The Evolution of Nanotechnology

The Evolution of Nanotechnology

This was a paper I wrote for the Science Writing course I took at RIT in Spring 2004 which was taught by Lisa Hermsen. I discussed the differences between the popular perception and actual scientific reality of nanotechnology.

Imagine if we could create robots the size of ants. Imagine if we could create robots so small that we could not see them. Imagine if these tiny robots took over the world. What if they could interface with humans? This seems to be the theme of nanotechnology but only in popular culture. In reality, nanotechnology actually refers to technological developments on a very, very small scale. Nanotechnology is one of the newest and youngest fields compared to other sciences. There is such a gigantic potential for nanotechnology that we have not even touched upon yet. Unfortunately, nanotechnology is very often confused between reality and fantasy. Its use in popular culture is so misused that the difference between fact and fiction is not crystal clear. Read the rest of this entry

Learning CSS3

Learning CSS3

Yesterday I tried learning some CSS3 on my own in order to convert my kung fu school’s website to be more “modern” in terms of technology. I’ve been using a modified Ocean Mist 2.0 theme and hacked up the CSS a bit to fit what I wanted. In doing so, I noticed that there is lots of CSS rules to create shadows and rounded corners. These were easily the most visible visual elements that I knew CSS3 addresses. I experimented with box-shadow and border-radius on a test site, and the results are positive so far.

Here is the original version which uses its own with a background image:

and this is the version using CSS3:

The visual difference is minimal, and it’s a heck of a lot easier to change a few values in CSS instead multiple properties (and potentially an image file). The CSS3 tags basically eliminates the extra background image inside a div tag and its associated CSS to display the image sprite (I originally used SpriteMe.org to cut down some bytes). I haven’t cleaned up the CSS or image files yet, but I imagine that this will cut down a lot of extra bytes in the whole theme.

What I’m not thrilled about though is maintaining backward compatibility for older browsers. It’s nice that I get to define a single CSS property so I don’t have to use or wrangle a massive CSS file. I don’t like the idea of sticking in vendor prefixes let alone trying to be compliant with a whole gamut of browsers and include some fallback code/mechanisms. That’s partly the reason why I haven’t switched to using CSS3 (aside from my lack of time). Even so, I’m not too, too worried about browser compatibility being a huge problem since the website’s reach is very localized.

This is just an exploration really since there isn’t a huge need for me to do it. What’s in place right now works just fine and across many browsers. There aren’t any issues with that.

A Review of Five Guys Named Moe

A Review of Five Guys Named Moe

The following is a review of the musical Five Guys Named Moe that was performed at Geva Theater in Rochester, NY in the Summer 2006 season. I wrote this for a theater class I was taking in school.

An all-time greatest hit of Geva Theater, Five Guys Named Moe is back on stage for its 10th anniversary. Pamela Hunt directs the Clarke Peters musical with choreography from Mercedes Ellington. The basic plot revolves around Nomax, a guy whose woman left him for broke. Out of his radio pop five guys named Moe who then proceed to console Nomax on the topic of love. The moment we see Nomax and all the various incarnations of Moe, we instantly develop a love for their charming personalities and the life they bring to the stage through Louis Jordan’s music, song, and dance. Read the rest of this entry

Why I Donate to Child’s Play Charity

Why I Donate to Child’s Play Charity

While I was in college, video game controversy really got to me because of a few particular political or legal people who were pointing the finger and blaming video games as the cause for violent attacks. The part that upset me the most was an overly generalized statement that all video gamers are bad and that we were all messed up in the head.

I did a research paper on this topic while I was still in school, and what I found was that video games do have some effect on youth behavior but is a smaller factor compared to others. Social environment (and dispositions if you want to go there) play a bigger role in shaping what someone does. Video game controversy isn’t new either. I did a speech on the topic in sixth grade in the mid 1990′s. I don’t know exactly why it had become so blown out of proportion when I got older. I turned out just fine and so have a lot of other people. It’s unfair to mark one or two incidents, a few people in a huge population, as a sign that any particular culture is inherently bad.

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The Humanity in Spider-Man

The Humanity in Spider-Man

“I made a choice once to live a life of responsibility. Who am I? I’m Spider-Man, given a job to do. And I’m Peter Parker, and I too have a job.”

These are the words spoken by Peter Parker during the introduction to Spider-Man 2. They capture the nature that is both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. At first glance, Peter does not seem like a superhero at all. He is like the rest of us – a regular citizen trying to live a life of balance. Spider-Man differs in that he swings around the city and saves people. His life is definitively like any other superhero’s life. The problem with these two identities is that neither one lives independently of the other. Peter Parker often finds it difficult to fit Spider-Man into his normal life. Whereas most other superheroes lead separate lives from their alter egos, Peter Parker cannot find a way to balance his two identities. This conflict, however, creates one of the most human individuals in the superhero realm. Read the rest of this entry

The Science of Science Writing

The Science of Science Writing

The process of science writing can almost be described as a science itself. Science writing is essentially transforming information from high-level researchers and scientists to the average folks of society. Our lives are affected by science every day. Our future lies in the hands of scientists, engineers, and researchers. We need to read about what is going on in the world of science. Before we can even read about science, someone has to write about it. The purpose of science writing is to bring science to people’s lives, educate them about it, and make them understand what the science represents. To meet this goal in the best way, there are specific criteria that a writer should follow in order to produce “good” science writing.

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No Cats

No Cats

Friend: You should talk to more people.

Me: I’ll get a cat. I’l talk to my cat!

Friend: No, you shouldn’t get a cat. That’s just talking to yourself.

Finding a Fitness Niche

Finding a Fitness Niche

This is a blog post I wrote for the Stack Exchange Fitness blog that I had mentioned regarding why I chose martial arts for fitness a few days ago. I’m cross-posting it here for archival reasons, but I suggest looking at the Fitness and Nutrition Stack Exchange and getting involved with the community (especially the chat and blog) for a wealth of information, resources, and links.

I’m a nerd. I’ve always been one since I was a kid. I never grasped the rules of sports that other kids just seemed to innately understand. I lacked coordination, strength, and speed which resulted in me being picked almost always last for any kind of team sport. That was a regular experience for me since early elementary school all throughout the end of high school.

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Choosing Martial Arts for Fitness

Choosing Martial Arts for Fitness

I wrote a blog post for the Stack Exchange Fitness blog about my experience with fitness and exercise as a child, teenager, adult, and young professional. The point I wanted to make was that choosing an activity should be a person own action, that is should come from within. My experiences with fitness growing up have largely been either in the control of others or a reaction to what (I perceived) people were doing for fitness. The full post is called “Finding a Fitness Niche” at the blog, and I wrote it to hopefully give others a stepping stone to find out what kind of activity they might choose for staying healthy.

I think the Fitness and Nutrition Stack Exchange is a great source of information and definitely has a lot of potential despite being in beta for so long since its proposal on Area51. There have been ongoing issues with the definition of what fitness, health, and nutrition mean for people. Nonetheless, I still think it (and the whole Stack Exchange network too) is a great resource and community for people to go for information.