Author Archives: Meredith Herndon

Gluten Sensitivities

My cousin has celiac disease, my boyfriend is allergic to gluten, and best friend is deathly allergic to gluten and dairy, so while I myself have no allergies, it’s safe to say I have experience in knowing people with them.  While celiac disease is a different ballpark than plain allergies, I’ve always been curious as to why I was lucky enough to have no allergies and my friend has two major ones.  I skimmed around Google and instead of finding what I was initially searching for, I found a study called Small Amounts of Gluten in Subjects With Suspected Nonceliac Gluten Sensitivity: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Cross-Over Trial .  The experiment in question set forth to test if individuals who believed their issues in their G.I. system were due to the gluten or to something else.

The null hypothesis for the experiment would be that consuming gluten did not negatively affect a persons G.I. system, and the alternative hypothesis would5564145_orig be that consuming gluten would negatively affect a persons G.I. system. For the actual double-blind placebo test, 61 people who believed that they had issues with their G.I. system due to gluten intake were randomly split into two groups.  For the first week they were given a table containing 4.375 grams of gluten a day or a tablet of rice starch; For the second week, the two groups would switch.  During the two weeks, the individual would wrote down their symptoms, such as bloating, pain, and depression.  Once the experiment was over, the results were studied and researchers found that across the board consuming gluten caused a large increase in the symptoms the patient recorded, corresponding to the alternative hypothesis.

While I do think that this studies findings are valid, since gluten sensitivities are a very common occurrence nowadays and for someone with a sensitivity to have these symptoms makes sense.  But, I felt that these results were easy to predict since the sensitivity was known.  Personally, I don’t have any allergies, but I know that going gluten free has been a fad diet for awhile since people believe that since cutting gluten improved the lives of those with a sensitivity, it will improve their health even if they don’t have a sensitivity.  I did some research to see if that was necessarily true and while I wasn’t able to find a study relating to my search, I did come across an article from titled Gluten-Free Diet: Benefits & Risks. 

What I read essentially stated that if you don’t have a sensitivity, cutting gluten out of your diet will do nothing for one’s health.  For those who feel like cutting gluten out of their diet has significantly improved their health, all that they’re feeling is the reduction of foods full of carbs and sugars.  According to the site, gluten is just protein that keeps bread together and does nothing harmful to one’s health as long as the person is able to digest it.  In fact, nutritionists say cutting gluten out deprives the body of all the nutrients in gluten products that the body needs!

In my opinion, I felt that the first study I discussed was not at all surprising.  While it would have been interesting if the results had gone the direction of the alternative hypothesis, I knew that that was unlikely.  While it also may have been interesting to have seen how third variables come into play, it would be hard to dispute the role of gluten in any of these instances.

In the end, the diet one consumes is purely up to choice and how it makes them feel.  If you do decide to cut out gluten, though, make sure you fulfill all the nutritional needs you will have.  While I don’t believe that any of the results found were groundbreaking, it is interesting to see the bodies reaction to foods it can’t process and how a simple diet change can completely affect one’s health.  So, maybe if you’re feeling any of the symptoms I mentioned earlier, try cutting gluten out for a week and see how you feel!



Site on going gluten free:







Sexism in Videogames

In this day and age, the internet has grown to be a very strange place; You click on a Facebook link and are directed to sites full of bizarre ads and weird articles that you’d never willingly look at.  One of those strange ads that I always see is one for World of Warcraft, an online videogame.  The advertisement shows a hyper sexualized woman, wearing “armor” that covers less than a bikini.  This is not an uncommon sight to see for videogames; Take Grand Theft Auto for example, most of the women portrayed are again, hyper sexualized and often have the role of being prostitutes, while the men are extremely muscular and do all of the action in the game. In the media, the discussion of whether or not violent video games cause aggression in children is one that is always being debated, but after seeing this ad, I wanted to see how this type of sexualization in videogames affects player attitudes of women.

The first study I found was a German experiment called Sexist Games=Sexist Gamers? A Longitudinal Study on the Relationship Between Video Game Use and Sexist Attitudes. In this study, the null hypothesis was that sexist video games don’t cause sexism in players while the alternative hypothesis was that sexist video games do cause sexism in players.  The study also tested the reverse causation of the alternative hypothesis by testing if having a sexist attitude makes a player more inclined to play sexist video games.

