Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cross-Post: Gender Disparity in the Sciences

Another interesting article that I found on someone else's blog:

Here, scientists of various statuses are interviewed and asked why they think there's such a gender disparity between biology and the physical sciences.  Needless to say, the responses vary based on the gender of the respondent.  Here's a sampling from the article:


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Orishas: Yemanjá

Because of my involvement in Capoeira, and a long-standing interest in the histories and cultures of the descendants of black slaves in the Western Hemisphere, I've become pretty heavily interested in the religion (some would say cult, and I would say that's disrespectful due to the connotation of the word "cult") of Candomblé.  I'll write something about Candomblé as a whole at some later time, but with this series I'd like to focus in on the gods of Candomblé.  These gods are known as Orishas (or Orixas), and they rule over different parts of existence.  This particular post is going to be about Yemanjá, the Orisha of the waters and the feminine principle of Candomblé.


I'm serious.  I'll do it!
So for whatever reason, my blog has been getting a ton of traffic in the past week.  Particularly, the Science Sunday posts (e.g. Clouds, Low-Mass Stars, and Stars In General) and my recent capoeira post have gotten a fair bit of attention.   However, with all the people that are viewing these posts, NO ONE'S LEAVING COMMENTS!  What's the deal, people?   I know they're informative, but I would hope that after reading these posts, people would have thoughts of their own!

I crave (constructive) criticism!  Criticism will make me a better writer, researcher, and informer.  I crave feedback!  I want to know that people actually got something from the words that I spent time putting together on a given page.  Don't be shy, fine folk.  Let me know how you feel!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Science Being Awesome: Retinal Prosthesis

I don't have the words to explain how spectacular this is.  Instead, I'll let the article do that.  Here's the link: .  I'll repost the discovery here.

Science Sunday: The Basics of Clouds

After taking all this time to write this post about clouds, you'd think that I could identify the types of clouds in this image.  Nope.

"I'm a dreamer.  I live to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds." ~Mike Tyson

Like Mike Tyson, today we'll be missing the stars and instead grabbing at clouds.  Sure this seems somewhat random, considering what my subject matter (not to mention my profession) has typically been,  but this post is borne out of two completely unrelated things.  First and foremost is my desire to learn about things outside of my field.  I spend hours each day, every day of the week accumulating knowledge about astronomy in general and stars in particular.  This has resulted in a sort of scientific tunnel vision, where I neither know of or pay attention to anything that doesn't concern stars.  I feel like I've lost touch with a lot of the science that goes on in the rest of the world, and so I'd like to reach out every now and again and learn about what other things the Universe has to offer beyond the various happenings of huge balls of burning hydrogen/helium plasma.

The second motivation for this post comes from my girlfriend's affinity for clouds.  Some days she just hangs out outside and looks up, staring at the shapes and different species of cloud, getting lost in their dance across the sky.  Then she calls me or sends me a text message to tell me about them, to which I invariably respond with my own personal disdain for clouds (I live in Seattle.  I have more cloud than I know what to do with).  Even though there's no love lost between clouds and myself, I'd still like to know what makes them tick.  Hence, we have this post.

Since I actually have no real training in this subject, I'm actually going to try to rely a little less on Wikipedia and a little more on websites with "atmospheric", "physics", "chemistry", or "meteorology" in the name.  Also, if you want to skip much of the scientific inquiry here (in which case I'd ask you why you're even looking at a post entitled "Science Sunday"), you can jump to the very brief summary at the end.

A Grandfather's Last Letter to his Grandkids

I came across this on Facebook some time ago, and have been debating on whether or not to repost it here, as I'm a little wary of getting too into the habit of presenting non-original content.  Then I remembered that I don't actually care about that, so here it is.  The link to the original article is here (link).  Everything that follows is a verbatim repost.  Cheers.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

An Introduction to Capoeira

This was originally written as part of a bio post about me, but the bio ended up going a little bit more personal than I had originally intended.  There was still the bit about capoeira though, and I didn't want it to stay in the vault just because I can't write short, non-personal blurbs about myself.  I talk about my introduction to and involvement in capoeira in my series capoeira na roda, capoeira na vida, so with this post I'll just say a little about capoeira itself.  Bear in mind, this is as brief as I can manage to get while still giving a solid overview of what goes on in capoeira.

On Quality of Life

Found this little gem online.  I think it speaks for itself.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cross-Post: The United States of Starbucks

While I feel like I'm arriving a bit late to the race, no doubt due to some other notables picking this up and publishing it, I'd like to pimp out my coworker's awesome post on how Starbucks is taking over the United States.  We simply can't get away!  Here's the link:

And congratulations again, Jim, on being recognized for your awesome work.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Fifteen Professions that Drink the Most Coffee

An interesting post on, regarding the professions that consume the most coffee.  The interesting thing isn't that scientists top the list.  That's more or less a no-brainer.  The interesting bit here is how the lion's share of the article has very little to do with coffee, and much more to do with how scientists are addicted to working and how we have no concept of a work-life balance.  It sounds almost as if it's written by a bitter current or former scientist.

Anyway, enough of my babbling about the topic.  The link to the article is here: link.  I've included the main graphic after the jump.

As always, cheers to my fellow soldier's of knowledge.  This cup's for you!

p.s.  While I actually don't really drink coffee, I have learned how to make it in a way that I enjoy, and have felt remarkably alert and focused since I've discovered it.  On top of that, I there's a special place in my heart for mochas, machiattos, and frappuchinos.  If I had more money (ha ha!  Please, let's not forget I'm a graduate student), I'd probably be in real danger of a new caffeine addiction. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The 2012 Resolutions Review

So it's been quite a year for me, with many changes that I did not see coming, both positive and negative.  As such, I'd like to take quick account of the goals that I had earlier in the year and see how I did toward achieving them thus far over the past 10 months.  Or neglecting them entirely.  Or falling short because they weren't as realistic as I had originally thought.  That last one's a bitch.

Anyway, I'm really just copying the old resolutions list, pasting it up here, and commenting on each one with my brief thoughts (bolded and italicized like this!). Let's get it.