I just read this article from io9: Is the Large Hadron Collider Being Sabotaged from the Future?

Plausible. Quite plausible, and fun to ponder. But, unless time travel in the future works like the method in the Terminator ‘verse, in which you can only go back or forward  in units of whole years and therefore can’t exactly control where you show up in the past, the much easier way to stop us from observing the Higgs boson would be to make sure the LHC were never built. I would think cutting funding or stamping out support is far easier than disabling the machine once it’s built. Plus, we wouldn’t seek to repair the LHC and continue experiments if it didn’t exist. Read the rest of this entry »

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That is, once a year, I “have a bad feeling about this.”                         nanowrimo_icon

As usual, there are four or five stories in my head that need writing. As usual, it’s perfectly clear which two of those will yield a final product worth my time. As usual, it’s also clear which one of the two would be most beneficial to myself and humanity. And as usual, I want to write the unworthy, unbeneficial option I’ve called “Project Opposite of Twilight with Robots Instead of Vampires.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Good Sauce that Went Bad

Posted: October 4, 2009 in cooking
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I have nothing to say about writing today, but I wrote up my lunchtime experience over at Raina Masala.

Marinara in a hurry: Experiment 1.

New Cooking Blog: Raina Masala

Posted: October 1, 2009 in cooking
Tags: , ,

I’ve gone and started yet another blog in an effort to keep this one focused on writing. (Not that it’s very focused there, either.)

http://rainakhatri.blogspot.com/

If you enjoy Indian food, fun drinks, and have an obsession with noodles, I encourage you to check it out. My first post is on the very-important-to-Michiganders topic, Hot Chocolate.

Tomorrow, when I can stop pinching the bridge of my nose from this computer-screen headache, I’ll be looking into styles of scientific writing for my proposal due on Friday. Yes, there are styles, plural. I’m not sure if I should take the passive voice route (“The experiment was carried out and things happened magically on their own with no apparent author”) or the active voice route (“I carried out the experiment and now think I’m a huge deal as I write this paper because I’m using the word ‘I'”). Read the rest of this entry »

The Shame of Acquiring a Twilight book

Posted: September 29, 2009 in Books
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A few months ago, I made the mistake of entering a used bookstore and compounded the mistake by purchasing the first Twilight book.

I was curious, okay? My little cousins talk about nothing but these books, so I figured it was my duty to see if they were suitable for pre-teen girls. Plus, the controversy surrounding the themes of the books sucked me in. Anything that inspires so much vitriol must be worth reading. And it was only five bucks.

So I read it on the plane to DC, hiding the cover behind an issue of SkyMall. The woman sitting next to me saw it anyway. She didn’t speak to me for the whole flight.

To my surprise, I didn’t hate it. The writing could use some work, but overall, it is undeniably a page-turner and Meyer managed to make me care about her idiot character of Bella. Secure in the knowledge that my little cousins were merely having fun with a bookseries and not actually looking for vampire boyfriends to take care of them, I checked Twilight off the list of books I had to read and put it out of my mind.

When I returned home from DC, my mother asked to read the book. I loaned it to her.

And she became obsessed.

“I need the next one.” She handed Twilight back to me. “The next one is New Moon.”

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll look for it at the library.”

“And the one after that,” she said. “The one after that is Eclipse.”

“You want both at the same time?”

“I need both!” I jumped backward from her sudden shout. “Just get them both if they’re both there!”

My school library had them both on the shelf, so I picked them up the next day. Don’t judge me don’t judge me don’t judge me ran through my head as I checked them out. But the boy behind the counter said nothing. Maybe he likes girls who read Twilight.

Two nights of staying up until after midnight later, my mom gave me the books to return.

“I need Breaking Dawn,” she said. “I need it.”

“I didn’t see it at the library.”

“Then I have to buy it!”

“It’s like twenty dollars.”

“Then you’d better get it from the library!”

I looked at my school’s online library catalogue. Breaking Dawn was on loan somewhere else. I checked the other nearby library. 40 holds. I checked the next closest library.

“Eighty-six holds!” I half-shouted at my screen.

Wishing there could be 86 holds on The Giver, Ishmael, 1984, or anything other than a Twilight book, I requested Breaking Dawn from the school library with a sickened click and hoped it would arrive before Mom spent her gas money on it.

I got an email a few days later from the circulation desk informing me that it was ready to pick up. Today, I read through it twice more to make sure I went to the right place and had to do a minimum amount of asking around. Presenting myself to the desk, I said in a hushed voice, “Hi, I need to pick something up.”

The squat librarian waddled over. “I’ll just need your ID, then.”

My ID! I dug it out of my purse, relieved. I didn’t even have to say what I was there for, my covert mission was in the computer!

She squinted at my card, looking between it and the numbers on the reserve shelf. With a creased forehead, she waddled back to the computer and clicked through a few pages. “Hmm,” she said, scanning the shelf again.

“It’s a book. It’ll be thick,” I said as I watched her pull out some thin volumes and VHS tapes.

She flagged down a passing student librarian. “Can you help me find this?”

“BREAKING DAWN. Oh, that’s a TWILIGHT book,” the girl said. “It’ll be really obvious!”

She looked over the shelf. “I don’t see your TWILIGHT book,” she told me.

“There are eighty-six holds on it at the other library,” I said, trying to make it seem like it was popular and therefore not at all odd that I would want it. “Heh, maybe one of the librarians saw it here and checked it out.”

Both librarians looked at me as if that could never, ever happen. “I’ll check for BREAKING DAWN in the curriculum section, maybe it got shelved,” the girl said with a sniff.

I swayed in place awkwardly while the older librarian continued to search the reserve shelf.

“I found it!” the girl shouted from across the library. Students looked up from their laptops and homework. “BREAKING DAWN was next to the other TWILIGHT books.”

Half the room watched as she trotted back to the desk with the book proudly displayed in outstretched hands. Heads gradually lowered back down to their work. She checked it out for me and set the book and my ID on the counter. I shoved them into my bag and fumbled to close it as fast as possible.

“Sorry BREAKING DAWN got shelved somehow,” she said.

“No worries!” I shouted over my shoulder as I ran out the door.

Now, mere hours later, Mom is about a hundred pages in. I suppose I’d better finish Eclipse so I can start Breaking Dawn tomorrow.