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Here’s What Happens in the Hour After You Drink a Can of Coke (and What Happened to Me When I Tried It)

As a kid, I remember liking the famous “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” commercial. As a teenager, I remember seeing a series of Coke ads in the summer, with the theme of “It’s too hot, look at these pictures of happy people in the snow, buy a Coke,” and then 6 months later I remember seeing commercials with the theme “It’s too cold, look at these happy…


The Importance of Writing Skills in Tech-Related Fields

Good writing skills are valuable, even in the world of STEM. How is it that students interested in careers in technology don’t understand that writing skills are a crucial part of their future success? What’s more, in my life as a writing coach, I’ve noticed that this aversion sometimes extends well past the undergraduate years and into the master’s and Ph.D. levels. In an effort to underscore the importance of effective…

Pluto Flyby

When I was about 10, I wrote to NASA and got a big packet of color magazines and newsletters on the Space Shuttle and Voyager missions. I loved staying up late watching live PBS coverage of the flybys of Jupiter, and Saturn. At some point I wrote again asking for more stuff, but I got a response saying those materials were now only for educators. I was in college for…

Surgeon Promising Head Transplant Now Asks America for Help

Saving this article. What a story. Nowhere does the reporter insert an opinion, but the take-away message is powerful. “I think it’s phenomenal,” Dieter said. “If you don’t think out of the box, you can’t get anything done out of the box.” Dieter and about 75 other conference delegates were clearly hoping for an entertaining and possibly inspirational presentation. They didn’t get it. Canavero rambled for two and a half…


This Is Your Brain on Writing

When I teach creative writing, I notice that novices frequently write as if describing a what a TV screen would show if a camera had zoomed in for a close-up of their narrator’s face. By contrast, an experienced writer would rely on a much wider range of storytelling techniqes, including dialogue and interior thoughts. “What do you mean?” I say, my brows furrowing in confusion. “Hold on,” says the old man.…


Caroll “Big Bird” Spinney was originally to be on NASA’s doomed Challenger flight

And he was even offered a seat as Big Bird on the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986 in a bid to get children more interested in the NASA program when Star Wars was all the rage. | But there wasn’t enough room for the costume, which is more than eight feet tall, sparing Spinney from the tragedy that saw the Challenger break apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven people…