8 Best Professions for Veterans

Oct 21st, 2011

As tens of thousands of American troops return from Iraq by New Year’s, they are going to face the challenges that many veterans find themselves up against after serving abroad. Not only will they have to figure out how to fit back into their family lives and rediscover clothes that don’t involve camouflage, but many of them are also going to have to find relevant civilian jobs in a tough economy. President Barack Obama has started focusing on the importance of providing jobs for the selfless men and women who have served our country, announcing recently that he has lined up more than 250 companies that will hire 25,000 veterans and their spouses in the next two years. As veterans try to market themselves in the civilian world, they should capitalize on the marketable skills they’ve learned during their service and look for careers that use everything they have to offer. If you know (or are) a veteran trying to get back in the work force, these eight professions are a good starting place for a successful job hunt.

  1. Engineer

    If you’ve had any engineering training in the military or before joining, you might be able to land a job with a manufacturer in the defense industry. Several companies throughout the U.S. have defense contracts, like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Dynamics, and make parts for weapons and military vehicles. Depending on your area of specialization and your level of education, you’re looking to make between $50,000 and $60,000 when you begin your career and can reach salaries in the six-figure range. The benefit of having military service in your background when applying for defense industry jobs is that potential employers already know that you’re responsible, have knowledge of the field, and won’t have any problems with security clearance.

  2. Contractor

    Any job that involves working under pressure is well suited for most veterans. Contractors and other construction managers use the skills taught by the military in their daily routines as they see a building project through from start to finish. They face tight deadlines, organize workers, and have to think on their feet when problems arise. Plus, there’s always the danger of falling through a roof or getting shot with a nail gun, which is nothing compared to the threats veterans have encountered. About half of all contractors work for themselves — great news for anyone who wants the freedom of choosing his own jobs and leading a team of people — and there are expected to be more positions available in the next few years than there are qualified candidates.

  3. Logistics coordinator

    Many veterans have the valuable ability to understand the big picture of a project and visualize each step that is necessary to reach the end goal. Logistics coordinators are professional multi-taskers, keeping track of each part of an assignment down to the smallest detail. Depending on what kind of company you work for, you might be managing the handling and distribution of raw goods or finalizing plans for an event. It’s this broad range of possibilities, however, that makes the profession so attractive. You will likely be able to find a position in any state and your skills will transfer to other company’s logistics departments when it’s time for a job change. Servicemen and women who were tasked with procuring equipment and keeping track of inventory will transition to this career without any problems.

  4. Police officer

    What better profession to take on after serving your country than to serve your community? Police officers work in much the same way as those in the military: there’s a hierarchy with room for promotion, your main duty is to protect your fellow citizens, and you get to wear a slick uniform and carry a gun. The discipline learned in the military makes veterans extremely marketable to police forces and many units build the same kind of camaraderie veterans are used to. Cops normally earn between $35,000 and $60,000 a year, but that doesn’t include the respect you’ll get from the people in your city. If you decide you need to go back to school to land the law enforcement job of your dreams, you could even qualify for discounted or free tuition under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill.

  5. Data communications analyst

    Becoming a data communications analyst is one of the most highly recommended career paths for retired military members. Not only does it use skills that directly translate from military positions like information security technician, but jobs in the field are expected to increase more than 50% by 2018. Add in the fact that the average salary is somewhere around $90,000 and you probably don’t even care what the job description is. Data communications analysts work in the information technology field and help maintain communications systems by testing and analyzing them, helping clients troubleshoot problems, and designing software and hardware. Computer knowledge and solid communication skills are a must for this position, but at least you can play around on the Internet all day.

  6. Training manager

    Teamwork and leadership skills are some of the most important tools gleaned from a person’s military service, but many veterans often downplay them and focus only on their technical training. The marketplace is full of jobs that veterans are likely to land just by highlighting their experience managing people, especially if they ever helped train new recruits in the military. Training managers are responsible for educating new employees on company policies and procedures and organizing on-the-job training for them. There is also room to be creative and teach classes for all employees on new technologies or provide one-on-one training to bring a worker up to speed. The mark of a good trainer is building loyalty to the company and enthusiasm in the workplace, which is a trait trainers in all branches of the military seem to possess.

  7. Railroad conductor

    Admit it: you just pictured a guy in a striped hat and overalls or imagined someone yelling "All aboard." Railroad conductors don’t get enough credit for all they actually do. Working as a railroad conductor means coordinating all the activity on your train, including the crew, inspection of equipment, and schedule. Communication skills, like the kind used in military operations, are also essential to prevent disasters with other trains that we hope to only see in movies and math problems. Yard masters perform the same function but on the ground rather than on the train, making sure yard workers are safe and hard at work and handling the unloading and rearranging of train cars. Railroad companies are some of the most veteran-friendly employers in the U.S. so they are known for making the transition back to civilian life as easy as possible.

  8. Field service technician

    Becoming a field service technician or engineer is ideal for the person who doesn’t want to sit at a desk all day (or maybe ever). You can work in a variety of industries, from oil and gas to mobile communications, so the job opportunities are widespread, and you’re never stuck in one place as you travel from site to site installing and maintaining complicated equipment. The job carries a lot of responsibility since you often work with little supervision and are expected to be an expert on the machines, which normally requires a strong interest in mechanics or electronics. Veterans who like to build and fix things would fit this hands-on position like a glove.

10 Coaches Who Stole the Headlines

Oct 20th, 2011

Most coaches do a good job of staying out of the spotlight, but some just can’t help themselves when the opportunity arises. A recent example of this headline-stealing behavior was Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz’s fight, which proved to us that coaches are just as emotional as players, and sometimes they let it show. Here are 10 coaches who stole the headlines:

  1. Hal McRae

    Former Kansas City Royals manager Hal McRae may be more widely known for his temper than his baseball career. In 1993, McRae stole the headlines when he lashed out at reporters and had one of the biggest meltdowns in baseball history. The manager went berserk when a reporter asked him a "stupid question" about his batting lineup decision. McRae started cursing and throwing objects off his desk, including a telephone, a bottle of vodka and a tape recorder, which struck a reporter and cut his cheek. After trashing his room, McRae continued to berate the reporters and ended the interview with the zinger "put that in your pipe and smoke it."

