Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sorry Guys, I Need a Moment...

This is going to sound a little gushy, but can I just take a moment to say how awesome my colleagues are?

Well, it's my blog, so I can take any moment I like anyway....

But seriously, I love love love my colleagues. They're fun, outgoing, and most certainly do not take themselves seriously, all of them, without exception. They're the first to jump at the idea of making a parody video in the halls of our fancy institute, or playing on the kids playset in the park. What better place could I possibly have ended up in?

It's not like any of them are reading this blog.... in fact to date only one of them even knows of the existence of this blog and I'm pretty sure she's forgotten all about it by now, so this is not a suck-up post. It just needed to be said.

It needed to be said because, while popular stereotypes tell us that scientists are intellectual Asperger-y antisocial awkward conceited geeks, we can actually be loads of fun, and not afraid to make complete asses of ourselves. 

I love it. I love them. Enough said for now.

Rand Paul??!! How Did You Get My Email Address??

As I have alluded to in my earlier post, I have been out of the blogosphere loop for quite some time. I haven't been reading articles, signing petitions, filling out surveys or doing anything that would require me to give my email address and thus opening my inbox up to the possibility of politically-oriented spam mail.

So imagine my surprise upon opening my inbox to find an email from Rand Paul, entitled "Sign the petition that Barack fears".

Rand Paul? RAND PAUL??!! How in the holy sweet Jesus on a sandwich did you get my IRISH email address?! This is very weird. This is too much. So, of course, I opened it, and it became immediately clear as to how this happened.

The email, down to the weird font, text size and language style, was identical to the emails I was receiving from our old friend, Eugene Delgaudio.

Remember this guy? Who just wouldn't stop emailing me? Over and over again with his vehement blithering anti-gay hate which was so absurd one might think it was over-the-top parody? Well, it looks like these two are in cahoots, as Rand Paul is using Delgaudio's mailing list to spread his own brand of propaganda, this time anti-unionist in flavor, and even using his same wording in asking for money.

Does anyone else find it ironic that Rand Paul, the self-proclaimed "let the states decide on what to do with gay marriage" libertarian thinks that Eugene Delgaudio's audience, people who subscribe to watch him foam at the mouth over the evil gay villains (if you think that's an exaggeration, just read those previous posts on him), would be the ideal targets for his message?

Just a thought...

Turns Out, I Was Too Easy On That Awful Book

Remember the book reviews I used to do? Well, when I fell into the trap of reading that god-awful book Fifty Shades of Grey, I reviewed that too, and it was certainly not a very favorable one.

However, after reading a far more thorough review on The Pervocracy, I realized I was being far, far too nice, mostly in my hesitation of speaking for the BDSM community, of which I am not a part and was fairly ignorant about.

OK gushing time: I looove The Pervocracy. It opened my eyes to a community which I now find incredibly fascinating, although not something that I am personally interested in partaking in. She SLAMMED this book, and reading her chapter-by-chapter evisceration of the novel had me in stitches. She is so much funnier than I could ever be, and I only wish I could have read the book with her commentary in my ear, it would have made the whole experience far more enjoyable. 

If you have some time to kill read through her take on the chapters, it's awesome. 

Um.... Hello? Is... Is This Thing On?

Well, Hello again!

It has been wow.... forever since I have accessed this blog. In fact it's been so long it took me a good 15 minutes to do so....

Anyone miss me? Forgotten about me most like!

I suppose I should give a good explanation for this departure. It turns out that the final year of your PhD is all consuming, who knew! As I started falling ever deeper into the rabbit hole of my work I would think of this blog and all of the things I wanted to write about. There were elections left un-commented upon, holidays and books left un-reviewed, job opportunities and milestones left un-discussed. Time slipped by me, as it so often does, until I realized just how long it had been since I have been part of any kind blogosphere. I have also neglected my dearest Pharyngula, Why Evolution is True and Manboobz, now renamed as We Hunted the Mammoth. 

But now, as the waters have settled and I have found a new equilibrium in my life with a new job in a new country (Germany! Who would have thought?), I think I am finally ready to jump back in with both feet. I cannot promise to find a new topic every single day, I am certainly a little rusty from my long absence, but I do hope to be able to integrate this space into my life once again.

I'm also going to have to update my profile significantly....

So! Any old readers out there who still get these notifications in your inbox? Forgotten all about me haven't you? If not, I'll just have to start again from the beginning, but if any of you are still out there, I'm alive! Drop by and give us a wave ;)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

To Lighten The Darkness: Part III

With all this talk of injustice, maybe an inspiring story of perseverance in the face of it, finally managing to change it for the better, is ideal for this episode of lightening the darkness. While the overall story is still quite sad, the demonstration that things can be changed, even by the little guy, is extremely important.

On Having Nothing To Say

I have not commented on the shooting in Newton because honestly I feel that I have nothing to offer the conversation. Adding my voice to the horror and outrage that is spreading across the web seems fruitless, there is nothing on the subject I may have to say that I have not seen said a hundred times. However, I do not want to pass by this excellent post by Avicenna on the subject, and I urge you to read it. It almost brought me to tears, and I think it is very much worth the read.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

How To Speak Of This Injustice

I can't handle injustice very well, it gets under my skin the way nothing else really does. I find it hard to even put it into words, because I can hardly bring myself to believe that it happens, and when I am accused of exaggerating (something that is common given the heated way I tell stories, despite the fact that I almost never do it) just adds insult to injury for me. I will therefore let Cenk do the talking, as he is so much better at it than I am.

Please, please sign this petition to free Stephanie George, and pass the word on to as many people as you can. This epic failure of a war on drugs is destroying lives, and is built on the most monumental hypocrisy. I am amazed at how few signatures it has. Let's change that.