The observational figure1experiment gave two phases of surveys to 4,500 videogamers to measure their third variables, such as their level of education, how many hours they spend playing videogames a day, and their beliefs on gender roles.  I found the results to be interesting because each third variable was measured against the reported attitudes, so researchers were able to see that younger males had more sexist attitudes as compared to older males, but also that educated members of both genders were less sexist than those with less education.  The results also showed that females held less sexist attitudes across the board.  But, when it came to see how the genre of the videogame (if it were sexist or not) was tested, there seemed to be no significant rise in sexist attitudes among the players, therefore following the null hypothesis and showing no mechanism between sexist videogames and sexist players.

While I appreciated the fact that despite the genre of the game, the player’s attitudes didn’t change, I admit was slightly surprised.  Just to double check with my initial thought process, I Googled the hypothesis on videogames and violence. The study I found was called Videogames, Television Violence, and Aggression in Teenagers  and ran through a set of surveys given to 250 teenagers.  The results came back being that violent videogames did not increase aggression in teenagers, which made my negative thoughts on the previous study subside.  Even though some of the violence and sex portrayed in videogames may be extremely unappealing to some and could be hypothesized to affect player’s attitudes, it seems that what happens in those videogames stays in those videogames.

In my opinion, the study on sexism did a great job identifying third variables that would also affect the attitudes of players.  Clearly, age and level of education had more of an effect on the attitudes of players than time spent playing did.  I do believe, though, that in terms of self-assessed sexism, people may downplay the feelings they have and change their answers if they know they’d be seen as sexist.  Such as with memory, self assessments can often be faulty since humans are not reliable, but in cases like these, self assessments are the only way to tell a person’s thoughts.  While impossible, it would be interesting to see how a person’s true thoughts correlated to the types of videogames they played.  Overall, I think that this study was very well done and interesting.  While I don’t believe that this is a topic where more studies will be conducted, it is slightly comforting to know that sexist content doesn’t affect the attitudes of its players.


Study on sexism and photo source:

Study on violence:

Marijuana and the Lungs

When reading through a lot of the blogs on our class website, I tend to see a lot of posts regarding the beneficial effects of smoking marijuana.  While I can’t say I read every argument defending the positive aspects of it and disproving all the negatives, there is one question that always pops up in my head: How is it so beneficial event though you’re still inhaling smoke?  I took to Google to find out and quickly found a meta-analysis published in Nature Partner Journals entitled Effect of Cannabis Smoking on Lung Function and Respiratory Symptoms: A Structured Literature Review that took a look into how marijuana smoking affected the respiratory system and pulmonary diseases.

Initially, the meta-analysis took 256 studies but narrowed it down to 19 studies based on specific criteria.  For all of these studies, it can be assumed that the null hypothesis was that smoking marijuana doesn’t affect the human respiratory system, and that the alternative hypothesis was that smoking marijuana does affect the human respiratory system.  While the ways in which each study conducted their experiment were not written in the article, the results did somewhat surprise me.  Out of the 19 studies, only 8 reported no change, 6 found a decrease in respiratory health, and the rest deemed the method in which they found their answers incompetent.  I looked at the studies Table 1, where all the results were listed, and again found a wide array of answers.  While these mixed revues were a good starting point, I was unsatisfied that I was unable to see the process in which they did their study, so I kept researching.

I found several other studies, which I will list below, that all had varying results as well leaving me unhappy with my findings.  It seems that the s635961444810294824-marijuanacience world is split when it comes combining the information of multiple studies into one answer.  Some studies published results stating no change, but when I looked at the site for the American Lung Association, they claimed that the toxins made from burning just about anything can affect the lungs.  The ALA also brought up the point that often, marijuana is inhaled and held in the body for longer amounts of time than cigarettes therefore the affect of tar is greater.

While the answers I found on the ALA site best matched the alternative hypothesis and my own prediction, I don’t want to only believe the information that follows my assumptions when other studies disagreed.  In my opinion, I believe that the marijuana debate will end up much like the debate on smoking in the 60s.  Since the issue of marijuana is a hot topic, and since some people may want the studies to result in certain ways, I believe that a lot of studies must be suffering from the file-drawer problem.  Not only that, I feel that it’d take a medical concern like another increase in lung cancer to occur in order for heavy research to be funded on this topic.  As of right now, a lesser functioning respiratory system is not enough especially since nothing worse has been found.

