Timing is Everything

October 15, 2014

When you touch something hot, the nerves in your hand will immediately fire a signal up toward your head to make a decision about what to do about the “hot thing.” But – here’s the cool part – your nervous system is smarter than that. Your spinal cord sees that warning go past and tells […]


October 6, 2014

I’m on bath duty each night. After dinner, the water runs, and Meredith gets really, really excited. The tub is full of boat, plastic chains, and foam letters which have a great feature of sticking to the wall when they’re wet. I’ve even discovered that, if thrown just right, they will stick on their own. […]

Functional Patterns

October 4, 2014

Structural patterns exist all around us, especially in living systems. A common example in the biology classroom is bone structures which show evolutionary similarities between species. My biology courses begin at the cellular level and explore the basic structures of life. Phosopholipids, for example, make up our cell membranes. Each individual molecule has the same […]

Creative Roots

October 3, 2014

“My work isn’t always incredibly creative, it’s just different than the way other people think about the same things.” Vicari Vollmar Creative work is defined by circumstance – we work creatively for our jobs but we also work in creative ways for personal fulfillment. Each requires a different mindset and each results in its own […]

Grim Pictures

October 1, 2014

Since early this year, the WHO has been calling for international aid in response to a burgeoning crisis in west Africa. There had been a confirmed death and further infections due to Ebola virus. Initially, it’s mortality rate was above 65% for infected individuals. Fast forward six months and the death toll has topped 3,000 […]


September 25, 2014

The essence of abstraction consists in singling out one feature, which, in contrast to other properties, is considered to be particularly important. Sparks of Genius, p. 72 Looking past the obvious is hard to do, especially when you’re up against a deadline. Our quick-to-consume culture has conditioned us to see the world in snippets…short bursts […]

A Second Look is Often More Revealing

September 20, 2014

Sometimes the simple challenge to think concretely about abstract concepts can be effective. Sparks of Genius, p. 64 Perception is how our mind interprets data. Those interpretations are influenced by our surroundings, experiences, and biases. Root-Berenstein (1999, p.43) point out that “objective observation is not possible” because of the own influence our mind has on […]


September 18, 2014

We cannot focus our attention unless we know what to look at and how to look at it. Sparks of Genius, p. 42 There’s a concept in biology which says that structure and function are inextricably linked. In fact, you can boil down any part of the study of life into looking at the structures […]