Scientiae Carnival

Scientiae Carnival

October 2009--Call for posts!

Hello all!


I, Mad Chemist Chick, will be hosting the October Scientiae Carnival from my Laboratory this month. Fall is in full swing (at least in my little corner of the world) and I find that it usually one of the busiest times for those of us in the STEM disciplines. In academia, mid-terms are approaching with end of the semester activities following soon after. In industry, there seems to be a sprint for the finish as once the holidays hit, it can be impossible to get anything accomplished until the New Year. I hope everyone finds some time to slow down and enjoy this very lovely time of year (after you submit your posts to the carnival of course!)

I found inspiration for this month’s carnival theme after hiking through the woods to see the beautiful fall colors. I am borrowing it from one of New England’s great poets, Robert Frost. The October carnival theme is The Road Not Taken. His poem, The Road Not Taken (1916) is often seen as an expression of individualism though some argue it has a more ironic meaning. For reference, the poem appears below:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth.


Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same.


And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.


Was there a point in your career or research where you were faced with two possible paths? Which one did you chose and why? Do you ever regret that decision? Or perhaps it was the best decision you ever made but you did not realized it until much later. Or have you ever taken a path only to discover it dead-ends or is circular? What did you do next? Have you, like the traveler in the poem, saved a path for another day, in regards to an alternative or second career maybe, and hope to get back to explore it someday? Perhaps some other poem is more apropos to your life and career. Feel free to submit a post on it. As always, other topics that may interest you are also welcome.

Write your posts and submit them by 12AM, Saturday, October 3, 2009. I will get the posts compiled and posted no later than October 5th. Please email a permalink URL for your post to scientiaecarnival [a] gmail [dt] com. I look forward to reading your submissions!

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