Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Here's one from the little bro...

My pirate name is:

Dirty Tom Rackham

You're the pirate everyone else wants to throw in the ocean -- not to get rid of you, you understand; just to get rid of the smell. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Eight things

I read this over at the Doc's place and have tagged myself.

Here are the rules:
Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. I walk the two miles to work each day. And back. I'd like to be able to claim I do it for the exercise, or to help save the environment, but I don't. I do it because I enjoy it.

2. I went to high school with a guy who was an Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer. He was a jerk. JollyRgr can confirm that.

3. I saw Inxs play in a pub long before they recorded their first album.

4. I have colleagues I don't respect. Sure they're good scientists, or at least they do all the things that supposedly make you a good scientist. But they treat the people in their labs, and the administrative people in the department, like dirt. For that I can't respect them.

5. I spent five years learning to play the cello. I haven't as much as touched one since high school.

6. My first paper as a postdoc, the one that really launched my career, almost didn't get published. After collecting all the data, writing the paper, sending it out to the journal, and receiving positive reviews that guaranteed it would be published (in a fairly high profile journal no less), I found a bug in the computer program I had written to generate the data. A big bug. A really bad big bug. I got lucky. We were going to withdraw the paper, but the editor handling it put it on hold instead until we could figure out if and how things changed. Luckily for me, the data changed just a little, and the conclusions not at all. I got published and here I am.

7. I find it almost impossible to resist a fresh (still warm!) cinnamon donut. Or a frosty cold beer. Unless it's mass-produced swill masquerading as beer.

8. Despite the facts that I'm a faculty member in a biochemistry department, I teach biochemistry, and I do biochemical research, I have never taken a biochemistry course. Or even one in biology. Not even in high school. The academic system can be very strange sometimes.

So there you go. I must say it's quite difficult to come up with eight things. Or at least it was for me. Of course now I'll post this and immediately think of eight different, more interesting things... C'est la vie.