I'm Chels. I blog about science, art, tennis, and my adventures in journalism. Officially, I'm a Science Writer at Brookhaven National Lab and I blog for them, too. Unofficially, I'm pretty awesome.

Or, you know, owsome.

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Happy Earth Day

It’s like we’re dancing! The waltz of Terra Luna …

284 Plays

Charlie leaves me the best voicemails. 

Every. Single. Week.

Whenever I go to the pet store to get crickets for Refrog, I have to go to the counter where they keep them in a big tank next to the cages of baby mice they sell for people to feed to large snakes. I hate those cages. It makes me sad to see the little tiny mice and know their fate. 

And every week, while I’m waiting for the lady to bag up my crickets, some Long Island bro waiting in line for mouse babies starts talking to me and asking what I’m getting crickets for and then he invariably says some version of the following: “You should really see my snake. It’s pretty big. Heh heh.” This is always accompanied by a smirk and raised eyebrows and sometimes they even lean in and invade my personal space.

And each time this happens, all I can think of is Buzz from Home Alone talking about how he fed his spider mice guts, and I gag a little. But to this day, none of these dudes has ever seemed to have it cross his mind that this is the grossest and lamest line ever thrown at a woman.  

Wait. Can we stop for a minute? Let’s just learn something.

I was in a boring meeting doing boring logistical things with a bunch of fascinating scientists and someone said something about how DNA self-assembly can be likened to condensed matter physics in some way, and one of my favorite people I work with said Hold on here, let’s stop doing this boring work and TALK about that for a second, okay? 

I could have hugged him. 


“Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.” The secret of life and love, according to Ray Bradbury. (via)

Listen to Ray Bradbury. He knows what’s up. 

(via thetinhouse)

A quick tangent: I have a fun game/exercise that I play with my rhetoric classes. I pick a seemingly innocuous phrase that is (over-)used in mass media, then I ask the class to explain what it means. No matter what they say, I either pretend not to understand, or ask “no, but what does it mean?” The students think it’s frustrating, then funny, then, frustrating again. A favorite phrase for this game is “senseless violence.”

The point of the exercise is to examine some of the contradictions or confusion we use in everyday language. I feel this way about the phrase “faith in humanity,” and especially “restore [my/your/anyone’s] faith in humanity.” What is humanity, what does it mean to have faith in it, and why does the faith need to be restored? I assume that humanity means something close to “the goodness of human nature,” and not “the essential or unifying nature of personhood,” but I’m really not sure. At the very least the repeated recycling of this phrase should serve as a reminder of the Sisyphean task of restoring faith in humanity, whatever it may mean. Humanity is always already in doubt; our faith must endlessly be restored.

I’ve had this stuck in my head since I listened to the most recent Welcome To Night Vale, and I’m super happy about it. 

Just bumblin’ around the garden.

Stressed and sleepy. Moving is hard on cats. I feel pretty much the same.

The in-between parts are the hardest

I’m at the tail end of packing up my house for my move next week, and I finally took the stuff off my walls. I usually like to save this for nearly the last step, but I ran out of newspaper for packing up the kitchen so I moved on. It makes me uneasy to live in a place with nothing on the walls. When I move in somewhere, one of the first things I like to do is put up my art so it feels more permanent. 

I feel like a ghost living in this apartment now.

I’m one of those people that likes everything to have its place in my home, and when I’m stressed I tidy up and dust things to make it all look like it’s ready for a photoshoot for one of those home magazines. But I’m currently sitting in the midst of half a dozen partially packed boxes, my former life stacked up all around me. 

Like a really messy ghost. 

I’m just really ready to get into my new place and on with my new life. I feel like I’m in a weird limbo where the only tasks in front of me include moving my belongings from one spot to another cardboard-surrounded spot or wiping down yet another surface. I’d like to just get settled already. 

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