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The Chemical engineer is back…10 rules to follow when living with a “science” person

I’m glad to welcome The Chemical Engineer (aka my amazing husband) back on my blog. 

education
That’s not my husband…but Einstein…:)

10 rules that will make it easier to leave with a “science person”

So, you read the exiting news and indeed I am back on here. I wish I could say it will now be more often that I will write posts, I am just not creative enough for that. Speaking on of which, I noticed (no true statistics involved here) that it is common for somebody with a creative background to be together with somebody with a more “sciency” background and since my last post was about the ten rules of living with a writer, let me now take the opportunity to write about 10 rules that will make it easier to live with a science person.

  1. Don’t ask a question you are not ready to hear the answer to. This goes for most things in life (dresses, hair cuts, etc.), but I am talking about questions that are related to science (and trust me there are a lot of them). Generally a science guy/girl will be excited about sharing some of his.her knowledge, so if you ask them about that, do pay attention and don’t start doing something else or drift off. Even better, ask questions if you don’t quite get something he is explaining (and yes, there will be a quiz afterwards).

 2. Everything can be related back to science. This goes right back to rule number one, so be aware of what you ask a question about. It can have a long answer (and yes, sometimes things are just not that simple).

Note from Elodie: sometimes, you don’t even need to ask a question to get to number 2)

3. Science people have cool jobs (at least the ones that stay in their fields). Sure, most of us don’t cure cancer or save the world, but we still get to do some pretty neat stuff. Now, we can’t communicate that fact most of the time (and you probably don’t want to know anyways), but without us you wouldn’t be able to do much of anything (including reading this right now). If you like your science guy/girl then ask him/her to describe to you what exactly he/she does at his work, and if you really want to make his/her day (this is a very special occasion) ask him if he/she can take you to work with him/her one day and give you a tour.

4. Yes there is a clear order within the engineering fields: Chemical Engineering > Electrical Engineering > Air and Space Engineering > Mechanical Engineering > Civil Engineering > All other fringe fields of Engineering (ok, maybe some of ranking is debatable, but definitely not the first one).

5. Small things are can be very exciting. This might not seem that way to a regular person, but science people live a different world. Boiling water is a prime example of real thermo dynamics (have you ever noticed that putting salt into water makes it boil faster, there is a scientific reason for that; very exciting). Things flying is very exciting and all rests on one key assumption/boundary condition – Flow in = Flow Out. Ok, I guess I lost you now…look back to rule number one. And yes you did ask a question by starting to read this.

6. Overall Entropy is always increasing (or stays the same). Another fun thermodynamically principle/law (now I would like you to go to Wikipedia and search for Entropy, but you probably don’t want to get too bored so here is what I mean with it in just a few sentences). Entropy is a measure of disorder. Thermodynamics tells us that entropy can never decrease. I guess what I am trying to say with this, most science guys are pretty messy, but that is because we are trying to be law abiding people.

7. Fear better be proportional to the probability of occurrence. I know that fear is/was important for the survival of our species, but we are talking about ten-thousands of years ago when there was no internet, now twitter, no news channels. Nowadays we are bombarded with scary things all the time make it seem like they are imminent, but in reality they are statistically insignificant. I guess what I am trying to say is, yes Elodie sharks are scary, but they are just as deadly as vending machines, but I don’t hear you say that you will not walk next to one of those.

8. Yes, Math IS important. Don’t get me wrong it is not the ONLY thing that is important, but it is none-the less. Our world works because we can describe things mathematically. And yes, math is hard, but people shouldn’t dismiss it because they say it is not their strength. You have to put in the effort and it eventually will make you better at it. (Leaving my soap box now).

9. TV shows about science are interesting and entertaining. In many cases even more so than some movie about a writer trying to make it and finding love along the way (yes, go ahead, post your hateful comments below :))

10. Excel is the most crucial program in MS Office (I know, you are all shocked now that it is not Word). This program is one of the most crucial tools in an engineer’s tool box. It is so powerful and most people don’t realize it, which makes an engineer sad. So yes, go ahead don’t just teach kids how to spell and do math, but please, pretty please, teach them how do use excel as well and make the world a better place (this also applies to teaching writers/authors how to use this beautiful software).

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So I hope that these simple guidelines will promote a better understanding between two very different kinds of personalities (or were just fun to read, which I am not a big fan of hence the three years between my last two posts). I do love listening to audio-books. Maybe next time, I’ll do a podcast.

