Monday, September 23, 2013

Secret Letters by Leah Scheier Book Review

Oh my. This book was so amazingly written, so suspenseful and well crafted, it's hard to know where to start first.
Basically, the book is about an inquisitive, clever and feisty girl named Dora in 19th century England. She uncovers a massive secret- Sherlock Holmes just might be her biological father. Dora is thrilled- she's read his biographies written by Dr. Watson so many times! So Dora journeys to London to learn the truth, and to ask for Holmes' help in a case. Her cousin is being blackmailed over love letters she wrote when she was a teenager, and Dora is convinced Sherlock will help. So she joins her cousin in London and arrives on Holmes' doorstep- only to learn he was murdered in Switzerland by an adversary. However, his dashing young assistant Peter Cartwright, also guarding a secret past, offers his help in her case. He is investigating a disappearance of a heiress, and they soon realize their cases are intertwined. So Dora goes undercover as a maid to help Peter, learning surprising things about herself in the process. I highly recommend this book for fans of Sherlock Holmes and Victorian-age-literature readers. It was suspenseful, moving, and kept you guessing until the very end. I really enjoyed this read. (The only objectionable content- an unmarried, pregnant maid that Dora befriends mentions abortion, and while Dora 'knew it was terribly wrong, she could not find it in her heart to condemn this woman'. The woman keeps the baby, thankfully. The whole scene is very brief - not more than four sentences, but I just thought I'd mention it.)
It is very sad at the end, I must admit I cried a little bit. I hope a sequel comes out very soon.
My rating- a must read for mystery fans.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My 15th birthday!

I had an amazing birthday! My friend JoGail came over and hung out, I got lots of cute and thoughtful gifts, and a general good time was had by all. :) (love that  phrase! It's so old timey- newspaperish.)
On my actual birthday, I worked in the surgery department, so I opened gifts when I got home. Then my family took me to Chuy's. I love that place. Then Saturday, I worked in the volunteer's concession stand to raise ,money for 4-H. I got some delicious cheesy fries. Then JoGail came over and we had a party!
JoGail!!

We did our nails, played outside with my brothers and their friend, and talked for forever!  My mom made me a delicious coconut cake with fluffy white frosting, which was really good.

I was rather spoiled this birthday:
My super amazing friends I volunteer with at the hospital got me a ring. A real ring! It's so cute. I just love it. You can see it in the picture at the bottom.
I got the book Secret Letters, about Sherlock Holmes' daughter. It was epic. You should read it!
I received a lovely pair of chic brown slacks and a scarlet blouse, orange flower earrings and bracelets. Also two adorable journals, a purify water bottle, candy, and an Amazon Gift Card. My lovely relatives sent money which was greatly appreciated. I'm saving it for college. Medical school isn't cheap. :)

So now I'm 15. Everyone asks if I feel older. Not really, but when people ask me my age and I say 15, then it hits me.
15!
Woot Woot!

Friday, September 6, 2013

How do we hear? The age old mystery EXPLAINED. :)

Ho do we hear? If you Google it, you get long, drawn out answers almost as confusing as the question. So I've attempted to explain this mystery, easily and painless. I want to be an ENT surgeon, and this was excellent preparation. So, how do we hear?
The answer is simple: sound waves. Sound waves are caused by vibrations. When you hit a cymbal, it vibrates, right?
Well those vibrations cause the little particles of air floating by to vibrate, too. These air molecules vibrate, and the sound waves are carried on the air molecules. There's no sound in outer space because there's no air! That's also why the only life from that could survive in space is the balloon aliens.

Think about it this way- when you drop a stick or stone into a body of water, it makes ripples, and those ripples move outward. They're always getting bigger. Sound waves do the exact same thing. The air carrying the sound waves moves closer until it hits the sensitive part of your ear, and it vibrates all the way to your eardrum. This helps you distinguish differences in sounds. The little bones in your ear move the vibrations to your nerves, which sends the messages to your brain.

But now we come to a complex question.

What's a sound wave?
 They're actually two things- compression and refraction. Compression is the part of the wave that gathers the air molecules and COMPRESSES them. Refraction pushes the molecules away. So sound waves are constantly compressing and refracting. They can travel through liquids, solids, and gas. Interesting fact- they travel through water faster than air, and even faster in solids like stone or iron.
Cool, huh?
Well, I hope this made it all little easier to understand!