo credit: J. Mai)
Exciting milestone: 200,000 Tumblr followers! What a great early birthday present. Thank you to everyone who follows, shares, asks questions, and submits topics. FYFD wouldn’t be what it is today without all of you.
Next week marks FYFD’s 4th birthday! It’s hard to believe that it’s been so long, or that the blog and I have come so far. I set out with the intention of explaining fluid dynamics to a broad audience because it’s a subject we all experience daily and yet one that few learn formally. (I also, as you may have guessed from the blog’s name, didn’t take things too seriously.) Many things have surprised me these past four years, but one of my favorites is how much I’ve learned. In researching and writing FYFD, I am constantly learning new and fascinating physics. I love it every time something new stuns me with its beauty, its cleverness, or its jaw-dropping, mind-blowing awesomeness. In celebration of that feeling, next week’s posts will revisit some of my favorite subjects, especially those that did and do amaze me. In the meantime, try not to let the ice cream melt. Unless you’re into that. (Video credit: I. Yang; submitted by Stuart B.)
Tomorrow (October 14), I’m heading off on vacation for a couple weeks out of range of the Internet. I’ve queued up entries for while I’m gone and my friend Claire from Brilliant Botany (check it out!) has kindly agreed to watch over the Tumblr queue and make sure it posts like it’s supposed to. So you should hopefully experience no interruptions to regular posts. But I won’t be responding to asks, submissions, emails, etc. until after I return at the end of the month.
Have a lovely October, readers! I’m off in search of penguins and iguanas.