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1st April 2008

2:14pm: Lost and Found
Well, I left my wallet and keys at the bus stop today.  It was different from other times I've lost things because I knew about 10 minutes afterwards what I had done.   Another difference was that although I knew exactly where they were, it was almost impossible at that point for me to go back and get them.   Thanks to nice people, they've been found.  Whew. 

On another topic, I was chatting with my boss yesterday on the increasing role of women in academics (specifically science in our case but it could probably extend to other fields).  He expressed the idea that the increasing number of women in academia could (negatively?) affect the sorts of intellectual collaborations that are born over a couple of beers on a Friday night. 

To explain the argument, the idea is that women in grad school are more likely to be married/be in a long-term relationship than are their male counterparts (this, in turn is due to women tending to choose male partners that are 1) older than them and 2) of similar social class and so are as busy as their partners as opposed to taking care of things at home) and therefore have more obligations outside of work.  Alternatively the single (male?) grad student is more likely to be willing/able to go out for that beer and have that journal club outside of work.

I could see it to an extent...  I really do try to get out and join journal club/beer club with the other grad students as much as possible, but I think I'd be more consistent about it if I were here alone (being married, I'm choosing between being at home with Alex and going out with new people, as opposed to sitting home alone). 

The "female" part of the argument (as opposed to just married vs single) relies on the idea that women grad students are more likely to be married than men (and that men married to female grad students are less likely to be willing to take care of most of the home chores than are women married to male grad students).

Any opinions?  Total BS, or possible?

25th January 2008

4:49pm: Wah!
Ugh...  Ben Stein, you fail!  Damn it!  You're way funnier and more convincing than Micheal Moore or Al Gore, but your politics SUCK!  People will believe him just because he looks nerdy...

http://www.expelledthemovie.com/home.php
10:53am: ok!  Link works now, thanks.
Behavioural Evolutionists' current perspective on the evolution of intelligence

12th December 2007

12:24pm: The Golden Compass (semi spoilers)
Hey, I was pleasantly surprised by The Golden Compass after all the negative reviews...

Overall, it was a lot like the 1st Harry Potter movie.  If you've read the book you'll probably like it, if you haven't you may be confused/overwhelmed.  Also if you've read the book and you can't stand book-movie adaptations ever obviously you won't like it.

Here's my review (no major spoilers, but if you want to avoid hearing anything about the movie you can avoid clicking).


Love to hear what anyone else has to say after they see it.

For your entertainment:
http://www.conservapedia.com/The_Golden_Compass
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Compass_%28film%29

11th August 2007

12:32pm: More proof 1st graders are scientists
"Animals were judged to be dead when they no longer responded to gentle prodding."
(from "Genetic Analysis of Tissue Aging in Caenorhabditis elegans")

26th July 2007

10:37pm: Double Post #2 - Potter
Current Mood: mild anxiety
10:17pm: Double Post #1 - Update
Lots of things going on in my life lately.

First, my Grandma (Dad's mom) just died. She was awesome, and I will miss her. Grandma and Grandpa were an awesome pair - she always played the straight man to his constant goofiness, but you could always see the sparkle of humor in her eyes. It was totally unexpected - she got sick and passed away within a week. One thing that was good was seeing both Ziegler Grandparents only a bit over a month ago for their 65th wedding anniversary (two days after our 1st wedding anniversary!). I flew up here for two days for the funeral... sad, but she went quickly, and because there wasn't the protracted illness and the suffering that causes, we can be thankful in some way.

Changing track a lot now to less meaningful things... I went to Otakon in Baltimore - the biggest anime con in the country - with my brothers for the 2nd year. By this point, I'm totally out of the anime loop. Somehow I've missed the boat. The most popular things to cosplay now are:

1) Naruto
2) Kingdom Hearts
3) FF7/Advent Children
4) FFX2
5) FF8

I don't know whether I should be happy it remained unscathed by the horror of the masquerade or disappointed in the youth of America, but I saw a total of three costumes from FFXII - 1 Balthier, and 2 Frans. I saw a number of mildly amusing anime (along with more than a few unacceptable ones) and, and watching had the same simultaneous embarrassment/hilarity as usual... but honestly I think I can say at this point that my interest in anime is really close to dead. I just find it pretty boring now for the most part.