Maybe in a few decades, when chronic marijuana smokers are older and may have certain health issues related to smoking, larger scale studies may be run in order to find a mechanism.  Since so many small ones have been run that all vary in their methods, finding consistent results is difficult.  Until then, it can be assumed that while smoking marijuana is not as bad as smoking cigarettes, they probably do have a minor affect your lung health.

Initial study:

Other articles I looked into:

American Lung Association on marijuana:


Baby Weight

As of 2013, the American Medical Association has officially classified obesity as a disease.  Affecting 36%  American adults each year, its rising numbers have caused worry for health professionals warning against side effects such as diabetes, heart disease, and many other fatal health issues.  When discussing obesity, it is easy to blame the individual who has it for having a poor diet, being lazy, or just not caring.  But in all reality, studies like this and many others have shown that obesity has been found to be genetic in the terms that it affects ones metabolism.  Recently though, a study has been published that has shown evidence that not only is obesity genetic, it also affects the grown of fetuses during pregnancy.

The study is titled Maternal Pre-Pregnancy Body Mass Index and Newborn Telomere Length and it was published just this month in BMC Medicine.  Its focus was on how an expecting mothers BMI, a number determining what a healthy weight for a  should be based on their height, correlated to the length of their baby’s telomeres.  A telomere, according to T.A. Sciences, are tips on the end of our DNA (pictured below) that keep the DNA structure stable.  As explained early in the study, the reason the length of a telomere is important is because it allows scientists to see what chances a person has of developing diseases associated with age.   When a person’s telomere is shorter, the chance of them developing diseases earlier than expected in life increases.  In terms of this study, researchers wanted to see if there was a mechanism relating a mother’s weight before and during pregnancy to the length of her child’s telomeres, and eventually affect their overall health.


For this study, the null hypothesis was that a mother’s weight would not affect her child’s telomeres, and the alternative hypothesis was that a mother’s weight would affect her child’s telomeres.  Researchers collected data on the 768 expecting mothers regarding their height, and weight before and after pregnancy, and were then sorted into groups: normal, overweight and obese.  Later, when the women went into delivery, their weights were taken again and so was umbilical cord blood.  With this blood, DNA samples were taken and assessed for telomere length.  Once this analysis was finished, the results found followed the studies alternative hypothesis; The cord blood of mother’s in the normal weight range had children whose telomeres were shorter than those of children with overweight or obese mothers.

Despite this logical correlational, one potential issue I see in this blog are all the other confounding variables that would be needed to be taken into account such as the mother’s family health history, and the father’s BMI and family health history.  Also, the BMI measurement has long been debated as not being an effective way to calculate obesity, but obesity is something that is obvious to see so the accuracy of the BMI would not skew any results.  In the study a third variable that was measured was level of smoking, but I think it also would have been interesting to have seen how the level of the mother’s exercise and eating affected the results, but that type of self documented data is not always true and could have been falsely recorded by the mother.

In terms of the results, there is no possible way reverse causation could have been a mechanism since the telomeres of an unborn child or un-conceived egg cannot affect on the weight of the mother.  But, there is also the chance that the results are just a false positive since it was a smaller scale study that had lots of third variables that should have been taken into account.

While I think third variables pertaining to the mother’s lifestyle would need to be assessed, I do find these results fully believable.  I hope that further research is made on the topic of weight and infant health for this topic is one that is very relevant in todays society.


New York Times:

AMA on obesity:

CDC on obesity:

Science Direct:

Study Link:


T.A. Sciences on telomeres and photo:


The Hippocampus and PMS

As a female, I can attest to the fact that periods suck.  They’re long, painful, cause emotional instability (PMS), and are overall a pain in the butt.  While my health class in high school gave me a quick run around of what the menstrual cycle is internally and how hormones cause PMS, I still felt like I wasn’t completely knowledgeable on the process.  After a little searching around on Google, this study entitled, Dynamics of the Human Hippocampus across the Menstrual Cycle, caught my eye.  Published in Scientific Reports in August, this 2016 German study had previously seen a change in the size of the hippocampus of mice during menstruation and decided to see if the same results were true of human women.  Since the focus of the study was to check if the hippocampus in women grew as it did in the mice, the study started with the null hypothesis that menstruation does not affect the size of the hippocampus and the alternative hypothesis that menstruation does affect the size of the hippocampus.

