Tuesday, October 24, 2006

People that make me mad!

You know what I hate? Self-righteous assholes who don't understand that you don't always have a choice about your cell phone ringing and sometimes it takes 30 seconds or so to get whoever called you off the phone.

I know if you're in a study lounge you shouldn't answer the phone, but I didn't recognize the number, thought it might be important and answered it. Turns out the call was just a union organizer trying to get me to sign-up as a representative. I made it clear within ten seconds that this was my cell-phone and that I didn't appreciate the call. I was off the phone in 1 min. 10 sec. Still, a woman in the study lounge felt the need to tell me to take it outside. As if I would leave my computer sitting here for someone to run off with! In any case, packing up my computer would have made far more noise and I think I'll try to be as loud as possible for the rest of the time I am here just to piss this woman off.

Furthermore, this woman acted like I had simply ruined her life by making any noise. Seriously, grow up. If you need to study in quiet that badly, go to the library.

What I find truly amazing is that when two men were having a ten minute conversation behind me (not on cell-phones) she didn't feel the need to tell them to shut-up. Just the cell-phone user. I hate that kind of behaviour. Truly. I admit my behaviour was rude, but if you're going to call people out for being rude, you should call all of them out or SHUT-UP!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Gas Prices are "annoying"

At the end of Newsweek this week was a little column by George Will. He refers to the rise in gas prices as "annoying." Every time I read his column in Newsweek I'm shocked or appalled at what this man calls thought, but this is so ridiculously out of touch I just had to say something. High gas prices are not merely annoying to those of us who don't have much money, they're crippling. I drive a car that gets 30 mpg and gas still eats up more than 10% of my budget every month. $3.00 a gallon is not annoying, it changes the way I live my life. High gas prices mean I have to eat cheaper food, wear clothes that were worn out last year, fewer doctor visits, not have cable or internet at home among other things.

Many other working class and middle class Americans are feeling the pinch of high gasoline prices. Vacations are cancelled, meals are eaten at home, etc. Businesses too feel the pain. Shorter vacations to closer destinations mean major tourist centers get fewer customers which translates into lost jobs and lower incomes making high gas prices an even bigger problem. Maybe high gas prices are "annoying" for those in the upper middle class and upper class, but for those of us down here at the bottom pain at the pump has a very real, significant impact on our quality of life.

Monday, May 15, 2006


The brother graduated cum laude from college yesterday. I'm so proud of him for getting his B.A.

Now he can make lots of money and send it to his dear, poor sister in graduate school.

Congrats to all the graduates out there!

No more grading. Yay for sleep!!!

Okay, I finally finished grading all the papers and tests for my classes. The grades are turned in and tucked away on Excell files. I'm free!!!! (sorta). Summer classes and candidacy exams loom in the distance, but for now I'm going to let loose and sleep for twelve hours in a row!

What sweet luxury sleep is. I remember being young and afraid to go to sleep, not because of the dark or bad dreams, but because I might miss out on something. My parents would stay up later watching Johnny Carson and I was totally convinced something wonderful happened after 9 P.M. Bedtime was a punishment for being young. I resented going into my bedroom and sleeping when others were awake and things were happening.

Today, sleep is what I'm missing after nine. I'm up reading for candidacy or that seminar again or grading papers I promised to hand back yesterday. Today I'm going to be at ten after CSI: Miami. I might get up tomorrow at ten or so.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I'm back

I'm back to posting on my blog here. Everything has been really busy at work and such, so I haven't had the energy to devote time to my blog, but now I'm back!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Too much blood and guts?

CNN.com has an interesting take on violence on TV.

"The popularity of CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," its spinoffs, imitators and other crime or supernatural shows has made network TV home to an astonishing amount of blood 'n' guts, which has attracted little notice due to a preoccupation with sex."

I'm astonished that crime drama is now considered blood and guts, but this is true. A recent episode of CSI: Miami showed a nail imbedded in the orbit of a human being. The shot was close-up and pretty gruesome. That being said, I don't see crime drama on the same level as the gratuitous violence in many video games, movies and TV shows. Violence is almost pivotal to murder mysteries. Without a murder (usually violent) there is no mystery.

"The lead character in Fox's "Bones" discovering a badly decomposed body hanging in a tree, crows picking on the remains. The maggot-covered head falls off and lands in Bones' hands."

This is an example of unacceptable blood and guts? You can see half decomposed bodies every day if you drive on country roads. They're called road-kill. This hardly qualifies as a "body" any way. Decomposition distorts the body in such a way that it doesn't really look human, so I hardly think Bones finding a decomposing body is on the same level as gunshot victims or even the Discovery Health's real life surgery shows.

Here's my nomination for least accurate quote:

"Gore is not a goal in and of itself," said Peter Liguori, Fox entertainment president. Accurate storytelling is. When you look at a show like 'Bones,' Bones is a real-life orensic psychologist. This is what she sees on a daily basis when she's called in to solve a case."

Last time I checked Bones was a forensic anthropologist! While accuracy may be their stated goal, I find it difficult to believe this statement. How many forensic anthropologists do you know that routinely beat the crap out of suspects or security gaurds? Probably none. I have seen Kathy Reichs in true to life shows on forensics and she doesn't act anything like the Bones character. In fact, I don't think the show bears any resemblance to reality. (BTW anyone catch that hologram machine she's got on the show? Boy would I love to have one of those for the lab!) "Bones" is simply an example of how Kathy Reichs has sold her integrity to the media.

And then there's this

"The most difficult issue here is desensitization," said Whitney Vanderwerff, former head of the National Alliance for Non-Violent Programming. "People have become so accustomed to this that it no longer registers.

How does seeing the people who commit violence being punished for that violence as in CSI and Bones and numerous other shows add up to desensitization? Personally, I watch CSI (it's a guilty pleasure), but I don't feel inclined to commit violent acts, nor am I indifferent when real violent acts are commited. The problem doesn't appear to be one of violence on TV, but rather the ability to distinguish reality from fantasy.

My conclusion:

Don't let your kids watch these shows if you're worried!

Monday, November 28, 2005

I am an ENZYME!

"You are an enzyme. You are powerful, dark, variable, and can change many things at your whim...even when they're not supposed to be changed. Bad you. You can be dangerous or wonderful; it's your choice."

I found out which biological molecule I am.

Take the test here.

I haven't posted, so here one is!

Let's see, this past week was Thanksgiving Break. I intended to get some work done, but we all know what happens over breaks. I visited my family, concealed my true nature as an evolutionary scientist. This is becoming increasingly difficult and makes me very uncomfortable. I wish I could discontinue my charade, but my oh so Christian family would probably disown me. Hmmmm... what's a girl to do?

In an attempt to maintain family harmony, I steer the topic of conversation to weird weather, Southern Democrats and who got married and/or is expecting a baby. So far these have been safe subjects. My only consolation is that most of my family members are pro-choice, so we don't have to argue about that.

Does anyone have a better solution?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Big surprise, Apes are like us!

The newest issue of American Journal of Primatology has a lead article on chimpanzee demography. The data were collected from a captive colony in Australia and reveal an interesting aspect of female reproduction. According to the author, Judith Littleton, reproductive success, fertility and mortality are highly related to "social circumstances."

Social arrangements in chimpanzee groups can dramatically alter overall reproductive success for females as can nutrition by decreasing the age at first birth and decreasing the interbirth interval.

What this means for human evolution is unclear at this point, but there must be some advantage to our (extremely) late maturation, seeing as how H. sapiens has exploded over the planet and has much higher fecundity than our Great Ape relatives.

I'm interested to see where this leads.