  2. Bryan Murray and Lindy Ruff

    NHL coaches Bryan Murray and Lindy Ruff stole the headlines when they started a brawl during a Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators game. Few people actually remember who won the game, because most people only recall Murray and Ruff fighting between glass walls and a rinkside reporter who picked up some of the smack-talking on his microphone. Although the coaches never actually got physical, the incident turned out to be a memorable fight that helped fuel the longstanding hockey rivalry.

  3. Mike Gundy

    Oklahoma State University head coach Mike Gundy managed to stay out of the limelight for the first few years of his coaching career, but all of that changed in 2007, when he went on a major media rant. Gundy’s famous postgame tirade was over a newspaper article that was critical of the former starting quarterback Bobby Reid. The three-minute, 20-second rant uttered the famous line "I’m a man! I’m 40!" The meltdown became a YouTube hit and has spurred many parodies.

  4. Rex Ryan

    The New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is bold and brassy and never fails to find his way in the headlines. Ryan’s reputation as an outspoken coach with a great deal of confidence has gotten him in the headlines on multiple occasions. Ryan also found himself in the media for a non-football related incident involving a series of foot-fetish videos that featured a woman who appeared to be Ryan’s wife and he was the alleged cameraman. And for once, Ryan had no comment for the media.

  5. Bob Knight

    Retired college basketball coach Bob Knight is known as much for his sideline outbursts and tirades as he is for his coaching achievements. The legendary coach earned a reputation as a hothead who yelled profanities, berated officials and allegedly grabbed and verbally abused players. Knight was full of insane, spotlight-stealing moments, but none was as great as his infamous chair throw during the 1985 Indiana-Purdue game. Knight continued to entertain audiences and anger referees, but his abuse of the "zero-tolerance" policy got him canned from Indiana University.

  6. Ron Washington

    The Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington may be known as a strong leader in baseball, but 59-year-old surprised everyone when he confessed to using cocaine. Washington admitted to his "stupid" error after failing a MLB drug test and said that he only used it once. Washington’s confession stole the headlines of MLB pre-season and, unfortunately, took the initial focus away from what would be one of the Rangers’ best seasons.

  7. Lou Piniella

    Lou Piniella may be nicknamed "Sweet Lou," but this former Chicago Cubs manager has had his fair share of not-so-sweet moments throughout his baseball career. Piniella developed a reputation for having outrageous meltdowns and tirades on the field that would result in dramatic ejections from games. Piniella became famous for yelling in the faces of umpires, kicking dirt on them and throwing down his baseball cap in anger while cheering fans egged him on. Piniella’s outrageous outbursts may have gotten him ejected from a few games, but he definitely won the spotlight.

  8. Lloyd McClendon

    Former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon had a long history of challenging umpires on close calls, but it was his reaction during a 2001 Pirates-Brewers game that really stole the headlines. In his traditional argumentative fashion, McClendon walked on to the field to dispute the call and got ejected from the game, but this time he took a souvenir – first base. McClendon tore up first base and walked back to the dugout with it. McClendon never lived down the meltdown, and we never forgot it.

  9. Mike Leach

    Mike Leach was a one-of-a-kind college football coach who didn’t hold back from saying exactly what was on his mind. The former Texas Tech head football coach stole the headlines on multiple occasions, mostly for his outrageous commentary and odd fascination with pirates. Sportswriters called him the "mad scientist of football." Leach was notorious for lecturing his players on everything from Apaches to pirates, and told them to "swing their swords" before games. His peculiar behavior and snide comments about other teams didn’t sit well with a lot of people, but it was his alleged mistreatment of Adam James in 2009 that got him the boot.

  10. Phil Jackson

    Phil Jackson may have won more NBA championships than any other coach in league history, but his well-known feuds with Kobe Bryant have frequently stolen the show from the otherwise successful team. Jackson’s supposed pompous attitude and arrogant behavior caused problems on the team and affected some of his player realtionships.

10 Most Lucrative Industries for Women

Sep 28th, 2011

Over the past 100 years, women have completely reinvented themselves. Gender boundaries are consistently being erased, and women continue to make huge strides in gaining the skills, recognition and compensation that they deserve. We are not far away from the end of the glass ceiling and true equality for women in all fields of work. While there is still a difference in pay between men and women in some fields, many industries have come to be dominated by women who make a very lucrative living. Here are the top 10 most lucrative industries for women:

  1. Law

    Some of the most effective lawyers in the country are women. Being a lawyer demands patience, persistence and the ability to fight for what you believe in, and many women excel in all of these areas and more. As a result, women can earn a lucrative living in the field of law. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), female lawyers earn a median salary of $78,468 per year. As more and more women earn law degrees, these earnings are likely to increase, and this makes being a lawyer an attractive and lucrative career option for women.

  2. Healthcare

    Nearly 78% of healthcare workers are women, and these women tend to make a lucrative living as healthcare professionals. The term healthcare is a broad one, and many different job titles fall under its umbrella, including nurse and physician. As a nurse, a woman can earn an average median salary of $62,450 per year, according to BLS. Physicians can make more than this, and some other fields make substantially less. Overall, healthcare is a stable field with high levels of job satisfaction and employment growth, which makes healthcare a very lucrative industry for women who want to earn more and enjoy what they do.

  3. Computer Management and Information Systems

    Women have the potential to make a lot of money as computer and information systems managers. Computer and information systems managers are involved in the management and administration of technology at organizations in order to help companies meet their business goals. According to BLS, women in this position can make median yearly earnings of $65,520. Most computer management and information systems managers are required to have a bachelor’s degree in subjects like business administration management, information technology and management information systems.

