Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I know i just posted, but i just found this. Amazing....

Plus, i blog-googled "chemist" just to see if mine came up, but I found this guy...where i stole said link from.

Open Letter To The Big Man

Yo, BMOC (big man of catholicism)
I don't know who pissed you off recently, but now you're just being a dick. Fine...take it out on all of humanity, but don't single out twenty-somethings from Tennessee. That's just not cool. The chainsaw is a little much, don't you think?
Being just like 95% of other confirmed roman catholics, I haven't been to church since, well, getting confirmed, but I'm pretty sure it's "Honor thy mother and father" not "Murder thy mother and father....and then cut up one of their bodies". I'm just throwin that out there....if you don't like, just throw it right back.
You couldn't have picked a better time either. His parents had just bitched him out--can i swear here? I can now say 'i swear to god' and mean it....but i digress--after returning from Haiti drilling wells. I realize that's code for "drug mule", but you didn't need to make it seem like there was an actual motive. He got life in prison without parole, I hope you're happy...but i guess being omniscient, you already knew that.
That whole "insanity" defense was pretty weak as well. You try telling a jury of his peers from Chatanooga, Tennessee that the kid was insane because god told him to do something and he did it and see how far that gets you. You might have well have just smote him where he stood.
In closing, stop being a dick. You've got the majority of America's support anyway, so don't squander your religious capital. (Hahaha, get it? I'm so witty....).


PS: You should also read up in your engineering textbooks because you sure are making some dumb mistakes. I guess you shouldn't have gotten your associate's at Tacoma Community College.

Monday, October 10, 2005

"If I was studying symbols in Jane Eyre -- I mean, who would buy that?"

In the vein of Senator Landrieu of the Lousiana Sea (too soon?), i'd just like to congratulate myself for keeping this reasonably up-to-date for a couple of weeks now.

With regards to the title, thank fucking god that someone had that printed in the Yale newspaper. Humanities students here bitch and moan about how the job market is conspiring against them with unfair hiring practices, etc. One (small, of course) part of the article deals with science students with a token mention that there aren't many science PhD's from Yale that get hired by universities simply because we go get jobs in industry. The quote in the title is a quote by a compsci PhD student. It pretty much encapsulates (A) the mindset of a scientist at a heavily liberal arts school and (B) the exact reason i went to RPI. Kids need to realize coming into graduate school a couple of major tenets that i'll call "Real World Truths"...(Frunzi and I were discussing these on our trek back to the Have last night)...

1) Graduate school is not mandatory.
-Corollary to 1) If you choose to go to graduate school, Yale is not the only one in the country.
2) No business will hire you if you spend 6 years studying the social dynamic between lords and serfs in 12th century Northern Ireland. They just won't. This appears to be self-evident, but for many it really isn't.
3) Pursuing your career and a family at the same time and only pulling in a gradschool stipend may mean you'll have to postpone one of those things.
(As i think of them, i'll add more....this is a good start though).

There is a large dichotomy between the humanities students and the science students (formally referred to as "Group IV" because that was the science/math requirement for Yale undergrads), in case you haven't gathered that from either reading this or talking to me. One of the reasons Yalies don't take Group IV classes is, no joke, that the science buildings are the farthest from main campus, and they're on the top of a hill. They complain that they have to walk so far to take science classes....to the point where there are plans to put a "Science Teaching Center" in the downtown campus for kids to have recitation, office hours, etc.... Everyone gets an A here anyway, so you can at least put in the exercise and walk the 10 minutes to class and feign interest...not even interest...motivation.

A few quasi-related digressions...
1) I TA'd for a course a couple of years ago where the final average for the class was set to a B+. That's why i liked RPI, average was C+. That's what C means...C means average. Some people are better at some things than others, and statistics and bell curves are the way that turns into grades. Yeah, it sucks, but you shouldn't get an A in a course purely for trying. Professors here write tests (and by that i mean they write 2 and use the same test every other year...pretty standard for people who can't be bothered to do, you know, 1/3 of their job) with some numerical average in mind...something like mid 80s. It shouldn't matter the actual number (well, to some extent...an average of 23--biochem what?--doesn't say much with regard to student learning as much as professor evilness) on your test....that's what statistics, averages, and standard deviations are for. Which segues nicely into...

