Female Scientists

Something I found on Facebook, but I thought it was too cool not to post here. Female scientists don’t get nearly enough credit or publicity.

Science Is Awesome

Here are a few female scientists that you might not have heard of (but definitely should have). We haven’t included Marie Curie, because as much as we all love her, she is the automatic “female scientist” that always springs to mind and we think it’s time we branched out!

1. Ada Lovelace
Analyst, metaphysician, and founder of scientific computing. Read more about her life here: http://bit.ly/V3im
2. Rosalind Franklin
Biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who made critical contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite. She received no credit for her contributions to the discovery of the structure of DNA. More on her life: http://bit.ly/4CJMC0
3. Rachel Carson
Marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. More on her life: http://bit.ly/16f4Hcm
4. Lise Meitner
A physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics. She was part of the team that discovered nuclear fission, but was overlooked for the Nobel Prize in favour of male colleagues. More on her life: http://bit.ly/3js4zk
5. Cecilia Payne
Astronomer and astrophysicist who, in 1925, proposed in her Ph.D. thesis an explanation for the composition of stars in terms of the relative abundances of hydrogen and helium. More on her life: http://bit.ly/n4RNqS
6. Mary Anning
A paleontologist who made many important finds in the Jurassic marine fossil beds at Lyme Regis in Dorset. More on her life: http://bit.ly/rGXKq

female scientists

“Mr. Real” by Carolyn Crane

Okay, so I recently sort of discovered a new author, Carolyn Crane. I say “sort of” because of this book. It was… to say “bad” would be a misnomer. “Unreadable” comes closer. I literally could not read this book. It was too stupid. I originally thought, Hey, I like her other books, the Disillusionist Trilogy, I’ll probably like this one. Sure, the premise is retarded but it sounds retarded in a fun way. Wrong! It was just straight up retarded. Like, horrifyingly bad.

So, the premise is that the main character, Alix (my first hint that it was a bad book. Who spells that with an i?) inherits a house and a bunch of other stuff from her cooky, old aunt when she dies. I say “cooky” because it turns out the lady was a witch, like an actual magic using witch, and not one of the wiccan types who are mostly about being in balance with nature, but who used actual magic and, get this, managed to transfer that magic to a computer somehow. So that anything you click on, using a computer that has that code in it, will magically appear a day later on your front porch. Like I said, the premise sounded really, really stupid, but whatever I was willing to roll with it. Where she really lost me was the heroine, Alix. With an i. Instead of treating this ludicrous macguffin with kid gloves and a healthy dose of suspicion, since it’s a magical freaking computer and last I checked, magic comes with a price, she decides to use it to go shopping. She “orders” a supposedly great outfit, though based on the description you couldn’t pay me to wear it, and an insanely expensive necklace before it comes to her- she should use it to order a man! And not just any man, no no. She should use it to order a tv commercial character who is played by a guy that she met years ago, for a few weeks that she is somehow still half in love with. No, it didn’t make sense to me either. Any of it. Nothing in that previous sentence made any sense to me, but whatever because she goes for it.

The explanation why she should do such a thing is really, really stupid too. It’s not that she’s smart and just did a dumb thing, or just got caught up in the whole, “Hey, I can have whatever I want!” after years of poverty or whatever. No, no. She’s just that kind of person. She’s crazy, she’s wacky, isn’t that just so much fun! She randomly used magical objects that she doesn’t understand for completely selfish reasons! Isn’t she just so wacky and fun? Honestly, in any other book, she would be the first casualty. She’d be the smoking puddle of ooze on the floor that everyone looks at and goes “So now we know not to do that. Thank you, Alix with an i, for that object lesson.” Instead, no no. She’s just so crazy and fun, and so deeply misunderstood. What part of any of what she does make sense, or is in any way a good idea? None of it! Does the book care? No!

I’ll be honest, I didn’t really read the rest of it after that. I flipped around a lot, trying to see if it redeemed itself at some point and it most assuredly did not. The guy shows up and since he’s supposed to be some sort of secret agent in the commercials, he thinks he’s a secret agent there and he seriously wonders whether he should kill her, and then the guy she is inexplicably still half in love with after all this time, after minimal contact, I cannot stress enough how minimal the contact was, they never even met socially, shows up and stuff happens and… I don’t know. I think the fake guy goes crazy or something. There seemed to be some sort of standoff or something. Anyway, yeah, amazingly stupid. I’m actually really put off Carolyn Crane right now. Which is a shame because her Disillusionist Trilogy was actually really good. It had this superhero vibe that I seriously dug. But now I don’t even know if I can read her stuff again. It was that bad. I feel dumber for having read it. I spent actual money on this book. Like actual, factual money. And I ordered it online, so it had to be shipped to me. So that’s even more money and some poor package deliverer’s time. Oh god.

