Monday, December 20, 2010

12 Months of Urban Science Adventures! © A Blogging Meme Story

All the cool kids other science bloggers were doing it, so I joined in.  Here is how it works:
Post the link and first sentence from the first blog entry for each month of the past year.
So here goes:

Happy New Year! I know I have been posting less than regularly, but I assure that it is a good sign of my progress on my dissertation
The SnowPocalypse isn't all bad.
I'm going to do something a little extra today - present a research paper to you.
Wow! It's April already.
I graduate next week.
Oh, I love summer!
I love junk food. 
It's Election day in many parts of the United States.
On Wednesday, September 8, 2010, THE Dr. Mae Jemison spoke a room of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educators and advocates at the state of Missouri STEM Summit presented by the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education.
We met in the Ladies Room near the main Auditorium at Bucknell University.
November: Snakes up close
I've got to make a confession.
The golden hues of autumn leaves make me smile.

It reads like a Mad Libs game. A little funny and choppy. 

But I am very happy about this year.  It's been the best, most blessed year of my life. 
Smooches to you all!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Blogging my way to the North Pole.

Send me far, far away...only for a little while.  I'm trying it again*, entering a Quark Expedition Contest to Blog my Way to the North Pole, this time.  No thanks to climate change, the polar regions of our world are shrinking.  The Arctic regions, also known as the North Pole, are the most endangered of the two.
I would love the chance to be your daily blogging correspondent to show and tell you about this majestic ecosystem.

My appeal essay is titled: Following in Matthew Henson's footsteps.  If I win, then that's exactly what I will be doing, following in the footsteps of one of the world's greatest explorers, Matthew Henson.  He is known as the first African-American to reach the North Pole, along with 12 others including Robert Peary.

Mr. Henson. If I had Photoshop skills, I'd make a duplicate image next to him with my round face.  But can't you just see me bundled up like this.  Too cool! Literally and figuratively.
*Last year, I entered the Quark Expedition Contest to Blog my way to the South Pole. Thanks to great online supporters like Cynthia from Shimmy in My Spirit, Martin Lindsey from MartyBLOGs, the Blogging While Brown community, and my tweeps from Twitter. I had an amazing showing: 8th place out of 800 entries!

With your support, I could do equally as well again, if not better. Click here to vote.

Cynthia from Shimmy in My Spirit made this card for my Antarctic campaign. Cute, ain't it?
 I'll give Quark some props for revising the voting regime.  It's alot better than before.  You simply register with a valid email and click on the button to vote for me, and you can leave comments, now.  I really like that part. You can also vote for 4 additional people. The top 5 finalist are considered by a panel of judges and the winner they select will go on one amazing cruise.  I think this method is alot better and more fair than before. 

The voting continues until February 15, 2011 12 noon EST. The cruise expedition will take place June 23 - July 7, 2011 and includes visiting Helsinki, Finland and Murmansk, Russia before boarding a huge nuclear powered icebreaker cruise ship. Awesomeness!

So, please help me get there.  Vote for me and help me spread the news.  I appreciate it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Simply Red


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Educational Gift Giving Ideas for the Holidays

Happy Holidays!

It’s that time of year for good cheer, celebrating, and holiday parties. I especially love attending networking holiday parties. And in the spirit of the holidays, many of these parties have charitable notions. Some ask for food donations, or to adopt-an-angel/family/child/senior. I love these themes.

However, my time serving and working in social service really forced me to confront the objectives of these gift-giving soirees. I mean, what does it mean to give a family requesting assistance with their utility bills a brand new game system or iPod? Something about that is not only ironic but completely opposite of the goal of helping families get on their feet. Moreover, I believe the gifts one gives should be meaningful to the giver, too.

When I was younger, and my mother made holiday gift donations, she always provided books. She didn’t want to bother shopping for clothes that might not fit or be appreciated and she hated fighting crowds in the toy aisle. Plus, she’s a big proponent of education so books are the best gift, fits everyone, lasts forever and keep on giving. So when I am asked to bring a toy for a child, I find myself browsing through the book shelves instead of the toy aisles. Moreover, as a scientist interested in sparking the excitement and wonder of nature in youth and adults of all ages, I tend to favor books about science, ecology, and achievement. But I’m biased. I liked books as a kid. I loved reading. I know there are children (and adults) who don’t like to read and might find such a gift insulting. So, I’ve stretched my imagination some, however, I still believe in educational gifts – gifts that inspire creativity and imagination, gifts that foster critical thinking and team work, and gifts that are gender-neutral.

So here’s my list of suggested educational, science/engineering, youth and adult friendly, gender neutral gift ideas.

1. Jigsaw puzzles (but depending on the age, not too many pieces, that could be discouraging). I chose one with North American Animals. I thought that perfectly reflected my values related to environmental education.

2. Rubik’s cube

3. Board games: old-fashioned strategy games like Scrabble, Othello, Connect 4, Memory (for the tots)

4. LEGOs and other building and engineering-inspring games. Did you know that LEGO sponsors all kinds of Educational Competitions?  Sometimes childplay can turn into something awesome.  Legos are the gateway to robotics, engineering, computer science, and technological sciences.

5. Books are still a great idea. Such as the ones I’ve read and reviewed about animals, nature, and environmental science. Also check out the AAAS Science Books & Film Gift Guide 2010 list of science books for all ages. Lots of great titles.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Golden Life

The golden hues of autumn leaves make me smile.

Living my life like it's golden.

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