  4. Sales

    A recent study found that women are coming to dominate certain areas of sales, a traditionally lucrative field for those who excel. In fact, the study seemed to show that women tend to have better selling skills than men, translating into substantial earnings for saleswomen. Recent college graduates with a bachelor’s degree can expect to make around $54,000 per year on average, but certain fields, such as pharmaceutical sales, can bring in double or even triple that amount with a few years of experience. It’s no wonder that women are entering the sales workforce in record numbers. Stable job openings and substantial earnings make sales a very lucrative career for women.

  5. Human Resources

    Many women excel in the field of human resources and have come to earn a very lucrative living as human resource managers. Almost every person will deal with human resources at one point in their working life, and it takes dedication, patience and understanding to truly excel as human resources professionals. BLS lists the median salary for female human resources managers at $59,124, and this number is likely to go up as companies are forced to make difficult hiring decisions in the years to come.

  6. Executive Management

    Not long ago, the field executive managers were almost always male. Much has changed in the past 100 years, and one of those changes includes women taking senior executive management roles, such as the role of CEO or CFO. BLS lists the median salary for female Chief Executives as $83,356, but the highest earners can make up to millions of dollars. These salaries prove that having the right skills and knowledge to manage a large corporation has nothing to do with gender.

  7. Speech-Language Pathology

    Speech-language pathology is an increasingly popular field for women because it provides a high level of job satisfaction, favorable job opportunities and a lucrative salary. According to BLS, women in speech pathology can make a median yearly salary of $58,448, but this number can vary from state to state and depend on the employer. Most speech-language pathologists are required to earn a master’s degree, as well as obtain licensure and certification. The job also requires sensitivity, support, patience and compassion, which may come easy to many women. This exceptionally rewarding job does require a demanding level of schooling, but the pay off of helping patients develop or correct their speech is well worth it.

  8. Pharmacy

    Women are increasingly entering the field of pharmacy with lucrative results. According to Forbes, female pharmacists earn a median salary of $85,644. While that median salary is very lucrative, pharmacists must complete a rigorous graduate level program and post-graduate training in order to practice. The job requires exceptional skills in the fields of math and science, as well as a caring and personable demeanor for dealing with customers. Women are proving to exhibit all of these skills, and as a result they are making a lucrative living serving their communities as pharmacists.

  9. Computer Software Engineering

    Computer software engineering has long been a predominantly male career field, but in recent years women have stepped into the industry and have made a good living working as a computer software engineer or computer programmer. According to BLS, computer software engineers can make median yearly earnings of $70,252. Not only is computer software engineering a highly lucrative occupation, but the field is also projected to grow at an exponential rate, resulting in greater job prospects for both women and men. Most computer software engineers earn their bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering.

  10. Education

    Women have traditionally dominated the field of education, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. But while women have traditionally dominated the field of teaching, they are now infiltrating leadership positions within education, such as school counselor and principal positions. These positions are more lucrative than the traditional teaching position. According to BLS, an elementary school principal can make an average salary of $85,905 per year. With salaries like this, it’s likely that women will continue to enjoy the lucrative opportunities a career in education can offer.

Is an Online Forestry Degree Right for You?

Jan 12th, 2010

Forestry is one of the professions that is dreamed about by many kids and even adults, without the realization that it involves a four-year degree, the same as most professions.  We stereotypically assume forestry is akin to loggers or forest rangers, something in that realm, and therefore assume that forestry professionals simply have a deep understanding of forests and nature.  While this may be true for most forestry professionals (why strive for a major unless you like the process of the degree program?), the degree still requires four years of training.  Many potential degree seekers have now discovered that online forestry degrees are now an easier method to get the degree, rather than finding a university that offers the degree several states away.  Additionally, people who already have a background in forestry degrees may not need all four years of education, but can test out of some courses through their online school.

Online forestry degrees are an easy way of jump starting your career as a forester.  Like other online programs, however, you need to be certain of the accreditation of the school before you commit yourself to the degree program.  Most programs are accredited by the Society of American Foresters, which ensures that students will attain a professional degree in forestry through the standards set forth within the program.  While forestry degrees would seem to be solely about nature and the discovery of forests, there is a great deal of math, science, and even computer skills which go into the degree, meaning that every online program needs to cater to these specifications as well.  Simply loving nature and the woods is not a good enough reason to become a forester, but you must also be in physically good shape as well as have excellent communication skills.

Additionally, most degree programs require that students take certain electives related to the degree, as well as outside field work, akin to nursing requirements.  Placing yourself in a camp or a work-study program operated by the state is the best way to develop your forestry skills further.  Simply reading and learning about the woods is not enough to know that it is the career choice for you; rather, you need to spend some time in nature developing your skills and honing in on your ability to interact with nature.  While online courses will be different from traditional courses in forestry, they will more than likely encourage outside field work during the summer or in the last year of the program, as these experiences will truly determine whether forestry is the right discipline for you. 


Lessons About Humanity Learned from Anthropology Universities Online

Oct 20th, 2009

Anthropology is the study of humanity, focusing on the behavior of humans and the evolution of our current social norms.  Many lessons can be learned through the study of anthropology, whether it be at a traditional school or an online college.  The New York Times recently published an article about the morality of our society, focusing on the remarkable ethics Wal Mart shoppers in Missouri exhibited.  While this case study is one which can be taught in school, it is only a taste of what you can learn through an anthropology degree, traditional or online.

The article mentions how difficult it is to discover a “clan” of humans who are legitimately honest in their endeavors, suggesting that we travel to the ancient tribes in Africa or Asia to see what true honesty and morality entails.  However, the small rural town of Hamilton in Missouri exhibited many of the symptoms of fairness that these tribes have continued to uphold throughout the years.  This is a fascinating peek inside our own societal evolution, since so many of our communities have lost sight of our morals and can only hope to one day perform like tribal members consistently do.  The city of Hamilton exhibited fairness toward strangers, particularly in their Wal Mart or local grocery store.  Anthropologists have theorized that small family clans who later expanded into communities such as Hamilton have helped to continue this exhibition of strong moral values (also explaining the frequent niceties New Yorkers bestow on tourists).

