Friday, November 29, 2013

Support Childhood Cancer Research while you Shop

PAC2 (people against childhood cancer) has put out their 5th annual Christmas shopping list for sites and stores that support or donate to childhood cancer research.  Find the complete list here from PAC2, and here from CureSearch.

Some highlights:
Yes, .5% isn't a lot, but thinking about what people spend on shopping, this could make a huge difference. If 100 people using this each spent $200 on Christmas gifts, that $100, which is enough to grow a set of cell cultures to test a drug or to study the molecular biology of a tumor type. This doesn't cost you anything, and you can only help!

CureSearch on Ebay!  Anyone can list their items under the CureSearch donations page, and anywhere from 10 to 100% of the sale goes to CureSearch.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Books and Other Fun Stuff

   November was (still is, it's not over) a busy month here in Salt Lake.  I organized and ran our first ever Girl Scout Night Jr here at the U (through SWE).  It was really rewarding to see all the young girls who loved math and science, and to see them explore and learn.  Picture here.  It was awesome!
   I have been doing more reading this semester, which makes me happy.  While I often read non-fiction, I've been reading more fluff this semester, due to the density of my class readings...

  • Gulp! by Mary Roach.  One of my favorite popular science authors, this book is about the digestive tract, and it's interesting features.  Probably not something to read while snacking, but a great book.
  • Books by Kathy Reichs.  These are guilty pleasure reads.  Kathy Reichs books are what the TV show Bones is based off of (one of my favorites TV series), so they are enjoyable.  I also like that they are set in Montreal and Quebec.  The details are good, and the plots are thick.  Read: "Spider bones", "206 Bones" and "Virals".
More books to follow, I just checked out two that look excellent.

    Due to the exorbitant airfare prices, I will be spending Thanksgiving here is SLC.  Lizi and I are then going on a people watching expedition to the Walmart downtown SLC for Black Friday eve.  

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

New Childhood Cancer Research Center

    John Huntsman, founder of the Huntsman Corporation, has announced the creation of a new childhood cancer research center, right here in Salt Lake City.  The center will study childhood cancer's many facets, including sibling risk, long term effects and new treatments.  So far, $100 million have been gathered, $50 million from Huntsman himself to build the "Primary Children's and Family Research Center."
   I am super stoked for this new center.  Not only is this a great step towards researching and curing childhood cancer, but it's literally happening in my backyard, less than a mile from where I live.  This is change, this is a huge step towards ending childhood cancer.

Press Release

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Miss Representation

What is your daughter seeing when she turns on the TV?  The average child, age 8-18, spends 7 hours and 45 minutes being exposed to media, including TV, radio, and print.  What do young girls see when they look at the media today?
  • Girls have less career options.  Only  35% of girls in G-rated movies have a career, compared to over 60% of male characters. 
  • Girls need to be attractive/sexy to be successful.  This is all over the place.  Print ads with scantily clothed women outnumber women dressed for business tens times over.  Women in media are praised for their attractiveness, their sexiness, ect.  Men are praised for achievements.
  • Girls shouldn't be in STEM.  85% of STEM characters are men, only 15% are women.  
  • In order to have smart ideas, they must be balanced with ditsy moments. Now i'm not talking about the occasional muck-up we all have, I'm talking major character flaws.  Take Amy from Big Bang Theory.  In real life, the actress has a PhD in nueroscience, similar to her character, but she acts completely boy crazy and lacks many social skills.  Why is there such a steep price to be smart?
      When girls are assertive, they are called bossy, and their characters are made dumb, as if to say that they can't be a smart strong women.  When boys are assertive, we make them managers and call them leaders.  The next time you see a girl being assertive, tell her she has "executive leadership skills."  She is not "bossy", she has the makings of a successful leader, and she needs to be recognized for that.
     I was a little girl who was told she was bossy.  I'm still told that I am bossy.  But, I see boys doing the same things: taking charge, being the lead on the lab project, organizing events; boys are expected to fill those roles, not me.  It's even more obvious in my engineering classes. In my systems dynamics lab, I often take lead in programming and setting up equipment.  But, when the other (male) lab groups need help, they go to my (male) lab partner before me.  Why?  They expect that the girl isn't the one who set up the oscilloscope and wrote the computer program.
    It's time for girls to take back what's theirs.  We have been misrepresented in the media and our image in culture is distorted.  It's time to go from misrepresented to Miss Represented.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

October Updates

    So, it's been over a month since my last post, and boy has it been busy!
    The Curesearch walk was a great success.  I raised over 100, and will be making the 150 mark as soon as company matching comes through!  Team Rhabdo had a great walk and will be increasing our participation next year.
    Fall break was the week after, and I got to go back to WI.  I got to visit camp (twice), once to lead low-ropes and once for fall fest!  Awesome fun.
   Tomorrow is Girl Scout Night Jr, which I've been organizing since last may.  I'm super excited, but a bit nervous.  I'm hosting 66 girls grades K-5, plus 35 adults, to teach them about women in engineering and about how awesome it is.  Hopefully all goes well on that front.  The activities are super exciting, making silly putty, doing an egg drop and playing with the Van De Graaf generator.
    More updates on my life later.