Small break in the antibiotic resistance series because of something very exciting …. I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Ewen Sommerville, another wonderful science blogger whose blog is as new as this one. I’m really appreciative of the nomination and I’d really encourage you to check out his blog, particularly if you’re stepping out into the blogging world yourself because he’s running an ongoing series of posts about how he’s building his blog. (Hint, they’re great!)
But back to the award.
It’s very much an ‘out-of-the-blue’ and completely unexpected nomination because I have so few followers and it so often feels like I’m just sitting in my room, typing away into the great abyss of the internet! And as Schrödinger’s Cat (another great blog!) mentioned in their Sunshine Blogger Award post, us bloggers love comments and likes that let us know that we’re not all alone!
The award isn’t a physical thing, but instead it’s just a nomination from another blogger who finds your blog inspiring and amazing. And on the flip side, the nominating person gets to ask 11 questions that the nominee must answer in a post (that’s below) and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo. Then I get to nominate 11 more blogs that I find inspiring.
So that’s today’s post. I’m answering 11 questions, so you can get to know me a little better and see some links to other really, really great science blogs that inspired my continuing blogging journey. And really, it’s just incredible that typing away from my tiny little corner of the internet has given me this amazing opportunity and honour. Thanks again Ewen Sommerville!
The answers to 11 questions
Why did you decide to start blogging?
I love to write and I love science, the rest is history! Well not quite. I’d been reading some amazing science blogs for a while and still love them (see them down the bottom of this post) and also realised that I love to communicate scientific concepts to other people. Add to that, I love a bit of creativity in my writing and the less formal, more conversational style of blogs. So blogging seemed an obvious choice and I decided at the start of this year that I was going to trial it for at least a whole year, but I’ve already decided that I’m going to continue onwards and upwards!
What is the long-term goal for your blog?
My long-term goal is really just to inform people about fascinating science! In doing so, I’m hoping to really improve my science communication skills and improve my site and so on so as to reach even more people. Also, if I’m able, I’d love to use my blog as a way of demonstrating my science writing and communication abilities to be able to write as a science journalist of sorts for others.
Do you have a routine or typical plan when starting a new blog post?
Once I’ve been inspired on a topic to write about (more on that later), I generally go and do my research (like all good scientists) and gather background knowledge of my topic. I generally have a fairly clear idea of how I think concepts would best flow in a post and then just sit down and write. I’ll generally spend the most time perfecting my introduction because my personal opinion is that a good introduction sets up the entire piece! Once I’ve finished then I’ll go and get a pretty picture for the front cover, then wait a day or so to proofread then publish!
What is your favourite blog post that you have written so far?
This question is easy! I’m a dedicated and committed coffee lover that wars with the copious amounts of media that claim that it’s terrible, along with some article that think it’s a miracle drink (well maybe not quite that extreme). So in one of my fairly early posts I put a lot of time and effort into researching in attempt to elucidate some truth and clarification on the good and bad of coffee for people to try and make a more justified decision. So coffee or not? A discussion of the science was and still is a highlight!
What social media platform has helped you the most to grow your blog?
This is still a newer blog with very few followers, but I’ve definitely picked up new followers from both Facebook and Twitter. My Facebook page has probably been most helpful as I post daily science facts that I hope interest people.
Dogs or cats?
I don’t own either, but I prefer cats because they’re wonderful and quiet to suit my introverted side.
Where do you find your inspiration for writing blog posts?
Interesting question. I’ve got a running list of post ideas that I add to in moments of inspiration, but more commonly I pick topics that I’m very interested in, have currently been reading in or relate to specific days/months etc…
What is your favourite book?
This one’s easy! I’m a Lord of the Rings fan and absolutely love the whole trilogy. I really enjoy Tolkien’s world and characters. To boot, I used to live in New Zealand and have seen many of the areas that were used to film the movies, although I definitely prefer the books to their videoed counterparts!
Do you have any special or unusual talents?
Much as I dislike talking about myself, I love to dance. I’m taking my Intermediate RAD ballet exam next week and love to work really hard on all the technique and beauty that’s imbedded in ballet.
As to any other talents, I’ve developed considerable talent at asking questions. A great attribute for someone who’s going into science, but has a considerable downside when you can’t work out the answers or frustrate teachers and professors to no end!
Where is your dream holiday destination?
This one’s going to sound weird, but I really want to visit Antarctica. It’s a great source of discussion at ‘get-to-know-you’ events when I’ve been asked this question as it’s certainly not where most people expect. As to why I’d love to go there, I’d be fascinated to see much of the scientific work that goes on, particularly the IceCube neutrino detector, buried 1.5km under Antartica’s surface! So if any of you know anyone in Antartica who’s say, looking for a summer intern, I’d love to know!
Finally, can your summarise your life in three songs?
Absolutely not. But I will give it a shot!
I think that the best summary of my life would be in my favourite songs, as every song I love resounds with a little piece of me. As I play largely classical music (piano and cello) there’s no lyrics, but more the beauty of the piece.
Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. I can play the first two movements, but don’t have a hope on the third! I find it a very powerful and moving piece, which I really like and I’ll go to sit down and play it when I feel really sad and overwhelmed and it really resonates with how I’m feeling, but it also has hidden beauty and power.
Holst’s The Planets. A whole suite of pieces, but really, really beautiful music! I love the power, determination and crashing crescendos which I personally think are reflective of much of how I approach life. When I was younger I used to dance to these all the time and loved how I could express all my energy and hidden depths in such powerful pieces!
Finally, Night on a Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky, another incredible piece that with a lot of haste and movement, but also desperation and sadness which everyone can resonate with at least some time in their life. Also, I got to hear this piece live by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra last year which was such an incredible experience (and I had free tickets)!
And 11 more great blogs!
If you’re looking for more great blogs, these are a whole range of different niches and a quick reminder of the rules for nominees:
- Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.
- Answer 11 questions the blogger asked you.
- Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and ask them 11 new questions.
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post and/or on your blog.
And 11 new questions!
- What’s your favourite thing you’ve written?
- Why did you pick your niche?
- What would be your ideal superpower?
- What’s the most worthwhile thing you’ve ever done?
- What advice would you give to a beginning blogger?
- Which is your favourite time period in history (or future)?
- Your favourite subject in school?
- Most enjoyable form of exercise?
- Do you believe the universe is finite or infinite?
- What’s your “grand life plan” and have you achieved it?
- What thing could you talk about for hours on end?