Friday, February 11, 2011

Praying. On a Tank.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Oedipus...with vegetables

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Vegetarians and Pescetarians have Lower Risk of Certain Cancer

Well, we've been saying this for a long time and here we have some pretty decent evidence. One more reason you, yes *you!* eat too much meat.


Cancer incidence in British vegetarians

Key, TJ, Appleby, PN, Spencer, EA, Travis, RC, Allen, NE, Thorogood, M, Mann, JI. Cancer incidence in British vegetarians. British Journal of Cancer. 101:192-197. 2009.


Background: Few prospective studies have examined cancer incidence among vegetarians.

Methods: We studied 61 566 British men and women, comprising 32 403 meat eaters, 8562 non-meat eaters who did eat fish (‘fish eaters’) and 20 601 vegetarians. After an average follow-up of 12.2 years, there were 3350 incident cancers of which 2204 were among meat eaters, 317 among fish eaters and 829 among vegetarians. Relative risks (RRs) were estimated by Cox regression, stratified by sex and recruitment protocol and adjusted for age, smoking, alcohol, body mass index, physical activity level and, for women only, parity and oral contraceptive use.

Results: There was significant heterogeneity in cancer risk between groups for the following four cancer sites: stomach cancer, RRs (compared with meat eaters) of 0.29 (95% CI: 0.07–1.20) in fish eaters and 0.36 (0.16–0.78) in vegetarians, P for heterogeneity=0.007; ovarian cancer, RRs of 0.37 (0.18–0.77) in fish eaters and 0.69 (0.45–1.07) in vegetarians, P for heterogeneity=0.007; bladder cancer, RRs of 0.81 (0.36–1.81) in fish eaters and 0.47 (0.25–0.89) in vegetarians, P for heterogeneity=0.05; and cancers of the lymphatic and haematopoietic tissues, RRs of 0.85 (0.56–1.29) in fish eaters and 0.55 (0.39–0.78) in vegetarians, P for heterogeneity=0.002. The RRs for all malignant neoplasms were 0.82 (0.73–0.93) in fish eaters and 0.88 (0.81–0.96) in vegetarians (P for heterogeneity=0.001).

Conclusion: The incidence of some cancers may be lower in fish eaters and vegetarians than in meat eaters.


Cancer. 2010 Sep 15;116(18):4345-53.
Meat and components of meat and the risk of bladder cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.

Ferrucci LM, Sinha R, Ward MH, Graubard BI, Hollenbeck AR, Kilfoy BA, Schatzkin A, Michaud DS, Cross AJ.

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Maryland, USA.

BACKGROUND: Meat could be involved in bladder carcinogenesis via multiple potentially carcinogenic meat-related compounds related to cooking and processing, including nitrate, nitrite, heterocyclic amines (HCAs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The authors comprehensively investigated the association between meat and meat components and bladder cancer.

METHODS: During 7 years of follow-up, 854 transitional cell bladder-cancer cases were identified among 300,933 men and women who had completed a validated food-frequency questionnaire in the large prospective NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. The authors estimated intake of nitrate and nitrite from processed meat and HCAs and PAHs from cooked meat by using quantitative databases of measured values. Total dietary nitrate and nitrite were calculated based on literature values.

RESULTS: The hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for red meat (HR for fifth quintile compared with first quintile, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.96-1.54; P(trend) = .07) and the HCA 2-amino-1 methyl-6-phenylimidazo(4,5-b)pyridine (PhIP) (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.95-1.48; P(trend) = .06) conferred a borderline statistically significant increased risk of bladder cancer. Positive associations were observed in the top quintile for total dietary nitrite (HR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.02-1.61; P(trend) = .06) and nitrate plus nitrite intake from processed meat (HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.00-1.67; P(trend) = .11).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings provided modest support for an increased risk of bladder cancer with total dietary nitrite and nitrate plus nitrite from processed meat. Results also suggested a positive association between red meat and PhIP and bladder carcinogenesis.
© 2010 American Cancer Society.


Cancer Res. 2010 Mar 15;70(6):2406-14. Epub 2010 Mar 9.
A large prospective study of meat consumption and colorectal cancer risk: an investigation of potential mechanisms underlying this association.

Cross AJ, Ferrucci LM, Risch A, Graubard BI, Ward MH, Park Y, Hollenbeck AR, Schatzkin A, Sinha R.

Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Biostatistics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Rockville, Maryland, USA.

Although the relation between red and processed meat intake and colorectal cancer has been reported in several epidemiologic studies, very few investigated the potential mechanisms. This study examined multiple potential mechanisms in a large U.S. prospective cohort with a detailed questionnaire on meat type and meat cooking methods linked to databases for estimating intake of mutagens formed in meats cooked at high temperatures (heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), heme iron, nitrate, and nitrite. During 7 years of follow-up, 2,719 colorectal cancer cases were ascertained from a cohort of 300,948 men and women. The hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) comparing the fifth to the first quintile for both red (HR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.09-1.42; P(trend) < 0.001) and processed meat (HR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.01-1.32; P(trend) = 0.017) intakes indicated an elevated risk for colorectal cancer. The potential mechanisms for this relation include heme iron (HR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.99-1.29; P(trend) = 0.022), nitrate from processed meats (HR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.02-1.32; P(trend) = 0.001), and heterocyclic amine intake [HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.05-1.34; P(trend) < 0.001 for 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx) and HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.05-1.29; P(trend) <0.001 for 2-amino-3,4,8-trimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (DiMeIQx)]. In general, the elevated risks were higher for rectal cancer than for colon cancer, with the exception of MeIQx and DiMeIQx, which were only associated with colon cancer. In conclusion, we found a positive association for red and processed meat intake and colorectal cancer; heme iron, nitrate/nitrite, and heterocyclic amines from meat may explain these associations.


J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 Jul 15;101(14):1001-11. Epub 2009 Jun 26.
Dietary fatty acids and pancreatic cancer in the NIH-AARP diet and health study.

Thiébaut AC, Jiao L, Silverman DT, Cross AJ, Thompson FE, Subar AF, Hollenbeck AR, Schatzkin A, Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ.

Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Comment in:

* J Natl Cancer Inst. 2009 Jul 15;101(14):972-3.


BACKGROUND: Previous research relating dietary fat, a modifiable risk factor, to pancreatic cancer has been inconclusive.

METHODS: We prospectively analyzed the association between intakes of fat, fat subtypes, and fat food sources and exocrine pancreatic cancer in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study, a US cohort of 308 736 men and 216 737 women who completed a 124-item food frequency questionnaire in 1995-1996. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression models, with adjustment for energy intake, smoking history, body mass index, and diabetes. Statistical tests were two-sided.

RESULTS: Over an average follow-up of 6.3 years, 865 men and 472 women were diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic cancer (45.0 and 34.5 cases per 100 000 person-years, respectively). After multivariable adjustment and combination of data for men and women, pancreatic cancer risk was directly related to the intakes of total fat (highest vs lowest quintile, 46.8 vs 33.2 cases per 100 000 person-years, HR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.03 to 1.46; P(trend) = .03), saturated fat (51.5 vs 33.1 cases per 100 000 person-years, HR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.14 to 1.62; P(trend) < .001), and monounsaturated fat (46.2 vs 32.9 cases per 100 000 person-years, HR = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.02 to 1.46; P(trend) = .05) but not polyunsaturated fat. The associations were strongest for saturated fat from animal food sources (52.0 vs 32.2 cases per 100 000 person-years, HR = 1.43, 95% CI = 1.20 to 1.70; P(trend) < .001); specifically, intakes from red meat and dairy products were both statistically significantly associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk (HR = 1.27 and 1.19, respectively).

CONCLUSION: In this large prospective cohort with a wide range of intakes, dietary fat of animal origin was associated with increased pancreatic cancer risk.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A classic example of science-y spam

...why? Because I have a science-y email address. On another note, who pays $76 for a book about catching beetles?!

Anyway, see email below.

