Wednesday, May 27, 2009

RKRunnerLite for iPhone sucks

Just so you know. VXWYNot has recommended RunnersLite, but its 99 cents. I know its only 99 cents but if you have try a bunch of differenet 99 cent apps, it adds up pretty quick. Next on the list to try is GPSlite as recommended by PiT..lets see how its goes.

FYI running in middle of the day, before eating because you're that pissed that a simple BCA assay did not work is a very SMART thing to do.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Seriously, I just want to crawl into a bed and go to sleep

but instead, I will it up and go for a run prior to picking up my monkey boy. Who is totally not listening to me and is growing up way to fast. Oh it makes me cry just to think about it...

so excited about this:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Must not freak out

Its just a committee meeting. Nothing more. It is NOT a test. They are here to help me. To make sure that I have a viable project. There is not reason to freak out.

repeat ad naseum

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Can someone explain to me

why it is that all week, monkey will sleep in past 7am. On some mornings I can barely get him to wake up. Yet on saturday morning, when I am looking forward to the fact that I will be able sleep past 7am, he wakes up at 6:45 raring to go?

Friday, May 15, 2009

iPhone applications anyone?

Okay since you all did freaking amazing sorting out the PDFs issue, I figure I'll throw out another request for applications. I've been madly prepping for my first committee meeting on Tuesday so have had NO time to play with the my new phone. Yet I need to play with it. No seriously, I have to figure out how get the most out it. Right now, I've been using it mainly as a phone and ipod. I really would like to take more advantage of its capabilities. Like getting an application that will be tots awesome for running - ie tracks my runs, tells me when to walk run (yes I do the run 10 min walk 1 min intervals), all those wonderful things. However, I have ZERO time to read through all the reviews and test different applications so advice on the things that you have had or have not had success with, would be AWESOME.

On another note,
I am really confused about this whole filing papers by endnote number??? Seriously? I must be missing something, but why would you file a paper by the endnote number and not just alphabetically? OR do you mean electronically you filed by endnote number. That would make sense to me.

FYI - this is why I have avoided the whole saving PDF's until now...
What is this SKIM you all talk about in relation to papers? How did you find these things? You have all really made me feel my age as there is still something quite comforting about curling up with a research article and a cup of coffee on my couch. Curling up with my laptop just doesn't cut it for me..

Monday, May 11, 2009

How do you manage your PDF's?

Okay, so I have always printed out my journal papers and read them. I will continue to do that, because there is something about reading a paper, writing notes all over it, with a nice cup of tea which makes the information stick. However, putting together a proposal I still need to quickly glance over the paper to ensure that I am describing the data and/or its implications correctly, that I am referencing the right paper etc. Which means I either have to drag a crap load of papers back and forth with me or I can actually save the pdf on my laptop...since I am of the weak lazy type I will be saving the pdf from now on. The question becomes how do you name the files? Normally I file my papers by the first author, however many first authors have more than 1 paper so I can just name the file after the first author? I'm thinking first author and year? Or maybe first and last author, but that would be long. What do you more technologically advanced folk do? I use endnote as my reference manager, in case that information is needed.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

American Science Women - help a girl out!

I just got my first advice email, which I unfortunately can not answer 100%, so I need you readers to provide your opinions!

Here is the letter:

My 16-year-old daughter wants me to help her identify colleges with good science programs, but she is not interested in medical school. It changes day to day, but most recently, she informed me she wanted to be a science professor. Incredibly grateful she is not interested in following into my profession (law), I want to help her as much as I can.

As for her potential admission options, while there are no guarantees, with her current top 1% rank at a competitive suburban public high school, and pretty good SAT scores (including a 740 in math), she should be competitive for most colleges (ok, Cal Tech, would be tough, but Harvey Mudd, yes). I am thinking that the large universities with huge classes, would not be as good for her as smaller schools where she might actually get to know her professors, maybe get involved in their research projects etc.
Most importantly, what I hope to have her avoid is some place so unfriendly to women in the sciences, that she spends all her time and energy just fighting for a place at the table, instead of advancing her knowledge. (Please don't tell me there is no such place, please don't).
So, if you need a handy excuse to procrastinate, any thoughts and suggestions for schools, or just as to the process I should use to help her identify potential schools, would be much appreciated.
Awesome mom (thats my pseudo for her:)

My thoughts are obviously what an awesome mom for thinking about the pros & cons of a big school vs small, instead of the prestige associated with going to a big school. In regards to the actual school? Well, IMHO you're right on the money about the big name universities having huge classes with little interaction from the profs. I did my undergraduate studies and masters degree at Comprehensive University - which is the Canadian term for a university without professionals schools (ie medicine, law), but that still carries out research. I loved it there, I knew the department really well (I was involved in the departmental association) but also an emphasis is still put on practical learning. Science courses actually have labs associated with them, so students learn not just the theory of science but how to actually do it. This is in contrast to the LargeUniversity where I am doing my PhD. Here biology students NEVER enter a lab unless they are volunteering, doing co-op or an honors thesis.

In terms of female friendly? I think the best way to look at that is to look at the faculty and see how the distributions are. In the past my undergraduate department has had alot of issues with sexist or inappropriate behavior (which I was aware of only after I started working in the labs). Some will say that it was not surprising since most of the faculty were older, white males - which is not to say that just because the faculty is older white males it is unfriendly!
The department that I belonged to as a masters student had a pretty even split between young and old (a good sign that its attracting new scientists) as well as a large percentage of women on the tenure track. At the time I was there, it had not yet reached 50% but most of the faculty were very progressive and wanted as much diversity as possible. They truly worked together. The department head (an old white guy, that reminds me of a bug collector) was truly awesome, probably one of the staunchest advocate for women in science that I have met. As I am not in the states, I couldn't recommend any particular university or college, but I am sure my readers will! Hopefully the profs our there,DrdrA PLS, Isis, PiT and Arlenna are going to pipe up quick!