Terry Pratchett Quote

Okay, so if you’ve read my previous post you’ll know that I mentioned a Terry Pratchett idea that is mentioned several times in his books and can be boiled down simply to- “Be yourself. As hard as you can.” Well, I decided I might as well be thorough and tracked one down. It’s a bit lengthy, but I like it and I feel like it says pretty much everything that needs to be said. It’s from Good Omens, which was cowritten by him and Neil Gaiman.

“Then something very strange happened to (Mary)… She discovered, under layers of silliness and eagerness to please, Mary Hodges. She found it quite easy to interpret builders’ estimates and do VAT calculations. She’d got some books from the library, and found finance to be both interesting and uncomplicated. She’d stopped reading the kind of women’s magazine that talks about romance and knitting and started reading the kind of women’s magazine that talked about orgasms, but apart from making a mental note to have one if ever the occasion presented itself she dismissed them as only romance and knitting in a new form. So she’d started reading the kind of magazine that talked about mergers.

After much thought, she’d bought a small home computer from an amused and condescending young dealer in Norton. After a crowded weekend, she took it back. Not, as he thought when she walked back into the shop, to have a plug put on it, but because it didn’t have a 387 co-processor. That bit he understood- he was a dealer, after all,  and could understand quite long words- but after that the conversation rapidly went downhill from his point of view. Mary Hodges produced yet more magazines. most of them had the term “PC” somewhere in their title, and many of them had articles and reviews that she had circled carefully in red ink.

She read about New Women. She hadn’t ever realized that she was an Old Woman, but after some though she decided that titles like that were all one with the romance and the knitting and the orgasms, and the really important thing to be was yourself, just as hard as you could.”

Repost: Being Happy in Yourself

I found this on Yahoo and had to share, because this woman makes a serious point. There is always something that’s wrong, that isn’t perfect enough. You need to be tall and statuesque, no- you need to be petite and 95 lbs. You need to have high cheekbones, no- full lips, no- sleepy eyes, no- you need wide doe eyes. You need a mysterious Mona Lisa smile, no- you need a wide vivacios smile, no- you need a seductive smile. It’s best to be fragile and vulnerable, no- it’s best to be quirky, no- it’s best to be confident and strong, no -it’s best to… blah blah blah. It’s endless. It’s never enough. No matter what you do, who you are, what you look like, it’s never enough, it’s never right. There’s always someone telling you that you should be someone else, shape yourself, body and soul, into someone else. Then you’ll be perfect, then you’ll be right, and then everything will be the fairy tale you see in books, movies and tv shows. Because it’s always that girl who has that indefinable combination that gets the happily ever after, that gets the guy, the career and the babies, who has all her dreams come true, and it’s always the imperfect characters who fall by the wayside, and are the object lessons for that indefinably perfect woman. These are lessons that we are taught through everything we touch from the moment we are born, lessons that are reinforced during school, when it’s the pretty, skinny, perfect girls in middle school and high school getting all the guys and going to all the parties.

There is no perfect and there is no right. Believe it or not, I got the best advice I have ever heard about how to be a woman and how to be comfortable in yourself from Terry Pratchett, who is not only a man but also somewhere at least in his 60s, maybe 70s. “The most important thing is to be yourself- as hard as you can.” I would say which book he says that in, but he says it in a couple and I honestly don’t remember which ones specifically. But seriously, that’s it, as far as I can tell, and that’s what she’s saying here. Just be yourself, as hard as you can. Simple and incredibly difficult, like all the best advice is.

What Losing 180 Pounds Really Does to Your Body — & Your Mind

By | Healthy LivingTue, Mar 19, 2013 12:39 PM EDT

By Jen Larsen, Refinery29

Jen Larsen is a fiercely real, funny, and honest writer. In her new book, Stranger Here: How Weight-Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed with My Head, she explains how losing 180 pounds and getting skinny wasn’t all she thought it would be. Here, in an essay for R29, she explains what it’s like to live through surgery – with unexpected results.

The doctor said, “It’ll be nice to be able to walk down the aisle of an airplane, right? To fit down the aisle, and to not see that look of horror when someone sees you coming.”
He said that because I weighed 300 pounds. He said that because he thought that all I wanted in life was to not be that creeping horror, shuffling sideways to the back of the plane, trying not to make eye contact with anyone because I didn’t want to see their relief when I passed by. Trying not to make eye contact with the person in my row because I didn’t want to see horror, and I really didn’t want to see pity, and I really didn’t want someone to lean over and explain to me that I was fat and that there are things I could do about it. Like water and jogging, or carrots and the Thighmaster.

He said that like it was a fact about all fat people. All fat people hate themselves. All fat people know that what’s good in life is really only accessible to thin people. Thin is the most important variable in of life’s equations. Thin equals happy, thin equals beautiful, thin equals a life worth living.

