Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I Got a Job

Holy. Crap.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Another Job Talk

I'm leaving tomorrow to the Midwest for a job talk and interviews. I feel woefully unprepared but am hoping for the best.

I am so overwhelmed with the details of my dissertation that if you were to ask me what it was about I would have trouble telling you. This doesn't bode well for a day and a half of meeting people who will be asking me all about it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Baby got Stats

Since I'm not sure what to blog about these days, with the diss done and all, I'm back to YouTube. Clearly I have a lot of free time these days with only a job talk, grant proposal, and defense to do in the next 2 weeks.

As seen on Wicked Anomie...

If you still want to get your grove on, check out Statz for Life...

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I Am Tired.

I'm nearly and I'm so tired.

Dissertation Stats:

Word count: 43069
Pages: 190
Citations: 124
Days of anxiety, existential crisis, sleeplessness, and lazyness: priceless, er, I mean, too many.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

In Case Anyone Out There in the Interwebs Is Considering It....

Don't enroll in a PhD program.

T-48 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Looks Like This is Where I Might Be Heading Too...

Despite some valiant efforts, I may find myself in the same boat for my first post-PhD real job. Not that there's anything wrong with that.


Monday, April 07, 2008

A New Notebook Just for Us!

Gotta have it!
clipped from
Mead Releases New Grad School–Ruled Notebook
According to Mead's website, the ruling lines in the grad-school-ruled notebooks will be placed 3.55 millimeters apart, making them "infinitely more practical" for postgraduate work than the 7.1 millimeter college-ruled notebooks.
"And with the time you'll save by not having to flip a page every 33 lines, you could earn your Ph.D. a year early."
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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Can't Stop Working, Must Google and Blog To Waste at least 5 Minutes...

I am .....FREAKING OUT! I am overwhelmed with data!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nevertheless, googling for statistics jokes distracted me. This one got me cackling:

Statisticians do it. After all, it's only normal. How statisticians do it...

Statisticians probably do it.
Statisticians do it continuously but discretely.
Statisticians do it when it counts.
Statisticians do it with large numbers.
Statisticians do it with significance.
Statisticians do it with standard deviations.
Statisticians do it with 95% confidence.
Statisticians do it with only a 5% chance of being rejected.

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For my graduate school friends, some advice

A word to the wise: do not leave half of your dissertation for completion in the last month of your program. Even if you really really think you know what you're doing. It causes:

madness/lunacy (if you weren't already)
carpal tunnel syndrome
SBWS (staring blankly at the wall syndrome)
fear (for your future, your committee's safety, the horribleness of your diss)
existential dilemmas galore
tingling sensations while your body falls asleep (from crouching over 2 computers nonstop for hours/days on end)

Another tip, be nice to the administration, even if they are a bunch of assclowns. That is, until they sign off on your degree.

News update: it is now T-4 days for dissertation completion (hopefully)!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Clarification on the Dissertation Hypotheses

I have had a couple of questions about my last post. Sorry about that scientific lingo there has obviously caused some confusion. Bottom line for those of you who don't already know me is that is that I just love being amphibological(for those of you who don't get this one either, it means I love being abstruse. You know, tenebrous, acroamatic, cabalistic, orphic, erudite....also discursive and daedal.) This often causes problem when I try to communicate.

In a nutshell it means...what I hypothesized would be true is actually true! Well, to continue being recondite, it actually it means that I can confidently reject the opposite of what I thought was true. But whatever. You get it. I rule!


Friday, April 04, 2008

Dissertation Results

Hi everyone, I have been furiously typing and coding and analyzing. And now...I have results:
Hypothesis 1: reject the null!
Hypothesis 2: (drumroll...............) REJECT THE FREAKING NULL!!!!!!!

And as for all those other complicated "sub analyses" that I thought were such a good idea to tack on to my proposal..... let's just hope that my committee has forgotten about them. I sure have.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Hillary is a Formidable Foe, but so is Maureen Dowd

I love Maureen Dowd. Here's a little clip of hers from today's Times. It's nice to see the media giving Hillary some credit and talking about her toughness as a good thing. It's also nice not to keep hearing doom and gloom about how this race is going to destroy the democratic party. I totally agree with her here, Hillary is priming Obama to handle tough battles in the future....since in the political realm anyway, he's never had to battle like this before.

That's not to say that I believe Hillary's only valuable role of note in this nomination process is as mentor/mommy to her younger (naive? inexperienced? pollyanna?) opponent. Not at all.
clipped from
One of the most valuable lessons the gritty Hillary can teach the languid Obama — and the timid Democrats — is that the whole point of a presidential race is to win.
Hillary’s work is done only when she is done, because the best way for Obama to prove he’s ready to stare down Ahmadinejad is by putting away someone even tougher.
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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Mobile Phone Use and Cancer: BAD RESEARCH

I recently was forwarded an online report stating that a recent study determined that mobile phones are more dangerous than smoking. I have seen the author,Vini Gautam Khurana, M.D. referred online as a "cancer expert" Well, hello internet! I too consider myself a cancer expert. And I would tell you right here and now that you need to stop smoking...but I'm currently on my cell phone.

If I wasn't currently working on my dissertation and coming up on my final weeks(!) in my program, I might turn around and change my topic to the media and cancer sensationalism and mythology.

For my due diligence and soapbox needs, I will point out a few things about this "study:"

1. It is not a peer reviewed study. I found it online, and in anything near it's current form, it is NOT going to pass muster for publication in any quality medical journal.

2. The author is a neurosurgeon. Learning how to poke in someone's brain doesn't mean he's ever been taught how to conduct, understand, or report epidemiologic or population-based research or systematic reviews. For example, the author is clearly unfamiliar with current
standards for conducting or writing systematic reviews of the scientific and medical literature.

3. Smoking is really really bad for you. Actual expert organizations like NIH and NCI and peer-reviewed research science has demonstrated smoking to be the leading preventable cause of premature death in the U.S. One of every five deaths can be linked to tobacco-related disease. This is not the case with mobile (cell) phones. While they are linked to road injuries for example, research to date does not demonstrate that cell phones cause cancer.

4. n.b.--This is not new or original research. It is a misinterpretation of existing research.

5. Remember, in the world of risk perception, things we don't clearly understand and are invisible to the eye, like radiation, tend to scare us more than our everyday, prosaic risks (e.g. cigarettes or automobiles) that are far more dangerous.

6. A note to other scientists: just because you're writing for the lay public doesn't mean you should purposefully obscure your scientific methods and fail to discuss your research limitations.

7. The internet is filled with bullshit, lots and lots of incorrect information that is not fact checked or discussed objectively by actual experts. Cancer epidemiology is complex, our bodies are complex and we don't fully understand how they work. Be wary of ANY health information that makes strong claims. Subject any source about the "causes" or "cures" of cancer to suspicion and critique.

For legitimate and trustworthy information on cancer risk and risk factors, including cell phones and cigarette smoking, turn to the National Cancer Institute, International Agency for Research on Cancer, or the American Cancer Society.

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