Many anthropologists insist that there is a distinct inherited fairness in all of us, a remnant of a time when we lived in small family groups that taught us these qualities of life.  However, other anthropologists looked deeper into the social factors that have caused us to evolve in different ways.  Many times, larger populations cause us to be more forthcoming of harsher punishments or less likely to share the prize with everyone.  As this has continued, researchers have also found that the amount of purchased food we buy has a direct correlation to the amount of fairness and sharing we wish to bestow on the rest of our community, especially compared with more remote tribes in Africa. 

However, we end this peek into various theories of Anthropology by comparing our society to that of Ancient Greece, a culture which spawned philosophy and anthropology.  This society spread its own ethics and morals, even as the civilization grew to enormous proportions, essentially creating a new economic model of the time.  Anthropologists even now contend that ancient Greece paved the way for a more trusting society in our own modern time that has allowed communities to grow, upholding the same societal norms. 


Project Working Mom Paves the Way to Free Online Degrees

Oct 12th, 2009

The home page for Project Working Mom speaks directly to the heart of many working moms and dads around the country: “I’d like to go back to school but I don’t have enough time, money, confidence”.  The recession has hit families around the nation, provoking many conversations such as this one, as working moms and dads struggle to find a balance between schoolwork, family, and their career.  It seems nearly unreachable, but Project Working Mom has alleviated some of the stress by providing many full-ride scholarships. 

While scholarships will not end the troubles that going back to school may force you to confront, they can dramatically help minimize the stress that comes with taking classes and juggling family life.  Project Working Mom is an organization set up to help parents achieve their higher career goals while still focusing on family life.  Applying for a full-tuition scholarship through the site is step one toward achieving financial assistance, but the website additionally provides tips on cutting back online college costs.  Many of these tips come with experience in attending classes, but seem to be almost common sense cut-backs: testing out of courses, shopping around for online colleges, and bargain shopping for textbooks.  Textbooks are really one of the fundamental burdens for any college student, although there is no reason to buy the bookstore’s edition when you can easily find the same book for half the price online.

While the cost of an education is constantly on the rise, the organization additionally gives tips on shopping for schools.  Some schools offer discounts to referrals from other students, much like apartment complexes.  While this may seem like a strange way to enroll in a university, you must keep in mind that for-profit universities are run in a different manner than traditional universities and can have more leeway in their financial aid options.  Furthermore, while distance learning enables you to enroll in colleges around the country, many local online colleges offer competitive rates to students in their home states.  This can amount to savings in as much as $100 per course.  Any little bit helps when you are attempting to juggle such a busy schedule and financial obligations.

Project Working Mom has empowered many working moms and dads with the confidence they need to enroll in an online college by offering free online degrees.  The word about this organization has already quickly spread, as the program has received up to 300,000 applications for scholarships in the past year.  This program offers more than just a free online degree; it offers working parents the opportunity to reach their goals and set an example for their children. 


Top Human Resources Doctorate Degree Rankings

Oct 10th, 2009

The past few years have produced a dismal effect for potential doctoral students of any discipline.  With the career opportunities slim, even among Ph.D. students, there has been a lower amount of students who are willing to put themselves through four-five years of additional schooling to end up with a degree that will only produce more school debt and little hope for the future.  Despite all these negative outlooks, many doctoral programs continue to attract students and have come up with new ways to secure careers after graduate.  Human resources is one such doctoral program that is more beneficial than others because it gives its graduates a head up on the competition through the four extra years of study, compared to little experience in the industry.

The rankings of human resources doctoral programs remains up in the air, as this type of program is relatively new in many universities, but it allows many of its students the opportunity to take on difficult internships while receiving school credit.  These internships help set these students apart from students who only have a bachelor’s degree in public affairs.  Additionally, the many programs offer a deeper understanding of the methodology of human resources, thereby earning students the knowledge of the complexities of the field.  This inner knowledge is attractive to potential employers who would rather see a doctorate than a bachelor’s when they are hiring for a large company. 

The economy has almost seemed to be a double-edge sword in regard to education and further education since it seems like very few people are securing jobs; but without work, what is a better use of your time than to enroll in a graduate program?  Therefore, many graduate degree programs have actually experienced a rise in their student applicants due to the economy this past year, and human resources doctoral programs are no different.  The top ranked programs in the nation have all experienced this increase in student numbers and it is a welcome relief for many universities who believed their graduate programs would be struggling to survive these past months.  Human resources is a funny graduate program, however, and despite all odds, it has managed to survive despite the economic outlook and has essentially built up a large following within many universities around the nation.  While we have yet to see what advanced human resources degrees will bring, there is no doubt that they are a welcomed side-effect of the economy. 


50 Useful iPhone Apps for Science Students & Teachers

Oct 8th, 2009

As you know, technology and science have come a long way. Machines, innovations, and tools that were once nothing more than far-fetched ideas are now available at the iPhone owner’s fingertips. For scientists, iPhone applicationss make research, exploration, studying, and visualization easier and less expensive than ever before. So, follow these links and turn your iPhone into your sciPhone .

Apps for Your Field

Whether you’re in genetics, anatomy, nursing, physics, or chemistry, there’s an iPhone application just for you. Here are some of the best.

