Hey folks

Hello. I’m a student in PZMyers’ Neurobiology course. I’ve never blogged before, but hey, there’s a first for everything I guess. My major is Biology. My strengths are ideas and problem solving; weaknesses include porcrastination. When I’m not in class, I enjoy swimming, swing dancing, and Rock & Roll.

I don’t really have any reason for taking neurobiology over any other bio elective I just figured that it would be fun. I’ve found that I have more interest in studying the micro level over the macro level. If I decide that I like neuro, maybe I’ll look into a grad program with neuro, though I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I’ll catch you all later.


  1. Mike Fox says

    When you say you like the micro level more than the macro level, do you mean you like biochemistry? Or cell biology / surface proteins? Or neuroanatomy?

    Do you like behavioral psychology at all? What about neurophysiology? Are you more into the CNS or PNS?

    How do you not have your whole career planned?? ;-)

  2. Sili says

    Let’s not forget the real question here!

    Just how does one go about “rasting” “porc”? Is it perhaps a more refined way of producing pork scratchings?

  3. Chaz says

    Love the name, but I have to admit that I’d much rather hear from Cl-He-O-P-At-Ra; I hear she’s got a nice Ra-C-K.

    Good luck!

  4. Inky says

    Yes, I would also like clarification over the “micro” versus “macro” levels.

    If you’re talking about molecular biology of protein interactions versus, say, something a little bigger like neural tube closure (though, frankly, everything is moving towards molecular biology, anyway), then nearly any biological system you study can be split into “bigger” versus “smaller”.

    Maybe unicellular organisms are the exception. They seem pretty darn small to me. Give me a whole embryo any day.

  5. Ray Don says

    Hello Mark_Antimony! I see we share the same weaknesses; namely, procrastination and a love of bad chemistry-related puns, so I’m sure we’ll get along just swimmingly.

  6. says

    My strengths are ideas and problem solving; weaknesses include porcrastination.

    errr … make that “[…] procrastination and spelling.”


    Hi Mark, looking forward to reading of your perspectives!

  7. Ced says

    Yeah… career planning is not easy. When you have very specific research interests and an education which just does not fit very well, you can really get desperate. But that’s life. :(

  8. Graham says

    When I’m not in class, I enjoy swimming, swing dancing, and Rock & Roll.

    Well that sounds pretty wholesome. Except for the Rock & Roll part.

    Now if you would have said “drinkin’, fightin’ and fornicatin'”…

  9. Doc says

    Kudos on the swing dancing! It’s my favorite kind of social dance. Kudos also on knowing your strengths and weaknesses, to an extent. Developing that knowledge further will serve you fantastically throughout life. Look forward to hearing more.

  10. Waterdog says

    I wish I was taking this course. I’ve become so interested in biology and especially in biophysics, I wish I could go back and be a student all over again (I’m a recently graduated education student, now a high school physics teacher). I think these student posts are probably the next best thing, though. I look forward to reading more of them.

    By the way, your last name is Antimony? You should be a chem major.

  11. says

    Micro over the macro? Why? At the micro level you have a bunch of cells, proteins, etc. At the macro level you have the fairly interesting question of “How the hell does all this crap work together to produce what we think of as intelligence?”

  12. Pelican's Point says

    Hi Mark, I know some of the folks here have pretty impressive backgrounds in biology and related areas. I never took a biology course in college back in the 60s. I was all math and physics. Since I’ve partially retired though I’ve developed a pretty solid interest in the life sciences and brain science especially. I have acquired quite a library including some of the texts you have used or are using I’m sure. I check in here fairly regularly as well as some of the other sites at Science Blogs where I find some decent discussions and lots of leads to websites and papers that help fill out my knowledge a bit. I envy you getting into this area at a nice young age when you can actually do something with your knowledge. I’m too old for that but I can still enjoy the hell out of learning new stuff. Hopefully you’ll be giving me some of those hints and leads in your blogs. I’ll be watching for ya’.