We now return to regularly scheduled programming

Of funny monkey stories.

In January, monkey started daycare on campus which meant that he was in the car with me for my entire 55 minute one way commute. Which was fine when he wasn't very talkative or into repeating EVERYTHING you say. However, over the last few months his vocabulary has improved greatly and he becoming a little echo. Which is awesome - unless you're a tired mom at the end of the workday, who becomes a little frustrated with idiot drivers or bikers that aren't safe....
Essentially I used to have a fondess for saying FUCK alot, until my child repeated it back to me in question form as "fruck??". As we were always driving when this happened, I was able to redirect and say yes monkey that is a truck over there (which led to monkeys obsession of trucks) and he has not used the other word.
Until yesterday...

Last night Mr.SM was watching Hometeam play Evil Opposition Team in game 3 of the series. Evil Opposition Team scored a stupid goal which led to hubby getting quite agitated and yelling out FUCK NO. Since monkey is a little echo and was in the room, the repetition began. fuck no? fuck no??
10 minutes later when the third period starts, monkey points at the TV and say fuck fuck fuck!!!!

lucky for me, hometeams name ends with uck, so we will be redirecting monkey again...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Oh yes eggs are sooo much better than spray paint

EthidiumBromide, I read your blog and you seem like a nice person so I really don't want to get in a pissing match, which I why I waited all night to respond to you comment. I was hoping that after some time I would not be as angry, but I am.

just because my parents went to college and I had original art in my home did NOT mean that I lead an idyllic little childhood

First - I am not so naive to think that money = idyllic childhood / life. Discrimination, abuse, death, tragedy and all other horrible things know no class or racial boundaries.
Why the hell are you approaching this in such a defensive manner? This post wasn't about you. But since you've made it about you, look around your lab, how many of your fellow graduate students come from blue collar families? I'm in my 3rd lab, 2nd university and I've worked in multiple buildings and science organizations. Do you know many students I've met whose parents are blue collar? One. My experiences are VASTLy different from yours. Thats a fact. Doesn't mean your life is perfect. I never said it was.
I never stated that I was poor either. I was going to do the privilage meme. I have had alot of those privilages. My parents always owned their own home, and paid for my undergrad. We went on family vacations. Despite going to a somewhat "troubled" high school and having some questionable parental experiences, I am lucky enough to know that I have parents that love me whole heartedly. They would do anything for me and have given me a good life. But those comments only really irk me.

What made me lose my shit was how you tried schooling me. You actually compared you're experience to mine! They are not comparable. AT ALL. Stating they are not comparable does not mean that your experience did not impact you or effect you. They did. They are no more or no less worse then what happened to me.

"The most humiliating part was that we couldn't even immediately change the garage doors, like you can wash off eggs -- we had to leave it up for days and days"

We can just wash off the eggs so its less humiliating? Its less hurtful? Its less violating?? What the fuck is that supposed to mean?
Let me explain to you how your experience is different.
You were not alone. You lived on a block of Jewish families, who could support and understand. Your family and community have money.Whether you recognize it or not, that brings power. Which is not to say that you did not feel violated. I know how much having others around make give you strength and power. When more Punjabi people moved into our community is when things started to change. When our community started having enough money to contribute to politics - literally buy power and votes, is when things changed.

Did your grandma freak out every Halloween because she was scared of what might happen?
Did your parents move because they felt unsafe in their home?
Did you have to watch and listen as your dad did yard work, while the neighbors kids called him a Hindu and their parent did NOTHING?
Did you have beer bottles thrown at your head as you're working on your family farm?

Don't come to this blog and try schooling me on discrimination. I know it exists. It crosses every color and class boundary. Nor did I ever state that having money = happiness. I specifically did NOT use the word idyllic.

Like I said, I don't want to get in a pissing match, but your comment was just not cool.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Heres some privilages for you fuckers

The privilege meme is going around. Its great to see how many of you had parents that went to college, or had original art in your home. You had tons of books and generally appear to have a significant amount of privilage. Well except for microXX who was the only person I related too. Most of you have read my little rant on PLS about growing up in a not so picket fences and sunshine area. Well this has reminded and I off of alot of shit. So why don't all you try these privileges on:

Every halloween eggs and racial epithets were thrown at your house
Your house was broken into and vandelized with the words Pakis' go home sprayed on the walls
You were called a paki (or other racial epithet) and when you stood up for yourself, you got in trouble.
You are constantly asked if you had an arranged marriage because the 1 punjabi person that the asker knew had an arranged marriage - 25 years ago.
You were told your house and food stink.
You were made to feel ashamed of who you were, because the color of your skin is different.
Because attitudes have changed in the last 10 years, you are the one with issues for still seeing things through a color lense - because that how you treated for 20+ years
In 6 years of research work, you have only met 2 other punjabi persons (or like individual) doing research
People think its OK to make jokes when your ethnic community is in the news - good or bad.

Why don't you think about that.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I have an iPhone

and I love it, and I love it. Got it yesterday evening, which means I wasn't able to play with it until the monkey was asleep (unless I wanted him to grab it). By the time he was asleep, I was pretty tired, but still I have it and I'm loving it!