My Nerdy Halloween Costumes

If you’re anything like me, Halloween is just another time to shout to the world, “Hey! I’m a nerd!” (Because it’s not like people can already tell.) It may still not for be nearly two months, but I just thought of an awesome costume today and I’m so excited! Therefore, I would like to share my previous Halloween costumes

Image

2011 – Sexy Scientist

Because being a scientist for Halloween is just a given. I took an old lab coat of my dad’s and altered its size so that it fit well. I decided to wear spandex shorts underneath to make it really seem like the lab coat was a dress. After that it was pretty simple. I took gloves from my lab, put on my lab goggles from undergrad chem lab, and bought a new 500 mL erlenmeyer flask as a prop. I saw a few scientists that year on my way to a Halloween party, but surely none of them were as cool as me. Want to know why? The erlenmeyer flask wasn’t just a prop, I drank out of it! If you do this though, make sure to buy a brand new flask. You can get them pretty cheap on amazon.

~

Image2012 – Xenon: The Noble Gas

I wanted something even more different to top my scientist costume. Therefore, I came up with being an element. I picked xenon because when an electric current is ran through it, it emits purple light. I already had shiny purple spandex leggings from Ragstock that my friends had bought me for some reason and I had a long purple tank top, so I had the majority of the outfit good to go. All I had to do after that was use puff paint to write out the periodic symbol on a piece of white fabric and sew it on to the tank top. I also bought a cheap crown from the party section at target since xenon is a “noble” gas. I got purple glow sticks later in the night (not shown) that actually looked like a xenon lamp.

~

Mrs. Frizzle2013 – Mrs. Frizzle

I had a throwback to my youth this year as Mrs. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus. I left my hair wavy and put it up in a bun. I mimicked her space-themed dress with a solar system bodycon dress from Amazon. A lot of people thought I was just a galaxy for Halloween, but I added the school bus to my purse to add to the Magic School Bus theme.

~

Marie CurieAlso 2013 – Marie Curie

With three Halloween gatherings this year, I couldn’t just have one outfit. Thursday I brought back the Xenon costume from 2012, Friday I rocked Mrs. Frizzle, and Saturday I brought back 2011’s Sexy Scientist with a twist – Marie Curie. I used the same lab coat and wore a black dress underneath (Marie Curie is usually just depicted in a black dress but the lab coat was for clarification). I also added my own “radium” by cutting open a couple green glow sticks and transferring the contents to a test tube. It looked really cool but was unfortunately difficult to manage to not spill. Next time, I’ll have to get a cap for the tube so I can put it in my pocket and not have to hold all night.

~

Other nerdy costume ideas that I may eventually rock:

  • Schrodinger’s cat
  • Dark matter

If you have any other cool ideas, let me know!

I may not be religious, but I am spiritual

I grew up without organized religion, feeling left out at times such as when my friends would go to youth group together without me or when I’d have dinner with a friend’s family and they would pray before eating. I would try to go to church with my friends every now and then, but it never felt like the place for me; I was much too skeptical of the stories and was offended by how they talked poorly about those who had other religious beliefs or those who at least questioned their religious beliefs. Nonetheless, I did appreciate the desire to help others that religion instills as I have always favored altruism. I was told frequently that some day, I will “find God” and I scoffed at the remark, preferring to attribute my views to my own experiences and understanding.

What these views are exactly has been difficult to describe. For a while I said I was atheist, but after discovering the term, I realized that really I was more agnostic. This was yet too apathetic of a term and after watching David Eagleman’s Possibilian talk, I began to use his active exploration of the possibilities to describe how I saw the world. This is still the best explanation I can form for my beliefs, but these beliefs relate to a much larger topic that no one religion can contain.

Throughout the years, I have continued to be a philanthropist and have become a leader focusing on inspiring others and connecting to the greater world. It is this connection to others and the desire to inspire them that helped me “find God” in my own way. I am not here to advocate for or attack any religion at all but rather to argue that while we have our own religions, there is a greater unifier. My way of “finding God” was to become more aware of myself in the context of the greater world, more aware of what I already believed and who I am as a person, and to appreciate fully not just the belief systems of various religions but the basis of their religions, which is to give meaning to the question: “Why?”

“Why?” Such a short, simple word is yet an endless question to resolve. We begin to try to answer it at a young age when we pester our elders asking “Why?” about everything such as “Why is the sky blue?” “Why don’t dogs talk?” and “Why is snow cold?” As we become older, we become less outwardly obnoxious about it, taking the search for answers into our own hands. We wonder, “Why does one otherwise healthy person get cancer and a relatively unhealthy person does not?” “Why does this person not want to date me?” “Why do people do such hateful and harmful things to others?” and ultimately, “Why do we exist?” All in all, we ask “Why?” to search for meaning in our lives.

This search for meaning can be seen as the source of all of our spirituality. If you’ve feared death, felt sad at the loss of another, or felt love for another, you’re spiritual. If you’ve pondered your purpose in this life, you’re spiritual. If you’ve felt the desire to help improve the lives of others, you’re spiritual. All of these show at least some appreciation that has come from the search for meaning. The belief systems we follow are just ways that we try to answer the same question: “Why?”

As a scientist, I am no less spiritual than any other. Far too often, I see this clash between science and religion, and it pains me to see such narrow minded beliefs. I too ask “Why?” I seek to answer the same questions. I seek to find meaning in the world just as much as any other. I feel compassion toward my fellow man. I believe in the greater good. If anything, being a scientist makes me more spiritual because it lets me actively search for these answers that we all seek.

No matter how each of us rationalizes our existence whether belonging to a certain religion or not, we have a common goal to search for meaning in our lives though we may not consciously realize it. It is this that unites us regardless of which story we believe is true. Understanding this greater unity makes me wonder “Why are so many in the world so closed minded?” “Why are religion and science viewed as distinct entities?” and “Why do we focus so much on the small things that separate us rather than the greater things that unite us?”