Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Misconception About Scientific Process

Taylor Bouchard
Misconception About Scientific Process
It is a well known fact that the human brain is split into two halves: the right side and the left side. The right side of the brain is known for being intuitive and working with pictures and creativity, while the left brain is more analytical, and focuses on words, numbers, and facts (“Left Brain Vs Right Brain”). A common misconception about the human brain is that these two hemispheres seldom work in harmony, but in fact, this is not the case. These two parts of the brain work together nearly every chance they get. For example, when one looks at a house, the left brain helps in picking out specific pieces (windows, doors, etc.) while the right brain assists in things like the building's contours and the overall appearance (@PsychToday). The same principal can relate both the scientific method and the creative process to one another. Though one may think that the two are polar opposites that do not attract, the creative process is more necessary in the scientific process than one may think.
The scientific method is a way of conducting an experiment in order to answer a specific question. One must come up with a question, which would be researched and tested in the experiment. A hypothesis would be created as well which would establish the predicted outcome of the experiment. After the experiment itself had been done, data would be collected to determine whether or not the hypothesis could be accepted ("Steps of the Scientific Method."). The same tends to apply for the creative process.
In the creative process, one will start with a hunch: a hypothetical idea for a piece. From there they would get the word out about their idea, as well as finding muses for their projects. This can be done in the form of going to art museums, theater shows, etc. The actual creation of the piece requires trial and error. One will find things that they love, and things that they hate, and they will accommodate that in the piece by taking the time to improve its flaws and emphasize its high points. Only then, after countless hours of hard work, will the project be complete (Popova, Maria).
As it can be seen by the amount of similarities in the two processes, the creative process is definitely required in the scientific method. The creative process assists in suggesting new ideas when something has backfired, helping select word choice in lab write ups, and helping to figure out what to do better next time to improve the experimental design. For example, if Johnny were to be adding salt to an enzyme to see how it affected the reaction rate, and the increments he was adding salt in did not vary the data in any way, he might try adding them in greater or lesser amounts to change his results and see how those compare. The creative mind is required for both experimental design and to determine what will be done if failure occurs.
Because of their many cross overs in steps, it is clear to see that science does indeed require creativity. Science itself would cease to exist if people weren’t coming up with ideas on what to test and how to test it. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  It is being emphasized now more than ever: if the results of an experiment were not expected, go back and try it again, after figuring out what was done wrong and how to fix it (@NewsFromScience). And even in scenarios where it is a student being handed a paper with exact instructions, they must creatively come up with writing pieces about it when they are done collecting data. From entire processes of experimental design, to determining how to design a poster board or what colors to make a graph, creativity is necessary in the processes of science.
Works Cited
"Left Brain Vs Right Brain." UCMAS. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2016.
@NewsfromScience. "If You Fail to Reproduce Another Scientist's Results, This Journal Wants
to Know." Science | AAAS. N.p., 04 Feb. 2016. Web. 21 Dec. 2016.
Popova, Maria. "The 10 Stages of the Creative Process." Brain Pickings. N.p., 28 Sept. 2015.
21 Dec. 2016.
@PsychToday. "Left Brain, Right Brain: Two Sides, Always Working Together." Psychology Today.
N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2016.
"Steps of the Scientific Method." Science Buddies. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2016.

Friday, August 26, 2016


My final two stories that I read over the week were firstly about the burkini ban happening in France, as well as a story about a cute autonomous octopus robot. (I finally figured out how to link things without posting the URL. I'm so smart.)

Whatever the dates were for the final weeks in August

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Leaf Me Alone

     The article I read was the one discussing the new bionic leaves. These leaves are the brainchildren of a few wicked smart Harvard kids who decided having regular old leaves to photosynthesize just wasn't good enough.  These bionic leaves can (if I'm understanding this correctly) burn the CO2 directly into fuel and also are ten times more efficient at photosynthesizing than actual leaves.
     This article (obviously) reminded me of the photosynthesis unit we did in bio. And as interesting as I personally found the unit to be, it was also absolute hell in its purest form. There was always something or other that I would forget about or I would leave a small detail out. I can honestly say is was the hardest out of all the units for me and at that time the decency of my grade was living on a prayer.
     I do have a few questions though. Does the bionic leaf look like an actual leaf? In the article. pictures of the leaf aren't actually featured. Will we start seeing these in places like busy cities soon? If we start implementing these new "leaves", what kind of impact will it have on the world? All of these things are things I am genuinely curios about.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

EASH - #1 (5 + 6/10)

Last week I followed lots of articles on the RNC, just because I find it interesting. And my favorite part of the whole thing was when Ted Cruz didn't endorse Donald Trump.
And this week I was especially fascinated by the Korryn Gaines police standoff, where a black woman was shot and killed in her home for threatening police.

