12-26 Lisa top five

[Image above] Credit: PxHere


With less than a week until 2019, the pressure is on to choose a New Year’s resolution, be that fitness goals, saving money, or focusing on self-care. For myself, the resolution I’m choosing is reflection.

As someone recently graduated from student life, my mindset operates on “What’s next?” mode really well. But reflecting on what you have done so far rather than what you still need or want to do is a good way to give yourself a break from the pressures of everyday life.

I do not have quite as much time to reflect on Ceramic Tech Today as some of my peers—I’m just shy of being here two months!—but I started following Ceramic Tech Today in July, when I first heard of the opportunity to be Science Writer for ACerS.

Even with only half a year of CTT posts to choose from, picking five favorites was definitely a challenge. We cover so many varied and interesting topics here at Ceramic Tech Today, it is never a dull day at the office.

Here are my top five favorite posts from 2018, ones that both let me reflect on what I have written so far and reflect on possibilities I might write about in 2019.

Go ahead and dive in—Urine content is just a ‘drop in the bucket’

“Researchers conducted studies on the amount of urine in an average swimming pool. The results show that you’re probably not in any danger.”

This article is one of the first I read when applying to be the new Science Writer. I could tell right away this position was a job I would love writing for!

Video: 3-D printed housing communities could be reality in third-world countries

“Many people lack adequate housing, but Icon, an Austin construction company, wants to change that. The company recently introduced a 3D-printed concrete house that was printed in less than 24 hours at a fraction of the cost of an average home.”

I love seeing research that helps people in the most need. I also did not realize before joining ACerS that concrete is classified as a ceramic, so it has been interesting learning about all the concrete research going on and thinking about what more there is to learn.

The science of Stan Lee

“Though not a scientist, Stan Lee extensively used scientific-sounding reasoning in the creation of his characters. Take a closer look at some of Lee’s versions of science.”

Paying proper homage to an icon is always an honor and a challenge, and I enjoyed the challenge of digging through Lee’s creations to find the best ones to represent his science pertaining to ceramics and glass.

Video: Solution to cutting ‘gummy’ metals can be found in office supply store

“Researchers solved a common problem in the machining of gummy metals. They demonstrated that adhesive products like Sharpies and glue sticks provide cleaner cuts—which could ultimately result in lower machining costs for manufacturers.”

So much focus is heaped on research that costs the most and produces the shiniest new toy, but I find the coolest inventions are reusing what is already here.

Video: Watch this professor break world record for assembling periodic table in under nine minutes

Vilas Pol

“Without looking, do you know where each element lies on the periodic table? A chemical engineering professor just set a Guinness World Record for placing each element in its proper spot on the periodic table. Watch this time-lapse video to see how he did it.”

I remember learning a hundred digits of pi for extra credit when I took Algebra II, but I can’t imagine learning the whole periodic table. Kudos to this professor for finding a creative way to inspire his students!