Sunday, November 25, 2012

Who Won the 2012 Nobel Prizes? Part 3


Science for Writers Nobel prize
Welcome to the latest Science for Writers post. Last time we discussed the Nobel Prize winners in Medicine and Literature. In this post I will be discussing the Nobel Prizes in Peace and Economic Sciences.

I have put important words in bold. These words are important in science and I will refer to them throughout the post. It isn't overly important for you to know the exact meaning, so long as you get the gist of what I'm talking about you will be fine following this post.

Writing Links are in italics and these discuss how the science could be used in writing.



Peace

As these posts are more about science, I won't be spending too long on the Peace Prize, which this year went to the European Union that  'for over six decades [has] contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe'.

EU Countries
Image Courtesy of Euro-Dollar-Currency
World War II saw many deaths and truly highlighted the 'need for a new Europe'. Germany and France had been at war 3 times in the space of just seventy years, but now, thanks to the EU, the thought of the two being at war is 'unthinkable'.

The EU gained Greece, Spain and Portugal in the 198s which meant they all had to have a democracy. Having a democracy is one of the key requirements to joining the EU. When the Berlin Wall fell, EU membership became possible for many Central and Eastern European countries. This has been dubbed as the opening of a new era for the EU.

Next year Croatia will join the EU on the 1st of July 2013 and will be the 28th country to do so. In addition Montenegro and Serbia are both candidate countries with the potential of becoming members in the future. This is dais to be 'strengthening' reconciliation in the Balkans.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Vocab Builder: H

Vocab builder H
Welcome to the eighth of the Vocab Builder series. Last week we covered the letter G. This week, for those not following the pattern, we will look at the letter H.

A strong vocabulary allows you to select the precise word for what your trying to say.Whether you're a harbinger, bringing about a halcyon change, or are a histrionic guy with hubris, you should have a strong vocabulary suited to your situation.

It has been commented that it is all very well knowing these words but one mustn't show off vocabulary for the sake of it. Remember if you want to use these words make sure you are using them correctly and because they are the right word for the job. Let's start:







halcyon
adjective

Meaning:  calm/peaceful / happy / prosperous/affluent

Sentence:  The dragon slept, dreaming of those halcyon days where knights didn't try to slay him.

Origin:  Greek. Alkyone was the daughter of the Greek god of the winds. Her husband dies in a shipwreck and threw herself into the sea becoming a kingfisher (as you do). The ancient Greeks then called kingfishers 'halkyon'. Myth was that they had floating nests on the sea and the god of the winds made a period of calm between eggs being laid and hatched.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Spirit

Bleeding Teddy
Image courtesy of shazbotinyoureye
I spoke a while back about my annual dark story for Halloween. Halloween has obviously past, but I did get the story written by the 25th of October. But, I wasn't happy with it so I took a couple of weeks to edit it.

The piece was written with the theme of 'Possession' and is rated 18+ on WDC, though 15 is a better rating for it.

It is posted in its entirety on writing.com, but I'll give you the opening on the blog:






Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Vocab Builder: G


Vocab builder G
Welcome to the seventh of the Vocab Builder series. Last week we covered the letter F. This week, for those not following the pattern, we will look at the letter G.

A strong vocabulary allows you to select the precise word for what your trying to say.Whether you're a writer on Grub Street, or talking to your gormless friend, you should have a strong vocabulary suited to your situation.

It has been commented that it is all very well knowing these words but one mustn't show off vocabulary for the sake of it. Remember if you want to use these words make sure you are using them correctly and because they are the right word for the job. Let's start:


gloaming
noun

Meaning:  twilight / dusk

Sentence:  In the gloaming it was hard to tell if it was a sleeping dragon or just a statue.

Origin:  Old English. Glōmung is the Old English, from the stem Glōm meaning twilight.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Who Won the 2012 Nobel Prizes? Part 2

Science for Writers Nobel prize
Welcome to the latest Science for Writers post. Last time we discussed the Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry and Physics. In this post I will be discussing the Nobel Prizes in Medicine/Physiology and Literature.

I have put important words in bold. These words are important in science and I will refer to them throughout the post. It isn't overly important for you to know the exact meaning, so long as you get the gist of what I'm talking about you will be fine following this post.

Writing Links are in italics and these discuss how the science could be used in writing.



Medicine or Physiology

This year the prize was in Medicine and was awarded to Sir John B. Gurdon of the UK, and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan for 'the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent'.

In easier terms, this means they have found that cells in the adult body can be changed to be able to become any type of cell we want (with limitations).

It had previously been thought that a developing foetus had many pluripotent (stem) cells and these then specialised to become skin, muscle, nerve cells, etc... It had always been a forward process. It was thought not to ever go backwards. There are some animals which can regrow lost limbs because they have stem cells, but that is a limited ability.

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