Weeks of July 26 and August 2, 2016

Saturday, July 30, 2016

I Honestly Can't Think of a Clever Title for This so...CRISPR

     So I can't really start this one with "the article I selected was..." because, yknow, we only has one option. But even if we had other options, I probably would have chosen this one. I found it incredibly interesting because it seems like we use "finding a cure for cancer" as a fill in for when we want an example of something great to happen, and now it's incredible to think that that's actually happening. The timing on this is pretty weirdly coincidental for me too, because this summer I started working with the American Cancer Society to help out with the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. I went to the season kickoff last Thursday and people were sharing their stories. One in particular said that when she asked people for donations five years ago, people who often donated said they'd lost someone to cancer. But now, they more often hear that they know a survivor. That just goes to show yet again that a huge change has come around in the world of curing cancer. We've come so much closer to doing exactly that.
     When reading this article it reminded me of the video we watched in bio freshmen year about how humans were starting to build immunity to many of the medications we currently have, which was making me extremely nervous because my anxious little freshmen self assumed that because of this we were all going to die in some horrible zombie apocalypse. If  I could show my past self this article, maybe she would feel a bit more reassured, because if they could cure cancer, what else could they cure?
     I had a few more questions while I was reading this. Firstly, how much would this procedure cost? Surely, having it be so new, it wouldn't be cheap. Second, what are the side effects? They mentioned that bad things could happen if the procedure goes wrong, but what are the side effects (if any) after it goes right? And finally, who were they doing these tests on? Was it people who were infected and willing to risk their lives (because that's pretty BA), or was it all done in a lab?  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

EASH #1 - (3+4/10)

In these two weeks I read two very interesting news stories. The first of these was about the Westboro Baptist Church being a point of interest in the augmented reality game "Pokemon Go" (, and the second is about the controversy of Melania Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention (

Sunday, July 10, 2016

EASH - #1 (2/10)

A lot of the stories I read about this week covered things from the Internet, which were little things that didn't catch my eye. However, one story that was not like the others, that most certainly jumped out at me was the article about Hilary Clinton not being penalized for her actions in the email scandal.
Week of July 4, 2016

They Really Couldn't Think of a Better Name Than "Grolar Bears"?

     The first article that I chose to read this summer was the one talking about the future of hybrid crossing among similar species of animals. I chose this article because it seemed the most interesting to me out of the three options. I also clearly remember doing hybrid crosses and punnet squares back in biology, and I think in all honesty, doing punnet squares, and just the genetics unit in general, was my favorite part of the whole year.
     Something I found particularly interesting about this article was the example of the "grolar bear", or the hybrid cross between a grizzly bear and a polar bear. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but don't those two species live in completely different environments? The chances of encountering one of those bad boys must be incredibly low because of this. I was also curious, because what cause an animal to want to breed with a different species? Will a bird one day look at a different bird and think "hmm...close enough?" and just go for it? Also, what qualifies a species to be a similar species? I mean, obviously we won't see any grizzly bear/bird hybrids, but where is the line drawn between being similar and being different? (I'm not actually sure if my questions are all common knowledge with really easy answers, I'm just curious.)
     But I also feel like this could be a tactic to keep the traits of an animal (ie the polar bear) alive in a scenario where their current environment is rapidly changing for the worst. The idea of mating with a different species in this scenario makes sense, since if the offspring carry traits of the other species, maybe one that isn't on the brink of extinction, their chance of survival will be greater, because they'll be able to adapt to the environment of the other species. However, they would still be the minority in that community, and even though grolar bears may have the potential to out live the polar bears, the chance of them living longer than the fittest, most adapt species to the environment, the grizzly bear, is nearly impossible. And since the environments are (I think) very different, one of these species would have to do quite a bit of traveling around. Wouldn't they die in the process of travel?  Because of this, my opinion still remains that it's very improbable that we'll see any grolar bears chilling any time soon.
     However, it is a lot more probable that we could see hybrid crosses in animals like birds, because their flying abilities allow them access to different places, and unlike the polar bears, there can be all sorts of species of bears in the same place.

