Break and Bake, you’re my savior

As a thank you for taking the time to write me multiple letters of recommendation, I decided that I was going to bake cookies for a certain professor. I made this conscious decision over the weekend, and to emphasize my appreciation I was going to make the cookies from scratch. However, as the hours passed from Saturday to Sunday and finally Monday, the cookies were still only a figment of my imagination. On my way past the break and bake cookie section of the grocery store tonight I glanced over at the solution to my problem.

I'm a break and bake cookies kinda gal


(I must clarify that I do not make cookies from scratch, hence the procrastination. I was only making and exception as a token of my appreciation.) So, I glanced at the break and bakes all the while slowing my pace while contemplating if I really should take the ultimate plunge to lazy-town. After two seconds hesitation, I made an about face and grabbed not one but TWO break and bake chocolate chip cookie packages. I must say that lazy-town is a pretty good place to be when all of your work is finished within twenty minutes of preheating, placing on pan, and baking. Thank you Nestle Tollhouse. I owe you one.

I’ll be sure to make cookies from scratch once my boyfriend returns and makes the dough for me.

I only wish I could have thought of this for my final project

Putting a new spin on the old basketball and tennis ball ratio approach to scaling the Solar System, this youtube clip shows how hard it is for people to scale our Solar System, our Galaxy, and our Universe. I found this from a blog post in Discover from Bad Astronomy. Thanks, Phil Plait.

CERNland!

Everyone has heard of Disneyland, but what about the virtual world of CERNland where children can enrich their brains with knowledge about the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, CERN.

While spending the majority of my hours this weekend applying for science writing internships, I accidentally came across this cute website, which is geared towards teaching children the basics of atomic elements to more complex particle physics issues surrounding CERN, including a highly informative video explaining CERN in three minutes.

My curiosity was peaked as I clicked on the option to enter the website in English. You can navigate the various topics, games, and videos in six different languages, making this website accessible to countries across the globe. After my initial language choice, I was launched into the website and surrounded by entertaining sounds one might hear in one of those amazing episodes of Wile E. Coyote and his diabolical foe, the Roadrunner.

The site is filled with information encased in a fun package. From cartoon CERN scientist characters you can print and cut out to a game of Super Bob! where one controls a Bob through a series of questions about CERN while dodging angry red slugs and collecting candy bars for energy. Some of the questions are as basic as the circumference of the collider to something more involved like what dipole magnets are used for.

Meet Bob

This website certainly deserves some attention from both children and adults who are interested in research conducted to observe some of the first particles every created only miliseconds after the Big Bang. Acclaimed for its approach to teach children, CERNland was chosen best kids’ site by physics.org in 2011. To see the other four sites acknowledged for their sites focused towards a child audience click here.

It’s amazing how these science websites can teach complex science research, such as particle physics, to children who haven’t even learned their times tables, yet. The internet is truly a gift to education.

Discovery and R2

The Discovery space shuttle had her final launch yesterday, February 24, 2011. The three space shuttles, Discovery, Endeavour, and Atlantis are fast approaching their demise. The final space shuttle launch, marking the end of the shuttle’s launching duties which have served American space flight for the past three decades, is scheduled for June 28th. Atlantis will make her final flight, and that will be it.

On a brighter note, Discovery’s launch yesterday was carrying some pretty impressive cargo with it. NASA’s first robot astronaut took a ride to its home, the International Space Station (ISS). R2, the robot’s name, is the next step in robotic engineering. It’s human like movements make it capable of performing tasks at a higher level than any previous space robot. However, for the moment, scientists and engineers are simply curious to see how this robot operates within the ISS. There will be no space walks for this R2, but perhaps later generations of R2 robots will get the chance to experience the vastness of space, and eventually become a permanent replacement for humans in space walk missions. This would reduce the risk for human astronauts by quite a bit since space walks are considered to be one of the most dangerous missions an astronaut can conduct.

