Tag Archives: Science

2013 ‘Life more Abundant’

2013 has been an amazing year. I can’t help but summarize all the amazing ups and downs, if only for my own reflection. Take a stroll with me won’t you?

The year started off good my AHA funding which paid for most of my salary for the previous two years had just ended, and I had secured a post-doc position to begin as soon as August 1st, pending the completion of my degree.

Started Blogging on Not-Dot – Everyone needs an outlet. I’d always wanted to blog, and I needed a new place to share my creative writing.

$5,000 in car repairs! – Yeah that set the budget back. Catalytic converter, tires, radiator etc etc.

Started blogging as a writer on ‘The J. Aurel Guay Archive’ – Blogging was fun, why not two blogs? The Archive was set up to segregate the fun steampunk and art interests from my writing so as to give a more professional appearance. Who knows maybe I’ll get published at some point? It was on this blog that I reviewed ‘Mechanized Masterpieces’ and made the pivotal connections that would later enable my fiction writing.

Jacob learned to ride without training wheels! – We went on so many great bike rides this summer, I’m so grateful for my fun-loving and active bride that gets us all out and adventuring!

Midsummer I submitted and won a place in Xchyler Publishing’s Anthology contest! I would be a published writer by fall!!

F32 application  – In August I submitted my first F32 application, with Dr. Levin. His research is fascinating and breaking new ground in developmental biology and regeneration! Sadly, it was about this time I also realized I would not be able to graduate in time to accept the position he had for me (unless the F32 was awarded).

1st place presentation – I’d been vying for first place in the annual grad school presentation competition. I finally made it this year! Woot!

Alopecia – So maybe there was a little stress over getting my first author paper together, graduating, re-securing a postdoc positioin etc. Who needs facial hair? I couldn’t grow a proper beard to begin with so, whatever. . .

First author paper submitted in early October! – With much angst and only one moderate panic attack my first author paper was finally submitted! What a relief that was! Unfortunately, it was not accepted at JCI, or at Nature Communications, or at JASN. . .

Short story published – Halloween saw my first publication as a fiction author for my story ‘The Death of Dr. Marcus Wells’ in ‘Shades and Shadows: A Paranormal Anthology

Remember that F32 application for my future postdoc? Yeah, that didn’t get funded. . . But Dr. Levin wants to talk about resubmitting, so that’s good right?

Snowboarding again after 12 years! – My beloved bride convinced me to go snowboarding once again at at Squaw Mountain where we first learned and had many, many slope side dates. I couldn’t believe that it all came back to me! I was linking turns in seconds and never caught an edge!

1538950_10101219671216458_349298538_nThesis submitted – Just before the year end my final thesis was submitted. 31,000  words, 177 citations, 162 pages, 38 Figures, 8 Tables, and 7 Chapters of anguish. Now if only Kidney International will accept my paper I might have a shot at graduating before my funding runs out . . .

All in all it was an amazing year, my most turbulent, stressful, exciting, and accomplished yet. In 2012 I really committed to trusting Christ to lead me and realize the plans he had for me, ‘…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ (Jer 29:11), and He certainly has. 2013 is very uncertain from a human perspective, but God has move so amazingly in our family I can’t help but believe he will continue to do so and bridge what look from here to be gaps between where we stand and where we need to go. After all C.S. Lewis said it best when he said He was the ‘master bridge builder’, who bridged the gap from my sinful condemned position to grace, forgiveness and peace with Him.

Here’s to another year of ‘Life more abundant’ John 10:10


Do It Yourself Nuclear Fusion

This is not photoshop, its a DIY ‘Star in a jar’. AMAZING!

Who knew there was so much ‘stuff’ in space?


This is a great update from Wired Science about our favorite space probe Voyager 1 (V’Ger) and how it is baffling scientists.  Even though I’ve written science fiction based on solar winds and ion flows I didn’t know they were real till I read this report.  It seems that there are predicted regions between and around solar systems where different energies flow and interact.  Interestingly, the data coming back from V’Ger is not at all what scientists predicted.

Intergalactic researchers had a map of what they thought the boundaries between our solar wind and the galactic cosmic rays would look like, but they are wrong.  Our protective solar wind died of much more quickly than anticipated and, even more unexpected, the galactic cosmic rays are not coming from random sides, but seem to come mainly from one direction…

This fuels the scifi part of my brain.  What else could they be wrong about?  What else will they find when V’Ger makes its way further outside our solar system.  Could interstellar travel be closer than we think?