Friday, July 1, 2016

EASH - #11

I was driving yesterday when I saw this fox in someone's yard! The picture is a little far away because A. I didn't want to go into this random person's yard and B. I didn't want to risk scaring the fox away. But fun fact: this is my first time ever seeing a fox in person. Nice.
June 30, 2016

EASH - #2

My mom, grandma, and sister all went to see Finding Dory in theaters today! I'm not quite sure what I expected from the movie, but all in all, very cute and very good!
June 28, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

EASH - #8 (1/2)

My handy dandy blanket and I
It was twenty degrees colder at the beach than it was back home
Yesterday I went to Crescent Beach in Scarborough, Maine with Tait and his mom. However, we didn't pick the best day to go to the beach. It was cold and windy the entire time, and we didn't get to go in the water because of it. I was totally bummed that we didn't get to swim, but at least I brought a blanket to keep warm, and I grabbed some sand to prove that I was there. What a day. 
June 27, 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016

EASH - #1 (1/10)

So I've been keeping up with this YouTube Channel that does daily news reports for the part three or four years. They source all their info about things they talk about in the descriptions of the videos. The channel itself is called Phillip DeFranco, but the websites will come from a variety of places.

The story that stood out to me this week was one that touched my heart. The Westboro Baptists Church (aka: the worst people to ever exist) stated that they would protest a memorial service for the victims of the Orlando shooting, saying things such as that they deserved to be killed because of their sexual orientation. After hearing this, many people stood together to make angel costumes with wings big enough to block out the hate speech coming from these truly evil people. Beautiful stuff.

Week of June 21, 2016

EASH - #5 (2/2)

Fun fact about me: I've lived in New Hampshire for eight years. And out of those eight years, I had been to Cathedral Ledge 0 times. However, that all changed when I googled the nearest state park to the Weather Discovery Center. We drove up to the top, and it was actually pretty neat. Tait pointed out a bunch of recognizable landmarks, which was pretty cool, however, he did respectfully decline my request for him to do a back flip off the un-fenced edge, which was kind of lame, but at least the rest of the experience was awesome. I even brought my uke for even more jams, though not pictured. And also, I couldn't find a map for this one either. Am I looking in the wrong spots? Am I going insane? Probably both, I don't know anymore. But again, I guess that's what Google is for.

June 24, 2016

EASH - #20

Like I said, I designated Tait as my AP Bio scavenger hunt person (even though he graduated, and didn't even take this class, but that's besides the point). So naturally, we dedicated the entire morning to doing some easier, knock-it-off-the-list scavenger hunt stuff. So the first thing we did was show up to the Weather Discovery Center. We didn't actually know we had to pay to get in, but since we now were three dollars less than where we thought we would be, we decided to get our money's worth. Not only did we go into the shack, (even though Tait got annoyed with the noise and ended up emergency stopping it, causing me to ride solo for the full round #2) but we also had lots of fun with the tornado, the air cannon, and the little windy sail boat thing which Tait eventually raged out at because I was "hitting all the wrong buttons" (I call baloney on that).

June 24, 2016

EASH - #15 (1/???)

I'm not going to lie to you here, when I first saw geocaching on this list, I had no idea what it was. So I figured I would get the app, yknow, just to see what happened. Well, while I was in the park with Rhiannon and Brady, I got a notification saying there was one near by. One what? One geocache I guess. I didn't really know. (Disclaimer: since I hardly know what one is, I definitely don't know how to set up a tournament, but bare with me here, I'm trying.) But of course, in the name of AP Bio, I dragged both my friends down the street, from the park to about Flatbreads. We were walking around pretty aimlessly trying to find...I dunno...something. Then this man from the info kiosk names Vinny brought told us he knew where it was, and led us into the neighboring alley. (A little weird, I know, but hear me out.) From there he pointed out something on the telephone booth. It was a bottle cap with a magnetic bottom. We unscrewed the top, and all wrote our names on the paper inside, before putting it back where we found it. But yeah, that was my first geocache experience. Can't wait to find more (I think).

June 20, 2016

EASH - #14

Earlier that day, (I don't know why I didn't write this one first, silly me) I had performed at the Fairy Festival at Cranmore. Not only was the event outdoors, but it was free and there was music. Pretty good music too, if I do say so myself.

June 17, 2016

EASH - #5 (1/2)

After the previous day of Apples to Apples, I had decided that Tait would officially be the individual I drag around all summer in an attempt to complete this list. So the next day, I had him drive me to the Madison Boulder, which is a state park according to the official NH State Parks website. However, of course, their information sign was under reconstruction, so no map could be obtained, but I'm sure I could get one offline or something. I even brought my uke to play some sick jams.
The pioneers used to ride these babies for miles

June 17, 2016

Extracurricular Activity Scavenger Hunt (EASH) - #13

My summer began as any good summer would: with a solid game of Apples to Apples. Tait's grandmother had come to stay with them for a bit, and after a long day at the lake, we all figured that an Apples to Apples game would be ideal (and not to toot my own horn or anything, but I absolutely destroyed the competition). *toot toot*
June 16, 2016*

*I know this wasn't technically summer yet but
A. Tait had finished school so it was techincally vacation for him and everyone else.
and B. I should be praised for starting my summer assignment early. You don't see me doing that for any other classes, do you?