  1. Genetic Decoder: Allows user input RNA codons and outputs amino acid information.
  2. iCut DNA: iCut DNA lets you search the Restriction Enzyme Database (REBASE) for enzymes and the DNA nucleotide sequences they cleave.
  3. Anatomy Lab: Explore the anatomy of the human body as if you were a dissector in an anatomy laboratory.
  4. Anatomy Pronunciations: Accurate pronunciations of over 700 commonly used anatomy terms.
  5. Skeleton 3D: Featuring a sharp skeletal model, it makes a great learning tool to help children identify human bones, as well as other aspects of the human anatomy.
  6. ePocrates Rx: The Epocrates Rx free drug reference enables healthcare professionals to find medical information more quickly and confidently at the point of care.
  7. Collisions: The Collisions1D app is a basic physics lab, in which two objects (a red ball and a blue ball) collide with one another in one dimension. You can set the mass of each of the objects, the initial velocity of each object, as well as the elasticity of the collisions between the objects.
  8. iPhysics Updates: Physics majors will love this new application for your iPhone. The world of physics is ever changing, and as modern advances in technology and science arise, advances in physics go hand in hand. Keep up with all of the new discoveries, news stories, and theories on your iPhone.
  9. ChemFacts!: ChemFacts puts hundreds of Chemistry facts at your fingertips.
  10. Chemistry Terms: Chemistry Terms is a fully-featured flash card app that helps you learn over 100 chemistry terms.


These tools are great for the times when you aren’t carrying your encyclopedia with you. Who does that, anyway?

  1. Molecules: Download and view 3-D molecules
  2. Chemical Elements: In portrait mode, this application lists the elements, but flip it landscape and it turns into an touchable periodic table.
  3. Landscapedia: Calling all botanists! The plant labels at garden centers don’t give you nearly enough information to know what you need to know for your research. Landscapedia provides full information for 34,000 plants.
  4. A Brief History of Genetics: This application is a movable timeline that features the biggest dates and names in the history of genetic biology.
  5. Atom in a Box: This application shows what a hydrogen atom "looks like" via real-time rendering of its electron’s orbitals.
  6. Get all the Science: This news aggregator collects from Nature, New Scientist and several other science publications and delivers it to your phone.
  7. Food Information Database: This database puts the power of health and fitness into your hands by gathering nutritional info from hundreds of restaurant chains.
  8. PopSci Reader: This is a great way to catch up on PopSci.com while you’re away from your computer. It provides full text and images, and it’s free.
  9. WeatherBug: WeatherBug manages and operates its own weather network that pin points weather conditions in your neighborhood. And by "neighborhood," we don’t mean "city." We mean at the local school, in the grocery store parking lot, or across the street.
  10. MIM by MIMvista: MIM Vista allows doctors to view medical imaging on the go with their iPhones. Users can also draw on the image; simply shake your phone to clear the notes.

Space/Astronomy Apps

For the aerospace engineer, or just the universe-loving stargazer.

  1. Uranus: This GPS-enabled app acts as a guide to the night sky wherever you happen to be standing on Earth.
  2. 3D Space: All the pictures used by 3D Space are the newest pictures photographed by Hubble Space Telescope
  3. iSky Gaze: This simple web app lets you input what you want to see, say, Mars, and spits out optimal viewing information.
  4. LookUp: Tells you when to look out for satellites in the night sky.
  5. NASA Image of the Day: Your eyes will only take you so far into space, so if you want to see deeper, check out this simple daily image app.
  6. Starmap Pro.: Discover the power of a professional sky atlas in the palm of your hand.
  7. Astronomy: Need some fast facts about our solar system? You’ve got it now! Astronomy Guide is the perfect reference source for finding planets, stars, constellations, and even the history of space travel.
  8. Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy: Readers will find a galaxy of informative, vividly written entries on everything from space exploration and the equipment involved, to astrophysics, cosmology, and the concept of time.
  9. Pocket Universe: Pocket Universe is the ideal astronomy program for those keen to learn about the night sky. The unique display is generated dynamically depending on your location and time.
  10. GoSkyWatch Planetarium: GoSkyWatch Planetarium is a neat little iPhone app that helps you locate and identify planets in the sky.


While quick math and mental calculations are honorable skills, the times are changing, and your job doesn’t have to be as hard as it once was.

  1. Equivalence: Designed from the ground up by engineers and for engineers, Equivalence makes your tedious, day-to-day conversions between unit systems a breeze.
  2. Scoligauge: This scoliometer is a diagnostic tool that determines the angle of trunk rotation for a patient.
  3. Atomic Mass Calculator: The Atomic Mass Calculator is an interactive calculator using the periodic table as its key pad. Press the elements to form any molecule you can dream up and see what the atomic mass for that molecule.
  4. chemCal: chemCal is a basic chemistry concentration (molarity, moles per liter) and dilutions calculator for students of chemistry, biology, biochemistry, and biomedical sciences.
  5. Buffers: Buffers is a scientific tool for designing buffer solutions for pH control.
  6. Powergraph: PowerGraph is not just a powerful graphing calculator, but it also has a robust calculator full of functions. You can also customize the background and colors.
  7. ChemWeight: ChemWeight is a high-quality molecular weight calculator.
  8. Conversion Calculator(RPN): This calculator uses Reverse Polish Notation (RPN), to produce conversions.
  9. Astrolabe: This is an easy to use calculator for manipulating astronomical distances, dates & times, and coordinates.
  10. Scientific Calculator: This full-blown scientific calculator includes formula entry in the form of f(x) and z. This calculator renders formulas in 2D and 3D (if Z is included in the equation).

Games and Quizzes

While these "games" might not be everyone’s idea of fun, the true scientist will appreciate and enjoy these interesting apps.

