04 April, 2009

More Percolationy Mind Blather

1) I find myself increasingly tempted to place bumper stickers reading "CAREFUL: MORON DRIVING!" on large SUVs parked in 2 or more spots in parking lots. If you can't competently handle your vehicle, you shouldn't be driving it.

2) I am coming to peace with the joggers on my walking route home. Or maybe they've learned and have been running more heavily so that I hear them over traffic. I still, however, favor mandatory jingly bells.

3) I wonder if I should actually start dressing like a tech. Most of the other techs wear jeans and T-shirts. I wear Dickies pants, a dress shirt tucked in, a belt, and Converse sneakers. I recently found out that many people in the department thought I was a post-doc. I hadn't thought I'd yet acquired that stench of quiet desperation and soullessness.

4) Something that smells worse than 2-betamercapthenol actually exists. A 3-day old plate of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron smells absolutely terrible, the kind of reek that makes you want to scrub your eyeballs out with lye and burn your clothes. Also, my boss doesn't seem to even so much as notice the smell.

5) Today I had sprayed down a bench with 70% ethanol and had an open flame nearby. The undergrad asked why I didn't just set it on fire. Naturally, I thought to myself, "Why don't I just set it on fire?" So I did*. Pretty blue flames!

6) At what level of autonomy do robots ascend to androids?

7) My dog has a visceral and deep-rooted hatred of the vacuum cleaner, to the point where she will literally try to attack it. She is in battle mode as soon as it comes out of the pantry, and she doesn't understand why when I'm trying to get her to let go of the hose. Maybe she and the vacuum cleaner could become friends if I rubbed bacon on it?

8) I've been increasingly tempted to drink more often so that I can force myself to fall asleep earlier, because otherwise sleep doesn't ever really seem to kick in until ~2am. This becomes a problem when I've got morning experiments scheduled.

9) I am deeply appalled by the horrific quality of childrens' science programming on TV. Johnny Test and Grossology, with some rare re-runs of Jimmy Neutron, are all that's out there. I mean, Discovery Kids also has Boneheads about paleontologists, but that just seems far too narrow. I've made claims along these lines before, but I have been paying closer attention to the programming schedule since. I've yet to find any refuting evidence.

10) I should really stop bobbing my head to the music while riding the bus. The busses here don't play music and I don't use headphones/earbuds.

11) I tried counting out a kilometer the other day recently, just to see, but quickly found out that my attention span is only 0.5km long. At least I got halfway there. It should be noted, however, that this was done mostly on campus, so there wasn't much to look at to distract me.

*Not the first time I have done this, nor the largest amount of ethanol, but likely the largest surface area.


Anonymous said...

My little one watches Sprout, which is a cooperative channel between comcast and pbs. There is some nice science stuff on there occaisionally - weather, growing, exercise, food. Barney and Sesame Street have nice episodes now and then.

Jake said...

If I remember correctly, androids and robots are distinct from each other, rather than being points on a continuum. Androids are designed specifically to mimic humans, whereas robots are designed to carry out a set of instructions.

Juniper Shoemaker said...

At what level of autonomy do robots ascend to androids?

That war between you and Hermitage grows ever more ferocious, eh?

Candid Engineer said...

I am coming to peace with the joggers on my walking route home. Or maybe they've learned and have been running more heavily so that I hear them over traffic. I still, however, favor mandatory jingly bells.

I, for one, would totally love a set of jingle bells. No, make that a horn. Because regular pedestrians can be so rude. I actually had a dude walk into me today while I was jogging. Hey, motherfucker! Watch we're you're going. A horn would scare the shit out of people, and that would be sweet.

quietandsmalladventures said...

i'm with CE on the jingle bells and horn idea....damn pedestrians get in my way all the time. there should be a law against ambling purposelessly.

cobalt with a magenta forelock would be outstanding. i think i have decided (after a few glasses of EtOH spiked concoctions) that you are the biological incarnation of one of my old roommates and favorite people, despite the fact he was a physics major.

postdocs aren't the only ones with the soulless desperation outlook, those of us who wasted years getting a master's have the same thing going on. btw, i think plaid and stripes could go together, but i have sisters and a husband who help me match my clothing.

lastly, the EtOH does help with the bedtime before before 2am (personal knowledge, not published).

Toaster Sunshine said...

I don't think I've got Sprout. While it is good to know that there're some good kids' science shows going on, I still think that a serious, dedicated show is ideal. There's no reason why children 5+ years of age can't know that cytosine binds guanosine and adenosine binds thymidine.

Depends. Androids are a subset of robots, and I guess I was speaking specifically of the human-like subset. So then the question becomes more: how deep into the Uncanny Valley does an automaton have to be to be considered a de facto android and not just a clockwork doll?

@Juniper Shoemaker:
You don't even want to know. So far the locals haven't noticed the trout-gore-splattered fields or scorched shingles. To be honest though, I'm not even sure exactly why we're fighting. She seems to dream of continental domination, while I dream of lunar.

@Candid Engineer:
I only walk because I don't have a bike yet and I don't think it would be polite to run to work on the offchance that I might sweat. When I know a bicycler or jogger is coming, I will generally get out of their way.
I recently found an AAOOGAH! horn for $10. It's only 10V, too, so I'm thinking about rigging it up all portable like and concealing it in my top hat. It's still snowing here so I've still got an excuse to wear it.

Aimless ambling only happens when your CheR is all wonked up and CheY can't phosphorylate it.

If I could dye my hair plaid, I would have done so yesterday.

And I guess...thanks?

DuWayne Brayton said...

I hate to admit it, but I am fairly often that pedestrian who randomly end up in the way - especially in my favorite used books stores. I have in fact been run down by cyclists, on a few occasions - including a couple which happened while I was cycling myself. There are just occasions when the world around me goes rather out of focus because of the fun and exciting things happening in my head.

I should really stop bobbing my head to the music while riding the bus.

Fuck 'em. It's hard not to bob one's head when the music in their fucking rocks. People find it odd, but screw it - if they talk to me they find me odd anyways.

Especially women. Who probably are thinking "eh, kind of cute, but what a fucking dork. Like I care about the Ottoman and Roman empire (or addiction, or musical composition, or whatever else I might be babbling about at a given moment)

DuWayne Brayton said...

Oh, and I can't understand your underlying desire to leave this place - how fucking cool is snow in April? I don't think I recall snow after my birthday since I was seven...