Tag Archives: science

An Interview With Susan Kaye Quinn

Today, I get to interview the wonderful Susan Kaye Quinn. She’s someone I get to gush over fun science stuff with – like scientists freeze light – and, I’ve been able to read a couple of her books (I’ll provide links throughout and at the end).Susan Kaye Quinn 300 pix

R.w.Foster: What is your process for getting in the mood to write?

Susan Kaye Quinn: Belting out “Let It Go!” at the top of my lungs, scaring the cats as well as all my fears away.

R.w.F: In my opinion, the greatest enemy of a writer is Procrastination. How do you defeat this dreaded beast?

SKQ: By openly attacking my fears with a steak knife and some creative action; as well as actively immersing myself in my work once I start. These two have greatly cut down on my procrastination activities.

R.w.F: Do you have any advice for those who want to start writing?

SKQ: Write a lot. Write some more. Don’t endlessly fiddle. The dichotomy between writing fast and writing well is a false one – the more you write, the better you’ll get.

R.w.F.: What do you label yourself as?

SKQ: I don’t like labels – for me or anyone else.

R.w.F: What were you doing at midnight last night?

SKQ: Wishing I was asleep.

R.w.F.: Name one movie that made you cry.

SKQ: If it’s well done, almost any movie can make me cry.

R.w.F: If you were a type of tree, what would you be?

SKQ: Weeping Willow

R.w.F.: If you were a color, what one would you be?

SKQ: Polka Dot

R.w.F.: When was the last time you laughed so hard your stomach hurt?

SKQ: I don’t know, but it was certain to be something my kids did.

R.w.F.: Would you rather be immortal, but dependent on blood, or age 1000 times slower than everyone else?

SKQ: I’d rather have nanites in my brain that will enhance my intelligence, make me independent of my wetware, and give me an immortal robotic body. It’s possible I’ve written a story about this.

R.w.F.: Would you tell us about your latest (or an upcoming) release?

SKQ: I’m deep into writing my YA SF Singularity series – about a future where most of the world has ascended into hyper-intelligent human-robot hybrids, except for the Legacy Humans left behind, preserved for their biodiversity like the rainforest. The first novel of the series, The Legacy Human, tells the story of Eli, a Legacy Human boy who wants to be an ascender… until he finds out he’s something altogether different than he thinks. I’m working on the second novel, The Duality Bridge, which should release in August. Along with the novels, I’m writing a series of companion short stories, the Stories of Singularity, that explore all the dark corners of the Singularity universe that I can’t get to with the novels. The first of those is out— Restore, a story about a med bot ruled by unconditional love, rather than the three laws of robotics.

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the Singularity Series, the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, and the Debt Collector serial, as well as other speculative fiction novels and short stories. Her work has appeared in the Synchronic anthology, the Telepath Chronicles, the AI Chronicles, and has been optioned for Virtual Reality by Immersive Entertainment. Former rocket scientist, now she invents mind powers, dabbles in steampunk, and dreams of the Singularity. Mostly she sits around in her PJs in awe that she gets to write full time.

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I Couldn’t Remain Silent On This Any Longer

For a while now, I’ve been travelling the internet, trying to correct, and educate folks about different points of science. I try to correct, and teach the truth about vaccines, and transgenic foods (more commonly known as GMOs), and other, similar things. Obviously, I am pro-science. Frequently, I am lead to websites, and blogs, filled with misinformation, debunked hypotheses, and outright lies. Finally, I read something which made me want to blog about some of this stuff. First, read thisperson’s post, and then slide back over to this window, and read the following:

Wow. Those points were wrong on so many levels. Let’s break them down one by one, eh?

1) If you choose not to vaccinate (which covers those who aren’t able to be), you do not love your children. Full stop. Why? You’d take a chance, if they get measles, such as, of the following: Pneumonia, ear infections, diarrhea, encephalitis, and other things (see here: http://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/complications.html). If they get mumps, the complications are inflammation of the sexual reproductive organs of males & females, as well as of the brain and spinal cord (see here: http://www.cdc.gov/mumps/about/complications.html). If you get rubella while pregnant, you risk deafness, cataracts, heart defects, mental retardation, and liver and spleen damage to your newborn. That’s just three.

