Thursday, April 24, 2014


Sometimes, the world is a strange place.

People you counted on become unavailable, or someone you mistrusted shows a new side of themselves. Suddenly, you like the taste of raisins even though you hated them before. People are unreliable. The world is unreliable.

What then, can you trust in this ever-changing life? I think that the one thing that we all have, no matter what, is ourselves. In reality, the only opinion we can really change is our own. The only actions we can be sure to be carried out are the ones we perform.

This might seem depressing. But this theory also carries some comforting consequences. If we can count on ourselves, then this also means that we can choose to be there and support those we love when they need someone besides themselves. It also follows that, being the only ones we can rely on, we are not responsible for the behavior or choices of others.

If we believe that we can only rely on ourselves, then we are the only ones responsible for our own disappointment.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Things I am not worrying about right now

-Attempting to train a student who has been in the lab for 4 months, without actually planning the project myself, since this is apparently supposed to be his thesis project

-My bank account

-The fact that none of the labs I contacted for post doc positions have funding

-Having a week to prepare a presentation for an audience of physicists, astronomers, and earth scientists (I'm a microbiologist)


-The possibility of my landlord not extending my lease because he doesn't like me, as evidenced by his accusation that I'm secretly letting my boyfriend live here, his lack of response when I stated that my boyfriend is absolutely not living here, and the fact that he suggested I open the shades more often when I asked if the furnace was working when the thermostat showed 54 degrees

-The actual identity of the bug that bit me on the neck this afternoon and might have infected me with malaria/Lyme disease/Black Death

-Being a bit too fond of Train

-Missing the very first episode of the new season of River Monsters Sunday night

Monday, April 14, 2014

Why the human race needs women

This picture embodies all of the reasons why I love my boyfriend, and why this drives me completely insane.

posted from Bloggeroid

Working away from the office's the best!!

Location: CafĂ©                                Pros: Comfy, unlimited food and drink
                                                            Cons: Rapidly become fat and poor
Location: Public Library              Pros: Free seating and wifi
                                                            Cons: Librarians are actually quite loud
Other people who frequent the library during the daytime include unemployed males who wish to hit on you, senior citizens that come in and insist that the librarians find them the “ACTUAL play, not the movie!", and mentally ill individuals who will hold private karaoke sessions, while wearing headphones.
Location: University bookstore                  
                                           Pros: Free wifi
Access to food and drink without the pressure to actually buy anything in exchange for your electrical and internet usage
Cons: Undergrads might recognize you and ask why you haven’t replied to their email
Profs might recognize you and ask why you haven’t replied to their email
When you do get hungry, everything is triple overpriced (ex. Smoothies are 7 bucks a pop)
Location: Home           Pros: No additional cost
Can wear pajamas
           Cons: You will eat everything in the entire pantry
Cat mounts unrelenting battle to for your attention
Location: Boyfriend’s apartment 
                                          Pros: No additional cost
Can wear pajamas
          Cons: You will eat everything in the entire pantry
Boyfriend mounts unrelenting battle to for your attention
Location: Parent’s house                
                                          Pros: Free food, able to crank the heat
          Cons: Constant complaints that you never visit (which reminds you why you never visit)
Location: Walk-in clinic’s waiting room
                                          Pros: Kills two birds with one stone; you’ll probably  be there for hours anyway
                                          Cons: No wifi
           You find the smiling models on the informational brochures for STIs disconcerting
           You might leave with more illnesses than you arrived with
Location: Close friend’s house     
                                            Pros: Good company
                                            Cons: Your friend assumed you would be having                                              some kind of social interactions and will soon learn                                              to hate you when she realizes you can work for                                                      hours and still have more to do
         The matching living room furniture set makes you painfully aware of the fact that you are earning half the salary of most of those in your graduating class, and yet you have more work than you can ever finish

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Causation without representation

Two recent studies that fail to acknowledge the difference between correlation and causation:

Morning Light Exposure Could Help Keep You Thinner

Mobile phones linked to erectile dysfunction, according to study

Can we please have scientists write up our science news tidbits instead of clueless news interns? Then maybe we can do justice to the scientific method and teach everyone the difference between CORRELATION and CAUSATION. When the titles of the articles are reworded to reflect what the studies actually found instead of what the reporters want to hear, they're not nearly as life-changing; in fact, they're pretty much common sense. For example, the first study becomes People Who Are Exposed to Light in Early Morning Tend to be Thinner. Hmm. People who get up early are in shape? Could this possibility be due to them waking up early in order to lose weight (ie WORK OUT)?? Of course the sun might actually be dosing these people with magical skinny rays. Seems like these researchers will need to do another study to find out... But when you look at the facts I doubt anyone would bother to give them funding for such a stupid project. D'oh.

