Friday, January 27, 2012

Blizzardy blunders, unsurprising scientific results, and words with interesting meanings

I've been having the strangest setbacks, lately! And yes, it did start with the days-long snowstorm that had me literally clearing the streets of my neighborhood with my superhero Lou Ryan and my housemate, Brianade. Here I've zoomed in from about a block away, looking up at one of the two streets that are our only way out of the neighborhood:

jan 144 Kids on the hill

On the upside, a tsunami will never reach us up here! If you think that's something, I didn't actually have a shovel and so had to 'broom' the snow instead:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This is not working the way I'd expected

So, I've been spending a lot of time writing just one post for this blog. Not only have I not completed that task, or any other blog post, I also haven't quite completed my Spanish homework (which I've had a week to do!), I have done zero Spanish with Brianade, the house is a mess (then again, I don't get much help cleaning it), I haven't checked my email at all, I haven't applied to any jobs, and I think my library books might actually be overdue for the first time!

Gasp! What horrors my life has become! Not only that, but today I wasn't able to make it to the gym because the neighborhood kids have used their pesky sleds to turn the only streets that lead out of here into insurmountable ice slopes, so I've spent most of the day trying to get some exercise.
` I say 'trying to' because after shoveling some snow off the street, "skiing" down a giant hill to get to the store and then trudging up it again, doing hundreds of jumping jacks, sit-ups, and push-ups, and spending hours "racing" our piece-of-junk stationary bike, both forwards and backwards, I feel as though I should be getting on my hiking boots and going for a jog!
` Or at least drink the vodka we bought today in order to replace the nearly-two fifths that had mysteriously disappeared overnight. Can you believe only one person was responsible for this feat?

It's funny, I used to literally sit around for twelve hours a day and write, because I was too messed up to actually go outside or do anything normal, and would put together about one post per day! Now that I'm considerably more functional and can write more coherently, and of course my quality of life is orders of magnitude better, yet I can't even seem to devote enough time to complete just one humongous post -- or today, even sit down to speak of!

Am I mad to think I'll ever become a science writer, of any kind? I'll say this; I'm going to be shoveling more snow than everybody else, tomorrow, even if I don't actually have a snow shovel!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I can't escape the pebbles!

While I'm working on something new and original, I thought I would present one of my old articles, which I wrote as more of an exercise of style than anything.
` Back in 2006, when my life was only beginning to consist of more than just blogging, most of my "science-oriented articles" were the result of re-writing something I read on and then saying, "Look at what I read at!"

How creative, you may say sarcastically. Nevertheless, the resulting text was often a good example of my ability to put words together in a different way from other people.
` One example I keep remembering (for no clear reason) was the time I strove to make the erosion of small rocks seem interesting -- even more interesting than it had been presented to me.

According to my blog Science, Wackmobiles and Spurious Brainchildren, I dug up a Nature News article on the topic and passed along the information to my few loyal readers who otherwise may never have heard of such exciting and thrilling scientific wonders as pebble formation.
` This is that article, with minor edits, published not long after I had just begun to live (under a then-new slumlord) with superhero Lou Ryan, on Thursday, August 3, 2006, at 11:26 a.m.:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Even More Brilliant Idea: Treat Writing Like a Job!

I have not been back in two days with something special as I had intended/expected, which in retrospect does not surprise me, considering that I've only spent a half hour each day writing something which may, in my former (and slower) years, would have taken me days to write.

Lou Ryan, my superhero (and most productive person I know), suggested that I actually start writing at eight in the morning and keep going for hours, which is what people with writing jobs do.

You know, he just may be onto something. It didn't occur to me before, since my office is occupied until about eleven in the morning, but since I have a laptop, I can just take it with me.

Anyway, it's an emergency, Lou's entire body is cramping up, I have to go get him some medical help. Later.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Brilliant Idea: I can use this blog TO SHOW OFF!

You may ask: Isn't that what blogs are for? What I mean is, My Man Lou Ryan has given me this great idea: Use this blog to show editors what I'm made of -- portfolio-building, in other words.

Great, now all's I have to do is WRITE SOMETHING and it'll be so!

Yesterday, I was going to write about Galileo's fight to promote the theory of the aforementioned Sun-Go-Round, but my research kept being interrupted by the necessity of breathing in deep and coughing as loudly and annoyingly as possible in order to scratch my trachea.
` So then I got the idea that it would be better to write about Why Sinus Infections Go South, specifically into the bronchial tubes. And then I thought -- why all this thinking?

Then it occurred to me -- I didn't worry about figuring out what to write about in bygone years, because there's so much I CAN write about. What I didn't count on was that finding topics to write about is easy, but deciding which one to choose is difficult.
` This actually wasn't much of a problem in my early blogging days because I had all day to write about practically every topic I felt was worthy. As time went on, and my life became less focused on blogging, I would wind up starting far more posts than I could finish.

In any case, I've spent the day thus far cleaning up all the dirty dishes and bags of garbage which magically appear when I'm not feeling well enough to clean much, as well as organizing my own space, getting down to the college to set up a payment plan, and getting to at least a few emails.

So far, so good, but when do I start the actual writing/researching process? Although I can't be writing three posts a day, that doesn't mean that science blogging doesn't have a place in my life -- in my scheduler, I actually made such a time slot in my schedule, between teaching Spanish to Brianade and taking my karate class.

As for right now, Brianade and I best be getting to the gym and the library, but I'll be back in two days with something special!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Thus Marks Another Circuit of the Sun Go Round

This is the bright, shiny, currently somewhat phlegmy (but not phlegmatic!) Spoony Quine, writing to you from fabulous Mukilteo, Washington -- Land Where the Sun Don't Shine In The Winter, But Fries Us All Damn Day in the Summer!

Today starts both a new calendar year, and a new blog, this one to be chock-full of mad science-writing, wackmobiles, spurious brainchildren, and of course, late-night partying complete with snacks, various computational devices rocking the house via the BOSE speakers, motion-blur sickness, and digitally-enhanced colors!

nvdec 052 Successfully driven everyone else out of the room!

New Years' -- yet another excuse to dance like a mad science writer! Truth be told, I wasn't the only one, but the other non-floorbound housemates were too embarrassed to be in the same photo.