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences conducted this experiment by observing 30 menstruating women during two periods to see how their estrogen levels, the X variable, correlated to the size of their hippocampus, the Y variable.  The team tracked each woman’s estrogen level while also studying MRI scans of her brain in order to see how the size of her hippocampus which, according to a medical report by Dr. Ananya Mandal, is a small part of the brain that controls ones emotions and long-term memory. After two weeks of following these women, the results of the experiment showed that the gray matter of the hippocampus did have a slight change in volume when estrogen levels were reported as higher than normal, adhering to the alternative hypothesis that menstruation does affect the size of the hippocampus.

While this picture added may be somewhat hard to figure, it depicts the correlation between estrogen levels and the size of the hippocampus’s measures in this experiment.


So now that we are aware that the hippocampus does grow, what does that mean in terms of how that affects the woman menstruating?  Since it’s a common known fact that hormones affect mood and PMS, the results of the study basically just found another mechanism to tie the relationship between menstruating and PMS together; for when a woman is menstruating, her level of hormones increases which causes the hippocampus grow which then alters the woman’s emotional state, directly relating to what is known as PMS.  These results also can be used as evidence to show how hormonal birth control can change the affects of PMS since the difference in monthly hormones caused by the pill or IUD change the amount of hormones which affect the way the hippocampus swell and subsequently how that affects a woman’s mood, energy, etc.

Even though this is only one study, I do belief that the findings make sense when compared to the PMS that almost every woman suffers from monthly.  One of the only issues I found in this study was that the rate of estrogen each woman based on the time of her last period, which was self reported; And as Andrew has told us before memory is faulty.  If I had conducted this study, I would have gone to farther lengths when tracking the levels of estrogen just to make sure I had the maximum amount of accuracy in my findings.

While I don’t believe that these findings are very surprising since almost everyone is aware of how a menstrual cycle affects women’s day-to-day lives, I do think it is interesting to see this new mechanism of brain swelling that relates the rise and fall of hormones to a woman’s mental state during menstruation.


Scientific Report published study and photo source:

News Medical site:



No Cure for the Penn State Plague

When I imagine getting the cold it’s in the middle winter and I’m snuggled up in my bed drinking hot tea and eating chicken noodle soup.  Never would I have imagined getting the cold when it’s still 80 degrees outside and I’m in wedges and a sundress, but that’s the beauty of living in a 10×15 room with another person on a floor housing 40 other people.  Much like a good percentage of my fellow Penn State freshman, I have caught the “rush/freshman/PSU plague”, and the only thing getting me through it are my mini packs of tissues, NyQuil, DayQuil, and a big bag of cough drops. But after over a week of hacking away in bed, unwrapping strawberry flavored cough drop after strawberry flavored cough drop and religiously taking pills but never feeling any better, I began to wonder, what do all of these products actually do?

6326213577_f92198b6a1The first article I read explained the role of cough drops.  Author Dan Myers listed the five most popular brands of cough drops (Cepacol, Halls, Ludens, Fisherman’s Friend, and Sucrets) and basically relayed the unsurprising information that cough drops do nothing to get rid of a cold.  In fact, the only thing these products do is contain ingredients (menthol, acetaminophen, some natural ingredients, and antihistamine) that will numb your throat, therefore lessening any irritation or pain in your throat and relieving the need to cough.

While I never truly had faith that cough drops helped get rid of a cold, I did have faith that the ingredients in NyQuil and DayQuil were there to help me out. But, after reading through the NyQuil page on though, I found that NyQuil and DayQuil are basically just glorified versions of cough drops.  They too contain acetaminophen, a pain reliever, and dextromethorphan, a cough stopper, but in addition, they contain something called pseudoephedrine.  According to, Pseudoephedrine is a chemical that works as a decongestant by basically keeping the blood vessels in your nose from becoming larger and causing the nasal passages to become congested.  Both NyQuil and DayQuil also work to relieve other symptoms of a cold such as aches and pains.  This time, though, I was mildly surprised to find that none of the ingredients work to stop a cold.

It’s common knowledge that the bodies immune system is the first thing that works against a cold, so even though I’ve never taken them, I wanted to know if immune system boosters actually work too? Before looking into it, I googled how the immune system works against a cold virus.  WebMD quickly informed me that once the bodies immune system senses the virus in ones throat and nose, white blood cells are sent to fight it off.  Usually those white blood cells aren’t able to fight it off which is why you end up getting sick, but that’s why people take immunity boosters; To help their immune system get the virus the first time.  I found a list of the most common immunity boosters and read through to only find that, once again, not a lot of data has proven that these pills are effective.  The two that I’ve heard about the most are Emergen-C and Airborne, but according to this article, none of the ingredients and vitamins in any immunity booster have been proven as effective.  Apparently, even the long-term myth that Vitamin C helps cure a cold is a myth!

