A liar in the desert

To the U.S. Evangelical Community, wandering in what seems to them an 8-year political desert, this is a dangerous time for them - a time of temptation, a test of their faith. Photo by Ishai Parasol.

To the U.S. Evangelical Community, wandering in what seems to them an 8-year political desert, this is a dangerous time for them – a time of temptation, a test of their faith. Photo by Ishai Parasol.

I am a scientist. Normally, I would turn to evidence to debunk a claim. But sometime the lie is so big… so deep… so fundamentally wrong… that only a story of faith can counter its power. Presumptive Republican U.S. Presidential Candidate Donald Trump comes to the U.S. Evangelical Christian as temptation in the desert, and tells a lie so big that only a story of faith seems appropriate to counter its terrible core.

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Field Notes: Two Weeks at CERN

A beautiful sunset as rain moved into the valley between the Jura and the Saleve. I take an evening walk at CERN to get a break from physics analysis work.

A beautiful sunset as rain moved into the valley between the Jura and the Saleve. I take an evening walk at CERN to get a break from physics analysis work.

I just spent two weeks at CERN. Due to limited travel funds this year, I had to keep my summer time here limited to save money for other trips and my research leave in the spring of 2017. Nonetheless, this was an incredibly productive pair of weeks. I’ll reflect a little on what was accomplished and look ahead at the promise of much good science to come this year from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

 

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Field Notes: Rencontres de Blois 2016

A panorama of one of the conference lunches at Rencontres de Blois. Physicists gathered after the morning sessions to discuss the talks, relax, and talk about everything else on their minds, from science communication to sci-fi novel series.

A panorama of one of the conference lunches at Rencontres de Blois. Physicists gathered after the morning sessions to discuss the talks, relax, and talk about everything else on their minds, from science communication to sci-fi novel series.

This summer began, for me, with a little bit of travel. The first part was for relaxation; Jodi, her oldest younger sister, and I went to Paris for a week. After that, we headed to the conference “Rencontres de Blois” for which Jodi is an organizer. In these brief “field notes,” I report on things I learned at the conference.

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The Data-Driven Life – a status report

Me in 2009 (left) and me in 2016 (right). The difference is at the level of about 40 lbs, and the shape of my head doesn't tell the full story.

Me in 2009 (left) and me in 2016 (right). The difference is at the level of about 40 lbs, and the shape of my head doesn’t tell the full story.

On January 12, 2012, I weighed 248lbs. That was the heaviest I’d ever been in my life, and up to this date the good news is that it is still the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life. Back then I had knee pain. I had high blood pressure. I was unhappy with my levels of stress, and how I dealt with stress. I had body image issues. When my doctor decided to have “the talk” with me about my health and specifically issues tied to my weight, I finally chose to really do something about it. For the first time in my life, I embarked on a painful, slow, and long process of losing weight the only way sustainable it has ever worked: by increasing exercise levels and decreasing calorie intake. To do this, I needed to lead a “data-driven life” – I needed to have good estimates of daily calorie intake and calorie output, so I could put the laws of Thermodynamics to work. In this piece, I check in on things and see how this has progressed.

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