What Does a Phone Case Say About You?

phone-casesWhat does a phone case say about you? Recently I have acquired a few new phone cases and I was wondering about the perceptions people would have about my character. I wanted to know whether someone would think it is quirky or weird or “cool” or as someone that simply follows trends. Females have a tendency to be more interested in the all different types of phone cases  than males. However, I know several guys that do care just as much about their phone cases, but at the same time do not care too much about the clothes they wear or “style”. So what separates a phone case from cialisvsviagranow other material objects that are considered part of the fashion industry?  I mean some of them  do not even provide protection for one’s cellphone from breaking or from weather. Also there are tons of different choices. One can buy simply different colored ones. Or get a cool design. Or a wallet-type case. Or ones with utilities such as battery chargers. So on and so forth. But then one also has to look at the fact that cellphones have also become accessories just as much as the cases we put on them. So why wouldn’t you want to put a “cool” case on that “cool” phone of yours. You might as well make it something that says something about you. I mean someone one day just might judge you by your cover.

Ebola; What It Truly Is…

Recently, the Ebola virus has increasingly become a sensational topic. In fact, the majority of today’s society doesn’t ultimately comprehend the severity of this disease. However, being ignorant to this topic is only going to hurt you. These days, multiple students incorporate it into their daily sarcastic remarks or tease their coughing friends by calling them carriers of the disease. In order for you to grasp the brutality of this disease, you should learn more about it. The following are the most common questions regarding this virus. By reading the following responses, you are gaining insight and being informed about this disease.  After all, “knowledge is the cure for ignorance.”


What exactly is the Ebola virus and how severe is it?

Ebola is a deadly virus that will ultimately lead to one’s death. It causes bleeding inside and outside the body while destroying one’s organs and immune system. Unfortunately, this disease kills up to 90% of the victims infected with it. The death rate ranged from 50% -100%. Those who survive this disease may still face certain complications.


What is the history of Ebola hemorrhagic fever?

This virus had originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Western Africa) in 1976. There were about 318 victims whom carried the virus of whom 88% passed away. Since then, there had occurred multiple other Ebola outbreaks. Ebola gets its name from the Ebola River; a surrounding area where it had first been discovered. Majority of the patients infected with this virus are members of a small/ medium- sized towns. Africans have attempted to isolate these areas until the disease diminished but have failed. This new outbreak had started in March 2014. The patients, unknowingly, began visiting other larger countries in Africa. In fact, Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, have become the “epicentre of the world’s worst Ebola epidemic.”


What causes it?

This virus is spread from wild animals to humans. Specifically, researchers are releasing that the wild animal may be a fruit bat. The cause of the Ebola fever is Ebola virus infection. This infection results in abnormalities such as bleeding, development of a rash, damage to the liver and massive viruses in the blood. Bleeding becomes internally and externally. One may bleed from his/ her nasal passages, mouth, gums and even from the eyes. The following inevitably results to blood and fluid loss and causes death in many infected patients.




What are symptoms of this disease?

Carrying a few of the following symptoms does not necessarily imply that you may have the disease. The only way you can truly find out is through taking certain blood test such as ELISA, PCR, and virus isolation that will provide accurate results. Early symptoms include; fever, headache, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, less of an appetite, and muscle discomfort. During the progression of the disease patients will develop a rash, eye redness, sore throat, cough, chest pain, difficulty breathing/swallowing, and bleeding externally and internally.


How does the virus spread?

Humans tend to spread this virus through blood or contact of any other bodily fluids of an infected person. Ebola is mainly infectious when the individual begins to show its symptoms. People surrounding the person such as family and friends are the most likely to become infected with Ebola. Coughing will not necessarily infect another person unless some saliva is spit from the mouth as well. But one should always take precaution. Simple measures such as wiping your toilet seat or watching for contaminated needles can protect you from this deadly disease and save you, along with everyone around you, from it. However, just because a nurse gets a dab of blood from her infected patient does not mean she will suddenly carry Ebola. If the nurse washes her hands and the blood does not intervene with any of her bodily fluids (through cuts) she will be fine.


How has Ebola reached the states?

Recently, individuals within the US have encountered this rare disease. Almost all of them have become infected by going to Africa and witnessing others whom carried this disease. These individuals then return to the states unaware of their virus and may transmit it to others. The government is attempting to bring this issue to a halt especially after Duncan’s case.

Thomas Eric Duncan was the first patient to ever die of Ebola in the US. He had decided to visit his near relatives in Liberia and upon returning was discovered to be contaminated with this rare disease. Unfortunately, Duncan’s nurse, Nina Pham also became a victim of this fatal disease. Nina is the first person to contact the disease within the US. Sadly, Pham is not the first, nor the last person to become infected. Other individuals whom have gone to Africa in order to support and aide their people have also returned with Ebola.






Can Ebola become a threat within the US?