Now, maybe I was naïve for believing that these products would actually make me better but I was fairly surprised to see that all of these products that have always been advertised for fighting a cold don’t do too much in the end. Regardless, I’m definitely not saying these commonly used products don’t have a use, for they absolutely provided short term relief.  But, if you’re looking to wipe out a cold completely, it seems that all you can do prevent and fight against a cold is cross your fingers you won’t get it, take care of yourself and, of course, sleep.


Cough drops:

Immunity boosters:






My Strange Addiction: Pathological Grooming

Hi, my name is Meredith, and I bite my nails.  It started when I was two years old and has evidently been a habit of mine ever since. Anytime I’m nervous, anxious, or even just bored, I start biting my nails without even thinking.  At this point, it’s become so second-nature to me that sometimes I catch myself doing it and I can’t remember when my hand went to my mouth.  I know it’s bad, and it makes my nails look horrendous, but I can’t stop.  After 16 years of this, just want to know, why is nail biting so addictive?

After a quick Google search, I found an answer in an article written by fellow nail biter Amy Standen. Standen told her story of how she began biting her nails at six years old and continued the habit into her 30s.  But her article took a turn when she described a visit to a psychiatrist, Dr. Carol Matthews, where she learned that in the psychology world, chronic nail biting goes beyond just being a bad habit and is actually categorized as pathological grooming.  Dr. Matthews explained that normal grooming is anything that humans learned to do to take care of themselves like scratching an itch, or quickly nipping off a hangnail.  For pathological groomers, though, these actions go beyond the normal amount and becomes something that we do at any time for basically any reason, which explains why sometimes I don’t even realize I’m biting my nails.  It’s so engrained in my reflexes I’ll start for no reason, hence the addition of the word pathological.

In my opinion though, putting pathological in front sounds very medical, as if nail-biting were a mental condition; but for awhile people thought it was! Standen explains that nail biting and other pathological grooming behaviors, such as hair pulling and skin picking, were once cast under the same umbrella as more serious OCD behaviors.  She soon after clarifies that now the broad categorization is very incorrect and explains exactly how pathological grooming distinguishes itself from OCD; pathological grooming is enjoyable!  While in both cases, there is an urge to do the action, Standen explains that OCD tendencies cause the person to panic if an action is not done correctly.  For pathological groomers, the action leaves us with a weird sense of satisfaction and enjoyment.  Even though pulling, biting, and picking is something that leaves us pathological groomers with stubby nails and scratched up skin, as weird as it sounds, it makes us feel good.

While relatively insignificant to the loads of people attesting to enjoying pathological grooming, Standen also adds in extra explanation based on an observation on mice.  As I summarized before, grooming is something that everyone and everything does.  For mice, that would be rubbing their eyes to get rid of fallen hairs.  In these observed mice though, they too took regular grooming too the extreme and would rub their eyes until they got bald spots around their eyes.  In this study done by Dr. Francis Lee, the mice were seen to have an alteration in their genes which seemed to lead to the excessive grooming, raising the question of whether pathological grooming is a genetic trait. This hypothesis is somewhat supported by Standen when she laments that her own daughter had begun nail biting, and I’d be lying if I said my own mother also wasn’t a nail biter. Still, I would need to see lots of evidence that would prove that nail biting is genetic in order to believe it.  But, seeing that this study was done in 2010 and there hasn’t been further research on the topic, in my opinion, all of this is just by chance and pathological grooming is just a quirk some people have.

Regardless of the questionable genetics hypothesis, this article made me feel a lot better about my weird little habit.  Knowing that it is psychologically proven to be satisfying now gives me a little comfort in knowing that I’m not just weird. It also gives me an answer for when people scold me for biting my nails.

So for all you nail biters reading this, yeah it’s probably not a good habit and I’m still going to try to quit, but hey, you’re not gross or weird, you’re just a pathological groomer!


Main article:

Mouse article:


Coke. Chemicals. Cancer.

