Full-Frontal Nerdity: Lessons in Loving and Living with Your Brain

Full-Frontal Nerdity: Lessons in Loving and Living with Your Brain

by K.S. Wiswell


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Adulting is hard; laugh and learn.

If you've ever wondered what astrophysics can teach you about the dating pool or how quantum particles can show you how to ignore the haters, look no further. From a Nerd-of-All-Trades comes Full-Frontal Nerdity, a collection of personal essays about applying all that “useless” book learning toward the more practical pursuits of life, love, and releasing your inner quantum.

Long before “The Big Bang Theory” made geek scientists cool, there have been Sheldons trying to navigate the world of Pennys. It isn’t always pretty, but it makes for great stories. Full-Frontal Nerdity is a collection of some of those stories—like the time the author got into a debate about the nature of addition with a Time Warner Cable representative or used the many-worlds theory to cheer herself up after a bad day.

Full-Frontal Nerdity explores the struggles of being a thinking adult in an often-irrational world, taking inspiration from many subjects—statistics, mythology, physics, poetry, and even the nature of pi—to gain insight into the everyday mysteries of living. What can a decades-old math problem teach us about biological clocks and the pressure to marry? Why is the history of Leap Day a cautionary tale about traditional gender roles and asserting power? How can Bayesian reasoning stop us from writing off a potential partner too early or letting a dud stick around too long?

In a series of short, light-hearted pieces, Full-Frontal Nerdity will introduce readers to some fascinating nerdy concepts, explore the more practical lessons to be gleaned from those subjects, and provide a newfound depth of understanding about living, loving, and simply being in a humorously complex world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781506254326
Publisher: Barrons Educational Series
Publication date: 01/07/2020
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 503,940
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

K.S. Wiswell went into Harvard to become a cryptographer and came out with a degree in English Literature. Along the way, she studied physics, statistics, philosophy, mythology, and marching band. After three years in the corporate world, she escaped to Los Angeles and joined the Second City, because improv is cheaper than therapy. She remains an overeducated comedy writer who teaches logic to balance the insanity. Over the years, she has been told by serious men that she is “pretty smart for a girl,” “pretty funny for a girl,” and once (after a disastrous Mary Lou Retton–inspired haircut) “pretty cute for a boy.” All of which is pretty dumb for a society, so she has made it her mission to promote the fact that Smart Is Sexy.

Table of Contents


Pompous and Circumstantial 3

Commencement: Because it literally means "the beginning".

101: Love

The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life Partners in the Universe 9

Astrophysics: The Drake Equation applied to our search for The One.

Will You Be My Eggplant? 17

Linguistics: How the English language is designed to shame singles.

Love, Damned Love, and Statistics 21

Probability: Bayesian reasoning applied to the tumults of dating.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Creeps Me Out 31

Animal Husbandry: What pets say about partnership potential.

The Logarithm of Love 37

Math: A classic decision algorithm vindicates waiting longer to marry.

Drummer Wanted (Timing Optional) 43

Music Appreciation: A garage band approach to dating (or not).

102: Relationships

A Periodic Fable of Elements 49

Chemistry: The properties of metals shed light on quality friendship.

April Fool 55

Poetry: Finding solace in a month that is notoriously rough on the heart.

How Do I Love Me? (Let Me Count the Ways) 61

Psychology: An analysis of the three main classes of Narcissist.

Lois Lame 65

Pulp Literature: Why Superman's girlfriend is a cautionary tale for us all.

Poker Face (That's What She Said) 69

Analytics: Apply the logic of professional poker players to break-ups.

Ce N'est Pas Une Pièce 75

Philosophy: Sartre exposes the soul-crushing paradox of love.

103: Life (Striving)

Quantum Leaping 81

Physics: How to live more like a quantum particle than a solid object.

To Dream the Improbable Dream 87

Semantics: Turning to the dictionary to keep ambition in check.

Fractal Rock 93

Geometry: Snowflakes, debate, and the quest for nuance.

Logical Mystery Tour 99

Logic: Practice logical reasoning to develop creativity and empathy.

Irrational Pastime 105

Number Theory: The ratio pi and our human desire for the impossible.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Grown-Ass Woman 109

English Lit: If James Joyce had to make it in the world today… as a girl.

Rock, Paper, Sisyphus, Shoot Me 115

Mythology: Life is an uphill battle, but the rest of the story matters too.

104: Life (Coping)

Quantum Crashing (Or, Crisis on Infinite Me) 121

Quantum Mechanics: The Many-Worlds Theory as antidepressant.

Instagramlet (Get Thee to Unpluggery) 127

Elizabethan Drama: If Shakespeare wrote Hamlet in the internet age.

I Was Told There Would Be No Math at This Debate 129

Statistics: Mathematical proof that some people are not worth debating.

Once Upon a Time Warp - A Brief History of Leap Day 135

History: Cleopatra's cautionary tale about letting men take the credit.

The XX Factor 141

Gender Studies: My origin story as a feminist manifesto.

Zen and the Art of Yoga Cycle 147

Eastern Philosophy: Lessons inflexibility, focus, and failure.

Time Weights for All Man 155

Theoretical Physics: General relativity as explanation and salve for anxiety.

Extra Credit

Toto Eclipse of the Heart 161

Film Studies: About the Author

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