No. Although the Ebola virus is contagious, it “is not going to come to the United States and become embedded in the United States.” According to certain officials, Medical services are quick to catch up with the disease based off a patient’s travel history. They are then able to isolate those individuals and attempt to prevent from further spread. Furthermore, officials claim that this disease is mainly spread through the traditional burial customs in Africa that include the cleansing of the bodies. In America, however, such traditions do not exist.


Is there a treatment?

Currently, there is not a vaccine or medicine that is available for Ebola. Vaccines are being tested, but none are known to be successful and prescribed to the public. According to CDC (Center for Disease Control), there has been a few supportive therapies that can definitely improve one’s rate of survival; balancing a patient’s fluid, maintaining oxygen and blood pressure, as well as treating other occurring infections. Recovery can also occur depending on the strength of one’s immune system. With a weak immune system, one is more likely to suffer from this fatal disease. As of now, it is not clear whether you can still become infected after having recovered or whether you will suffer certain obstacle. A few patients whom have recovered from Ebola have faced long- term complications regarding their vision and their joints.


Can this virus be prevented?

Definitely; avoiding visiting certain countries that carry the virus in Africa would greatly lessen the possibility of suffering the virus. Staying as far away from Ebola infected patients is also extremely crucial. Certain people whom may be greatly at risk include medical caregivers and family members. Such individuals must take extreme precaution by constantly wearing gloves, gowns, goggles, and a mask around the patient. As mentioned earlier, taking certain health precautions will also be beneficial. If going near an area affected by the Ebola outbreak practicing careful hygiene is vital. Certain safety measures include; washing your hands with soap and water, covering your mouth, avoiding an infected patient’s www.cialisvsviagranow.com blood, or even contaminated objects such as needles, bedding, and clothes. One should avoid funeral or burial rituals that involve handling the body of someone who has died from the Ebola Virus.


Why hasn’t a country come up with a treatment for such a life-threatening virus?

According to Forbes, patients who have been taken to elite facilities have survived the Ebola infection. In fact, five of the six have survived with a survival rate of 83.3%. This survival rate is in fact much better than the survival rate in Africa. Unfortunately, the countries in Africa are currently in poverty and lack advanced technology within their hospitals; hence their inability to discover any vaccinations or treatments for this virus.


How are current patients being handled?

In the US, there has only been one patient to die of Ebola. The US government has taken certain measures to insure that this virus will not spread. Recently, there have been a few carriers of the disease but they are either required to remain in their households until they are fully cured or they are quarantined. These patients have all been associated with travelers from West Africa. According to CDC (Center for Disease Control), certain guidelines have also been revised to insure the protection and prevent spreading Ebola in hospitals.


How and why does this concern us?

Sure, this disease mainly occurs in countries within Africa, however; that does not mean we should be uneducated and unaware about the severity of this illness. One must take certain health measures and take part in preventing the spread of Ebola instead of making mocking remarks about it. In total 4, 877 people have died so far and the number of people infected in Western Africa is around 10,000.

There are numerous questions left unanswered regarding this lethal sickness. Ebola Virus is a critical matter that deserves to be taught about and this article only covers a brief outline of it. By truly comprehending the significance of this matter, you may leave the Ebola jokes aside when making fun of your friends next time.

Out of this World, and into the World of Science Fiction

shifterThe Shifter’s Trail by Adam Alexander is a book that portrays friendship, wittiness, and determination. Alexander takes his ideas to a whole new level when he mixes young adult fiction, science and mathematics, and aliens all into the same novel. Yes, that’s right; I’m calling out to all of you nerds out there!

This book takes place in modern day Chicago, where a girl named Andromeda Brown lives a completely ordinary life. Her life is disheveled, however, when she finds herself in a position where she’s fighting for the future of the Earth. She is used to getting into trouble, and she’s also used to sneaking out of it using mathematical strategies that her teachers and parents just can’t keep up with. Through her exceptionally genius academic skills, she’s been able to keep her friends Demarcus, Mhairi, and herself on the safe side.

But there are situations that have no safe side.

The three friends are looking for an alien that has the ability to change his appearance and transform into any shape or form he wants. This Shifter’s trail is of interest not only to Andromeda, but to other, more powerful creatures that may find the Shifter before her and her friends. If this is the case, and the Shifter’s knowledge is given to the wrong group of people, then the Earth may be diminished forever. It is up to Andromeda to choose the right decisions- and right equations- to save the world, literally.

As a writer, I was not only given the opportunity to check this book out before it was actually released, but I was also given the opportunity to chat with Mr. Alexander himself and ask him about The Shifter’s Trail. Here are a couple of the questions and answers.

hat-man1) I heard that you work as www.cialisvsviagranow.com – this link a lawyer, what inspired you to start writing a YA book?

My sister and my daughter!  My sister has been badgering me for years about writing a book and she finally wore me down to a point where I agreed to give it a go.  And having decided to write a book, I wanted it to be something my daughter could read.

2) Have you always been interested in being a writer? What came first, your ambition for writing, or your ambition for law?