"To: Science-y email address person
From: Publisher of Obscure Science-y Books
Date: Today

By Carlos Aguilar Julio
English version
See on
Many methods have been written about the collection of beetles in the world. However, only very specific papers were developed until now, for example: the traps, or about specific sampling methods of some families or genera of Coleoptera in the planet.
This book aims provide to the scientific world and for students a collection of knowledge and experience of the author and others professionals of entomology, related to methods and capture techniques, transfer and preservation of Coleoptera, encompassed in a single work.
This study tool has long been expected. There are many forums (especially in the internet) which perceived the need for instruction about this subject. Our colleagues were the first to applaud this initiative, describing it as very valuable in relation to its content.
Now the students can count throughout this material, which is complement of development in the field activities, through practice.
The methods of capture are varied and numerous, such as or more than the number of families of beetles.
Early detection of environmental damage, which can be detected through the study of beetles populations and / or endangered species (it require also knowledge for the capture of different species in selected environments) will provide help for the implementation of measures to assist the conservation and protection of the environment.
On the other hand, there is a tacit agreement among entomologists, in which the number of known species of Coleoptera is very small compared with the suspected number of existing species. This reminds us that phrase regarding the tip of the iceberg, and arouse our interest about how much we are lacking to know.
This book offers:
1) A brief summary of the physical and structural characteristics of major biomes in the world.
2) Instructions to collect beetles in every kind of environment such as savannas, forests, deserts, streams, rivers, mountains, caves, beaches, mangroves, dunes, etc.

3) Specific details about all beetles families known until now, in the long chapter "Where do they live? What do they eat? How to collect them?"
4) A variety of traps chosen according to their effectiveness, and how to make them by yourself.
Finally, we hope that this tool now available to all supporters of life on this planet, serve to understand it, preserve and improve it.
Jorge Barrett Viedma
Naturalia - Scientific Collection
By Carlos Aguilar Julio
English version
Limited Edition
14.8 x 21 cm
320 pages
16 color plates
160 images
Full color cover
Price: $ 76 plus shipping
Buy on line

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lookout for Penis Bandits, Ladies!

This drives me crazy. So does "Mrs." I HATE "Mrs."


Friday, October 15, 2010


this is going to be a long day

how many ways can i re-write 4 paragraphs and still not be satisfied with them?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

People, You Need to Get Out

Get out of the house. And yes, it's ok to go outside after dark. Get out of your neighborhood. Get out of your state or your country. Get out of Applebee's and never go back. No, "methadone" is not for "methamphetamine." You don't know what a chickpea is? You never met a gay person? You never smoked a joint? Seriously? No, tacos shouldn't come in a hard shell. No, you can't catch it by talking to someone. Get out of Branson. You've never hitchhiked or cut class or eaten a gyro? (Ok, well, I've never eaten a gyro but that's different.)

I grow weary of the Midwest.


Dear foodies, chefs, etc.

Stop making up asinine names for fish that already have perfectly good names. If you call it "blue snapper" or even "Sea Kitten" and I can't find it on Seafood Watch or EDF's Seafood Selector I won't know if it's a Bluefish, Blueline snapper, Bluestripe snapper, Bluestriped snapper, Blue and Gold snapper, or some other fish by some other name, I won't want to eat at your stupid restaurant because I won't trust you.

BTW, this blog is close to dead. I just haven't yet found another outlet for my random complaints and comments.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I am in a bad mood today. Here's why:

Was up every 2 hours last night due to a screaming, teething kid. Husband is coming down with something. House is a wreck. I am just a blob of bad manuscript/grant ideas that never go anywhere. Jackasses in this state drive too slow. Someone wearing flip-flops in the office makes too much flip-flop sound. Stupid Americans are intolerant and embarrassing and venerate one religion too much and degrade/fear another too much. 1 in 5 Pakistanis is flooded, tens of millions are displaced and Americans don't seem to notice or care. I fear major polio outbreaks (and other outbreaks) as a result. There is no fresh fruit or vegetables at home since no one has gone to the grocery store. I am generally a selfish person and I find that both irritating and sad. I hate the shoes I am wearing today, they are uncomfortable. People with less intelligence and/or education than I make more money. I still basically have no friends in No-longer New City. Most people I meet are boring and inspiriting. This town has pretty lame food, especially for a vegetarian. I decided to wear purple eye shadow today to help improve my mood; now it just irritates me. I am tired of this blog. I really really want to write a novel. I watch too much t.v. lately. It's been so hot I can hardly go outside. I have a lot of busywork to do. There is oil and dispersants all over the ocean floor. I really need more sleep. I really need to publish more.

Hm. What else ticks me off? No doubt I will think of something.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

What’s Irritating Me Today (or, another example of how this blog has no focus)

So many things irritate me. Today it's:

Ethnic bread products (e.g. bagels, pita bread, naan, French bread) that are essentially squishy, SAD (standard American diet) bread, just shaped differently.

