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, March 14, 2008


Don't quote me here, but an average person reads 3-4 books a year. I always try to beat the average, so I started looking for a book to read this year. As I was waiting in a mall, I was scanning and reading "Tipping Point" in a bookstore. The book caught my attention. Since I don't want to buy the book, I went to the public library the next day to look for "Tipping Point". Unfortunately, the book is still in loan, so I ended up with "Blink". If there's a consolation, the books had the same author.

What's "Blink"? It's a premise that people think without really thinking. Call it gut feelings or instincts. I haven't finished the book yet, but the story line goes that experts can tell something before testing things in the laboratory.

I remembered asking my adviser if my data was real or not, and by looking at the figure, he concluded it's not real and only a noise. He was right. That's blink in action.

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