Ten awesome female scientists

A donor requested that I list the “top ten most awesome female scientists.” I probably should have done this earlier in the night when I still had some mental faculties left, but here’s an attempt for female scientists that I happen to like, in no particular order:

  1. Rosalind Franklin
  2. Jane Goodall
  3. Linda Buck
  4. Barbara McClintock
  5. Elizabeth Blackburn
  6. Martha Cowles Chase
  7. Elizabeth Blackwell
  8. Grace Hopper
  9. Marie Curie
  10. Lynn Margulis (if we can get in a time machine and forget that she became an AIDS denialist, ugh)

…The fact that this list was incredibly hard for me to make is really, really sad.

This is post 43 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

It’s disco time

I just convinced Sean to put on disco music to keep me awake. I’m staying alive, staying alive, etc.

…Not gonna lie, disco is a huge guilty pleasure for me. I love it. I blame my parents. When they were dating they would go disco dancing all the time, and their musical preferences were what I grew up with. …Which also explains my inexplicable love for Huey Lewis and Bob Seger.

We’ve just determined Heart of Glass by Blondie is the missing link between disco and 80s music. Just so you know.

But yeah, I fucking love disco music. Bee Gees, ABBA, Earth Wind & Fire… it’ll instantly make me want to dance. That explains my love for the Scissor Sisters, who I finally get to see in concert this Tuesday!

…And I realized there is absolutely no point to this post, so I’m going to go back to dancing. The ten minute long version of Disco Inferno just came on.

This is post 42 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Favorite thing about Seattle

Another donor asked me what was my favorite thing about Seattle.

…It’s not Indiana.

I mean, you’re making me pick one thing? How the hell am I supposed to choose? I spent my whole life trapped in Indiana, dreaming of a liberal paradise somewhere. I feel like I’ve found it. I don’t have to worry about people judging my atheism because Seattle is so godless. I don’t have to worry about how people view me being a feminist, supporting gay rights, voting Democrat, or liking nerdy hobbies. Every type of delicious food on the planet is available here, not just burgers. There’s great coffee and beer. There’s stuff to do other than going to the movie theater: HUMP, Geek Girl Con, PAX, the Solstice Parade. Great musicians come through because it’s actually a major city worth stopping in. I’m surrounded by gorgeous mountains and water, and everything is green and blooming all year long. The winters are mild instead of -15 F with 2 feet of snow and a layer of ice. The summers are the perfect temperature and not humid.

So if I had to pick my favorite thing about Seattle?

If I never came here, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with the best boyfriend ever.

*cue gagging*

This is post 41 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.


One donor requested that I make a blog post about cryogenics!

*opens up the Wikipedia article for cryogenics*

“Cryogenics is the study of the production of very low temperature (below −150 °C, −238 °F or 123 K) and the behavior of materials at those temperatures.”

Welp, that was fun, on to the next post!

…In case you can’t tell, I know absolutely nothing about cryogenics. Well, that’s not true. I just learned that it’s the study of the production of very low temperature and the behavior of materials at those temperatures. So I know one thing about cryogenics!

Now, if this person intended for me to talk about the use of cryogenics to preserve people in order to wake them up much farther into the future…I don’t know anything about that either.

Well, I guess I know a little. I know that with our current technology we can freeze people after they’re dead, but we don’t have the power to revive them. The whole hope is that in the future we’ll have it all figured out, and at that point all the frozen dead cryonics people will be resurrected.

Would I do it? Probably not. I know a frequently think about how I wish I could see what the future is like in hundreds or thousands of years…but practically speaking, would I? What if I get revived in a terrible world that I don’t want to live in? How fulfilling would life be knowing all of my friends and family are long dead? What if something goes wrong in the cryonics process (since we basically have no idea what we’re doing right now) and I wake up disabled, or mentally retarded, or with a totally different personality, or who knows what?

Honestly, life is made all the more sweet knowing its the only one I have. I’m not sure if I want to cheat that process.

This is post 40 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Feminism and Sansa Stark

Warning: This post contains Game of Thrones spoilers, especially for the first book/season. There are vague spoilers for books 2 and 3, but I haven’t read past that yet.

I recently read an interesting piece titled “In Defense of Sansa Stark” that viewed the character from a feminist perspective. The author argued that Sansa is so widely hated as a character because she’s a feminine pre-teen girl:

“As a massive fan of Sansa, even I must admit that she is difficult to like at first. She’s spoilt and a bit bratty. She fights with her fan-favorite sister and trusts characters who the reader knows are completely untrustworthy. She is hopelessly naive and lost in dreams of pretty princes and dashing knights. She acts, for all intents and purposes, like the eleven year old girl that she is. Most of us were pretty darn unbearable to older people at that age (and that’s fine, because they were also pretty unbearable to us). Robb and Jon, although older than Sansa, are similarly misguided and bratty, with Jon’s constant “poor me, I deserve so much more” attitude at the Wall, and Robb’s clumsy attempts at being the Lord of Winterfell. But these mistakes are only reprehensible to readers when they come from a girl, interested in girly things and making girly mistakes. Because viewers have been taught that “girly“ is automatically bad.”