Engineer Out

Beta, writing

Happy Friday #24 – The Chemical Engineer CAN beta read! and other stories…

Yay, it´s time for Happy Friday 😀 Looking forward to know what made you smile this week!

Don´t forget you can enter my giveaway for a SIGNED copy of MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick (see interview with Huntley and details here) You have until today 12pm (EST). I will reveal the winners on Sunday!

My husband can beta read: So The Chemical Engineer doesn’t read. Really. He doesn’t. Except maybe sometimes non-fiction books. And he likes audiobooks (again non-fiction though). However, I did tell him he would have to read MY books. Long story short, I am now reading my draft to him. And…he does have some helpful feedback. Now you have to understand, taking feedback from my husband is not the easiest thing (we might be a tad argumentative) but he has a totally different perspective. Plus he also said: “Your book sounds like a real book”. In his mouth, it is a BIG compliment 😀

So between Jaime’s wonderful suggestions and his, I feel quite lucky. Sending it to beta-readers soon still feels unreal though 😀 (and totally scary)

The Chemical Engineer

New shiny ideas: I didn’t write in the train this week, I read. But I did have my little notebook with me to write down any ideas which come to my mind. One of them seems to have taken residence in my mind and the plot is slowly starting to develop. Exciting!

So, tell me, what made you smile this week?

Observations, personal

A Young Engineer’s (not so serious) Review of The Hunger Games Movie…

Disclaimer: I have been talking to my husband aka The Chemical Engineer quite a lot about The Hunger Games, I also showed him this particular post from YA Confidential which he found hilarious. And then I thought it’d be interesting to have him write a guest post sharing his (not so serious) views on the movie as somebody who hasn’t read the books, doesn’t really read fiction and sometimes gives me a hard time cos’ I read too many books a month 😀 Looking forward to your comments (yes, Chemical Engineer, I am leaving you the floor, stop figeting!)

A Young Engineer’s (not so serious) Review of The Hunger Games Movie…

Just so I can still keep my manhood intact let me mention that my wife got (forced) me to go and watch the movie with her.

First things first: I don’t want to (and can’t) compare the movie with the book. I haven’t read the book. My wife read a few chapters to me while I was falling asleep, trying to get me interested in reading it. It didn’t work despite the fact that it worked for one of her blog friends; I don’t read fictional books, I wait until the good ones come out as a movie. This strategy has worked out well for me. I tried to remember when the last time was that I read a book and watched the movie based on the same book. It seems to be about 11 years ago in high school. I am not sure it counts though, the book was Othello and the Movie was O (a modern interpretation). But since novels and movies serve the same purpose, entertainment, but do it through a very different way, I find it pointless to compare the two. I do have to mention one thing about comparing the two:

When there is a shower scene described in the book (on the train to the Capitol):  How dare do you leave that out of the movie?  I get the whole PG-13 rating, etc., but how can you do such a thing as a movie director! Shame on you Mr. Gary Ross!!!

In general the movie was quite entertaining and for the most part kept my attention. Obviously having cool guys like Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz helps with that.

              

The story in itself is pretty good. Showing the young adults as regular teenagers with fears and joys and then having them fight until death is quite compelling. Even though the underlying story of individuals who can change the world by starting a revolution unintentionally is probably older than literature itself. As long as the packaging is right, who am I to weigh heavily on an old literature cliché – After all I am just an engineer.

Speaking of packaging, here are two things that I didn’t get about the movie:

  1. So they all live in a very advanced society with scanners that analyze your blood right away, with dresses that burn like fire but still safe and with hovering space ships… Why in the world would you travel by train for almost an entire day instead of taking a space ship? I get that district 12 is not as developed as the Capitol, but this still wouldn’t explain why a space ship couldn’t fly in and just pick them up!
  2. Staying with the thought of a dystopian society that is technologically progressed. Why in the world would you still be mining coal? Do they have a little coal burner inside those space ships? So they developed all of this technology and still are bound to use coal. Really? Just think about this for a second. They spend all of this energy developing new technology that probably consumes even more energy and the only solution that they could find to fulfill their energy demand was coal? I understand that it was important for the story that the residents of District 12 had to be manual laborers, but couldn’t they have been robot-mechanics or some kind of electrical circuit makers (like the ones working on making our smart phones). 

I know you probably think it is not important for the whole story, but I think a writer or director (again I can’t compare the books) should take the time and think through such details in order to make it more coherent (at least for me).

It helps if a writer is married to engineer that can double check the story 😀