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.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tipping Point's message

After reading the book "Tipping Point", I made myself a summery of what I learned from the book.

1. Tipping point is part of the umbrella science of epidemiology, of how a virus spread such as epidemics of cholera or TB. Instead of hard medical science, it's part of a soft science such as psychology.

2. Smoking, a viral video, HIV, fashion I believe is a complicated science. There are many variables to consider, not adding the hidden variables.

3. The spread of smoking is like the spread of a viral video. You just need to know the variables involved. So if you are in the business of marketing, a viral video will be a good platform for spreading your ad. But how many viral videos succeed? The reason why viral ideas don't spread can be attributed some hidden variables.

4. Tipping point or a spread of idea will always be a part of civilization. We've seen the spread of smoking epidemics. Here's I believe are the things that the book didn't mentioned the spread of Columbine style shooting. It was followed by Virginia Tech. How many more are coming?

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