by Rick Yancey
This novel, published in May of this year, chronicles a post-apocalyptic novel after the arrival of decidedly NOT friendly aliens to Earth. In each successive waves, the aliens kill humans in different ways, but no one has even seen them. Cassie is a teenager on a quest to find her little brother Sammy and meets a mysterious stranger on the way. Ben is being trained to fight back against the aliens in a military camp. I won’t say more. so as not to give anything away, but I will say that this book was totally enjoyable. Seeing as its geared toward young adults, it’s not as bleak as The Road, but still manages to be a relatively bleak, not horribly unrealistic portrayal of a post-apocalyptic future.
by Sean Carroll
So I clearly started off the summer with some light reading. Actually my 14 year old brother gave this book to me as a graduation gift, and it probably says a lot about our relationship that this gift is totally normal. Yes, we trade non-fiction science books. If you have read any of my past years of book lists, you’ll remember that physics book are my favorite because I love the subject but I’m not smart enough to actually be a physicist, so these types of books are right up my alley. I usually prefer astro-physics type books to particle physics type books though.
This book describes some of the history of particle physics through the journey to find the Higgs boson and the construction of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland/France. I think I understood about 80% of the book, but that was good enough to do the job of increasing my knowledge and understanding of particle physics in general and the importance of the Higgs boson in particular. Like the Lawrence Krauss book I read last year, my understanding might improve with multiple readings. He does a great job of explaining very challenging subjects for the general reader.
Rating: 3.5 stars…sadly I think very few physicists are able to write for the general public at the level of Brian Greene, but this was still a fantastic book and highly recommended.
“At heart, science is the quest for awesome—the literal awe that you feel when you understand something profound for the first time. It’s a feeling we are all born with, although it often gets lost as we grow up and more mundane concerns take over our lives. When a big event happens, like the discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC, that child-like curiosity in all of us comes ot the fore once again. It took thousands of people to build the LHC and its experiments and to analyze the data that led to that discovery, but the accomplishment belongs to everyone who is interested in the universe.” - Sean Carrol in The Particle at the End of the Universe
So it turns out that finishing up a master’s takes a lot more time than I ever would have thought. Between two jobs, full-time school, and an EMT class first semester to studying for the MCAT, one job, organizing med school apps, applying to jobs, writing a capstone and full-time school second semester, I didn’t exactly have time to keep up with a blog.
I also went through some existential crises regarding the pretentious, self-absorbed idea of our online presence and the role of the internet, but continued using facebook throughout the whole process, so I certainly was being at least a little bit hypocritical.
Anyway, here I am, less than a week before starting a BIG GIRL job and I’m more than a little bit terrified. Luckily, it’s only for a year and then I will dive back into the shelter of yet more schooling in the form of maybe-I’ll-be-a-doctor-someday-when-I’m-ancient. But for now, I have the fantastic luxury of having a 9-5-ish job (it’ll be more like 8-6 plus 1 hour commutes each direction for two months), rent-free-ish (while I live with my aunt for two months but still have to pay rent on my Ann Arbor apartment), and obligation-free-ish (med school secondary applications apparently take up a whole lot of time).
So between attempting some introspection and at the same time restarting my reading list that may actually last a whole year instead of a summer, this thing might actually get some updates. You’ll get my first three books in the next three days (or so…I tend to get lazy about these things) and then more as I make my way through the considerable stack of unread books that I wish I could say was neatly piled up on my bedside table but instead is in three different packing boxes, at least two bags also filled with belts, DVDs, and shoes (I think) and scattered elsewhere about the house. It’s like a treasure hunt. Instead of burying nuts for the winter, I have hidden books for myself to find.
I went to visit a college student named Sam in the hospital today. Normally, I wouldn’t publicly address the experience, but one of Sam’s friends posted the pic on Reddit.com and it gained attention and an outpouring of support for Sam and his family. Several media outlets have hit me up asking…
Asked by Anonymous
So here’s the rundown — I never joined a sorority, but most of my friends were in one of them. There’s a lot of greek life on campus, so sometimes it’s hard to remember that less than half of the students are actually in a frat or sorority. But not being in greek life myself, I always felt there were lots of options. Of course, there are always exclusive mixers, etc., but any open party is open and parties with guest lists are often restricted to friends, but there’s no requirement of being in greek life. I went to a lot of the events held by my friends’ sorority (just not the mixers) and always had a lot of fun.
As for getting into sororities, anyone who completes the rush process gets an invitation to one of the sororities, so don’t worry about that! The same isn’t true for the frats, but there are more of them anyway.
I hope I answered your questions! If you have anymore, feel free to send me another message :)
The choices a doctor makes are necessarily imperfect but they alter people’s lives. Because of that reality, it often seems safest to do what everyone else is doing—to be just another white-coated cog in the machine. But a doctor must not let that happen—nor should anyone who takes on risk and responsibility in society.
So find something new to try, something to change. Count how often you succeed and how often you fail. Write about it. Ask people what they think. See if you can’t keep the conversation going.
…has rekindled my travel bug something awful. And for the first time, I don’t know what I’ll be doing or where I’ll be going for the coming year (as of May), and it’s terrifying.
The only reason I’m not more frightened is because I have the security blanket of going back to school after that. But of course with that comes all the worries of…will I get in? will I like it? will I fail out?
Anyway, it’s weird to not have any solid plans, and the fluidity of the future isn’t something I’ve experienced before. Hopefully that means I can have some more wonderful adventures, this time most likely in the United States somewhere and not in another country. But I’ve been so lucky to have been able to go to these incredible, diverse places.
If you make experiences new places one of your priorities, it can happen. And it’s exhilaratingly, alarmingly wonderful.