Thursday, February 25, 2010

Travel notes

A few observations after having returned from a meeting:

1) As someone in line before me found out, belligerently demanding airport security rush you through the screening process because you're late for your flight, and then becoming abusive when security politely informs you that you have to go through the same process as everyone else, is guaranteed to get you "special" treatment. And make you miss your flight.

2) There is an inverse correlation between the amount you pay for a hotel room and the chances of the stopper in the bathroom sink working.

3) The odds of the movie shown on my cross-country flight being watchable are slim to none.

4) The odds of the person sitting next to me on a cross-country flight having some hygiene issues are quite high.

5) Really bad talks get discussed far more than decent, but not quite kick-ass, talks. But not in a good way. The postdoc who gave a talk that very clearly demonstrated that he didn't know or understand basic physical properties of the kind we expect undergrads to know will be remembered for some time.

6) Not knowing how to set up, run and/or analyze experiments is not an impediment to giving a talk at a large meeting based on said experiments (n >> 10). And this is not correlated with career stage (student vs. postdoc vs. PI).

7) The best airport in the world is the one you land at at the end of your trip.


tideliar said...

Oooh! Who was #5? That's the pits. A guy I went to grad school with was generally considered to be a fuckwit who shouldn't be allowed to graduate (he did, of course, after 7 or 8 years). he decided against trying to follow the TT, and thought he'd go into teaching. His PhD could be said to be biochemistry.

Preparing for an interview at a NE Ivy(ish) league school he was overheard glibly commenting that he was glad he only had to do a mock lecture on the cell cycle, because he really didn't know much actin...I gather the interview didn't go well.

Anonymous said...



14 hours sitting next to a person with the disease you study.


Odyssey said...

If you find that cure for the common cold, let me know. :-)

Anonymous said...

First I'm working on finding a cure for idiotic comments written before I've had my morning coffee.

Maybe I need a breath analyser on my internet connection? (not disgustingly coffee enough- ACCESS DENIED)

The chances of me finding a cure for anything are vanishingly small...


Dr. No said...

Hey! That was ME sitting next to you- you didn't enjoy stewing in my juices? Damn.

JollyRgr said...

It was an educational trip then....:-)

Goose said...

Glad you made it back safe!

Urban School Teacher said...

1 2 3 4 + 7 all ring bells with me. Strange how most people know that number 1 is true without having to test it!

Odyssey said...

And yet some people still insist on testing it... Number 1 that is.

Anonymous said...

The corollary to Number 1

"Don't you know who I am?"


Odyssey said...

And the answer: " Why yes I do. Now drop trou and bend over please."

Anonymous said...

Heh heh

And usually said answer comes from a 6 foot 8 Samoan with a fist the size of a halloween pumpkin.


LM said...

Late reply, but corollary to 7: the airport you wait in for hours on your way home is the worst airport in the world

Odyssey said...

I most heartily agree!