(OK, OK so V’Ger was actually Voyager 6.  Give me a break, I’m a nerd not a Trekkie.)


The Great Pterosaur Makeover – NatGeo

Awesomsauce!  I so wish I could have seen these beasts in action!

Mix-it-up Monday?

Wired Science put up a fun gallery of wished for hybrid animals sketched by the Science Illustration program at CSU, Monterey Bay. Fun stuff!

Lessons from a Recovering Postdoc – Benchfly

Hi. My name’s Belle. And I’m a recovering postdoc.

Maybe you think it will never happen to you. You were a successful graduate student. You got along with your dissertation adviser and your committee members. Your project progressed, and when it was stalled, you had something else to work on. You worked, you published, you defended, and you moved to the postdoc position of your dreams.

Then one day–maybe three, six, nine months later–you wake up to find that the dream is a distant memory. You are tired, angry, bitter, depressed… You have turned into the disgruntledoc that you swore you’d never become.

Something to keep in mind this winter…  Thank you Benchfly

Buy me anything from ThinkGeek.com

I’ve got a lot of geeky followers and just wanted to make sure everyone knew of this amazing online store. No, I’m not being paid to say this. Every time I visit ThinkGeek I find myself saying “That is awesome!”. From the ‘all-edges brownie pan’ to working laser projected keyboards ThinkGeek has everything for the Nerd in your life. Here’s a sampling of the awesome: Continue reading

Terrifying Biomimetic Robots

There’s a series of amazing REAL robots revealed in this article from WIRED.  Salamanders that swim and walk, Quadrapeds that can pick up and throw cinder blocks (not kidding).  Not to mention the (not terribly useful but cool looking) Queen of Blades contraption show above.  Go check it out, we need to be prepared for the impending robot uprising…

Time Crystals and Perpetual Motion

I don’t have time to write this up properly, but its too awesome not to share.

A theoretical physicist is postulating that a crystal could be made which rotates in space infinitely without energy.  He is drawing a relationship between the finite coordinates in which a molecule can reside in a crystal and hypothetically finite  ‘time coordinate’s in which the crystal structure could exist.  The implication would be a sort of perpetual motion  machine but on an impractical scale, and would totally defy the current theories on physics. Just read it.

Insecure Scientists Study Facial Hair



Male scientists aren’t known for being the most ‘manly’ of men and it is my suspicion that it was not strictly an interest in human sexual selection that motivated this study

The idea was simple, get a bunch of guys and take pictures of them as their facial hair progressed from ‘Baby Face’ to ‘Grizzly Adams’.  Then have a bunch of people rate each image on attractiveness and other perceptions.  Careful analysis of the results should tell the average guy the how much facial hair to grow to attract the average lady.  It should likewise tell us stubbly-challenged researchers how disadvantaged we are, thereby helping us gauge on what level of desperation we need to operate.

The results?  Not good for us baby-facers…  The difference between Baby-Face and the Short Stubble ‘Sully’ look (RE: Dr. Quinn) was marginal in most cases, with the exception that more facial hair tended to correlate with higher masculinity across the board.  Damn.  More hair also trended with better perceived parenting skills, which makes some sense if you assume facial hair also trends with physical and mental maturity (it doesn’t).

On the ‘Attractivness’ scale the models over all scored dismally low.  That’s what happens when you use yourself as a data point in your own project…  However, assuming that the general ugliness of the models didn’t skew the study, it seems that ‘Heavy Stubble’ Wolf-man was rated the most attractive.  So, the short stubble look that is so popular right now is off my at least 5 millimeters maybe 10, at least among the women studied (which may or may not have included the scientists’ Moms).

The bottom line?  I’m glad that my beautiful bride hates facial hair of any kind.  She’s an outlier, thank goodness.  Otherwise I’d have to invest in a lot of Rogaine for my face and spend a lot more in razors than my current thrice weekly shave currently requires.

Thanks ScienceNow for reaffirming our fears

Because, Unicorns.

Adventures in Parenting, Family Blending, Loving, and Living.

Theo Taylor

Theo Taylor is a writer, fitness freak and college student who has been published by Thought Catalog, Asimov's and Aphelion. He writes star spanning science fiction and monster filled high fantasy. His debut novel ROGUE COSMOS will release in August, 2015. If he's not reading or writing, check the gym. He's almost always in the gym.

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