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.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

So, you want to lose weight?

Weight loss is tricky. Even so, follow my journey as I plan to lose weight this year, 20-lbs to be exact. That will be my goal. Currently, the weighing scale measures 170 lbs. In the end of this year, it will be 148-150 lbs. If my calculations are correct, that's 10% body fat. (Compare that to Lance Armstrong of only 5%).

I'm not an elite athlete, I'm a regular mortal like you. My weight has always been my concern.

To achieve my goals, I'm using my tools and gizmos; motivation, technology, science, calorie counting and dealing with frustrations. I'll be losing weight in my busiest year ever, because of a baby coming in June and an oral examination, a requirement to become a Ph.D. candidate. Top that with frustrating (but exciting) research.

At this stage of the battle, my knees are not yet ready for the pounding of running so I'll be using the fitness first elliptical machine at my apartment complex's fitness room (pix on above left). It is a small room but it serves the purpose of burning calories. Don't get me wrong, I like big gyms, but the fitness room in my complex is a little bit convenient.

It's just the start. I lost weight before, I will be doing it again. Next year, I'll be running the Disney Marathon then.

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