I just love how I refer to French bread as an ethnic bread here.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010


After a long, unplanned, and rather eventful absence, I'm back. I got scared off of blogging by a sudden exponential increase in hits (I never really expected or wanted anyone to actually read this thing) following a link from Inside Higher Ed and temporarily abandoned cyberspace.

During my time away I was productive. Not academically of course. Instead, I spawned. (Holy SH*T, I'm a MOM!) The spawn is now 3 months old. What have I learned as a new parent? That I am way less paranoid than I thought I'd be. Also I don't have much patience. Also, I'm in love. But more about the spawn later.

Now that I'm a postdoc and a few months away from my first faculty placement, I think it's time to rethink how to approach my anonymity and the purpose of this blog. In the world of academic blogs I follow, many are pseudo-anonymous, some are totally unidentifiable, and a few are totally transparent. I've always operated this blog as a pseudo-anonymous forum, primarily because I started this as a graduate student and my main goal was kvetching about Dissertation Hell. And who wants that kind of stuff attached to their permanent record? Also because it is mostly a collection of random posts, many of which are personal. But I have a lot to say about my academic field and some of these thoughts are actually pretty good; maybe I should lay claim to them. OTOH, I also have a lot to say about my waistline, the Spawn, politics, general annoyances, and my cats. And I don't need that kind of stuff cropping up when I am on the job market again.

I'll be sorting this out in the next few weeks. I may opt to start anew and abandon this forum entirely. Why? Well, because I can think of way better blog names. If any of you are still reading and have thoughts about anonymity and blogging, especially academic blogging, please share.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

After having lived over an entire year here in Freezerville, I can now say I have experienced more cold than I ever cared to know. I have made use of all the freezing, dark hours by developing my own Taxonomy of Cold. I will share (all temps in Fahrenheit):

Taxonomy of Cold after 15 Months in Freezerville

Cool: Year-round except for that one week in July
Cold: 30-45 degrees
Very Cold: 25-29 degrees
Super Cold: 20-24 degrees
Extremely Cold: 15-19 degrees
Freeze your Face Off Cold: <15 degrees

There may be some of you out there that think this is pretty conservative. It is not! Trust me, if you had asked me last year, my taxonomy would have looked more like this:

Taxonomy of Cold after 3 Months in Freezerville
Very Cold: Year-round
Freeze your Face Off Cold: 31-45 degrees
Why Do I Bother To Go On Living Cold: <30 degrees

Is this progress? Discuss amongst yourselves.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Postdocly Progression

This is how I recently summed up my postdoc experience to a fellow postdoc who is a few months behind me on this journey. I thought I’d share with y’all:

0-6 months: Everything going swimmingly. Everyone loves you. You love you! You are a rock star. And so is your mentor. Opportunities and data abound!!

6-9 months: Big. Depressing. Slump. You are a failure. This place and everyone here is soooo full of sh*t!

9-12 months: Insane productivity. Big ideas. Accessible data. Successful models. Promising results. Accepted grant applications. You are COCKY AS HELL.

*12-16 months: Pregnancy brain. Cannot complete a single task in an entire day. But you don’t really care. You just want to sleep. And pick out baby clothes. (“Those little sleepers are SOOOO cute! Why are my cankles so huge? Is it time for lunch?”)

Future predictions as to how the rest of my postdoc will go:

16+ months: You are now officially a breeder. All bets on scientific success and productivity are off. But who cares, because someone will be there to always love you even if you are a giant failure (at least until s/he turns about 13).

*I’m at 14 months into this postdoc. It’s definitely too long of a gestation. G-d help me.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Pregnancy, the Good and the Bad

Here is my top 11 list of the good and the bad things I have experienced thus far in my pregnancy (I'm 28 weeks today!):

Super Obnoxious Things, in no particular order
1. All the pseudoscience (e.g. "You are aware of the really scary link between immunizations and autism, aren't you?")
2. Unsolicited opinions and judgmental attitudes. (e.g. "You aren't one of those people who is going to try a natural birth are you?"/"You know that epidurals cause serious side effects for the baby."/"Oh, ew, I don't like that name! Sounds like a dirty old hippie name/other insult.")
3. Unsolicited sharing of terrifying birth stories by virtual strangers.
4. Pregnant women moaning about becoming "SO HUGE" in a room full of other huge pregnant women.
5. Becoming huge.
6. Random touching of belly by strangers.
7. The Baby-Consumer-Complex.
8. It's hard to get out of bed.
9. Being sick and tired for the first few months.
10. Weird body stuff. Nuff said. (This covers A LOT of ground.)
11. No alcohol.

