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.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

You only see what the headlight can reach

(Note: That's me at the right warming up at my apartment complex' fitness room. I'm warming up by reading a science magazine with my navy cap.)
This day is part of the single step Confucius refers to his "thousand mile journey". The variation is that you can only see what the light of your car can reach, however; by small steps, you will arrive at your destination. I push myself to workout, wake up early in the morning and sleep early the night before.
This single step is crucial because you want your body to adapt the active lifestyle that you want. You can't get up of bed early in the morning if your body is not use to it. So what I usually do in the first few weeks is adjust. Adjust your waking habits and sleeping patterns. Science said that the optimal hours of an adult is 7.5 hours. I target 8 hours: sleep at 10 PM and wake-up at 6 AM, coffee and then workout.
How do I wake up early? Motivation. You should have a burning desire to workout.
How do I wake up early? Sleep early. Turn off all distractions around 10 PM. Pain of Discipline, or pain of regrets? You take your pick.

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