Sam’s summer tour, day 12: Ixonia to Madison

After 12 days and 770 miles in the saddle, our hero's Midwestern tour triumphantly concludes where it started: The Capital City, Madison, Wisconsin. I'm still easing my way slowly back into civilization. After 11 nights sleeping outdoors and 12 solo, sweaty days in the saddle, a roof over my head and human interaction both feel... Continue Reading →

Support visionary research

Friends, countrymen, Americans, lend me your...eyes? I'm not writing to bury Caesar nor to praise him. In fact, the unfortunate emperor has very little to do with the point of today's post, except for one character trait that the rockin' roman had in abundance: AMBITION.      Ambition is a powerful force. Although good old Julius' appetites tended... Continue Reading →

The quantified self…or how do you measure a fool’s progress?

Data are a systematic representation of observations about reality. "Raw data" is an oxymoron. Every dataset has some underlying agenda--selecting which parameters to measure, which to ignore, and how to present results constructs a narrative, whether evaluating if Paxil is safe and effective for teens or deciding which state is the worst in the nation for African-American youth. We're living in the... Continue Reading →

What do mechanical engineers do in Wisconsin

One of my gigs here in wonderful Wisconsin is as a science writing intern/mad scientist for the College of Engineering at UW-Madison. The mechanical engineering department just hired four fantastically interesting new faculty members, and I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing each one. It turns out that Mechanical engineers do LOTS of different things: from 3D... Continue Reading →

Mad about MadTown

Hello from the cheesiest place on Earth! When we last spoke, I was packing all of my possessions into a one-way rental car and blasting off from my happy hometown into parts unknown... Two days on the road later, after an ungodly amount of gas-station coffee guzzled, innumerable sticks of trident gum masticated, and an... Continue Reading →

Turning to the next chapter

Hello from the future, brave and beautiful human beings!Even though my Ph.D. is in microbiology, and the very thought of physics makes me break out in anxiety hives, I think I've discovered the secret to time travel and special relativity; this summer FLEW by in the very blink of an eye. I'm shocked that it's... Continue Reading →

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