  1. Science Hangman: Test your knowledge about science: chemistry, biology, zoology, astronomy, technology, anatomy and lots more.
  2. The History of Science Quiz : Who Discovered Ganymede? The good thing is you’re ahead of the game if you even know what Ganymede is.
  3. Science Quiz: Each of these quizzes consists of 10 multiple choice questions, with a final score provided at the end.
  4. iMole Draw: The IMoleDraw is an application that can view, edit and build molecules in 2D.
  5. Netter’s Neuroscience Flash Cards: Quiz yourself over 225 individual illustrations taken directly from Netter’s Atlas of Human Neuroscience. By the time you get them all right, you’ll be ready for your Ph.D!
  6. Head and Neck Quiz: Test your knowledge of the human head and neck.
  7. ChemQuizr: How well do you know the periodic table? Practice learning with this app and you won’t ever need a cheat sheet on a test again.
  8. Gravity Balls: This is a Physics based application that simulates the effects of Newton’s Law of Gravity on objects called Gravity Balls.
  9. MassSpring: MassSpring takes place in your phone’s physics lab, where a block is attached to an ideal spring. You can set the mass of the block, the spring constant of the spring, and the initial position of the block.
  10. Speed Bones MD: How fast can you point to specific bones? Speed Bones MD is a fun an addictive game that tests your speed and challenges your memory.

What Online Forensic Science Degrees From New Hampshire Can do for You

Sep 25th, 2009

Forensic science in general is on the verge of a major breakthrough, as science has advanced to a point in which forensics can solve serious crimes.  Whether you earn a forensic science degree from New Hampshire, New Jersey, or California, you will be taught the same material, but the opportunities after this point will be endless.  The ever-expanding technology has thoroughly changed the world of forensics and has therefore created more jobs for forensics students.  In fact, it does not seem too far in the future that forensic science will enable the country to track down criminals much easier than we can now.

Only a few weeks ago, President Obama agreed that forensics needed to be updated by perhaps getting blood samples from every person who is arrested in order to create a national DNA bank.  However, critics have maintained that every person’s DNA needs to be kept on file, not just those who are arrested, because this provokes bias among the police force.  While this seems to be a major invasion of privacy, recent studies have indicated that most of this information will never be touched, unless the person is arrested or becomes a person of suspicion.  As a recent forensic analyst, this must be the epitome of futuristic technology and legislation, since it will be much easier to apprehend criminals with a criminal database ready to go with everyone’s fingerprints and DNA samples.

Thus far, this is only a theory in transition because it has many hurdles to jump through, including constitutional tests.  However, the privacy risk is extremely low for this endeavor, but vastly informative to members of the law enforcement, who can easily match up criminals with their profiles.  Obviously, the larger the database, the better our chances are of finding a criminal who committed a heinous crime.  Currently, these databases only contain previously arrested criminals’ DNA samples and therefore permit law enforcement to only search within a narrow realm of people.  However, with this new proposed theory, law enforcement will be able to search through a much larger database and theoretically apprehend a higher percentage of criminals.

Forensic science is literally at its peak, and there has never been a more exciting time to study the subject.  The specialties have become nearly endless, and you can now earn a forensics degree from universities around the nation, especially those in New Hampshire.   

100+ Excellent Open Courses on American History, Politics, and Culture

Sep 15th, 2009

Whether you’re officially enrolled in an American studies program and want to find supplemental study materials, or you’d just like to learn more about the social issues, political history and culture of the country you live in, there’s no better way to learn about the history of the U.S. than from open courseware. These classes aren’t for credit, but all the outlines, reading lists and video or audio material is free. Check out this major list of 100 excellent open courses on American history, politics and culture.

American history

From the 13 colonies to the American Revolution to the Civil War to modern day consumer culture, learn about every development of American history here.

  1. American history to 1865: This course takes students through The Civil War, covering the colonies and American Revolution, Abraham Lincoln, and more. [MIT]
  2. The Conquest of America: You’ll learn how the Americas were colonized in this course, from Brazil to New England. [MIT]
  3. African American History II: This African American history course emphasizes the time after the Civil War to the 1980s. [Notre Dame]
  4. Technology and Gender in American History: Here you’ll study the intersection of gender with production and consumption in American history. [MIT]
  5. The Emergence of Modern America 1865-Present: This course takes students through changes in American politics, culture, and economics from the end of the Civil War through the present day. [MIT]
  6. Introduction to Asian American Studies: Literature, Culture and Historical Experience: Here you’ll study the Asian American experience from immigration in the 19th century to WWII to Asian American identity. [MIT]
  7. War and American Society: Discover how war has shaped the American psyche and pop culture in this course. [MIT]
  8. Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890-1945: This multi-part e-seminar considers "the crisis of Victorianism" and beyond as Americans adapt new attitudes in understanding gender, ethnic pluralism, economics, WWI and WWII, science and politics. [Columbia]
  9. America Since 1945: In another multi-part e-seminar series, you’ll learn how America changed socially, economically and politically after WWII. [Columbia]
  10. Technology and Change in Rural America: Learn how new methods of production and industrialization shaped rural America. [MIT]
  11. Technology and Nature in American History: Study the ways in which American industry and institutions have changed the ideas of and physical environment of "nature." [MIT]
  12. American Urban History I: This course examines how police departments, the courts, schools, prisons, public universities and other institutions evolved in American cities from the 1850 to the present. [MIT]
  13. Medicine and Public Health in American History: Consider the evolution of the medical profession in America in this course. [Notre Dame]
  14. Riots, Strikes and Conspiracies in American History: From the Boston Tea Party to the Lawrence textile workers’ strike, consider how American riots, strikes and conspiracies shaped history. [MIT]
  15. After Columbus: Study The New World in terms of race, economics and religion in this course. [MIT]
  16. American Studies, Examining U.S. Cultures in Time: This series of webcasts takes a look at American cultural history. [UC Berkeley]
  17. America in Depression and War: Consider how American identity changes during times of depression and war. [MIT]
  18. The Places of Migration in United States History: This immigration history and culture class considers regions and neighborhoods like San Francisco’s Chinatown, New York’s Lower East Side, Texas and Florida as places of migration. [MIT]
  19. The Civil War and Reconstruction: Study the Civl War in-depth in this course. [MIT]
  20. The American Revolution: Discover more about the birth of America in this course. [MIT]

Law and the Justice System

Learn about the beginnings of the American court system, the forming of the Constitution, modern day legal issues and more.