Science Cafe in Marion, Ohio

When I went to the AAAS meeting in D.C. last weekend I ran across the table for the Sigma XI (pronounced szi) organization. Like most other tables, I was given a plentiful amount of papers and magazines explaining the organization and its goals for science. Sigma XI is invested in enforcing science ethics concerning scientific research. I personally find this imperative to present and future research because it establishes the necessary trusting reputation scientists need amongst each other to discuss their research. Similar to journalism ethics, if you don’t have the trust of the people you are trying to reach, then the chance that your work is distributed amongst a large audience is practically zilch if no one believes the words you’re typing.

One of the many papers I received from Sigma XI provided a brief explanation and corresponding web site for Science Cafe’s across the country. As explained on the flyer science cafe’s a relaxed atmosphere where people get together and discuss recent scientific research. The cafe’s are open to everyone, which certainly adds to their appeal. I went to their site, sciencecafes.org, and found one that it is in Marion, Ohio. From the looks of it, it’s sponsored by Ohio State, meets once a month, and invites one scientist who presentats their research at each meeting. The next meeting is on March 1 with guest presenter Gary Kennedy of Ohio State’s Mathematics Department, which I am seriously considering attending. What could be better than celebrating my dorky science interests with fellow dorks and caffeine?

I think they need a better logo

Dooms Day Just a Click Away!

Click on this link and you’ll be launched to Popular Science’s Archive gallery of doomsday predictions.

Since the idea first sprouted, who knows how long ago, people have been terrified for the day that the world will end. More specifically, they fear the end of the human race. Honestly, what majority of people truly care if cock roaches are the only living things one billion years from now? I’m sure they will keep robots of the future, like Disney’s Wall-E, company, but this thought probably does not comfort many people in today’s generation. Or even future generations for that matter.

So, why are doomsday ideas so popular? In the early twentieth century doomsday scenarios received an extra boost of the Oh-no-it’s-for-real factor by using science to support its claims. Science’s ability to render the impossible, plausible gave an extra zing that made the imminent day of doom seem more realistic. Early twentieth century ignorance of the technology behind phones, radios, and televisions was particularly disturbing to the public.

However, I must say that my favorite doomsday freak out is not included in this gallery. Of course, I’m talking about the 1938 Orson Welles broadcast of H.G. Wells War of the Worlds adapted for radio. Argumentativley, the best end-of-the-world story simply due to the mass hysteria that erupted. People were literally searching forests for the alien landing site, ready with their shot guns if the death-ray should appear.

Well, anyways this humorous collection of ten different end-of-the-world scenarios from Earth’s shrinking crust to the death of the Sun, certainly make me feel safer. When I am reassured that humans have survived every new doomsday scenario of the decade since the 1930’s, it makes me smile to think of the awesome birthday party I will be hosting on December 21, 2012.

Possible Invitation Card Cover

Final Cut

final cut: nondestructive video editing program
final cut tips:
1) link and unlink to separate audio and video
2) eraser tool to select and delete video
3) or you can drag it
4) for audio –> make sure you can see the audio waves during editing: sequence, settings, show audio waveforms
5) with pin tool you can control your audio
6) add lower thirds: effects tab, text, lower 3rd
7) add transitions to lower third titles

Multimedia Homework, Thank You!

This weekend has been a rather stressful one for me. I flew out Thursday afternoon to Washington D.C. to attend the AAAS meeting. My primary goal for attending was to participate in the internship fair. The internship fair involves a speed dating approach where undergraduate and graduate students interested in science writing can interview with some of the top magazine in the country such as Scientific American, Science News, Nature, and many more. There were a total of twenty five magazine/organizations that arrived at the fair and a total of fifty undergraduate/graduate students. I was able to talk with eight of the twenty five, which is an average number.

In addition to the internship fair, I was able to meet three admission directors from different graduate schools I’m applying to. Just a good way to give them a face with the name. So, those two things kept me busy Friday and Saturday, which made me somewhat nervous for my multimedia video assignment due on Monday (tomorrow).

