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!


By far the coolest projects we see are those dealing with high voltages and deep vacuums. Vacuum tubes of all types fall into this category, as do the electron microscopes we see from time to time. The king of all vacuum and electron hacks is the Farnsworth Fusor, a machine that will both transmute the elements and bathe you in neutrons. Fun stuff, and [Daniel] has a great tutorial for building your own.

[Dan]’s fusor is surprisingly simple to make. Obviously, the most important part is the vacuum chamber which in this build is based around a glass oil cup cylinder. With just a few roughly machined parts – the only tool needed to make the metal plates is a drill press – it can hold a low enough vacuum to contain a star in a jar.

For reasons of safety and sanity, [Dan] isn’t running his fusor at…

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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

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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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