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Book Review: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

Commander Chris Hadfield captured the world’s imagination last year, when, from 13 March to 13 May 2013, he was the first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station. While aboard the ISS, Commander Hadfield did a series of “experiments,” both for scientists, but, perhaps most importantly, for youth. This included genuinely interesting questions like “How do you cry in space? (video above)” and “How do you cut your nails?” and the always important “How do you go to the bathroom?” His amicable nature and genuinely infectious enthusiasm brought science to the masses, and helped inspire thousands of youth.

Commander Hadfield performed at the 2013 Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa, ON | Picture courtesy David Johnson, click for more info
Commander Hadfield performed at the 2013 Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa, ON | Picture courtesy David Johnson, click for more info

Recently, Chris Hadfield released his book – “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.” My sister waited in line for 3 hours at our local Costco to get me a signed copy for my birthday, and I finally got around to reading it for this review. The book follows the life of Chris Hadfield as he becomes the commander of Expedition 35, detailing his attitude and the path he took to become the first Canadian Commander of the ISS. The book is split into three broad sections leading up to Expedition 35 titled “Pre-Launch,” “Liftoff” and “Coming Down to Earth,” with several chapters within each section.

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A Mr Epid-inar: Cardboard Boxes: Spaceships, Forts or Friends?

Mr Epid-inar’s are short talks delivered by Mr Epidemiology at various venues; classes, conferences, speaker series’ etc. They should not be confused with the leafy green vegetable (French humour! Le woohoo!)

Serendipity Hall is a talk series in Kingston. They’re set up in the spirit of TED talks, and are meant to provide a platform for people to discuss issues they feel passionately about, and to spur discussion among attendees. I used this opportunity to talk/rant about my view on higher education and how I think we need to make serious changes in the way we evaluate scientists.

I’ve embedded the talk below for those who want to check it out. If the link doesn’t work, then try this link instead. If it still doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll get my tech guy to check it out (ie me in sweat pants).

Serendipity Hall – Cardboard Boxes

View another webinar from mrepid

A note. The talk was hosted at The Grad Club in Kingston (thanks Grad Club for hosting us!) Around the 3 minute mark, someone came in to give out food, so there’s a bit of silence, and then around the 13 minute mark a fridge turns on, providing a comforting buzzing sound in the background.

Some more thoughts about TED talks and higher education after the jump.

Continue reading “A Mr Epid-inar: Cardboard Boxes: Spaceships, Forts or Friends?”

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