The second study might not be as immediately obvious; but when we remove the magic phrase "linked to", all we're left with is that men who have erectile dysfunction are more likely to use their cell phones a lot. Again we don't need to invoke any kind of mystical unexplained energies (what is this, the freaking Middle Ages?) to explain this "linkage"; we can easily come up with two likely possibilities using basic human psychology. Namely, that guys who can't get it up and don't score very often look to other areas-such as Angry Birds, online poker, and Facebook- for their entertainment. An alternative (or additional) tidbit to consider is that cell phones tend to impose stress; they can allow work to find you at any time and create a pipeline for friends and family to demand attention, and responses, as needed (or wanted). We all know that stress can be a real performance crusher in bed, so why is it surprising that guys who carry around a stress-o-matic around in their pocket tend to have a hard time getting it on?

Sorry for all the attitude and cynicism lately, but I would appreciate if everyone would stop being silly so I can focus on my thesis instead of these angry posts.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Just a commoner?

The singer Lorde, known for her first hit, Royals, recently shared a photo of herself pre- and post- airbrushing to remove all imperfections. "i find this curious - two photos from today, one edited so my skin is perfect and one real. remember flaws are ok :-) " she commented. Earlier today I heard a radio announcer on 104.1 WMRQ complaining that Lorde's un-retouched photo showed of her "gross zits". I went to the station's Facebook page to leave a comment, but wall posts were disabled. However, I'm documenting my response here;

Listening to Holden's adolescent comments about Lorde's gestures supporting self-esteem challenged teens made me want to vomit. Looking at Lorde's allegedly disgusting picture, on the other hand, failed to invoke any gastric response. What is Holden's problem, anyway? Isn't this the same station that ran a campaign urging teens to just give someone a smile in the hallway, because they might be going through a rough time in life? Totally hypocritical... but anything to crack a joke to keep up the ratings, right?

Zits are gross. But guess what? We've all had them. And we all try to cover them up or hide them because they make us feel bad about ourselves. But that's ridiculous! Does the sensitivity of your skin have any reflection on your worth as a person?? I've said it before and I'm going to keep saying it; we're becoming more and more accustomed to seeing celebrities with pounds of makeup, plastic surgery, major dental re-hauls and who knows what else. Is that really the standard we want to hold each other, and ourselves to? Lemme tell you something Holden: that's not real. This weekend I saw a young woman at Lowe's with her boyfriend. Her face was flawless- but it wasn't the same color as the rest of her skin. That's how you can tell when someone is wearing a shitton of makeup, gentlemen. My boyfriend calls it bitchface. You don't need to do that, girls. The only kind of man you're going to get with that face is one that's only interested in what's in your pants.

When I was a teenager I thought that apathy was society's biggest problem. But nowadays it's developed into pure denial. No one wants to be the one to stand up to the cast of Jersey Shore or Miley Cyrus and say that this is just ridiculous, because then someone like Holden is going to accuse them of being jealous, or insecure because they're not as pretty as those bitches. So then we all keep quiet and eventually everyone starts pretending that living your life on a constant rampage of selfish indulgence is ok, and that it's actually DESIRABLE to be rich and famous enough to act that way.

Well, guess what. I think that's fucking lame. Being a diva and treating your friends and family poorly isn't cool, it just means that you're a bitch and odds are none of them actually like you. Spraying layers of skin-colored liquids on your face and taking pills to make your boobs bigger is only going to waste your time and money. It's only distracting everyone from who you are as a person, and do you really hate yourself THAT MUCH? Just get a hobby or something. And guys, you're no better. First, to all you gym rats out there. If you spend 75% of your free time at the gym to get jacked to pick up ladies, then what are you going to do if you actually meet someone? You're going to have to choose between spending time with them and becoming less jacked (which, from the pool you're drawing from, will probably leave them devastated) or you can spend three times the number of hours at the gym as you do with your girlfriend. (In reality it's probably not that much of an issue, because I doubt you have much personality left after exposing your brain to the stupefying effects of four hours of adrenaline and testosterone every day.)


Sorry for getting so worked up. I like to get dressed up, I like to look nice and wear makeup and be in shape. But I know that someday, all of that is going to fade away, or at least become more and more difficult to keep up. And my real merit, my uniqueness and the part that might have some chance to make an impact on this world, is inside. My brain, my soul, my personality- whatever you want to call it. That will be able to grow and change and improve until the day I die, and won't need any stretching or tinting or sucking to make it seem younger. And one more thing- if you aspire to outer beauty, you exist in that alone. However if you value and nurture the spirit as you travel through this life, if you let yourself grow, then maybe you can grow with someone else, and be able to evolve together.