If you hate exercise and strict diets, this story is for you

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty

A few months ago I was at a health and wellness fair, mostly looking for free swag for my kids. I sat down at a cholesterol and blood pressure screening booth and the nurse told me that my blood pressure and cholesterol were both high for my age.

Hearing the words of the nurse and realizing that I was in my forties and my oldest child was 17, I knew that I needed to make some changes. Would I be there to see my eldest daughter’s wedding? …


How I accidentally turned my doomed-to-fail graphic design boutique agency into a successful software company that grossed over $100,000.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

A few years ago, I was working as a software developer for a small telephone company. I spent most of the day updating in-house customer service management software and tracking down billing anomalies in our database. It “paid the bills” as they say, but it was far from the most engaging thing I’d ever done.

In our company, there were two in-house artists who were responsible for producing our print and video advertising campaigns. I loved visiting them whenever I could. …


An educational fantasy story about cryptic genetic variation and Victorian-era gothic magic.

Image for post
Image for post

Introduction

Science Fictioned is a series of science fiction and fantasy stories based on scientific research papers. Each article starts by explaining the science behind the paper in normal-person terms, followed by a short science fiction or fantasy story based on the science.

The content in this article is based on the following paper:

Gibson, G., & Dworkin, I. (2004). Uncovering cryptic genetic variation. Nature Reviews Genetics, 5(9), 681–690.

The Science

We normally think of evolution as a slow-moving force. …


I struggled for years to feel like a successful writer until I realized I didn’t know what that actually meant.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

There is no shortage of advice available on how to become a successful writer. Countless books, online courses, workshops, retreats, conferences, podcasts, and even cruises stand ready and waiting to provide you with great insights on how to improve your craft.

But before you sign up for one more class, buy one more how-to book, or even put one more word to paper, I invite you to set down your pen, typewriter, or laptop and consider the three not-so-easy questions I think everyone needs to ask themselves before they can find success as a writer.

Do You Enjoy Writing?

You might think I’m about to offer some unhelpfully pithy advice here such as, “If you don’t enjoy it, maybe you’re chasing the wrong dream…” or “You should follow your passion…”…


An educational sci-fi story about evolutionary neural behavior and post-apocalyptic prison breaks.

Introduction

Science Fictioned is a series of science fiction and fantasy stories based on scientific research papers. Each article starts by explaining the science behind the paper in normal-person terms, followed by a short science fiction or fantasy story based on the science.

The content in this article is based on the following paper:

Radvansky, G. A., Krawietz, S. A., & Tamplin, A. K. (2011). Walking through doorways causes forgetting: Further explorations. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64(8), 1632–1645.

The Science

Have you ever walked into a room to get something, only to immediately forget why you went in there? If this happens to you frequently, don’t worry — you’re not crazy. …


Some very ugly goblins preparing to attack.
Some very ugly goblins preparing to attack.

Introduction

Science Fictioned is a series of science fiction and fantasy stories based on scientific research papers. Each article starts by explaining the science behind the paper in normal-person terms, followed by a short science fiction or fantasy story based on the science.

The content in this article is based on the following paper:

Duan, F., & March, J. C. (2010). Engineered bacterial communication prevents Vibrio cholerae virulence in an infant mouse model. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 107 (25), 11260–11264.

The Science

Bacteria are a lot smarter than most people give them credit for. Granted, they do spend most of their short lifespans moving around aimlessly in search of good things to eat, responding to chemical signals from other members of their species, and occasionally ganging up on weaker creatures they encounter. …


An ant perched on a leaf
An ant perched on a leaf
Photo by Sian Cooper on Unsplash

Introduction

Science Fictioned is a series of science fiction and fantasy stories based on scientific research papers. Each article starts by explaining the science behind the paper in normal-person terms, followed by a short science fiction or fantasy story based on the science.

The content in this article is based on the following paper:

Hoover, K., Grove, M., Gardner, M., Hughes, D. P., McNeil, J., & Slavicek, J. (2011). A Gene for an Extended Phenotype. Science , 333 (6048 ), 1401.

The Science

Just when you thought life couldn’t get any creepier, one day some entomologists, or “bug scientists” as their parents refer to them, went and discovered zombie ants. …


Image for post
Image for post

Introduction

Science Fictioned is a series of science fiction and fantasy stories based on scientific research papers. Each article starts by explaining the science behind the paper in normal-person terms, followed by a short science fiction or fantasy story based on the science.

The content in this article is based on the following paper:

Akre, K. L., Farris, H. E., Lea, A. M., Page, R. A., & Ryan, M. J. (2011). Signal perception in frogs and bats and the evolution of mating signals. Science (New York, N.Y.)

The Science

In the movie, The Lorax, one of the characters proclaims, “When a guy does something stupid once, well, that’s because he’s a guy. But he does the same stupid thing twice, that’s usually to impress some girl.” If you’ve ever found this to be true in your life, you’re not alone. …


The story behind the stories.

Many years ago, I was working as a research scientist reading an extremely boring research paper. My eyes began to glaze over. I found myself rereading the same laboratory procedures section over and over again. My stomach growled—its way of suggesting a more interesting activity. I decided to take a lunch break.

While I was eating, I picked up my Kindle and resumed reading an extremely not boring novel that I had started reading early in the week. …


Image for post
Image for post
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beware_of_the_Leopard_(6925887698).jpg

You step up to the information counter, your palms sweaty. Your mission seems easy enough — find a map to the rendezvous point, and deliver it to your contact in Morocco. Your optimistic side wants to believe this will be easy, that you’ll complete the mission early and be home in time to binge watch a few episodes of The Flash. But the more experienced side of your brain laughs at the naiveté of that optimism — you’ll be lucky to be home before midnight.

“What can I do for you?” the consular of information asks blandly. He’s a tall, skinny man with a pair of oddly tinted glasses — one lens is red, the other yellow. …

About

Lee Falin

Scientist & Storyteller, Creator of Science Fictioned: https://medium.com/science-fictioned. You can find my books and stories here: https://LeeFalin.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store