Super Great Things
1. That very immediate unreal sensation/denial/excitement/surrealness of peeing on the stick and seeing the word "Pregnant".
2. The first feeling of kicks.
3. Having an ultrasound. Like, holy cow, that's awesome!
4. Polite strangers who let me on and off the elevator first, who wait for me to cross the street, who tell me to get more food when in a buffet line, etc. etc.
5. How excited everybody gets about babies!
6. Imagining what the baby looks like, hir personality, etc. etc.
7. Eating. A lot.
8. Sleeping. A lot. (Even more than usual.)
9. Everyone wants to know & even seems to care how I feel. (This could arguably go on the first list.)
10. The Bump. (Again, on some days, I could put this on the first list.)
11. And finally, best of all, the realization that there is, like, a Miracle happening in my belly.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Got It!

Well, just found out that I got the career development award I applied for several months ago. This means that starting next summer I get: a faculty title (NTT), 3 years of 100% salary support + research funds (not a lot but enough) + travel funds. And more importantly, a freaking office!

Looks like the odds of staying here in Freezerville are looking greater...

As for grant/funding applications, including my repayment grant, I am now 2 for 2 on the first try. I think I will stop while I'm ahead!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Staying in Academia? Why am I always job searching??

I am in the middle of a major slump. I have had these fits regularly throughout the last half of graduate school and throughout my postdoc.

The last few months of my postdoc have been going so well that I thought this phase of my life was over. I always attributed them to general grad student malaise and my love/hate relationship with academia. But now...? I'm not so sure.

I have been spending my time at work writing easy emails, reading random articles unrelated to any specific project, attending lectures, looking online for jobs for Spousal Unit, looking online for dream jobs for me-academic and non-academic, putting together a baby registry, thinking about relocating to a different state, freaking out about money, checking on the status of my manuscripts under review, engaging in email discussions about unsolvable controversial issues, worrying what I will do if I receive the recent career development award I applied for, worrying what I will do if I do not receive the recent career development award I applied for, and generally avoiding real work.

Why do I do this? Why can't I just get started on a new project and make some headway on something new and/or some long-lost project at the bottom of my pile of things I really don't want to do?

Is this ever going to stop? Am I ever going to stop fantasizing about the "perfect" job where I wouldn't face these temptations and these periods of uselessness?

Is this just because my work is so deadline oriented that when I don't have a deadline I can't get anything done? This is definitely part of the reasons my dissertation phase was so looooonng and so horrible.

It's times like this where I convince myself I need to do some real work and start looking at the government and non-profit sector listings.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

21st Century Etiquette

I don't think this is one Miss Manners has covered yet. What would be a good hostess gift for a gay man hosting a baby shower?


Friday, November 06, 2009

News from the Frontlines

So I have an inside scoop on a big application for a career development award I put in a few months ago from a participant from the review committee. And it looks good! Apparently MDs and PhDs were ranked separately and among the PhDs I was ranked either 1st or 2nd based on 3-4 committee members' rankings. Though time will tell; the applicants are re-ranked after the full groups' discussion and my inside scoop wasn't allowed to participate in that discussion. Only 5 people will be selected for this career development award and the odds are that only 1 or 2 PhDs will be selected, so I hope, hope, hope that I was ranked PhD-Numero-Uno. Although that means staying here in Freezerville where I have no friends, am always cold, find the food bland, and where Spousal Unit (SU) still has no job. But whatever.

I had convinced myself that it was going nowhere. Silly Julep.

On a totally unrelated note, there is no reason I should have even come into work this week. I have done zilch, zilch. Instead, I cruised the internet, wrote a few emails, stared blankly at some articles I need to read, and put together a baby registry. Seriously.

Probably the most useful thing I got out of this week was a meeting with Visiting Professor (VP) from Scandinavian Country who may prove to be a useful future collaborator. VP does research on toadstools* in my favorite continent, Africa.** VP has never before examined the effect of lullabies*** on toadstools, however, and I happen to specialize in the effects of lullabies.*** This does not bode well for Spousal Unit (SU), who for some reason, does not fully support my desire to someday relocate to Africa.** But I jump the gun.

