28/30 Book Review: Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Sex and Science

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Sex and Science
Mary Roach


In Bonk, the best-selling author of Stiff turns her outrageous curiosity and insight on the most alluring scientific subject of all: sex. Can a person think herself to orgasm? Why doesn’t Viagra help women-or, for that matter, pandas? Can a dead man get an erection? Is vaginal orgasm a myth? Mary Roach shows us how and why sexual arousal and orgasm-two of the most complex, delightful, and amazing scientific phenomena on earth-can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to make the bedroom a more satisfying place.

Less taboo than you might think

Let’s just get this out of the way–it’s a book how sex works and what science knows about sex. It’s not erotica. Yes, it talks about erections and orgasm and arousal and all kinds of body parts. But it’s quite tasteful, for the most part. Any adult could read this book and not feel guilty. Continue reading

12/30 Book Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Aimee Bender
Fiction/Fantasy?/Magical Realism


On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes Continue reading

Oh, Greta! The Library’s Real Role on Campus

Greta’s tweet triggered instant anger & humorless laughing for me, so I’m glad someone took the time to explain why she’s wrong. I’ve been in several university libraries & none of them are vanity projects in any way.

Mr. Library Dude

This morning, media personality Greta Van Susteren tweeted out:

A vanity project? Hah! No library I’ve ever worked in could be called a “vanity project.”

The tweet was in response to a Yahoo Finance article: College is Still Getting More Expensive: What Can Stop It?

No real surprises here: College is too expensive and yes, debt is a concern for most students and families–something that most of us agree with.

The comment about smartphones? A flippant remark that reveals a real lack of understanding about academic research and how information is accessible to students.

But a vanity project? A 2012 article on InsideHigherEd.com reported that library budgets as a percentage of the total university budget had fallen from a high of 3.83% in 1974…

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A Note on Wikipedia’s 15th Birthday

I wasn’t prepared for Wikipedia’s 15th birthday (today) and I have homework to do, so this won’t be long. But here’s what I want you to know about Wikipedia.

Wikipedia shaped my teen years. I joined the site in 2009 and logged 10,000 edits in 3 years. I created over 9000 pages. I met countless people, read about numerous subjects, and contributed a little bit to global knowledge. I learned a lot about proofreading, formatting in html, and citing sources. Wikipedia changed how I think about Continue reading

Attempting to like the cold

I don’t like cold weather. Any cold weather. I’m a complete wimp about it. I grew up in the deep, deep south of the United States, where Christmas is regularly celebrated in 80 degrees.

I still live in the south, but not south enough, so now it’s cold and I’m not happy.

But I’m trying to practice gratitude. So here are the things I do like about the cold.

  • clear skies and bright stars
  • the smell of smoke on the wind
  • cozy cuddles
  • jeans and boots
  • bright scarves
  • hot food
  • no mosquitos
  • no cockroaches
  • no spiders
  • fires
  • not sweating through my clothes

I don’t like any of those things nearly as much as I like hot sunshine and bare feet and long days and actually enjoying the outside, but I’m trying.

What is your list?


Things I Did Today

(More interesting/intellectual stuff coming when I finish editing my final projects. I question the sanity in attending grad school.)

  • Listen to “The Last Goodbye” 6 times (and counting).
  • Plan the next possible LOTR/Hobbit movie marathon with my sister — probably  2017. Maybe.
  • Have a happy heart attack when a dog walked into my office. (YES, A DOG JUST WALKED THROUGH THE DOOR INTO MY OFFICE.* We don’t normally have dogs.)
  • Pet said dog for 15 minutes.
  • Contemplate dognapping.
  • Listen to “I See Fire” 4 times.
  • Spend entire morning at work typing with my penguin mittens (because they have fingerless gloves). I’m really good at convincing people that I’m a real adult.
  • Run 1 mile.
  • Feel like dying.
  • Make lists to procrastinate on school projects.
  • Refresh Twitter 27 billion times. (Guys, TWITTER. There are authors and they talk to each other and it’s like a window to the lives of celebrities. Yes, authors are celebrities.)

So, what did you do with your life today? Also, I need song suggestions, clearly.

*The dog was accompanied by people. I just didn’t originally see them. And let’s be real, they’re not important to this story.

Squirrels Playing

More posts coming when I finish school in another week (SO SOON!), but here’s a snippet.

One of my favorite things about work is that our building is right behind a park. And our parking lot faces a little creek and I see lots of cool animals (herons, squirrels that fall on my heads, chipmunks, etc.) when I park. So I normally sit for just a minute whenever I get in or out of the car and look for animals.

Today, I saw 6 squirrels running around the creekbank! This is weird for two reasons. 1, I’ve never seen that many squirrels playing together. 2, they don’t play on the creekbank! I normally see them running around in the trees or foraging in the grass. But this is a pretty steep bank and they were just running back and forth, chasing each other, and climbing around in the bushes.

ALSO! I saw two of them bending down and drinking from the creek, which I had literally never seen before. How did I go through my whole life never seeing squirrels drink??

Anyway. I realize that talking about seeing squirrels (without pictures even!) is an incredibly mundane thing, but it was an extremely happy moment. Did you have any happy moments today? Let me know in the comments!