On This Date: 5 Anniversaries for April 20

Looking for something to ponder or celebration today, April 20? Here you go! 1862: Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard prove that spontaneous generation doesn’t happen. If you’re still hoping that something can come from nothing, you’re more than 150 years behind the times. 1902: Pierre and Marie Curie radium chloride, the first compound of radium to be isolated in a pure state. In 2013, the FDA approved … Continue reading On This Date: 5 Anniversaries for April 20

Cancer: 5 Posts of Remembrance

Today, would have been college friend Madhavi Samala’s 52nd birthday. Madhavi died almost three years ago, having been diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer before most of us are supposed to have our first colonoscopy. Today, we re-post 5 Lofty Ambitions posts remembering friends and family and writing about cancer. Cancer, Risk, & Otherwise Who gets cancer? Who gets which cancer? What are the odds? … Continue reading Cancer: 5 Posts of Remembrance

5 (Best) Science Writers to Read

Tis the season of annual anthologies, and The Best American Science and Nature Writing is one that we pick up and read every year, usually as soon as the fall semester wraps up and it’s hit the bookstore shelf. In last year’s edition, we looked at first lines to see what we could glean about how essays about science work. This year, we recommend five books … Continue reading 5 (Best) Science Writers to Read

5 Science Poetry Books (for Gift-Giving)

Interested in science but not in poetry? Think again. Interested in poetry but not science? Think again. Here are five poetry books that make great gifts for science aficionados or poetry appreciators. And all these books happen to be written by women.   Except by Nature by Sandra Alcosser   Science and Other Poems by Allison Hawthorne Deming   The Robot Scientist’s Daughter by Jeannine … Continue reading 5 Science Poetry Books (for Gift-Giving)

5 Things Left Out of The Atlantic

Last Friday, Anna’s article “The Implant That Helps Fight Cancer” appeared at The Atlantic. The copyeditor did a fantastic job. Here are the five parts that were cut from the article manuscript before it was published. A small thing, really, an object the diameter of a quarter inserted inside her body to make chemo treatments and blood draws closer to run-of-the-mill. Something seemingly abnormal to … Continue reading 5 Things Left Out of The Atlantic

What We’re Saying about Cancer

Last Friday, Anna’s article about medical ports appeared in The Atlantic: In 2012, my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a type that’s most often caught late and has a poor prognosis even when caught early. My mother was diagnosed at Stage III, when her tumor had already grown into the wall of an artery, making surgical removal impossible. She decided to undergo chemotherapy anyway, … Continue reading What We’re Saying about Cancer

Nobel Week 2015

Svetlana Alexievich is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 2015. Alexievich is a Belarusian writer who is being recognized, according to the announcement, “”for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.” Especially in light of our focus on “Countdown to The Cold War” over the past year, Lofty Ambitions applauds this selection. Read an excerpt from Alexievich’s “Voices from Chernobyl” in The … Continue reading Nobel Week 2015

5 Physicists with Birthdays This Week

It’s Nobel Prize week, and Wednesday’s announcement of this year’s award in Physics says, “The Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 recognises Takaaki Kajita in Japan andArthur B. McDonald in Canada, for their key contributions to the experiments which demonstrated that neutrinos change identities. This metamorphosis requires that neutrinos have mass. The discovery has changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to our … Continue reading 5 Physicists with Birthdays This Week

5 Visible Planets

EarthSky offers readers “updates on your cosmos and world.” Today, they posted a guide to viewing the five visible planets in October 2015. And which planets might these be? MERCURY Of the eight planets in our Solar System, Mercury is both smallest and closest to the Sun. This past April, the spacecraft MESSENGER crashed into Mercury after orbiting the planet for four years, twice as long … Continue reading 5 Visible Planets

5 Reasons You Should Know Ruth Patrick

Ruth Patrick earned a PhD in 1934, when very few women pursued careers in science. Maybe that’s no surprise, since she’d received her first microscope when she was seven years old; microscopes weren’t the usual fare for girls in 1914. She wrote more than 200 articles and several books. She used her maiden name when publishing her research, in part because her father encouraged her. … Continue reading 5 Reasons You Should Know Ruth Patrick