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Showing posts from September, 2012

Rosalind Franklin - Dark Lady of DNA

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I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I was absolutely terrible at science in school which ended any notion of my becoming a doctor.   Although truthfully I wanted to play a doctor, preferably on a daytime soap, more than I actually wanted to be one.   The smell of formaldehyde still brings back memories of 7 th grade science class when we had to dissect frogs and a fish (my mother had to help me with that one on parent’s day).   I took four years of biology in high school more to avoid taking chemistry than from any real interest.   Despite my obvious lack of aptitude for both science and mathematics, I find women who choose science or math as careers endlessly intriguing. As recently as a few years ago, the President of Harvard University got into hot water for implying that the under-representation of women in science and engineering could be due to a "different availability of aptitude at the high end," and less to patterns of discrimination and socialization

The Passion of Ayn Rand

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Ever since Paul Ryan was announced as Mitt Romney’s running mate, the press has made note of his long time devotion to novelist, screenwriter and philosopher Ayn Rand. In a 2005 speech, Ryan said that he grew up reading Rand’s works “and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and why value systems are, and what my beliefs are.” He added, “There is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism than through her writings and works.” He also claimed that he got involved in public service because of her, and that Atlas Shrugged still informs his views on monetary policy. Well he was a disciple of Ayn Rand; he began to backpedal when his name was thrown began to be bandied about as a possible running mate. Now he says that because of her atheism, and no doubt her stance on abortion, he is no longer such a big fan. Which is kind of funny because it’s not like that’s been a big secret, if you know anything about Ayn Rand. I’ve been meaning to write about

September Book of the Month: The Second Empress

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Title:    The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon's Court Author:   Michelle Moran Publisher: Crown Publishing Group   Publication date: 8/14/2012   Pages: 320 What it's about: After the bloody French Revolution, Emperor Napoleon’s power is absolute. When Marie-Louise, the eighteen year old daughter of the King of Austria, is told that the Emperor has demanded her hand in marriage, her father presents her with a terrible choice: marry the cruel, capricious Napoleon, leaving the man she loves and her home forever, or say no, and plunge her country into war.  Marie-Louise knows what she must do, and she travels to France, determined to be a good wife despite Napoleon’s reputation. But lavish parties greet her in Paris, and at the extravagant French court, she finds many rivals for her husband’s affection, including Napoleon’s first wife, Jos├ęphine, and his sister Pauline, the only woman as ambitious as the emperor himself. Beloved by some and infamous