• March 24, 2021

    KSR: Man of Mars and Beyond

    Digital Batman Recommends Like everything else in life, all things are connected, such as medicine and physiology, astronomy and astrology, biology and technology, zoology and ecology, or digital tech trends and literature. With visionaries and industrial pioneers such as Elon Musk and Peter Diamandis leading the way for the next phase of human civilization, we shouldn’t forget that without literary inspiration to fuel our imaginations, we would not be driven to such bold accomplishments like reaching for the stars. The authors include (but not limited to): Edgar Rice Burroughs (of the famous John Carter of Mars/Barsoom series); Jules Verne (of the iconic steampunk adventure 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea); Frank Herbert (of the socio‐economic‐political sci‐fi epic DUNE Chronicles); Sheri S. Tepper (of the Baroque interplanetary classic Grass); Ursula K. Le Guin (of the mind‐bending tome The Lathe of Heaven); and the eponymous novelist of this blog post, the highly‐acclaimed Kim Stanley Robinson. KSR for short. Robinson has won a mountain of awards for his work in the genre of hardcore science‐fiction, eco‐fiction, metaphysical‐ fiction, and political‐fiction, including the Nebula and Hugo Awards (the Academy Awards for genre literature). Of all his iconic works, his magnum opus, the Mars Series (Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars—and The Martians), are seminal tomes that discuss in phenomenal detail the exploration and terraforming of the planet Mars. The books detail not only the intense scientific, technological, and biological challenges of human activities upon the red planet, but also the socio‐economic and political costs to both worlds (Earth and Mars). And there’s a huge genetic‐engineering component to these stories that clearly portends our real future. The Martians is a collection of similarly-themed short stories set in KSR’s Mars universe. Extrapolated from the most cutting‐edge scientific discoveries at the time (ca. late 1990s), these books...
  • February 4, 2021

    Science of the Heart and Stars

    In honor of Black History Month, I very much wanted to profile two wonderful Black American scientists who have greatly contributed to the advancement of humanity’s health and well-being and to our understanding of the universe! I’m speaking of none other than Progressive Pioneers Doctors Marie M. Daly and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Let’s take a look into the lives of these great Americans who make us all proud—for we are all one color: beautiful. Dr. Marie Daly STEM Revolution of Equal Opportunity When the 45th president signed into law the Hidden Figures Act honoring the four African‐American women who were instrumental in the success of NASA’s space race to the moon, we should not forget other accomplished women who have also contributed our nation’s scientific knowledge. One such venerated pioneer is Dr. Marie Maynard Daly. Dr. Daly was born in Queens, NY on April 16, 1921. She was the daughter of Ivan Daly (an immigrant from the British West Indies) and Helen Page of Washington DC. Her parents settled in the New York City area where Mr. Daly attended Cornell University in pursuit of a chemistry degree. Like her father, Dr. Marie Daly also chose to pursue a career in chemistry. She was spurred on by her grandfather’s extensive library of books about scientists and their scientific achievements. Dr. Daly graduated from Queens College magna cum laude with a BA in Chemistry. Due to labor shortages and the need for scientists during World War II, she was able to garner fellowships to study at both New York and Columbia Universities earning her a master’s and a Ph.D. (respectively). Daly’s first major publication was her thesis on the formation of pancreatic amylase on corn starch. From there, her scientific career soared. She was awarded a grant from the American Cancer Society...