Cienna

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Evaluating a crowdfunding campaign to test an oral anthrax vaccine for wildlife

Update: I now think it's a problem with the first impression. A title with shorter words that stirred the imagination might perform better. I remember feeling the draw of effort to understand what the title meant. 

Compared with 
"Growing edible algae on the Moon"
- title was partly misleading
- raise was overfunded with plenty of time to spare  
- Might have been "Assessing fresh spirulina as a space food at HI-SEAS"

"What is the ethanol resistance of lignin biocoating?"
- accurate title
- raise failed at 1/3  
- Might have been "Can lignin keep cardboard from getting soggy when I soak it in beer?"

If too many syllables and not enough imagery in the first impression is why the raise failed to gather interest, then I made the same mistake when titling this post! Maybe it should have been "Why isn't this project to vaccinate deer against anthrax getting funded?" 

What is a book that genuinely changed your life for the better?

I love this question, and I'm looking forward to reading others' answers! Thanks for asking it! 

The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane by Matthew Hutson

I was wrestling with the inescapable thought "I don't want to live as a hypocrite" before I first read it in 2012. I hadn't known becoming more rational was a thing other people knew how to do. Somehow the book's cheerful, mostly forgiving take on how sometimes people are better off irrational gave me the grace I needed to both start seeking ways of mind I could respect in myself, and to appreciate my magical thinking. This book set me up with a growth mindset toward becoming a mind I enjoy. 

Biopunk by Marcus Wohlsen  
This really stretched my imagination about what a single competent person can do. I picked it up for the biology, and ended up thinking about agency, responsibility, risk, and the archetype of the maverick. 

I think I'd have learned this stuff another way if I hadn't read these books. However, these genuinely contributed to me growing in openness, agency, and self-respect.