Cool Job of the Week: Physicist

While you may think the coolest physicist in America is Neil deGrasse Tyson, you might be interested to learn that one of the U.S.’s most accomplished physicists is actually a 24-year-old student named Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski.

Currently a PhD candidate at Harvard, where she is billed as “the next Einstein,” Sabrina is originally from Chicago and studied at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. Just one of her many impressive achievements is maintaining a perfect attendance record from kindergarten through her senior year at MIT. She also built her own single-engine airplane from scratch at age 14 and flew it at age 16. Sabrina maintains the website PhysicsGirl.com with a running list of her achievements, and doesn’t mess around with time-wasting social media. (Now that’s smart!)

So, at this point you might be wondering: What does a physicist actually do?

That’s an interesting question, since there are many different career paths for those interested in physics. From celebrities like deGrasse Tyson and comedian David X. Cohen (writer and producer of the TV series Futurama) to billionaire entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, there are plenty of high-profile career opportunities to be had.

Check out this list of accomplished physicists at APS Physics for more ideas about where a career in physics can take you.

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Cool Job of the Week: Ninja

Did you know that there’s currently a ninja shortage in Japan? Yes, it’s true: Japan’s number one fighting force is currently under attack!

The major problem, as I see it, stems from the fact that ninja are currently being treated as entertainers, not the lethal forces of mischief and mayhem they truly are.

Nevertheless, if you’ve been looking for a career as a ninja, this is good news for you. But first, you’ll need to get trained up! The best places to learn the ancient art of ninjutsu are Nabari and Iga, both of which are located in the Mie Prefecture of Japan.

Training you’ll need to become a ninja:

  • Unarmed combat
  • The art of concealment
  • Acrobatics
  • How to use throwing stars (shuriken)
  • Swordfighting

As per the Independent‘s article, however: “Invisibility and walking on water, despite the folklore, are not part of the job description.”

Need more ninja?

If you’re looking for more ninja in your life, be sure to check out my Instagram feed this weekend, when I’ll be furiously writing the first draft of my new ninja novel, The Reluctant Ninja, as part of the 3-Day Novel Contest (September 2-4, 2017). I’ll be posting a variety of Ninja Tips to keep you entertained, so follow me @LauraRobertsBooks to join in on the fun!

Cool Job of the Week: Science Reporter

With today’s full (or partial, depending on your location) solar eclipse happening across the U.S., my pick for Cool Job of the Week is a no-brainer: Science Reporter!

If you turn on any TV station today, you’re going to see a science reporter in action. Today they’ll be focused on explaining how a solar eclipse happens, how to view one safely (don’t forget your eclipse glasses!), and where you can find the path of totality – the places across the country where the sun will be fully covered by the moon’s passage.

Photo credit: “Image of Solar Eclipse as seen by Hinode Satellite,” via NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

Even if you don’t have a TV, you can tune into NASA’s coverage of the eclipse at https://www.nasa.gov/eclipselive/. The folks presenting on NASA’s website are a mix of scientists and communications experts, all employed by NASA.

Want to know more about the life of a science reporter?

Check out the Columbia Journalism Review for a great article on David Perlman, a science reporter for the The San Francisco Chronicle who recently retired at the age of 98. He advises: “Be a reporter. It’s the best job in the world.”