  13. Ichthyic says

    Micro over the macro? Why?

    less interesting to some (me for instance), but more lucrative across the board, that’s for sure.

    organismal bio has become abysmal bio as far as funding goes over the last 20 years or so.


  14. synapse says

    “I don’t really have any reason for taking neurobiology over any other bio elective I just figured that it would be fun.”

    Run-on sentence alert. For a blog this widely read, you should try to spell and use proper grammar.

  15. Ced says

    On a sidenote, how old are those guys? Taking classes just because “I figured it would be fun” was something I and others here in .eu would absolutely _never_ do. What about personal interests?!
    Or are they.. 15 years old?

  16. cureholder says

    Uh oh . . . you’ve gotten off on the wrong foot here. First, you spelled PZ’s name correctly (spacing excepted), and then you didn’t close with “God bless.”

    Welcome to Pharyngula.

  17. Mike says

    You are right PZ. Some of these comments are over the top. Hey folks. Understand that these students are trying to introduce themselves to us. Most of them have probably never even posted on a blog before, let alone one that would give them part of a grade. Put yourself in their position: “I must write in public, because the judge (PZ) has decided that is part of my sentence for graduating from this particular form of torture that I (or my parents, if I am really lucky) have paid for. And yet those jerks are still going after me for nothing other than the joy of being jerks.”

  18. Arnosium Upinarum says

    Hi Mark. If it ain’t fun, it ain’t science. Welcome!

    BTW: don’t forget to think macro while looking into the micro.

  19. SEF says

    I enjoy … swing dancing, and Rock & Roll

    If you get any good at the micro level of biology, you may get to name some things after dance moves – to make a change from sonic the hedgehog and the like. And if you get any good at the dancing, you may be able to name some new move or sequence dance you invent after some aspect of low level biology – we already have the macro level covered with cucarachas (= cockroach steps) and the steps of cat and horse (in ballet in French).

  20. Sergeant Zim says

    I met a microbiologist one – He was REALLY small…

    I was going to join my local procrastinator’s club, but I never got around to it.

    I have joined the Browninan Movement, though…every month we get together, and just mill around randomly…

  21. SmellyTerror says

    Could some of the commenters around here who might be amenable to leaving their bodies to science please also register your Pharyngula handle? I believe that with careful examination of your brains we may be able to identify the neurological underpinnings of the impulse to be a jerk…

  22. says

    Hello Mark,

    Looking forward your posts. Maybe you can will help us solve this quasi-universal problem: what is the neurobiology of procrastination and, more important, what are effective “treatments”? :-)

  23. PhysioProf says

    One of the great things about neurobiology is that an individual scientist doesn’t have to choose betwee “micro” and “macro” level analysis. Because of methodological and conceptual advances that have occurred over the last 15 years or so, it has become possible for a single laboratory to attack neurobiological questions at all levels, from genes to behavior.

    For example, in my laboratory, we analyze the effects of single amino-acid changes in neural proteins on the biophysical properties of ion channels, the effects of these biophysical changes on neuronal electrophysiological properties, the effects of these physiological alterations on the computational properties of neural circuits, and the effects of these computational changes on the behavior of the whole animal.

    This is really fun!!

  24. Graham says

    I believe that with careful examination of your brains we may be able to identify the neurological underpinnings of the impulse to be a jerk…

    It’s called snark, Smelly. PZ uses it all the time.

    I give his students credit for being smarter, tougher, and having a better developed sense of humor than you do.

    They are welcome to fire back at any time. In fact, I think that would be fun.

    So put away your smelling salts, and for gawd’s sake stop clutching those pearls.

  25. SmellyTerror says

    Uh, Graham? Didn’t you just clutch your own pearls in reponse to my snark? I thought it was fairly obvious I was being light hearted, but thanks for a decent example of irony.

    …or do you think I was serious about finding the Jerk Lobe?

  26. SEF says

    but thanks for a decent example of irony.

    and/or sexism (unless he meant oysters with the salts and the pearls).