Another quarter has started

Which means I’ll be geeking away with new classes!

Proteomics – This will be interesting, mainly because I know nothing about it. Well, I mean, I know what proteins are, but I’m not familiar studying them in a large-scale way. We’ll see how it goes.

Introduction to Statistical Genomics – Just an introductory statistics course, so it shouldn’t be too bad. I heard it’s pretty similar to what I took in undergrad, so it’ll mostly help me actually remember what I once learned.

Science Communication – I’m really excited about this class! It’s about communicating science to the general public through science journalism, blogging, and public speaking – could I have found a better class for me? I’m taking it as an elective since it’s offered through the Communication Department instead of Genome Sciences. It should be a blast, and hopefully improve my science blogging abilities!

I also have our “Journal Club” training class – basically prepares us to give a less sucky presentation to the department later in the quarter. I’m not too worried since I’m a sick, twisted person who does public speaking for fun, so it should be alright.

How to make guys like you

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFiApf_m4H0&w=500&h=311]

Here that, ladies and gentlemen? Nerds = awesome to date.

…Now, if only I knew how to find the cute godless nerds in Seattle – I think we’re all too busy hiding in our apartments reading blogs and playing video games to actually run into each other. What a conundrum.

Nerdy observation of the day

I can still use my iPhone’s touch screen while wearing nitrile gloves! Take that, mittens. And since I’m in the lab significantly more than I’m outside, this is a significant discovery. It’s incredibly important to be able to change songs without drastically lowering my pipetting efficiency.

What? Going outside except to get to and from lab? Crazy talk.

Now I know why I like BLTs so much

From Abstruce Goose:Mmmmm…

This makes me even more motivated to throw the Darwin Day Dinner Party idea I’ve had in my head for a couple years. Everyone brings something they cooked, complete with a list of all the recipes, and you map out everything you ate on a giant tree of life, trying to cover as many orders of life as possible. Then you can look in awe at how millions of years of evolution (and a couple thousand of years of artificial selection) resulted in delicious food that’s now sitting in your belly.

That, and we can always use one more excuse to drink beer – have to represent the yeast!

More quotes from the lab

There’s another first year graduate student rotating in the same lab that I’m rotating in, though he’s working on a different project from me. How do our projects differ, you ask?

1st Year: *talking to another labmate about something completely off topic*
Post doc: Hey, that’s five minutes you just wasted that could have gone toward curing autism!
Me: That’s why I’m not studying autism.
Post doc: *laughs* So you can waste as much time as you like?
Me: Yep. Evolution’s not going anywhere!

Joking aside, I actually have been getting a lot of work done. For the fellow biologists: I run my first microarray on Tuesday! For the non-biologists: I get to do cool nerdy stuff I haven’t done before!

This is why I don’t consider myself a science blogger. Too lazy.

Dance Your PhD finalists are up!

If you’ve ever had a hard time explaining what your research is about, maybe you should consider interpretive dance. That’s what the Dance Your PhD contest at Science asks grad students to do. It’s fun, but the winner also gets a $500 dollar prize.

You can vote for whichever one you like the best here. To show I’m not inherently biased toward biology, my favorite was actually the chemistry one. I thought it did the best job at actually explaining the concept, while having the least abstract dancing. Oh, and I loved the part with Taq polymerase in the middle. Seriously, just watch it.

…Okay, it still had to do with DNA, shush.

Maybe in a couple of years I’ll be able to do this, though I kind of suck at dancing. Right now my lab rotation project wouldn’t be too interesting of a video though – not sure how to interpretively dance to coding in Python…

Sometimes I forget that not everyone is a nerd

Mom: What do you imagine your wedding being like?
Me: …I kind of need someone to get married to first.
Mom: No, I mean, what would your dream wedding be like?
Me: I don’t really fantasize about my wedding. I don’t know, cheap.
Dad: Good, I raised you right. Now you won’t be the type who gets married too early just because you’re in love with the idea of getting married.
Mom: *disappointed look*
Me: I guess if I had an infinite amount of money, I would chose a really cool place to have it in. Like in a Natural History Museum.
Mom: …With dinosaurs and mummies and stuff?
Me: Yeah! I mean, how cool would that be, to get married under a giant fossilized skeleton of an ancient whale or something?
Mom: *look of horror and disgust*
Me: …Well I think it would be cool *pout*

Oh no! Fellow nerds, they’re on to us

They’ve discovered our secret hobbies:

And Jenny, darlin‘, YOU are going to attract people just like me when you are derogatory and ignorant about my favourite Church. M’kay? So if you don’t want a MY reaction… go back to whatever nerds do… endlessly poking each other in the belly-button, or playing with aborted fetuses, or, whatever.

Damn. What are nerds supposed to do for fun now?

I know I always say not to feed the trolls, but when they’re so amusingly ridiculous I feel selfish not sharing it with the rest of you. Especially when I think belly-button poking can be the new euphemism for godless, nerdy activities.

Though, read the rest of that comment at your own risk. If you tend to become enraged after reading nonsensical transphobic screeds… you’ve been warned.

Biology tattoos

I personally wouldn’t get a tattoo, but I can appreciate a good one – especially if they’re nerdy. Here are some of the best biology themed tattoos (most from here):

The tree of life:Darwin’s finches:Muscle anatomy:DNA:Archeopteryx:E. coli:Fig wasps:Homunculus:This is post 40 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.