Thursday, September 14, 2006

I Must Be an Academic After All

You know those dreams you have, where you wake up, and you can't remember what was happening, but you know it was fun/happy/positive, and you want to recreate the story so you can savor it a little longer?
I had one of those last night.
About one of the papers I'm supposed to have finished already.
Too bad they weren't practical ideas after all...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Lost the Race Again

So PZ Myers stole my latest post idea.
I try to watch all the shows that have brilliant people as main characters: House, CSI: the original, Law & Order: Criminal Intent (D'Onofrio version, although I like the other one too), Numb3rs. I think brilliant people are under-represented, especially as sympathetic characters, and I want to do my best to support the ones that exist. I know, it only matters if I'm a Neilson household, but I'm still trying.
I understand (as articulated better by most of the contrary commentors to that Pharyngula post linked above) that TV is TV: among other things, it is fiction, it is constrained by time, and it is constrained by the producers'/writers'/network suits' assumptions about the intelligence of the audience. When you don't know anything about the subject -- for me, that would be House -- it's easy enough to accept the more obvious lapses in logic. For example: of course the fact that the child last night was an in vitro baby would be important, but I didn't know how obvious that made the answer to doctor & biology types. That's what the network people are counting on: that most of the audience won't know that. (I think they're also counting on the audience not even realizing that the in vitro fact is the important one, but that may be my inherent cynicism about network suits.)
But. But but but...
My undergraduate degree is in math*, so watching Numb3rs is a challenge for me. A big challenge. Even though I only have a BA in the subject, a BA that's over 10 years old, and no experience whatsoever in the academic field, I know that a mathematics professor won't have an intimate understanding of chaos theory *and* abstract algebra *and* topology *and* combinatorics *and*... I even get annoyed by the shows I don't have any background in: CSI's ability to dedicate four or five techs to one case, the beautiful facilities they work in, and the way they always get results; or the fact Dr. House suggests 4 or 5 tests per episode, all except the last of which put the patient at great risk, but he's touted as a perfect diagnostician.
On the other hand, I adore Goren (L&O:CI) his immeasurable knowledge about every single subject, and his unparalleled ability to psychologically manipulate his suspects into confessions. Maybe these shows wouldn't be so annoying if they were as over-the-top and obviously impossible as L&O:CI is.

*My current work has nothing to do with my undergraduate degree, so that doesn't really give you any help in finding me.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Help Me, O Internet

Does anyone have an idea as to where one would search for jobs at SLACs? or perhaps where one might find a listing of SLACs?

I Just Should Have Known Better

...than to drive to "Town" on the second day of classes.
So today was the annual doctor appointment -- you know, that doctor -- and it brought up a variety of topics, like:
-why do most of the pregnant women there already have at least one child? that is, where are all the first-time mothers?
-it takes no more than a year for the Stupidity of Patients to wear a Very Nice Woman down to a Brittle-ly Nice Woman.
-why is "feminine" bad? and why does it feel like I'm uttering heresy asking that?
-nurse practitioners really are just as "good" as doctors.
-is it crossing a picket line to be a patient?
-why can't I remember things? like the other questions the visit brought up, or the brilliant post that I was going to write about research vs. teaching?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Who We Are vs. Who We Write

Lucy pointed her readers to Wolfangel's post about who we blog vs. who we act, and the dichotomy between the two that sometimes arises. Honestly, I'm a little surprised by how many bloggers say "I met Blogger X, and she was just as [adjective], [adjective], and [adjective] as she is on her blog." My (extremely limited) experience has been mostly the opposite.
But that's not my point.
My point is that jo(e) had a post where she tried to start a meme. So I decided it would be amusing (to me) to try to come up with outlandish, unlikely, stupid, and (hopefully) occasionally funny questions that could have provoked those responses.
A couple of disclaimers. I don't know jo(e) in real life (telling her I'm doing this is I think the first contact I've had with her) and I don't read very closely (I just noticed about a week before her meme post that her on-blog profile says Northeast; I'd thought she was in the Mid-west). So if I create a question/answer combination that you know is offensive to her, please don't jump down my throat; I don't know jo(e)'s personal preferences.

1. If you hate the snow so much, why don't you just move away from Bison City?
2. Do you tell the truth to the police?
3. What's your favorite album size?
4. Why don't you talk about your department chair more?
5. If my husband's & my 28th wedding anniversary is before the end of the year, how long have we been married?
6. You know, I murdered my father/mother/kitten. Are you going to turn me in?
7. Why didn't you get into surfing as a profession?
8. Do you have a parakeet?
9. Do you like it editing stories?
10. Are you ever mean?
11. Did you ever tell readers about your favorite restaurant?
12. Does anyone in your family read the college/university newspaper?
13. Can I figure out your real name from your blog?
14. Why don't you let your husband do the chores?
15. How long have you defended vegetarianism as an anti-terrorism act?
16. You know, I keep hearing about Reiki nowadays!
17. Why do you buy all those shawls and drapey things?
18. You have such a connection to your family history. What's their religion?
19. What's your favorite drink, and how often do you go to the monastary?
20. What's the color you use to flag e-mails as urgent?
21. How serious are you when you take pictures?
22. Why choose easy-to-remember pseudonyms? aren't you afraid of being found out?
23. Are you going to tell us about your sex life?
24. Why would you blog about a funny fight with your husband?
25. Do I really have to ask you a question?