2) No comment.

3) Vaccines are actually very safe, despite implications to the contrary in many anti-vaccine publications (which sometimes contain the number of reports received by VAERS, and allow the reader to infer that all of them represent genuine vaccine side-effects). Most vaccine adverse events are minor and temporary, such as a sore arm or mild fever. These can often be controlled by taking acetaminophen before or after vaccination. More serious adverse events occur rarely (on the order of one per thousands to one per millions of doses), and some are so rare that risk cannot be accurately assessed. As for vaccines causing death, again so few deaths can plausibly be attributed to vaccines that it is hard to assess the risk statistically. Of all deaths reported to VAERS between 1990 and 1992, only one is believed to be even possibly associated with a vaccine. Each death reported to VAERS is thoroughly examined to make sure that it is not related to a new vaccine-related problem, but little or no evidence suggests that vaccines have contributed to any of the reported deaths. The Institute of Medicine in its 1994 report states that the risk of death from vaccines is “extraordinarily low.”

4) No vaccine is 100% and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is a liar. There is this little thing called “herd immunity.” This maybe a bit hard to understand, and I’m sure no one has taken the time to explain it in simple terms (I’m not saying you are stupid by any means). Next time you’re out and about, take a moment to consider a brick wall. Start with the bottom row. Imagine that each individual brick is a person. We’ll say they are all vaccinated. Next, look at the next row. Notice how they are slightly offset from the ones below them? We’ll also consider them the next group of people who are also vaccinated. Continue this all the way to the top. Now, take a moment to consider the mortar in between each brick. That is the overlap in immunity, or the herd immunity, if you will. Finally, let’s say something happens, and you remove a brick from that wall. Notice how it doesn’t fall down, and the others are still covered? That is herd immunity at work. If you keep removing bricks, the wall will eventually fall. The first brick may have been someone who was immunocompromised, one of the elderly, or a seventh month old infant. The ones you kept removing? those are the ones whose mom, or dad, decided not to vaccinate. Getting vaccinated is a social contract, and responsibility.

5) Sounds like you’ve never been to a third world nation. Yes, clean water *is* important, however, so are vaccines. As I pointed out above, those vaccine preventable diseases do a lot of damage. They kill millions of children every year.

6) It is not elitist, and no one is saying that you’re too stupid to get it. Saying “If you understood the science you would do it,” is saying that you don’t have the knowledge. Has nothing to do with intelligence. Stephen hawking is widely celebrated as one of the most brilliant people alive, but I wouldn’t go to him for medical information. You say your research is as good as a real doctor’s is rather silly. Would you like a couple of examples?

Identify the cytokine that is responsible for the early development of B cells in bone marrow. In its absence, B cells do not develop.
A) IL-1 B) IL-2 C) IL-4 D) IL-7 E) IL-10

Which of these antibody chains is the *first* to respond to an antigen?
A) IgA B) IgG C) IgM D) IgE E)IgD

See what I mean?

7) Goes back to number six. Doctors get a few months *each year* of schooling on vaccines. Not hours. Have you talked with actual medical doctors, or is your information on coming from guys like Mike Adams, Joe Mercola, or the Geiers?

8) It *is* factual. No one is talking about the children that died in rural areas when they say “walk through the graveyards.” They’re talking about city graveyards. Those children had access to clean water. Heck, another good argument: look at Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The former POTUS had access to clean water, and proper sanitation, and he *still* ended up with polio. because there wasn’t a vaccine when he was a child.

9) Another link to that same book? Heck, since you believe whatever is written in a book, buy this one: amzn.com/B00LDYV9YS, and travel The Realm. Yes, children can die from a vaccine. However, that child has a better chance of being struck by lightning three times. Odd of a single strike? 1 in 600,000.

10) First, your information is incorrect. Wakefield’s study was a fraudulent 1998 research paper in support of the now-discredited claim that there is a link between the administration of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and the appearance of autism and bowel disease. (see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield). Second, there is NO cure for Autism Spectrum Disorder. So, the bimbo otherwise known as Jenny McCarthy either lied about her child having ASD, or she’s lying about it being cured. Take your pick.

