Danger, Will Riker!

An odd thought occurred to me today while reading Star Trek Nemesis.  When Captain Picard says, “Fire at will,” does Commander Riker ever fear for his safety?  I mean, everyone calls him Will.  What if everyone on the bridge turned their phasers on him?

Ever think about things like this?

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2015 already trying to compete with 2014 for most measles outbreaks!

Education is a very important thing to me. Using our knowledge for good is extremely important. Spreading misinformation can be potentially extremely dangerous. Take the anti-vaccination movement for example. It’s helping diseases make comebacks, such as measles and pertussis (whooping cough). The latter is incredibly dangerous for young children who are too young to be vaccinated. Herd immunity is a necessity for them. Vaccinations do not cause autism. Never been proven or even remotely linked to autism, other than by a fraudulent doctor whose research proved to be completely fabricated. If you believe Jenny McCarthy and are actively promoting what she says, you are a bloody idiot. That is all. Please read this post.

CauseScience

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Looks like 2015 is starting early with outbreaks of measles… perhaps continuing last years’ trend (see above).

Today there were reports of a potential outbreak of measles in Colorado Springs that may include exposure of ~300 people. The Colorado case is related to the measles outbreak and exposures at DisneyLand in California.

More than two dozen cases of measles have now been linked to Disney theme parks in Southern California.

The California Department of Public Health reported seven more cases on Monday, bringing the total number to 26 people in four states.

Health officials say at least 8 of those infected had not been vaccinated.

Measles outbreaks like these, and those last year, serve as a stark reminder that measles is a serious disease that needs to be continually vaccinated against. The dangerous and anti-science trend of not vaccinating children against measles and other diseases will continue to raise its…

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You Researched What?

You’re writing your novel and you get to a scene where you need to know about the mating rituals of squid, but you have no idea what they do.  What can you do?  You research it!

Research is a very important part of writing a novel, especially if you want it to be realistic.  I’ve read a novel that was obviously not well-researched, because they had basic scientific and historic facts incredibly incorrect.  If you need to know about Mongolian throat singing, the mechanics of spirographs, or how a fungus can turn ants into zombies, then research it.

You can use the internet, go to a library, buy a book, or check out scientific papers.  There are many resources you can use.  Being in Japan, I tend to use the internet for my research, as the libraries here are completely Japanese.  I’m not interested in buying more books at the moment, since we’ll be moving to Canada next year, and I don’t need more books to haul overseas.

I’ve done research on a few things, including relatively nearby stars that are similar to our sun, current theories on warping space for faster-than-light space travel, Koppen climate classification, and more.

I have a question for all of you who have done research for writing.  What are the most unusual things you’ve researched?  Leave your comments below.