The most embarrassing fact of my life – and oh, how many embarrassing facts there are in my life – is that it was true. I was angry at him for saying it, for buying into the cliché of the fat person. For assuming that my life would transform immediately. Because he was saying all the things I had secretly thought. He was reinforcing all the secret fantasies I had about the way everything about me would be more amenable and lovable and acceptable to the whole rest of the world. To everyone on airplanes and everyone in my life. To myself. When I lost all the weight. When I got weight loss surgery.

He was my psychological consultant, the doctor who was tasked with clearing me for surgery. He signed off my mental and emotional fitness to get a surgery that I genuinely believed was going to save my life. Not just physically – though I was actually healthy – but emotionally.

And, three months later I got weight loss surgery. Seven months later I had lost over a hundred pounds; a year and a half from my surgery date, I had lost about 180 pounds. I lost a lot of things along with the weight. I lost my sense of self. My sense of proportion. My sense of dignity, of maturity, of control. I was skinny, but my life wasn’t suddenly and magically perfect-and that completely astonished me. It sounds ridiculous, having really fallen for the fairy tale of weight loss. But I had fallen for it completely, and then was blinded by the egregious lack of a happily ever after.

The nature of the weight loss surgery I got is that you can completely ignore the things the doctors tell you to do. They say, exercise, don’t drink, don’t smoke, eat well. And you don’t bother to do any of that, but still lose weight. You still lose every pound you want to lose, and then some.

The problem was that I lost all those pounds, but I didn’t have to change a thing about my self. I didn’t have to address any of the emotional or psychological issues. I didn’t have to figure out why I had been depressed – why I was still so, so depressed, despite the fact that the one thing I thought had been ruining my life was suddenly gone.

I was skinny, finally, and I was fascinated by the physicality of it. It was like my skeleton had floated up to the surface from the bottom of a murky pond. I had muscles and tendons and bones and in the shower I’d soap the ridges of my ribs, the knobs of my hipbones, and be amazed to make their acquaintance. It wasn’t pretty-I lost so much weight that I didn’t look like myself, and then I lost past that, to the point where I looked like a sick stranger. Briefly, I was a size two. Sometimes I was disappointed that I couldn’t be a size zero.

It doesn’t go away, you see. I thought that my body was wrong when I was obese; I thought my body was wrong when I was thin past the point of health. I thought there was something wrong with my body whatever I looked like, because there’s always just one more thing to fix before I look perfect, feel good in bed with hands on my body, feel sexy in a dress or a bathing suit, feel comfortable in my skin.

I felt helpless before. I tried to dodge out of the feeling by getting weight loss surgery, and now I’m angry. That I wasn’t fixed, yes. But also that so many people deal with this, this exact and pervasive struggle at whatever size they are, whatever shape, whatever they do. That we’re not good enough, with the implication that the best we have to offer to the world is an appropriately sized pair of jeans.

Magazine articles about body image talk about loving yourself despite your flaws. Sometimes they get really radical and they talk about loving yourself because of your flaws, and that is supposed to be empowering. And it makes me mad, because we’re talking about flaws here. A body that doesn’t look like the body of a Victoria’s Secret model is a flawed factory reject. My thighs aren’t the thighs of a figure skater, so they’re not good enough, but I should love the flubby little things anyway because I am so incredibly self-compassionate.

I want this: I want to say, don’t love yourself even though you’re not perfect – love yourself because you have a body and it’s worth loving and it is perfect. Be healthy, which is perfect at whatever size healthy is and at whatever size happy is. And of course that’s totally easy and I have just caused a revolution in body image. Let’s all go home now.

Right. So, I don’t know what the answer is, and I don’t know how to make it happen, and I don’t know what to do except keep yelling about it, wherever I can. Saying there’s no magic number, and there’s no perfect size – and of course you know that, but we have to keep telling each other because it’s hard to remember sometimes. We have to keep saying it. We have to figure out how to believe it.

http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/losing-180-pounds-really-does-body-8212-160-163900419.html

Awesome Bookshelves

Thought I’d mix things up a little and instead of just straight up libraries, I would show the awesome bookshelves I’ve found.

tumblr_lzqbnddzwD1qgbhido1_500

It is just too freaking cute. I can’t get over it.

tumblr_llwj1yzOV21qzupj0o1_500

It’s so disorganized and crazy, I just love it. Not sure I would have it, but I do love it.

library53

This is cool but seems dangerous. I wouldn’t be able to walk in front of it without worrying about being crushed. Still, talk about your conversation piece.

library50

I’m gonna have to make this for my niece

library32

library27

This one hurts my head a little but still…

library12

On the one hand, this is awesome. On the other, they killed a piano to make it. I’m torn, I’m truly torn.

library7

603543_475317165819406_1959617388_n

What’s awesome about this is that it’s so cool and can be so easily done with stuff from Home Depot.

