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What was your summer read?

23 Aug

Have you read a lot of books this summer? Are there any books you want to read soon?

I managed to finish quite a few books. I read the 2nd book of the ‘Game of Thrones’ – series, some fantasy and criminal novels, and Orson Scott Card’s famous novel ‘Ender’s Game’.  Right now I’m reading some criminal story by Kathy Reichs. And my bus read (do you also have something like that?) is the very good ‘Eating Animals’ by Jonathan Safran Foer. It’s very moving.



Who’s the Better Role Model? Katniss Everdeen vs. Bella Swan

29 Mar

Since the Twilight-Franchise and the Hunger Games saga are both very popular, one big question might be: “Which heroine is the better role model?”, especially regarding the main target audience, young women. Is it Bella Swan or Katniss Everdeen?

Round 1: Skills

Before turning into a vampire, Bella’s most intriguing skill is to be immune to the special skills of some other vampires. Katniss Everdeen’s skills include climbing trees and making traps, but her most promising one is her ability to effectively use a bow and arrows.
Bella just happens to have her special skills, whereas Katniss acquired them while trying to keep her family alive. She learned what she needed to know and thus stands for the things you can achieve if you work hard for them.

Round 1 goes to Katniss.

Round 2: Love

Bella is torn between the love of her life, vampire Edward, and her best friend werewolf Jacob. When separated from her one true love, she likes to endanger her own life because it makes her believe she can hear his voice again. A rather questionable attitude.
Katniss is also part of a love triangle, close to her childhood friend Gale, and Peeta the boy who’s send to the arena with her. But to her, love doesn’t come first, her family is her priority.

Round 2 goes to Katniss (mainly because while boyfriends might come and go, your family always is your family)

Round 3: Appearance

Both, Kristen Stewart and Jennifer Lawrence, are beautiful young women. And just to make that clear, Jennifer’s curves are amazing. Hopefully she’ll keep them and not listen to those who call her too ‘big’.

Round 3 goes to both.

Round 4: Goals

Bella’s main goal is to stay with Edward forever. Thus she wants to become a vampire. Which means giving up the life she used to have in order to be with him. He doesn’t ask her to do that, but it is what she wants. Katniss’ main goal is to keep her beloved sister Prim alive and happy. Her activities are motivated by her love for her. Thus she endangers her own life to protect her.

Round 4 goes to Katniss (because her wish isn’t motivated by what would make herself happy, but by how she can make another person happy)


Katniss seems to be a better role model for young women. She is independent, strong and brave, and her priority in life is not her boyfriend. Bella’s attitude is questionable, especially when she is separated from her love. Do we really want young women to think that their life is worthless without their boyfriend?

What’s your opinion? Do you agree or disagree? Feel free to discuss!

Sheldon Cooper would probably love this book…

20 Feb

I discovered James Kakalios’ book “The Physics of Superheroes” by accident while looking for books on superheroes in general. It turned out that I couldn’t use it for my original research project, but that it was fun to read, and very informative as well.
“The Physics of Superheroes” explains basic science theories by using superheroes as examples. While reading it, we learn why Superman’s ability to jump over skyscrapers  isn’t that unrealistic, and why Spiderman’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy really had to die. We get to know Newton and Schroedinger, and – and that’s the most important part – we enjoy learning these things. And Kakalios’ humorous comments make “The Physics of Superheroes” even more entertaining. A must read for people who love superheroes or physics or both.