Archive for: May, 2012

The #run4p challenge lineup

May 29 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Welcome to all the twitter/bloggy peeps that are running the Runners World Summer Challenge! See the post yesterday for the basic idea. Basically, you run at least 1 mile every day from Memorial Day until July 4. We've made it one day, and here is how it worked out*. Here is the list of participants and whether they ran today or are gonna be clicking on some links from the ever-disgusting @vonoberst. We have quite a group on board! If you are supposed to be on the list and aren't let me know. If you are on the list and wanna bail, then too bad!

@bam294 (VP of punishment): YES
@gertyz (ME! VP of blogging updates): YES, twice
@scitrigrrl (the originator!): YES
@cackleofrad: YEP, ftw
@palmd: YES
@Dr24hours: YES
@GLEthnohistory: YES
@rimRK: YES
@donovanable: YES
@aetiology: YES
@scicurious: YES
@geeka: YES
@dave_bridges: YES
@_modscientist_: YES
@PeteStipher: YES
@greggstanwood: YES
@johnvmclaughlin: YES
@amyMPalubinsky: YES
@fiainros: YES
@sciencegurlsz0: YES
@scientistmother: YES
Megan (do you have a twitter??)

YOU GUYS! WE TOTALLY KICK ASS! Everyone made it safely through the first day 😀

Some of you may be on Fitocracy. I always forget to go over there, but I started a group there for this (I'm gerty-z), so I'll update for myself there. Also, you may notice that I've shortened the hashtag to #run4p. I don't have time to write out the whole damn thing. Whatev.

Everyone check in on twitter (w/ #run4p) or Fitocracy when you run, so there is evidence of compliance if you are called upon. Or else...


*I am NOT gonna check in on y'all daily! I got shit to do.

6 responses so far


May 28 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Tonight on twitter, @scitrigrrl mentioned that she was joining in on the Runner's World Summer Running Streak challenge. Starting today (unless you are in your office w/o a running bra*), you have to run at least 1 mile EVERY DAY until July 4. A lot of tweeps decided to join in, but to make it @bam294 suggested that we up the ante. If you decide to join in but then bail on a daily run you have to open all the links tweeted by @vonoberst  for a WEEK.

Follow along for bragging, trash talking, and the horror of @vonoberst punishment links with the #run4parasite tag.

Here is the list of of participants, from what I can follow on my timeline:

Everyone else is welcome to join in, and feel free to use the comment section to update on status and taunt anyone that is suffering the JCW link punishments for missing a day!




*but the you have to run 2x on May 29 to make up for it. After that, no skipping.

25 responses so far

Three day weekend

May 27 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

Here in the US it is Memorial Day weekend. The first Memorial Day since the official end of the war in Iraq. This is the day that we remember soldiers that have died while serving the US Armed Forces. Right now, the men and women of our armed forces are in active combat. Fighting on my behalf. Dying. I can't express my gratitude to all the soldiers of the Armed Forces, and their families. Thank you.

I come from a part of the country where a fairly large portion of (mostly men) high school graduates join the military. I didn't know these folks well, and I lost contact with them long ago. But, as our nation continue to fight active wars in far-away places, I wonder sometimes how they are doing. This three-day weekend there will be a lot of folks that are grieving. The heartbreaking picture below was taken in 2005 and featured in a recent NYTimes piece. It features Katherine Casey, who lost her husband.

photo credit: Todd Heisler/The Rocky Mountain News

The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. "I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it," she said. "I think that's what he would have wanted."- caption from POYi award page

We have lost too many soldiers in the wars of the last decade. My heart goes out to all the family and friends that are hurting. That are dealing with tragedy, either because someone they love did not come back, or did not come back whole. Last Friday, Rachel Maddow included a clip of Vice President Biden speaking to family members of fallen soldiers (embedded below). This brought tears to my eyes. It is one of the most moving things I've ever seen.

Thank you. That seems insufficient. It is insufficient, in relation to the magnitude of the sacrifices of our troops. Thank you.

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I'm sorry, but...

May 19 2012 Published by under Uncategorized

...sometimes Cocktail Moments are bossy. I think that Dr. Becca would approve. Seriously, I absolutely <3 Rachel Maddow. You can see a whole line-up of past cocktail moments here. Not to mention recent shows, which are always freaking awesome.


4 responses so far

Yeah. So, this happened. FML

May 18 2012 Published by under exhaustion, venting

I sit in my office, alternatively staring at my computer screen, drinking coffee, and typing in bursts. I'm a little sleepy and highly caffeinated. My office is attached to my lab, and the door is open. Because I am an accessible fucking PI. There is a little knock on the door...but it is not anyone from my lab. It is a postdoc from another lab. Here is the exchange (not verbatim):

Me: Hi.

pd: Hi.

Me: What's up?

pd: Soooo...I am trying to do an experiment that is tangentially related to things that people in your lab do. With a reagent that you have used.