602860_446807558726625_1929748350_n

Yes, they seem to be using it more as utility storage, but still, the point remains.

559879_405136986165911_1328523658_n

There are no books on it, but I think we can all picture our libraries on that bad boy.

543258_478095028889528_1229228857_n

If I had to pick books to put on here, I’d have to go with murder mystery. Maybe Stephen King.

531595_404849259572702_17502020_n

How freaking badass is this?!

528091_538132429552454_163080140_n

Some of the books are diagonal or sideways, and yet I don’t care.

484354_279028422195879_1235949591_n

404233_377776312235312_1407048726_n

It just makes you smile…

74538_428528640554517_1573522773_n

And I saved the best for last

“Grimm”

Grimm-Season-2-350x262

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this show on NBC called “Grimm.” It’s pretty cool and, up until this season, I would have called it one of my favorite shows. It’s about.. how do I describe this. Okay, well imagine that all the old fairy tales are real. That the Big Bad Wolf and so on are actually real, it’s just the story got mixed up a little over the years. It’s like that, except the creatures can like shift, sort of. It’s hard to explain. I tracked down this video that sort of, kind of, halfway explains what’s been going on with this show. It’s not the one that I was looking for, but it’ll have to do.
http://www.nbc.com/grimm/video/nick-and-monroe-a-true-bromance/n31290/

Okay, so anyway, on to my rant and my main point now that you have some vague idea of the world I’m talking about. So, Nick, that’s the Grimm’s name btw, in case that wasn’t covered, has this girlfriend, Juliette. Juliette sucks. Like, I have been watching this show for it’s entire season and a half run, from the beginning, and I have yet to see one real redeeming value to this chick. She’s just… blah. Bland. Boring. A little grating for all her boring- ness. She’s useless! Everyone else in the show is running around, getting in fights, helping to save the day and she does nothing!
Now listen, I tried really, really hard to like her the first season. I figured, hey maybe the writers are just having an especially hard time getting into her head or something. Maybe, when she finds out about Nick being a Grimm then all of a sudden she’ll explode with usefullness. I mean, she is a vet, I figured if nothing else she can provide medical care for the wessen (the creatures) that get hurt or sick from time to time. But nope. Not only did she not believe Nick when he told her, which to be fair I don’t blame her for, it certainly sounds like schizophrenia when you just describe it, but she got herself put under a spell and now is being kind of a bitch. She can’t remember Nick, she’s being SUPER annoying about the whole thing and she’s basically cheating on him. Not so much anymore, since they sort of broke up, but still. She’s been making googly eyes at someone else for like all season and I cannot tell you how super annoying this plotline has been. It has moved at the pace of freaking continental drift, and it seems to be demanding a certain empathy and patience with the character that I simply lack and no one else I’ve talked to who watches the show seems to have either. I don’t care if she’s conflicted! I don’t care if she blah blah blah whatever! Fill in blank. The character has been annoying and useless the entire run of the show. I have only put up with her because she is Nick’s girlfriend, his lady love. She hasn’t been funny, or entertaining, or helpful in solving cases, or saving lives, or illuminating about the wessen world that Nick is trying to figure out or anything. She has simply been Nick’s girlfriend. I was really hoping for a Catwoman situation with her, instead I got Lois Lane. And I was resigned to put up with the freaking Lois Lane, except now she’s not even doing that! She has one job to do in the entire freaking show. Her character has one use, one purpose, and that is it. And she’s not even doing that! I sincerely hope that she gets killed off and we get a better heroine. I truly and sincerely do. Because this is some bullshit. Nick is a kickass Grimm, the other characters are awesome and funny, Monroe is one of my favorite characters on tv, Rosalee is awesome, Hank is very cool, the wessen they show are cool and well done, the plotlines (with the exception of this one) are good. It’s just this one blind spot in this freaking show, that Juliette is so freaking annoying and useless and I don’t see how they can possibly fix that one. I don’t even want them to fix that one. Just scrap the whole thing and start over. Kill off the character and introduce and new love interest. A kickass one. Have a female Grimm blow into town and blow Nick’s mind. Have a really cool wessen chick come into the picture, which would be even better because then there would be all sorts of conflict! Just please, NBC if you’re reading this, I’m begging you- get rid of Juliette.
That said, everyone should totally watch this show it’s awesome. And will be even better once this freaking plotline is over. Which, I’m honestly afraid is one of those season- long plotlines. You know what, catch up next season. That would probably be best.

Awesome Music Video

So if you watched that video, which you totes should, you’ll have noticed it is perhaps the most awesome music video ever. Not to mention being a kick ass song. But seriously! Cage fighting muppets! Beating up teddy bears! How awesome is that?
Now, having seen that- I defy you to listen to that song on the radio after this and not imagine cage fighting muppets. Seriously, you can’t do it, I speak from experience.