Undergraduates: xkcd is not a good source for career advising

I must object to the methodology and the conclusions of this comic.

The choice of prefixes to sample is arbitrary and shows a bias towards common physics terms. Why not use “evolutionary” or “genome” or “analytic” or “necro-” or “chrono-“, to name just a few more. The sample space has hardly been touched.

The idea that low Google scholar counts is an opportunity is ludicrous and confuses cause and effect. “Clown” is a prefix that doesn’t show up for either physics or biology or engineering (curiously, there are 3 entries for “clown chemistry”, 5 for “clown psychology”, 1 for “clown dentistry”, and 13 for “clown theology”). I don’t think this implies there is a hot market for clown physicists.

Although, I do think that high-energy clown physics might be a fun field.

None of these spider pants make sense

OK, I’m trying to parse these images, but any spider limb diagram that incorporates the abdomen doesn’t work. The coxa (the proximate segment of the limb) attaches to the cephalothorax, not the abdomen, so the first two images simply do not fit. The third, maybe, but only if the pants hang so low they don’t cover the coxa, trochanter, and femur.

Maybe this diagram of the ventral cephalothorax will help.

I’m sorry if my pedantry ruins the joke, but spiders wouldn’t wear pants.

Au contraire!

I have to disagree with xkcd a little bit.

The problem with learning about biology is that everyone you meet is it

The problem is with not learning enough about biology. Once you know enough, you appreciate that the whole of your existence is wallowing in a cloud of everything and you might as well accept it — we’re all interconnected and part of the whole. Then, once you know too much, you find yourself wondering if your wife would mind if we invited a swarm of spiders to join us for a dinner date.

I made a graph.

I don’t see what it has to do with spiders

It seems like the ‘#spider’ hashtag on Twitter has been flooded with baffling music references and gushing fans going gaga over someone named Hoshi. So I had to look him up. It’s K-pop — Hoshi is a member of a South Korean boy-band who just released a single titled “Spider”. As always, I’m about to inflict it on you.

It’s…alright. If it weren’t for the title I wouldn’t have listened past the first 30 seconds, and I don’t think I’ll listen to it twice. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just not to my taste, but at least my curiosity is satisfied now.