Episode CXXVa: Election Night!

We shall be gnashing our teeth soon enough, so I’m opening a new instance of the constant thread dedicated to all your grousing about the elections. I already did my part and voted a straight Democratic slate, growling at every Rethuglican candidate on the ballot. Too bad that I know exactly how the vote in rural Minnesota will go.

In case there is a diversity of political opinion here, I provide three videos to cover the spectrum. And because some people don’t want to talk about politics at all, here’s an apolitical thread.




(Notice how I’ve cunningly selected three videos that all manage to mock the wingnuts.)

(Current totals: 11,289 entries with 1,171,609 comments.)


  1. David Marjanović says

    Thanks, everyone! I’ll apply for the job in Chicago. :-)

    * * *

    A study of advertisements for cars from 1980/1 and 2005/6 shows that ads in the US were about cowboys and freedom in 1980/1, while German ones were about function, progress and economy, to the point of featuring engineers. Even cross-country vehicles were always shown on a street in Germany, and the makes have numbers rather than (crudely) poetic names. The distance has shrunk, with the experience of freedom, individuality, and the beauty of the car being emphasized in recent ads all over the world. Source in German.

    * * *

    Berlusco”li”ni has another two scandals now. First, he invited an under-age girl to one of his orgies*; the girl is an immigrant, and he promised her to get her theft charge (which could probably get her deported) dropped… And then he defended himself at a press conference by saying “it’s better to like beautiful girls than to be gay”.

    The Catholic Church probably agrees with the latter part, but still condemns him loudly for taking advantage of the powerless.

    Leading members of parliament use words like “national embarrassment”…

    * That’s the word the TV news used.

    * * *

    Are you in New York state? If so, Mark CC wrote a piece explaining how fucked up the voting is there with regards to parties.


    One candidate being a member of several parties… that existed in the German Democratic Republic (communist East Germany) when its end drew nigh. O hai! We can haz teh “Democratic” in name! We can haz MULTIPLE PARTIEZ!11 Except that all parties were communist and that the leaders of all parties were members of the ruling communist party (which of course called itself socialist, but I digress).

    David, bald-faced = bare-faced


    James, wars are not without cost.

    That site underestimates everything by a bit more than a factor of 3.

    2008: The Three Trillion Dollar War

    It’s from a Monty Python skit.

    How it pertains to you I have no idea, you’ll have to figure that one out by yourself (since it’s only you talking to yourself anyway).

    So… our dear Mr Elifritz basically says he is what Jar-Jar Binks would be like if Jar-Jar talked about vertical gene transfer?

    That would be antagonizing. ROTFL! X-D

    It’s a tough market, man; that ad–the University of Chicago*? will attract heavy hitters with lots of pubs but an anatomy-teaching job they’re not thrilled with, and people with teaching-college jobs but postdocs and degrees from Yale, and people on their third postdoc, and, hell, pretty much every vertebrate paleontologist under the age of 45.
    Not to be a dick, but I know something of your CV and with no postdoc you’d be fortunate indeed to get an interview.

    I know, I know. I only bother considering applying because the ad says this:

    “Candidates must have a doctoral level degree, and outstanding potential in research and teaching. […] Preference will be given to junior candidates, although applications from more senior candidates will also be considered.”

    Instead of a record, they only ask for “potential”, and they claim “junior candidates” have a chance at all. Besides, my publication record is good for my age, and the number of times my papers have been cited is good for the combination of my field and age. That must be why my supervisor wants me to apply.

    BTW, the “tailored for me” thing isn’t just “VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY” (all-caps in the original, strangely). It’s “specimen-based research on the fossil record [linked] with experimental, comparative and/or computational approaches to biomechanics, phylogenetics, genomics, or development”.

    Botany Pond


    is a good place to eat lunch. Surely there are no good lunch places in Austria or wherever silly place you live.

    :-D I don’t know. I live with my parents, so I haven’t had to find out. :-)

    Nepenthe: 2nd link; wow!

    Oh yes.

    Chatbot Wears Down Proponents of Anti-Science Nonsense


    I WANT ONE!!!

    Don’t forget to follow the link at the bottom.

    people who tend to believe staunchly in “traditional values” and the established order, and are often (but not always) strongly religious, but also believe in a strong welfare state and redistributing wealth to the poor

    These used to be the core of the conservative parties of Europe in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

    Did somebody just try to buy the British government?






    All I can do is quote my noble friend Lord Blackheath: “We need to know what really is happening here. We must find out the truth of this situation.”

    But…but…plant fossils!

    That must be why I didn’t simply collapse on the floor. Or indeed why I got out of bed in the first place. :-)

    I think you should apply only if you actually want that job.

    I do, I do. (Just not, probably, forever. But we’ll see.)

    And don’t beat the hell out of yourself with expectation.

    Of course not. I know what the job market in my field is like, and what the competition is like.

    So true. In fact, UofC is *exactly* one of those places.

    That sounds pretty good, actually. :-)

    The reality of post-doc placements is becoming ridiculous. All the work, none of the security, functioning as an apprentice for years with no end in sight.

    Yep, that’s what I expect for myself. I’ve already told you about… well, that was long enough ago that some of you hadn’t found teh Thread yet… I know that guy with an impressive publications list who had to do nine postdocs on 3 or 4 continents and then had to quit science altogether because there simply aren’t enough jobs in the world. He now works in a publishing house.

    “a job at the University of Chicago probably has too much teaching for me”

    That’s not what I said. I said this particular job looks like it has a lot of teaching because of the way the ad is worded; I have nothing against teaching, I’m not afraid of it. I asked if it’s teaching-track rather than tenure-track.

    The academic reality that I know (from watching people who have such jobs) is at the CNRS and the museum in Paris – no compulsory teaching at all, and extremely easily attainable tenure (as in France in general). Obviously, I know that very few places in the world have such jobs at all.

    Yeah, and I know vertebrate paleontologists in the US who teach veterinary or human anatomy (because that was the closest available job, and it’s paid badly enough that the actual doctors of medicine prefer to do something else) and tell me, entirely plausibly, that they’re busy enough for several lifetimes.

    here in the land of But It’s Okay When We Do It!

    That occurs elsewhere, too. A few years ago, there was a government over here that wanted to amend the constitution as follows: “When the government gets an unconstitutional law through parliament, it’s not unconstitutional.” o.O The constitution court somehow stopped this the same day*, but it’s not actually clear if the court had the right to do that.

    * …so it got very little media attention, and I don’t know much about it.