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.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Should we let people be assholes on university campuses?

Oh wow, what, two blog posts in one week? That's right - in addition to visiting new national monuments, we also recently got super rage-y over a new article published in the Atlantic called "Coddling of the American Mind" and instead of writing an epic comment on the paper's page, we're writing it here.

The article was written by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt: the first is a lawyer who represents a classic case of "outsider knows better," and the second is a professor who's worried he's going to get fired because he doesn't understand what offends students. Both of them are white doods with hurt fee-fees, and both seem to completely miss the difference between "making people feel like shit" and "babying people."

Alt. titles: "Unwanted Advice from Privileged White Dudes"

Monday, August 10, 2015

Waco Mammoth National Monument

Once in a great while something amazing happens: a stork flies through the sky carrying a little green and gray bundle of joy and lands upon some public land and BAM! A new national monument is born.

Of course the real process is a lot less cute and has massively more paperwork (a statement which is also true for human infants). In actuality, the Antiquities Act of 1906 made it so that to bring a new national monument into being, you must have a proclamation of the President of the United States. National parks, on the other hand, are created by an act of Congress (which these days is about as simple to elicit as an act of God). On July 10th 2015 President Obama designated the Waco Mammoth Site as our newest national monument - much to the delight of Amy, who lives only an hour and a half from the newest monument.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Story of Jim and Lola

We've been in a bit of a posting lull lately, so instead of giving you an informative post, we thought we'd tell you a fantastical story of science and adventure.

Once upon a time, a girl named Meaghan was employed by a company to do lichen, bryophyte, and vascular plant surveys up near Mt. Rainier, Washington. This job required long hours, a high tolerance for solitude, an appreciation for one's own body odor, and also the ability to look at plants and planty bits and plant-like-but-not-plant things all day without completely losing one's mind. It was remote, but this particular contract was not so remote that there weren't people around, scouting out campgrounds, drinking excessively, and shooting off guns of all types at all hours. And, as one might imagine, some of those people had accidents.

This is the story of one such accident.

First, let's paint the setting.
Microscopes powered by headlamps; "Lab" space; and of course, specimens. This is the face of science.