woke up got out of bed dragged a comb across my head

My phone chirped at me that Matt Lauer has been fired for sexual misconduct. Donald Trump is re-tweeting bigotry and hate from Britain First. This isn’t how the song goes.

Fed the cat, took a shower, made the coffee. I guess the whole pot is for me today, since my wife is flying off to Syracuse right now.

Checked my email — only 3 hate-o-grams that I’m a faggot who deserves to have his head cut off by ISIS? Delete, delete, delete. At least that’s a good start. Pulled up my file of review questions for my class today. Gotta edit ’em down to a reasonable subset that we can get through in an hour. They can cope with amino-acyl T-RNA synthetases and spliceosomes and Cro/CI regulation, right? Sure. They’re smart.

Second cup of coffee. Doing good.

Jordan Peterson is such an ass.

Remember to bring in the stack of assignments I’m returning in the cell biology lab today. Also printed out the list of interview questions the search committee is going over this evening — we’re beginning phone interviews tonight. I’m not getting home until after 8pm.

Hmm. I may not be able to get away for dinner today. Ate a banana. Just in case.

Uh-oh, what should I post to the blog this morning? I got nothin’. This long crowded full day ahead of me is ballooning up inside my cranium, squeezing everything else thinly against the walls of my skull, and then it pops and everything lofts loose and drifts outward and upward, through the windows and past the skeleton trees clawing at it, upwards and away, bobbing and floating.

Northwest, I see. that’s a good direction. If I were free, that’s the way I would go, too.


  1. nathanieltagg says

    I’m glad that PZ has at least moments where he isn’t productive. I always feel vaguely inadequate as I spend time reading his blog between classes instead of writing my own like he does.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    Hmmm….. this thing will mainly be applied to medicine, but since it uses cheap components maybe ordinary universities can get them and figure out how to use them in their specific fields? Like embryo research?
    “Revolutionary microscope and labelling technique maps DNA mutations” https://phys.org/news/2017-11-revolutionary-microscope-technique-dna-mutations.html
    — — — — — — — —
    Create a gene driver that makes people who use the word “faggot” a lot will feel compelled to migrate north into the Arctic, and perish? (I know lemmings do *not* migrate and commit suicide, however, this does not mean reality never should imitate anecdotes).

  3. birgerjohansson says

    I should have spelled out, inventions like this, and social progress like the recognition of LBTQ rights- are examples of how things gradually improve, the knuckle- walkers may be in charge and every day may feel like Munch’s The Scream, but not even Trump (or his clones in the North Star) can stop progress.

    And when one of your students succeeds you in 15 years he/she may be able to delegate half the dull stuff to an AI, while musing about how reactionary society was back in the student days.

  4. Chakat Firepaw says

    Create a gene driver that makes people who use the word “faggot” a lot will feel compelled to migrate north into the Arctic, and perish?

    Just what do you have against the Inuit?

  5. Callinectes says

    Ah yes, that old back up. Don’t know what to write? Write about that. When my mother got remarried I was the only one of the new extended family asked to do readings who had to write their own. I, with no relationship experience or anything original to contribute to the topic of “marriage” whatsoever. So I wrote a poem about an unnamed individual increasingly running out of time to write a poem for someone’s wedding (despite months of advanced warning), implying in the last verse that the poor sod finally managed to knock out a salvageable composition in the venue’s bathrooms using a pen stolen from the registrar.

    I read the whole thing off a length of toilet paper.