Monday, June 8, 2015

Awesome Dead Shit of the Whatever Time Period We Damn Well Please: Chalicotheres

Hey! We live. We do, despite the dramatic slow-down in posting (sorry!). And you know what else lived once? Chalicotheres, which are essentially what happens when a horse-rhino gets jealous of a gorilla's cool locomotion skills, and becomes the most awkward animal that ever lived.

Chalicotheres: Evolution's Version of the 80's.
From AMNH Library Special Collections Neg No. 36900

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Meaghan and the Molds of Doom

In 2014 I made a terrible Christmas mistake.

For gifts, I like to give people nerdy homemade things, and I find that Christmas is a particularly convenient excuse to procrastinate on important tasks that I don't want to do (like study). For Christmas of 2014 I made chocolate molds of cool extinct animals, including a giant ground sloth and a 2D Dunkelosteus face. The molds were cute, the chocolates were tasty, the bacon-flavored lollipops I made in these molds were hilarious and kind of greasy, it was fun all around. Yet somehow this sparked a series of events that led to a replica of Cophecetus bleeding unset resin like a mysterious holy relic, hives from my fingers to my biceps, and a floor so splattered in epoxy we may need to pour more plastic on it just to even the whole place out.

Same same, and yet SO DIFFERENT.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Grant Writing Playlist

Shit's been real serious on this blog as of late, and we think it's time to be a little more ridiculous for a bit. But it's still the tail end of grant-writing season. Like always. So since some of us need motivation (you), and others of us needed reasons for procrastination (us) and it looked like we hadn't actually written anything in a while (whaaaaaaa) we have rewritten two of our favorite grant-writing songs to make them more specific ear-worms for your proposal writing needs. 

You're welcome.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Things We Hope to See at SVP

SVP abstract season is upon us. It got extended, again - they seem to just now assign a "please submit by" deadline and a "WHAT WHY IS NOBODY SUBMITTING ANYTHING" deadline move always occurs later. It's cute, we like it, whatever.


SVP this year will be in Dallas, which means that Meaghan will probably gorge herself on barbecue and be too ill and full of beef to enjoy much of the conference. Amy's actually going to be there this year, which will be a massive improvement over last time, where Meaghan was alone and bereft and there weren't nearly enough people spending their full 15 minute talks explaining how cute omomyids were. So this year is already automatically going to be better, but we do have a few tips for SVP planners this year, in time enough we hope they'll implement them.

Because we are just soooo excited for SVP 2015

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Teach Your Kids About Imposter Syndrome

Confidence can be a particularly hard thing to have in science where so much emphasis is placed on natural brilliance. Failures, no matter how small, are easy to consider a failure of your own intelligence.
Frankly... that's bullshit. And this bullshit mentality of "ruh-roh Major Revisions? I AM ALL THE STUPID" is something that strikes women particularly hard, and may be partially to blame for low female and minority involvement in STEM fields. 

Many of the undergraduate students Meaghan interacts with (including ones in her lab) shy away from grant writing, publications and school applications on the basis of not being "Good Enough." Meaghan has overheard more than just a handful of comments along the lines of "that's just so intimidating!" and "but my GPA isn't that high" or "but so-and-so did this and they're so much more accomplished than me." She decided that for the lab meeting she was running this term, the lab would sit down and talk about the perils of interpersonal comparison and low confidence. The lab was pretty interesting, and hopefully at least a little helpful, so we are presenting this lesson plan here for our readers as well as their friends, students, and coworkers.