LEVI McPHERSON, a graduate student of analytical chemistry at the University of North Central Florida, is approached by agents of the Homeland Security’s Counter-terrorism Unit. The agency is recruiting Lee to study and expose the loopholes of screening instruments in airports. Struggling financially, he accepted the offer, making him a paid, benevolent hacker of the nation’s gateway. Yet Levi is horrified when an Airbus from Los Angeles disintegrated in mid-air.

At 40, when everybody’s career trajectory is going up, Levi’s still a poor graduate student, struggling financially. His research projects however, are worth million dollars. Researching the highly classified and heavily guarded secrets of detecting traces of explosives, what Lee know was a goldmine. The agency's offer is his financial break . So Levi tackles the problem like a scientist, detailing the loopholes of the aviation security and turning what he knew into a big time money machine.

JIM and JONATHAN of the counter-terrorism unit, where nowhere to be found after Charlotte International Airport, a hub of Delta Airlines closed abruptly because of instrument malfunctions in their security lines. And in a post-Osama Bin Laden’s era, the biggest blow to the United Stated after the 9/11 disaster comes unexpectedly when a passenger plane blew up in the skies of Washington D.C., in the heart of the nation.

Levi knew it was only the start of more troubles, so he recruits his fellow graduate students to counter the future attacks. They have to think like criminals—and scientists too. With the help of FBI counter-terrorism experts, Homeland Security and Transportation Security Agency, the team races to close and plug the loopholes Lee identified.

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year 08

Everybody usher in the new year differently. Mine is simple and traditional: I write resolutions and keep them. How? I compose goals for the year in bold letters, stick the reminders on a huge corkboard in front of my bed so everyday of the year, I can see my goals. Psychologists call this "constant feedback". By being constantly reminded by your list, you are more likely to achieve the goals you set.

I don't have a wallet, only a money-clip. Sandwiched between the money-clip are my credit cards, my school ID and my driver's license. In addition to my yearly goals, buried between my credit cards is a small note with the list of my yearly and lifetime goals.

During the waning moments of the 2007 BCS Championship, University of Florida head football coach Urban Meyer was reading a note from his pocket. When a reporter asked him after the game what the note was, he replied, "It's too personal to discuss, but I had kept it for almost five years now in my pocket". I bet my whole life that the note is a list of his goals (and one of it is surely winning the BCS Championship). He's a psychologist, an expert motivator and a world-class coach, he knows the strategies in achieving goals.

So what are my goals for the new year? It's to personal to discuss. Did you make a list for yourself?(and by the way, things that I usually do during the first week of a new year are:

a. Change my passwords. Passwords are like underwears, you constantly change them, and just like any underwear, you don't show them to anybody :)

b. Clean my computer desktopc. Back-up my data. Transfer all the previous year's data to an external hard drive.d. Check my bicycle gears and breaks.e. Read magazines I missed during the previous year. Clean my email mailboxes.among other things)

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