Friday, June 24, 2011

Sacre bleu! Je suis terrible!

Let me begin this post with an apology: I know that you have been on the edge of your seats, waiting for me to post from last Friday (not really, you had Pottermore to keep you anxious) and unfortunately I have been  busy at work this week... go figure.

With that being said, I am going to continue with my SciFri post for the day and hopefully I will be able to work on post this weekend that will be automatically posted next week. We shall see.

From the beginning of time, people have been trying to amass energy - whether this was from food that was gathered and distributed or finding sticks for firewood. Moving forward through history, various physical laws and natural resources were manipulated in order to lighten the burden of kinetic energy expense on humans - domesticated animals, wheels, eventually hydraulic, coal, natural gas, etc.

Use of these various forms of energy has exponentially increased since the mid-1850s and has increasingly come under scrutiny as the main contributing factor to global climate change and cataclysmic natural disasters. Most of the efforts made to combat the (over)use of non-renewable resources focus on fuel used for transportation and the generation and consumption of electricity. However, there seems to be a disconnect between the masses that want to see a decrease in energy consumption and their perception of what the energy is actually powering - a lot of consumption woes are rooted in food production and preparation, as well as packaging and material production/manufacturing.

There is often talk of energy shortage, that eventually these resources will run out because we our use vastly overshadows its natural production. It is also apparent that we produce and use a lot of energy but don't enjoy it (i.e. heat for your house or leaving lights on when you aren't home, leaving you phone charger plugged into the wall even though you aren't using it).



Every single thing you do requires energy. I'm not going to get in to it but it's wild. But what if we could harness the energy that we produce doing the same boring tasks every day and power the electronics we use? Researchers in Australia are working on developing a film that could be placed on various devices, that when touched, would produce energy to charge the device. Every time you touch the film, whether on your touch-screen device or while typing, you create electricity that can power the device. In the same vein as the hand-crank laptop or the energy-harnessing soccer ball, this could be revolutionary in providing technological resources for underprivileged communities and for minimizing the impact of energy used by electronics. 

If there were a pedometer for keystrokes, I probably type like... 2 miles a day. Do  you know how much energy that would be?!?! What if you could store it in something like an external hard drive and use it to power other things in your home? What products would you integrate this technology into and what devices would you power?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fan Outcry Friday


After an outcry from my followers I am debating whether or not to continue with my original plan of SciFri. While I thought that it was a catchy theme for Fridays I was informed that it was "played out" by NPR Science Fridays.

And here I was, thinking I was catchy and hip...

I've made the executive decisions to let the follows decide what I should write about on Fridays. I will take suggestions and if I don't receive any good suggestions then I will pick a topic at random to expound upon.

I'm the decider!

Now... for the post.

It was recently announce that researchers have developed an HIV-prevention gel that not only decreases transmission of the disease by 39% but also heightens sexual pleasure.

Now you're thinking:  "Oh God! First real post and she going for this scandalous media filler story?!" But consider the following...

What if this gel were to get FDA approval, received the right marketing and become a smashing success? The consumer is not only protecting themselves from contracting HIV (not sexy) but also increasing his or her own enjoyment (very sexy)!

For the most part, people are (for whatever reason) highly unmotivated to do things that are good for themselves. People don't eat right, they smoke, do drugs, binge, purge... you name it. So how what  scientifically-aided or psychological tricks can we come up with to get people to do the right thing?

I have no problem tricking people into doing what is best for them but what are the best ways to do so? Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the advertising agency currently working with Bolthouse Farms are currently seeking to change of baby carrots with a new campaign.

Have you seen this type of psychological jiggering work? Do you think it could work to cultivate other good habits? Drop me a line and let me know!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

We want people who: have a blog!

While job hunting at work, I came across a posting for an interesting position as an account manager for a web-based business emphasizing that qualified applicants should have a blog in addition to many other professional requirements.

Well shiiiitttt..... 


I continued to ponder the pros and cons of obtaining and maintaining a blog so that people could easily access my ... what would they access? What could I possibly have to say that hasn't already been said on Huffington Post?

Then I spoke to my friend Laura, who was recently offered at a position at a company I love and she said of all people I should have a blog.

You know what? YOU'RE RIGHT!


I AM well equipped to write and update a blog full of useful information using my critical thinking skills that I honed at one of the top 100 best public universities in the world - that's right, THE WORLD. After writing about the effects of xenophobia in unified Germany on the transplanted Turkish population, a counter-factual retelling of the Battle of Pharsalus, and the effects of political rhetoric on the American perception of welfare this should be a piece of cake!

After literally hours of scouring the internet and finding obscure, but useful, facts about the world around us I would like to present a daily intellectual morsel on one of five themes for each day of the week: Money Mondays, Trending Tuesdays, Wake-Up Wednesdays, Throwback Thursdays, and Sci(ence)Fri(day). I'm really excited about this as I will have my assistants, Dopher Grace and Jameson Rocker, helping me in my discovery of new internet goodness.

Enjoy!