How to Write a Research Paper

In high school, I took something called “Experimental Biology” where all we did was to do experiments and write papers. The culmination of this class was a giant “research” paper based on citations we looked up, old-style via microfiche, on the bacteria we grew in the lab. It took forEVER to find 3 articles on the bacteria I was working with. I will never forget the final, which was a set-up question for a paper written on the fly, in research paper style, during the 3 hours’ final exam time we were given. I was lucky. I had many classes that taught me how to write, two of which were in high school (I took creative writing as well). My old alma mater forced all freshmen to take a “How to Write a Paper” class and you had to pass it or else you spent the rest of eternity taking that class until you did. Thank god I passed the first time ’round.

For the people who aren’t so lucky, I found one (of many) helpful sources: Writing a scientific article: A step-by-step guide for beginners. And for those who want more sources, this paper has some citations to check out.

Dyamxion House

I’m always thinking about my next house. Ideally, I’d have enough money to build one that is efficient and robust, but still spacious enough for me to avoid claustrophobia. One idea I came across is Buckminster Fuller’s Dyamxion House.

Bucky designed a home that was heated and cooled by natural means, that made its own power, was earthquake and storm-proof, and made of permanent, engineered materials that required no periodic painting, reroofing, or other maintenance. You could easily change the floor plan as required – squeezing the bedrooms to make the living room bigger for a party, for instance.

Downdraft ventilation drew dust to the baseboards and through filters, greatly reducing the need to vacuum and dust. O-Volving Shelves required no bending; rotating closets brought the clothes to you. The Dymaxion House was to be leased, or priced like an automobile, to be paid off in five years. 

Buckminster Fuller Institute, Dyamxion House

I don’t need a rotating closet, though, as I’m totally fine with walking into my closet (as long as it’s a reasonable space). What would be cool is to start off with manual controls for various needs that can be adapted later on. A design that’s open to design. However, I’m not sure about the cost of this right now. It may be too prohibitive.

What was there before the big bang?

The James Webb Space Telescope came out with images lately. One image of, mind-blowingly, the past – 13 billion years ago.

Light from these galaxies took billions of years to reach us. We are looking back in time to within a billion years after the big bang when viewing the youngest galaxies in this field. The light was stretched by the expansion of the universe to infrared wavelengths that Webb was designed to observe. Researchers will soon begin to learn more about the galaxies’ masses, ages, histories, and compositions.

NASA

I got into a conversation about time, then about the start of the universe, and the Big Bang. Some people have a more conspiracy oriented view on the Big Bang and how life began, but neither could imagine what was around before the Big Bang. So I looked it up. It was an interesting trip.

The fading of that last star will only be the beginning of an infinitely long, dark epoch. All matter will eventually be consumed by monstrous black holes, which in their turn will evaporate away into the dimmest glimmers of light. Space will expand ever outwards until even that dim light becomes too spread out to interact. Activity will cease.

Or will it? Strangely enough, some cosmologists believe a previous, cold dark empty universe like the one which lies in our far future could have been the source of our very own Big Bang.

-BBC

Currently, our experiments can simulate conditions that happened when the universe was roughly one trillionth of a second old. That seems like a ridiculously small number for us, but for a photon — a particle of light — it’s a long time, allowing it to travel the diameter of a proton a trillion times. When talking about the early universe, we must let go of our human standards and intuitions of time.

What happened before the Big Bang?

Even if we’re not going to be alive, why does the death of the universe and how it dies disturb people?

Things I looked up in May

Heller Myotomy (via UCSF Department of Surgery): The Heller myotomy is essentially an esophagomyotomy, the cutting the esophageal sphincter muscle, performed laparoscopically.

Achalasia – Achalasia is a rare disorder of the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach.

Ludwig’s angina – Ludwig’s angina is a form of severe diffuse cellulitis that presents an acute onset and spreads rapidly, bilaterally affecting the submandibular, sublingual and submental spaces resulting in a state of emergency.

odynophagia – Pain on swallowing; painful swallowing

Nutcracker Syndrome

Stevens Johnson syndrome – Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a rare, serious disorder of the skin and mucous membranes. It’s usually a reaction to medication that starts with flu-like symptoms, followed by a painful rash that spreads and blisters. 

Faster Growth, Fairer Growth

The Niskanen Center is an interesting place to read articles supporting a unique viewpoint that rejects the dichotomy of leftist or rightist. So far, their Faster Growth, Fairer Growth Agenda is an interesting read, showing how our past affect our present and how today is not yesterday. Be aware, it’s long.

Over the past several decades, the American Dream has been caught in a pincer movement. On the one hand, deep-seated social forces have combined to slow down growth and accelerate inequality. At the same time, sustained and dramatic changes in public policy have worked not to counteract those forces, but to exacerbate them.

Brink Lindsey and Samuel Hammond from the Niskanen Center

I didn’t know there was a competition for that

Sometimes I come across a sport/activity that one would never think would be at the level of world championship, or even a regular championship for that matter.

The Slippery Stairs Championship

World Chase Tag – yup, the old schoolyard game has a championship.

National Air Guitar Championship – maybe the least surprising, but I didn’t expect that one could even judge air guitar in order to pick a winner.

Dods Championship – looks like the opposite of Olympic diving.

Ostrich racing. I knew you could ride on them!

And my favorite, the medieval knight fights. There are many videos of this new (old) form of MMA. It looks like no matter how strong/big you are, it’s still going to be an exhausting endeavor.