So I've been watching the news about the whole lottery fever that is sweeping the nation and I may actually buy a ticket, but just for a goof. But if I win, that would be scary as shit, because look at all those folks that have won the big jackpot. Most of their lives have been royally screwed up from having all that money, the succumb to additions or gluttony, friends and family members come out of the woodwork with "investment opportunities," etc. Not me man, I've got a plan to use that money. Its not going to charity or relatives or any of that crap, I'm going to stimulate our faltering economy with shovel or dynamite ready jobs. And here is how I'm going to do it.
So as the Earth ages and papers and manuscripts become unreadable due to age or a shift in language where we no longer speak English, but rather the new universal linguistic standard, Snooki. Steel buildings will eventually decay and crumble, tombstones will weather away, but my legacy will stand forever. I want to buy up a mountain range and create massive rock carvings of myself doing just ridiculous shit, so that when a restarted society or aliens gazes upon them, they will know that I was the shit. And what competition will I have, the Great Wall, the 4 Presidents, and Crazy Horse.
Here were some carvings I was thinking of:
-Me holding a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label (maybe I can get some sponsorship money for this one)
-Me riding a bear riding an elephant (to show that I have over the animal kingdom)
-Me standing on a burning Viking ship, wrestling a pack of dwarfs
-Me and Andre 3000 of Outkast (the only celebrity that I like and actually freaked the fuck out when I met him once)
This ambitious project will employ thousands and could potentially push our economy out of this recession and further us into prosperity and lets face it, I'd be a legend.
Yesterday PLS posted about "playing the game" and finding himself in the midst of players that make the big decisions and their power plays. I think all of us to some extent "play the game" whether you know it or not and we all learn the rules of the game at an early age. For example, I hate journal club. And I really really hate presenting in journal club. But luckily I know the person that runs the schedule for it. If I do something else for the person, the quid pro quo becomes I don't have to present this semester. Both of us are pawns and manipulators in the game, they manipulated me to get something done and I manipulated them to get out of journal club because I was taking care of something else.
My whole take on the issue is that don't act horrified like the game and gamesmanship exists, it has since the dawn of time. And it will go into perpetuity. I wonder if those elementary and grade school teacher's pets are not just early adopters to "the game?"
About a year or so ago, I got to see a really talented young musician named Daniel Park perform and he was awesome. So in the spirit of link love, I'm sharing a few videos of his to you. The first is about culture differences and how people say Hello and the second is his cover of Fleetwood Mac's Landslide. Enjoy.
So today I got an email for a cool cat named Darwin Foo, who is about to go to graduate school, on advice for starting up a blog. Turns out Darwin has created a blog Darwin + Fu = My Equation For Life. So Darwin, here is my advice to you and any other grad student bloggers. Dear readers if you have any pearls of wisdom, feel free to contribute as well.
1. There are no rules to blogging, do whatever the hell you want.
2. Write for you! Mostly, its the most comfortable and its where you best stuff will flow from and you are creating an honest point of view.
3. Since you are not pseudonymous, be careful about how critical of things and people you are. Folks now know who you are, best not to slag off too hard on anyone you work with or where you work.
4. Go comment on other folks blogs and make sure to leave the link to your blog as a trackback, that way they can navigate to your blog and read you.
5. Feed the trolls, but not too much. I give the Tideliar some filet mignon from time to time, but he'll keep eating if you don't cut him off.
6. Have an RSS feed, that way I and others can add you into their Google Reader subscriptions
7. If you are going to research a topic, really research. For example, in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina famed rapper Kanye West publicly declared that then President George Bush didn't care about black people. Kanye was a bit hurried in his research and missed the mark by a bit. If he would have done his due diligence, he would have found out that George Bush didn't care about black people OR poor people. Lesson learned Kanye, do your homework.
8. Have fun, if its not fun, you aren't going to be able to do it.
9. Oh and when you get a following, make sure to throw some linklove in other people's directions. The ever lovable DrugMonkey was the first to throw me some linklove and make mention of my blog (which I surmise he found me from his comments section) and gifted me much of the meager following that I have today. So I will always be thankful to him, even though he holds me upside down and shakes out my lunch money every day.
10. The internet will turn on you one day. It happens to everyone but don't be surprised if they go all 4chan on your ass. Just deal with it. It will subside, unless you piss off the homeopathic people. Or doulas!
When grinding through some emails that I need to respond to, I'm jamming out to an old favorite from Gravity Kills, an industrial rock band from Missouri. I first came across them in the mid-90s when I heard their track "Goodbye" on the Mortal Kombat soundtrack. I like it that its an uptempo song but still blends in the background so I can work. Enjoy.
-Goddamn hotel room key won't open the door, this is the 3rd one, what dumpsterbaby mans the front desk
-There is a dark curly hair on the toilet that is far longer than anything my body can grow.
-Ice maker is on odd floors, vending machine on even floors. Neither adjacent ice maker works.
-The only thing nice about my hotel is the view that looks into the parking lot of a nicer hotel.
-I'm half tempted to tell the kid running up and down the hall yelling to STFU.
-The elevator smells like dead animals and sperm.
I'm getting to the point in my graduate student career where it is time to start contemplating postdoctoral fellowships and all that goes along with that. I know I want to stay in the DNA repair field but want to shift away from my current spectrum of work into another subfield, maybe the implications of DNA repair in aging or maybe cryptochromes. Honestly who knows right now. I'm more looking just to get my name out there by attending some of the smaller more intimate meetings (Gordon, etc.) that are patroned by the movers and shakers in my field. Hopefully by them seeing me and me seeing them I can lock up a good postdoc. For those of you in postdocs or who have done one, I would be interested in knowing how did you find your PI and what were the circumstances of setting up your postdoc.
I'm heading out to Houston today for a two day meeting, if any readers want to hang out or grab a bite to eat let me know. I'm already going to grub with The Protein Wrangler, a fine young gent who works in the Texas Medical Center. And for a nominal fee (i.e. cab money), I'd be willing to autograph whatever items you wish whether it be a pipet, a baby, a gallon of milk. Anything helps.
I'm losing my freaking mind at some administrator for passing on erroneous information that may end up costing someone's job. Normally I am moderately cordial with the administration and their ilk, but today the damn HR department is drawing my ire. Giving someone inaccurate information that could end up costing them their job should in my mind, cost you yours. Especially when they tried to verify this information multiple times. This crap is burning me up.
is really freaking lacking in most incoming graduate students and for the most part its because the poor noobs have no experience with it. Most of these "kids" come out of undergrad having maybe written some lab or field reports and maybe a 5 page paper on some topic. A few have actually done a senior's thesis and developed some basic modicum of scientific writing skills. But universally, when it comes to writing any type of scientific proposal we have no clue.
Some universities are proactive and require students to take a class (usually during their first summer) on writing and grantsmanship where they can craft some basic scientific proposal. This is immensely helpful for those whose qualifying exams are to author some type of grant proposal. Sadly my institution puts no emphasis on this training and it is left up to the trainee and their mentor. And judging by some of the St. K3rns that I work with, they are loathe to allow you to participate in anything that takes you away from the lab.
So dear reader, what are your thoughts on formal training in scientific writing and grantsmanship, did you undergo this, and would you think this would be a practical addition to the graduate school curriculum?