I knew that covering the AAAS meeting was, in all probability, my only chance for getting material for this assignment. So, I got up early this morning, packed my camera bag with my camera and video recorder material, grabbed my tripod, and headed for the metro station that would take me to the Convention center where the meeting is being held. After walking around and scoping out the terrain I went up to a table and chatted with the guy for a while, and then got up the courage to say, “Hey, I’m in a multimedia class at Ohio State. Would you mind telling me what you just told me on camera?”. I was half expecting him to say no, but to my surprise he said that he was happy to do it. So, after that I went around with some more confidence and started talking to more and more scientists. I can not emphasize how cool these people are, and how awesome the research they’re doing is. I got to talk to the guys who designed and made the remote controlled humming bird, which was by far the most interesting exhibit I came across. I also talked to a guy who got to ride the Vomit Comet and test how hot air behaves in zero gravity.

Anyways, today was an amazing experience and I would not have had it if it weren’t for this assignment. And furthermore, I certainly would not have had it on tape! So, thanks multimedia journalism class for this awesome experience I’ll never forget!

When you’re in D.C. do as the Swedish do

As an aspiring undergraduate aiming for a career in science writing, I was easily persuaded to attend the American Association for Advanced Science annual meeting. The AAAS meeting is currently being held in Washington D.C. at the Convention Center in downtown. There are additional special events taking place at a couple of hotels one or two blocks away; however, these “special events” are geared towards members of the National Association of Science Writers and not the presenting scientists for the AAAS meeting. NASW members come from across the country to this meeting to mingle, connect with other professionals in the field, and attend sessions on various science topics such as the religious issues involved if life were to be found on another planet.

As a member of NASW I was given not only a name tag with my name on it, but a name tag with the notorious/prestigious (depending on who you’re talking to and what about) title of “Press”. This little name tag has not only given me the opportunity to meet some renowned professionals within the science writing field, but it has also served as my meal ticket for the past two days. Not to mention, this is some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. Anything from salty soft pretzels to lumpy crab cakes and mushroom bisque.

I recently returned from a magnificent party held at the House of Sweden in Georgetown. The first thing I noticed as I walked up the lit pathway were the entrance doors that had a cascading waterfall trapped within them. I’m sure it’s not difficult to place some mini hoses across the top of a door and continuously run water through it, but it is a very unique idea and an even more unique image. This party embodied what every party should: fantastic food, dance floor, and open bar. Not to mention the inside of the building was stunning. The walls were glass overlooking the Potomac River while the downstairs area had a two inch deep, ten foot long by two foot wide (approximately) water pool. I say pool because I can’t think of any other way to describe it. But, if you’re wondering if people got tipsy and jumped in, although I left early, I can almost assure that is impossible simply due to the lack of depth this lovely decoration held.

So, after eating a plate full of food, drinking a couple drinks, then eating a plate full of desserts I was perfectly content. I highly recommend the House of Sweden, which also houses the Embassy of Sweden and the Embassy of Iceland, as a place for a party. If you ever get the chance, it’s a once in a lifetime experience. I just kind of wish I hadn’t drank that test tube with the green sugar coated rim.

Snazzy

Need another reason for why Google is great?

Google is sponsoring it’s very own space race! However, unlike the 60’s space race, this race is not just between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and it does not end with a man on the moon. This space race will see a great deal of robots of all shapes and sizes cascading through moon’s nonexistent atmosphere. The recent tally for competitor numbers is 29. Twenty-nine different teams across the globe have signed up for the $20 million first place prize. The stakes are high as well as the game rules. Competitors must land a robot on the moon that has the capability to travel 500 meters on the lunar surface in addition to transmitting photos to earth. The first robot to achieve this will be awarded first place. Kudos to Google for creating the world’s first space race of the 21st century!

It's the robot's turn this time around.