Also, just finished Potter. My next post will be about that...

28th May 2007

1:41pm: Coming to MN June 9th-11th
Heeey so I'm coming to MN in about 2 weeks for a family thing, and I expect to have a day where I could possibly hang with ya'll (Sunday). It would be really great to catch up with everybody!

24th April 2007

6:55pm: wii have a Wii
Anyone want a free Gamecube?

20th February 2007

2:24pm: Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open it to page 161.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

"However, it is premature to extrapolate this conclusion to other genes, particularly various types of nuclear genes."

18th January 2007

3:04am: SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THERE'S SNOW IN CHAPEL HILL I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!!



...




I know, how like me to post about winter weather after not posting about half a dozen other things that have been going on in my life. In General, everything's cool. Florida Keys with family for 2 weeks - generally fun; Biltmore with Claire and Ryan - awesome; Dany - cute; Battlestar Galactica - awesome; joined a community chorus last week - good so far; graduate school - still going good; Alex - still married.
Current Mood: OMG SNOW!

16th December 2006

2:53pm: Wow Expansion movie
http://media.gameinformer.com/downloads/downloads2014/movies/2006/wow/bcintro.avi

rofl @ Illidan.

Soon the World of Warcraft will implode and then supernova with the critical mass of its own fanboyishness.

14th November 2006

11:14am: Ugh....
So the disconnect between the GAME FFXII and the promotion material for it is really beginning to make me feel ill. For example, I was trying to find an Ashe wallpaper last night, and at this point that means using the promotional art. There are two promotional shots of Ashe. In one of them, you are looking up her skirt. Her actual buttcheek is showing and if there weren't shadows in certain places you'd be seeing other things as well. She is standing in a "cutesy" position doing some kind of "yay" motion with one arm and sort of "cuddling" a sword. In the other shot, she is touching her freaking nose and smiling, also her feet are pidgeon toed and she has one hand on her hip. WTF. She does not act like this ever, in the entire game. It's especially galling because every other character's promotional art is pretty much drawn true to thier personality, but not Ashe. No, apparently you can't be a Square heroine unless you're cute and ditsy. Square's promotional artist, you FAIL. And for that pink (wtf?) skirt/flap/thing, Square's clothing designer, you FAIL (ok fine Baltheir's costume rocks but everyone else looks stupid).

Also the game's overall atmosphere is dark and somber, the plot larger than life, but in the end we are apparently to be "treated" to an Eyes On Me clone probably sung as always in horribly accented English by a Japanese pop singer. Uematsu has seriously disappointed me with every crappy "song" he has written, and the quality of even his ingame music hasn't been there since FF7. Uematsu, you FAIL.

Why did they have to take a great game, and tack on all this completely irrelavent Japanese pop-culture CRAP?!

I hate Japan.

13th November 2006

9:34am: ZOMG DORK!!!!!!!!!!!

16th October 2006

1:54pm: Very cool Organization
http://www.linkglobal.org/

This group risks life and limb to physically remove North Korean refugees from China and both Koreas to the US and other countries through the use of safehouses, fake documents, etc. Very very cool. They also are working to get documentation out of North Korea of all the horrible things going on there.

Check it out!

21st August 2006

11:38pm: Nat Longley Lawsuit ?!
http://www.themacweekly.com/articles/20060203/news/46

Kind of posting this on Alex's behalf because he's currently busily writing other places about it because it's SO CRAZY.

