Careers in Science: Kris Pearson, Custom/OEM Production Manager

It began at a sink. Advancing from Dishwasher to Production Manager might seem like an unusual career path, but after speaking with Kris Pearson, the Custom/OEM Production Manager at Promega, it appears perfectly ordinary. I was thrilled to meet with her and discuss both the broad strokes and gritty details of working in Custom/OEM Manufacturing. Continue reading “Careers in Science: Kris Pearson, Custom/OEM Production Manager”

Ghosts

buddhabrot fractal image
Formless, recursive and abstract, it can be tough to wrestle the ghosts of the conscious mind.

Please believe me when I say this is the hardest thing I’ve done. Typing this sentence might as well be lifting a boulder, and the next could be even heavier. Before this, the hardest thing I’d done was say “good morning” to co-workers, and before that, it was simply getting out of bed.

Just about the only thing I find easy is going to bed, but sleeping is a different story. Every night I lie down, unsure if I’ll fall asleep within seconds and wake what seems like moments later, swatting aimlessly at my alarm clock, or if I’ll remain awake, tired beyond belief but some mysterious finger in the dyke preventing a flood of sleep from washing over me.

I’m one of the approximately 21 million people in the United States who suffer from major depression. Let me tell you, it’s kind of a bummer. Lying awake at night might sound terrible, but it’s the easiest thing in the world compared to writing a sentence, saying “hello”, smiling. I live each day negotiating a watery fog, often unsure what people tell me, confused about what comes next, and desperate for the energy to participate in the world.

This isn’t an essay asking for sympathy; receiving pity from others would only make me feel worse. Besides, as a function of suffering from depression, I’m convinced nobody is reading this, that nobody is going to read this. This essay is for me. Only by engaging and grappling with this disease in words and in actions can I ever hope to pin it to the ground.

Continue reading “Ghosts”

Toying with Science

This video is an entertaining and instructional look at early developments in microbiology (NOTE: it’s 8 minutes long, so plan accordingly):
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ArusOqt8EM&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

This isn’t the first brickfilm I’ve seen, but it’s definitely one of the most detailed I’ve come across.

The archive of videos at Brickfilm.com is a pretty exhaustive resource for this type of entertainment, but if that’s not your cup of tea, I’d recommend checking out the films of Al Jarnow (readers of a certain age will definitely recognize his work). Also instructive, but in a sly way.

Slowing it Down

Here is a slow-motion video of bullets striking various surfaces. It’s long, but mesmerizing.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfDoQwIAaXg&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0]

A few thoughts:

  1. I know the bullets are likely made of lead and therefore pretty soft, but seeing this action slowed down really illustrates how little separates solids and liquids.
  2. I really, really want a camera that can shoot a million frames per second.

How Magnets Work

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMFPe-DwULM&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1]

This is why I love working with scientists. Always there exists a deeper question, always a further nuance. Feynman’s ability to reject a metaphor absolutely is amazing and fascinating.

This video is seven minutes long. Every second is worth it. (via)

I Believe in Science! Part 1

A Trip Through Improbable Scenarios in Popular Culture

Have you ever wished you could forget something? Not just in a push-it-to-the-back-of-your-mind kind of way, in the sense that you forget where you put your keys or what your login password is. I’m referring to true erasure from your brain. That humiliating memory of wetting your pants in the first grade? Gone forever. Did a string of adolescent cruelties warp your ability to connect with others? What if you could lift them from your psyche forever?

Continue reading “I Believe in Science! Part 1”