  1. Law and Society in US History: Study American constitutional law and the origins of the American legal system in this course. [MIT]
  2. Crime, Heredity and Insanity in American History: This course focuses on 19th century America and the beginnings of criminal behavior studies. [Notre Dame]
  3. Gender and the Law in U.S. History: This class asks students to examine the law as a gendered system. Topics covered include suffrage, gay marriage and more. [MIT]
  4. Studies in Women’s Life Narratives: Interrogating Marriage: Case Studies in American Law and Culture: This class questions how and why certain institutions have sought to control marriage and relationships. [MIT]
  5. Justice: This theory class covers utilitarianism, libertarianism and egalitarian liberalism. [MIT]
  6. The Supreme Court, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights: Here you’ll examine the layout and development of the U.S. Supreme Court and its commitment to protect civil liberties and civil rights. [MIT]
  7. Reading Seminar in Social Science: Race, Crime, and Citizenship in American Law: Here you’ll learn about stereotyping, racial profiling and more. [MIT]
  8. Reading Seminar in Social Science: Intelligence and National Security: Discover U.S. policy, law and missions regarding counterrorism and more. [MIT]
  9. Ethics and the Law on the Electronic Frontier: Course materials cover the U.S. PATRIOT Act, the 4th Amendment and electronic surveillance, and more. [MIT]

Political Science and Policymaking

In this collection of open courses, you will learn about electoral colleges, American foreign policy, Congress, political history and beyond.

  1. America and the Muslim World: Study America’s relations with the Kurds, Syrians, Iranians, and beyond in this series. [Columbia]
  2. Iran: Revolution, U.S. Policy, and Cold War Politics: Take this e-seminar to study the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the Carter administration. [Columbia]
  3. Congress and the American Political System I: This introductory class will teach you about the roles of the House and Senate. [MIT]
  4. Modern Latin America: Study the relationship between Latin America and the U.S., covering topics like feminism, cultural politics, revolution and more. [MIT]
  5. Readings in American History Since 1877: Read nonfiction and fiction works like "Revisioning US Political History" and The Crucible as a way of studying American politics and history. [MIT]
  6. America in the Nuclear Age: This course covers American political growth from Pearl Harbor to the Cold War. [MIT]
  7. American Civilization: Study American political history from the New World and European arrival to the Constitution to the Civil War and Reconstruction to the 19th century and beyond. [College of Eastern Utah]
  8. American Foreign Policy: Theory and Method: Consider the major theories of American foreign policy and how they have been applied. [MIT]
  9. American Science: Ethical Conflicts and Political Choices: This course reveals how politics and other factors influence science in America. [MIT]
  10. American Foreign Policy: Past, Present and Future: Study 20th century American foreign policy, including human rights, democracy, Iraq and more. [MIT]
  11. American National Security Policy: Learn all about the issues and steps leading up to the creation of the American national security policies of the 21st century. [MIT]
  12. Cold War Science: Learn how science, technology foreign policy intersected during the Cold War. [MIT]
  13. Late nineteenth-century Britain and America: the people and the empire: Study British and American imperialism in this course. [The Open University]
  14. U.S. Social Policy: This course attempts to uncover the policymaking process for addressing social issues. [MIT]
  15. American Political Thought: Study the beginnings of the American political system, including federalism, republicanism, liberalism and more. [MIT]
  16. Public Opinion and American Democracy: Consider public opinion and its influence on elections and policymaking. [MIT]
  17. Introduction to the American Political Process: Learn about elections, electoral colleges and more. [MIT]


American literature boasts a unique collection of short story writers, novelists, dramatists and poets. Here you’ll study works by Herman Melville, Ernest Hemingway, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Faulkner, Henry James and others who documented the progression of American politics and society.

  1. American literature: Practice your own writing while studying great American authors Toni Morrison and more. [MIT]
  2. Forms of Democracy in Nineteenth-Cenutry U.S. Literature: This graduate-level course explores how this period in U.S. literature was influenced by democratic politics and how the literature could itself be considered democratic. [Notre Dame]
  3. Survey of American Literature: This survey course takes students through the American Revolution, The Great Awakening, Native American heritage, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman and the New England tradition. [Mountain View College]
  4. American Classics: Study all kinds of classic American texts that testify to the ever changing American sense of identity. [MIT]
  5. The American Novel: In The American Novel, you’ll examine the theme of "haunting" as you look at works by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry James, Cormac McCarthy, Philip Roth and more. [MIT]
  6. Studies in Fiction: Rethinking the American Masterpiece: Here you’ll study works likeThe Scarlett Letter and Moby Dick in ways you never did in high school. [MIT]
  7. American Authors: American Women Authors: Read works by Rebecca Harding Davis, Fanny Fern, Nella Larsen, Toni Morrison, Susanna Rowson and Edith Wharton. [MIT]
  8. Twentieth and Twenty-first-Century Spanish-American Literature: This Spanish language course covers Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and beyond. [MIT]
  9. Studies in Fiction: Stowe, Twain and the Transformation of 19th-Century America: Discover how these authors helped evolve the American novel. [MIT]
  10. Introduction to Contemporary Hispanic Literature: Here you’ll read poetry, novels and other works by Hispanic authors Federico Garcia Lorca and others. [MIT]
  11. Technology and the Literary Imagination: Study literary responses to new technology trends and influences in the 19th and 20th centuries. [MIT]
  12. Writing About Race: Authors like William Faulkner, Amy Tan, Sandra Cisneros and others are studied in this class about racial and ethnic identity in literature. [MIT]
  13. Race and Identity in American Literature: Keepin’ it Real Fake: Explore the portrayal of different races and ethnicities in American literature. [MIT]
  14. Masterworks in American Short Fiction: Read short stories by Henry James, Ernest Hemingway, Eudora Welty, Julia Alvarez and Willa Cather, among others. [MIT]
  15. Writing Early American Lives: Gender, Race, Nation, Faith: Read works by Frederick Douglass and Benjamin Franklin as you study race and identity in early America. [MIT]


Study the American religious traditions of Latinos, African Americans, Southerners, Jews, and more.

