Protagonists

Do you ever wonder why so many main characters we see on TV and read about in books seem to be writers or artists or something people-related?

If you’re waiting for that engineer to become the star of the show, you’d probably better stick to Dilbert. Though Big Bang Theory might make it seem dorky in a good way. Both of those are outside the norm, and both of them poke fun at the profession.

It’s hard to imagine pages of someone working by himself in an office with a computer all day, who prefers not to converse or interact with others most of the time. Isn’t it? Yet that’s the stereotype. As a writer, we dramatize it as much as possible and try to connect with the emotions. The reader has to related to the character or she’ll stop reading.

Maybe the problem is so many people don’t connect to math. Logic and emotion don’t mix well.  You can call our society math-phobic, so it’d likely be a bad idea to write random equations in a fiction book.

That might be an idea for a short story. The target audience would be fairly small, but it might work. Coming soon for engineers, scientists, and math geeks only!

Don’t Forget the Science

Read the article here.

Oh, I love science and the opportunity to learn for free. The heart of science fiction is always in the science where it begins. The writer can take as many liberties as can be believed by the reader, but it has to start with known science and end where the imagination can logically take the story.

“What if?” is the best question to answer. It isn’t always something from another world based on science to make the fiction. It’s the driver for every story ever told.

Where have the questions taken you recently?

Geek Appeal

Do you think left-brain and right-brain dominance is exclusive?

I have a writer friend who questions whether or not she ought to accept a rooommate who cannot punctuate a return email. As someone who lives with a man who can’t spell to save his life, I’d bet on him in the math department against almost any of my writer friends.

Most of my enginerding buddies have difficulties in the spelling, grammar, and/or punctuation departments. It isn’t about their intelligence – it’s simply an emphasis on the other side of the brain. The logic side, I think. Does that mean our language isn’t logical? Perhaps. I haven’t heard a single person try to argue that one.

In fact, there are a lot of spam eamils to the contrary- “If the plural of mouse is mice, is the plural of house hice?” One moose, two moose; one goose, two geese. While I know some math nerds who will argue that 2 + 2 can equal anything from 3 to 5, there is still logic in that statement.

Geek Appeal

Northwestern University is using nanodiamonds to deliver insulin to fight infection and heal wounds. Perhaps they’re not just a girl’s best friend anymore? Just kidding, nanodiamonds would never be visible or good for resale. Read about it here.

It’s actually very interesting to have new ways to beat infection. Nanodiamonds are something I haven’t heard of. I might have to do some research to figure out what else they could be used for!

Geek Appeal

Or, perhaps this one is about Geek Unappeal… Read 4 ways to drive scientists mad here.

I think engineers are just as bad. Of course, they have the upper hand, since it’s much easier for them to drive the rest of the people crazy. Think about it! They are imaginative enough to spell words hundreds of ways, rather than just one. They get so technical they can drive the fun out of things. They also make you feel silly for not knowing what those buttons on your calculator do.

How would I know? Oh, didn’t I mention that engineering degree getting dusty on the shelf?

Geek Appeal

For Father’s Day, I gave my husband a book to read to our daughter. I’m not sure how amused he was, but it fits today’s topic, so I thought I’d give the authors a plug.

Science Verse is a fun picture book with rhymes about various things science-related. Some of them are taken off known songs or poems (Glory, glory, evolution). I just like to see the  take the authors did.

No, I swear I didn’t buy it just because it had the periodic table inside the front cover!

I’m putting the other book by the same authors, Math Curse, on my wishlist! They’re the perfect gifts for those geeky parents who wish to doom their kids, like I do. Wait, did I say that out loud?

Geek Appeal

What do children know of grammar? According to this article, perhaps more than you think.

It talks about innate knowledge of nouns and verbs by the time a child turns two. There is a brain response to incorrectly using the nouns and verbs.

Of course they’re not sure what this will mean for language learning yet, but the implications could be interesting. It also says the toddlers aren’t capable of using the words correctly as they know they’re supposed to be used. What if that isn’t true?

I suppose it will take more research to figure that out.

Geek Appeal

Read more here.

In the never-ending struggle against old age, the newest study says aerobic exercise helps.

So, as I get older, I’m supposed to exercise more. I’m also supposed to do fun puzzles to keep the brain stimulated. Am I missing anything? Oh, yes, and believe I can get to whatever age – with the stipulation that I will be happy, healthy, and mobile!

You’d think if it were that easy, anyone could do it.

Geek Appeal

Check out information on The Art of Science on Nancy Famolari’s blog!

“A Tiny Frozen Microbe May Hold Clues to Extraterrestrial Life”

The article talks about things that might hold more clues to life on other planets from 120 000 years ago. I know it’s always an unanswerable question right now about whether there is or is not life besides us out there.

It’s something that works into my stories. There’s life. Somewhere.

… or at least, it’s there in my head!

Geek Appeal

Excessive Gaming

I think a lot of things taken to excess can cause sleepiness, but I find it interesting that seven hours a week constitutes excessive gaming.

In other news, my friend’s baby shower last weekend had me thinking of fun things to write on onesies. Being me, I tried to make something funny and also fitting for the child. I know my daughter is doomed(?) to geekdom, and my friend’s son will be, too, most likely.

On the front:
“Nerd in Training”

On the back:
Several equations, such as E=mc^2. I wrote most of the Pythagorean theorem, but I had trouble remembering exactly how it went. Not that I wrote it wrong, just that it’s usually shown with certain symbols, and I didn’t use them.

My husband rattled it off to me when I proudly told him about the onesie. I almost had it. It’s not like I screwed up the units for gravity or anything. (That one I nailed.) I just don’t remember the last time I used it. And when you stop using something, you might forget.

I need to put up little memory boards on the walls in my office!

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