Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Awesome Dead Shit: Brontotheres

Normally when you see "bronto-" as a prefix it's safe to assume some stupid effing dinosaur shit is about to go down, but NOT TODAY SATAN.

"Bronto" simple means "thunder" and today we are not talking about some trivial thunder lizards, we are talking about the ten times cooler mammal version, the brontotheres. Also known as:
Amy's new indie band name (drawings by Ray Troll)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

An English Translation of Meaghan's First Paper

Meaghan is now officially a published author, but if you go and read her paper you will probably immediately reel back from the computer in confusion and horror. We don't blame you, as dental terminology is not for the faint of heart. So for those of you who are curious about the stuff that Meaghan writes about in a more professional sense, but don't have time to google what a posterolingual conule is, don't worry: we have a blog post for you!

The most basic description of what this paper is about is that  about 40 million years ago there was a species of oreodont that lived in Eastern Oregon. This species had claws, possibly for tree climbing, and it had a funny fat nose that made it look a little different from other oreodonts.

possibly it looked vaguely like this except for maybe more in the lines and less... ginger. yeah, prolly less ginger.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Meaghan Procrastinates on Important Dissertation Progress By Half-Assing an R Tutorial

I (Meaghan) have spent a lot of time in R. Like, a LOT. Not really accomplishing lots and lots, mind you, but just kind of fucking around hopelessly most of the time. Meaghan of 3 months ago looked at R and thought "is there any way I can avoid using that program?" while Meaghan of today thinks "is there anything I can do with that program that will permit me to feel useful while procrastinating on something else?" As it turns out, there definitely is: Meaghan of today will now be presenting a wonderful R tutorial on how to scatterplot some shit and then make it pretty without getting entangled in ggplot2 (which is another code word for the bowels of hell).

One of the beautiful and fucking awful things about R is that for any one way of doing something, there's about 60 others. I'm going to tell you how to do things that you could probably do in other ways. These ways make sense to me, but if they cognitively don't work for you I'm sure you could find another 6+ ways of accomplishing the same goal. Also, everything I'm reporting here comes from a place of necessity: I'm sure there are other useful things we could talk about with scatterplots, but since I didn't have to think about them…. I'm not going to talk about them!

R: the very basics

It's free and available on the internet, and very powerful. It isn't user-friendly, unless your user is the Lorax of computer programming.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to Not Drop Out of Graduate School

You may have noticed that as of late, our posting frequency has declined. Part of that has been a lack of good material, part has been an excess of trips (backpacking! Spain! Other exciting destinations like Ottawa!), but the biggest part has being trying to find the answer to the title of this blog post: how the hell to not drop out of graduate school. Meaghan just finished her 3rd year of not-dropping-out, and Amy just finished her first, so at this point we're kind of becoming experts in this whole "not abandoning ship" thing, but the past few months have really put that to the test. There's a lot of reasons to drop out, and a lot of reasons not to drop out - the pros and cons lists of graduate school isn't what we're here to discuss, but rather the ways you stay just barely afloat right up until you're rescued by graduating.

Trigger warning: we will be discussing some of the aspects of depression and anxiety that go hand-in-hand with graduate school.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Poster Session Drinking Game

Poster sessions are the first part of the day when it's socially acceptable to drink at a conference (don't try it earlier, people think you're weird, don't ask how we know). Poster sessions are also one of the strangest people-watching experiences outside of Vegas (and yes, that year SVP was in Vegas at the same time as the porn convention was one of the greatest people-watching collisions of all time).

With SVP scale bars, naturally

The interactions you have at a poster session will stay with you for the rest of your life (good or bad), so we've decided to formalize your drinking and people-watching experience with a drinking game.