2) One of my favorite rants that i've heard here is with respect to students lamenting their final course grades to the point of parents calling the professor to speak with him/her. Let me say that again....to the point of parents calling up, 9th grade gym class. The professor went on (i paraphrase).... "Sure, let me give you your fake A so that you can get your fake degree and go to fake medical school. Then you can use all of that fake money you've made to buy your fake house and live in it with your fake family...", etc., etc., etc. Amazing....

On a less ranty note, i saw The Decemberists three times since thursday--Thursday at Toad's in the Have, Saturday at Lupo's in Providence, and last night at Pearl Street in Northampton. They played different songs at all three venues, which was very cool. I think NH's was the best--perfect mix of witty onstage banter and musical craftsmanship. Plus, Colin spontaneously read from The Bell Jar and stated their stance on bad bookstores. ("The Decemberists don't fuck with bad bookstores.") The 3 shows in 4 days thing also explains the peppering of my speech/writing with five dollar words. You know me, always trying to class up this biotch.


PS: DR this is for you.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Today will be a random, disjointed, stream-of-consciousness post of paragraphs and links.

From the "No Shit, Sherlock" file. I think my favorite stat was "...only about 11.5 percent of all undergraduates' families earn less than $60,000." There's a reason Yale's colors are blue-blood and white-skinned. The holier-than-thou Yalies purporting that it's good to meet poor people in college because they don't meet them in their neighborhoods back at home...'housekeeping staff' excluded.

From the "Only in America" file. For today only, go to any participating restaurant and they'll donate part (or all) of their profits to Katrina relief efforts. See, even fat people can contribute to society now.

Cross-registered in the "Nepotism" file and the "New England For Life" file. Favorite quote: "For goodness' sake, why elevate AIDS over cancer? She [Harriet Miers] shouldn't have filled out that questionnaire [for a gay rights group] at all," said Cathie Adams, president of the Texas Eagle Forum. "President Bush is asking us to have faith in things unseen. We only have that kind of faith in God." In the race of incurable, terminal diseases it appears as if AIDS is just starting to nudge out cancer. Ebola still has its RNA crossed for next season....

From the "Future Leaders of America" file. Granted RPI had "Dinosaurs", "Earth and Sky", and "Tour of the Solar System" (which I 'took'), but RPI isn't the 3rd best school in the country.

From the "DOH!" file. I was at The Game in Cambridge last year with Tina. It was debauchery at its finest, but what pisses me off is that nobody working there gave a damn what went on--underage drinking everywhere, the ambulance parked next to tailgates, city/school cops standing feet away from guys peeing on a brick wall and girls poppin a squat between cars guarded by the Great Wall of Vagina. (I just made that up on the spot....it should get used more...and it will. DAMMIT! The first goddammed thing on google.....)

From the "This Week in god" file. Steven Colbert is hysterical...that is all.

I have had Jon Stewart's impression of the Bush Chuckle and Carlos Mencia's "Dee dee dee" retard noise stuck in my head for over a week. I blame Daniel Rosenfeld for the chuckle and Danrunt for the tardo noise.

Apparently today's Yale Daily News was rife with goodies. Got a tough day today of sitting on my ass. Someone's gotta do it. Did the same thing yesterday, so i worked on my postdoc application....for January 2008.

Now is the time of the baseball season that i actually care about and watch. Sox lost yesterday in Game Uno of the ALDS. Was in Boss-tone this past weekend, so that meant listening to the game on EEI and drinking beers to the television.

I guess that's it. Decemberists shows this week--Thursday in NHCT, Saturday in Providence, Sunday in Northampton. They were meant for the stage....