Tootles all and happy weekending.

*Research area changed to protect the identity of Visiting Professor.
**Actual favorite continent.
***Research area changed to protect my semi-pseudonymous identity.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Caught in the headlights

This is ridiculous.

An abstract I submitted to a conference has been accepted. Great.

I recently submitted revisions to a manuscript on the same research to a journal. The decision is pending. Great. Odds are good, but maybe they'll ask for more revisions?

The association sponsoring the conference wants to publicize my research: press conference, press release, stock footage for media, etc. Great.(!)

BUT, the journal has a press embargo. If it's accepted it's embargoed until it appears in print. If accepted today it could be till next spring. In which case, at the meeting, which is this winter, I will not be able to discuss my results. Only my methods and background and who really cares about that?!

I have an interview tomorrow with a journalist who is putting the press release together.

I have taken the initiative of trying to figure this out, to show that I am trying to be responsible. Dealing with university press people, journal press people, association press people. But holycrap, it's a mess.

After a lot of back and forth here's what it looks like I'll do. Do interviews. Suddenly get article accepted. (Normally this is a good thing!) No longer present at conference. Piss off conference association. Try to retract what I have said from the press release, if possible and not yet released, and attempt to just talk about my methods in any revised press release.

Press embargoes are really ridiculous. Seriously people? It's still my ideas and my work. Well, I guess it's not once I sign a copyright agreement but I haven't yet! But the journal says it's theirs from the moment of acceptance.

I don't think I'll ever submit a manuscript so close to the time of a conference again. Clearly, manuscripts take precedence here but press would be nice. What a weird pickle I'm in!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Agro-Capitalist-Ritalin-Sugar-Industial Complex

Not that this is any huge surprise, but the findings are still pretty staggering. The fact that many of these cereals meet industry standards for "better-for-you" foods just shows what a joke voluntary industry-driven standards really are.

Kids Spoon-Fed Marketing and Advertising for Least Healthy Breakfast Cereals

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A little bored

Well, crap.

I am a little bored.

I'm getting so many manuscripts off my plate lately I am running out of projects to work on. I guess I could work on CCL (Complicated Cover Letter) for a faculty position I am considering applying for. But that seems like a giant pain.

I'd ask my mentor to hand over PHAP (Potentially Huge and Awesome Project) but he'll say, oh, did you finish with SPCP (Stupid Pointless Crap Project)? and I will be forced to say no. But I don't WANNA work on SPCP, it's pointless! But I guess I should.


I hate media reporting about health and medicine

Dearest Gina,

9 times out of 10 I love your reporting.

But why did you have to write this article without distinguishing between breast and prostate cancer screening at all? There is a difference between the "exaggeration" of risk and benefit claims regarding an effective, proven, life-saving screening test (mammography) and the "exaggeration" of claims regarding an as yet unproven, probably pointless screening test with serious side effects (prostate cancer screening). Sure, both don't work as well as most public health messages claim. But one actually works! ARGH!
clipped from

Advantages to cancer screening ‘exaggerated’

By Gina Kolata

The American Cancer Society, which has long been a staunch defender of most cancer screening, is now saying that the benefits of detecting many cancers, especially breast and prostate, have been overstated.

 blog it

Friday, October 16, 2009

On Being Preggo and Productive

I never knew how much I'd learn just by having a fetus growing inside me. For example, today I learned that it just isn't old, really fat, or really uncoordinated people who can't put on their shoes while standing. It's also pregnant people! Wow, go figure!

Being pregnant is such a public thing. As a pretty private person (yeah I know I have a blog and you might be thinking, what kind of blogger is private?, but I don't tell you people anything about my personal life here really, so accept it, yes I am a pretty private person. Even my friends tell me so.) I don't really love this part of being preggo. Everybody looks at you and stares at you when you are drinking coffee. For example. It is none of your business, people! You even get random strangers who touch your belly. WTF?!

On the postdoc front, I'm progressing pretty well with pubs and such. I've got 1 new one under review, 1 revision under review, 1 about to go out the door next week, and more in the pipeline. Truth is, though, that the only one that is really compelling to me is the one that is so complex I can't find a statistician who knows how to analyze it. I need to work on meeting more statisticians. And then finding some money so I can pay one to do this for me.

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