11) The medical establishment NEVER supported tobacco, and as far as cocaine, when it was first discovered, *yes* it was used as a pain reliever. However, it was quickly discovered to be highly addictive, and damaging, by the SAME community, and THEY pulled it. Try again.

12) Your numbers are wrong. It is 2 in 1,000 that will do deaf, or have brain damage, or any of the other complications. It is also 2 in 10,000 (in first world nations) that will die. The risks are measurably higher than those who buy into the anti-vax propaganda/hysteria would like to believe.

13) This is a damned shame that the states are run by fools. But, if politicians knew what they were doing, the U.S wouldn’t be 418 trillion in debt.

14) Vaccines do NOT cause autism. That Tompkins thing was taken out of context, and misquoted. This is what he really said: tinyurl.com/l4dj665. Also, ASD is genetic, so, it is *impossible* to get it from vaccines. Try keeping up on the research, eh?

15) Those things you list as “we’re not fine”? Weirdly enough, for someone who claims to want to share accurate information, none of those can *possibly* be linked to vaccines. Being fat is due to eating more than you burn off; cancer rates (which are *dropping*) are due to advancing age (average American life expectancy is now 87); learning disorders have a number of causes. As for no other country vaccinating as heavily as the U.S, you might want to check up on that again: *Every* first world nation has a near identical schedule as the United States.


And lastly, why am I not surprised that you would have stuff for sale? Oh yeah: It’s the pattern. Folks, if she allows this to be on her site, let me warn you: If someone has a website, or blog, that goes against science, and they have something for sale, you should NOT listen to them. Because, if you don’t, they can’t make any money.


Yes, this was a copy and paste from her comments section. I didn’t think she’d allow it to stay. The anti-science crowd is fond of deleting disputatious comments.

Holy Shit. People Have Actually Scared Me for the First Time.

On 12/12/2013, I had my eyes opened to something horrifying. A Facebook friend liked a status update about getting raw milk. For those few of you who might not know, raw milk is unpasteurized. I freely admitted, I started things off with some inflammatory snark.


Okay. That was a pretty reasonable response. You know, asking me to be nicer. However, pay close attention to the other stuff (which I admit, I missed until now): Non-government mandated life 9i.e. food, drugs, vaccinations, ect. Holy shit.

Little did I realize, this was the beginning of the horror show. This is my response:


Wait for it: Lunaticrantings2

See more of the crazy coming out? It’s in the post script: You have more chance of getting sick and dying from vegetables in the produce department or meats in the meat department, not to mention all the pharmaceutical drugs that have been approved as “safe…”

Wow. Here’s my response (note: I still hadn’t noticed the pharmaceutical line & some of the other commenters decided to fling names my way): responsetolunacy2

If you want to follow my link: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/consumers/ucm079516.htm Now, I’m thinking, “Okay, I gave them science based evidence. That should persuade them.” Ha-ha-ha-ha. Yeah. Right. Lunaticrantings

To quote my RageMaster 5000, “What the actual fuckity-fuck-fuck?!” (deep breath) This is my well-reasoned, and logical response: myrepsonses to lunaticrantings

Okay. Maybe not so reasoned, or logical. Certainly not emotion free. That last post from the owner of that page scared the fuck out of me. This is the 21st century. The Information Age. With all the access to science websites, blogs, FaceBook pages, and Twitter feeds, how the Hell can that shit exist? Seriously?

Not trusting the government is one thing, especially with shit like Senators tweeting pics of their junk, and bailing out Wall Street, and stuff like that, but this is science. Real science can’t lie. It can be skewed like everything else, but someone, somewhere will reveal it to be bullshit if so. I don’t mind that these people do this stuff, as I mentioned in my first post, “Darwinism works.” No, what really bothers me about this, is that these fools most likely have children who will suffer. I hate that. So, I reported the page. This is my first time doing so.

Last thing: If you want to see the original post in all it’s glory (though I hope it’s gone now), https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152008445118820&set=a.433917308819.223593.177240773819&type=1&theater&notif_t=photo_reply