According to the CDC, obesity affects the lives of 35% of Americans today.  With such a large percentage, one may think that being conscious of what you eat, and opting for foods that advertise as being “fat-free” or “low-fat” may be the best way to remain fit and healthy. But in the case of processed foods and drinks, these “low-fat” foods sometimes can be more detrimental to their health than “regular” foods and drinks. One of the main perpetrators of these relatively unknown consequences is diet sodas.  With all that information, when opening the fridge at your local convenient store, buying a 0 calorie Coca-Cola may seem like a better idea than buying a 140 calorie Coca-Cola.  Not only are you saving the calories, but according to the Coca-Cola product sites, you’re skipping out on consuming 39 grams of sugar, and taking in 5 mg less of sodium. You’re also getting 12 more mg of caffeine, which is great if you need that extra energy boost (Coca-Cola Product Facts).  With all those bonuses, opting for the diet Coke seems like the better choice, right? Probably not.d6a89e8304efb94eb28c07b0e3e54908

With such vastly different nutritional values, how is Coca-Cola is able to create two products with identical tastes? The answer is by the use of artificial sweeteners and preservatives. By comparing the two product fact sites, I saw that the way diet Coke is able to claim 0 calories while tasting the same is by taking out high fructose corn syrup, and instead adding in the chemicals aspartame, potassium benzoate, and citric acid.  According to Mary Squillace, a health blogger, diet sodas actually slow weight loss and cause bloating.  But, the more serious issue at hand is that these added chemicals can be very harmful to your overall health. In a study conducted by US National Toxicology Program (NTP), researchers found the effects of one chemical in particular, aspartame, to be detrimental to ones health through an experiment on mice.

In summary of the experiment, starting 12 days after their conception (the chemical was given to pregnant female mice), and continuing until their death, these NTP researchers fed 240 mice food mixtures containing aspartame.  Once the mice were born, they were divided into groups based on their sex, and and after the multiple groups were decided, the NTP researchers assigned a dosage of 0, 2,000, 8,000, 16,000, or 32,000 ppm of aspartame in order to measure the effects of a higher or lower dose (NTP).  It was after their deaths, though, where the true effects of aspartame could finally be seen.

After each of the 240 mice had died or was euthanized, autopsies were performed on their tissues and organs.  After the thorough dissection, the researchers found that the consumption of APM did in fact cause an increase of cancerous tumors in the mice.  Researchers also found that in the mice who had higher doses of APM, there was a significant increase if neoplastic lesions in the liver and in the lungs. These lesions and tumors were also stated to be found more frequently in male mice than female mice. The studies conclusion mentioned the possibility that the cancer was not caused directly by the APM itself, but by the chemicals it metabolized into while in the gut. It also mentioned that this could be the reason the male mice were more negatively affected than the female mice.

As someone who has always been warned against the harmful effects of soda, the results found in this study did not shock me. Even though this evidence is based on one study conducted on mice, it is not new news that neither diet nor regular soda is not good for one’s appearance or health.  While it is also important to remember that drinking soda here and there will also not be completely detrimental, it can be concluded that over time, the consumption of soda could lead to an increased chance of cancer and other serious consequences.



Reg. coke facts:

Diet coke facts:

Health Blog:,,20739512,00.html

Study PDF:

Picture Source:

No science, no problem

Hi, SC200! My name is Meredith Herndon and I am a freshman at PSU.  I’m from Pittsburgh, PA, and am currently in DUS… AKA I don’t know what I want to do with my life.  What I do know, though, is that I am not a science person.  Biology was alright but it would have been better if my teacher liked teenagers; chemistry and all the elements made my head spin; the calculations and equations in physics were too confusing to remember; and lastly, environmental science was the only science I liked but I still wasn’t great at it.  I wish I liked science, I find it extremely interesting, but I’ve never found myself to be able to enjoy studying it.  I would be reading my textbook and zone out because of how bored I got.  Facebook and YouTube videos, such as this one, blow my mind and I love hearing about science, and reading about the new discoveries that are occurring in the world around us, but I couldn’t see myself dedicating my life to these topics.


It is for these reasons that I am taking this course. When I was at NSO, scheduling my courses, I told my adviser that I was not interested in a lab science of any kind.  She told me to search around LionPath, and see if I could find anything.  After about 20 minutes of opening links and reading course descriptions, I found this class.  A second adviser came over to see my schedule and raved about this class. I quickly added it my schedule, and now I’m here: writing a blog post for “the most interesting course I will take” while very excited to see what this semester will entail!