You should read the whole post if you’re interested in the series. I think it could apply to some fans who hate Sansa – I haven’t exactly chatted with every A Song of Ice and Fire fan. But as someone who initially hated Sansa nearly as much as Joffrey, I have to say that’s not why I hated Sansa.

Sansa originally contains every quality I loathe. She’s incredibly spoiled and a giant brat. She’s gullible and demonstrates absolutely no ability to think for herself – she just parrots whatever she’s told and never applies any critical thinking. She’s naive to the point of delusion, where she refuses to admit that the world around her isn’t a perfect fairy tale, even when provided with ample evidence. And worst of all, she has no moral compass. Instead of standing by her sister Arya, she lies because marrying a prince is more important and leads to the death of an innocent child and her pet wolf. Instead of standing by her father Ned, she tattles on him and ultimately leads to his death. She has no loyalty or honor.

And frankly, I’m miffed that the author thinks this is all okay because that’s “the eleven year old girl that she is.” The assumption that all eleven year old girls are vain, gullible, boy-crazy brats with no shred of ethics is just as sexist as someone hating Sansa because she likes dresses and is good at needlework. I certainly wasn’t that way when I was an eleven year old girl!

I don’t hate Sansa anymore. She’s grown a lot as a character through books 2 and 3. She’s become kinder and stronger, and it’s impressive that she deals with the daily torture she receives. If I were in her shoes, I would have jumped off a high castle wall long ago, or tried to stab Joffrey with fork knowing I’d die trying. I still don’t like her, though. She’s still gullible and not the brightest tool in the shed. And she’s so passive – instead of actively trying to improve her situation, she basically sits around waiting to be rescued. Cersei, Daenerys, Margaery and Catelyn  are all feminine characters, but they’re proactive about their situations.

But while I no longer hate Sansa, I still dread reading her chapters. Is there a single Sansa chapter where something goes her way? It’s depressing to read about her getting screwed over for the umpteenth time. I feel like her only role in the story is to be a victim, which just depresses me.

This is post 39 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Bible fanfiction?

Found this on r/atheism and it gave me a good chuckle:

I’m not really chuckling at the blasphemy…more at the fact that it sounds eeriely like the fanfiction I wasted most of high school reading. Though come on, if we’re going to write Bible slash fiction, Jesus and his apostles OTP.

Feel free to write your own Bible fanfiction in the comments.

EDIT: I just read the usernames of the people who were posting in that image, and…oh boy. Bad sex puns, homophobic slurs, and pokemon names all in one place. Good job, internet *facepalm*

This is post 38 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

The sleep deprivation induced delirium is starting

I just grabbed Red Bull #2 of the night. The previous Red Bull and the triple shot mocha have since worn off, and I needed the energy boost. The first thing that concerned me is that I’m actually starting to like the taste of Red Bull, which is a major red flag. I rationally know the stuff used to taste absolutely vile, so I feel like I’m hallucinating. But as I was chugging it down, I started reading the nutritional information.

Me: Can you overdose on vitamin B6?
Sean: What?
Me: This is the second Red Bull I’ve had, but each one contains 250% of your daily recommended serving of vitamin B6.
Sean: Uhhh…
Me: I just had 5 times my daily recommended serving of vitamin B6.
Sean: I think you’re fine.
Me: I’m going to diiiiieeeeeeeeeee *arm flail*

Wait…does drinking 5 times your daily recommended serving of vitamin B6 cause taste hallucinations? Crap.

This is post 37 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Depressing infographic of the night

Click here to see a larger version:

My initial reaction: Holy fuck is that biased. The only group that comes even close to a 50/50 gender split is Time Warner, and they’re at 67% men, 31% women. If there are any topics where women should be interviewed more often than men it’s abortion, birth control, Planned Parenthood, and women’s rights…but we’re not even close to 50/50! The best ratio for interviews about women’s interests is 52% men, 31% women. Add this to the list of Reasons Why The Main Stream Media Depresses the Fuck Out of Me.

My reaction upon more reflection: I wish I had the data for a control group of random topics. Is this better or worse than average? I’m not sure which would be more depressing.

After a little digging, this was the best I could find (from the same group):

Looks like some categories fair better than others. Women’s rights has more women interviewed than usual, but abortion has less. But across the board, women’s representation is pathetic.

This is post 36 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

I’m lucky

My boyfriend was just barefoot and topless in the kitchen cooking me this delicious dinner:

Now all I have to do is figure out how to make him pregnant.

This is post 35 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Microbiology haikus

Commenter VeritasKnight requested a post full of haikus; Joe McKen asked for them to be microbiology themed.

damn you, I am positive
You blue my cover

It was chilling there
Before genomes went mainstream
The retrovirus

S. cerevisiae
The brewer, not the screwer
Fuck C. albicans

Ten percent human
The rest, essential strangers
Am I really me?

And for those who are curious, the themes (in order) are gram staining, endogenous retroviruses, baker’s yeast versus the species that causes vaginal yeast infections, and the human microbiome.

This is post 34 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.