Monthly Archives: January 2015

The value of being a general science nerd

I have always been, and probably will always be, a science nerd.

I look forward every month to receiving my issue of Scientific American (yes, I still get a hard copy), and often read it cover to cover.  I enjoy learning about scientific advances, and scientific controversies, in other fields.

Being a scientific nerd runs in the family.  My older son is pursuing theater as a career, but is an avid science reader and has an amazing depth and breadth of scientific understanding.  When he is on stage playing a scientist, he is not just reading lines, he really knows what he is talking about.  My daughter is finishing medical school this year.  Professionally, she is surrounded by the science of medicine, but also has a growing menagerie of fresh water and salt water creatures growing in her aquaria at home.   Care for her miniature coral reef and axolotl (a primitive amphibian native to Mexican lakes) has required that she acquire some knowledge of marine biology.  My younger son is a wild-land firefighter who received a master’s degree studying the burning properties of duff (the stuff that accumulates on the ground around a tree in the forest).  It was great fun reading the fire science posters on the walls at the University of Idaho when he was studying there.

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Attention Deficit

I am writing this on a weekend morning. It is really cold outside, and there is nothing on my calendar for a few hours. Instead of doing something productive, I find myself curled up on the couch in front of the fireplace surfing the web on my laptop. I am having no trouble finding totally useless but entertaining sites – a few thoughtful, some silly, and all too many outrageous. I know this is keeping me from more important projects (such as getting our family photos in order or writing a cancer research grant) but I am having a hard time focusing. My wife, who has experienced my channel flicking when I have the TV remote, knows this side of me all too well.

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