Me: OK. I used the reagent basically the same way that was published by Other Lab.

pd: I used it in a totally different way, and I'm confused about why it didn't work.

Me: But...that reagent won't even work for the experiment you want to do. That reagent detects process A, but you are trying to look at process B.

pd: Huh. what reagent should i use?

Me: [blink]

pd: [stares]

Me: I don't know. I have never tried to study process B. Maybe you should ask the other people in your own lab that study B.


Please explain to me the following: Why? What have I done wrong? Am I too nice? Is that why it should be my job to help postdocs from other fucking labs? AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHH.

Please, students and postdocs of the world. Try to think about what you are saying when you interact with faculty members, especially those that are not actually your mentor. I actually like chatting about your project. But throw me a bone here. It is not my job to do your work for you. I know that perhaps most folks don't know that the next NIH deadline is June 5. That will not stop me from being even more cranky about this interaction because I'm in the midst of grant writing.

Get off my lawn.

that is all

18 responses so far

it's a big fucking deal

May 09 2012 Published by under queer

Unless you are totally off-line, you know that today President Obama, in an interview with ABC News, went on the record saying that he believes gay Americans should be able to get married. WOO HOO!!! FUCK YEAH!! YIPEEEE!!!!11!!111!!!1!!!1!!!! Here is a link to the video. You should watch.

I'm clearly excited, though I can't help but have some mixed feelings. This doesn't actually change anything-as far as I can tell, no policies will change as a result of this announcement. But it really is a Big Fucking Deal. Just yesterday, North Carolina voted overwhelmingly to approve Amendment One. If you are not in North Carolina, the ballot read:

Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognize. (source: Ballotpedia)

This constitutional amendment made not just same-sex marriage illegal (which it already was, I'm told) but could also affect unmarried, opposite-sex couples. It was approved by 61% of the voters. Polls less than a week before the vote suggested that only 40% of likely voters understood that the amendment outlawed both marriage equality and civil unions and that there was very little support for the amendment by those that understood it. Yay democracy. DFS. Minnesota, Washington, and Maine will vote on marriage equality this fall.

The fact that President Obama is willing to "evolve" on the issue of marriage equality is fan-fucking-tastic. But I especially love the part where he uses his Christian religion as the justification for why he has this view:

“The thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the golden rule — you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids, and that’s what motivates me as president.”

I LOVE that he threw the Golden Rule up at the anti-equality crowd. And not just because I'm an atheist. Good job on staking out some high moral ground. Of course, Fox News was fair and balanced when they announced the news:

So classy. They have apparently changed the title of the article, removing the "war on marriage" bit. Mitt Romney, notably, hasn't flip-flopped on this issue. He is still firmly NOT in favor of marriage equality. This is no surprise. Based on the way the Grenell fiasco went down, it seems pretty clear that Mittens really doesn't wan to do/say anything that gets the religious folks pissed off at him. Because maybe someday they will like him! (doubtful) Of course, he has made his position somewhat incoherent so that you never really know what he thinks. According to Mitt:

“Well when these issues were raised in my state of Massachusetts, I indicated my view, which is I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name. My view is the domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate but that the others are not.”

Sooo...he approves of civil unions that aren't identical to marriage? I think?

I suspect that the President's statement will bring out all kinds of crazy. Even more than is normal for an election year. The anti-gay rhetoric will probably get ugly. But maybe not. After all, Shep Smith over at Fox News reacted to the President's statement by asking reporter Ed Henry:

“I am curious whether you believe in this time of rising debt and medical issues and all the rest, if Republicans would go out on a limb and try to make this a campaign issue while sitting very firmly without much question on the wrong side of history”

Holy. Fuck. Did I just agree with a Fox News anchor????!!?!!!???????


8 responses so far

That is DR. Gerty to you, FFS.

May 07 2012 Published by under academia

I was reading an article at the Chronicle of Higher Education today, "The PhD now comes with food stamps". I was prepared to be all pissed off at how governments have repeatedly cut funding to higher education, how some schools have responded by hiring more adjunt or non-TT faculty to teach, and how these faculty get totally shafted. What I was not expecting was to discover that the Chronicle  doesn't think that it should refer to people who have a PhD as "Dr."? Instead, the author referred to the woman in the story as "Ms.".

What a fucking way to kick her while she is down. I don't go around demanding that folks refer to me as "Dr.". But if someone is writing about me in a formal kind of way, they should use the damn honorific. I've been informed on twitter that this is just "style" to keep people from being confused. I do not understand how using the appropriate title is confusing. People aren't actually that stupid. And I'm sure that folks who read the Chronicle can keep up with the titles.

DrugMonkey covered this same issue wrt to MSM dropping the title of Dr. Biden back in 2009. Maybe I'm just a little irritated that people can mistake me for a TA or office administrator. Perhaps it is getting emails addressed to "Dear Sir". But when you are addressing me formally, you can call me Dr. Gerty, thankyouverymuch.

9 responses so far