  1. Faith and the African American Experience: Discover how the tradition of African American spirituality evolved during the American Diaspora. [Notre Dame]
  2. Nonviolent Power in Action: Martin Luther King Jr.: Learn how MLK Jr. was "an American Gandhi" in this e-seminar. [Columbia]
  3. Magic, Witchcraft and the Spirit World: Study European and American traditions of witchcraft and the occult. [MIT]
  4. Latino Theology and Christian Tradition: Study the unique Latino Christian tradition that incorporates evangelization, social justice and more. [Notre Dame]
  5. Politics and Religion: Here you will analyze the relationship between social issues, politics, ethics and religion. [MIT]
  6. Jewish History from Biblical to Modern Times: This course features a strong unit on Jews in the U.S. [MIT]
  7. Wesley: Study the story and theology of John Wesley in this course. [Religion-Online]
  8. Crucible of Pluralism: Religion in Modern America: Study religious culture in the U.S. since the 1960s. [Columbia]
  9. Black Churches: Learn about the culture and development of black churches in the U.S. [Religion-Online]

Pop Culture

From soap operas to pro wrestling, find out what makes American pop culture so addicting.

  1. Topics in Comparative Media: American Pro Wrestling: Explore the American pro wrestling phenomenon in this class. [MIT]
  2. Spanish for Bilingual Students: Students of Puerto Rican, Colombian, Mexican and Cuban heritage watch films, read literature and study politics and culture in this course. [MIT]
  3. American Soap Operas: Study the narratives and history of popular soap operas. [MIT]
  4. Understanding Television: Study American television as a technological development, system of storytelling, and a cultural practice. [MIT]

Modern Issues

Here you’ll study the issues affecting modern day America, including the environment, the healthcare system, racial stereotypes and more.

  1. Changing the Face of American Healthcare: Find out how and why the American healthcare system is changing. [Notre Dame]
  2. Energy and Environment in American History: Consider topics like consumption, water power, suburbanization, foreign policy and global warming as you study the energy crisis. [MIT]
  3. Race and Gender in Asian America: Consider Asian American stereotypes and beyond in this course. [MIT]
  4. Border Issues Seminar: Learn how Mexican immigration diversifies the U.S. and threatens it. [Notre Dame]
  5. The Contemporary American Family: Topics covered in this modern culture class include sexuality, ethnicity, divorce and family relationships, and more. [MIT]
  6. Food and Power in the 20th Century: Discover how food, science and technology disrupt the power structure of world economies. [MIT]
  7. American Dream: Exploring Class in the U.S.: Analyze the U.S. class system in this course. [MIT]
  8. Drugs, Politics and Culture: Capitalism, the global drug trade, recreational drugs and other topics are covered in this class. [MIT]
  9. Videogame Theory and Analysis: Learn how video games work and influence society. [MIT]
  10. Media in Cultural Context: Popular Readerships: Consider what dictates lowbrow or highbrow culture in this course. [MIT]

Art, Music and Drama

This collection of open courses addresses American folk music, hip hop, drama, dance and other art forms.

  1. Vocal Repertoire and Performance: African American Composers: Here you’ll study the personal backgrounds and stories of African American composers as well as their work. [MIT]
  2. Introduction to Anglo-American Folk Music: Here you’ll study American folk music as it has been influenced by the British Isles and African American music. [MIT]
  3. Theater and Cultural Diversity in the U.S.: Study contemporary American theater and how it portrays Asian Americans, African Americans, Native Americans and Chicano/Latinos. [MIT]
  4. Issues of Representation: Women, Representation, and Music in Selected Folk Traditions of the British Isles and North America: Consider how women are portrayed in British and American folk music. [MIT]
  5. Hip Hop: Study hip hop as an art form, a means of communication and a cultural phenomenon. [MIT]
  6. Studies in Drama: Too Hot to Handle: Forbidden Plays in Modern America: Find out why certain plays have been censored or considered taboo by American society. [MIT]
  7. 20th Century Art: Study 20th century art in relation to politics, postcolonialism, mass culture and more in Europe and the U.S. [MIT]
  8. Traditions in American Concert Dance: Gender and Autobiography: Explore the influences on American concert dance, including African American traditions and more. [MIT]
  9. Composing for Jazz Orchestra: This technical class pays homage to a uniquely American style. [MIT]
  10. Music Since 1960: Learn about different music forms and theories including music videos, rock’n'roll, new age and more. [MIT]

Economics and Business

From monopolies to regulation to the U.S. economy, learn all about American economics and business culture here.

  1. American Consumer Culture: Study the 20th century American attitude of consumption and luxury. [MIT]
  2. The Law of Corporate Finance and Finance Markets: Discover the delicate balance between the state of the U.S. economy and the health of large corporations in this course. [MIT]
  3. Capitalism and its Critics: Study the evolution of capitalism and the people who criticize it in this course. [MIT]
  4. Government Regulation of Industry: Topics covered here include modern market theory, market structure, monopolies, and more. [MIT]
  5. Strategic HR Management: Take this class to examine the typical work culture for most Americans. [MIT]


These American culture courses consider urban housing, the environment, health and more.

  1. Nature, Environment and Empire: Study U.S. and European attitudes towards the exploration and exploitation of nature in the 18th and 19th centuries. [MIT]
  2. Disease and Society in America: Topics covered in this class include mortality, healthcare ethics, research and more. [MIT]
  3. The Rise of Modern Science: This class focuses on European and American progressions in science, from psychology to biology and beyond. [MIT]
  4. Urban Housing: Paris, London and New York: This course tackles the culture of urban living, as well as economic and social factors. [MIT]