Law.  I sold a sci-fi short story to a now defunct magazine when I was in college and I gave serious thought at that time to trying my hand at being a writer.  But the problem with being a writer is that it’s quite a lonely profession: it’s just you and a blinking cursor.  I’m fairly outgoing and the thought of being stuck day after day in a damp basement with only myself for company was too much!  The law just struck me as a more interesting way of life.  You get to meet all sorts of people with all sorts of problems and you help them find a way through when they most need it.  Plus, trials are, in my humble opinion, the most fun you can have with your clothes on.

3) Is science fiction your favorite genre? What are your favorite books in that category?

Yes!  I first started reading it because I wanted to know what the world would be like when I grew up.  I would fantasize that, one day, I would be the hero of whatever story I was reading!  As I got older I learned to love it for the great ideas and the incredible flexibility of the genre.  Science fiction is the one genre that lets you tell any story you want in any way you want to tell it. You can write a thriller, or a romance, or a tale about global warming and have all those stories appear on the same shelf at your local bookstore.  No other genre allows you to do that.

As for favorites, that’s really hard.  I guess I would go with E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith’s Masters of the Vortex because it was the first “grown-up” sci-fi I ever read (I was nine, I think).  Then Isaac Asimov’s I Robot because of the ingenuity of the stories.  Even today, dated though they are (in at least one of them, the “future” is 1980!), the ideas and problems still make you think.  Moving slightly forward in time, Orson Scott Card’s Xenocide because of the jaw dropping ending.  And, for something more contemporary, I will order pretty much anything from CJ Cherryh sight unseen.  I thought Downbelow Station was brilliant.

4) Andromeda is a math and science genius, are you?

Absolutely not!  But I do find them interesting.  My day job is on the 40th floor of a downtown office building.  If the architect had got his sums wrong, I’d plunge to my death.  We live in a civilization built almost entirely on technology and yet most of us are completely ignorant about how it works – or why. One of the things I wanted to do with The Shifter’s Trail was to give a shout out to math and science. If anyone reading this book – no matter how “non-sciency” they actually are – comes away with a basic respect for math and science and what those things do to make the world a better place, I will count that as a win!

5) I’ve talked to authors who tell me most of the material they write about is inspired by their own life. I’ve also talked to authors who tell me they get their inspiration from outside their lives. Which category do you fall into?

I am very firmly in the latter category.  My own back story just isn’t that interesting!  Repackaging my own life for others to read would be narcissistic.

6) Do you personally believe in life outside planet Earth?

Yes I do.  We live on one planet around one star.  There are 200 to 400 billion stars in our one galaxy and there are 100 to 200 billiongalaxies in the universe – perhaps more (a German supercomputer recently estimated the number of galaxies at 500 billion).  It follows that the number of planets (and moons and asteroids) out there is incomprehensibly large.  In that context, the idea that life exists only on Earth borders on the absurd.

7) Was becoming a published author a hard process?


8) Do you think science fiction will make a comeback in popularity? Do you agree that it was a risk making your first novel science fiction?

I don’t think science fiction (judging by the shelf space in bookstores) is any more or less popular today than it was in the past.  It has always been a niche market, and those of us who love it have always been surrounded by a large number of people who just think it’s silly.  More fool them!

With regard to risk, there is risk in everything.  I am a firm believer in taking risks for outcomes that matter to you.  Besides, what risk are we talking about here?  You can always write a second novel, or a third – in any genre that takes your fancy.  The down side is pretty minimal.  All I want to do is tell stories!

9) Tell us about your upcoming story.

I’m working on a Young Adult dystopian with the working title of Savior’s Spring.  It’s a darker story than The Shifter’s Trail, with older protagonists.  It’s set in what’s left of Chicago a hundred years or so after a successful alien invasion destroyed society as we know it. You might be interested to know that some of it is set around Norridge and Schiller Park, which have done rather better than the rest of the city!

10) What advice would you give young authors looking to get published one day in the future?

I’m not sure I’m the person to ask but here goes….  First [nearly] everything you do will be rejected.  You have to find ways not to get discouraged.  Second, you have to learn to handle constructive criticism.  If you can’t use it to get better, you will always get rejected!

Overall, I was impressed by The Shifter’s Trail. Alexander’s use of math and science equations is sensational and nifty, and whether you’re interested in science-fiction or not, it grasps your attention. After figuring out which names belonged to which species of aliens and who exactly did what, I went through the book very quickly. As a reader, I was captivated and enthralled by the original content. I have to say though, the level of fantasy in the book is limitless; so if you are the type of person who loves to read the real stuff, this may not be for you. The Shifter’s Trail is probably something that would appeal to a younger audience. A group of middle-school students is who I can picture falling in love with the book’s energetic turn on reality, but is probably diverse enough to captivate a high school student as well.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Andromeda’s tale. I believe that Alexander did a wonderful job at mixing real life complexity with pen-and-paper math and science. The Shifter’s Trail is Adam Alexander’s first novel. While Alexander claims that the books is for, “the nerds who walk among us and the people who love them,” I encourage everyone- nerd or not- to check it out!