Monthly Archives: July 2013

Science Update – QWERTY

As I was sitting here this morning, wondering what to write, I stared blankly at my keyboard. My mind wandered (as usual) completely off-topic and I began to think about the keyboard… Then the engineer in me took over. In terms of an efficient tool for writing words in the English language, the modern keyboard really isn’t a great design. ‘E’ and ‘T’ are the most common letters in the alphabet, yet you need to move your fingers to type them. That sounds a lot like the EXACT OPPOSITE of efficiency! And on top of that, popular letter #3 (also known as ‘A’) can only be typed using the weakest and most difficult to control finger in the human body!! That’d be the left pinkie finger for those of you who haven’t had an anatomy class in a while. (Yes, I did completely make that up…) As you can see, this is already a mess and we haven’t even gotten to why the heck the easiest key to type is occupied by the letter ‘J’?!? For real, who needs to type ‘J’ that easily? It’s in approximately 5.21 words and used about as frequently as ‘Q’ (which may be the only letter actually in the location it deserves–along with ‘Z’ and ‘X’ I suppose). Continue reading

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Short Story – The Lab Rat

As a scientist, I always wonder how the lab animals that are being tested view their lives and what is going on around them. So here is a fun little glimpse into the mind of a lab rat!

Day 0

Cheese… Smell cheese. Wall… Another wall… Opening… Cheese..? Cheese!

Large hand! Run! Squeezed… Bite! Bite! Ouch! Sharp! Pain in stomach…

Day 3

I smell cheese close… Stomach rumbles. Need food. Run to wall, turn. Wall. Turn, wall. Go back… Opening… Cheese!

Large hand again! Run! Squeezed…Dropped in cage. Trapped.

Day 5

The cheese trick again… Trick that ends with giant hand and cage. Always… But need food. Starved all day. Run to opening. Through another opening. See cheese… Cautiously approach.

Sprint! Fast as legs go! Grab cheese and turn to run away! Giant hand blocking path… Give up and await the squeeze. But keep the cheese. Continue reading

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Sports – The Story in the Red Sox of 2013

Why do we love sports so much? For me personally, it’s all in the stories. Every year there is something that defines a sports team, something that transforms them from just another thing to watch on TV into a part of our lives that we care about. The past two-and-a-half years it’s been about how much we didn’t like the players on our team. The chicken and beer fiasco in the clubhouse. The overpaid players who didn’t contribute. The superstars who didn’t care to interact with the fans at all.

But this year the story has changed. It’s something that no one saw coming. The Red Sox got rid of the expensive players that weren’t contributing enough and were hurting the clubhouse atmosphere. They introduced a new coach who already had a good rapport with many of the players. They brought in new players that are known as fun “clubhouse guys” who just love to play the game of baseball. Unfortunately, these clubhouse guys aren’t the most talented players. Yet somehow, here we are more than halfway through the season, and the Red Sox have one of the best records in all of baseball. They don’t have the skills of most other teams. They don’t have as many superstars as most teams. So what do they have?

The 2013 Red Sox have heart and they have a positive atmosphere in their clubhouse that makes players enjoy the game. This is the story. This is what amazes us about the Red Sox and baseball. It’s like a classic underdog movie. The team with less talent and low expectations  is winning. They are winning because they are having fun. And even if they end up losing this season, it’s still a great story about how talent and expensive superstars are not the only contributing factor in putting together a fun, great baseball team. What more could we want?

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Writer’s Digest Your Story Contest – July 2013

This month’s Writer’s Digest Your Story Contest was to write the opening sentence to a story based on the picture below.


Here is my submission:

The wolf couldn’t help but salivate as a three-course meal wandered closer; the appetizer was catching snowflakes, the desert laughed, and the entree held both their hands. 

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Hello there! I hope you enjoy the roller coaster of writing, science, and sports that is my life!

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