So remember Nat Longley, the awesome physics prof who was only at Mac for a year before being fired so they could hire a minority woman, who ended up not even coming to Mac? Well, apparently he sued, and won. Good for him. :p

7th July 2006

9:46am: The Best Thing Ever
Check out this lj community. It's purpose is to systematically determine the best thing ever. Fantastic.

http://community.livejournal.com/best_thing_ever/

Also we kind of fail at keeping in touch. We promise we'll be better once we get really settled in. We still don't have a shampoo rack or a coat tree! How do we even LIVE in such conditions!??!

Dany likes the yard, but we think she might have poison ivy. She is always very itchy.

My job is cool thus far. The hours are COMPLETELY OPEN. If I wanted to, I could come in to work from 9PM to 2AM. I would probably get lonely though so I just come in normal hours so there are at least some people around. If I don't have anything I need to do, I don't have to come in, or I can leave early. It's pretty awesome. I assume once I have classes I will be leaving lab "early" to go do homework or read papers, but for the summer, it's pretty darn relaxing. :)

Our house/apt is awesome. I will have to find a way to put some pictures of it up.

23rd June 2006

3:10pm: back
Hi! We are back from Scotland now. It was very awesome. We will soon be moving to North Carolina. We are still very busy, and will get back to everyone with details on the trip after we move. Also we are married.
Current Mood: busy

13th May 2006

9:44am: You give your opinion quite freely for so young a person!
Saw the new Pride and Prejudice last night (the Keira Knightly one), and I enjoyed it a lot surprisingly. They didn't even skip large parts of the plot like I'd suspected they would. What really surprised me was that it was not a copy of the A&E version at all. It really was its own thing.

For example most of the characters were about 10 times LESS ridiculous. Mary, for example, was just kind of a little dorky, instead of horribly embarassing and empty-headed. And even Mrs. Bennet was sort of more socially akward and silly than the horrible person she is in the A&E version. Mr. Collins was, instead of gross and smarmy, completely serious, and completely unemotional about everything he says.

The exception would be Mr. Bingley who is about 5 times the dork he was in the A&E version, if you can imagine that.

Anyway, it was neat to see another take on a book I really like. Makes me want to read it again in a new light. It seems like my reading of the book has forever been tied up in the Colin Firth movie, so this should add something new.
Current Mood: geeky

3rd May 2006

3:52pm: wow
http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2006/05/school_soda_can.html

Soft Drinks banned in schools?!? I can seriously HEAR the kids at Rocori High School BITCHING from here.

I'm pretty glad, though. I mean... there's a reason that kids 10 years old are getting Diabetes Type II. I know I knew kids that drank 2-3 cokes a day.

19th April 2006

10:29am: Scott McClellan has resigned, finally.

I always felt sorry for the guy. I mean, he's not allowed to say anything to the press without being fired, so the press hates him.

Worst job in the world?

Let's see how long the next one lasts.

6th April 2006

10:48am: new computer
So, I'm seriously considering buying an Intel Macintosh for my next computer.

If you hadn't yet heard, you can now install Windows on your Mac and dual boot to either OS depending on what you need. I actually have a legitimate reason to want MacOS - most biology software, which I will use a lot of in my career, can only run on Macs. But of course I need Windows so that I can play video games. :) So this solves the problem.

Anyway now I'm just trying to figure out which one to get. There are basically three options I'm looking at:

There are two options for the desktop iMac, but I'm interested in the higher end one, which is $1700.  Yikes.  But honestly, that's nothing compared to the laptops...  The Macbook Pro comes in two varieties.  One is $2000 and the other is $2500.  The $2500 laptop is better than the high end desktop in every way except for the harddrive which is smaller.

So basically in order to get the best Mac I have to get a laptop and pay a premium for the portability that I don't need (but might be handy).  But do I really care $800 worth about a better graphics card (256MB memory instead of 128MB) and 1GB instead of 512MB SDRAM?   How much difference does stuff like that make?

Also if I get a new Mac I'll be trying to get rid of my old computer.  Anyone need one?
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